Ecclesiastes 8
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1How wonderful to be wise, to analyze and interpret things. Wisdom lights up a person’s face, softening its harshness. Obedience to the King1Who is like the wise man? Who knows the interpretation of a matter? A man’s wisdom brightens his face, and the sternness of his face is changed.
2Obey the king since you vowed to God that you would.2Keep the king’s command, I say, because of your oath before God.
3Don’t try to avoid doing your duty, and don’t stand with those who plot evil, for the king can do whatever he wants.3Do not hasten to leave his presence, and do not persist in a bad cause, for he will do whatever he wants.
4His command is backed by great power. No one can resist or question it.4For the king’s word is supreme, and who can say to him, “What are you doing?”
5Those who obey him will not be punished. Those who are wise will find a time and a way to do what is right,5Whoever keeps his command will come to no harm, and a wise heart knows the right time and procedure.
6for there is a time and a way for everything, even when a person is in trouble.6For there is a right time and procedure to every purpose, though a man’s misery weighs heavily upon him.
7Indeed, how can people avoid what they don’t know is going to happen?7Since no one knows what will happen, who can tell him what is to come?
8None of us can hold back our spirit from departing. None of us has the power to prevent the day of our death. There is no escaping that obligation, that dark battle. And in the face of death, wickedness will certainly not rescue the wicked. The Wicked and the Righteous8As no man has power over the wind to contain it, so no one has authority over his day of death. As no one can be discharged in wartime, so wickedness will not release those who practice it.
9I have thought deeply about all that goes on here under the sun, where people have the power to hurt each other.9All this I have seen, applying my mind to every deed that is done under the sun; there is a time when one man lords it over another to his own detriment.
10I have seen wicked people buried with honor. Yet they were the very ones who frequented the Temple and are now praised in the same city where they committed their crimes! This, too, is meaningless.10Then too, I saw the burial of the wicked who used to go in and out of the holy place, and they were praised in the city where they had done so. This too is futile.
11When a crime is not punished quickly, people feel it is safe to do wrong.11When the sentence for a crime is not speedily executed, the hearts of men become fully set on doing evil.
12But even though a person sins a hundred times and still lives a long time, I know that those who fear God will be better off.12Although a sinner does evil a hundred times and still lives long, yet I also know that it will go well with those who fear God, who are reverent in His presence.
13The wicked will not prosper, for they do not fear God. Their days will never grow long like the evening shadows.13Yet because the wicked do not fear God, it will not go well with them, and their days will not lengthen like a shadow.
14And this is not all that is meaningless in our world. In this life, good people are often treated as though they were wicked, and wicked people are often treated as though they were good. This is so meaningless!14There is a futility that is done on the earth: There are righteous men who get what the actions of the wicked deserve, and there are wicked men who get what the actions of the righteous deserve. I say that this too is futile.
15So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life. That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them under the sun.15So I commended the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be merry. For this joy will accompany him in his labor during the days of his life that God gives him under the sun.
16In my search for wisdom and in my observation of people’s burdens here on earth, I discovered that there is ceaseless activity, day and night.16When I applied my mind to know wisdom and to observe the task that one performs on the earth—though his eyes do not see sleep in the day or even in the night—
17I realized that no one can discover everything God is doing under the sun. Not even the wisest people discover everything, no matter what they claim.17I saw every work of God, and that a man is unable to comprehend the work that is done under the sun. Despite his efforts to search it out, he cannot find its meaning; even if the wise man claims to know, he is unable to comprehend.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.The Berean Bible (Berean Study Bible (BSB) © 2016, 2018 by Bible Hub and Berean.Bible. Used by Permission. All rights Reserved.
Ecclesiastes 7
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