Ecclesiastes 8
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New Living TranslationNew American Standard Bible
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 and who knows the interpretation of a matter? A man's wisdom illumines him and causes his stern face to beam.
2Obey the king since you vowed to God that you would.2I say, "Keep the command of the king because of the 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.3"Do not be in a hurry to leave him. Do not join in an evil matter, for he will do whatever he pleases."
4His command is backed by great power. No one can resist or question it.4Since the word of the king is authoritative, who will 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,5He who keeps a royal command experiences no trouble, for a wise heart knows the proper time and procedure.
6for there is a time and a way for everything, even when a person is in trouble.6For there is a proper time and procedure for every delight, though a man's trouble is heavy upon him.
7Indeed, how can people avoid what they don’t know is going to happen?7If no one knows what will happen, who can tell him when it will happen?
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 Righteous8No man has authority to restrain the wind with the wind, or authority over the day of death; and there is no discharge in the time of war, and evil will not deliver 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 and applied my mind to every deed that has been done under the sun wherein a man has exercised authority over another man to his hurt.
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.10So then, I have seen the wicked buried, those who used to go in and out from the holy place, and they are soon forgotten in the city where they did thus. This too is futility.
11When a crime is not punished quickly, people feel it is safe to do wrong.11Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, therefore the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do 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 may lengthen his life, still I know that it will be well for those who fear God, who fear Him openly.
13The wicked will not prosper, for they do not fear God. Their days will never grow long like the evening shadows.13But it will not be well for the evil man and he will not lengthen his days like a shadow, because he does not fear God.
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 futility which is done on the earth, that is, there are righteous men to whom it happens according to the deeds of the wicked. On the other hand, there are evil men to whom it happens according to the deeds of the righteous. I say that this too is futility.
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 pleasure, for there is nothing good for a man under the sun except to eat and to drink and to be merry, and this will stand by him in his toils throughout the days of his life which God has given 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 gave my heart to know wisdom and to see the task which has been done on the earth (even though one should never sleep day or 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.17and I saw every work of God, I concluded that man cannot discover the work which has been done under the sun. Even though man should seek laboriously, he will not discover; and though the wise man should say, "I know," he cannot discover.
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.New American Standard Bible Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved. For Permission to Quote Information visit //www.lockman.org
Ecclesiastes 7
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