Ecclesiastes - Chapter 8
Obedience to Authority
1 Who [is] like a wise [man?] And who knows the interpretation of a thing? A man's wisdom makes his face shine, And the sternness of his face is changed.
2 I [say,] "Keep the king's commandment for the sake of your oath to God.
3 "Do not be hasty to go from his presence. Do not take your stand for an evil thing, for he does whatever pleases him."
4 Where the word of a king [is, there is] power; And who may say to him, "What are you doing?"
5 He who keeps his command will experience nothing harmful; And a wise man's heart discerns both time and judgment,
6 Because for every matter there is a time and judgment, Though the misery of man increases greatly.
7 For he does not know what will happen; So who can tell him when it will occur?
8 No one has power over the spirit to retain the spirit, And no one has power in the day of death. [There is] no release from that war, And wickedness will not deliver those who are given to it.
9 All this I have seen, and applied my heart to every work that is done under the sun: [There is] a time in which one man rules over another to his own hurt.
Injustice in the World
10 Then I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the place of holiness, and they were forgotten in the city where they had so done. This also [is] vanity.
11 Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.
12 Though a sinner does evil a hundred [times,] and his [days] are prolonged, yet I surely know that it will be well with those who fear God, who fear before Him.
13 But it will not be well with the wicked; nor will he prolong [his] days, [which are] as a shadow, because he does not fear before God.
14 There is a vanity which occurs on earth, that there are just [men] to whom it happens according to the work of the wicked; again, there are wicked [men] to whom it happens according to the work of the righteous. I said that this also [is] vanity.
15 So I commended enjoyment, because a man has nothing better under the sun than to eat, drink, and be merry; for this will remain with him in his labor [all] the days of his life which God gives him under the sun.
16 When I applied my heart to know wisdom and to see the business that is done on earth, even though one sees no sleep day or night,
17 then I saw all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun. For though a man labors to discover [it,] yet he will not find [it;] moreover, though a wise [man] attempts to know [it,] he will not be able to find [it.]