1 Who is like the wise man? And who knows the interpretation of a
thing? A man’s wisdom makes his face shine, and the hardness of his face is
changed. 2 I say, “Keep the king’s command!” because of the oath to God.
3 Don’t be hasty to go out of his presence. Don’t persist in an evil
thing, for he does whatever pleases him, 4 for the king’s word is supreme.
Who can say to him, “What are you doing?” 5 Whoever keeps the commandment
shall not come to harm, and his wise heart will know the time and procedure.
6 For there is a time and procedure for every purpose, although the misery
of man is heavy on him. 7 For he doesn’t know that which will be; for who
can tell him how it will be? 8 There is no man who has power over the
spirit to contain the spirit; neither does he have power over the day of
death. There is no discharge in war; neither shall wickedness deliver those
who practices it.
9 All this have I seen, and applied my mind to every work that is done
under the sun. There is a time in which one man has power over another to his
hurt. 10 So I saw the wicked buried. Indeed they came also from holiness.
They went and were forgotten in the city where they did this. This also is
vanity. 11 Because 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 commits crimes a hundred times, and lives long, yet
surely I know that it will be better with those who fear God, who are
reverent before him. 13 But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither
shall he lengthen days like a shadow; because he doesn’t fear God.
14 There is a vanity which is done on the earth, that there are righteous
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 Then I commended mirth, because a man has no
better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be joyful: for
that will accompany him in his labor all the days of his life which God has
given him under the sun.
16 When I applied my heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is
done on the earth (for also there is that neither day nor night sees sleep
with his eyes), 17 then I saw all the work of God, that man can’t find out
the work that is done under the sun, because however much a man labors to
seek it out, yet he won’t find it. Yes, moreover, though a wise man thinks he
can comprehend it, yet he won’t be able to find it.
World English Bible - Public Domain