NASB — Ecclesiastes 8 — KJV

Obey Rulers

1 Who is like the wise man and who knows the interpretation of a matter? A man’s wisdom aillumines Ihim and causes his bstern face to IIbeam.

[1] ILit his face IIOr change aEx 34:29, 30 bDt 28:50

2 ¶ I say, “Keep the Icommand of the king because of the aoath IIbefore God. 3 Do not be in a hurry Iato leave him. Do not join in an evil matter, for he will do whatever he pleases.” 4 Since the word of the king is authoritative, awho will say to him, “What are you doing?”

[2] ILit mouth IILit of aEx 22:11; 2S 21:7; Ezk 17:18
[3] ILit to go out from his presence aEc 10:4
[4] aJb 9:12; Dn 4:35

5 ¶ He who akeeps a [royal] command bexperiences no Itrouble, for a wise heart knows the proper time and procedure. 6 For athere is a proper time and procedure for every delight, though a man’s trouble is heavy upon him. 7 If no one aknows what will happen, who can tell him when it will happen? 8 aNo 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 bevil will not deliver Ithose who practice it. 9 All this I have seen and applied my Imind to every deed that has been done under the sun wherein a man has exercised aauthority over [another] man to his hurt.

[5] ILit evil thing aEc 12:13 bPv 12:21
[6] aEc 3:1, 17
[7] aEc 3:22; 6:12; 7:14; 9:12
[8] ILit its possessors aPs 49:7 bEc 8:13
[9] ILit heart aEc 4:1; 5:8; 7:7

10 ¶ So then, I have seen the wicked buried, those who used to go in and out from the holy place, and they are a[soon] forgotten in the city where they did thus. This too is futility. 11 Because the asentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, therefore bthe hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil. 12 Although a sinner does evil a hundred [times] and may alengthen his [life], still I know that it will be bwell for those who fear God, who fear IHim openly. 13 But it will anot be well for the evil man and he will not lengthen his days like a bshadow, because he does not fear God.

[10] aEc 1:11; 2:16; 9:5, 15
[11] aEx 34:6; Ps 86:15; Ro 2:4; 2P 3:9 bEc 9:3
[12] ILit before Him aEc 7:15 bDt 4:40; 12:25; Ps 37:11; Pv 1:33; Is 3:10
[13] aEc 8:8; Is 3:11 bJb 14:2; Ec 6:12

14 ¶ There is futility which is done on the earth, that is, there are arighteous men to whom it Ihappens according to the deeds of the wicked. On the other hand, there are bevil men to whom it Ihappens according to the deeds of the righteous. I say that this too is futility. 15 So I commended pleasure, for there is nothing good for aa man under the sun except to eat and to drink and to be merry, and this will stand by him in his Itoils [throughout] the days of his life which God has given him under the sun.

[14] ILit strikes aPs 73:14; Ec 7:15 bJb 21:7; Ps 73:3, 12; Jr 12:1; Mal 3:15
[15] ILit labor aEc 2:24; 3:12, 13; 5:18; 9:7

16 ¶ When I agave my heart to know wisdom and to see the task which has been done on the earth (even though one should Ibnever sleep day or night), 17 and I saw every work of God, [I concluded] that aman cannot discover the work which has been done under the sun. Even though man should seek laboriously, he will not discover; and bthough the wise man should say, “I know,” he cannot discover.

[16] ILit see no sleep in his eyes aEc 1:13, 14 bEc 2:23
[17] aEc 3:11 bPs 73:16; Ec 7:23; Ro 11:33


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Kings are greatly to be respected.

1 ¶ Who [is] as the wise [man]? and who knoweth the interpretation of a thing? a man's wisdom maketh his face to shine, and the boldness of his face shall be changed. 2 I [counsel thee] to keep the king's commandment, and [that] in regard of the oath of God. 3 Be not hasty to go out of his sight: stand not in an evil thing; for he doeth whatsoever pleaseth him. 4 Where the word of a king [is, there is] power: and who may say unto him, What doest thou? 5 Whoso keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing: and a wise man's heart discerneth both time and judgment.

[1] Gn 40:8; 41:15, 38; Ex 34:29; Dt 28:50; Jb 33:23; Pv 1:6; 4:8; 17:24; 24:5; Ec 2:13; Dn 2:28, 47; 4:18; Mt 17:2; Ac 4:13, 29; 6:15; 1Co 2:13; Ep 6:19; 2Ti 4:17; 2P 1:20.
[2] 1K 2:43; 1Ch 29:24; Pv 24:21; Ezk 17:13; Ro 13:1, 5; Tit 3:1; 1P 2:13.
[3] 1K 1:50; 2:21; Pv 14:29; 16:14; 30:31; Ec 10:4; Is 48:4; Jr 44:16; Dn 4:35; 5:19; Ac 5:8.
[4] 1K 2:25, 29, 46; Jb 33:12; 34:18; Pv 19:12; 20:2; 30:31; Dn 3:15; Lk 12:4; Ro 9:20; 13:1.
[5] Ex 1:17, 20; 1Ch 12:32; Ps 119:6; Pv 17:24; Ec 2:14; 8:2; 10:2; Ho 5:11; Lk 12:56; 20:25; Ac 4:19; 5:29; Ro 13:5; 1Co 2:14; Php 1:9; Col 1:9; He 5:14; 1P 3:13.

The divine providence is to be observed.

6 ¶ Because to every purpose there is time and judgment, therefore the misery of man [is] great upon him. 7 For he knoweth not that which shall be: for who can tell him when it shall be? 8 [There is] no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither [hath he] power in the day of death: and [there is] no discharge in [that] war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it. 9 All this have I seen, and applied my heart unto every work that is done under the sun: [there is] a time wherein one man ruleth over another to his own hurt. 10 And so I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the place of the holy, and they were forgotten in the city where they had so done: this [is] also 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.

[6] Ec 3:1, 11, 17; 7:13; 11:9; 12:1; Is 3:11; 22:12; Lk 13:25; 17:26; 19:42; He 3:7.
[7] Pv 24:22; 29:1; Ec 6:12; 9:12; 10:14; Mt 24:44, 50; 25:6; 1Th 5:1.
[8] Dt 20:1; 2S 14:14; 2K 7:15; Jb 14:5; 34:14; Ps 9:17; 49:6; 52:5; 73:18; 89:48; Pv 14:32; Ec 3:21; Is 28:15, 18; 1Co 15:43; 2Co 13:4; He 9:27.
[9] Ex 14:5, 28; Dt 2:30; 2K 14:10; 25:7; Ec 1:14; 3:10; 4:7; 5:8, 13; 7:25.
[10] 2K 9:34; Jb 21:18, 32; Ps 31:12; 122:1; Pv 10:7; Ec 2:16; 9:5; Jr 17:13; Lk 16:22; Ac 6:13; He 10:38.
[11] Ex 8:15, 32; Jb 21:11; Ps 10:6; 50:21; Is 5:18; 26:10; 57:11; Jr 42:15; 48:11; Mt 24:49; Ro 2:4; 2P 3:3.

It is better with the godly in adversity, than with the wicked in prosperity.

12 ¶ Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his [days] be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him: 13 But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong [his] days, [which are] as a shadow; because he feareth not before God. 14 There is a vanity which is done upon the earth; that there be just [men], unto whom it happeneth according to the work of the wicked; again, there be wicked [men], to whom it happeneth according to the work of the righteous: I said that this also [is] vanity. 15 Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun.

[12] 1K 2:5; 21:25; 22:34; 1Ch 16:30; Ps 37:11, 18; 96:9; 112:1; 115:13; Pv 1:32; 13:21; Ec 3:14; 5:16; 7:15, 18; Is 3:10; 65:13, 20; Mt 25:34, 41; Lk 1:50; Ro 2:5; 9:22; 2P 2:9.
[13] Jb 7:6; 14:2; 18:5; 20:5; 21:30; Ps 11:5; 39:5; 55:23; 144:4; Ec 6:12; Is 30:13; 57:21; Mal 3:18; Mt 13:49; Jn 5:29; Jm 4:14; 2P 2:3.
[14] Jb 9:22; 21:17; 24:21; Ps 73:13; Ec 2:14; 4:4, 8; 7:15; 9:1, 3; 10:5; Mal 3:15.
[15] Ec 2:24; 3:12, 22; 5:18; 9:7; 1Ti 4:3; 6:17.

The work of God is unsearchable.

16 ¶ When I applied mine heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done upon the earth: (for also [there is that] neither day nor night seeth sleep with his eyes:) 17 Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labour to seek [it] out, yet he shall not find [it]; yea further; though a wise [man] think to know [it], yet shall he not be able to find [it].

[16] Gn 31:40; Ps 127:2; Ec 2:23; 4:8; 5:12; 7:25; 8:7, 9.
[17] Jb 5:9; 11:7; Ps 40:5; 73:16; 104:24; Pv 30:3; Ec 3:11; 7:23; 11:5; Is 40:28; Ro 11:33.


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