1
¶ WHO is like the wise man?
And who knows the interpretation of a thing?
A man’s wisdom makes his face to shine, but he who is impudent shall be hated.
2
Keep the king’s command, and in regard of the oath of God be not hasty.
3
Go from his presence;
and do not stand firm in an evil matter;
for he does whatsoever pleases him.
4
In what manner the king speaks is lawful;
and who can say to him, What are you doing?
5
He who keeps a command shall know no evil thing;
and a wise man’s heart discerns both time and judgment.
6
Because to every purpose there is time and judgment, because the misery of man is great upon him.
7
For there is no one who knows that which has been;
and who can tell him what will be after him?
8
There is no man who has power over the wind to withhold the wind;
neither has he power over the day of death;
and there is no escape from duty in the day of battle;
neither shall wickedness deliver those who are given to it.
9
¶ All this have I seen, and applied my heart to every work that is done under the sun;
there is a time wherein one man rules over another to hurt him.
10
And so I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the holy place, and they were forgotten in the city where they had done such evil things;
this also is vanity.
11
Because vengeance against the evil-doers is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.
12
He who sins does evil a hundred times, and his days are prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with the worshippers of the LORD, that they may fear before him;
13
But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are like a shadow;
because he does not fear before God.
14
There is a vanity which is done upon the earth;
there are just men, to whom it happens according to the work of the wicked;
and there are wicked men, to whom it happens according to the deeds of the righteous;
I said that this also is vanity.
15
Then I commended mirth, because there is nothing better for a man under the sun than to eat and to drink and to be merry;
for that shall accompany him in his labor all the days of his life, which God gives him under the sun.
16
Therefore I applied my heart to know wisdom, and to see the business which is done upon the earth;
for there are those whose eyes see no sleep either day or night.
17
Then I saw all the work of God, that man cannot find out the work which is done under the sun;
all that a man may labor to seek out, yet he will not find it;
and whosoever says that he is wise yet will not be able to find it.