Ecclesiastes 8

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 [a]hardness of his face is changed. I counsel thee, Keep the king’s command, and that in regard of the oath of God. Be not hasty to go out of his presence; persist not in an evil thing: for he doeth whatsoever pleaseth him. For the king’s word hath power; and who may say unto him, What doest thou? Whoso keepeth the commandment shall know no evil thing; and a wise man’s heart discerneth time and judgment: for to every [b]purpose there is a time and judgment; because the [c]misery of man is great upon him: for he knoweth not that which shall be; [d]for who can tell him how it shall be? There is no man that hath power over the [e]spirit to retain the [f]spirit; neither hath he power over the day of death; and there is no discharge [g]in war: neither shall wickedness deliver him that is given to it. All this have I seen, and applied my heart unto every work that is done under the sun: [h]there is a time wherein one man hath power over another [i]to his hurt. 10 So I saw the wicked buried, [j]and they came to the grave; and they that had done right went away from the holy place, and were forgotten in the city: this also is vanity. 11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is [k]fully set in them to do evil. 12 Though a sinner do evil a hundred times, and prolong his days, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, that 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 are righteous men unto whom it happeneth according to the work of the wicked; again, there are 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 joyful: [l]for that shall abide with him in his labor all the days of his life which God hath given him under the sun. 16 When I applied my heart to know wisdom, and to see the [m]business that is done upon the earth [n](for also there is that neither day nor night seeth sleep with his eyes), 17 then I beheld all the work of God, that man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because however much a man labor to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea moreover, though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.


  1. Ecclesiastes 8:1 Hebrew strength.
  2. Ecclesiastes 8:6 Or, matter
  3. Ecclesiastes 8:6 Or, evil
  4. Ecclesiastes 8:7 Or, for even when it cometh to pass, who shall declare it unto him?
  5. Ecclesiastes 8:8 Or, wind
  6. Ecclesiastes 8:8 Or, wind
  7. Ecclesiastes 8:8 Or, in battle
  8. Ecclesiastes 8:9 Or, what time one man had etc.
  9. Ecclesiastes 8:9 Or, to his own hurt
  10. Ecclesiastes 8:10 Or, who had come and gone away from the holy place; and they were forgotten in the city where they had so done. Or, and men came and went etc.
  11. Ecclesiastes 8:11 Or, emboldened
  12. Ecclesiastes 8:15 Or, and that this should accompany him
  13. Ecclesiastes 8:16 Or, travail
  14. Ecclesiastes 8:16 Or, how that neither by day nor by night do men see sleep with their eyes