1 Who is like the wise? and who knoweth as well the explanation of a thing? a mans wisdom enlighteneth his face, and the boldness of his face will be lessened.
2 I counsel thee, Keep the kings command, and that which regardeth the oath to him taken by God.
3 Be not hasty to go out of his presence; engage not in an evil thing; for whatsoever pleaseth him, can he do;
4 Because the word of a king is powerful; and who may say unto him, What doest thou?
5 Whoso keepeth the commandment will experience no evil thing: and a wise mans heart knoweth both time and the just consequence.
6 Because for every pursuit there is a time and a just consequence; for the evil of man resteth heavily upon him.
7 For he knoweth not that which will be; for who can tell him how it will be?
8 No man hath control over the spirit to detain the spirit; and there is no control over the day of death; and there is no representation in that war; and wickedness will not deliver those that practise it.
9 All this have I seen, and directed my heart unto every work that is done under the sun: there is a time when one man ruleth over another to his own injury.
10 Then also did I see the wicked buried, who had gone to their rest; but those who had acted correctly had to go away from the holy place, and were forgotten in the city. Also this is vanity.
11 Because the punishment against evil deeds is not executed speedily, therefore is the heart of the sons of men filled up in them to do evil.
12 But let a sinner do evil a hundred times, and God withhold long his punishment from him; still do I truly know for certain that it will be well with those that fear God, because they are afraid of him;
13 And that it will not be well with the wicked, and that he will not endure many days, like the shadow; because he is not afraid of God.
14 There is a vanity which is done upon the earth, that there are righteous men, unto whom it happeneth in accordance with the deeds of the wicked; again, there are wicked men, to whom it happeneth in accordance with the deeds of the righteous. I said that this also is vanity.
15 Therefore do I praise joyfulness, that there is nothing better for man under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be joyful; for this will adhere to him in his toil, during 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 employment that is done upon the earth, how even neither by day nor by night sleep is seen in the eyes of some men:
17 Then did I see in the whole work of God, that a man is not able to find out the work that is done under the sun; inasmuch as though a man were to toil to seek for it, he would yet not find it; and even if the wise were to think to know it, he would yet not be able to find it.