1 Who is like the wise man? Who knows the interpretation of a message? A man's wisdom illuminates him, and the hardness of his countenance appearance is changed.
2 I counsel you: »Keep the king's command because of the oath before God.«
3 »Do not be in a hurry to leave him. Do not persist in an evil activity, for he does whatever he pleases.«
4 There is power authority in the word of a king. Who may ask him: »What are you doing?«
5 He who obeys the kings command will feel no harm. A wise man's heart discerns both time and judgment.
6 This is because to every purpose there is time and judgment. Even so mans misery is great.
7 For he does not know what will be and who can tell him how and when it will be?
8 No man has the power to restrain the wind, to retain the breath of life. Neither does he have power in the day of death. There is no discharge from that war. Neither will wickedness deliver those who are given to it.
9 I have seen all this and applied my heart to every work that is done under the sun. There is a time when one man rules over another to his own misery and harm.
10 I saw the wicked buried, those who had come and gone out of the holy place. They were forgotten in the city where they had so done. This also is vanity.
11 Sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly. Therefore the hearts of the sons of men are fully committed to do evil.
12 Though a sinner does evil a hundred times, and he lives a long life, yet I know that it will be well with those who respect reverence God and worship him.
13 Things will not go well with the wicked. He will not prolong his days. His days are like a shadow. He does not respect God.
14 There is a futility that is done upon the earth. There are righteous men who get along as though they were wicked and there are wicked men who get along as though they were righteous. I said that this also is vanity.
15 Then I commended enjoyment pleasure, because a man has no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry. That will remain with him in his labor all the days of his life, which God gives 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 I saw all the work of God. A man cannot discover the work that is done under the sun. Though a man labor to seek it out, yet he will not find it. Though a wise man thinks to know it, yet he will not be able to find it.