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 whatever pleaseth him.
4 Where the word of a king is, there is power: and who may say to him, what doest thou?
5 He who keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing: and a wise man's heart discerneth both time and judgment.
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 to every work that is done under the sun: there is a time in which 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.
12 Though a sinner doeth evil a hundred times, and his days are prolonged, yet surely I know that it will be well with them that fear God, who fear before him:
13 But it will not be well with the wicked, neither will 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 just men, to 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 merry: for that shall abide with him of his labor the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun.
16 When I applied my 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 may labor to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yes further; though a wise man thinketh to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.