Keepa the king's command as you would keep a solemn pledge.
Don't be dismayed; leave his presence. Don't linger in a harmful situation because he can do whatever he wants!
Because the king's word has authority, no one can say to him, "What are you doing?"
Whoever keeps a command will meet no harm, and the wise heart knows the right time and the right way
because there's a right time and right way for every matter. But human misfortunes are overwhelming
because no one knows what will happen, and no one can say when something might happen.
No one has control over the life-breath,b to retain it, and there's no control over the day of death. There's no release from war, and wickedness won't deliver those who practice it.
I observed all of this as I paid attention to all that happens under the sun. Sometimes people exercise power over each other to their detriment.
Then I saw the wicked brought to their graves, with people processing from a holy place,c while those who had lived honestly were neglected in the city. This too is pointless.
The condemnation for wicked acts isn't carried out quickly; that's why people dare to do evil.
Wrongdoers may commit a hundred crimes but still live long lives. But I also know that it will go well for those who fear God, for those who are reverent before God.