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Ecclesiastes 8:2-12 (Common English Bible w/ Apocrypha)

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Watch out for power

2 Keepa the king's command as you would keep a solemn pledge. 3 Don't be dismayed; leave his presence. Don't linger in a harmful situation because he can do whatever he wants! 4 Because the king's word has authority, no one can say to him, "What are you doing?" 5 Whoever keeps a command will meet no harm, and the wise heart knows the right time and the right way 6 because there's a right time and right way for every matter. But human misfortunes are overwhelming 7 because no one knows what will happen, and no one can say when something might happen. 8 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. 9 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. 10 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. 11 The condemnation for wicked acts isn't carried out quickly; that's why people dare to do evil. 12 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.
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