1 Who knows the wise? and who knows the interpretation of a saying? A man's wisdom will lighten his countenance; but a man of shameless countenance will be hated.
2 Observe the commandment of the king, and because of the word of the oath of God.
3 Be not hasty; thou shalt go forth out of his presence: stand not in an evil matter; for he will do whatsoever he shall please,
4 even as a king having power: and who will say to him, What doest thou?
5 He that keeps the commandment shall not know an evil thing: and the heart of the wise knows the time of judgment.
6 For to every thing there is time and judgment; for the knowledge of a man is great to him.
7 For there is no one that knows what is going to be: for who shall tell him how it shall be?
8 There is no man that has power over the spirit to retain the spirit; and there is no power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in the day of the battle; neither shall ungodliness save her votary.
9 So I saw all this, and I applied my heart to every work that has been done under the sun; all the things wherein man has power over man to afflict him.
10 And then I saw the ungodly carried into the tombs, and out of the holy place: and they departed, and were praised in the city, because they had done thus: this also is vanity.
11 Because there is no contradiction made on the part of those who do evil quickly, therefore the heart of the children of men is fully determined in them to do evil.
12 He that has sinned has done evil from that time, and long from beforehand: nevertheless I know, that it is well with them that fear God, that they may fear before him:
13 but it shall not be well with the ungodly, and he shall not prolong his days, as a shadow; forasmuch as he fears not before God.
14 There is a vanity which is done upon the earth; that there are righteous persons to whom it happens according to the doing of the ungodly; and there are ungodly men, to whom it happens according to the doing of the just: I said, This is also vanity.
15 Then I praised mirth, because there is no good for a man under the sun, but to eat, and drink, and be merry: and this shall attend him in his labour all the days of his life, which God has given him under the sun.
16 Whereupon I set my heart to know wisdom, and to perceive the trouble that was wrought upon the earth: for there is that neither by day nor night sees sleep with his eyes.
17 And I beheld all the works of God, that a man shall not be able to discover the work which is wrought under the sun; whatsoever things a man shall endeavour to seek, however a man may labour to seek it, yet he shall not find it; yea, how much soever a wise man may speak of knowing it, he shall not be able to find it: for I applied all this to my heart, and my heart has seen all this.