Ecclesiastes 8 (New American Standard)

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Obey Rulers

1 Who is like the wise man and who knows the interpretation of a matter? A man's wisdom 1illumines ahim and causes his 2stern face to bbeam. 2 I say, "Keep the ccommand of the king because of the 3oath dbefore God. 3 "Do not be in a hurry e4to leave him. Do not join in an evil matter, for he will do whatever he pleases." 4 Since the word of the king is authoritative, 5who will say to him, "What are you doing?" 5 He who 6keeps a royal command 7experiences no ftrouble, for a wise heart knows the proper time and procedure. 6 For 8there is a proper time and procedure for every delight, though a man's trouble is heavy upon him. 7 If no one 9knows what will happen, who can tell him when it will happen? 8 10No man has authority to restrain the wind with the wind, or authority over the day of death; and there is no discharge in the time of war, and 11evil will not deliver gthose who practice it. 9 All this I have seen and applied my hmind to every deed that has been done under the sun wherein a man has exercised 12authority over another man to his hurt. 10 So then, I have seen the wicked buried, those who used to go in and out from the holy place, and they are 13soon forgotten in the city where they did thus. This too is futility. 11 Because the 14sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, therefore 15the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil. 12 Although a sinner does evil a hundred times and may 16lengthen his life, still I know that it will be 17well for those who fear God, who fear iHim openly . 13 But it will 18not be well for the evil man and he will not lengthen his days like a 19shadow, because he does not fear God. 14 There is futility which is done on the earth, that is, there are 20righteous men to whom it jhappens according to the deeds of the wicked. On the other hand, there are 21evil men to whom it khappens according to the deeds of the righteous. I say that this too is futility. 15 So I commended pleasure, for there is nothing good for 22a man under the sun except to eat and to drink and to be merry, and this will stand by him in his ltoils throughout the days of his life which God has given him under the sun. 16 When I 23gave my heart to know wisdom and to see the task which has been done on the earth (even though one should m24never sleep day or night ), 17 and I saw every work of God, I concluded that 25man cannot discover the work which has been done under the sun. Even though man should seek laboriously, he will not discover; and 26though the wise man should say, "I know," he cannot discover.
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