Ecclesiastes 8 RSV/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 Who is like the wise man? And who knows the interpretation of a thing? A man's wisdom makes his face shine, and the hardness of his countenance is changed. 1 Who is like the wise man? Who knows the explanation of things? Wisdom brightens a man's face and changes its hard appearance.
2 Keep the king's command, and because of your sacred oath be not dismayed; 2 Obey the king's command, I say, because you took an oath before God.
3 go from his presence, do not delay when the matter is unpleasant, for he does whatever he pleases. 3 Do not be in a hurry to leave the king's presence. Do not stand up for a bad cause, for he will do whatever he pleases.
4 For the word of the king is supreme, and who may say to him, "What are you doing?" 4 Since a king's word is supreme, who can say to him, "What are you doing?"
5 He who obeys a command will meet no harm, and the mind of a wise man will know the time and way. 5 Whoever obeys his command will come to no harm, and the wise heart will know the proper time and procedure.
6 For every matter has its time and way, although man's trouble lies heavy upon him. 6 For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter, though a man's misery weighs heavily upon him.
7 For he does not know what is to be, for who can tell him how it will be? 7 Since no man knows the future, who can tell him what is to come?
8 No man has power to retain the spirit, or authority over the day of death; there is no discharge from war, nor will wickedness deliver those who are given to it. 8 No man has power over the wind to contain it; so no one has power over the day of his death. As no one is discharged in time of war, so wickedness will not release those who practice it.
9 All this I observed while applying my mind to all that is done under the sun, while man lords it over man to his hurt. 9 All this I saw, as I applied my mind to everything done under the sun. There is a time when a man lords it over others to his own hurt.
10 Then I saw the wicked buried; they used to go in and out of the holy place, and were praised in the city where they had done such things. This also is vanity. 10 Then too, I saw the wicked buried--those who used to come and go from the holy place and receive praise in the city where they did this. This too is meaningless.
11 Because sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the sons of men is fully set to do evil. 11 When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, the hearts of the people are filled with schemes to do wrong.
12 Though a sinner does evil a hundred times and prolongs his life, yet I know that it will be well with those who fear God, because they fear before him; 12 Although a wicked man commits a hundred crimes and still lives a long time, I know that it will go better with God-fearing men, who are reverent before God.
13 but it will not be well with the wicked, neither will he prolong his days like a shadow, because he does not fear before God. 13 Yet because the wicked do not fear God, it will not go well with them, and their days will not lengthen like a shadow.
14 There is a vanity which takes place on earth, that there are righteous men to whom it happens according to the deeds of the wicked, and there are wicked men to whom it happens according to the deeds of the righteous. I said that this also is vanity. 14 There is something else meaningless that occurs on earth: righteous men who get what the wicked deserve, and wicked men who get what the righteous deserve. This too, I say, is meaningless.
15 And I commend enjoyment, for man has no good thing under the sun but to eat and drink, and enjoy himself, for this will go with him in his toil through the days of life which God gives him under the sun. 15 So I commend the enjoyment of life, because nothing is better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany him in his work all the days of the life God has given him under the sun.
16 When I applied my mind to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done on earth, how neither day nor night one's eyes see sleep; 16 When I applied my mind to know wisdom and to observe man's labor on earth--his eyes not seeing sleep day or night--
17 then I saw all the work of God, that man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun. However much man may toil in seeking, he will not find it out; even though a wise man claims to know, he cannot find it out. 17 then I saw all that God has done. No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. Despite all his efforts to search it out, man cannot discover its meaning. Even if a wise man claims he knows, he cannot really comprehend it.