Who is like the wise? Who knows the explanation of things? Wisdom brightens the face and changes its hard appearance.
Obey the king's command, I say, because you took an oath before God.
References for Ecclesiastes 8:2
Do not be in a hurry to leave the king's presence.1 Do not stand up for a bad cause, for he will do whatever he pleases.
References for Ecclesiastes 8:3
Since a king's word is supreme, who can say to him, "What are you doing?2"
References for Ecclesiastes 8:4
Whoever obeys his command will come to no harm, and the wise heart will know the proper time and procedure.
For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter,3 though a person may be weighed down by misery.
References for Ecclesiastes 8:6
Since no one knows the future, who can say what is to come?
As no one has power over the wind to contain it, so no one has power over the time of their death. As no one is discharged in time of war, so wickedness will not release those who practice it.
References for Ecclesiastes 8:8
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.
References for Ecclesiastes 8:9
Then too, I saw the wicked buried4--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.
References for Ecclesiastes 8:10
When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, people's hearts are filled with schemes to do wrong.
Although a wicked person who commits a hundred crimes may live a long time, I know that it will go better5 with those who fear God,6 who are reverent before him.7
References for Ecclesiastes 8:12
Yet because the wicked do not fear God,8 it will not go well with them, and their days9 will not lengthen like a shadow.
References for Ecclesiastes 8:13
There is something else meaningless that occurs on earth: the righteous who get what the wicked deserve, and the wicked who get what the righteous deserve.10 This too, I say, is meaningless.11
References for Ecclesiastes 8:14
So I commend the enjoyment of life12, because there is nothing better for people under the sun than to eat and drink13 and be glad.14 Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun.
References for Ecclesiastes 8:15
When I applied my mind to know wisdom15 and to observe the labor that is done on earth16--people getting no sleep day or night--
References for Ecclesiastes 8:16
then I saw all that God has done.17 No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. People toil to search it out, but no one can discover its meaning. Even if the wise claim they know, they cannot really comprehend it.18
References for Ecclesiastes 8:17