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Ecclesiastes 8:11

11 When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, people’s hearts are filled with schemes to do wrong.

Read Ecclesiastes 8:11 Using Other Translations

Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.
Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil.
When a crime is not punished quickly, people feel it is safe to do wrong.

What does Ecclesiastes 8:11 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Ecclesiastes 8:11

Because sentence [against] an evil work is not executed
Any evil work done by magistrates, or others, against which the wrath of God is revealed from heaven, and is threatened with his vengeance; the decree is gone forth, the sentence is passed, God is determined upon punishment; but there is a delay of it, he exercises patience and longsuffering to answer some end of his, both towards his own people and the wicked; as well as to display some of his own perfections; but because so it is, the judgment comes not at once; therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do
or their "heart is full to do evil" F14; they have not only a fulness of sin in them naturally as is in every man's heart; but they are filled with resolution, boldness, and courage, to commit sin, promising themselves impurity from the seeming delay of justice; such an abuse do they make of the patience and forbearance of God; they become more and more hardened in sin and bent upon the commission of it.


F14 (er twvel alm) "plenum ad faciendum malum", Pagninus, Montanus; "praegnano ad faciendum malum", Gussetius, p. 469.
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