Ecclesiastes 8:7

7 Since no one knows the future, who can tell someone else what is to come?

Ecclesiastes 8:7 in Other Translations

KJV
7 For he knoweth not that which shall be: for who can tell him when it shall be?
ESV
7 For he does not know what is to be, for who can tell him how it will be?
NLT
7 Indeed, how can people avoid what they don’t know is going to happen?
MSG
7 It's true that no one knows what's going to happen, or when. Who's around to tell us?
CSB
7 Yet no one knows what will happen, because who can tell him what will happen?

Ecclesiastes 8:7 Meaning and Commentary

Ecclesiastes 8:7

For he knoweth not that which shall be
Or that "it shall be" F2; that he ever shall have the opportunity again he has lost, nor what is to come hereafter; what shall be on the morrow, or what shall befall him in the remaining part of his days; what troubles and sorrows he shall meet with, or what will be the case and circumstances of his family after his death; for who can tell him when it shall be?
or "how it shall be" F3? how it will be with him or his; no one that pretends to judicial astrology, or to the art of divination, or any such devices, can tell him what is to come; future things are only certainly known by God; none but he can tell what will certainly come to pass; see ( Ecclesiastes 3:22 ) ( 6:12 ) ; Jarchi interprets it of a man's not considering for what God will bring him to judgment, and that no man can tell him the vengeance and punishment that will be inflicted.


FOOTNOTES:

F2 (hyhyv hm) "quod futurum est", Pagninus, Montanus.
F3 (hyhy rvak) "quo modo", Junius & Tremellius, Gejerus, Rambachius, so Broughton.

Ecclesiastes 8:7 In-Context

5 Whoever obeys his command will come to no harm, and the wise heart will know the proper time and procedure.
6 For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter, though a person may be weighed down by misery.
7 Since no one knows the future, who can tell someone else what is to come?
8 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.
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.