Ecclesiastes 7:13-14

13 Consider what God has done: Who can straighten what he has made crooked?
14 When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future.

Ecclesiastes 7:13 in Other Translations

KJV
13 Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked?
ESV
13 Consider the work of God: who can make straight what he has made crooked?
NLT
13 Accept the way God does things, for who can straighten what he has made crooked?
MSG
13 Take a good look at God's work. Who could simplify and reduce Creation's curves and angles To a plain straight line?
CSB
13 Consider the work of God; for who can straighten out what He has made crooked?

Ecclesiastes 7:13-14 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO ECCLESIASTES 7

The wise man having exposed the many vanities to which men are subject in this life, and showed that there is no real happiness in all outward enjoyments under the sun; proceeds to observe what are remedies against them, of which he had interspersed some few hints before, as the fear and worship of God, and the free and, moderate use of the creatures; and here suggests more, and such as will protect from them, or support under them, or teach and instruct how to behave while attended with them, and to direct to what are proper and necessary in the pursuit of true and real happiness; such as care of a good name and reputation, Ec 7:1; frequent meditation on mortality, Ec 7:2-4; listening to the rebukes of the wise, which are preferable to the songs and mirth of fools, Ec 7:5,6; avoiding oppression and bribery, which are very pernicious, Ec 7:7; patience under provocations, and present bad times, as thought to be, Ec 7:8-10; a pursuit of that wisdom and knowledge which has life annexed to it, Ec 7:11,12; submission to the will of God, and contentment in every state, Ec 7:13,14; shunning extremes in righteousness and sin, the best antidote against which is the fear of God, Ec 7:15-18; such wisdom as not to be offended with everything that is done, or word that is spoken, considering the imperfection of the best of men, the weakness of others, and our own, Ec 7:19-22; and then the wise man acknowledges the imperfection of his own wisdom and knowledge, notwithstanding the pains he had taken, Ec 7:23-25; and laments his sin and folly in being drawn aside by women, Ec 7:26-28; and opens the cause of the depravity of human nature, removes it from God, who made man upright, and ascribes it to man, the inventor of evil things, Ec 7:29.

Ecclesiastes 7:13-14 In-Context

11 Wisdom, like an inheritance, is a good thing and benefits those who see the sun.
12 Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this: Wisdom preserves those who have it.
13 Consider what God has done: Who can straighten what he has made crooked?
14 When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future.
15 In this meaningless life of mine I have seen both of these: the righteous perishing in their righteousness, and the wicked living long in their wickedness.
16 Do not be overrighteous, neither be overwise— why destroy yourself?

Cross References 3

  • 1. Ecclesiastes 2:24
  • 2. Ecclesiastes 1:15
  • 3. S Job 1:21; S Ecclesiastes 2:24
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