Obey the king’s command, I say, because you took an oath before God.
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.
Since a king’s word is supreme, who can say to him, “What are you doing?”
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, though a person may be weighed down by misery.
Since no one knows the future, who can tell someone else 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.
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.
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.
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 better with those who fear God, who are reverent before him.