Ecclesiastes 8:9-10

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[a] hurt.
10 Then too, I saw the wicked buried—those who used to come and go from the holy place and receive praise[b] in the city where they did this. This too is meaningless.

Ecclesiastes 8:9-10 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO ECCLESIASTES 8

The preacher begins this chapter with the praise of wisdom, from its excellency and usefulness, Ec 8:1; and advises men, if they would live quietly and comfortably, to honour and obey the king that rules over them, and not be rebellious against him, since he has great power and authority, Ec 8:2-5; and not be anxious about things to come, since there is a set time for everything, and future things cannot be known nor frustrated; and, particularly, there is no avoiding the hour and stroke of death, Ec 8:6-8; Though there are times wherein wicked men rule over others, it is to their own hurt, and they must die; and though they may be pompously buried, yet are soon forgotten, Ec 8:9,10; and the reason of their insolence is the delay of justice; yet there will come a time when it shall be well with them that fear God, and ill with the wicked, though they may live long in wickedness; and for the present it may befall good then what wicked men deserve, and wicked men may have that which might, be thought more proper for good men, Ec 8:11-14; wherefore this should give no uneasiness; but men should cheerfully and freely enjoy what they have with thankfulness, there being nothing better than that under the sun, Ec 8:15; and the chapter is concluded with observing the unsearchableness of divine Providence, Ec 5:16,17.

Ecclesiastes 8:9-10 In-Context

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.
10 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.
11 When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, people’s hearts are filled with schemes to do wrong.
12 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.

Cross References 1

  • 1. S Ecclesiastes 1:11

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Or "to their"
  • [b]. Some Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint (Aquila); most Hebrew manuscripts "and are forgotten"