Ecclesiastes 8:7

7 For he 1does not know what is to be, for 2who can tell him how it will be?

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.


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 keeps a command will know no evil thing, and the wise heart will know the proper time and the just way.
6 For there is a time and a way for everything, although man's trouble lies heavy on him.
7 For he does not know what is to be, for who can tell him how it will be?
8 No man has power to retain the spirit, or power over the day of death. There is no discharge from war, nor will wickedness deliver those who are given to it.
9 All this I observed while applying my heart to all that is done under the sun, when man had power over man to his hurt.

Cross References 2

  • 1. [Proverbs 24:22]
  • 2. Ecclesiastes 3:22; Ecclesiastes 6:12; Ecclesiastes 9:12; Ecclesiastes 10:14
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.