Ecclesiastes 3:17

17 I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.

Ecclesiastes 3:17 Meaning and Commentary

Ecclesiastes 3:17

I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the
wicked
This he considered in his mind, and set it down for a certain truth, and which relieved him under the consideration of the sad perversion of justice; and made him easy under it, and willing to leave things to him that judgeth righteously, and wait his time when everything that was now wrong would be set right: he knew from reason, from tradition, and from the word of God, that there was a judgment to come, a general, righteous, and eternal one; that this judicial process would be carried on by God himself, who is holy, righteous, just, and true, omniscient, and omnipotent; and, being the Judge of all the earth, would do right; when he would vindicate the righteous, and clear them from all calumnies and charges; acquit and justify them, and condemn the wicked, pass a just sentence on them, and execute it; for [there is] a time there for every purpose, and for every work;
or "then", as Noldius; in the day of the great judgment, as the Targum adds; and which continues to paraphrase the words thus,

``for a time is appointed for every business, and for every work which they do in this world they shall be judged there;''
there is a time fixed, a day appointed, for the judgment of the world; though of that day and hour knows no man; yet, it is settled, and will certainly come, ( Acts 17:31 ) ( Matthew 24:36 ) ; and when it is come, every purpose, counsel, and thought of men's hearts, will be made manifest, as well as every work, good or bad, open or secret, yea, every idle word, and men will be judged according to these; see ( 1 Corinthians 4:5 ) ( 2 Corinthians 5:10 ) ( Ecclesiastes 12:14 ) ( Matthew 12:36 Matthew 12:37 ) ( Jude 1:14 Jude 1:15 ) .

Ecclesiastes 3:17 In-Context

15 That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.
16 And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there.
17 I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.
18 I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.
19 For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.