1 Who is the chacham? And who knoweth the pesher (interpretation, explanation) of a thing? A man’s chochmah maketh his face bright, and the rudeness of his face is changed.
2 I counsel thee to keep the king’s commandment, and that because of the shevuat Elohim (the oath of G-d).
3 Be not hasty to go out of his sight; stand not in a rah (an evil matter); for he executeth whatsoever pleaseth him.
4 For the devar melech is shilton (supreme), and who may say unto him, What doest thou?
5 Whoso is shomer mitzvah shall meet no harm; and a lev of a chacham discerneth both et (time) and mishpat (judgment).
6 Because every matter has its et (time) and mishpat (judgment), though the ra’at haAdam be great upon him.
7 For he has no da’as of that which shall be; for who can tell him how it will be?
8 There is no adam that hath power over the ruach to restrain ruach; neither hath he shilton (power) over the yom hamavet; and there is no discharge in war; neither shall resha deliver its possessor.
9 All this have I seen, and applied my lev unto every ma’aseh (labor, work) that has been done under the shemesh wherein one adam ruleth over another adam to the other’s hurt.
10 And so I saw the resha’im buried, who had come and gone out of the mekom kadosh (the holy place), and they were forgotten in the city where they had done such things; this is also hevel.
11 Because pitgam (sentence) against a ma’aseh hara’ah (an evil work) is not executed speedily, therefore the lev of the bnei haAdam is fully set in them to do rah.
12 Though a choteh do rah an hundred times, and his yamim be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear HaElohim, which fear before Hashem;
13 But it shall not be well with the rasha, neither shall he lengthen his yamim like a tzel (shadow); because he feareth not before Elohim.
14 There is a hevel which is done upon ha’aretz; that there be tzaddikim, unto whom it happeneth according to the ma’aseh haresha’im; again, there be resha’im, to whom it happeneth according to the ma’aseh hatzaddikim; I say that this also is hevel.
15 Then I commended simchah, because a man hath no better thing under the shemesh, than to eat, and to drink, and to have simchah; for that shall accompany him in his amal the yamim of his life, which HaElohim giveth him under the shemesh.
16 When I applied mine lev to have da’as of chochmah, and to see the business that is done upon ha’aretz, though one’s eynayim see sleep neither yom nor lailah,
17 then I beheld kol ma’aseh HaElohim, that haAdam cannot comprehend the ma’aseh that is done under the shemesh; because though haAdam labor to seek it out, yet he shall not comprehend it; moreover, though a chacham claim to have da’as of it, yet shall he not be able to comprehend it.