Who is like a wise man?
And who knows the interpretation of a thing?
a A man's wisdom makes his face shine,
And b the 1 sternness of his face is changed.
I say, "Keep the king's commandment c for the sake of your oath to God.
d "Do not be hasty to go from his presence. Do not take your stand for an evil thing, for he does whatever pleases him."
Where the word of a king is, there is power;
And e who may say to him, "What are you doing?" 5 He who keeps his command will experience nothing harmful;
And a wise man's heart 2 discerns both time and judgment, 6 Because f for every matter there is a time and judgment,
Though the misery of man 3 increases greatly. 7 g For he does not know what will happen;
So who can tell him when it will occur? 8 h No one has power over the spirit to retain the spirit,
And no one has power in the day of death.
There is i no release from that war,
And wickedness will not deliver those who are given to it. 9 All this I have seen, and applied my heart to every work that is done under the sun: There is a time in which one man rules over another to his own hurt.
10 Then I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the place of holiness, and they were j forgotten 4 in the city where they had so done. This also is vanity. 11 k Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. 12 l Though a sinner does evil a hundred times, and his days are prolonged, yet I surely know that m it will be well with those who fear God, who fear before Him. 13 But it will not be well with the wicked; nor will he prolong his days, which are as a shadow, because he does not fear before God.
14 There is a vanity which occurs on earth, that there are just men to whom it n happens according to the work of the wicked; again, there are wicked men to whom it happens according to the work of the o righteous. I said that this also is vanity. 15 p So I commended enjoyment, because a man has nothing better under the sun than to eat, drink, and be merry; for this will remain with him in his labor all the days of his life which God gives him under the sun.
16 When I applied my heart to know wisdom and to see the business that is done on earth, even though one sees no sleep day or night, 17 then I saw all the work of God, that q a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun. For though a man labors to discover it, yet he will not find it; moreover, though a wise man attempts to know it, he will not be able to find it.New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.