Man Cannot Know God's Ways

Ecclesiastes 8

14 There is a vanity that takes place on earth, that there are righteous people u to whom it happens according to the deeds of the wicked, and there are wicked people v to whom it happens according to the deeds of the righteous. I said that this also is vanity. 15 And I commend joy, for man w has no good thing under the sun but to x eat and drink and be joyful, for this will go with him in his toil through the days of his life that God has given him under the sun.

16 When I applied my heart to know wisdom, and to see y the business that is done on earth, how neither z day nor night do one's eyes see sleep, 17 then I saw all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun. However much man may toil in seeking, he will not find it out. Even though a wise man claims to know, b he cannot find it out.

  1. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 7:15
    In my vain life I have seen everything. There is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his evildoing.
    Psalms 73:3
    For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
    Ecclesiastes 2:14
    The wise person has his eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I perceived that the same event happens to all of them.
  2. Cross References
    Job 21:7
    Why do the wicked live, reach old age, and grow mighty in power?
    Psalms 17:9 - 10
    From the wicked who do me violence, my deadly enemies who surround me.
    Psalms 73:12
    Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches.
    Jeremiah 12:1
    Righteous are you, O Lord, when I complain to you; yet I would plead my case before you. Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all who are treacherous thrive?
  3. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 2:24
    There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God.
  4. Cross References
    1 Kings 4:20
    Judah and Israel were as many as the sand by the sea. They ate and drank and were happy.
  5. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 1:13
    And I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven. It is an unhappy business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with.
    Ecclesiastes 3:10
    I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with.
  6. Cross References
    Psalms 127:2
    It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.
  7. Cross References
    Proverbs 25:2
    It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out.
    Ecclesiastes 3:11
    He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.
  8. Cross References
    Psalms 73:16
    But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task.
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
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