Ecclesiastes 8

Keep the King's Command

1 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.

2 I say, "Keep the king's commandment c for the sake of your oath to God. 3 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." 4 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.

Those Who Fear God Will Do Well

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.

Man Cannot Know God's Ways

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.

  1. Cross References
    Proverbs 4:8
    Exalt her, and she will promote you; She will bring you honor, when you embrace her.
    Proverbs 4:9
    She will place on your head an ornament of grace; A crown of glory she will deliver to you.
    Acts 6:15
    And all who sat in the council, looking steadfastly at him, saw his face as the face of an angel.
  2. Cross References
    Deuteronomy 28:50
    A nation of fierce countenance, which does not respect the elderly nor show favor to the young.
  3. Cross References
    Exodus 22:11
    Then an oath of the LORD shall be between them both, that he has not put his hand into his neighbor's goods; and the owner of it shall accept that, and he shall not make it good.
    2 Samuel 21:7
    But the king spared Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, because of the LORD's oath that was between them, between David and Jonathan the son of Saul.
    1 Chronicles 29:24
    All the leaders and the mighty men, and also all the sons of King David, submitted themselves to King Solomon.
    Ezekiel 17:18
    'Since he despised the oath by breaking the covenant, and in fact gave his hand and still did all these things, he shall not escape.'"
    Romans 13:5
    Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience' sake.
  4. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 10:4
    If the spirit of the ruler rises against you, Do not leave your post; For conciliation pacifies great offenses.
  5. Cross References
    1 Samuel 13:11
    And Samuel said, "What have you done?" Saul said, "When I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered together at Michmash.
    1 Samuel 13:13
    And Samuel said to Saul, "You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the LORD your God, which He commanded you. For now the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever.
    Job 34:18
    Is it fitting to say to a king, ' You are worthless,' And to nobles, ' You are wicked'?
  6. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 3:1
    To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:
    Ecclesiastes 3:17
    I said in my heart, "God shall judge the righteous and the wicked, For there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.
  7. Cross References
    Proverbs 24:22
    For their calamity will rise suddenly, And who knows the ruin those two can bring?
    Ecclesiastes 6:12
    For who knows what is good for man in life, all the days of his vain life which he passes like a shadow? Who can tell a man what will happen after him under the sun?
  8. Cross References
    Psalms 49:6
    Those who trust in their wealth And boast in the multitude of their riches.
    Psalms 49:7
    None of them can by any means redeem his brother, Nor give to God a ransom for him -
    Job 14:5
    Since his days are determined, The number of his months is with You; You have appointed his limits, so that he cannot pass.
  9. Cross References
    Deuteronomy 20:5 - 8
    Then the officers shall speak to the people, saying: 'What man is there who has built a new house and has not dedicated it? Let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle and another man dedicate it.
  10. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 2:16
    For there is no more remembrance of the wise than of the fool forever, Since all that now is will be forgotten in the days to come. And how does a wise man die? As the fool!
    Ecclesiastes 9:5
    For the living know that they will die; But the dead know nothing, And they have no more reward, For the memory of them is forgotten.
  11. Cross References
    Psalms 10:6
    He has said in his heart, "I shall not be moved; I shall never be in adversity.
    Psalms 50:21
    These things you have done, and I kept silent; You thought that I was altogether like you; But I will rebuke you, And set them in order before your eyes.
    Isaiah 26:10
    Let grace be shown to the wicked, Yet he will not learn righteousness; In the land of uprightness he will deal unjustly, And will not behold the majesty of the LORD.
  12. Cross References
    Isaiah 65:20
    No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, Nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; For the child shall die one hundred years old, But the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed.
    Romans 2:5 - 7
    But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.
  13. Cross References
    Deuteronomy 4:40
    "You shall therefore keep His statutes and His ...
    Psalms 37:11
    But the meek shall inherit the earth, And shall...
    Psalms 37:18
    The LORD knows the days of the upright, And the...
    Psalms 37:19
    They shall not be ashamed in the evil time, And...
    Proverbs 1:32
    For the turning away of the simple will slay th...
    Proverbs 1:33
    But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, An...
    Isaiah 3:10
    Say to the righteous that it shall be well with...
    Matthew 25:34
    Then the King will say to those on His right ha...
    Matthew 25:41
    Then He will also say to those on the left hand...
  14. Cross References
    Psalms 73:14
    For all day long I have been plagued, And chastened every morning.
  15. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 2:14
    The wise man's eyes are in his head, But the fool walks in darkness. Yet I myself perceived That the same event happens to them all.
    Ecclesiastes 7:15
    I have seen everything in my days of vanity: There is a just man who perishes in his righteousness, And there is a wicked man who prolongs life in his wickedness.
    Ecclesiastes 9:1 - 3
    For I considered all this in my heart, so that I could declare it all: that the righteous and the wise and their works are in the hand of God. People know neither love nor hatred by anything they see before them.
  16. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 2:24
    Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God.
  17. Cross References
    Job 5:9
    Who does great things, and unsearchable, Marvelous things without number.
    Psalms 73:16
    When I thought how to understand this, It was too painful for me -
    Ecclesiastes 3:11
    He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.
    Romans 11:33
    Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!
New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
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