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Home > Study Desk
Passage Display[Printer-friendly Verses]   
 Ecclesiastes 8
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The New American Standard Bible
   Book of EcclesiastesClick Verse Reference for Study Notes
    8:1-17 - Study Chapter  - Click for Chapter Audio

Obey Rulers

1 Who is like the wise man and who knows the interpretation of a matter? A man's wisdom illumines R189 him F109 and causes his stern R190 face to beam. F110

2 I say, "Keep the command F111 of the king because of the oath R191 before F112 God. 3 "Do not be in a hurry to R192 F113 leave him. Do not join in an evil matter, for he will do whatever he pleases." 4 Since the word of the king is authoritative, who R193 will say to him, "What are you doing?"

5 He who keeps R194 a royal command experiences R195 no trouble, F114 for a wise heart knows the proper time and procedure. 6 For there R196 is a proper time and procedure for every delight, though a man's trouble is heavy upon him. 7 If no one knows R197 what will happen, who can tell him when it will happen? 8 No R198 man has authority to restrain the wind with the wind, or authority over the day of death; and there is no discharge in the time of war, and evil R199 will not deliver those F115 who practice it. 9 All this I have seen and applied my mind F116 to every deed that has been done under the sun wherein a man has exercised authority R200 over another man to his hurt.

10 So then, I have seen the wicked buried, those who used to go in and out from the holy place, and they are soon R201 forgotten in the city where they did thus. This too is futility. 11 Because the sentence R202 against an evil deed is not executed quickly, therefore the R203 hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil. 12 Although a sinner does evil a hundred times and may lengthen R204 his life, still I know that it will be well R205 for those who fear God, who fear Him F117 openly. 13 But it will not R206 be well for the evil man and he will not lengthen his days like a shadow, R207 because he does not fear God.

14 There is futility which is done on the earth, that is, there are righteous R208 men to whom it happens F118 according to the deeds of the wicked. On the other hand, there are evil R209 men to whom it happens F118 according to the deeds of the righteous. I say that this too is futility. 15 So I commended pleasure, for there is nothing good for a R210 man under the sun except to eat and to drink and to be merry, and this will stand by him in his toils F119 throughout the days of his life which God has given him under the sun.

16 When I gave R211 my heart to know wisdom and to see the task which has been done on the earth (even though one should never R212 F120 sleep day or night), 17 and I saw every work of God, I concluded that man R213 cannot discover the work which has been done under the sun. Even though man should seek laboriously, he will not discover; and though R214 the wise man should say, "I know," he cannot discover.

F109: Lit his face
F110: Or change
F111: Lit mouth
F112: Lit of
F113: Lit to go out from his presence
F114: Lit evil thing
F115: Lit its possessors
F116: Lit heart
F117: Lit before Him
F118: Lit strikes
F118: Lit strikes
F119: Lit labor
F120: Lit see no sleep in his eyes

R189: Exodus 34:29,30
R190: Deuteronomy 28:50
R191: Exodus 22:11; 2 Samuel 21:7; Ezekiel 17:18
R192: Ecclesiastes 10:4
R193: Job 1:9:12; Daniel 4:35
R194: Ecclesiastes 12:13
R195: Proverbs 12:21
R196: Ecclesiastes 3:1,17
R197: Ecclesiastes 3:22; 6:12; 7:14; 9:12
R198: Psalms 49:7
R199: Ecclesiastes 8:13
R200: Ecclesiastes 4:1; 5:8; 7:7
R201: Ecclesiastes 1:11; 2:16; 9:5,15
R202: Exodus 34:6; Psalms 86:15; Romans 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9
R203: Ecclesiastes 9:3
R204: Ecclesiastes 7:15
R205: Deuteronomy 4:40; 12:25; Psalms 37:11; Proverbs 1:33; Isaiah 3:10
R206: Ecclesiastes 8:8; Isaiah 3:11
R207: Job 1:14:2; Ecclesiastes 6:12
R208: Psalms 73:14; Ecclesiastes 7:15
R209: Job 1:21:7; Psalms 73:3,12; Jeremiah 12:1; Malachi 3:15
R210: Ecclesiastes 2:24; 3:12,13; 5:18; 9:7
R211: Ecclesiastes 1:13,14
R212: Ecclesiastes 2:23
R213: Ecclesiastes 3:11
R214: Psalms 73:16; Ecclesiastes 7:23; Romans 11:33


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Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995; Audio Recording Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, (P) 1989 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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