1 Who is as the wise man? and who knoweth the interpretation
of a thing? a man's wisdom maketh his face to shine, and the
boldness of his face shall be changed.
Obey the King
2 I counsel thee to keep the king's commandment, and that in
regard of the oath of God.
3 Be not hasty to go out of his sight: stand not in an evil
thing; for he doeth whatsoever pleaseth him.
4 Where the word of a king is, there is power: and who may
say unto him, What doest thou?
5 Whoso keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing:
and a wise man's heart discerneth both time and judgment.
6 Because to every purpose there is time and judgment,
therefore the misery of man is great upon him.
7 For he knoweth not that which shall be: for who can tell
him when it shall be?
8 There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain
the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and
there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness
deliver those that are given to it.
9 All this have I seen, and applied my heart unto every work
that is done under the sun: there is a time wherein one man
ruleth over another to his own hurt.
10 And so I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone
from the place of the holy, and they were forgotten in the
city where they had so done: this is also vanity.
11 Because 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 Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be
prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them
that fear God, which fear before him:
13 But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall
he prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he
feareth not before God.
14 There is a vanity which is done upon the earth; that
there be just men, unto whom it happeneth according to the
work of the wicked; again, there be wicked men, to whom it
happeneth according to the work of the righteous: I said
that this also is vanity.
15 Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better
thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be
merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour the days
of his life, which God giveth him under the sun.
16 When I applied mine heart to know wisdom, and to see the
business that is done upon the earth: (for also there is
that neither day nor night seeth sleep with his eyes:)
17 Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find
out the work that is done under the sun: because though a
man labour to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea
further; though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he
not be able to find it.1
References and notes
1. King James Authorized Version
John Gill's Exposition of the Bible - http://eword.gospelcom.net/comments/ecclesiastes/gill/ecclesiastes8.htm
The preacher begins this chapter with the praise of wisdom,
from its excellency and usefulness, Ecclesiastes 8:1;
and advises men, if they would live quietly and comfortably,
to honour and obey the king that rules over them, and not be
rebellious against him, since he has great power and
authority, Ecclesiastes 8:2;
and not be anxious about things to come, since there is a
set time for everything, and future things cannot be known
nor frustrated; and, particularly, there is no avoiding the
hour and stroke of death, Ecclesiastes 8:6;
Though there are times wherein wicked men rule over others,
it is to their own hurt, and they must die; and though they
may be pompously buried, yet are soon forgotten,
and the reason of their insolence is the delay of justice;
yet there will come a time when it shall be well with them
that fear God, and ill with the wicked, though they may live
long in wickedness; and for the present it may befall good
then what wicked men deserve, and wicked men may have that
which might, be thought more proper for good men,
wherefore this should give no uneasiness; but men should
cheerfully and freely enjoy what they have with
thankfulness, there being nothing better than that under the
sun, Ecclesiastes 8:15;
and the chapter is concluded with observing the
unsearchableness of divine Providence, Ecclesiastes 5:16.2
The Index to Ecclesiastes is a great starting point for searching the Book of Ecclesiastes. The index page contains Daily Scriptures and easy links to chapters for the Book of Ecclesiastes. The pages may include song previews, background information, commentary, sermons, videos, and details of the Bible author.