Ecclesiastes 8Lexham English Bible (LEB)
Wisdom is Valuable
8 Who is like the sage?
No One Knows the Future
7 Surely no one knows what will be,
The World Marred by Oppression and Injustice
9 I saw all this as I applied my heart to all the deeds done under the sun: sometimes those in authority harm others.[c] 10 Meanwhile, I saw the wicked being honorably buried, but those who came and went from the holy place were forgotten in the city, even though they had done so. This also is vanity!
Although Evil is Not Punished Swiftly, God Does Eventually Punish Sinners
11 Because sentence against an evil deed is not carried out quickly, the heart of humans[d] fills up within them to do evil. 12 Although the sinner does evil a hundred times and prolongs his life, yet I also know that it will be good for those who fear God—because they fear his presence.[e] 13 But it will not go well with the wicked, and they will not prolong their days, like the shadow; because there is no fearing God’s presence.[f] 14 There is a vanity that happens on earth: sometimes the righteous suffer what the wicked deserve, and sometimes the wicked receive what the righteous deserve. I said, “This also is vanity!”
Humans Should Enjoy the Life That God Gives to Them
15 So I recommend enjoyment. For there is nothing better for man under the sun than to eat and to drink and to rejoice. This will accompany him in his toil the days of his life that God gives to him under the sun.
No One Can Discover the Rhyme and Reason for Things
16 I applied my mind to know wisdom and to understand the business that is done on earth—how neither day nor night one’s eyes see sleep. 17 Then I saw all the work of God—man is not able to discover the work that is done under the sun. Although man may toil in seeking, he cannot find it. Even if a wise man claims that he knows it, he cannot find it.