8 How wonderful to be wise, to analyze and interpret things. Wisdom lights up a person’s face, softening its harshness.
Obedience to the King
2 Obey the king since you vowed to God that you would.3 Don’t try to avoid doing your duty, and don’t stand with those who plot evil, for the king can do whatever he wants.4 His command is backed by great power. No one can resist or question it.5 Those who obey him will not be punished. Those who are wise will find a time and a way to do what is right,6 for there is a time and a way for everything, even when a person is in trouble.
7 Indeed, how can people avoid what they don’t know is going to happen?8 None of us can hold back our spirit from departing. None of us has the power to prevent the day of our death. There is no escaping that obligation, that dark battle. And in the face of death, wickedness will certainly not rescue the wicked.
The Wicked and the Righteous
9 I have thought deeply about all that goes on here under the sun, where people have the power to hurt each other.10 I have seen wicked people buried with honor. Yet they were the very ones who frequented the Temple and are now praised[a] in the same city where they committed their crimes! This, too, is meaningless.11 When a crime is not punished quickly, people feel it is safe to do wrong.12 But even though a person sins a hundred times and still lives a long time, I know that those who fear God will be better off.13 The wicked will not prosper, for they do not fear God. Their days will never grow long like the evening shadows.
14 And this is not all that is meaningless in our world. In this life, good people are often treated as though they were wicked, and wicked people are often treated as though they were good. This is so meaningless!
15 So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life. That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them under the sun.
16 In my search for wisdom and in my observation of people’s burdens here on earth, I discovered that there is ceaseless activity, day and night.17 I realized that no one can discover everything God is doing under the sun. Not even the wisest people discover everything, no matter what they claim.
8:10As in some Hebrew manuscripts and Greek version; many Hebrew manuscripts read and are forgotten.
You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Learn more
You must be logged in to view your newly purchased content. Please log in below or if you don't have an account, creating one is easy and only takes a few moments. After you log in your content will be available in your library.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
Upgrade, and get the most out of your new account. An integrated digital Bible study library - including complete notes from the NIV Study Bible and the NKJV MacArthur Study Bible - is just a step away! Try it free for 30 days.