Ecclesiastes 8New Life Version (NLV)
8 Who is like the wise man? And who understands the meaning of anything? A man’s wisdom makes his face shine. The hard look on his face is changed.
Obey the King
2 I say, “Obey the words of the king because of the promise you made to God. 3 Do not be in a hurry to leave him. Do not join in wrong-doing, for he will do whatever he pleases.” 4 Since the king’s word is powerful, who will say to him, “What are you doing?”
5 He who obeys the king’s law will have no trouble, for a wise heart knows the right time and way. 6 For there is a right time and way for everything, even if a man’s trouble is heavy upon him. 7 If no one knows what will happen, who can tell him when it will happen? 8 No man has the right and power to hold back the wind with the wind, or power over the day of his death. No man is free to leave in the time of war. And sin will not take the sinner out of trouble. 9 All this I have seen while thinking about every work that has been done under the sun. There is a time when one man has power over another man and makes him suffer.
Death Comes to Everyone
10 Then I saw the sinful buried, who used to go in and out of the holy place. They are soon forgotten in the city where they did this. This also is for nothing. 11 Because a sinful act is not punished in a hurry, so the hearts of the sons of men are given completely over to sin. 12 Even though a sinner does sinful things a hundred times and lives a long time, still I know that it will be well for those who fear God, and let others know they fear God. 13 But it will not go well for the sinful man. His days will not be long like a shadow, because he does not fear God. 14 There is something that is of no use on the earth: There are right and good men who have the same thing happen to them that happens to those who do sinful things. And there are sinful men who have the same thing happen to them that happens to those who are right and good. I say this also is for nothing. 15 So I say a man should enjoy himself. For there is nothing good for a man under the sun except to eat and drink and be happy. For this will be with him in his work through the days of his life which God has given him under the sun.
16 I gave my heart to know wisdom and to see the work which has been done on the earth, not sleeping day or night. 17 And I saw all the work of God and knew that man cannot even think of all that is done under the sun. Even if man tries hard to find out, he will not be able to. Even if a wise man says he knows, he does not.