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.
1 Who is really wise? Who knows how to interpret this saying: "A person's wisdom improves his appearance, softening a harsh countenance."
1 Who is like the wise man?And who knows the interpretation of a matter?A man’s wisdom illumines his face,And causes his stern face to beam.
2 I counsel thee to keep the king's commandment, and that in regard of the oath of God.
2 I advise doing what the king says, especially regarding an oath to God.
3 Be not hasty to go out of his sight: stand not in an evil thing; for he doeth whatsoever pleaseth him.
3 Don't be in a hurry to leave him, and don't persist in evil, for he does whatever he pleases.
3 Do not be in a hurry to get out of his presence. Do not join in a malevolent matter, for the king will do whatever he pleases.
4 Where the word of a king is, there is power: and who may say unto him, What doest thou?
4 Since a king's command is powerful, who is able to challenge him, asking, "What are you doing?"
4 For the word of a king is authoritative and powerful,And who will say to him, “What are you doing?”
5 Whoso keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing: and a wise man's heart discerneth both time and judgment.
5 Whoever obeys his commands will not experience harm, and the wise in heart will discern both the appropriate time and response.
6 Because to every purpose there is time and judgment, therefore the misery of man is great upon him.
6 Indeed, there is an appropriate time and a response for every circumstance, since human misery weighs heavily upon him.
7 For he knoweth not that which shall be: for who can tell him when it shall be?
7 For he has absolutely no knowledge what will happen, since who can declare to him when it will come about?
7 For no one knows what will happen;So who can tell him how and when it will happen?
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.
8 No one has authority over the wind(b) to restrain it,(H) and there is no authority over the day of death;(I) there is no furlough in battle, and wickedness will not allow those who practice it to escape.
8 Just as no human being has control over the wind to restrain it, so also no human being has control over the day of his death. Just as no one is discharged during war, so wickedness will not release those who practice it.
8 There is no man who has power and authority over the wind to restrain the wind,Nor does he have authority over the day of death;There is no discharge [from service] during time of war,And evil will not rescue those who [actively seek to] practice 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.
9 All this I have seen, applying my mind to all the work that is done under the sun, at a time when one man has authority over another to his harm.
9 I observed all this, and carefully considered everything that is undertaken on earth, especially the time when someone dominates another to his detriment.
9 All this I have seen while applying my mind to every deed that is done under the sun. There is a time in which one man has exercised power over others to their detriment.
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.
10 So I watched the wicked being entombed. They used to come in and out of the Holy Place, but now they are forgotten in the city, where they used to work. This, too, is pointless.
10 So then, I have seen the wicked buried, those who used to go in and out of the holy place [but did not thereby escape their doom], and they are [praised in spite of their evil and] soon forgotten in the city where they did such things. This too is futility (vanity, emptiness).
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.
11 Whenever a sentence for a crime is not carried out swiftly, the human mind becomes determined to commit evil.
11 Because the sentence against an evil act is not executed quickly, the hearts of the sons of men are fully set 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:
12 Even though a sinner does what is wrong a hundred times and still survives, nevertheless I also know that things will go well for those who fear God, who fear in his presence.
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.
13 But things will not go well for the wicked person: he will not lengthen his life like a shadow, since he has no fear before God.
14 There is futility which is done on the earth, that is, there are (T)righteous men to whom it (j)happens according to the deeds of the wicked. On the other hand, there are (U)evil men to whom it (k)happens according to the deeds of the righteous. I say that this too is futility.
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.
14 There is a futility that is done on the earth: there are righteous people who get what the actions of the wicked deserve,(P) and there are wicked people who get what the actions of the righteous deserve.(Q) I say that this too is futile.
14 Here is a pointless thing that happens on earth: A righteous man receives what happens to the wicked, and a wicked man receives what happens to the righteous. I concluded that this, too, is pointless.
14 There is a meaningless and futile thing which is done on the earth: that is, there are righteous men whose gain is as though they were evil, and evil men whose gain is as though they were righteous. I say that this too is futility (meaningless, vain).
15 So I commended pleasure, for there is nothing good for (V)a man under the sun except to eat and to drink and to be merry, and this will stand by him in his (l)toils throughout the days of his life which God has given him under the sun.
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.
15 So I commended enjoyment because there is nothing better for man under the sun than to eat, drink, and enjoy himself,(R) for this will accompany him in his labor during the days of his life that God gives him under the sun.
15 So then I recommended enjoyment of life, because it is better on earth for a man to eat, drink, and be happy, since this will stay with him throughout his struggle all the days of his life, which God grants him on earth.
15 Then I commended pleasure and enjoyment, because a man [without God] has no better thing under the sun than to eat and to drink and to be merry, for this will stand by him in his toil through the days of his life which God has given 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:)
16 When I dedicated myself to experience wisdom and to observe what is undertaken on earth even going without sleep day and night
16 When I applied my mind to know wisdom and to see the activities [of mankind] that take place upon the earth—how some men seem to sleep neither day nor night—
17 and I saw every work of God, I concluded that (Y)man cannot discover the work which has been done under the sun. Even though man should seek laboriously, he will not discover; and (Z)though the wise man should say, “I know,” he cannot discover.
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.
17 I observed all the work of God and concluded that man is unable to discover the work that is done under the sun. Even though a man labors hard to explore it, he cannot find it;(T) even if the wise man claims to know it, he is unable to discover it.
17 I saw all of it as the activity of God. Frankly, a human being cannot understand what happens on earth, because however hard a man works to discover it, he will not find out. Despite what he thinks he knows, he will not be able to figure it out.
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