1 Who is as the wise man? And who knows the interpretation of a thing? A man's wisdom makes his face to shine, and the hardness of his face is changed. 2 I [say], Keep the king's command, and that because of the oath of God. 3 Be not hasty to go out of his presence. Persist not in an evil matter, for he does whatever pleases him. 4 For the king's word [has] power, and who may say to him, What are thou doing? 5 He who keeps a commandment shall know no evil thing. And a wise man's heart discerns the time and decision. 6 For to every purpose there is a time and decision, although the distress of man is great upon him. 7 For he knows not that which shall be, for who can tell him how it shall be? 8 There is no man who has power over the spirit to retain the spirit, nor has he power over the day of death. And there is no discharge in war. Neither shall wickedness deliver him who is given to it. 9 All this I have seen, and applied my heart to every work that is done under the sun. [There is] a time in which one man has power over another to his hurt.
10 So I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the place of the holy, and they were praised in the city where they had so done. This also is 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 does evil a hundred times, and prolongs his [days], yet surely I know that it shall be well with those who fear God, who fear before him. 13 But it shall not be well with a wicked man, neither shall he prolong [his] days, [which are] as a shadow, because he did not fear before God.
14 There is a vanity which is done upon the earth, that there are righteous men to whom it happens according to the work of the wicked, again, there are wicked men to whom it happens according to the work of the righteous. I said that 15 Then I commended joy, because a man has no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be cheerful. For that shall abide with him in his labor [all] the days of his life which God has given him under the sun.
16 When I applied my heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done upon the earth (for also there is he who sees sleep with his eyes neither day nor night), 17 then I beheld all the work of God, that man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun. Because however much a man labors to seek it out, yet he shall not find it. Yea moreover, though a wise man thinks to know it, yet he