1 Who is as the wise? and who knoweth the explanation of things? A man's wisdom maketh his face to shine, and the boldness of his face is changed. 2 I say, Keep the king's commandment, and that on account of the oath of God. 3 Be not hasty to go out of his sight; persist not in an evil thing: for he doeth whatever pleaseth him, 4 because the word of a king is power; and who may say unto him, What doest thou? 5 Whoso keepeth the commandment shall know no evil thing; and a wise man's heart knoweth time and manner. 6 For to every purpose there is time and manner. For the misery of man is great upon him; 7 for he knoweth not that which shall be; for who can tell him how it shall be? 8 There is no man who hath control over the spirit to retain the spirit; and no one hath control over the day of death; and there is no discharge in that war, neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it. 9 All this have I seen, and applied my heart unto every work that is done under the sun: there is a time when man ruleth man to his hurt.
10 And I have also seen the wicked buried and going away; and such as had acted rightly went from the holy place, and were forgotten in the city. This also is vanity. 11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the children of men is fully set in them to do evil. 12 Though a sinner do evil a hundred times, and prolong his days, yet I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, because they fear before him; 13 but it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days as a shadow, because he feareth not before God.
14 There is a vanity which is done upon the earth; that there are righteous men unto whom it happeneth according to the work of the wicked; and there are wicked men to whom it happeneth according to the work of the righteous. I said that this also is vanity. 15 And I commended mirth, because there is nothing better for man 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 hath 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 that neither day nor night seeth sleep with his eyes), 17 then I saw that all is the work of God, and that man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because however man may labour to seek it out, yet doth he not find it; and even, if a wise man think to know it, he shall not be able to find it out.