1 Who is really a wise man, and who knoweth the interpretation of a thing? The wisdom of a man, lighteth up his countenance, but, by defiance of countenance, one is disfigured. 2 I said , The bidding of the king, observe thou, even out of regard to the oath of God. 3 Not rashly from his presence, shouldst thou go: do not take thy stand in a vexatious thing, - for, whatsoever he pleaseth, he will do. 4 Where the word of a king is, there is power, - who then may say to him, What wouldst thou do? 5 He that observeth the commandment, will not notice a vexatious thing, - and, of time and manner, will the heart of the wise take note. 6 For, to every pursuit, there is a time and a manner, - when, the vexation of man, is great concerning it. 7 For there is no one who knoweth what shall be, for, when it shall be, who will tell him? 8 No man, hath power over the spirit, to retain the spirit, and, none, hath power over the day of death, and there is no furlough in war, - neither shall lawlessness deliver them who are given thereto. 9 All this, had I seen, and tried to apply my heart to every work which was done under the sun, - at such time as one man had power over another man, to his hurt.
10 And, thereupon, I considered the lawless when buried, when they had entered, their graves , that, from the place of the Holy One, they used to go and boast in the city that they had so done, - even this, was vanity. 11 Because sentence against a wicked work is not executed speedily - on this account, the heart of the sons of men is fully set within them, to commit wickedness. 12 Though a sinner be committing wickedness a hundred times, and continuing long in his own way, yet I surely know that it shall be well to them who revere God, who stand in awe before him; 13 but, well, shall it not be to the lawless man, neither shall he lengthen out his days like a shadow, - because he standeth not in awe before God.
14 Here was a vain thing which was done upon the earth - that there were righteous men unto whom it happened according to the work of the lawless, and there were lawless men, unto whom it happened according to the work of the righteous, - I said, that, even this, was vanity. 15 Then extolled I, gladness, in that there was nothing better for a man, under the sun, than to eat and to drink, and to be glad, - since, that, should tarry with him in his toil, for the days of his life which God had given him under the sun.
16 When I gave my heart, to know wisdom, and to consider the business that was done upon the earth, then surely, by day and by night, there was one who suffered not his eyes, to sleep. 17 Then I considered all the work of God, that man could not find out the work that was done under the sun, inasmuch as man toileth in seeking and yet cannot find, - yea, even though the wise man should say he knoweth, yet can he not find it out.