1 Who is as the wise man? and who is as he who knows the interpretation of all things? The wisdom of this man shall make his face to shine, and the coarseness of his face shall be changed. 2 I counsel thee to keep the king's commandment and the word of the covenant that thou hast made with God. 3 Do not be hasty to rebel against him; do not persist in any evil thing, for he shall do whatsoever pleases him; 4 because the word of the king is his power and who may say unto him, What doest thou? 5 Whosoever keeps the commandment shall experience no evil thing, and a wise man's heart discerns both time and judgment. 6 Because for every will there is time and judgment, because the evil of man is great upon him, 7 for he does not know that which shall be; nor when it shall be. Who will teach it to him? 8 There is no man that has power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither does he have power over the day of death, and weapons are of no use in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it. 9 All this I have seen and applied my heart unto every work that is done under the sun: the time in which one man rules over another to his own hurt.
10 Then I also saw that the wicked who were buried came into remembrance more than those who had frequented the holy place, and these were forgotten in the city where they had worked uprightly. This also is vanity. 11 Because the 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 one hundred times and his judgment is prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with those that fear God, who fear before his presence; 13 but it shall never be well with the wicked, neither shall his days be prolonged, which are as a shadow, because he did not fear before the presence of God.
14 There is another vanity which is done upon the earth: that there are just men, who are recompensed as if they had done according to the work of the wicked; again, there are wicked men, who are recompensed as if they had done according to the work of the righteous; I say that this also is vanity. 15 Therefore I commended joy because a man has 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 gives him under the sun.
16 Therefore I applied mine heart to know wisdom and to see the business that is done upon the earth (for also there is he that neither day nor night sees sleep with his eyes). 17 And I have seen regarding all the works of God that man cannot attain to understand the work that is being done under the sun, because though a man labours to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; even though the wise man says that he knows it, yet he shall not be able to attain it.