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 counsel you to keep the king's commandment, and that for the sake of your oath to God. 3 Be not hasty to go out of his presence: stand not for an evil thing; for he does whatsoever pleases him. 4 Where the word of a king is, there is power: and who may say unto him, What are you doing? 5 Whosoever keeps the commandment shall experience no evil thing: and a wise man's heart discerns both time and judgment. 6 Because to every purpose there is time and judgment, therefore the misery of man is heavy upon him. 7 For he knows not that which shall be: for who can tell him when it shall be? 8 There is no man that has power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither has he power in the day of death: and there is no release from 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 in which one man rules over another to his own hurt.
10 And so I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the holy place, and they were forgotten in the city where they had so done: this is also 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 his days are prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, who fear before him: 13 But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he fears not before God.
14 There is a vanity which is done upon the earth; that there are just men, unto 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 this also is vanity. 15 Then I commended mirth, 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 in his labor all the days of his life, which God gives 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 one who neither day nor night sees sleep with his eyes:) 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 labors to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea moreover; though a wise man thinks to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.