1 Who is as the wise? And who knows the meaning of a thing? A man's wisdom makes his face to shine, and the boldness of his face shall be changed. 2 I say, Keep the king's word, and that, because of the oath of God. 3 Do not be hasty to leave his presence. Do not take a stand in an evil thing, for he does whatever pleases him. 4 Because the word of a king is that which has power; and who may say to him, What are you doing? 5 Whoever keeps the command shall feel no evil thing; and a wise man's heart knows both time and judgment. 6 Because to every purpose there is time and judgment, therefore the misery of man is great on him. 7 For he does not know what shall be; for who can tell him when it shall be? 8 There is no man who has power over the spirit to keep the spirit; nor power in the day of death; and there is no discharge in that war; nor shall wickedness deliver its owners. 9 All this I have seen, and I gave my heart to 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, and they came and went from the holy place. And they were forgotten in the city, these things that they had 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 be made longer, 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 the wicked, nor shall he make his days longer like a shadow; because he does not fear before God.
14 There is a vanity which is done on the earth: There are just ones to whom it happens according to the work of the wicked; again, there are wicked ones to whom it happens according to the work of the righteous. I said that this also is vanity. 15 Then I praised gladness, because a man has no better thing under the sun than to eat and to drink and to be glad; for that shall go with him of his labor for the days of his life which God gives him under the sun.
16 When I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done on the earth; for neither day nor night do men see sleep with their eyes. 17 Then I looked at 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, further, though a wise one speaks of knowing, yet he shall not be able to find it.