Nonfiction > The Bible > Harvard Classics > Ecclesiastes
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
[1]    WHO is as the wise man? and who knoweth the interpretation of a thing? A man’s wisdom maketh his face to shine, and the hardness 1 of his face is changed.
[2]  I counsel thee, Keep the king’s command, and that in regard of the oath of God.
[3]  Be not hasty to go out of his presence; persist not in an evil thing: for he doeth whatsoever pleaseth him.
[4]  For the king’s word hath 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 discerneth time and judgment:
[6]  for to every purpose 2 there is a time and judgment; because the misery 3 of man is great upon him:
[7]  for he knoweth not that which shall be; for 4 who can tell him how it shall be?
[8]  There is no man that hath power over the spirit 5 to retain the spirit; 6 neither hath he power over the day of death; and there is no discharge in 7 war: neither shall wickedness deliver him that is given to it.
[9]    All this have I seen, and applied my heart unto every work that is done under the sun: there 8 is a time wherein one man hath power over another to 9 his hurt.
[10]  So I saw the wicked buried, and 10 they came to the grave; and they that had done right went away 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 sons of men is fully 11 set in them to do evil.
[12]  Though a sinner do evil a hundred times, and prolong his days, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, that 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 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; again, there are wicked men to whom it happeneth according to the work of the righteous: I said that this also is vanity.
[15]  Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be joyful: for 12 that shall abide with him in his labor all 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 13 that is done upon the earth (for 14 also there is that neither day nor night seeth sleep with his eyes), then I beheld all the work of God, that man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because however much a man labor to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea moreover, though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.
Note 1. Heb. strength. [back]
Note 2. Or, matter. [back]
Note 3. Or, evil. [back]
Note 4. Or, for even when it cometh to pass, who shall declare it unto him? [back]
Note 5. Or, wind. [back]
Note 6. Or, wind. [back]
Note 7. Or, in battle. [back]
Note 8. Or, what time one man had &c. [back]
Note 9. Or, to his own hurt. [back]
Note 10. Or, who had come and gone away from the holy place; and they were forgotten in the city where they had so done.Or, and men came and went &c. [back]
Note 11. Or, emboldened. [back]
Note 12. Or, and that this should accompany him. [back]
Note 13. Or, travail. [back]
Note 14. Or, how that neither by day nor by night do men see sleep with their eyes. [back]


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