1Who is like a wise man?
And who knows the interpretation of a thing?
#Prov. 4:8, 9; Acts 6:15A man’s wisdom makes his face shine,
And #Deut. 28:50the sternness of his face is changed.
Obey Authorities for God’s Sake
2I say, “Keep the king’s commandment #Ex. 22:11; 2 Sam. 21:7; 1 Chr. 29:24; Ezek. 17:18; (Rom. 13:5)for the sake of your oath to God. 3#Eccl. 10:4Do not be hasty to go from his presence. Do not take your stand for an evil thing, for he does whatever pleases him.”
4Where the word of a king is, there is power;
And #1 Sam. 13:11, 13; Job 34:18who may say to him, “What are you doing?”
5He who keeps his command will experience nothing harmful;
And a wise man’s heart discerns both time and judgment,
6Because #Eccl. 3:1, 17for every matter there is a time and judgment,
Though the misery of man increases greatly.
7#Prov. 24:22; Eccl. 6:12For he does not know what will happen;
So who can tell him when it will occur?
8#Ps. 49:6, 7; Job 14:5No one has power over the spirit to retain the spirit,
And no one has power in the day of death.
There is #Deut. 20:5–8no release from that war,
And wickedness will not deliver those who are given to it.
9All this I have seen, and applied 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.
Death Comes to All
10Then I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the place of holiness, and they were #Eccl. 2:16; 9:5forgotten in the city where they had so done. This also is vanity. 11#Ps. 10:6; 50:21; Is. 26:10Because 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#Is. 65:20; (Rom. 2:5–7)Though a sinner does evil a hundred times, and his days are prolonged, yet I surely know that #(Deut. 4:40; Ps. 37:11, 18, 19; Prov. 1:32, 33; Is. 3:10; Matt. 25:34, 41)it will be well with those who fear God, who fear before Him. 13But it will not be well with the wicked; nor will he prolong his days, which are as a shadow, because he does not fear before God.
14There is a vanity which occurs on earth, that there are just men to whom it #Ps. 73:14happens according to the work of the wicked; again, there are wicked men to whom it happens according to the work of the #Eccl. 2:14; 7:15; 9:1–3righteous. I said that this also is vanity.
15#Eccl. 2:24So I commended enjoyment, because a man has nothing better under the sun than to eat, drink, and be merry; for this will remain with him in his labor all the days of his life which God gives him under the sun.
16When I applied my heart to know wisdom and to see the business that is done on earth, even though one sees no sleep day or night, 17then I saw all the work of God, that #Job 5:9; Ps. 73:16; Eccl. 3:11; Rom. 11:33a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun. For though a man labors to discover it, yet he will not find it; moreover, though a wise man attempts to know it, he will not be able to find it.