1Who is like a wise one? And who knows the meaning of a matter? A man’s wisdom makes his face shine, and the hardness of his face is changed.
2I say, “Guard the sovereign’s command because of the oath before Elohim.
3Do not be in a hurry to go from his presence. Do not take a stand in an evil matter, for he does whatever he pleases.”
4Where the word of a sovereign is, there is power. And who says to him, “What are you doing?”
5He who guards the command knows no evil matter. And the heart of the wise discerns both time and right-ruling,
6Because for every matter there is a time and right-ruling, though the trouble of man is heavy upon him.
7For he does not know what shall be; so who declares to him when it shall be?
8No one has power over the spirit to retain the spirit, and no one has power in the day of death. There is no discharge in battle, and wrongness does not release those who are given to it.
9All this I have seen; I applied my heart to every work that is done under the sun: There is a time in which a man rules over a man for his evil.
10And so I saw the wrong ones buried, and they came and went from the place of set-apartness, and they were forgotten in the city where they had so done. That too is futile.
11Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is filled in them to do evil.
12Although a sinner is doing evil a hundred times, and his life is prolonged, yet I know that there is good to those who fear Elohim, who fear before Him.
13But it shall not be well with the wrong one, nor would he prolong his days as a shadow, because he does not fear before Elohim.
14There is a futility which has been done on earth, that there are righteous ones who get according to the deeds of the wrong. And there are wrong ones who get according to the deeds of the righteous. I said that this too is futile.
15Therefore I praised enjoyment, because there is no good to man except to eat, and to drink, and to rejoice – and it remains with him in his labour for the days of his life which Elohim has given him under the sun.
16When I gave my heart to know wisdom and to see the task which has been done on earth, even though one sees no sleep day or night,
17then I saw all the work of Elohim, that man is unable to find out the work that has been done under the sun. For though a man labours to seek, yet he does not find it. And even though a wise one claims to know, he is unable to find it.