1 The wisdom of a man shines in his countenance, and even the expression of a most powerful man will change.
2 I heed the mouth of the king, and the commandment of an oath to God.
3 You should not hastily withdraw from his presence, nor should you remain in an evil work. For all that pleases him, he will do.
4 And his word is filled with authority. Neither is anyone able to say to him: “Why are you acting this way?”
5 Whoever keeps the commandment will not experience evil. The heart of a wise man understands the time to respond.
6 For every matter, there is a time and an opportunity, as well as many difficulties, for man.
7 For he is ignorant of the past, and he is able to know nothing of the future by means of a messenger.
8 It is not in the power of a man to prohibit the spirit, nor does he have authority over the day of death, nor is he permitted to rest when war breaks out, and neither will impiety save the impious.
9 I have considered all these things, and I have applied my heart to all the works which are being done under the sun. Sometimes one man rules over another to his own harm.
10 I have seen the impious buried. These same, while they were still living, were in the holy place, and they were praised in the city as workers of justice. But this, too, is emptiness.
11 For the sons of men perpetrate evils without any fear, because judgment is not pronounced quickly against the evil.
12 But although a sinner may do evil of himself one hundred times, and by patience still endure, I realize that it will be well with those who fear God, who revere his face.
13 So, may it not go well with the impious, and may his days not be prolonged. And let those who do not fear the face of the Lord pass away like a shadow.
14 There is also another vanity, which is done upon the earth. There are the just, to whom evils happen, as though they had done the works of the impious. And there are the impious, who are very secure, as though they possess the deeds of the just. But this, too, I judge to be a very great vanity.
15 And so, I praised rejoicing, because there was no good for a man under the sun, except to eat and drink, and to be cheerful, and because he may take nothing with him from his labor in the days of his life, which God has given to him under the sun.
16 And I applied my heart, so that I might know wisdom, and so that I might understand a disturbance that turns upon the earth: it is a man, who takes no sleep with his eyes, day and night.
17 And I understood that man is able to find no explanation for all those works of God which are done under the sun. And so, the more that he labors to seek, so much the less does he find. Yes, even if a wise man were to claim that he knows, he would not be able to discover it.