New International Version

Ecclesiastes 8:1-17

1Who is like the wise?

Who knows the explanation of things?

A person’s wisdom brightens their face

and changes its hard appearance.

Obey the King

2Obey the king’s command, I say, because you took an oath before God. 3Do not be in a hurry to leave the king’s presence. Do not stand up for a bad cause, for he will do whatever he pleases. 4Since a king’s word is supreme, who can say to him, “What are you doing?”

5Whoever obeys his command will come to no harm,

and the wise heart will know the proper time and procedure.

6For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter,

though a person may be weighed down by misery.

7Since no one knows the future,

who can tell someone else what is to come?

8As no one has power over the wind to contain it,

so8:8 Or over the human spirit to retain it, / and so no one has power over the time of their death.

As no one is discharged in time of war,

so wickedness will not release those who practice it.

9All this I saw, as I applied my mind to everything done under the sun. There is a time when a man lords it over others to his own8:9 Or to their hurt. 10Then too, I saw the wicked buried—those who used to come and go from the holy place and receive praise8:10 Some Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint (Aquila); most Hebrew manuscripts and are forgotten in the city where they did this. This too is meaningless.

11When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, people’s hearts are filled with schemes to do wrong. 12Although a wicked person who commits a hundred crimes may live a long time, I know that it will go better with those who fear God, who are reverent before him. 13Yet because the wicked do not fear God, it will not go well with them, and their days will not lengthen like a shadow.

14There is something else meaningless that occurs on earth: the righteous who get what the wicked deserve, and the wicked who get what the righteous deserve. This too, I say, is meaningless. 15So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun.

16When I applied my mind to know wisdom and to observe the labor that is done on earth—people getting no sleep day or night— 17then I saw all that God has done. No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. Despite all their efforts to search it out, no one can discover its meaning. Even if the wise claim they know, they cannot really comprehend it.

Kiswahili Contemporary Version (Neno: Bibilia Takatifu)

Mhubiri 8:1-17

1Ni nani aliye kama mtu mwenye hekima?

Ni nani ajuaye maelezo ya mambo?

Hekima hungʼarisha uso wa mtu na kubadili ugumu wa uso wake.

Mtii Mfalme

2Nawaambia, Tii amri ya mfalme, kwa sababu uliapa mbele za Mungu. 38:3 Rum 13:5; Mhu 10:4Usiharakishe kuondoka mbele ya mfalme. Usiendelee kutenda lililo baya, kwa maana mfalme atafanya lolote apendalo. 48:4 Ay 9:12; 34:18; Dan 4:35; Es 1:18-19Kwa kuwa neno la mfalme ndilo lenye mamlaka ya mwisho, nani awezaye kumwambia, “Je, wewe unafanya nini?”

5Yeyote anayetii agizo lake hatadhurika,

moyo wa hekima utajua wakati muafaka

na jinsi ya kutenda.

68:6 Mhu 3:1Kwa maana kuna wakati muafaka

na utaratibu wa kila jambo,

ingawa huzuni ya mwanadamu

huwa nzito juu yake.

7Kwa vile hakuna mtu ajuaye siku zijazo,

ni nani awezaye kumwambia linalokuja?

8Hakuna mwanadamu

awezaye kushikilia roho yake asife,

wala hakuna mwenye uwezo

juu ya siku ya kufa kwake.

Kama vile hakuna yeyote arudishwaye nyuma wakati wa vita,

kadhalika uovu hautawaweka huru wale wautendao.

98:9 1Sam 18:12Yote haya niliyaona, nilipokuwa natafakari kila kitu kinachotendeka chini ya jua. Kuna wakati ambapo mtu hujifanya bwana juu ya wengine kwa madhara yake mwenyewe. 10Ndipo pia, nikaona waovu wakizikwa, wale ambao walizoea kuingia na kutoka mahali patakatifu na kupewa sifa katika mji ambapo walikuwa wamefanya haya. Hili nalo ni ubatili.

118:11 Ay 21:14-15; Rum 2:4-5; Isa 26:10Wakati hukumu juu ya tendo ovu haitekelezwi upesi, mioyo ya watu hujaa mipango ya kutenda maovu. 128:12 Za 37:18-19; Isa 3:10-11; 65:20; Mhu 3:14; Kum 4:40Ingawa mtu mwovu hufanya maovu mia moja na akaendelea kuishi maisha marefu, najua kwamba itakuwa bora zaidi kwa watu wanaomwogopa Mungu, wamchao Mungu. 138:13 Mhu 3:14; Kum 4:40; Ay 5:26; Za 34:12; Isa 65:20Lakini kwa sababu waovu hawamwogopi Mungu, hawatafanikiwa, maisha yao hayatarefuka kama kivuli.

148:14 Za 73:14; Mal 3:15; Mhu 2:14; 7:15; Ay 21:7Kuna kitu kingine ambacho ni ubatili kinachotokea duniani: Watu waadilifu kupata yale yanayowastahili waovu, nao waovu kupata yale yanayowastahili waadilifu. Hili nalo pia, nasema ni ubatili. 158:15 Law 26:5; Mhu 3:12-13; Kut 32:6; Za 42:8Kwa hiyo mimi ninasifu kufurahia maisha, kwa sababu hakuna kitu bora zaidi kwa mwanadamu chini ya jua kuliko kula, kunywa na kufurahi. Kisha furaha itafuatana naye kazini mwake siku zote za maisha yake ambazo amepewa na Mungu chini ya jua.

168:16 Mhu 1:13-17Nilipotafakari akilini mwangu ili nijue hekima na kuangalia kazi ya mwanadamu duniani, jinsi ambavyo macho yake hayapati usingizi mchana wala usiku, 178:17 Ay 5:9; 28:3, 23; Isa 40:28; Rum 11:33ndipo nikaona yale yote ambayo Mungu ameyafanya. Hakuna yeyote awezaye kuelewa yale yanayotendeka chini ya jua. Licha ya juhudi zake zote za kutafuta, mtu hawezi kugundua maana yake. Hata ingawa mtu mwenye hekima anadai kuwa anafahamu, kwa hakika hawezi kutambua.