New International Version

Ecclesiastes 8

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

Obey the king’s command, I say, because you took an oath before God. Do 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. Since a king’s word is supreme, who can say to him, “What are you doing?”

Whoever obeys his command will come to no harm,
    and the wise heart will know the proper time and procedure.
For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter,
    though a person may be weighed down by misery.

Since no one knows the future,
    who can tell someone else what is to come?
As no one has power over the wind to contain it,
    so[a] 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.

All 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 own[b] hurt. 10 Then too, I saw the wicked buried—those who used to come and go from the holy place and receive praise[c] in the city where they did this. This too is meaningless.

11 When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, people’s hearts are filled with schemes to do wrong. 12 Although 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. 13 Yet because the wicked do not fear God, it will not go well with them, and their days will not lengthen like a shadow.

14 There 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. 15 So 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.

16 When I applied my mind to know wisdom and to observe the labor that is done on earth—people getting no sleep day or night— 17 then 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.


  1. Ecclesiastes 8:8 Or over the human spirit to retain it, / and so
  2. Ecclesiastes 8:9 Or to their
  3. Ecclesiastes 8:10 Some Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint (Aquila); most Hebrew manuscripts and are forgotten

Chinese Contemporary Bible (Simplified)

传道书 8


我劝你遵守王的命令,因为你曾在上帝面前这样发誓。 不要在王面前鲁莽行事,也不要参与恶行,因为王可以随意行事。 况且,王的命令至高无上,谁敢质问他呢? 遵从王命的必免遭祸患,因为智者心里懂得做事的时机和方法。 尽管人面临重重困难,但做任何事都有时机和方法。 无人知道未来的事,谁能告诉人将来的事呢? 无人能掌管生命[a],留住生命,也无人能掌管死期。无人能免于这场争战,邪恶也救不了作恶者。 这一切我都见过了,我用心思考日光之下的一切事。有时人欺压人、伤害人。 10 我看见恶人生前出入圣所,死后安葬,还在他们作恶的城中受到称赞,这也是虚空。 11 对犯罪者的刑罚不迅速执行,世人便尽情作恶。 12 虽然罪人作恶多端仍得长寿,我却认为敬畏上帝的人必亨通。 13 然而,恶人得不到祝福,他们必像幻影一样不能长久,因为他们不敬畏上帝。 14 世上有一件虚空的事,就是义人遭受了恶人当受的报应,恶人却享受了义人该享的福乐。我认为这也是虚空。 15 因此,我便赞赏享乐,因为在日光之下没有什么比吃喝快乐更好。这是人在上帝所赐的年日里,从劳碌中当得的享受。 16 我全心去寻求智慧,观察世上所发生的事,甚至昼夜不眠, 17 思想上帝所做的一切,便知道人无法理解日光之下所发生的事。尽管人努力不懈地去寻找,也不能明白;即使智者自以为明白,他其实仍不能参透。


  1. 8:8 生命”也可译作“风”或“气息”。