New International Version – UK

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 practise 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 labour 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.

Japanese Contemporary Bible

伝道者の書 8:1-17







2-3誓ったとおりに王に従いなさい。どんないやなことであっても、誓いを果たすことから逃げようとしてはなりません。王は不従順な者に罰を加えるからです。 4王のことばには権威があるので、それに逆らったり疑問を差しはさんだりできる者はいません。






9-10私は、人々が支配したりされたりして互いに傷つけ合っていることを考えてみました。悪者でも葬式をすませ、墓地から帰って来るときには、友人たちは故人のした悪事をすっかり忘れています。それどころか、その男は生前に多くの犯罪を重ねた当の町で、ほめそやされるのです。なんとおかしな話でしょう。 11神はすぐに罪人を罰しないので、人々は悪いことをしても別に怖くないと思っているのです。 12百度も罪を犯して、なお生き長らえている人があるとしても、神を敬っている人のほうが幸せです。 13悪者どもは幸福な長い人生を送ることもできません。彼らは神を敬わないので、その一生は影のように早く過ぎ去ります。

14この地上では、奇妙なことが起こっています。正しい人が悪人のような待遇を受け、逆に、悪人が正しい人のような待遇を受けているのです。これもまた、割り切れない思いにさせられます。 15そこで私は、おもしろおかしく一生を送ろうと決心しました。この世では、食べて、飲んで、愉快にやること以外に良いことはないと考えたのです。この幸福は、神が世界中の人に与えているつらい仕事に添えられてくるものです。