HOW WONDERFUL TO be wise, to understand things, to be able to analyze them
and interpret them. Wisdom lights up a man's face, softening its hardness.
Only the king as you have vowed to do. Don't always be trying to get
out of doing your duty, even when it's unpleasant. For the king punished
those who disobey. The king's command is backed by great power, and no one
can withstand it or question it. Those who obey him will not be punished.
The wise man will find a time and a way to do what he says. Yes, there is
a time and a way for everything, though man's trouble lies heavy upon him;
for how can he avoid what he doesn't know is going to happen?
No one can hold back his spirit from departing; no one has the power
to prevent his day of death, for there is no discharge from that
obligation and that dark battle. Certainly a man's wickedness is not going
to help him then.
I have thought deeply about all that goes on here in the world, where
people have the power of injuring each other. I have seen wicked men
buried and as their
friends returned from the cemetery, having forgotten all the dead man's
evil deeds, these men were praised in the very city where they had
committed their many crimes! How odd! Because God does not punish sinners
instantly, people feel it is safe to do wrong. But though a man sins a
hundred times and still lives, I know very well that those who fear God
will be better off, unlike the wicked, who will not live long, good
lives-their days shall pass away as quickly as shadows because they fear
There is a strange thing happening here upon the earth. Providence
seems to treat some good men as though they were wicked, and some wicked
men as though they were good. This is all very vexing and troublesome.
Then I decided to spend my time having fun, because I felt that there
was nothing better in all the earth than that a man should eat, drink, and
be merry, with
the hope that this happiness would stick with him in all the hard work
with God gives to mankind everywhere.
In my search for wisdom I observed all that was going on everywhere
across the earth-ceaseless activity, day and night. (Of course, only God
can see everything, and from the wisest man who says he knows everything,