Ecclesiastes 8:13
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
But it will not be well with the wicked, neither will he prolong his days like a shadow, because he does not fear before God.

King James Bible
But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God.

American Standard Version
but it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But let it not be well with the wicked, neither let his days be prolonged, but as a shadow let them pass away that fear not the face of the Lord.

English Revised Version
but it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God.

Webster's Bible Translation
But it will not be well with the wicked, neither will he prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God.

Ecclesiastes 8:13 Parallel
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

Ecclesiastes 8:7 and Ecclesiastes 8:8 thus continue the For and For: "For he knoweth not that which shall be; for who can tell him who it will be? There is no man who has power over the wind, to restrain the wind; and no one has authority over the day of death; and there is no discharge in the war; and wickedness does not save its possessor." The actor has the sin upon himself, and bears it; if it reaches the terminus of full measure, it suddenly overwhelms him in punishment, and the too great burden oppresses its bearer (Hitzig, under Isaiah 24:20). This עת ומשׁ comes unforeseen, for he (the man who heaps up sins) knoweth not id quod fiet; it arrives unforeseen, for quomodo fiet, who can show it to him? Thus, e.g., the tyrant knows not that he will die by assassination, and no one can say to him how that will happen, so that he might make arrangements for his protection. Rightly the lxx κατηὼς ἔσται; on the contrary, the Targ., Hitzig, and Ginsburg: when it will be;

(Note: The Venet. ἐν ᾧ, as if the text had בּאשׁר.)

but כּאשׁר signifies quum, Ecclesiastes 5:1; Ecclesiastes 5:3; Ecclesiastes 8:16, but not quando, which must be expressed by מתי (Mishnic אימתי, אימת).

Now follows the concluding thought of the four כי, whereby Ecclesiastes 8:5 is established. There are four impossibilities enumerated; the fourth is the point of the enumeration constructed in the form of a numerical proverb. (1) No man has power over the wind, to check the wind. Ewald, Hengst., Zckl., and others understand רוּח, with the Targ., Jerome, and Luther, of the Spirit (חיים( tir רוח); but man can limit this physically when he puts a violent termination to life, and must restrain it morally by ruling it, Proverbs 16:32; Proverbs 25:28. On the contrary, the wind hrwch is, after Ecclesiastes 11:5, incalculable, and to rule over it is the exclusive prerogative of Divine Omnipotence, Proverbs 30:4. The transition to the second impossibility is mediated by this, that in רוח, according to the usus loq., the ideas of the breath of animal life, and of wind as the breath as it were of the life of the whole of nature, are interwoven. (2) No one has power over the day of death: death, viz., natural death, comes to a man without his being able to see it before, to determine it, or to change it. With שׁלּיט there here interchanges שׁלטון, which is rendered by the lxx and Venet. as abstr., also by the Syr. But as at Daniel 3:2, so also above at Ecclesiastes 8:4, it is concr., and will be so also in the passage before us, as generally in the Talm. and Midrash, in contradistinction to the abstr., which is שׁלטן, after the forms אבדן, דּרבן, etc., e.g., Bereshith rabba, c. 85 extr.: "Every king and ruler שלטון who had not a שולטן, a command (government, sway) in the land, said that that did not satisfy him, the king of Babylon had to place an under-Caesar in Jericho," etc.

(Note: Regarding the distinction between שׁלטון and שׁלטן, vid., Baer's Abodath Jisrael, p. 385.)

Thus: no man possesses rule or is a ruler ... .

A transition is made from the inevitable law of death to the inexorable severity of the law of war; (3) there is no discharge, no dispensation, whether for a time merely (missio), or a full discharge (dimissio), in war, which in its fearful rigour (vid., on the contrary, Deuteronomy 20:5-8) was the Persian law. Even so, every possibility of escape is cut off by the law of the divine requital; (4) wickedness will not save (מלּט, causative, as always) its lord (cf. the proverb: "Unfaithfulness strikes its own master") or possessor; i.e., the wicked person, when the עת ום comes, is hopelessly lost. Grtz would adopt the reading עשׁר instead of רשע; but the fate of the רשׁע בּעל, or of the רשׁע, is certainly that to which the concatenation of thought from Ecclesiastes 8:6 leads, as also the disjunctive accent at the end of the three first clauses of Ecclesiastes 8:8 denotes. But that in the words בּעל רשׁע (not בּעלי) a despotic king is thought of (בּעליו, as at Ecclesiastes 5:10, Ecclesiastes 5:12; Ecclesiastes 7:12; Proverbs 3:27; cf. under Proverbs 1:19), is placed beyond a doubt by the epilogistic verse:

Ecclesiastes 8:13 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

it shall

Job 18:5 Yes, the light of the wicked shall be put out, and the spark of his fire shall not shine.

Job 20:5 That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment?

Job 21:30 That the wicked is reserved to the day of destruction? they shall be brought forth to the day of wrath.

Psalm 11:5 The LORD tries the righteous: but the wicked and him that loves violence his soul hates.

Isaiah 57:21 There is no peace, said my God, to the wicked.

Malachi 3:18 Then shall you return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serves God and him that serves him not.

Matthew 13:49,50 So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just...

John 5:29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, to the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil...


Psalm 55:23 But you, O God, shall bring them down into the pit of destruction: bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days...

Isaiah 30:13 Therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall...

2 Peter 2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingers not...

as a

Ecclesiastes 6:12 For who knows what is good for man in this life, all the days of his vain life which he spends as a shadow?...

Job 7:6,7 My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle, and are spent without hope...

Job 14:2 He comes forth like a flower, and is cut down: he flees also as a shadow, and continues not.

Psalm 39:5 Behold, you have made my days as an handbreadth; and my age is as nothing before you...

Psalm 144:4 Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passes away.

James 4:14 Whereas you know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appears for a little time...

Cross References
Job 14:2
He comes out like a flower and withers; he flees like a shadow and continues not.

Ecclesiastes 3:14
I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him.

Ecclesiastes 5:7
For when dreams increase and words grow many, there is vanity; but God is the one you must fear.

Ecclesiastes 6:12
For who knows what is good for man while he lives the few days of his vain life, which he passes like a shadow? For who can tell man what will be after him under the sun?

Ecclesiastes 7:15
In my vain life I have seen everything. There is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his evildoing.

Ecclesiastes 7:18
It is good that you should take hold of this, and from that withhold not your hand, for the one who fears God shall come out from both of them.

Ecclesiastes 8:8
No man has power to retain the spirit, or power over the day of death. There is no discharge from war, nor will wickedness deliver those who are given to it.

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