Ecclesiastes 8:5
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Whoever keeps a command will know no evil thing, and the wise heart will know the proper time and the just way.

King James Bible
Whoso keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing: and a wise man's heart discerneth both time and judgment.

American Standard Version
Whoso keepeth the commandment shall know no evil thing; and a wise man's heart discerneth time and judgment:

Douay-Rheims Bible
He that keepeth the commandments shall find no evil. The heart of a wise man understandeth time and answer.

English Revised Version
Whoso keepeth the commandment shall know no evil thing; and a wise man's heart discerneth time and judgment:

Webster's Bible Translation
He who keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing: and a wise man's heart discerneth both time and judgment.

Ecclesiastes 8:5 Parallel
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

"Behold what I have found, saith Koheleth, adding one thing to another, to find out the account: What my soul hath still sought, and I have not found, (is this): one man among a thousand have I found; and a woman among all these have I not found." It is the ascertained result, "one man, etc.," which is solemnly introduced by the words preceding. Instead of אם קה, the words ראמר הקּה are to be read, after Ecclesiastes 12:8, as is now generally acknowledged; errors of transcription of a similar kind are found at 2 Samuel 5:2; Job 38:12. Ginsburg in vain disputes this, maintaining that the name Koheleth, as denoting wisdom personified, may be regarded as fem. as well as mas.; here, where the female sex is so much depreciated, was the fem. self-designation of the stern judge specially unsuitable. Hengst. supposes that Koheleth is purposely fem. in this one passage, since true wisdom, represented by Solomon, stands opposite to false philosophy. But this reason for the fem. rests on the false opinion that woman here is heresy personified; he further remarks that it is significant for this fem. personification, that there is "no writing of female authorship in the whole canon of the O.T. and N.T." But what of Deborah's triumphal song, the song of Hannah, the magnificat of Mary? We hand this absurdity over to the Clementines! The woman here was flesh and blood, but pulchra quamvis pellis est mens tamen plean procellis; and Koheleth is not incarnate wisdom, but the official name of a preacher, as in Assyr., for חזּנרם, curators, overseers, hazanâti

(Note: Vid., Fried. Delitzsch's Assyr. Stud. (1874), p. 132.)

is used. זה, Ecclesiastes 7:27, points, as at Ecclesiastes 1:10, to what follows. אחת ל, one thing to another (cf. Isaiah 27:12), must have been, like summa summarum and the like, a common arithmetical and dialectical formula, which is here subordinate to מצא, since an adv. inf. such as לקוח is to be supplemented: taking one thing to another to find out the חשׁבּון, i.e., the balance of the account, and thus to reach a facit, a resultat.

(Note: Cf. Aboth iv. 29, וגו ליתן, "to give account;" וגו הכל, "all according to the result.")

That which presented itself to him in this way now follows. It was, in relation to woman, a negative experience: "What my soul sought on and on, and I found not, (is this)." The words are like the superscription of the following result, in which finally the זה of Ecclesiastes 7:27 terminates. Ginsburg, incorrectly: "what my soul is still seeking," which would have required מבקּשׁת. The pret. בּקשׁה (with ק without Dagesh, as at Ecclesiastes 7:29)

(Note: As generally the Piel forms of the root בקשׁ, Masor. all have Raphe on the ,ק except the imper. בּקּשׁוּ; vid., Luzzatto's Gramm. 417.)

is retrospective; and עוד, from עוּד, means redire, again and again, continually, as at Gen.. Genesis 46:29. He always anew sought, and that, as biqshah naphshi for בקשׁתי denotes, with urgent striving, violent longing, and never found, viz., a woman such as she ought to be: a man, one of a thousand, I have found, etc. With right, the accentuation gives Garshayim to adam; it stands forth, as at Ecclesiastes 7:20, as a general denominator - the sequence of accents, Geresh, Pashta, Zakef, is as at Genesis 1:9. "One among a thousand" reminds us of Job 33:23, cf. Ecclesiastes 9:3; the old interpreters (vid., Dachselt's Bibl. Accentuata), with reference to these parallels, connect with the one man among a thousand all kinds of incongruous christological thoughts. Only, here adam, like the Romanic l'homme and the like, means man in sexual contrast to woman. It is thus ideally meant, like ish, 1 Samuel 4:9; 1 Samuel 6:15, and accordingly also the parall. אשּׁה. For it is not to be supposed that the author denies thereby perfect human nature to woman. But also Burger's explanation: "a human being, whether man or woman," is a useless evasion. Man has the name adam κατ ̓ ἐξ. by primitive hist. right: "for the man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man," 1 Corinthians 11:8. The meaning, besides, is not that among a thousand human beings he found one upright man, but not a good woman (Hitz.), - for then the thousand ought to have had its proper denominator, אדם בני, - but that among a thousand persons of the male sex he found only one man such as he ought to be, and among a thousand of the female sex not one woman such as she ought to be; "among all these" is thus equals among an equal number. Since he thus actually found the ideal of man only seldom, and that of woman still seldomer (for more than this is not denoted by the round numbers), the more surely does he resign himself to the following resultat, which he introduces by the word לבד (only, alone), as the clear gain of his searching:

Ecclesiastes 8:5 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Ecclesiastes 5:2 Be not rash with your mouth, and let not your heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and you on earth...

Exodus 1:17,20,21 But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive...

Psalm 119:6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect to all your commandments.

Hosea 5:11 Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment, because he willingly walked after the commandment.

Luke 20:25 And he said to them, Render therefore to Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and to God the things which be God's.

Acts 4:19 But Peter and John answered and said to them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, judge you.

Acts 5:29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

Romans 13:5-7 Why you must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake...

1 Peter 3:13,14 And who is he that will harm you, if you be followers of that which is good...


Ecclesiastes 2:14 The wise man's eyes are in his head; but the fool walks in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event happens to them all.

Ecclesiastes 10:2 A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left.

1 Chronicles 12:32 And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do...

Proverbs 17:24 Wisdom is before him that has understanding; but the eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth.

Luke 12:56,57 You hypocrites, you can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that you do not discern this time...

1 Corinthians 2:14,15 But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them...

Philippians 1:9,10 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment...

Colossians 1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you...

Hebrews 5:14 But strong meat belongs to them that are of full age...

Cross References
Proverbs 12:21
No ill befalls the righteous, but the wicked are filled with trouble.

Ecclesiastes 12:13
The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.

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