New International Version
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.
King James Bible
Be not hasty to go out of his sight: stand not in an evil thing; for he doeth whatsoever pleaseth him.
Darby Bible Translation
Be not hasty to go out of his sight; persist not in an evil thing: for he doeth whatever pleaseth him,
World English Bible
Don't be hasty to go out of his presence. Don't persist in an evil thing, for he does whatever pleases him,
Young's Literal Translation
Be not troubled at his presence, thou mayest go, stand not in an evil thing, for all that he pleaseth he doth.
Ecclesiastes 8:3 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
Be not hasty - I consider the first five verses here as directions to courtiers, and the more immediate servants of kings.
Be steadily faithful to your sovereign. Do not stand in an evil thing. If you have done wrong, do not endeavor to vindicate yourself before him; it is of no use; his power is absolute, and he will do what he pleases. He will take his own view of the subject, and he will retain it. The language of a despotic sovereign was ever this, Sic volo sic jubeo, stat pro ratione voluntas; "I will this. I command that. No hesitation! My will is law!" Therefore it is added here, Where the word of a king is, there is power - influence, authority, and the sword. And who may say unto him, whether he acts right or wrong, What doest thou? Ecclesiastes 8:4. No wonder in such governments there are so many revolutions; but they are revolutions without amendment, as it is one tyrant rising up to destroy another, who, when seated in authority, acts in the way of his predecessor; till another, like himself, do to him as he has done to the former. In our country, after a long trial, we find that a mixed monarchy is the safest, best, and most useful form of government: we have had, it is true, unprincipled ministers, who wished to turn our limited into an absolute monarchy; and they were always ready to state that an absolute monarchy was best. Granted; provided the monarch be as wise, as holy, and as powerful as God!
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
'Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil'--ECCLES. viii. 11. When the Pharaoh of the Exodus saw there was respite, he hardened his heart. Abject in his fear before Moses, he was ready to promise anything; insolent in his pride, he swallows down his promises as soon as fear is eased, his repentance and his retractation of it combined to add new weights about his neck. He was but a conspicuous example of …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
Whether Christ Should have Been Circumcised?
And Jacob said to Pharaoh, "The years of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty. My years have been few and difficult, and they do not equal the years of the pilgrimage of my fathers."
If a ruler's anger rises against you, do not leave your post; calmness can lay great offenses to rest.
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