1. Who knows wisdom? and who knows the interpretation of a connotation? A man's wisdom makes his face shine, but when he [puts on] an obstinate face, he is disliked.
2. Heed the words [issuing from] the king's mouth, and do not be hasty regarding the manifestations of Allaha's oaths.
3. Go away from his presence, and do not uphold expressions of evil, because he will do whatever he pleases.
4. Whatever the king says is the law,* and who can say to him, "What have you done?"
5. The observer of the commandment knows no evil manifestations, and the heart of the wise person knows both the season and the judgment.
6. Because for whatever they wish there is a season and a judgment, because a human being's evil increases his abomination.
7. Because no one knows what they become, and who can show him what happens after him?
8. There is no human being who rules by the spirit, who can stop the spirit, and there is no authority on the day of dying, and there is no positive outcome on the day of battle, and corruption cannot deliver its master.
9. And as I saw all this happen, and as I gave my heart to know every deed that was committed under the sun, and the season that the human being ruled over another human being so as to hurt him.
10. And then I saw the wicked who were burned, and they had come and gone from the hallowed land, and they were lost in the cities where they had committed [the wickedness,] and this too is vanity.
11. Because the sentence of the evildoers is not carried out quickly, because of it the heart of humanity inside them is filled [with the intention] to do evil.
12. He who was sins, commits a hundred sins, and it impoverishes him, and I know that it is better for those who fear Maryah, as they stayed in submission before Him.
13. And goodness shall not be for the wicked, and his days shall not be prolonged like a shadow, because he is not going to be afraid before Allaha.
14. There is the vanity that is done on earth, because there are the righteous who get the same as the evildoers, and there are the evildoers who get the same as the righteous, and I say this too is vanity.
15. And I extolled the impulse to be happy, that there is nothing better for a human being under the sun, except to eat and drink and be happy, and be thus occupied in his work all the days of his life that Allaha has given him under the sun.
16. Because of that I gave my heart to know wisdom and to see the painful labor performed on earth, because neither by day nor by night do his eyes see any sleep.
17. And I saw all the works of Allaha, because the human being cannot accomplish one work that He does under the sun; whatever the human being wants he cannot do, and whatever the human being wants he cannot do, and whomever says that he is wise cannot find it.
Translated by Victor Alexander ©2013
*8:4 Lit. Ar. id.: "Authority."
Posted June 22, 2013
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