The wise man has eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. Yet I also knew that one fate comes to them both.
So I said to myself, "What happens to the fool will also happen to me. Why then have I been overly wise?" And I said to myself that this is also futile.
For, just like the fool, there is no lasting remembrance of the wise man, since in the days to come both will be forgotten. How is it that the wise man dies just like the fool?
Why do the wicked continue to live, growing old and becoming powerful?
Their children are established while they are still alive, and their descendants, before their eyes.
Their homes are secure and free of fear; no rod from God [strikes] them.
Their bulls breed without fail; their cows calve and do not miscarry.
They let their little ones run around like lambs; their children skip about,
singing to the tambourine and lyre and rejoicing at the sound of the flute.
They spend their days in prosperity and go down to Sheol in peace.
Yet they say to God: "Leave us alone! We don't want to know Your ways.
Who is the Almighty, that we should serve Him, and what will we gain by pleading with Him?"
But their prosperity is not of their own doing. The counsel of the wicked is far from me!
How often is the lamp of the wicked put out? Does disaster come on them? Does He apportion destruction in His anger?
Are they like straw before the wind, like chaff a storm sweeps away?
God reserves a person's punishment for his children. Let God repay the person himself, so that he may know [it].
Let his own eyes see his demise; let him drink from the Almighty's wrath!
For what does he care about his family once he is dead, when the number of his months has run out?
Can anyone teach God knowledge, since He judges the exalted ones?
One person dies in excellent health, completely secure and at ease.
His body is well-fed, and his bones are full of marrow.
Yet another person dies with a bitter soul, having never tasted prosperity.
But they both lie in the dust, and worms cover them.
Look, I know your thoughts, the schemes you would wrong me with.
For you say, "Where now is the nobleman's house?" and "Where are the tents the wicked lived in?"
Have you never consulted those who travel the roads? Don't you accept their reports?
Indeed, the evil man is spared from the day of disaster, rescued from the day of wrath.
Who would denounce his behavior to his face? Who would repay him for what he has done?
He is carried to the grave, and someone keeps watch over [his] tomb.
The dirt on his grave is sweet to him. Everyone follows behind him, and those who go before him are without number.
So how can you offer me such futile comfort? Your answers are deceptive.
For I envied the arrogant; I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
So now we consider the arrogant to be fortunate. Not only do those who commit wickedness prosper, they even test God and escape."
For to the man who is pleasing in His sight, He gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy, but to the sinner He gives the task of gathering and accumulating in order to give to the one who is pleasing in God's sight. This too is futile and a pursuit of the wind.
It is good that you grasp the one and do not let the other slip from your hand. For the one who fears God will end up with both of them.
Although a sinner commits crime a hundred times and prolongs his life, yet I also know that it will go well with God-fearing people, for they are reverent before Him.
However, it will not go well with the wicked, and they will not lengthen their days like a shadow, for they are not reverent before God.
There is a futility that is done on the earth: there are righteous people who get what the actions of the wicked deserve, and there are wicked people who get what the actions of the righteous deserve. I say that this too is futile.
and I will have you swear by the LORD, God of heaven and God of earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites among whom I live,
If the woman is unwilling to follow you, then you are free from this oath to me, but don't let my son go back there."
So the servant placed his hand under his master Abraham's thigh and swore an oath to him concerning this matter.
The men said to her, "We will be free from this oath you made us swear,
unless, when we enter the land, you tie this scarlet cord to the window through which you let us down. Bring your father, mother, brothers, and all your father's family into your house.
If anyone goes out the doors of your house, his blood will be on his own head, and we will be innocent. But if anyone with you in the house should be harmed, his blood will be on our heads.
And if you report our mission, we are free from the oath you made us swear."
When the troops entered the forest, they saw the flow of honey, but none of them ate any of it because they feared the oath.
He despised the oath by breaking the covenant. He did all these things even though he gave his hand [in pledge]. He will not escape!"
Therefore, this is what the Lord God says: "As I live, I will bring down on his head My oath that he despised and My covenant that he broke.
Then he said to me, "This is the curse that is going out over the whole land, for every thief will be removed according to what is written on one side, and everyone who swears [falsely] will be removed according to what is written on the other side.
I will send it out,"-- the declaration of the LORD of Hosts-- "and it will enter the house of the thief and the house of the one who swears falsely by My name. It will stay inside his house and destroy it along with its timbers and stones."
"I will come to you in judgment, and I will be ready to witness against sorcerers and adulterers; against those who swear falsely; against those who oppress the widow and the fatherless, and cheat the wage earner; and against those who deny [justice to] the foreigner. They do not fear Me," says the LORD of Hosts.
So you will again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.