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Ecclesiastes 8

 
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1 τίς οἶδεν σοφούς καὶ τίς οἶδεν λύσιν ῥήματος σοφία ἀνθρώπου φωτιεῖ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀναιδὴς προσώπῳ αὐτοῦ μισηθήσεται 1 When a man is given wisdom, it shines out in his face; Omnipotence will set a new stamp on his brow. 1

Sapientia hominis lucet in vultu ejus,
et potentissimus faciem illius commutabit.
2 στόμα βασιλέως φύλαξον καὶ περὶ λόγου ὅρκου θεοῦ μὴ σπουδάσῃς 3 ἀπὸ προσώπου αὐτοῦ πορεύσῃ μὴ στῇς ἐν λόγῳ πονηρῷ ὅτι πᾶν ὃ ἐὰν θελήσῃ ποιήσει 4 καθὼς λαλεῖ βασιλεὺς ἐξουσιάζων καὶ τίς ἐρεῖ αὐτῷ τί ποιήσεις 5 ὁ φυλάσσων ἐντολὴν οὐ γνώσεται ῥῆμα πονηρόν καὶ καιρὸν κρίσεως γινώσκει καρδία σοφοῦ 6 ὅτι παντὶ πράγματι ἔστιν καιρὸς καὶ κρίσις ὅτι γνῶσις τοῦ ἀνθρώπου πολλὴ ἐ{P'} αὐτόν 7 ὅτι οὐκ ἔστιν γινώσκων τί τὸ ἐσόμενον ὅτι καθὼς ἔσται τίς ἀναγγελεῖ αὐτῷ 2 Mine to do a king’s bidding, to hold fast by an oath taken in the name of God. 3 Do not hasten away from his presence, or rebelliously withstand him; he can do all he will, 4 with such authority his word runs; none may call his acts in question. 5 Do as thou art bidden, and fear no harm. A time will come, the wise man knows, when he shall win a hearing; 6 time brings every man his chance, be his business what it may, only this curse lies upon man, 7 that he cannot learn from the past, cannot get word of the future.[1] 2
Ego os regis observo,
et præcepta juramenti Dei.
3
Ne festines recedere a facie ejus,
neque permaneas in opere malo:
quia omne quod voluerit faciet.
4
Et sermo illius potestate plenus est,
nec dicere ei quisquam potest: Quare ita facis?
5
Qui custodit præceptum non experietur quidquam mali.
Tempus et responsionem cor sapientis intelligit.
6
Omni negotio tempus est, et opportunitas:
et multa hominis afflictio,
7
quia ignorat præterita,
et futura nullo scire potest nuntio.
8 οὐκ ἔστιν ἄνθρωπος ἐξουσιάζων ἐν πνεύματι τοῦ κωλῦσαι σὺν τὸ πνεῦμα καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν ἐξουσία ἐν ἡμέρᾳ τοῦ θανάτου καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν ἀποστολὴ ἐν τῷ πολέμῳ καὶ οὐ διασώσει ἀσέβεια τὸν πα{R'} αὐτῆς 8 The breath of life man must resign at last; the day of his death he cannot determine; nor ever does war give release from service, nor sin discharge to the sinner. 8
Non est in hominis potestate prohibere spiritum,
nec habet potestatem in die mortis:
nec sinitur quiescere ingruente bello,
neque salvabit impietas impium.
9 καὶ σὺν πᾶν τοῦτο εἶδον καὶ ἔδωκα τὴν καρδίαν μου εἰς πᾶν ποίημα ὃ πεποίηται ὑπὸ τὸν ἥλιον τὰ ὅσα ἐξουσιάσατο ὁ ἄνθρωπος ἐν ἀνθρώπῳ τοῦ κακῶσαι αὐτόν 10 καὶ τότε εἶδον ἀσεβεῖς εἰς τάφους εἰσαχθέντας καὶ ἐκ τόπου ἁγίου ἐπορεύθησαν καὶ ἐπῃνέθησαν ἐν τῇ πόλει ὅτι οὕτως ἐποίησαν καί γε τοῦτο ματαιότης 11 ὅτι οὐκ ἔστιν γινομένη ἀντίρρησις ἀπὸ τῶν ποιούντων τὸ πονηρὸν ταχύ διὰ τοῦτο ἐπληροφορήθη καρδία υἱῶν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐν αὐτοῖς τοῦ ποιῆσαι τὸ πονηρόν 12 ὃς ἥμαρτεν ἐποίησεν τὸ πονηρὸν ἀπὸ τότε καὶ ἀπὸ μακρότητος αὐτῷ ὅτι καί γε γινώσκω ἐγὼ ὅτι ἔσται ἀγαθὸν τοῖς φοβουμένοις τὸν θεόν ὅπως φοβῶνται ἀπὸ προσώπου αὐτοῦ 13 καὶ ἀγαθὸν οὐκ ἔσται τῷ ἀσεβεῖ καὶ οὐ μακρυνεῖ ἡμέρας ἐν σκιᾷ ὃς οὐκ ἔστιν φοβούμενος ἀπὸ προσώπου τοῦ θεοῦ 9 This, too, I have marked, as I gave heed to all that befalls us, here beneath the sun. There are times when man rules over man to his undoing.[2] 10 I have seen godless men go peacefully to the grave, that had lived their lives out in haunts of holiness, and won the name of good men from their fellow citizens; here, too, is frustration.[3] 11 Because sentence is not pronounced upon the evil-doers without more ado, men are emboldened to live sinfully. 12 And yet, though the sinner presume on the divine patience that has borne with a hundred misdeeds, I know well enough that blessings are for those who fear God, who fear his frown. 13 Never a blessing for sinners; never be it said they lived out their full span of days! Reckless of God’s frown, see, they pass like a shadow, and are gone! 9

Omnia hæc consideravi,
et dedi cor meum in cunctis operibus quæ fiunt sub sole.
Interdum dominatur homo homini in malum suum.
10
Vidi impios sepultos,
qui etiam cum adhuc viverent
in loco sancto erant,
et laudabantur in civitate
quasi justorum operum.
Sed et hoc vanitas est.
11
Etenim quia non profertur cito contra malos sententia,
absque timore ullo
filii hominum perpetrant mala.
12
Attamen peccator ex eo quod centies facit malum,
et per patientiam sustentatur;
ego cognovi quod erit bonum timentibus Deum,
qui verentur faciem ejus.
13
Non sit bonum impio,
nec prolongentur dies ejus,
sed quasi umbra transeant qui non timent faciem Domini.
14 ἔστιν ματαιότης ἣ πεποίηται ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ὅτι εἰσὶ δίκαιοι ὅτι φθάνει πρὸς αὐτοὺς ὡς ποίημα τῶν ἀσεβῶν καὶ εἰσὶν ἀσεβεῖς ὅτι φθάνει πρὸς αὐτοὺς ὡς ποίημα τῶν δικαίων εἶπα ὅτι καί γε τοῦτο ματαιότης 14 Another kind of frustration, too, earth sees; there are upright men that are plagued as though they lived the life sinners live, just as there are sinners who take no more harm than if they could plead innocence; I say this is frustration indeed. 14
Est et alia vanitas quæ fit super terram:
sunt justi quibus mala proveniunt
quasi opera egerint impiorum:
et sunt impii qui ita securi sunt
quasi justorum facta habeant.
Sed et hoc vanissimum judico.
15 καὶ ἐπῄνεσα ἐγὼ σὺν τὴν εὐφροσύνην ὅτι οὐκ ἔστιν ἀγαθὸν τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ ὑπὸ τὸν ἥλιον ὅτι εἰ μὴ τοῦ φαγεῖν καὶ τοῦ πιεῖν καὶ τοῦ εὐφρανθῆναι καὶ αὐτὸ συμπροσέσται αὐτῷ ἐν μόχθῳ αὐτοῦ ἡμέρας ζωῆς αὐτοῦ ὅσας ἔδωκεν αὐτῷ ὁ θεὸς ὑπὸ τὸν ἥλιον 15 For me, then, mirth! No higher blessing could man attain, here under the sun, than to eat and drink and make merry; nothing else had he to show for all those labours of his, for all that life-time God has given him, here under the sun. 15
Laudavi igitur lætitiam;
quod non esset homini bonum sub sole,
nisi quod comederet, et biberet, atque gauderet,
et hoc solum secum auferret de labore suo,
in diebus vitæ suæ quos dedit ei Deus sub sole.
16 ἐν οἷς ἔδωκα τὴν καρδίαν μου τοῦ γνῶναι σοφίαν καὶ τοῦ ἰδεῖν τὸν περισπασμὸν τὸν πεποιημένον ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ὅτι καί γε ἐν ἡμέρᾳ καὶ ἐν νυκτὶ ὕπνον ἐν ὀφθαλμοῖς αὐτοῦ οὐκ ἔστιν βλέπων 17 καὶ εἶδον σὺν πάντα τὰ ποιήματα τοῦ θεοῦ ὅτι οὐ δυνήσεται ἄνθρωπος τοῦ εὑρεῖν σὺν τὸ ποίημα τὸ πεποιημένον ὑπὸ τὸν ἥλιον ὅσα ἂν μοχθήσῃ ὁ ἄνθρωπος τοῦ ζητῆσαι καὶ οὐχ εὑρήσει καί γε ὅσα ἂν εἴπῃ ὁ σοφὸς τοῦ γνῶναι οὐ δυνήσεται τοῦ εὑρεῖν 16 Should I cudgel my wits to grow wise, and know the meaning of all earth’s tasks; be like the men that allow their eyes no sleep, day or night? 17 Nay, I understood too well that God’s dealings with man, here under the sun, are past all accounting for; the more a man labours to read that riddle, the less he finds out, and he least of all, that boasts himself wise in the reading of it. 16
Et apposui cor meum ut scirem sapientiam,
et intelligerem distentionem quæ versatur in terra.
Est homo qui diebus et noctibus somnum non capit oculis.
17
Et intellexi quod omnium operum Dei
nullam possit homo invenire rationem
eorum quæ fiunt sub sole;
et quanto plus laboraverit ad quærendum,
tanto minus inveniat:
etiam si dixerit sapiens se nosse, non poterit reperire.
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Copyright © 2013 by Kevin Knight. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.