A major part of Ecclesiastes 10 has to do with rulers.
We’d like to think we are all equal before God, and surely God’s salvation is available equally to all. But that doesn’t mean there is always a level playing field in our world – nor that God is required to make it so, nor that justice demands it.
Some people are simply not suited for positions they occupy (10:7): they are not competent to make the required decisions or, their background makes them unsuitable and so Solomon laments the fact that sometimes fools are placed in positions of responsibility while the qualified are stuck with tasks beneath their ability. In our age of political correctness, we are a bit chagrined at this notion, but Solomon says it’s simply a part, a sad part, of life.
On the other hand, sometimes the competent occupy the right position, but behave poorly – the prince who parties early in the morning (vss. 16, 17). There is an appropriate time for everything. The morning is a time for work, not partying. Those in positions of responsibility should be seen being responsible at the appropriate times.
And sometimes, rulers appoint incompetent people to responsible positions (vs. 6). Perhaps they just made a mistake. Or perhaps it is an effort to secure a greater legacy by selecting a less competent successor. Whatever the reason, it is unfitting.
Everyone should behave well, but Solomon says protocols and accountability can change, depending on your station in life.