8. This is an eternal principle of righteous government that wrongdoers should be punished quickly; and this verse indicates that failure to obey this principle has the effect of encouraging evil. In America today, we see how true this is. "This says that the righteous get what the wicked deserve, and that the wicked get what the righteous deserve. Would you know one if you saw him? He would not have us try to give a reason for what God does. And who knows the interpretation of a thing? The rebellion of Adam's race against God is the full and sufficient explanation of our evil world and its wallowing in its own miseries. The Preacher (or Teacher) is also mentioned in Ecclesiastes 1:12; 7:27; and 12:8–11. The Reign Of Time, A Glimmer of Hope A. What Does it Mean to 'Eat Drink and Be Merry' in Ecclesiastes 8:15? both in the Book of Job, and in the previous chapter here, we have continually pointed out that this is exactly what should be expected in a world rushing headlong in rebellion against God. 7 I bought slaves, both men and women, and others were born into my household. The purpose of this brief study is to explain the meaning of “the spirit will return to God” in Ecclesiastes 12:7. 2 I say:[a]Keep the king's command, because of (C)God's oath to him. In these verses we see time viewed from a human perspective. Ecclesiastes is known as wisdom literature in the Bible. 2 While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain:. There is no # See Deut. In that alone is the true explanation of the exceptions and the cause of them. Kidner understood Solomon's real intention when he wrote, "He gives us a ray of hope in the words, `all the work of God' (Ecclesiastes 8:17), for it is God's work that battles us; life is not `a tale told by an idiot.'"[33]. We like this translation: "Because the sentence for wrongdoing is not quickly executed, that is why men's minds are filled with thoughts of doing evil."[24]. So I saw the wicked buried, and they came to the grave; and they that had done right went away from the holy place, and were forgotten in the city: this also is vanity. 7 A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of … "Who is as the wise man? Well, who is a wise man? Of course, this is only one of a thousand evil things that might happen to any person. How to have a worthwhile life. 8 As no one has power over the wind to contain it, so[ a] no one has power over the time of their death. © 2021 Christianity.com. 20:5-8 discharge from war, nor will wickedness deliver those who are given to it. It begins with respect for the authority of parents and teachers and continues as mandatory for all authority, as Paul himself pointed out in Romans 13. Why? No right judgment can be made of anything unless we can see the end of it. Ecclesiastes 8:8, ESV: "No man has power to retain the spirit, or power over the day of death. Ecclesiastes chapter 12 KJV (King James Version) 1 Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;. Navigating life under the sun requires mature attention to values. But, leaving the Lord to clear up all difficulties in his own time, we may cheerfully enjoy the comforts, and bear up under the trials of life; while peace of conscience and joy in the Holy Ghost will abide in us through all outward changes, and when flesh and heart shall fail. "[22], Fleming's comment on this was, "It is difficult to see any principle of justice operating in the world. Another idea about the date of the Book of Ecclesiastes. The epic truth that righteous men unjustly suffer and are cut down in the prime of life, while the wicked prosper is dramatically illustrated by the Biblical account of the murder of Able and the subsequent prosperity of the man who murdered him. Wilkinson and Boa write - Ecclesiastes is a profound book recording an intense search by the Preacher (traditionally understood to be Solomon) for meaning and satisfaction in life—in spite of the inequities inconsistencies, and seeming absurdities of life on earth. But he may have been a poor man whom nobody respected, as in Ecclesiastes 9:14-16 or Ecclesiastes 10:5-7. Solomon’s own son chose not to follow the advice of wise men (1 Kings 12:8). Oh, to be sure, we do not know what a day may bring forth; but we know Him who does know! "[16], THE ANSWER TO UNCERTAINTY: LET PEOPLE ABIDE IN THE FEAR AND TRUST OF GOD[17], "All this have I seen and applied my heart unto every work that is done under the sun: there is a time when one man hath power over another to his hurt. Use this table to get a word-for-word translation of the original Hebrew Scripture. What Does it Mean to 'Eat Drink and Be Merry' in Ecclesiastes 8:15? Keith Simons. Commendations of wisdom. 9 What was, will be again, what has been done, will be done again, and there is nothing new under the sun! Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof] As in ch. "This is a religious duty, corresponding to Romans 13:5."[7]. He is simply describing life as it is. What madness must it be for weak and dependent creatures to rebel against the Almighty! Solomon here says that, "Even a wise man like himself cannot fathom the ways of God's providence. To get what Ecclesiastes 7:8 means based on its source text, scroll down or follow these links for the original scriptural meaning , biblical context and relative popularity. Ecclesiastes 3 – The Reign of Time, A Glimmer of Hope A. Solomon's false view here that "all is vanity," was due solely to his blindness to the reality and consequences of sin. Ecclesiastes 5:8 Translation & Meaning. Let us pray that we may view eternal things as near, real, and all-important. and who knoweth the interpretation of a thing? (1-4) Wisdom in obeying and honoring the king. EasyEnglish is a system of simple English designed by Wycliffe Associates (UK). Ver. The problem in Ecclesiastes is exactly that which was encountered in the Book of Job, namely, can the eternal righteousness and justice of God be reconciled with the glaring instances cited in Ecclesiastes 8:14, where the righteous received what the wicked deserved and the wicked received what the righteous deserved? 8 No man has power to # [Job 14:5] retain the spirit, # [ch. Flesh returns to dirt, or nothing. I counsel thee, Keep the king's command, and that in regard of the oath of God. The Christian may face the future with confidence and hope. Better is the end of a thing than the beginning.] The teacher’s words are like pointy sticks (“goads”) that hurt when they poke you, but they can move you in the right direction. For everything there is an appointed time, and an appropriate time for every activity on earth: 2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot what was planted; 3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4 A time to weep, and a time … This should be understood in the light of many other Old Testament passages which place definite boundaries upon the obedience that any servant of God should give to the evil commandments of earthly rulers. Solomon's recommendation as the solution for all these exceptions to what should have been was his own version of Epicureans: "Eat drink and enjoy life." That went by fast, didn’t it? "[19] We should ignore the marginal reading. No one can say that eyes have not had enough of seeing, ears their fill of hearing. And, there is an overriding theme: What Is Better. Oh that men were wise, that they understood these things, that they would consider their latter end! Any vanity and vexation that derive from such exceptions to God's will should not be directed against God, as it appears that Solomon might have been tempted to do. (Matthew 6:25-34; 1 Peter 5:7). Who else can interpret the words of God, or teach aright from his truths and dispensations? 10 Take anything which people acclaim as being new: it … ", A comparison of translations will reveal some uncertainties about what is actually said here. 10 Then too, I saw the wicked buried—those who used to come and go from the holy place and receive praise # 8:10 Some Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint (Aquila); most Hebrew manuscripts and are forgotten in the city where they did this. As no one is discharged in time of war, so wickedness will not release those who practice it." Hendry, however, disagreed with this, "It means to the hurt of the ruled, not that of the ruler. What numbers form wrong judgments, and bring misery on themselves, in this life and that to come! God and time. The average time required to execute sentence upon a vicious murderer runs into many years, sometimes exceeding a whole decade. Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be joyful: for that which shall abide with him in his labor all the days of his life which God hath given him under the sun. It is amazing that some scholars try to find a `scandal' in the Word of God. "The answer for the Preacher is no. More good advice for life “under the sun” 1. "If a man is really wise, he will know that the king's action or commandment is liable to correction, if it is wrong, in God's time and by God's judgment. Enjoy life for what it is: a gift from the hand of God. What does this verse really mean? Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is full set in them to do evil. (1-8) A time for every purpose. Loader, and other scholars, believe that the author of Ecclesiastes believed that this was impossible. The literal Hebrew for the first clause is, "Man's evil is great upon him. Ecclesiastes 8 – Wisdom and Mystery A. God and time. Ecclesiastes 8:8 "[There is] no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither [hath he] power in the day of death: and [there is] no discharge in [that] war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it. " Ecclesiastes 7:8 Better [is] the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: [and] the patient in spirit [is] better than the proud in spirit. Whoso keepeth the commandment shall know no evil thing; and a wise man's heart discerneth time and judgment. The misery which is mentioned here is of a particular kind, derived from man's ignorance of the future. 1:4-8 All things change, and never rest. He has seen many evils and realized that even the best of man’s achievements are worth nothing in … Solomon sees the frailty of mortal things. 6 I built reservoirs to collect the water to irrigate my many flourishing groves. 1. What is born of the flesh is flesh. Keep the King's Command. Or who is as the wise man, meaning himself? "[18] Loader also agreed that, "The people in power used their power to hurt others. But, of course, Roland E. Murphy `fixed' this `scandal' by calling the statements that it should be well with the righteous and not well with the wicked as, "an addition by a later hand."[26]. (Matthew 28:20). In search of meaning, he dived in the self-improvement world, psychology and trail running. 5 I made gardens and parks, filling them with all kinds of fruit trees. What is written here is exactly the way it is. Yes, sinners prolong their days in prosperity; but it is still true that it shall be well with the righteous and it shall not be well with the wicked. Man's freedom of the will, his decision to serve Satan rather than God, the fact of God's displeasure with man's rebellious condition (evidenced by his cursing the ground for Adam's sake), the strange fact of the children of darkness being in many instances wiser than the children of light, the impartiality in natural disasters, and the capricious results of chance happening to all men alike .... it is these things that cause startling miscarriages of justice continually throughout the world. Furthermore, whatever happens to my loved ones, or my property, or my body, or my country, or anything else, nothing can happen to me! The Contrast of Wisdom and Folly. (Ecclesiastes 8:10). "When one man hath power over another to his hurt" (Ecclesiastes 8:9). Matthew Henry’s Bible Commentary (concise), Matthew Henry Bible Commentary (complete), California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. In Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 Solomon is not necessarily putting value or judgement on the list of human activities. Who else can interpret the words of God, or teach aright from his truths and dispensations? And who knows the interpretation of a thing? The mention of God in Ecclesiastes 8:13, below, supports the view of Eaton that, "Solomon eventually turns to a position of faith as the only remedy for all the uncertainty. —Ecclesiastes 3:1–15. Today we finish up Ecclesiastes. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8) To Everything there is a Season “To everything, turn, turn, turn – there is a season, turn, turn, turn; and a time for every purpose under heaven.” As a guitar-strumming rebel-like young adult, I loved playing and singing Joni Mitchell’s musical interpretation of these words. If God is in the center of one’s worldview, the pursuits of life can be put in their proper place, not offering meaning for life, but offering enjoyment. (9-13) Mysteries of Providence. This ignorance is summarized in Ecclesiastes 8:8, under four uncertainties. Yet back of it all, the justice and mercy of God prevail eternally. and who knoweth the interpretation [ solution] of a thing [ matter ]? And yet I think the message of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 is still fairly positive. ", "Whoso keepeth the commandment shall know no evil thing", "The misery of man is great ... for he knoweth not that which shall be", LET PEOPLE ABIDE IN THE FEAR AND TRUST OF GOD, "When one man hath power over another to his hurt", "Because sentence is not executed against an evil work speedily ... the heart of men ... is set ... to do evil", "It shall be well with them that fear God ... it shall not be well with the wicked", THE INCOMPETENCE OF EVERY MAN TO FIND OUT THE UNSEARCHABLE WAYS OF GOD, "Though a wise man seek to know it, yet shall he be not able to find it out". (Ecclesiastes 8:2). However, evidence from the text of Ecclesiastes, as well as from the rest of the Bible, leads most scholars to conclude that Solomon is the Preacher and author. Ecclesiastes frequently discusses the many things in life that are … God has, in wisdom, kept away from us the knowledge of future events, that we may be always ready for changes. His soul will find no rest, if he has it not from God. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 . The verse reads as follows, The verse reads as follows, . "This unsearchable nature of divine things is similarly proclaimed in Job 11:6-9 and in Romans 11:33. "[9], "Whoso keepeth the commandment shall know no evil thing" (Ecclesiastes 8:5). 3:19; 9:11] or power over the day of death. (1-5) To prepare for sudden evils and death. Be not hasty to go out of his presence; persist not in an evil thing: for he doeth whatsoever pleaseth him. As no one is discharged in time of war, so wickedness will not release those who practice it. The Christ himself has promised, "Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world"! . 1. Ecclesiastes 8:8, NIV: "As no one has power over the wind to contain it, so no one has power over the time of their death. Wickedness, by which men often escape human justice, cannot secure from death. Job accepted both the anomalies of life and the eternal righteousness and justice of God as absolutely compatible; and we believe, in his conclusion, that Solomon also did this. 9 Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun. Ninety thousand die every day, upwards of sixty every minute, and one every moment. We have read a hundred similar exclamations by scholars who seem to think that there is something inconsistent with the occasional success and prosperity of a grossly wicked man and the untimely end of some righteous person, as being in some manner contradictory to the blessed promises in the word of God (not merely the wisdom of the sages) that the Lord blesses the righteous and punishes the wicked. Delitzsch translated this: "The king executes anyone he pleases to execute. Solomon observed, that many a time one man rules over another to his hurt, and that prosperity hardens them in their wickedness. Ecclesiastes 12:8-14 While the teacher is not optimistic about our ability to understand the ultimate meaning of life, they do want to end on a more clear note. Faith alone can establish the heart in this mixed scene, where the righteous often suffer, and the wicked prosper. Cook's opinion that obedience to the king is the subject appears to be correct; and we know that this would be exactly what a king like Solomon would advise. "[23] We might add that, "This is par for the course; it goes on all the time.". His goal was to understand his pain, his depression, his fears, his lack of motivation and inspiration. Ecclesiastes definition is - a book of wisdom literature in canonical Jewish and Christian Scripture. Rabbit Trails. "[32], Solomon often stressed the idea of "eat, drink, and be joyful"; but he never cited these things as the ultimate happiness, always mentioning along with them the toil, uncertainty, brevity of life, etc. Ecclesiastes is a phonetic transliteration of the Greek word Ἐκκλησιαστής (Ekklesiastes), which in the Septuagint translates the Hebrew name of its stated author, Kohelet (קֹהֶלֶת). A Bible Study in EasyEnglish (2800 word vocabulary) on the Book of Ecclesiastes. Vengeance comes slowly, but it comes surely. Reality is, some courses of action are better than others. Find pleasure in the simple things. Waddey agreed that, "The first five verses here admonish us to be submissive to governmental authority. He comes to the conclusion that without God, there is no truth or meaning to life. Title. Ecclesiastes: Bible Study and Commentary. Ecclesiastes 9:4 "For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than … "It shall be well with them that fear God ... it shall not be well with the wicked" (Ecclesiastes 8:12-13). Spirit, in this sense, is speaking of the spirit of man, which is actually his life. To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under How solemn the thought! - these were key elements in man's earthly wretchedness. The senses are soon tired, yet still craving what is untried. ", "There is a vanity done upon the earth" (Ecclesiastes 8:14). "The claim here is that wisdom gives insight and charm. [14], "There is no man that hath power, etc." Well, the Preacher gives you one identifying mark of a wise man in the second part of the verse… God and time. 9 All this I saw, as I applied my mind to everything done under the sun. (1-8) A time for every purpose. Ecclesiastes 6:11, the noun translated “thing” may mean “word” and this gives a preferable meaning. (Read Ecclesiastes 8:1-5) None of the rich, the powerful, the honourable, or the accomplished of the sons of men, are so excellent, useful, or happy, as the wise man. Solomon is speaking of the natural side of life being vanity. This might mean a number of things: "(1) do not desert the king in time of danger; (2) do not resign your office in haste when things go wrong; (3) don't storm out of his presence in anger when you are not pleased; or, (4) don't seek to flee the country as a defector. Ecclesiastes 9:11 Context. 1:13] All this I observed while applying my heart to all that is done under the sun, when man had power over man to his hurt. "The misery of man is great ... for he knoweth not that which shall be" (Ecclesiastes 8:6-7). Who is like a wise man? An alternate reading here from the margin (American Standard Version) reads the last two words here as his own hurt. It is the glory of the New Testament revelation that men are relieved of all considerations that should result in their worrying and anxiety. Ecclesiastes 3 – The Reign of Time, A Glimmer of Hope A. It should be directed against man's rebellious wickedness against God's rule. 4 I also tried to find meaning by building huge homes for myself and by planting beautiful vineyards. "[11] However, there is absolutely nothing in man's ignorance of the future that causes him misery, unless he gives himself over to anxiety and worry because of it. Adam's expulsion from Eden, the ensuing enmity between Satan and the seed of woman, the curse upon the earth, etc. "[35], To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use the convenient, "A man's wisdom maketh his face to shine", "Keep the king's command ... in regard to the oath of God. As no one is discharged in time of war, so wickedness will not release those who practice it. 9 All this I saw, as I applied my mind to everything done under the sun. then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it. Look at this: "Here is a clear affirmation of the `scandal' given by the success and prosperity of the wrongdoer: `the sinner does evil a hundred times and survives.' 8 As no one has power over the wind to contain it, so no one has power over the time of their death. [b]3 Be not hasty to (D)go from his presence. Ecclesiastes 8:9. or "the man ruleth over men" F8; for this is not to be understood of private rule in families, of the parent over his children, or master over his servant, but of a king over his subjects; who is the man, the principal man in the kingdom; and such a man ruling in an arbitrary and tyrannical way is to his own detriment in the issue. "'[28] This was not due to anything that Solomon ever saw on earth that was any different from that which he should have expected, but solely to his having turned away from God's Word. "There is a vanity which is done upon the earth, that there are righteous men unto whom it happeneth according to the work of the wicked; again there are wicked men to whom it happeneth according to the work of the righteous: I said, This also is vanity. (A)A man's wisdom makes his face shine, and (B)the hardness of his face is changed. As no one is discharged in time of war, so wickedness will not release those who practice it. As a matter of simple fact, Solomon himself is the classical example of the wicked man being prospered "as it should have happened to a righteous man.". "[21] "Any restoration of Ecclesiastes 8:10 remains doubtful. . He isn’t mentioned in the first 8 verses. "Because sentence is not executed against an evil work speedily ... the heart of men ... is set ... to do evil" (Ecclesiastes 8:11). Barnes' Notes on the Bible. "[3] "A man's wisdom illumines him and causes his stern face to shine,"[4] It is not exactly clear why this has anything to do with the paragraph. The three Hebrew children refused to worship Nebuchadnezzar's golden image, and Daniel continued to pray to Almighty God, in spite of the specific orders of the mightiest king of antiquity that forbade their actions. 8 Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment. "Though a wise man seek to know it, yet shall he be not able to find it out" (Ecclesiastes 8:17). 8. "[5] Delitzsch said, "This verse announces and verifies the incomparable superiority of the wise man. Be encouraged, our goal has never been to read the Bible only once. Remember, context determines meaning (not Lexicons). "For he doeth whatever pleaseth him" (Ecclesiastes 8:3). etc." A good man's days have some substance; he lives to a good purpose: a wicked man's days are all as a shadow, empty and worthless. (Ecclesiastes 7:8-10 ESV) In this section of Ecclesiastes there are proverbs, but with some expansion beyond just a brief statement. Lack no ointment take his choice to his hurt, and the cause of.! Every minute, and the spirit will return to God come to mind as we read these verses mind! ; 9:11 ] or power over the time of war, so wickedness will ecclesiastes 8 meaning those! Makes his face shine, and ill with the wicked get what the wicked reading here from the of! In America today, we see time viewed from a human perspective to retain the spirit return. 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Later, of course, this is with confidence and Hope 6:11, the ensuing enmity between and... Attributes the riddle that he has seen to the earth as it was, and one every.! Solemn summons it over others to his hurt, and ( B ) hardness. Solomon here says that the righteous get what the wicked prosper not in an evil thing ; who. # 8:9 or to their hurt, by which men often escape human justice, not. Mind as we read these verses how a life should be lived be '' ( 8:9... Can say that eyes have not had enough of seeing, ears their fill hearing! Prosperity hardens them in their worrying and anxiety first clause is, `` even a wise?. Kings 12:8 ) 4 I also tried to find a ` scandal ' in Ecclesiastes 1:12 ; 7:27 ; a! Adopt a pessimistic, cynical, or fatalistic view toward life he will on... Is a vanity done upon the earth '' ( Ecclesiastes 8:5 ) every purpose comparison of will! The hurt of the hidden things that might happen to any person upright! [ 6 ], `` the king executes anyone he pleases to.... Murderer runs into many years, sometimes exceeding a whole decade the foundation of all considerations that should result their... Wickedness deliver those who are given to it. study in EasyEnglish ( 2800 word )... Date of the ruled, not that which shall be '' ( Ecclesiastes 8:15 madness must it be weak...