UNDERSTANDING THE BOOK OF
THIS INTRODUCTION and TRANSLATION IS FROM THE NEW KJV BIBLE
Author and Date
Ecclesiastes is an anglicized form of the Greek translation of the Hebrew word Qoheleth (1:1), "one who leads an assembly, a preacher." The Book of Ecclesiastes is a representative selection of the words of this preacher (12:9,10). He diligently produced many proverbs (12:9) and other words of truth (12:10), so that the people might be admonished. This author, whose name we do not know, was a wise man, a teacher, a skilled writer, a seeker of truth, and an exhorter of his flock (12:12-14).
The veiled reference to Solomon in 1:1 seeks to give authority to what is said. The reference connects the Preacher's words to that master sage. Solomon is indeed the author of some of the wisdom literature, but he is, above all, its model and illustrative example—the ancient and revered head of the wisdom movement in Israel.
While it is possible that Solomon wrote the original, most scholars date the present form of Ecclesiastes in the third century B.C. This dating is favored by certain words and Greek thought of that period found in the book. The Hebrew language of Ecclesiastes also resembles the Hebrew of materials written after 586 B.C. The book was certainly in existence by 180 B.C. because it is mentioned in the Book of Ecclesiasticus which was written about that time. It was probably compiled sometime between 400 and 200 B.C. Whatever influence Greek thought may have had on the book, that influence was moderate. Ecclesiastes reverberates with a strong Semitic flavor.
The broad setting is found in the wisdom activities of the ancient Near East (see 1 Kin. 4:29-31). The immediate background of this book, however, is the wisdom movement in Israel. The book seems to reflect a time when the hope of Israel's prophets and the expectations of a national empire were gone. The rise and fall of other empires (Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece) is reflected in the monotonous historical-political cycles that the writer describes. But, as an Israelite, he knew that the "fear of God" provided the basis to endure the present, and to hope for some future reward for observing God's commandments (12:13, 14).
The purpose of the writer is to demonstrate his thesis: "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity" (1:2). This is in sharp counterpoint to the wisdom of Proverbs. There an optimistic confidence assumes that life is fundamentally logical and consistent, with wise choices producing predictably good results and foolish choices producing predictably bad results. Ecclesiastes argues that this is frequently not the case. There are inexplicable mysteries about life which defy easy solutions. If we are serving God in order to receive something, we may be very sadly surprised. Nonetheless, the writer does not counsel despair. For all the unanswered questions, it is still best to fear God, keep His commandments, and thus enjoy life (3:12; 12:13). Ultimately, he held that people are religious and moral beings, whose end is found in living an ethical life before their Creator. The major purpose of the Preacher is to show that life without reference to God is meaningless.
The recurring phrase "under the sun" (1:9) seems to be a way of making this point. Whatever ultimate truth may be, if life is merely lived for itself "under the sun," it is pointless.
The literary character of Ecclesiastes is complex. Some scholars see a barely discernible organization, but few see a clear development in content. It seems to be a collection of various types of literature, all making the same general point. There are wise sayings (proverbs) as well as sections that are reflective and meditative. It contains short narrative passages. Over one-third of the book is poetry, but also narrative and an interesting instructional style of contrasts is found in some passages (see 3:16, 17; 8:11-13).
The basic theme of the book asserts that all of life is vanity. However, this is tempered with exhortations to "fear God," "enjoy life," and realize the utter control of God in all things (3:10, 11). Human wisdom is only partial; it cannot fathom the mysteries of God's creation. The similarities between animals and people are asserted, but the moral character expected of humankind is stressed. Men and women stand responsible before God for all of their deeds whether good or evil (12:14). Ecclesiastes thus rounds out the picture given by Proverbs. Yes, there are fundamental, observable principles of living. But suppose things do not work out as we thought? Shall we give up our faith in God? No, says the Preacher, for that is to plunge into true meaninglessness. Continue to obey God and live for Him, but do not try to explain everything. Just enjoy life as God gives it. He is sovereign. Furthermore, the Christian knows that God has sent One "greater than Solomon" who can help us discern a more satisfying end for people beyond this "vast vale of tears, vacant and desolate."
Outline of Ecclesiastes
1) Introduction and thesis 1:1, 2
2) The vanity of human accomplishment 1:3— 3:22
A. Labor produces nothing new 1:3-11
B. Wisdom is grasping for wind 1:12-18
C. Mighty attainments give empty pleasure 2:1-26
D. Excessive labor is fruitless 3:1-22
3. Meditations on justice and injustice 4:1—6:12
A. Inequities of life 4:1-16
B. The value of prudence and moderation 5:1-20
C. Uncertainty of the future 6:1-12
4. Counsel for living in a vain world 7:1—12:8
A. The Preacher's discoveries 7:1—8:9
B. One thing happens to all 8:10—9:12
C. Live in the light of present uncertainty and final judgment 9:13—12:8
5. Conclusion 12:9-14
Theme: All Is Vanity!
The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
2 "Vanity of vanities," says the Preacher; "Vanity of vanities, call is vanity."
The Vanity of Human Accomplishments
3 What profit has a man from all his labor in which he toils under the sun?
4 One generation passes away, and another generation comes; but the earth abides forever.
5 The sun also rises, and the sun goes down, and hastens to the place where it arose.
6 The wind goes toward the south, and turns around to the north; The wind whirls about
continually, and comes again on its circuit.
7 All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full; to the place from which the
rivers come, there they return again.
8 All things are full of labor; man cannot express it. The eye is not satisfied with seeing,
nor the ear filled with hearing.
9 That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there anything of which it may be said, "See, this is new"? It has already been in ancient
times before us.
11 There is no remembrance of former things, nor will there be any remembrance of things that are to come by those who will come after.
[WITHOUT GOD IN THE PICTURE ALL IS JUST VANITY, HERE TODAY GONE TOMORROW. WORK IS WORK ONE DAY AFTER ANOTHER, IS THERE A PURPOSE TO IT, DOES IT BRING FULFILMENT FOR MANY IT DOES NOT. IT’S A JOB FOR A PAY-CHECK. GENERATIONS COME AND GO, THE EARTH ABIDES; THE SUN DOES ITS THING OF RISING AND SETING, DAY INTO NIGHT AND NIGHT BACK TO DAY…SO IT GOES. THE WIND BLOWS WHERE IT WILLS AND USUALLY RETURNS TO FORMER PLACES - IT REPEATS, ON AND ON. THE RIVERS RUN TO THE SEA AND EVAPORATE FROM THE SEA UP INTO CLOUDS; THE CLOWDS MEET COLD AIR AND DOWN THEY ONCE MORE COME…THE CIRCLE IS UNBROKEN. IT CAN BE HARD WORK AT TIMES LIVING THIS LIFE; THE EYES NOT SATISFIED, MUST HAVE MORE AND MORE TECH STUFF, GADGETS, BETTER CARS, BETTER BOATS; BETTER LUXURIES, FANCY HOLIDAYS. HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF, WE SEEM NOT TO LEARN THE LESSON. THERE REALLY IS NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN….LIFE GOES ON, MUCH AS BEFORE ONLY IN A DIFFERENT CONTEXT. IT CAN BE EASY TO FORGET THAT WHITCH WAS DONE IN THE PAST, UNLESS HISTORY BOOKS RECORD IT. ALL WE CAN DO HERE AND NOW IS FOR HERE AND NOW….JUST CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU! WHAT IS NEWS TODAY IS FORGOTTEN BY THOSE STILL TO COME, UNLESS RECORDED IN SOME WAY. IT’S A CIRCLE FOR EVERYTHING; SO WITHOUT GOD IT THE PICTURE ALL IS VANITY; YOU COULD SAY, “WELL LET’S HAVE A PARTY FOR THIS LIFE WILL BE OVER, FORGOTTEN BY US, LET’S PARTY WHILE WE CAN” - TRULY ALL IS VANITY WITHOUT THE ETERNAL GOD IN THE FRAME WORK OF TIME - Keith Hunt]
The Vanity of Wisdom
12 the Preacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 And I set my heart to seek and 'search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under heaven; this burdensome task God has given to the sons of man, by which they may be exercised. 14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed, all is vanity and grasping for the wind. 15 What is crooked cannot be made straight, And what is lacking cannot be numbered.
Comments from the New KJV Study Bible
1:1 the Preacher: Perhaps a tile chosen by the author to convey what he is seeking to do (see 12:8; 9): He also adopts the role of king in Jerusalem, presumably Solomon, so that he can present his observations on life with greater impact. See Introduction: Author and Date.
1:2 The thesis of the Preacher is that life lived without regard for God is of no value. It is indeed vanity (emptiness). The phrase vanity of vanities is the Hebrew way of describing the most vain thing imaginable.
1:3—3:22 Human attainments and accomplishments are worthless, thus they are referred to as labor in these verses. For Jesus' words on labor see John 6:27 and center-column reference there.
1:3-11 Labor is futile because there is no progress in the ceaseless round of nature. What do we work for? There is nothing new under the sun (v. 9).
1:3 Because there is no lasting satisfaction, all of one's labor ... under the sun (in this world) is ultimately, of no value.
1:4 Human life seems less permanent and purposeful than the physical earth.
1:7 they return again: By evaporation and rainfall.
1:8 full of labor: Our earthly accomplishments produce no lasting satisfaction.
1:9,10 nothing new: Evidently the Preacher forgot new lives, new days, possible new interests, new services, and new devotions that bring fresh meaning to life.
1:11 Our accomplishments will be forgotten by future generations.
1:12—2:23 The accomplishments of a great king: wisdom (1:13-18); pleasure (2:1-3, 10); great works (2:4-9). But because all of these bring no satisfaction, he is plunged into despair (2:17-23).
1:12 king over Israel: See Introduction: Author and Date.
1:13 The Hebrew words translated seek and search are emphatic; they indicate serious, unrelenting enquiry.
1:15 What is crooked: He despairs of straightening out the world's problems—or even counting them.
16 I communed with my heart, saying, "Look, I have attained greatness, and have gained more Wisdom than all who were before me in Jerusalem. My heart has Understood great Wisdom and knowledge." 17 And I set my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is grasping for the wind.
18 For in much wisdom is much grief, And he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.
[IT IS SO TRUE…. INCREASE KNOWLEDGE OF WHAT IS GOING ON AROUND THE WORLD, AND YOU INCREASE SORROW, FOR THERE IS SO MUCH OF IT IN VARIOUS FORMS; WITH WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE COMES MORE GRIEF AND SORROW IN SEEING ALL THE EVIL IN SO MANY PLACES. JESUS SAW JERUSALEM AND WEPT OVER HER, BECAUSE HE KNEW THE END RESULT OF THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE NOT SEEING THE KNGDOM OF GOD, AND LIVING ACCORDING TO THE LAWS OF THAT KINGDOM; SHE THE PEOPLE OF JERUSALEM WOULD SUFFER DESTRUCTION AND DEATH BY THE ROMAN ARMIES IN 70 AD - Keith Hunt]
The Vanity of Pleasure
I said in my heart, "Come now, I will test you with mirth; I therefore enjoy pleasure"; but surely, this also was vanity. 2 I said of laughter—"Madness!"; and of mirth, "What does it accomplish?" 3 I searched in my heart how to gratify my flesh with wine, while guiding my heart with wisdom, and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the sons of men to do under heaven all the days of their lives.
[IT WAS A CAREFULLY PLANNED PLOT, TO DELVE INTO THE WORLD OF “PLEASURE” - “LAUGHTER” - “MIRTH” - “WINE” - “FOLLY” - ALL DONE WHILE GUIDING HIS HEART WITH WISDOM; NOT BEING TAKEN IN BY IT ALL; WISE ENOUGH TO KNOW THE LIMIT OF IT ALL, AND NOT BEING HOOKED BY IT AS LIKE BEING HOOKED BY A DRUG - Keith Hunt]
The Vanity of Attainment
4 I made my works great, I built myself houses, and planted myself vineyards. 5 I made myself gardens and orchards, and I planted all kinds of fruit trees in them, 6 I made myself water pools from which to water the growing trees of the grove. 7 I acquired male and female servants, and had servants born in my house. Yes, I had greater possessions of herds and flocks than all who were in Jerusalem before me. 8 I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the special treasures of kings and of the provinces. I acquired male and female singers, the delights of the sons of men, and musical instruments of all kinds.
9 So I became great and excelled 'more than all who were before me in Jerusalem.' Also my wisdom remained with me.
10 Whatever my dyes desired I did not keeping from them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, For my heart rejoiced in all my labor; And this was my reward from all my labor. 11 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done And on the labor in which I had toiled; And indeed, all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun.
[OH YOU CAN GO AFTER SO MANY THINGS IN THE WORLD; YOU CAN PLANT FIELDS, ORCHARDS, HAVE MALE AND FEMALE SERVANTS, YOU CAN HAVE ALL GREAT HERDS AND FLOCKS; SILVER AND GOLD YOU CAN HAVE. YOU CAN EMPLOY SINGERS, BANDS; YOU CAN HAVE FANCY HOUSES, THE BEST CARS, SPEED BOATS, SAILING BOATS, YOU CAN HAVE HUGE TV/INTERNET SCREENS ON YOUR WALLS; YOU CAN TAKE TRIPS AROUND THE WORLD, SEE MAJESTIC SIGHTS, SOME OF THE WONDERS OF THE WORLD……IT GOES ON…. BUT….YOU [MOST PEOPLE] HAVE TO RETURN HOME….SOON THE MEMORY FADES AND FADES MORE. IN THE SCHEME OF LIFE, IT PRODUCES A “WELL I ONCE DID THAT…..BUT KNOW I SEE THE VANITY OF IT ALL,” UNLESS YOU HAVE PHOTOS, VIDEOS, OF ALL THE TROUBLE YOU WENT THROUGH, IT’S A VANITY EXPERIENCE. IN THE END, NON OF THAT GOES WITH YOU TO THE GRAVE….AND SO LIFE WITHOUT GOD IN IT, IS AT THE END NOTHING, EMPTY; AS THE SAYING GOES, “YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU.” Keith Hunt]
Then I turned myself to consider wisdom and madness and folly; For what can the man do who succeeds the king?— Only what he has already done.
13 Then I saw that wisdom excels folly, as light excels darkness.
14 The wise man's eyes are in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. Yet I myself perceived that the same event happens to them all.
[DEATH COMES FOR THE WISE AND THE UNWISE; TO THE FOOL AND TO THE PRUDENT; TO THE WICKED AND TO THE RIGHTEOUS - Keith Hunt]
15 So I said in my heart, "As it happens to the fool, it also happens to me, and why was I then more wise?" Then I said in my heart, "This also is vanity."
Comments from the New KJV Study Bible
1:17 Madness and folly are the traditional opposites of wisdom. He found no meaning anywhere.
1:18 The assessment much wisdom is much grief can be true of human wisdom without God. The writer of Proverbs had a different view of the wisdom from God (see Introduction: Purpose; see also Prov. 2:10-12).
2:1-3 enjoy pleasure: Happiness is never found in mere entertainment.
2:4-9 While these could be the writer's actual accomplishments, he might instead be speaking
2:12-16 Struggling to gain wisdom seems useless if a fool and a wise man die the same death (v. 16).
2:14 eyes ... in his head: The knowledge, discretion, and understanding from God which keep the wise man from the ways of darkness (see Prov. 2:10-13).
16 For there is no more remembrance of the wise than of the fool forever, since all that now is will be forgotten in the days to come. And how does a wise man die? As the fool!
[TODAY WE HAVE MANY “TECH” STUFF TO REMEMBER PEOPLE BY; BACK IN THE DAYS OF THIS BOOK, ONLY SOME HISTORIAN PERHAPS WOULD WRITE DOWN THINGS PERTAINING TO THIS OR THAT PERSON; FOR THE VAST MAJORITY THERE WOULD BE LITTLE IF ANYTHING TO BE REMEMBERED - Keith Hunt]
17 Therefore I hated life because the work that was done under the sun was distressing to me, for all is vanity and grasping for the wind.
[YES WHEN THE WRITER WROTE THE WORK MOST PEOPLE WOULD NEVER BE REMEMBERED - Keith Hunt]
The Vanity of Labor
18 Then I hated all my labor in which I had toiled under the sun, because must leave it to the man who will come after me.
19 And who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will rule over all my labor in which I toiled and in which I have shown myself wise under the sun. This also is vanity.
20 Therefore I turned my heart and despaired of all the labor in which I had toiled under the sun.
21For there is a man whose labor is with wisdom, knowledge, and skill; yet he must leave his heritage to a man who has not labored for it. This also is vanity and a great evil.
22 For what has man for all his labor, and for the striving of his heart with which he has toiled under the sun?
23For all his days are sorrowful, and his work burdensome; even in the night his heart takes no rest. This also is vanity.
[I, FOR A LARGE PORTION OF MY LIFE WAS WORKING IN THE TRADE OF AN ORTHOPAEDIC SHOEMAKER; SOMEONE ELSE MUST CARRY IT ON. THEN SOME BUILD A LARGE COMPANY ONLY IN THE END TO LEAVE IT TO ANOTHER TO INHERIT, WHO NEVER BUILT IT. SOME I’VE KNOWN HAD JOBS THEY HATED, THEY WORKED AT IT FOR A PAY-CHECK; THERE IS LITTLE REAL REST IN THE MIND, THAT YOU ARE NOT DOING A JOB THAT IS MORE REWARDING FOR YOURSELF, WHERE YOU KNEW YOU WERE CONTRIBUTING TO THE BETTERMENT OF HUMAN LIFE….ALL OF THIS IS TRYING TO GRASP AND HOLD THE WIND - VAIN LIVING IN THE END MATTER OF IT ALL, UNLESS GOD IS THERE IN YOUR LIFE, WHERE YOU WOULD SEEK A MORE FULFILLING JOB, AND THE BUSINESS YOU BUILD WAS SERVING PEOPLE, WITH WISE PEOPLE TO INHERIT IT - Keith Hunt]
Enjoy Life As God Has Made It
24 Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God.
25 For who can eat, or who can have enjoyment, more than I?
26 For God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy, to a man who is good in His sight; but to the sinner He gives the work of gathering and collecting, that he may give to him who is good before God. This also is vanity and grasping for the wind.
[GENERAL STATEMENT HERE; EAT, DRINK, AND BE MERRY (PARTY) FOR YOU MAY DIE TOMORROW, NEXT WEEK, NEXT MONTH, NEXT YEAR….IF THIS PHYSICAL LIFE MEANS NOTHING IN THE END, AND GOD IS NOT THERE, YOU MAY AS WELL “LIVE IT UP” - SOLOMON (IF IT WAS HIM WRITING) SURELY COULD HAVE A PHYSICAL PLEASURES IN LIFE. VERSE 27, A GENERAL STATEMENT: WHILE SOME “GOOD” ARE GIVEN WISDOM, KNOWLEDGE, JOY —
THE JOY CAN BE TOGETHER WITH SUFFERING FOR THE CHRISTIANITY IN YOUR LIFE - SEE HEBREWS 11. SOME “SINNERS” WHO DO VERY WELL IN THIS PHYSICAL LIFE, SEE IT IN THE END GIVEN TO THOSE WHO ARE GOOD BEFORE GOD, TO THOSE WHO WALK WITH GOD; THIS IS NOT ALWAYS THE CASE SO IT IS A GENERAL STATEMENT - Keith Hunt]
Cycles of Life and Nature
To everything there is a, season, a time for every purpose under heaven:
2 A time To be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is 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 to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away;
7 A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to 'speak;
8 A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace.
9 What profit has the worker from that in which he labors?
10 I have seen
Comments from the New KJV Study Bible
2:17-23 One of the most bitter thoughts for a person of great material accomplishments: Some fool will get this after I die.
2:24-26 This is one of several conclusions that assert the best way to approach life. It calls for (1) recognition of God as the source of all benefits (see James 1:17) and (2) recognition that the good things from His hand are designed for our enjoyment. See also 8:15; 9:7-10; 12:13, 14.
3:1-22 God has established the patterns of life, and all our labors (v. 9) cannot change them (vv. 11, 14). Therefore we should stop straining against these limits and find the real joy (vv. 12, 13, 22) and beauty (v. 11) which exist in the daily round.
3:3 A time to kill: May refer to legal execution or to warfare. In view of v. 5 it may mean more generally to destroy.
the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied.
11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that mo one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.
[MAN THINKS HE IS GETTING TO KNOW HOW THE UNIVERSE CAME TO BE, AND HOW IN BILLIONS OF YEARS IT WILL END…..SO EVOLUTION SCIENTISTS CLAIM….BUT IS THAT REALLY SO? NO ONE CAN REALLY KNOW THE WORK OF GOD IN ITS DETAIL - Keith Hunt]
12 I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives,
13 and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God.
14 I know that whatever God does, it shall be forever; nothing can be added to it, and nothing taken from it. God does it, that men should fear before Him.
[WHO CAN MAKE THE GALAXIES? WHO CAN MAKE THE SUNS THAT ARE A THOUSAND TIMES LARGER THAN OUR SUN? WHO CAN BRING FORTH THE NEW STARS; WHO CAN MAKE “BLACK HOLES” WHERE EVEN LIGHT CANNOT ESCAPE? WHO CAN COMMAND A STAR TO BURST ASUNDER? WHO CAN TELL GALAXIES TO MERGE ONE WITH THE OTHER; WHO CAN PLANT AND TELL EARTH’S MOON TO BE AND DO THE WORK IT DOES FOR OUR EARTH, THAT IS ESSENTIAL FOR LIFE ON EARTH AS WE KNOW IT. WHO CAN TELL OUR MOON TO DISAPPEAR AND BE NO MORE? THE UNIVERSE SHOULD GIVE US FULL AND DEEP RESPECT OF THE ETERNAL GOD - Keith Hunt]
15 That which is has already been, and what is to be has already been; and God requires an account of what is past.
[THINGS IN THIS UNIVERSE REPEAT THEMSELVES, THAT WHICH IS HAS BEEN, AND WHAT IS TO BE HAS BEEN ALREADY; GOD KEEPS AN ACCOUNT OF THE PAST THAT ONE DAY ALL WILL BE KNOWN AND JUDGED. ALL OF THE SINS AND EVIL DONE, PEOPLE WILL KNOW WHEN IT IS TIME FOR THEIR JUDGMENT; THEY WILL REMEMBER THEY WERE SINNERS AND WILL NEED TO REPENT OF THOSE SINS, IF THEY DESIRE TO HAVE ETERNAL LIFE; IT WILL BE THE SAME FOR THEM AS IT IS FOR US TODAY WHO ARE CALLED AND CHOSEN - Keith Hunt]
16 Moreover I saw under the sun:
In the place of judgment, wickedness was there; and in the place of righteousness, iniquity was there.
17 I said in my heart, “God shall judge the righteous and the wicked; For there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.
[YES ALL MUST ANSWER FOR THEIR SINS IN ACKNOWLEDGING THEM AND REPENTING….. THE TIME FOR THE RUBBER TO MEET THE ROAD IS IN GOD’S HANDS; SOME YESTERDAY, SOME TODAY, AND SOME TOMORROW; BUT ALL WILL IN THE END HAVE TO ANSWER TO GOD; THE LORD WANTS EVERYONE TO REPENT AND BE SAVED INTO HIS KINGDOM - SEE 2 PETER 3: 9 - Keith Hunt]
18 I said in my heart, "Concerning the condition of the sons of men, God tests them, that they may see that they themselves are like animals."
[WE ARE ALL MADE FROM THE ELEMENTS OF THE WORLD….HUMAN AND ANIMALS - Keith Hunt]
19 For what happens to the sons of men also happens to animals; one thing befalls them: as one dies, so dies the other. Surely, they all have one breath; man has no advantage over animals, for all is vanity.
[IN THIS PHYSICAL LIFE DEATH COMES TO HUMANS AND ANIMALS; IN THAT REGARD HUMANS HAVE NO PRE-EMINENCE OVER ANIMALS - Keith Hunt]
20 All go to one place: all are from the dust, and all return to dust.
[ALL ENTER BACK INTO THE EARTH FROM WHENCE THEY WERE MADE - Keith Hunt]
21 Who knows the spirit of the sons of men, which goes upward, and the spirit of the animal, which goes down to the earth?
[MAN WAS CREATED WITH “THE SPIRIT IN MAN” - AN INVISIBLE SPIRIT ESSENCE - UNITED TO THE HUMAN BRAIN IT MAKES HUMANS MILES ABOVE THE ANIMALS IN THE WORKING KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL, OF BEING ABLE TO COME TO KNOW THE THINGS OF GOD. ANIMALS CAN NOT KNOW GOD AS HUMANS CAN KNOW GOD; ANIMALS HAVE NO CONSCIENCE OF RIGHT AND WRONG, GOOD AND EVIL, SINS AND RIGHTEOUSNESS. A FULL IN-DEPTH STUDY CAN BE FOUND ON THIS WEBSITE ABOUT THE “SPIRIT IN MAN.” THE QUESTION POSSED BY THE AUTHOR IS ANSWERED BY THE AUTHOR IN CHAPTER 12:7. THE SPIRIT IN MAN RETURNS TO GOD AT DEATH, TO BE THE CD OF CHARACTER; FOR THE CHILD OF GOD, SINS WIPED AWAY, ONLY PURE RIGHTEOUSNESS REMAINS; FOR THOSE NOT CALLED AND CHOSEN UNTIL THE SECOND RESURRECTION, ALL THEIR DOINGS GOOD AND EVIL REMAIN, THEIR SINS REMAIN UNTIL THEY FREELY REPENT OF THEM - Keith Hunt]
22 So I perceived that nothing is better than that a man should rejoice in his own works, for that is his heritage. For who can bring him to see what will happen after him?
HUMAN WORKS CAN BE SO GREAT, MUCH HIGHER AND GREATER THAN ANY ANIMAL IN TRUE WORTH AMONG MANKIND. CERTAIN ANIMALS CAN DO WONDERFUL THINGS FOR HUMANS, AS LIKE THE HORSE HAS DONE FOR MANKIND IN SO MANY PHYSICAL WAYS, BUT THE HORSE HAS NO HUMAN SPIRIT THAT CAN KNOW GOD, KNOW SIN, KNOW RIGHTEOUSNESS, KNOW THE THINGS OF THE HUMAN MIND, COME TO COMPREHEND THE WAYS AND WORKS OF THE LORD. IT IS A QUESTION POSED….MANKIND CANNOT KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN TOMORROW, OR NEXT WEEK, OR NEXT MONTH, IN HIS LIFE. BUT GOD CAN BRING HIM TO SEE WHAT CAN HAPPEN TO HIM IN THE ULTIMATE FUTURE OF IT ALL - GOD CAN BRING HIM TO SEE ETERNAL LIFE IN GLORY WITH GOD THE FATHER AND JESUS CHIRST HIS SON, CAN BE HIS, IF HE WILL REPENT AND SERVE THE WAYS OF THE ETERNAL GOD - Keith Hunt]
Comments from the New KJV Study Bible
3:11 Eternity may refer to the desire and capacity people have to examine and understand God and His world, from beginning to end: God's works will never be fully known. This does not mean that since we cannot understand life's riddles, life is without meaning. The Preacher has no question that there is a God, and that His ways, though often strange, are right.
3:14-22 God's decisions for His world stand secure and complete. The world is constructed to lead men to fear (acknowledge) Him. The fear of God is the basis for a correct approach to life (see 3:14; 5:7; 7:18; 8:12, 13; 12:13; see also "The Fear of the Lord" at Gen. 20:11). 3:14,15 God is sovereign over all things: past, present, and future.
3:18,19 In their physical lives humans are animals - because they die as animals die. But humans are more than their bodies (see Ps. 8:3-8).
3:20-22 all return to dust: Apart from revelation, no one knows the answers to this puzzle. Something happens to the nerve of faith and high endeavor whenever doubt regarding a person's future takes possession of the spirit.
The Inequities of Life
Then I returned and considered all the Oppression that is done under the sun:
And look! The tears of the oppressed, but they have no comforter— On the side of their oppressors there is power, but they have no comforter.
2 Therefore I praised the dead who were already dead, more than the living who are still alive. 3 Yet, better than both is he who has never existed, who has not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.
[CERTAINLY WHEN WE LOOK AT THE EVIL DONE FROM MAN TO MAN; WHEN WE LOOK AT ALL THE SICKNESSES AND SORROWS AND PAIN OF LIFE, WE CAN SEE WHY THE WRITER THOUGHT IT BETTER TO HAVE NEVER BEEN BORN - Keith Hunt]
4 Again, I saw that for all toil and every skillful work a man is envied by his neighbor. This also is vanity and grasping for the wind.
[OH YES YOU CAN DO GOOD SKILLFUL THINGS AND YOU HAVE ENEMIES WHO ENVY YOU IN A MALICIOUS WAY - THIS ALSO IS UNDER OUR SUN - Keith Hunt]
5 The fool folds his hands and consumes his own flesh.
[SOME JUST EXIST, BECAUSE OF DRUGS AND/OR ALCOHOL; SOME JUST GET INTO AN ATTITUDE OF “WOW IS ME, I GIVE UP” AND LIVE JUST BARELY EXISTING - Keith Hunt]
6 Better a handful with quietness than both hands full, together with toil and grasping for the wind.
[SOMETIMES IT IS BETTER TO LIVE WITH LITTLE IN HAPPINESS AND PEACE, THAN WITH THE ATTITUDE OF WANTING TO BE A BILLIONAIRE GASPING AT EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING TO MAKE IT HAPPEN - NEVER HAVING PEACE OF MIND - Keith Hunt]
7 Then I returned, and I saw vanity under the sun:
8 There is one alone, without companion: He has neither son nor brother. Yet there is no end to all his labors, Nor is his eye satisfied with riches. But he never asks, "For whom do I toil and deprive myself of ''good?" This also is vanity and a grave misfortune.
[SOME WITH EVEN NO BIG FAMILY TO SUPPORT CAN GET THE “RICHES” BUG, JUST GOT TO HAVE MORE AND MORE, NO MATTER WHAT EVIL OR SLIGHT OF HAND IT TAKES - Keith Hunt]
9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor.
10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up.
11 Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm
12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
13 Better a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish king who will be admonished no more.
14 For he comes out of prison to be king, Although he was born poor in his kingdom.
15 I saw all the living who walk under the sun; They were with the second youth who stands in his place.
16 There was no end of all the people over whom he was made king; Yet those who come afterward will not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and grasping for the wind.
Comments from the New KJV Study Bible
4:1—6:12 Puzzling observations on the injustices of life.
4:1-3 The writer concludes that death is better than life, and it would be better never to have been born, if God does not ultimately judge.
4:4-8 The foolishness of incessant labor beyond that necessary to satisfy daily needs. It is especially true of the one who labors even though he has no companion, son, or brother (v.8) and finds no satisfaction in his riches.
4:5 fools fold their hands: see Prov. 24:30-34 and note.
4: 9-12 A pleasant observation among many negative ones. Friendship and support in this world are a great benefit, and Christ is closer to us than a brother. If our work in fact alienates us from friend, spouse, and the Lord, it is doubly foolish.
4:13 The fame and position of even a king are of no real value if he is not wise.
4: 13-16 Even the glory of having become king, after being poor and obscure, finally ends in being replaced by a second youth (v. 15) ands forgotten. It is vain to grasp even for rulership.
Prudence and Moderation
Walk prudently when you go to the house of God; and draw near to hear rather than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they do evil.
2 Do not be crash with your mouth, and let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; Therefore let your words be few.
[NOW THAT IS SOME TEACHING FOR CHRISTIANS, BETTER TO HEAR, MEDITATE, STUDY, BEFORE SPEAKING - Keith Hunt]
3 For a dream comes through much activity, and a fool's voice is known by his many words.
[A PERSON WITH A MIND THAT RUNS ALL OVER THE PLACE, HAVING NO TIME TO STUDY AND MEDITATE, BUT SPEAKS OUT WAY TO OFTEN, WILL IN THE END BE A FOOL WITH A BIG MOUTH - Keith Hunt]
4 When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; For He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed.
[VOWING IS ABOLISHED UNDER THE NEW TESTAMENT, SO SAID JESUS AND JAMES ….DO NOT SWEAR BY THIS OR THAT; THE SPIRIT OF THE CHRISTIAN NEEDS NO SWEARING ON THE BIBLE ETC. Keith Hunt]
5 Better not to vow than to vow and not pay.
[ I GUESS THE CHRISTIAN COULD APPLY THIS TO “PROMISES” - BETTER NOT TO PROMISE AND NOT FULFIL - Keith Hunt]
Comments from the New KJV Study Bible
5:1 Worship God with full awareness of what you do and say. Hear what He says to you.
5:2,3 Rash words and feverish activity do not impress God. Humility is more fitting.
5:4, 5 Better not to vow: But better still to vow and pay.
See Prov. 20:25 and note.
6 Do not let your mouth cause your flesh to sin, or say before the messenger of God that it was an error. Why should God be angry at your excuse and destroy the work of your hands?
7 For in the multitude of dreams and many words there is also vanity. But fear God.
[YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU SPEAK; YOU NEED TO STUDY AND MEDITATE; YOU NEED TO REST AND BE QUIET, AND KNOW WHAT YOUR SPEAKING ABOUT BEFORE YOU BRING FORTH WORDS ON ANY SUBJECT; BETTER TO BE QUIET AND LEARN FIRST BEFORE TRYING TO IMPRESS PEOPLE; THEY SOON TAG YOU WITH BEING “A KNOW IT ALL” PERSON. IF A CHRISTIAN YOU SHOULD NOT WANT GOD TO HAVE TO DEAL WITH YOU FOR BEING SO VAIN WITH YOUR MOUTH - Keith Hunt]
8 If you see the oppression of the poor, and the violent perversion of justice and righteousness in a province, do not marvel at the matter; for high official watches over high official, and higher officials are over them.
9 Moreover the profit of the land is for all; even the king is served from the field.
[IT TENDS TO BE THAT CORRUPTION OF LEADERS OF A LAND OR PROVINCE, IS BOUND TO HAPPEN AT TIMES….NO SHOCK THERE, IT’S BEEN DONE FOR GENERATIONS; BUT USUALLY OTHER OFFICIALS WILL CATCH THE CORRUPTING PERSON, AND IT ALL IS BROUGHT TO EVERYONE’S ATTENTION - Keith Hunt]
10 He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This also is vanity.
[GREEDINESS CAN BECOME LIKE A DRUG…..NO SATISFACTION, BUT MUST HAVE MORE AND MORE, THE MIND IS TWISTED AND CAPTIVATED BY IT ALL - Keith Hunt]
11 When goods increase, they increase who eat them; so what profit have the owners except to see them with their eyes?
[PHYSICAL THINGS CAN BE AN OBSESSION WITH THOSE PRONE TO HAVE SUCH A MIND SET OF SEEING AND ACQUIRING - Keith Hunt]
12 The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, whether he eats little or much; but the abundance of the rich will not permit him to sleep.
[THOSE WHO WORK HARD AND ARE NOT CONSUMED BY HAVING TO HAVE MORE AND MORE, CAN SLEEP WITH A CONTENTED MIND; BUT THOSE WHO HAVE A MIND SET ON RICHES AND ACQUIRE THEM, ARE SO FILLED WITH THEIR RICHES, THEY TEND TO HAVE THEM ON THEIR MIND ALL THE TIME, HENCE CAN HAVE POOR SLEEP - Keith Hunt]
13 There is a severe evil which I have seen under the sun: Riches kept for their owner to his hurt.
14 But those riches perish through misfortune; when he begets a son, there is nothing in his hand.
15 As he came from his mother's womb, naked shall he return, to go as he came; and he shall take nothing from his labor which he may carry away in his hand.
[RICHES FOR THE SAKE OF HAVING RICHES CAN BE LOST OR MISUSED, AND LEAVE NOTHING FOR CHILDREN TO INHERIT; ONE THING FOR CERTAIN, NO PERSON CAN TAKE THEIR RICHES TO THE GRAVE WITH THEM - Keith Hunt]
16 And this also is a severe evil—just exactly as he came, so shall he go. And what profit has he who has labored for the wind?
[SO PEOPLE NEED TO KEEP THE CORRECT PERSPECTIVE ON ALL PHYSICAL THINGS, FOR THEIR IS NO LASTING PROFIT FOR YOU PERSONALLY; NO AMOUNT OF LOBOR AND RICHES CAN YOU TAKE TO THE GRAVE - Keith Hunt]
17 All his days he also eats in darkness, and he has much sorrow and sickness and anger.
[WELL SOME OF THE RICH DO; A GENERAL STATEMENT HERE. FOR IT IS NOT WRONG TO BE PHYSICALLY RICH IF YOU USE IT TO SERVE AND HELP OTHERS; USING IT TO HAVE GOD PLEASED - Keith Hunt]
18 Here is what I have seen: It is good and fitting for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor in which he toils under the sun all the days of his life which God gives him; for it is his heritage.
[IF IN THE RIGHT ATTITUDE OF MIND, IF GOD ALLOWS YOU TO BE PROSPEROUS IN YOUR LABORS, YOU CAN WITH THE LORD’S BLESSING, HAVE AND ENJOY MANY OF THE GOOD AND RIGHT THINGS OF THIS PHYSICAL LIFE…. GOOD FOOD AND DRINK AND OTHER ENJOYABLE THINGS. I HAVE BEEN BLESSED IN MY LATTER YEARS TO BE GRANTED THE DREAM HORSE OF MY CHILDHOOD - MY BEAUTIFUL TALENTED GOLDEN PALOMINO HORSE - GOLDIE. I’VE BEEN GRANTED GOOD HEALTH AND ENJOY MANY PHYSICAL THINGS THAT ARE FINE AND PROPER FOR CHRISTIANS TO ENJOY - Keith Hunt]
19 As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor—this is the gift of God.
20 For he will not dwell unduly on the days of his life, because God keeps him busy with the
joy of his heart.
[THE RIGHT ATTITUDE OF MIND IN ALL YOU HAVE IS THE KEY TO ENJOY ALL YOU HAVE AND TO FIND FAVOR WITH GOD - Keith Hunt]
Comments from the New kJ Study Bible
5:6, 7 The messenger of God possibly refers to the priest at the temple (see v. 1; Mai. 2:7), it was an error: Claiming that an uttered vow was a mistake. But God does not accept careless or insincere worship, fear God: See "The Fear of the Lord" at Gen. 20:11.
5:8 Oppression is found in every level of society. This is not surprising when higher officials know and share in the profits.
5:9 The labor of the various levels of society feeds everyone—even the king. Perhaps this is saying that oppression will ultimately be curbed by society's basic need for survival.
5:10-17 Wealth does not bring satisfaction.
5:10 loves silver: "The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil" (I Tim. 6:10).
5:12 Money, valued too highly, corrodes life with worry.
5:13-17 The hurt came when the owner lost his money through misfortune and had nothing left to give to his son (v. 14). Verses 15-17 refer to the owner.
5:17 eats in darkness: This may refer to a miser who refuses to spend money even for light.5:18-20 his heritage: Similar to the conclusions of 2:24-26. Life and its blessings are the gifts of God. Interest in, and enjoyment of, God's gifts provides release from anxieties.
Uncertainty of the Future
There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is common among men:
2 A man to whom God has given riches and wealth and honor, so that he lacks nothing for himself of all he desires; yet God does not give him power to eat of it, but a foreigner consumes it. This is vanity, and it is an evil affliction.
[THE PERSON’S ATTITUDE IS WRONG WITH ALL THEY HAVE; GOD MAY VERY WELL NOT GIVE THEM THE ENJOYMENT OF IT ALL - HENCE IN THE END IT SERVED HIM NAUGHT - Keith Hunt]
3 If a man begets a hundred children and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his soul is not satisfied with goodness, or indeed he has no burial, I say that a stillborn child is better than he— 4 for it comes in vanity and departs in darkness, and its name is covered with darkness. 5 Though it has not seen the sun or known anything, this has more rest than that man, 6 even if he lives a thousand years twice—but has not seen goodness. Do not all go to one place?
[WE ALL END UP IN THE GRAVE…..THOSE WITH MUCH NEED TO PRAISE GOD FOR IT ALL, ENJOY IT ALL WITH THE MIND SET THAT IS PLEASING TO THE LORD; OTHERWISE IT DOES THEM NO GOOD AT ALL; A STILL BORN CHILD, WHEN RESURRECTED IN THE GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT PERIOD, WILL DO BETTER THAN THE PERSON WITH MUCH IN THIS LIFE, BUT WHO HAD THE WRONG ATTITUDE OF LIVING, A LIFE WITH NO GOODNESS IN IT. THE STILL BORN CHILD WHEN RESURRECTED WILL NOT BE BOUND BY A LIFE OF WRONG LIVING; THE CHILD WILL GROW INTO THE TRUTH OF GOD EASIER THAN THEY WHO HAVE TO REPENT OF SO MUCH WRONG ATTITUDE WITH ALL THEY WERE GIVEN - Keith Hunt]
Comments from the New KJV Study Bible
6:1-12 Another bitter indictment of life. What good is it to have lived if we found no satisfaction or honor? It would be better to have been stillborn (v. 3).
6:2-4 foreigner consumes it: Possibly the results of war; no burial: To come to the end of one's life without proper respect and honor was regarded with horror all across the ancient Near East.
6:5,6 Better never to have been born than to live a frustrated life. For our writer the experience of goodness is the main goal of life.
7 All the labor of man is for his mouth, and yet the soul is not satisfied.
8 For what more has the wise man than the fool? What does the poor man have, who knows how to walk before the living?
9 Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of desire. This also is vanity and grasping for the wind.
[FOR SOME IT IS “TALK IS CHEAP” SO THEY TALK ABOUT HOW GREAT IT IS TO THIS JOB, DO THE THINGS THEY CAN DO; TAKE EXOTIC HOLIDAYS; BUY EXPENSIVE CARES; BUT THE INNER SOUL, THE HEART AND MIND IS NOT REALLY SATISFIED. BETTER TO SEE WITH THE CORRECT SIGHT, THAN BE CONSTANTLY DREAMING OF “WHAT MIGHT OR COULD HAVE BEEN.” THE RELATIVELY POOR PERSON KNOW WHAT HE HAS WHEN GOD IS IN HIS LIFE. IT IS SOMEWHAT BETTER TO HAVE THE SIGHT OF THE EYES; THAN THE WANDERING OF THE DESIRE THAT COULD LEAD TO WRONG WAYS TO LIVE, EVEN FOR THE MOMENT OF DESIRE - Keith Hunt]
10 Whatever one is, he has been named already, for it is known that he is man; and he cannot contend with Him who is mightier than he.
11 Since there are many things that increase vanity, how is man the better?
12 For who knows what is good for man in life, all the days of his vain life which he passes like a shadow? Who can tell a man what will happen after him under the sun?
Comments from the New KJV Study Bible
6:7 A profound insight. What can satisfy our souls? See Matt. 6:33.
6:8, 9 The apparent meaning is that it is better to enjoy what we have rather than fret over what we want.
6:10-12 he is man: God has set the limits of human life, and we cannot alter them, who knows? God's limits on human knowledge mean that we cannot know what will happen on earth either in our future days; or after we die. This should give more incentive to seek God's will in our daily lives (see James 4:13-15).
The Value of Wisdom
A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of one's birth.
[YES IF YOU’VE LIVED THE WAY OF THE ETERNAL FOR THEN AFTER SLEEPING IN DEATH, THE NEXT MOMENT IS THE RESURRECTION - Keith Hunt]
2 Better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for that is the end of all men; and the living will take it to heart.
[IN THE MEMORIAL OF A GOOD PERSON, THE LIVING CAN TAKE IT TO HEART - Keith Hunt]
3 Sorrow is better than laughter, for by a sad countenance the heart is made better.
[TRUE REPENTANCE TO SORROW AND A CHANGE OF HEART AND MIND, IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN LIVING IT UP AND TAKING LIFE AS ONE BIG SWINGING PARTY - Keith Hunt]
4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.
[THE WISE WILL KNOW THAT MOURNING FOR THE RIGHT REASONS, IS BETTER THAN THE FOOL WHO CAN ONLY SEE NO MORE THAN BEING IN A CONSTANT BINGE OF LIVING IT UP - Keith Hunt]
5 It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise than for a man to hear the song of fools.
6 For like the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool. This also is vanity.
[WILLING TO LEARN AND BE CORRECTED AND ACKNOWLEDGING OTHERS HAVE WISDOM TO HELP YOU, IS BETTER THAN THE WORDS OF THE FOOL, FOR THEY HAVER THE CRACKLING OF THORNS THAT STAB THE HEART WITH NONSENSE - Keith Hunt]
7 Surely oppression destroys a wise man's reason, and a bribe debases the heart.
[LONG TIME OPPRESSION CAN DULL THE WISDOM OF A MAN’S REASONING; BEING PART OF UNDERHAND BRIBES TO MAKE A LIVING, DOES LOWER THE HEART OF GOODNESS AND UPRIGHTNESS - Keith Hunt]
8 The end of a thing is better than its beginning.
[WELL…..IT IS TRUE THAT HOW YOU FINISH SHOULD BE BETTER THAN HOW YOU START - Keith Hunt]
The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
[PROUDNESS CAN DEFEAT LEARNING AND GROWING IN GRACE AND KNOWLEDGE - PATIENCE IN SPIRIT HAS GREAT REWARDS TO KEEP YOU FROM HASTY MOVES THAT CAN HINDER A GOOD LIFE - Keith Hunt
Comments from the New KJV Study Bible
7:1—12:8 The Preacher's advice for living in such a world as this.
7:1—8:9 Character is valuable above all else.
7:1, 2 A serious approach to life is better than a frivolous mood. It is better to visit the bereaved than to go to a party. Death is the earthly end of every person. We should prepare for it, rather than try to deny it. This ultimate enemy is overcome in Christ (see 1 Cor. 15:54-57).
7:3 A serious face implies a discerning and wise person.The modern proverb says "Still waters run deep."
7:4 Ibn Ezra, a wise Jew, once wrote, "Even when the wise do not go to the house of mourning, the house of mourning is always within them."
7:5-10 Moderation is better than riotous excess.
7:6 thorns under a pot: See note on Ps. 58:6-9.
7:7 Both oppression and a bribe are threats to straight thinking.
9 Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, For anger rests in the bosom of fools.
[THE NEW TESTAMENTS SAYS, “BE ANGRY AND SIN NOT” - THERE IS A TIME AND PLACE FOR RIGHTEOUS ANGER. BUT ANGER NOT UNDER CONTROL WILL LEAD TO BECOMING A FOOL IN MANY WAYS, THAT WILL REAP A BACKLASH ON YOURESELF - Keith Hunt]
10 Do not say, 'Why were the former days better than these’? For you do not inquire wisely concerning this.
[ALL AGES HAVE WEAKNESSES, SO BE CAREFUL WHEN TRYING TO COMPARE ONE AGE WITH ANOTHER AGE; YET SOME AGES ARE WORSE THAN OTHER AGES; THE WESTERN WORLD WAS OVERALL BETTER LIVING 50, 60, 70, YEARS AGO THAN IT IS TODAY, AS MOST IN SOCIETY HAVE THROWN GOD AND THE BIBLE OUT THE WINDOW - Keith Hunt]
11 Wisdom is good with an inheritance, and profitable to those who see the sun.
12 For wisdom is a defense as money is a defense, but the excellence of knowledge is that wisdom gives life to those who have it.
[WE HAVE SEEN IN THE BOOK OF PROVERBS THE WONDERFUL BLESSING IT IS TO HAVE WISDOM, ESPECIALLY THE WISDOM THAT COMES FROM GOD THROUGH HIS SPIRIT; IT IS A DEFENSE FOR US TO STAY OUT OF TROUBLES THAT COULD HARM (LARGE OR SMALL) OUR LIVES. YES, MONEY CAN DEFEND US FROM TROUBLES THAT COME OUR WAY, THROUGH NO FAULT OF OUR OWN - IT CAN BUY A GOOD LAWYER. NOTHING WRONG WITH HAVING MONEY, IF USED CORRECTLY - HERE IT SHOWS A POSITIVE ADVANTAGE FOR US - Keith Hunt]
13 Consider the work of God; for who can make straight what He has made crooked?
14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: Surely God has appointed the one as well as the other, so that man can find out nothing that will come after him.
[LOOKING AT THE CREATION OF GOD, SHOULD HELP US REALIZE HOW MIGHTY AND POWERFUL HE IS. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE ANY, GET A SET OF DVDs ON THE “UNIVERSE” - SEE THE AWESOMENESS OF THE CREATIVE POWER OF THE ETERNAL. YES, IT IS OKAY TO BE JOYFUL IN PROSPERITY; IN THE DAY OF ADVERSITY CONSIDER THE WHOLE SCENARIO. DID YOU DO OR SAY THINGS THAT WERE UNWISE OR NOT RIGHTEOUS, TO BRING THIS UPON YOURSELF? TRY TO LEARN FROM DAYS OF ADVERSITY, SO YOU ATTAIN MORE WISDOM IN LIVING. BEING A CHILD OF GOD DOES NOT MEAN YOU WILL NEVER HAVE ADVERSE TIMES. AS IT IS SAID FURTHER IN THIS BOOK, “TIME AND CHANCE HAPPEN TO EVERYONE” - Keith Hunt]
15 I have seen everything in days of vanity:
There is a just man who perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man who prolongs life in his wickedness.
[YES TIME AND CHANCE CAN HAPPEN TO EITHER; SOMETIMES THE RIGHTEOUS DO NOT ALWAYS LIVE A LONG PROTECTED LIFE; THEN SOMETIMES THE WICKED LIVE INTO OLD AGE. IT’S NOT HOW LONG YOU LIVE THAT MATTERS TO GOD, IT IS HOW YOU LIVE - Keith Hunt]
16 Do not be overly righteous, nor be overly wise: Why should you destroy yourself?
[OVERLY RIGHTEOUS HERE MUST BE REFERRING TO SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS, WHICH CAN BRING YOU DOWN AS THERE IS NO HUMILITY. OVERLY WISE IS BEING TOO OVERLY CAUTIOUS AND SO SHALL WE SAY YOU NEVER GET OUT OF THE DUG OUT; HENCE YOU ARE NOT REALLY USING TRUE WISDOM; WISDOM IS LIKE A MUSCLE, YOU HAVE TO USE IT TO STRENGTHEN IT. BY THESE TWO FAULTS YOU COULD BRING NOT UPBUILDING BUT DESTRUCTION - Keith Hunt]
17 Do not be overly,wicked, nor be foolish: Why should you die before your time?
[THERE ARE WICKEDNESSES THAT ARE JUDGED TO BE MORE WICKED THAN OTHER WICKEDNESSES; THIS IS A WARNING TO NEVER GO INTO THE WAY OF WORSE WICKEDNESSES - WRONG LUSTFUL THOUGHTS IS WICKED, BUT GOING BEYONG AND RAPING SOMEONE IS MORE WICKEDNESS, A SO CALLED “WHITE-LIE” IS WRONG, BUT HOLDING UP A BANK FOR MONEY IS WORSE, IN THE SENSE THAT SOME WICKEDNESS HAS WORSE CONSEQUENCES IN THIS LIFE; MURDERING SOMEONE CAN SHORTEN YOUR LIFE BY (IF IN COUNTRIES THAT STILL HAVE CAPITAL PUNISHMENT) BEING EXECUTED, OR PUT IN PRISON WHERE YOU COULD BE KILLED BY OTHER PRISONERS. DON’T GET INTO THE DRUG WORLD, FOR YOU COULD END UP BEING A PROSTITUTE OR DYING WAY BEFORE YOUR TIME - Keith Hunt]
18 It is good that you grasp this, and also not remove your hand from the other; for he who fears God will escape them all.
[YOU NEED TO BE AWARE SOME WICKEDNESS IS WORSE THAN OTHER WICKEDNESS; MORE CONSEQUENCES THAN OTHERS; AND BEST OF ALL IS TO FEAR GOD, FOLLOW HIS WAY OF LIVING, AND THE HARD CONSEQUENCES OF SOME SINS YOU WILL ESCAPE - Keith Hunt]
19 Wisdom strengthens the wise more than ten rulers of the city.
[A WAY OF SAYING TRUE WISDOM IS MIGHTY STRONG - SEE THE BOOK OF PROVERBS - Keith Hunt]
20 For there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin.
[THE APOSTLE PAUL QUOTED THAT IN ROMANS 3:23 - ONLY ONE PERSON IN THE PHYSICAL WORLD NEVER SINNED - CHRIST JESUS - Keith Hunt]
21 Also do not take to heart everything people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you.
22 For many times, also, your own heart has known that even you have cursed others.
[BE NOT SHAKEN IN THIS LIFE THAT SOME WILL NOT LIKE YOU, EVEN CURSE YOU FOR WHATEVER REASON; REMEMBER YOU HAVE ALSO HAD THOUGHTS ABOUT SOMEONE THAT WERE NOT PURE AND RIGHTEOUS - Keith Hunt]
23 All this I have proved by wisdom. I said, "I will be wise"; but it was far from me.
[YES, THE PHYSICAL FLESH CAN GET IN OUR WAY, AND WISDOM ESCAPES US - THAT IS STILL NO EXCUSE TO ATTAIN AFTER WISDOM - Keith Hunt]
24 As for that which is far off and exceedingly deep, who can find it out?
[SOME THINGS AS PAUL TOLD US, “WE LOOK INTO A GLASS DARKLY, BUT ONE DAY WE SHALL KNOW EVEN AS WE ARE KNOWN” - THAT WHICH GOD WANTS US TO KNOW WE CAN KNOW; OTHER THINGS TOO DEEP FOR THE HUMAN MIND, WE MUST WAIT TILL WE ARE NOT LOOKING IN A GLASS DARKLY - AFTER JESUS HAS RETURNED AND WE ARE LIKE HIM (1 JOHN 3:1-3) - Keith Hunt]
25 I applied my heart to know, to search and seek out wisdom and the reason of things, to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness.
[SOMEONE LIKE SOLOMON (IF IT WAS HE WHO WROTE THIS BOOK) COULD HAVE THE TIME ETC. TO REALLY SEE THE WICKEDNESS OF FOLLY, EVEN OF FOOLISHNESS AND MADNESS OF MANY THINGS GOING ON IN THE WORLD AROUND. A WELL-ESTABLISHED NEWS ANCOR PERSON CAN, WITH THEIR POSITION AND PEOPLE TO HELP, SEE THE WORLD’S GOING-ONS WAY MORE THAN THE AVERAGE PERSON - Keith Hunt]
26 And I find more bitter than death, the woman whose heart is snares and nets, whose hands are fetters. He who pleases God shall escape from her, but the sinner shall be trapped by her.
[OBVIOUSLY THIS IS THE SINFUL WOMAN, WHO USES HER SEX AND HER GUILE TO ENTRAP MEN, TO EXPLOIT MEN IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER; USUALLY WE THINK OF THIS IN SEXUAL TERMS, BUT IT COULD ALSO BE OTHER WAYS I SUPPOSE. HE WHO SERVES GOD AND LIVES BY HIS WAYS, WILL NOT BE ENTRAPPED BY THE WICKED WOMAN - Keith Hunt]
27 "Here is what I have found," says the Preacher, "Adding one thing to the other to find out the reason.
28 Which my soul still seeks but I cannot find: One man among a thousand I have found, but a woman among all these I have not found.
[AS THE KJV STUDY BIBLE SAYS, WE MAY DISAGREE WITH THIS; BUT IN HIS DAY, THIS IS WHAT THE AUTHOR FOUND; ONE IN A THOUSAND MEN WERE DOING THE RIGHT, BUT NOT EVEN ONE IN A THOUSAND WOMEN WERE. PROBABLY A SAD COMMENTARY ON THE TIME AND AGE THE AUTHOR WAS LIVING IN. THIS DOES NOT MEAN IT IS SO IN EVERY AGE, OR EVERY SOCIETY OF MANKIND.
29 Truly, this only I have found: That God made man (mankind) upright, but they have sought out many schemes.”
[MAN WAS MADE WITHOUT SIN, BUT BECAME SINNER WITH THE HELP OF SATAN THE DEVIL (FIRST CHAPTERS OF GENESIS). SO MAN PUT ASIDE GOD AND HIS WAYS, AS PAUL IN THE FIRST CHAPTERS OF ROMANS TELLS US, TO WORSHIP THE CREATION INSTEAD OF THE CREATOR. SO GOD GAVE THEM OVER TO THEIR CORRUPT WAYS AND MIND. INDEED WE HAVE SOUGHT AND ADDED MORE WICKED SCHEMES AS TIME PROGRESSED. JESUS HAS SAID THAT BEFORE HE RETURNS, “EVIL WILL ABOUND, AND THE LOVE OF MANY WILL WAX COLD” (MATT. 24) - Keith Hunt]
Comments from the New KJV Study Bible
7:10 It is wise to put the past behind us and to concentrate on the future. See Phil. 3:13, 14.
7:11,12 Wisdom …. with an inheritance: Wisdom joined with riches yields great benefit, not only to oneself, but to many others in this world, wisdom gives life: Often preserves one from temporal ruin, and always from eternal destruction.
7:13,14 who can make straight? It is fruitless to try to explain all of life's turnings. Accept what comes and make the best of it.
7:15 As a general principle wickedness shortens life and justice prolongs it. But this is not always so.
7:16-19 A response to v. 15. We should choose wisdom and avoid evil because they are right and wrong—not because of their short-term outcomes. We should not think that being righteous will protect us against calamity, nor should we think that being wicked will not matter. Wisdom strengthens the wise (v. 19): Tackle your tasks depending on God, and you will be given both guidance and power.
7:20 who …. does not sin: "There is no man who is not liable to sin. It is possible for every human being" (Steele).
7:21, 22 In the same spirit Jesus said, "Judge not, that you be not judged" (Matt. 7:1).
7:23-29 The limits of wisdom. It can show us how to conduct ourselves; it cannot show us what is exceedingly deep (v. 24), the explanations of existence.
7:26 More bitter than death is the seductress of Prov. 7. See note on Prov. 7:24-27.
7:27-29 We probably disagree with vv. 28,29, but the writer reports it as his experience—only one upright man and no upright woman. Verse 29 is a general statement about the human race. God made humans upright (Gen. 1:26-28), but they have corrupted themselves by sin (Gen. 3:1-13).
Wo is like a wise man? And who knows the interpretation of a thing? A man's wisdom makes his face shine, and the sternness of his face is changed.
[WISDOM IS TRULY A PLEASING GIFT THAT EVEN EFFECTS YOUR FACIAL EXPRESSIONS - Keith Hunt]
2 I say, "Keep the king's commandment for the sake of your oath to God.
3 Do hot be hasty to go from his presence. Do not take your stand for an evil thing, for he does whatever pleases him."
[PAUL AND PETER UPHELD THE PRINCIPAL….OBEY THE AUTHORITIES’ LAWS WHEN THEY DO NOT CONFLICT WITH GOD’S LAWS; BEING A RESPECTABLE CITIZEN IS RIGHT, UNLESS ANY HUMAN COUNTY, STATE, PROVINCE, COUNTRY, BRINGS IN LAWS DIRECTLY OPPOSING THE LAWS OF THE LORD - Keith Hunt]
4 Where the word of a king is, there is power; and who may say to him, "What are you doing?"
5 He who keeps his command will experience nothing harmful; and a wise man's heart discerns both time and judgment.
[THE AUTHORITIES DO HAVE POWER; IF THE AUTHORITY IS GOOD (LIKE THE ROMANS WHO RULED IN JESUS’ DAY - GIVING FREEDOM FOR JEWS TO WORSHIP, KEEP THEIR SYNAGOGUES OPEN, AND THEIR TEMPLE FUNCTIONING; THEN SUCH NEEDED TO BE THANKFUL AND BE A GOOD CITIZEN, OBEYING THEIR RULES IF THEY DO NOT CONFLICT WITH GOD’S LAWS; A WISE MAN WILL DISCERN THIS JUDGMENT, AND THUS THEY ALSO WILL RESPECT YOU AND LET YOU LIVE WITH NO HARM - Keith Hunt]
6 Because for every matter there is a time and judgment. Though the misery of man increases greatly.
[THERE IS ALWAYS A TIME AND JUDGMENT NO MATTER WHICH AGE YOU LIVE IN, EVEN IN TIMES OF INCREASED EVIL AND SIN AND MISERY; MAYBE MORE WISDOM AND JUDGMENT IS NEEDED IN THOSE EVIL TIMES - Keith Hunt]
7 For he does not know what will happen; so who can tell him when it will occur?
[BEING CIRCUMSPECT IS ALWAYS GOOD FOR YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT TOMORROW WILL BRING - Keith Hunt]
8 No one has power over the spirit to retain the spirit, and no one has power in the day of death. There is no release from that war, and wickedness will not deliver those who are given to it.
[WE DO NOT HAVE POWER OVER THE “SPIRIT IN MAN” - WE CAN NOT HAVE IT WITH US IN THE GRAVE, FOR AS CHAPTER 12:7 SAYS, IT GOES BACK TO GOD WHO GAVE IT. THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO, WICKEDNESS OR RIGHTEOUSNESS THAT CAN DELIVER YOU FROM DEATH AND THE GRAVE - Keith Hunt]
9 All this I have seen, and applied my heart to every work that is done under the sun:
There is a time in which one man rules over another to his own hurt.
[YES LIFE CAN BE BRUTAL AT TIMES; WE HAVE SEEN THIS IS SO TRUE OVER THE LAST 100 YEARS, WITH HORRIBLE OPPRESSIVE DICTATORSHIPS; WE HAVE EVEN SEEN PEOPLE WHO START OUT WELL IN RULERSHIP, BUT EVENTUALLY CORRUPT THEMSELVES INTO EVIL AND UNRIGHTEOUSNESS; IN THE END IT HURTS EVERYONE - Keith Hunt]
Death Comes to All
10 Then I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the place of holiness, and they were forgotten in the city where they had so done. This also is vanity.
[THE WICKED TEND ON AVERAGE, TO BE SOON FORGOTTEN, UNLESS THEY ARE THE WICKED WHO BRING MUCH HORROR ON THE WORLD LIKE ADOLPH HITLER, THEN HISTORY MUST RECORD THEM, AND REMEMBER THEM, SO HOPEFULLY NEVER TO BE REPEATED - Keith Hunt]
11 Because the sentence against an evil work not is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.
THE APOSTLE PAUL STATED THIS AND TOLD US WHY GOD DOES NOT ALWAYS EXECUTE JUDGMENT SPEEDILY; IT IS TO GIVE PEOPLE TIME TO REPENT - GOD IS VERY PATIENT, SEE ROMANS 2:1-11 - Keith Hunt]
12 Though a sinner does even a hundred sins, and his days are prolonged, yet I surely know that it will be well with those who fear God, who fear before Him.
[THERE IS COMING A TIME OF RECKONING; THE SINNER DYING IN THEIR SINS, WILL BE RESURRECTED IN THE GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT (REV. 20) AND WILL FACE THEIR SINS AND HAVE A CHANCE TO REPENT AND ATTAIN LIFE ETERNAL. THOSE RESPECTFULLY FEARING GOD NOW, WILL BE IN THE FIRST RESURRECTION AT THE COMING OF CHRIST TO RULE THE WORLD IN THE 1,000 YEAR AGE TO COME (REV. 20) - Keith Hunt]
13 But it will not be well with the wicked; nor will he prolong his days, which are as a shadow, because he does not fear before God.
[THOSE WHO REMAIN WICKED AND WILL NOT REPENT….. HIS DAYS WILL COME TO AN END, THEY WILL NOT BE PROLONGED; THEY SHALL BE DESTROYED FOR ALL ETERNITY - Keith Hunt]
14 There is a vanity which occurs on earth, that there are just men to whom it happens according to the work of the wicked; again, there are wicked men to whom it happens according to the work of the righteous. I said that this also is vanity.
[TIME AND CHANCE CAN HAPPEN TO ENYONE; THE RIGHTEOUS ARE NOT IMMUNE FROM BAD THINGS HAPPENING TO THEM; THE WICKED CAN HAVE PEACE AND GOOD THINGS COMING THEIR WAY - TIME AND CHANCE CAN COME TO ANYONE - Keith Hunt]
Comments from the New KJV Study Bible
8:1-9 Adjusting to the inevitable appears to be the theme of these verses.
8:1 A little poem in praise of wisdom.
8:2-6 It is wise to obey authority. Here the OT anticipates Paul's guidance to Christians (see Rom. 13:1-5).
8:2 your oath to God: Obey civil authority because of your loyalty to God.
8:3-8 In the face of absolute power (v. 4) or impossible circumstances (vv. 7, 8) one does well to compromise when moral issues are not involved.
8:9 rules ... to his own hurt: The modern proverb: "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
8:10—9:12 Observations on the fact that all die: one thing happens to all (9:3).
8:10 gone from the place of holiness: Betrayed their sacred trust. It is possible to backslide from holiness and be buried with the wicked.
8:12-14 The writer's ultimate appeal is to fear God. The temporary success of the wicked will eventually fail (see Ps. 1:6). In verse. 12, 13 the writer reasserts the general truth; in 7:15; 8:14 he laments the exceptions.
15 So I commended enjoyment, because a man has nothing better under the sun than to eat, drink, and be merry; for this will remain with him in his labor all the days of his life which God gives him under the sun.
[FROM THE MANY THINGS THE AUTHOR HAS SEEN AND TOLD US ABOUT, ON THE PHYSICAL LEVEL, ONE COULD SAY, “WELL IF THIS IS SO, THEN WE MAY AS WELL JUST EAT, DRINK, AND BE MERRY, FOR WE DO NOT KNOW WHAT TOMORROW BRINGS, AND WE ARE ALL GOING TO THE GRAVE.” THIS IS A FUTILE HUMAN MISTAKE, FOR WE HAVE ALSO SEEN THE AUTHOR SAYS IT WILL BE BETTER FOR THOSE WHO SERVE GOD, IN THE LONG RUN IT WILL BE BETTER - Keith Hunt]
16 When I applied my heart to know wisdom and to see the business that is done on earth; even though one sees no sleep day or night,
17 then I saw all the work of God, that a man cannot find out, the work that is done under the sun. For though a man labors to discover it, yet he will not find it; moreover, though a wise man attempts to know it, he will not be able to find it.
[THE THINGS REVEALED TO MANKIND CAN BE FOUND OUT; BUT THERE ARE THINGS NOT REVEALED IN THIS PHYSICAL LIFE; HUMANS WILL NEVER FIND OUT WHILE IN THE FLESH, THOSE THINGS REMAIN UNSEARCHABLE TILL THE HUMAN BECOMES DEVINE IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD - Keith Hunt]
Comments from the New KJV Study Bible
8:15 The general conclusion of Ecclesiastes is repeated for emphasis (see 2:24-26 and note). 8:16,17 The writer concludes again that the meaning of life and its labor cannot be fully grasped (see 3:11).
For I considered all this in my heart, so that I could declare it all: that the righteous and the wise and their works are in the hand of God. People know neither love nor hatred by anything they see before them.
[ULTIMATELY, YES EVEN THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WISE ARE IN GOD’S HANDS; LIVING LONG, LIVING SHORT, BEING PHYSICALLY WEALTHY OR NOT, FACING PERSECUTION OR NOT, EVERYTHING IN LIFE - TIME AND CHANCE, IS IN GOD’S HANDS; TRULY WE MUST LIVE BY FAITH - Keith Hunt]
2 A11 things come alike to all:
One event happens to the righteous and the wicked;
To the good, the clean, and the unclean;
To him who sacrifices and him who does not sacrifice.
As is the good, so is the sinner;
He who takes an oath as he who fears an oath.
[A WAY OF SAYING TIME AND CHANCE CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE, A CHRISTIAN OR A NON-CHRISTIAN; BUT WE HAVE SEEN THE POSITIVE FROM THE AUTHOR, THAT HE WHO SERVES THE LORD WILL FIND GLORY AT THE END OF THE ROAD - Keith Hunt]
3 This is an evil in all that is done under the sun: that one thing happens to all. Truly the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil; madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the deads. 4 But for him who is joined to all the living there is hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion.
[WE SEE THAT ALL OF US ARE HEADING TO THE GRAVE SOONER OR LATER; BETTER TO BE LIVING (FOR ALL ONE CAN DO AND BE) IN LOWLINESS LIKE A DOG, THAN BE DWELLING IN THE LION’S GRAVE AMONG THE ELITE OF THE WORLD WHO ARE ALSO DEAD; LIFE IS BETTER THAN DEATH. THE LESSON IS WHILE ALIVE YOU CAN KNOW GOD AND GET ON HIS SIDE - IN DEATH THOUGH YOU WERE A KING, THERE IS NOTHING - YOU ARE NOW ASLEEP IN DEATH - Keith Hunt]
5 For the living know that they will die; but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten.
6 Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished;
Nevermore will they have a share in anything done under the sun.
[THE ANSWER IS NO, THEY WILL NOT HAVE ANY SHARE OF WHAT IS DONE UNDER THE SUN; THEY KNOW NOT ANYTHING; THEIR MEMORY IS NOT FUNCTIONING; THIER EMOTIONS ARE NO MORE. THE DEAD ARE ASLEEP JUST AS JESUS TAUGHT IN THE GOSPEL OF JOHN ABOUT LAZARUS - HIS DEATH AND HIS RESURRECTION. JESUS MADE IT VERY CLEAR THAT BY SAYING LAZARUS WAS “SLEEPING” HE MEANT LAZARUS WAS DEAD! THAT SECTION OF THE GOSPELS SHOWS PLAINLY A RESURRECTION IS COMING FOR THE RIGHTEOUS - THE WAY TO ETERNAL LIFE IS BY A RESURRECTION. THE TEACHING OF THE IMMORTAL SOUL IS A PAGAN IDEA AND IS NOT A TEACHING OF THE LORD GOD. FOR A FULL IN-DEPTH STUDY ON THIS TOPIC, SEE THE SECTION ON MY WEBSITE “DEATH, LIFE, RESURRECTION” - Keith Hunt]
7 Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart; for God has already accepted your works.
[IF LIVING A GOLDLY LIFE ENJOY THE PHYSICAL THINGS THAT YOU HAVE BEEN ALLOWED TO HAVE; OF COURSE ALL IN MODERATION AS THE BIBLE TEACHES - Keith Hunt]
8 Let your garments always be white, and let your head lack no oil.
[A WAY OF SAYING ALWAYS CONTINUE TO BE RIGHTEOUS AND SO PLEASING TO THE LORD - Keith Hunt]
9 Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life which He has given you under the sun, all your days of vanity; for that is your portion in life, and in the labor which you perform under the sun!
[LIFE IS A PUFF OF VAIN AIR WHEN ALL IS PUT IN THE CONTEXT OF ETERNITY; BUT STILL, YOU SHOULD ENJOY YOUR MARRIAGE, AND WHATEVER ELSE IS GOOD IN THIS LIFE. LIFE SHOULD BE A BALANCE OF THINGS….. I HAVE BEEN GRANTED IN MY LATTER YEARS, A BEAUTIFUL AND TALENTED HORSE, MY BOYHOOD DREAM HORSE; I PRAISE THE LORD OFTEN FOR HER, AND ENJOY HER ABOUT THREE TIMES A WEEK. I ENJOY SWIMMING TWICE A WEEK. I ENJOY WATCHING MOVIES (TRUE STORIES, MUSICALS, LOVE STORIES, ACTION MOVIES; EDUCATIONAL DVDs) - LIFE SHOULD BE A JOYFUL BALANCE - Keith Hunt]
10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.
[SIMPLE EASY TO UNDERSTAND WORDS ABOUT DEATH AND THE GRAVE; NO THEOLOGY DEGREE NEEDED; A CHILD HAS NO PROBLEM UNDERSTANDING. WE SHOULD BELIEVE THE CLEAR PLAIN WORDS ON ANY SUBJECT IN THE BIBLE, THEN ONCE THE FOUNDATION IS SET, WE TACKLE THE HARDER VERSES, ONES THAT MAY SEEM TO CONTRADICT. THAT IS ONE KEY FOR BIBLE READING AND UNDERSTANDING - Keith Hunt]
11 I returned and saw under the sun that—The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor favor to men of skill; But time, and chance happen to them all
12 For man also does not know his time: like fish taken in a cruel net, like birds caught in a snare, so the sons of men are snared in an evil time when it falls suddenly upon them.
[ALL HUMANS ARE UNDER THE SAME….TIME AND CHANCE, CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE; GENERALLY THE CHILD OF GOD DOES HAVE MORE HELP FROM GOD AND THE ANGELS, WHO ARE SERVANTS TO CHRISTIANS AS THE BOOK OF HEBREWS TELLS US; YET TIME AND CHANCE CAN HAPPEN TO CHRISTIANS ALSO. WE NEED TO LIVE EACH DAY FULLY FOR WE DO NOT KNOW WHAT TOMORROW MAY BRING - Keith Hunt]
Comments from the New JV Study Bible
9:1-6 All persons die, but he who is alive can have hope; the dead person has no hope. But see 4:1-3 and note. 9:1, 2 in the hand of God: Protected by His power, and safe in His approval; but we cannot judge from circumstances who are the objects of God's love or disfavor. 9:5, 6 the dead know nothing: A prevailing mood in the OT. It remained for Jesus to bring "life and immortality to light through the gospel" (2 Tim. 1:10).
9:7-10 Although the writer lacks a clear perspective of heaven, he does recognize that God the Creator (see 12:1) has made a world in which joy is to be found in the daily rounds of life. Our unanswered questions should not prevent us from finding that joy.
9:11,12 not to; the swift: This frustrated preacher was right - but only half right. The swift do win more races than the slow, but they do not win every race. It is ours to manage well the abilities God has given to us. It is equally ours to accept with reverent awe and loving obedience the forces that a sovereign God has kept in His own power.
Wisdom Is Better than Strength
13 This wisdom I have also seen under the sun, and it seemed great to me:
14 There was a little city with few men in it; and a great king came against it, besieged it, and built great snares around it.
15 Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city. Yet no one remembered that same poor man.
[YES SOMETIMES THE REAL HERO IS MISSED; THE QUIET HUMBLE HERO DOES NOT SPLASH HIS WISDOM AND GOODNESS AROUND LIKE A FIREWORKS DISPLAY - Keith Hunt]
16 Then I said:
"Wisdom is better than strength. Nevertheless the poor man's wisdom is despised, And his words are not heard.
[IT CAN HAPPEN! WINSTON CHURCHILL’S WORDS ABOUT ADOLPH HITLER, THAT YOU’LL NEVER MAKE PEACE WITH HIM, WERE LAUGHED AT AND NOT HEARD; THEY SOON FOUND OUT HE WAS CORRECT, AND CALLED HIM BACK TO LONDON TO LEAD THE BRITISH AGAINST HITLER - Keith Hunt]
17 Words of the wise, spoken quietly, should be heard rather than the shout of a ruler of fools. 18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war; but one sinner destroys much good."
[THE BRITISH LEADERS SHOUTED “WE HAVE PEACE WITH HITLER; HERE’S THE SIGNED DOCUMENT!” BUT IT WAS SOON PROVED WORTHLESS. WINSTON CHURCHILL WAS PROVED CORRECT. THE ALLIES HAD TO USE A LOT OF WISDOM PLANNING TO DEFEAT HITLER. BUT ONE SPY OR DOUBLE AGENT CAN DO MUCH DESTRUCTION ON THE GOOD - Keith Hunt]
Comments from the New KJV Study Bible
9:13—12:8 Thoughts relating to present uncertainty and final judgment.
9:13-18 Wisdom is better than strength (v. 16) because wise strategy saved the city. Nevertheless, we should not be surprised if wisdom does not always receive its due reward here under the sun.
9:18 one sinner destroys much good: Even though wisdom is not always appreciated, living in God's way is the worthy way.
Wisdom and Folly
Dead flies putrefy the perfumer's ointment, and cause it to give off a foul odor; so does a little folly to one respected for wisdom and honor.
[HOW MANY PEOPLE IN VARIOUS SECULAR WORK AND WORK OF THE GOSPEL MINISTRY, HAVE HAD VERY GOOD REPUTATIONS, UNTIL THEY FALL IN SOMETHING NOT RIGHT AND PROPER; IT OFTEN MEANS THEY ARE REMEMBERED FOR THIS FOLLY THAN FOR THE MANY THINGS OVER MENY YEARS THEY DID WITH WISDOM AND HONOR - Keith Hunt]
2 A wise man's heart is at his right hand, but a fool's heart at his left.
3 Even when a fool walks along the way, he lacks wisdom, and he shows everyone that he is a fool.
[SOONER OR LATER THE FOOL WILL SHOW HIMSELF THAT IS IS INDEED A FOOL; THE WISE WILL WILL KEEP HIS HEART CLOSE TO HIMSELF LIKE A RIGHT HAND, AND NOT FALL INTO BEING FOOLISH - Keith Hunt]
4 If the spirit of the ruler rises against you, do not leave your post; for conciliation pacifies great offenses.
[TRY TO SOFTEN THE AGGRESSION; BE NOT AGGRESSIVE BACK; AS THE PROVERB SAYS, “A SOFT ANSWER TURN AWAY WRATH” - Keith Hunt]
5 There is an evil I have seen under the sun, as an error proceeding from the ruler.
6 Folly is set in great dignity, while the rich sit in a lowly place.
[WHEN SOCIAL NORMS ARE REVERSED IT CAN BE A FOLLY, TO HAVE THE LOWER UNEDUCATED PEOPLE SIT IN POSITIONS OF POWER, AND THOSE FIT TO LEAD ARE IN THE LOWER PLACES WHERE THEIR ABILITIES ARE NOT USED - Keith Hunt]
7 I have seen servants on horses, while princes walk on the ground like servants.
[MAYBE HE SAW IT LITERALLY, BUT THE MEANING IS CLEAR: SOCIAL NORMS REVERSED IS NOT ONLY ODD BUT CAN BE A FOLLY; EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW THEIR ABILITIES AND BE WHERE THEY NEED TO BE. AS AN OLD SAYING GOES, “THERE ARE TOO MANY CHIEFS AND NOT ENOUGH INDIANS” - Keith Hunt]
8 He who digs a pit will fall into it, and whoever breaks through a wall will be bitten by a serpent.
[SOMETIMES THE STRUCTURE OF THINGS NEEDS TO BE LEFT ALONE, JUST BREAKING DOWN A CERTAIN WALL IN SOCIETY COULD LEAD TO A BAD RESULT; HE WHO GOES ABOUT DIGGING PITS FOR PEOPLE TO FALL INTO (THEM GETTING UNNECESSARY OR UNWARRANTED TROUBLE), WILL THEMSELVES FALL INTO A PIT OF TROUBLE EVENTUALLY; WHAT YOU DISH OUT USUALLY COMES BACK ON YOU - Keith Hunt]
9 He who quarries stones may be hurt by them, and he who splits wood may be endangered by it.
[IF YOU GO OUT DIGGING UP STONES (UNPLEASANT THINGS) ON PEOPLE, A STONE OF UNPLEASANTNESS WILL COME YOUR WAY - WE REAP WHAT WE SOW. AND MAKING A SPLITTING ON PEOPLE (CAUSING FRICTION TO DEVIDE), IS BOUND TO FLY UP AND SMACK YOU, LIKE SPLITTING WOOD SOMETIMES DOES; ONE OF THE SPLITS SHOOTS UP TO HIT YOU A GOOD ONE - Keith Hunt]
10 If the ax is dull, and one does not sharpen the edge, then he must use more strength; but wisdom brings success.
[YOU NEED TO LOOK AT YOUR WORK AND LIFE AS YOU GO FORTH TO LIVE; DO THINGS THE EASY WAY AND RIGHT WAY; WISDOM MAKES LIFE SMOOTHER AND GETS THE JOB DONE EASIER - Keith Hunt]
Comments from the New KJV Study Bible
10:1-15 Observations that illustrate wisdom and folly.
10:1 One moral failure can destroy the influence of a lifetime of wisdom and honor.
10:2 At his right hand means to be at hand and ready to support. For the delivering power of God's right hand see Ps. 20:7; Is. 41:10. Heart, in this context, implies wisdom, understanding, mind. At his left means to his disadvantage or injury.
10:4 Do not leave your post: Do not forsake your position when circumstances are difficult.
10:5-7 It is an evil when social reversal sets folly (a fool) in charge and nobles are reduced to powerlessness (see Prov. 30:21-23).
10:8-10 These verses teach the need to think ahead and be prepared.
11 A serpent may bite when it is not charmed; the babbler is no different.
[OH AS THE APOSTLE JAMES SAID, A LITTLE MEMBER IS THE TONGUE BUT A WORLD OF FIRE IT CAN BE - Keith Hunt]
12 The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious1, but the lips of a fool shall swallow him up.
[THE FOOL’S MOUTH IS SO PERVERSE IT CAN BLOT OUT A WISE MAN’S MOUTH, SO PEOPLE WILL FOLLOW THE FOOL - Keith Hunt]
13 The words of his mouth begin with foolishness, and the end of his talk is raving madness.
[THAT’S THE END MATTER OF IT ALL….THE FOOL’S MOUTH IS MADNESS; I GIVE AGAIN THE EXAMPLE OF ADOLPH HITLER - Keith Hunt]
14 A fool also multiplies words. No man knows what is to be; who can tell him what will be after him?
[IT IS NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE TO SHOW THE FOOL HIS MANY WORDS WILL BRING DISASTER. YOU CAN NOT TELL HIM HOW IT WILL BE DISASTER FOR HIM, AS YOU DO NOT KNOW, BUT THEY WILL STILL GO THEIR WAY WITH FOOLISH TALK - Keith Hunt]
15 The labor of fools wearies them, for they do not even know how to go to the city!
[THEY BANG THEIR HEAD SO MANY TIMES AS THEIRT TALK IS FOOLISH; THEY GET WEARY BUT THEY WILL NOT LEARN FROM THEIR FOOLISH TALKING. THEY BECOME LIKE ONE THAT CAN’T FIND THEIR WAY AROUND THE CITY….THEY ARE BLINDED WITH THEIR FOOLISHNESS - Keith Hunt]
16 Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child, and your princes feast in the morning!
[WHEN SOMEONE RULES WHO IS A CHILD IN KNOWING HOW TO RULE CORRECTLY; WHEN THE LEADERS UNDER HIM ARE TOO BUSY PARTYING AND COULD CARE LESS ABOUT THE NATION…..OH TROUBLE IS SURELY COMING. THIS COULD BE APPLIED TO A LARGE COMPANY - RIGHT AND WISE LEADERS ARE VERY IMPORTANT TO THE SUCCESS OF THAT COMPANY - Keith Hunt]
17 Blessed are you, O land, when your king is the son of nobles, And your princes feast at the
proper time— For strength and not for drunkenness!
[YES, IT IS SO CRUCIAL FOR A NATION AND A COMPANY TO HAVE GOOD SOLID LEADERS, WHO KNOW WHEN AND HOW TO ACT, FOR SUCCESS TO BE BROUGHT FORTH - Keith Hunt]
18 Because of laziness the building decays, and through idleness of hands the house leaks.
[HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A HOUSE OR A LARGE BUILDING NOT LIVED IN FOR SAY 10 YEARS? IT LITERALLY JUST STARTS TO FALL TO PIECES. IT REALLY IS SOMETHING TO BEHOLD, THOUGH IT IS NOT A LIVING BEING AS SUCH, A HOUSE NEEDS LOOKING AFTER OR IT DIES A CRUMBLING DEATH - SO ALSO IS THE HUMAN BODY - Keith Hunt
19 A feast is made for laughter, and wine makes merry; but money answers everything.
[IF WE DO NOT HAVE A LOT OF MONEY, THEN A FEAST WITH LAUGHTER AND WINE IS A GOOD VALVE RELEASE, OF STRESS THAT CAN COME WITH NOT HAVING MUCH MONEY. IF YOU HAVE MONEY YOUR LIKELY NOT STRESSED AND YOUR LIVING SO THAT YOU MAY NOT NEED A FEAST, TO LIGHTEN THE BURDEN AS OTHERS WHO HAVE LITTLE MONEY, OR WHO LIVE FROM PAYCHECK TO PAYCHECK. YET MONEY IS NOT THE KEY TO TOTAL HAPPINESS; MANY WEALTHY PEOPLE HAVE LIVED UNHAPPY LIVES - Keith Hunt]
20 Do not curse the king, even in your thought; do not curse the rich, even in your bedroom; For a bird of the air may carry your voice, and a bird in flight may tell the matter.
[YOU MUST LEARN TO BE CONTENT IN WHATEVER SITUATION YOU ARE IN, AS DID THE APOSTLE PAUL. VOICING COMPLAINTS ETC. MAY GET BACK TO THE PEOPLE YOU ARE COMPLAINING ABOUT, AND LIFE MAY JUST BECOME WORSE - Keith Hunt]
Comments from the New KJV Study Bible
10:11-14 One mark of a fool is endless babbling.
10:15 The frustration of not planning in advance (see vv. 8-10).
10:16 feast in the morning: Early drinking and carousing is considered a sure sign of debauchery.
10:19 money answers everything: A widespread attitude, but a false one. It must be balanced with another truth: "The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil" (1 Tim. 6:10).
10:20 Do not curse: Careless talk is dangerous, and has a way of getting back to the person talked about.
Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days.
[WISE INVESTMENTS ARE JUST FINE FOR CHRISTIANS TO HAVE. I HAVE SOME THAT ARE DOING VERY WELL INDEED….. IT IS RESERVES FOR A RAINY DAY - Keith Hunt]
2 Give a serving to seven, and also to eight, for you do not know what evil will be on the earth.
[BE WORLDLY WISE AS JESUS IN ONE PARABLE TAUGHT US TO BE; FRIENDS IN THE UN-CONVERTED WORLD CAN BE HELPFUL WHEN TIMES GET ROUGH; A CHILD OF GOD NEEDS TO HAVE FRIENDS OUTSIDE THE CHURCH OF GOD; BEING FRIENDLY TO ALL IS A GOOD TRATE FOR THE CHRISTIAN - Keith Hunt]
3 If the clouds are full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth; and if a tree falls to the south or the north, in the place where the tree falls, there it shall lie.
[MAKE YOUR HOME WHERE YOUR WORK IS; DO NOT BE AFRAID TO SET DOWN SOME ROOTS, FOR THERE IS GOOD TO BE SAID ABOUT NOT ALWAYS BEING ON THE MOVE - Keith Hunt]
4 He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap.
[SOME THINGS JUST HAVE TO BE IGNORED IN LIFE, IF YOU WANT TO HARVEST A GOOD RETURN ON WHAT YOU HAVE PUT OUT - Keith Hunt]
5 As you do not know what is the way of the wind, or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, so you do not know the works of God who makes everything.
[MANY THINGS WE WILL NOT KNOW THE ANSWER TO IN THIS HUMAN PHYSICAL LIFE, YET WE NEED TO MOVE FORWARD IN FAITH AT TIMES. NOT EVERYTHING WILL BE JUST LAID OUT FOR US. NOT ALL QUESTIONS WE HAVE WILL BE ANSWERED IN THE HERE AND NOW - Keith Hunt
6 In the morning sow your seed, and in the evening do not withhold your hand; for you do not know which will prosper, either this or that, or whether both alike will be good.
[SOMETIMES THERE IS MORE THAN ONE WAY TO TACKLE SOMETHING; THERE COULD BE TWO OR MORE WAYS TO GO FORWARD; WE MUST CHOOSE A WAY AND GO WITH IT, IF IT DOES NOT WORK, YOU CAN STILL GO ANOTHER WAY FORWARD, BUT SOWING AND MOVING FORWARD MUST BE THE WAY WE LIVE - Keith Hunt]
Live in the Light of Judgment
7 Truly the light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to behold the sun;
8 But if a man lives many years and rejoices in them all, yet let him remember the days
of darkness, for they will be many. All that is coming is vanity.
9 Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth; Walk in the ways of your heart, and in the sight of your eyes; but know that for all these God will bring you into judgment.
10 Therefore remove sorrow from your heart, and put away evil from your flesh, for childhood and youth are vanity.
Comments from the New KJV Study Bible
11:1-10 The need to act on what we know. We should not spend a lot of time trying to predict outcomes where we have no information. Who knows what they may be? Instead, we should move steadily ahead, doing faithfully what comes to hand.
11:1 Cast... bread upon the waters: Using the imagery of sea merchants bringing food supplies to sell at a profit, thus teaching the need for involvement in activities that bring a return.
11:2 Give benefits to several, for thereby you will ensure a benefit to yourself in time of need. See Luke 16:1—8.
11:4-6 Be diligent in spite of obstacles.
11:7,8 Love life, but hold it with a light hand, so you will not be devastated if things do not turn out as you wished.
11:9 Our enjoyment of life is good, but it must always be in the light of God's laws and judgment.
11:10 put away evil: Another perspective on living in the fear of God. Childhood and youth are vain only when the responsibility to become godly adults is ignored.
Remember now your CreatorS in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come, and the years draw near when you say, "I have no pleasure in them.”
[THE HEBREW IS IN THE PLURAL FOR “CREATOR-S” AH YES SOME KNEW THE GODHEAD WAS MORE THAN ONE PERSON. HOW GREAT IT IS TO KNOW AND ACKNOWLEDGE THE GODHEAD WHEN IN YOUR YOUTH. I WAS BLESSED INDEED THAT MY PARENTS SENT ME TO A CHURCH OF ENGLAND SCHOOL, WHERE THE FIRST HALF HOUR OF EACH SCHOOL MORNING WAS THE BIBLE. IT GAVE ME KNOWLEDGE AND INSIGHT OF SPIRITUAL THINGS. YOU CAN SAY I GREW UP WITH THE BIBLE AND THE LORD….I WAS VERY BLESSED - Keith Hunt]
2 While the sun and the light, the moon and the stars, are not darkened, and the clouds do not return after the rain.
3 In the day when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men bow down; when the grinders cease because they are few, and those, that look through the windows grow dim.
4 When the doors are shut in the streets, and the sound of grinding is low; when one rises up at the sound of a bird, and all the daughters of music are brought low.
5 Also they are afraid of height, and of terrors in the way; when the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper is a burden, and desire fails. For man goes to his eternal home, and the mourners go about the streets.
6 Remember your Creator before the silver cord is loosed, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher shattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the well.
[VERSE 1-6…. A VERY POETIC WAY OF TALKING ABOUT GETTING OLD. IT IS WORTH NOTING HOW THE BIBLE COMMENTARY BY JAMIESON - FAUSSET - BROWN EXPOUND THIS SECTION - Keith Hunt
Creator. “Remember" that thou art not thine own, but God's property; for He has created thee. Therefore serve Him with thy 'all' (Mark xii. 90), and with thy best days, not with the dregs of them. The Hebrew is CreatorS, plural, implying the plurality of persons, as in Gen. 1: 26; so Hebrew, MakerS (Isa. 54: 5); …. If the young man wishes truly to "rejoice," he must continually "remember" God…. evil days come not— i. e., before that (Prov. 8: 26) the evil days come—viz., calamity and old age—when one can no longer have bodily enjoyments as in youth, and when he who hath not remembered God in youth will not have God as his never-failing source of enjoyment in the absence of all other joys, no pleasure—of a sensual kind (2 Sam. 19: 35). Pleasure in God continues to the godly old. 2. be not darkened—i e.. before they be so. Illustrating "the evil days." "light," "sun," Ac., express prosperity; 'darkness,' vain and calamity (Isa. 13: 10; 30: 26). A joyless old age is hereby depicted, clouds … after the rain. After rain - sunshine (comfort) might be looked for, but only a brief glimpse of it is given, and the gloomy clouds (pains) return. The sense is, before that one trouble shall follow upon another, as is the case in an old age un-illummed by piety. 3. keepers of the house - viz., the hands and arms which protected the body, as guards do a palace, are now palsied, strong men … bow—as Samson. Like supporting pillars, the feet and knees (Song v. 15), the strongest members, Grinders—the molar teeth, cease—are idle, because they are few—and therefore not sufficient for masticating the food aright, the windows—the Eyes, the powers of vision, looking out from beneath the eyelids, which open and shut like the casement of a window. 4. doors—the Lips, which are closely shut together as doors by old men in eating; for if they did not do so, the food would drop out. In the streets—i. e., toward the street, the outer doors. Hengstenberg explains it, the Ears, which in old men are deaf, sound of the grinding is low —the teeth being almost gone, and the lips "shut" in eating, the sound of mastication is scarcely heard. Hengstenberg explains—When the voice of the mill (the mouth) becomes low, they are less able to make themselves intelligible, the voice of the bird—the cock. In the East all mostly rise with the dawn. But the old are klad to rise from their sleepless couch or painful slumbers still earlier—viz., when the cock crows, before dawn. The least noise awakens them, daughters of Music—the organs that produce and that enjoy music: the voice and ear of the old man are in a low state (2 Sam. 19: 35). 5. that which Is High —the old are afraid of ascending a hill fears … in the way—even on the level highway they are full of fears of falling, Ac. Almond … flourish. In the East the hair is mostly dark. The white head of the old among the dark-haired is like an almond tree, with its white blossoms, among the dark trees around (Holden). But the flower of the almond is pink, not white. Maurer therefore explains it: ‘The almond tree dowers on a leafless stock in winter (answering to old age, in which all the powers are dormant), whilst the other trees arc flowerless.’ Oesenius takes the Hebrew (yaneetz) for flourishes from a different root: ‘The (toothless old man) loathes (through want of appetite) even (the sweet) almond.’ But the verb is used of the budding or blossoming pomegranate in Song 6: 11. The Hebrew for "almond" is from a root (shaquad) to be wakeful, because it is the first that waxes up from the sleep of winter. So it is the symbol of wakefulness in Jer. 1: 11, 12. Pliny ('Hist. Nat.' xvi. 25) says, 'The almond is the first of all to blossom, in the month of January.’ Thus the sense is, 'the wakefulness of old age sets in.' Grasshopper. The dry, shrivelled, old man, his backbone sticking out, his knees projecting forwards, his arms backwards, his head down, and the apophyses enlarged, is like that insect…. 'The locust laboriously raises itself to fly: the old man about to leave the body is like a locust when it is assuming its winged form, and is about to fly’ (Maurer)….Mercer's is, 'even the weight of a grasshopper is a burden to the old.' But the general scope is allegorical; and as the "almond tree" was used symbolically, so is the grasshopper here, a burden—viz., to himself, desire shall fall—satisfaction shall be abolished. For desire the Vulgate, Syriac, Arabic, and LXX. have 'the caper tree,' provocative of appetite and also of lust; Hebrew, Abiyonah. man goeth to his long home—whence "he shall return no more to his house, neither shall his place (in this present life) know him any more" (Job 7: 10). The symptoms before described are the forerunners of this last solemn event, mourners go about (i e., will soon go about) the streets (Amos 5: 16)—hired for the occasion (Matt 9: 23). 6. Or ever (i. c, before ever) the silver cord, etc.—connected with v. 1, 'Remember thy Creator before that the silver cord of life is snapped asunder.' be loosed….or the golden bowl ... or the pitcher be broken at the fountain. A double image, to represent death, as in verses 1-5, old age was symbolically represented. A lamp of frail material, but gilded over, often in the East hung from roofs by a cord of silk and silver interwoven: as the lamp is dashed down and broken when the cord breaks; so man's life, as it were let down from above, is snapped at death. "The golden bowl" of the lamp answers to the skull, which, from the vital preciousness of its contents, may be called "golden;" "the silver cord "is the spinal marrow, which is white and precious as silver, and is attached to the brain. (2.) A fountain, from which water is drawn by a pitcher let down by a rope wound round a wheel; as when the pitcher and wheel are broken, water can no more be drawn, so life ceases when the vital energies are gone. The "fountain" may mean the right ventricle of the heart; the "cistern," the left; the pitcher, the veins; the wheel, the aorta, or great artery (Smith.) The circulation of the blood, whether known or not to Solomon, seems to be implied in the language put by the Holy Ghost into his mouth. Hengstenberg explains the pitcher as the image of the individual life, the fountain the image of the general life: God supplying the great general treasure from which all individuals take to themselves what is needful to their subsistence. The wheel expresses life in its rapid motion…
This gloomy picture of old age applies to those who have not ‘remembered their Creator in youth.’ They have none of the consolations of God, which they might have obtained in youth: it is now too late to seek them. A good old age is a blessing to the godly (Gen. 15: 15; Job 5: 26; Prov. 16: 31; 20: 29). ]
WITH GOD IT IS POSSIBLE TO GROW OLD IN A GRACEFUL HEALTHY MANNER, IF WITH NORMAL GOOD HEALTH, YOU OBEY ALL THE PHYSICAL HEALTH LAWS GOD HAS SET IN MOTION…. GOOD HEALTHY DIET, REGULAR PHYSICAL EXERCISE, GOOD POSITIVE MIND-SET WITH LITTLE STRESS, CORRECT AMOUNT OF SLEEP (ABOUT 8 HOURS PER DAY), A BALANCED LIFE OF WORK AND PLAY, GOOD SOCIAL INTERACTION WITH RELATIVES AND FRIENDS - Keith Hunt
From the New KJV Study Bible
Of an aging body - difficult days.
Of old age - keepers of the house.
The lips, Strong men, The legs,
Grinders - The teeth.
Those that look - The eyes.
Doors - The ears.
Almond tree blossoms - White hair.
Such weakness leads to a fear of falling from a position of height, and an inability to carry even a grasshopper.
Then man goes to his eternal home.
7 Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.
[YES THERE IS A “SPIRIT IN MAN” - SOMETHING INVISIBLE THAT IS UNITED WITH OUR BRIAN, TO MAKE US “HUMAN BEINGS” FAR ABOVE THE ANIMALS. IT IS THE CD OF OUR LIFE. FOR THE CHRISTIAN A CD WITHOUT SINS (AS THEY ARE WASHED AWAY IN THE BLOOD OF CHRIST). BUT THAT CD DOES NOT THINK OR ACT WITHOUT THE HUIMAN BODY. IT DOES GO BACK TO GOD AT DEATH, TO BE SAFELY STORED INTO THE DAY OF THE RESURRECTION. A FULL IN-DEPTH STUDY CAN BE FOUND ON THIS MATTER ON THIS WEBSITE - Keith Hunt]
8 "Vanity of vanities," says the Preacher, "All is vanity.”
9 And moreover, because the Preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yes, he pondered and sought out and set in order many proverbs.
10 The Preacher sought to find acceptable words; and what was written was upright—words of truth.
11 The words of the wise are like goads, and the words of Scholars are like well-driven nails, given by one Shepherd.
12 And further, my son, be admonished by these.
[THE WORDS OF THE LORD CONTAINED IN THE BIBLE ARE LIFE; THEY GIVE WISDOM, THEY GIVE ADMONITION, THEY GIVE CORRECTION, THEY GIVE INSPIRATION, THEY GIVE SALVATION, THEY GIVE THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD, THEY GIVE THE WAY TO A FULL AND HAPPY LIFE HERE AND NOW AND ETERNAL LIFE AT THE END OF IT ALL - Keith Hunt]
Of making many books there is no end, and much study is wearisome to the flesh.
[OH THE BOOKS THAT ARE PUBLISHED EVERY MONTH IS MIND-BENDING; YOU GO INTO A LARGE BOOK STORE AND SEE THE BOOKS PUBLISHED, AND THE NEW ONES COMING OUT EACH AND EVERY MONTH…. IT IS ASTOUNDING!
AND YES TOO MUCH BOOK READING CAN BE WEARISOME…. LIFE SHOULD BE MORE THAN BOOK READING, EVERYTHING SHOULD BE IN BALANCE FOR A ROUNDED GOOD LIVING LIFE - Keith Hunt]
13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man's all.
[INDEED WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE, THE ONLY WAY TO LIVE IS TO HAVE GOD IN YOUR LIFE; TO KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS - THIS IS TRULY THE WAY TO LIVE - Keith Hunt]
14 For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.
[JUDGMENT DAY IS NOT LIKE MANY HAVE SAID AND TAUGHT - STANDING BEFORE GOD AND SEEING ALL YOUR SINS, LARGE AND SMALL, BROUGHT BEFORE YOU, AND SO JUDGED. THAT WOULD CONTRADICT BEING SAVED BY GRACE, WHEREBY YOUR SINS ARE WASHED AWAY IN THE BLOOD OF CHRIST, AND AS A REPENTANT PERSON GOD NO LONGER KEEPS OR REMEMBERS YOUR SINS. THERE IS A FULL IN-DEPTH STUDY ON THIS SUBJECT ON MY WEBSITE, PROVING TO YOU WHAT “JUDGMENT DAY” IS ALL ABOUT - Keith Hunt]
Comments from the New KJV Study Bible
12:1-7 A further development of the obligation to consider all of life as expressed in 11:7-10. This beautiful poem describing old age develops from the ideas in 11:8. We cannot be sure what the figures are meant to convey, but an interpretation is given for some of them. Together they depict the physical weaknesses of the different members:
12:1 Remember now: The patterns we set in youth for good or ill will become solidified in old age - difficult days: For the elderly person life's beauties fade because of poor eyesight and failing health. It is infinitely harder to serve God when our faculties and assets are failing than when they are in their prime.
12:6, 7 These tragic but beautiful verses refer to the death of the elderly person. The silver cord, the golden bowl, the pitcher, and the wheel are all metaphors of life, now broken - death - dust will return: See Gen. 2:7; 3:19 - spirit will return to God: for His judgment on the life we have lived (see John 5:28, 29).
12:8 Vanity of vanities: For the last time the Preacher voices this verdict on a life that a person believes ends at the grave.
12:9-14 The epilogue.
12:9-12 Even in the face of frustrations, the Preacher still sought to encourage and to teach the people wisdom by the use of proverbs.
12:11 by one Shepherd: By God, the fountain of all wisdom.
12:12 Many books have been written, and there has been much human study to discover the meaning of life. But apart from revelation these are only wearisome to the flesh—they do not help us much.
12:13 The fear of God is shown by keeping His commandments (see 8:12, 13). This is man's all: Humans are religious and moral beings who find their fulfillment in God's teachings that lead to a loving relationship with Him.
12:14 Knowing God - judgment to come gives motivation to obey His commandments now. every secret thing: Even the inner moods of our hearts and the thoughts of our minds are open to God. He knows whether they are good or evil. We seek to be like Him here, and trust in His promise of life eternal there.
The Way of Wisdom (12:14)
Without God "all is vanity"
Godless learning — cynicism [1:7, 8]
Godless greatness — sorrow [1:16-18]
Godless pleasure — disappointment [2:1, 2]
Godless labor — hatred of life [2: 17]
Godless philosophy — emptiness [3: 1-9]
Godless eternity —- unfulfillment [3: 11]
Godless life —- depression [4: 2, 3]
Godless religion — dread [5: 7]
Godless wealth —- trouble [5: 12]
Godless existence —- frustration [6: 12]
Godless wisdom — depair [11: 1-8]
The beginning of wisdom is the fear of God, a deeply serious attitude toward the commands of God.
GODLY FEAR —— FULFILLMENT (12:13,14)