Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Ecclesiastes-Chapter 12

Ecc 12.1-14 continues with the thought contained in Ecc 11.10, and having warned the youth to be aware that they will be held accountable to God and their youth is futile and valueless without the Torah, Solomon goes on to say that they should spend their youth serving Yehovah, and then he goes on to elaborate on some difficulties in growing old. He will do this by using Hebrew poetry and idioms and it is a warning because youth is fleeting and we all get older.

v 1…Remember also your creators (plural in Hebrew and this alludes to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit-Gen 1.26; Job 35.10; Psa 149.2, Prov 9.10; Isa 30.20; John 1.1-3; Col 1.16) in the days of your youth, before the evil (difficult) days come and the years draw near when you will say, “I have no delight in them”(vigor is replaced by the burdens and pains of getting older).

v 2…Before the sun, the light, the moon and the stars are darkened (the light of the face, the gleam in the eyes, cheeks and eyeballs are fading and deteriorating), and the clouds return after it rains (continual aches and pains, sickness, one after another);

v 3…In the day that the watchman of the house tremble (the hands and feet), and the mighty men stoop (the legs no loner upright and weak), the grinding ones (teeth) stand idle because they are few (fell out), and those who look through windows are dim (the eyes).

v 4…And the door on the streets are shut (the lips no longer able to help speak well, have little appetite to eat) as the sound of the grinding mill is low (the sound one makes eating); when one rises up at the voice of the bird (it wakes him up, can’t sleep long like he did when he was young), and all the daughters of song will sing softly (the voices of singers sound like whispers because their ears are deaf)

v 5…Furthermore, they are afraid of a high place (fear of falling) and of terrors on the road (walking and they stumble, or some trouble happens); the almond tree blossoms (white hair appears, the grasshopper drags himself along (loss of agility); and the desire shall fail (about everything, lack of interest). For man goes to his eternal home (in the Olam Haba or Lake of Fire) while mourners go about the street (to accompany the coffin to be buried).

v 6…Before the silver cord is broken (spinal cord is loosed, dissolved) and the golden bowl (the inward membrane of the skull) is crushed (dries up, shrinks, bringing death), the pitcher by the well is broken (stomach breaks) and the wheel at the cistern is crushed (the body and its mechanisms fail at death. The metaphor is likened to the mechanism of a wheel, the cord, wheel and pitcher at a well).

v 7…Then the dust (body) will return to the earth as it was (when God formed Adam in Gen 2.7), and the spirit returns to God who gave it (before his court of judgment. This refutes the belief that mankind is just an accident).

v 8…Vanity (no purpose, empty) of vanities says the kohelet (In Hebrew there is a definite article “the” here meaning gatherer or assembler), all is vanity (no purpose because human life is empty without God).

v 9…In addition to being a wise man, Kohelet (no definite article in Hebrew)) also taught the people knowledge (da’at or the facts of the Torah); and he pondered, searched out and arranged many proverbs (he thought about his words so don’t despise his counsel).

v 10…Kohelet sought to find delightful words (that could bring out the truth he found) and to write words of truth correctly (straight, agreeable to the heart, no fables).

v 11…The words of wise men are like goads (to keep one going in the right direction) and as nails fastened by the masters of collections (into the heart) which are given from one shepherd (Yehovah).

v 12…But beyond this, my son, be warned: the writing of many books is endless (and comparatively useless and empty), and excessive devotion to study (the consideration of these books) is wearying to to the body (wastes a person’s strength and will never satisfy his spirit).

v 13…The conclusion (the sum of the matter or “words”), when all has been heard (as opposed to the study of books that will exhaust you): fear God (yirah elohim) and keep his commandments (the Torah), for that is man’s whole duty (why he was created, it is his whole work because his life, wisdom and happiness depend on it).

v 14…Because God (who knows us) will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or bad (not just outward actions, but also our secret thoughts).

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Ecclesiastes-Chapter 11

Ecc 11.1-10 tells us about some financial advise and for the young to enjoy life because death is inevitable.

v 1…Cast (send) your bread (grain, charity) on the waters (the poor and those who seem to be lost) for you shall find it after many days (restored to you in due time, it may seem slow but it will come).

v 2…Divide your portion to seven, or even to eight (everyone in need), for you do not know what misfortune may occur on the earth (to you, for you may end up poor and in need of assistance).

v 3…If clouds are full, they pour out rain upon the earth (they do not keep it for themselves, then the earth gets moisture for growing food for others); and whether a tree falls towards the south (the past) or toward the north (future), wherever the tree falls there it lies (the future forms itself according to to laws that are not according to human laws, and we are uncertain of the future).

v 4…He who watches the wind will not sow and he who looks at the clouds will not reap (too much hesitation).

v 5…Just as you do not know the path of the wind (John 3.8) and how bones are formed in the womb of the pregnant woman (both are mysteries of creation), so you do not know the activity of God who makes all things (Yehovah’s decrees about wealth and poverty are unknown to us also, so don’t be timid about giving out of fear of loss, and don’t be afraid to take risks in life, looking for excuses will get you nowhere).

v 6…Sow your seed in the morning (plant without worrying about ideal conditions-v 4); and do not be idle in the evening (keep working), for you do not know which will succeed, or whether both of them alike will be good.

v 7…The light is pleasant, and it is good for the eyes to see the sun (life can be a blessing).

v 8…Indeed, if a man should live many years (a privilege), let him rejoice in them all (enjoy it and escape all the bitterness), and let him remember the days of darkness (the state of the dead), for they (the days of death) shall be many (in comparison to life, especially in the Second Death). everything that is to come will be futility (the things in this life, both good and bad, is vain, no purpose, short and transitional).

v 9…Rejoice, young man, during your childhood (he speaks to the rebellious youth here and warns them), and let your heart be pleasant (cheer you, not lustful-Num 15.39) during the days of young manhood. And follow the impulses of your heart and the delight of your eyes (do what desire to do). Yet know (and remember) that God will bring you to judgment for all these things (so be careful, think before you act because there is a judgment).

v 10…So remove vexation (anger) from your heart and put away evil from your body (do not indulge the flesh), because childhood and the prime of life (youth) are futile (valueless without the Torah).

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Ecclesiastes-Chapter 10

Ecc 10.1-20 is a series of one-line proverbs.

v 1…Dead flies make a perfumer’s oil stink, so a little foolishness is weightier than wisdom and honor (this verse continues the theme of 9.18).

v 2…A wise man’s heart directs him towards the right (as defined in the Torah and is the side of strength), but the foolish man’s heart directs him toward the left (the side of weakness).

V 3…Even when the fool walks along the road his course is lacking (acts stupidly), and he demonstrates to everyone that he is a fool (to all those who meet and talk with him).

v 4…If the ruler’s temper rises against you (for some reason); do not abandon your position (post), because composure (conciliation) allays great offenses (submissiveness can appease wrath).

v 5…There is an evil (in the sense of injustice) I have seen under the sun (everywhere in his physical life), like an error which goes forth from a ruler (a royal decree made in error, irreversable and far reaching).

v 6…Folly is set in many exalted places while rich men sit in humble positions (the first of a few examples of how life seems unfair).

v 7…I have seen slaves riding on horses (riding with ceremony like a prince, unwisely exalted and promoted) and princes walking like slaves on the land (humbled and despised).

v 8…He who digs a pit may fall into it and a serpent may bite him who breaks through a wall (be careful and cautious in what we do).

v 9…He who quarries stones may be hurt by them, and he who splits logs may be endangered by them (dangerous jobs or activities have consequences).

v 10…If the axe is dull and he does not sharpen its edge, then he must exert more strength (because he has neglected the edge and did not pay attention to it). Wisdom has the advantage of giving success (to be successful without difficulty, know what you are doing-don’t need to use brute strength or force to get things done).

v 11…If the serpent bites before being charmed (“whispered to” and using the voice to control it), there is no profit to the charmer (he is ruined).

v 12…Words from the mouth of a wise man are gracious (pleasant, welcome), while the lips of a fool consume him (the babbler’s words will lead to ruin).

v 13…The beginning of his talking is folly (as soon as he opens his mouth to talk you know he is a fool), and the end of it is wicked madness (no sense to anything they say).

v 14…Yet the fool multiplies words (talks too much), no man knows what will happen (tomorrow), and who can tell him what will come after him (he makes plans for the future, but who knows what mischief will be produced by presuming to know the future).

v 15…The toil with a fool so wearies him (the fool and those who are with them) that he does not even know how to go to a city (the plain easy way to do things cannot be found with a fool, he is ignorant of the easiest things to understand).

v 16…Woe to you, O land, whose king is a youth (inexperienced and immature) and whose princes feast in the morning (give themselves to sensual pleasure, eat to excess, instead of taking care of business and giving counsel in court).

v 17…Blessed are you, O land, whose king is of nobility (son of nobles, a free man and master of his passions) and whose princes eat at the appropriate time (after they have concluded their business)-for strength (fit to serve, don’t indulge their senses) and not for drunkenness (as in v 16).

v 18…Through indulgence (laziness) the rafters (beams, ceiling) sag and through slackness the house leaks (it decays and is neglected).

v 19…Men prepare a meal for enjoyment (pleasantness with family and friends), and wine makes life merry (exhilarates, cheery), and money is the answer to everything (it buys what is needed for a feast and all the other things in life).

v 20…Furthermore, in your thought do not curse a king (the king may hear about it), and in your sleeping rooms do not curse a rich man (the princes and the ruling class), for a bird of the heavens will carry the sound (of your words), and the winged creatures will make the matter (Hebrew “davar” or word) known (an expression meaning by some unthought of ways what you said may get back to the king).

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Ecclesiastes-Chapter 9

Ecc 9.1-18 continues with Kohelet’s discourse about the prosperity of the wicked and the afflictions of the righteous. He also touches on God’s sovereignty and realizes he will never understand how it all works based on his observations and experiences alone. He also continues to discuss wisdom.

v 1…For I have taken all this to my heart (to sift through) and explain it that righteous men, wise men, and their deeds are in the hand of God (all actions and events are guided by his hand, and we can’t fully comprehend it all right now),; man does not know whether it will be love or hatred; anything awaits him (we cannot judge by outward circumstances whether God loves or hates them. He chastises who he loves and prospers those who hate him).

v 2…It is the same for all (good and evil). There is one fate for the righteous and for the wicked (outward things of life); for the good, for the clean, for the unclean, for the the man who offers a sacrifice (zevach) and for the one who does not offer sacrifice. As the good man is, so is the sinner; as the swearer (takes a rash oath), so is the one who is afraid to swear (is cautious about taking one).

v 3…This is an evil (in the sense of an injustice) in all that is done under the sun (everywhere in the natural world), that there is one fate for all men (same destiny-death). Furthermore, the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil and insanity is in their hearts (thoughts and desires) all their lives (unrestrained by fear of the judgment). Afterward they go to the dead (presuming there is no God and no judgment, a fatalist).

v 4…For whoever is joined with the living, there is hope (for eternal life and not the hopelessness of the wicked); surely a live dog is better than a dead lion (no matter how lowly you are, being alive is better than the most famous and honorable person who is dead).

v 5…For the living know they will die; but the dead do not know anything (of human activity in this life-normal bodily functions have ceased-John 6.63; Jam 2.26; Ecc 12.7, 11.5, 3.20-21), nor have they any longer a reward (their toils in this world are over), for their memory is forgotten (among the living, even where they lived, won’t be aware of them).

v 6…Indeed their love, their hate, and their zeal have already perished, and they will no longer have a share in all that is done under the sun (some commentators say this verse refers to the un righteous dead).

v 7…Go eat your bread in happiness (enjoy your comforts), and drink your wine with a cheerful heart; for God has already approved your works (you have repented and can enjoy God’s blessings).

v 8…Let your clothes be white all the time (not in mourning wearing black, but rejoicing), and let not oil be lacking on your head (also speaking of a festive time-Psa 45.8).

v 9…Enjoy life (literally “see life”) with the wife whom you love all the days of your life (not with a harlot) which he has given you under the sun; for this is your reward in life (your portion), and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun.

v 10…Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might (with diligence, vigor); for there is no activity or planning or wisdom in Sheol where you are going (you can’t design or do anything for God in the earth anymore).

v 11…I returned and saw under the sun (life of the natural man everywhere) that the race is not to the swift, and the battle is not to the warriors (by their efforts), and neither is bread to the wise (as if their wisdom provided it), nor wealth to the discerning (who may know how to get it), nor favor to men of ability; for time and occurrence overtake them all (human success depends on circumstances and the power of Yehovah which is beyond our control).

v 12…Moreover, man does not know his time (of death). As the fish caught in the treacherous (evil)net and as birds trapped in a snare (unaware), so the sons of men are ensnared at an evil time when it suddenly falls on them.

v 13…Also this I came to see as wisdom under the sun (in life), and it impressed me (Kohelet now relates about some things that impressed him about wisdom).

v 14…There was a small city (vulnerable) with few men in it (to defend it) and a great king came to it, surrounded it and constructed large siege works against it (to take the city), victory was certain but it will not work out that way).

v 15…But there was found in it a poor wise man and he delivered the city by his wisdom (by negotiating with the king), yet no one remembered that poor man (before he saved the city; he wasn’t famous or had a reputation of greatness that contributed to this success, only his wisdom. That is the point of the story ).

v 16…Wisdom is better that strength (in an emergency, the wise man can do more than the mighty). But the wisdom of the poor man (before the emergency) is despised (neglected) and his words are not heeded (he is ignored).

v 17…The words of the wise heard in quietness (gentleness) are better than the shouting of a ruler among fools (wisdom is better that the shouting of fools).

v 18…Wisdom is better than weapons of war (more desirable and does what weapons cannot do as in v 15), but one sinner destroys much good (it can take away the good wisdom does, like Achan in Josh 7.11-12 or Rehoboam’s decisions in 1 Kings 12.16).

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Ecclesiastes-Chapter 8

Ecc 8.1-17 is a continuation about wisdom

v 1…Who is like the wise man and who knows the interpretation (solution) of a matter? A man’s wisdom illumines him (brightens his appearance) and causes his stern face to beam (softens his strong countenance).

v 2…I say, “Keep the command of the king because of the oath before God” (to swear allegiance to the king).

v 3…Do not be in a hurry to leave him (become disloyal). Do not join in an evil matter (join a plot against him), for he will do whatever he pleases (his power can’t be controlled).

v 4…Since the word of the king is authoritative (power), who will say to him, “What are you doing (don’t contradict him, and if this is true of an earthly king, how much more to the true king and his commands in the Torah)?

v 5…He who keeps a royal command experiences no trouble (as opposed to the disobedient), for a wise heart (mind) knows the proper time and judgments (on how to keep the Torah).

v 6…For there is a proper time and procedure (judgment), though the misery of man increases greatly (for disregarding the Torah).

v 7…If no one knows what will happen (or has a clear understanding of future events), who can tell him when it will happen (who can warn him of the consequences of his sin, when judgment comes).

v 8…No one has authority to restrain the wind (Hebrew “ruach” or ) with the wind (spirit), or authority over the day of death (no one holds the breath of life, but must give up his life when Yehovah requires it); and there is no discharge (getting out of it) in the time of war, and evil will not deliver those who practice it (it won’t get them out of the judgment that is coming).

v 9…All this I have seen and applied my mind (heart) to every deed that has been done under the sun (searching everywhere for explanations about life’s events), wherein a man has exercised authority over another man to his hurt (tyrants hurt the oppressed and they will be punished for it).

v 10…So then, I have seen the wicked buried (in honor), those who used to go in and out from the holy place (the Temple), and they are soon forgotten in the city where they did thus (their evil deeds were forgotten and they are praised in the very city where they did their evil deeds). This too is futility (vain, empty, no purpose)

v 11…Because the sentence against an evil deed is not exercised quickly, therefore the heart of the sons of men are given fully to evil (it hardens their hearts and they feel safe, but God is not slow to act-Luke 12.49; Rev 6.10).

v 12…Although a sinner does evil a hundred times and may lengthen his days (God deters his wrath), still I know (in spite of the evidence to the contrary) that it will be well for those who fear God, who fear him openly (finally receiving the fruits of their faith in the Olam Haba).

v 13…But it will not be well for the wicked (rashim) and he will not lengthen his days (in the Olam Haba and is subject to the Second Death) like a shadow (won’t endure very long), because he does not fear God).

The following verses until Ecc 9.12 deals with the prosperity of the wicked and the afflictions of the righteous.

v 14…There is a futility (vanity, no purpose) which is done on the earth (and confuses mankind), that is, there are righteous men to whom it happens (strikes) according to the deeds of the wicked. On the other hand, there are evil men to whom it happens (strikes) according to the deeds of the righteous (this comingling of opposite forces has puzzled mankind). I say that is futility too (to try and figure this out; his initial reaction was that this world is vain and empty, but whoever knows Yehovah will adjust to this).

v 15…So I commanded pleasure (joy), for there is nothing good for a man under the sun except to eat and to drink and to be merry (after he looked at this, he thought it was better to not torment himself over all the inequities he has seen), and this will stand by him (to enjoy the comforts God has given him in his toils throughout the days of his life).

v 16…When I gave my heart to know wisdom and to see the task which has been done on the earth, even though one should never sleep day or night (Solomon studied the nature of these things with all he had, day and night, but he realized he could not understand these matters and it was beyond his ability to know),

v 17…And I saw every work of God, I concluded that men cannot discover the work which has been done under the sun. Even though man should seek laboriously, he will not discover; and though the wise man should say, “I know,” he cannot discover (we must be content without knowing everything and certain matters pertaining to Yehovah will never be discovered no matter how hard or how long we search).

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Ecclesiastes-Chapter 7

Ecc 7.1-29 is Kohelet’s (Solomon) answer to his own question in Ecc 6.12, “Who knows what is good for a man during his lifetime?”

v 1…A good name is better than gold ointment (a good reputation preserves the dead person better than all the precious oils used in burials), and the day of one’s death (is better) than the day of his birth (because then he enters the Olam Haba, his work being over, At birth, his toil in life is just beginning).

v 2…It is better to go to a house of mourning (where people think about the meaning of life) than to go to a house of feasting (where nothing is serious) because that is the end of every man, and the living take it to heart (improves his understanding).

v 3…Sorrow (grief) is better than laughter (a proper grieving about the vanity of the world is better than loud entertainment that disregards the seriousness of life), for when a face is sad a heart may be happy (a proper attitude about life gives one joy because he understands and it is not based on trivial things).

v 4…The mind (Hebrew “lev” or heart, thoughts) of the wise is in the house of mourning (their thoughts are centered on the day of death), while the mind (heart) of fools is in the house of pleasure (only concerned with empty entertainment).

v 5…It is better to listen to the rebuke of the wise man (that brings improvement) than for one to listen to the song of fools (frivolous songs to forget about life and its consequences).

v 6…For as the crackling of thorn bushes under a pot (being consumed by a fire so fast that it barely heats the pot), so is the laughter of a fool (a roar for a moment, then it dies down). And this too is futility (a waste of time).

v 7…For oppression (by others) makes a wise man mad (he frets and is disturbed by it); and a bribe corrupts the heart (worldly wisdom can be easily lost).

v 8…The end of a matter is better than its Beginning (because the outcome can be examined and the outcome is no longer in doubt); patience of spirit (controls his temper, not provoked easily) is better than haughtiness of spirit (a violent temper leads to hasty actions).

v 9…Do not be eager in your heart (Hebrew “ruach” or spirit) to be angry (quick-tempered), for anger resides in the bosoms of fools (waiting to erupt).

v 10…Do not say, “Why is it that the former days were better than these “(don’t complain)? For it is not from wisdom that you ask about this (because we look unthankful for the mercies we have received, we should be content with our lot and life because it is ordained by Yehovah).

v 11…Wisdom along with an inheritance is good (he can be self-supporting and not be concerned over possessions), and an advantage to those who see the sun (it can benefit others).

v 12…For wisdom is protector (shelter) just as money is protection (a defense), but the advantage of knowledge (da’at of God in the facts) is that wisdom (chachmah) preserves the lives of its possessors (knowing that wisdom can give us life makes it better than wealth).

v 13…Consider the work of God (observe it) for who is able to straighten what he has bent (nobody can stop God’s will, if he brings calamity, famine or sword there is no stopping him).

v 14…In the day of prosperity be happy (enkoy it), but in the day of adversity consider (that evil comes eventually), God has made the one as well as the other (God is sovereign and in control) so that man may not discover anything that will be after him (will not be able to predict the future).

v 15…I have seen everything during my lifetime of futility (no purpose, a waste of time with Yehovah); there is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness (the good suffer), then there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in wickedness (God permits him to live for his own reasons).

v 16… Do not be excessively righteous (external), and do not be overly wise (above what the Torah says or pretend to be a teacher but have no substance). Why should you ruin yourself (God will judge the arrogant).

v 17…Do not be excessively (boildly) wicked (persist in it) and do not be a fool (by rejecting the wisdom of God’s Torah). Why should you die before your time (provoke Yehovah to deal with you)?

v 18…It is good that you grasp one thing; and also not let go of the other (properly think about and keep this in mind); for the one who fears God comes forth with both of them (escape the things above in v 16-17).

v 19…Wisdom strengthens the wise man more than ten rulers who are in a city (Godly wisdom will support one in trouble better than ten men, meaning many, uniting to protect him).

v 20…Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth (“adam tzaddik”) who contunually does good and never sins (as defined by the Torah-Rom 3.20-23; Gal 2.16; Psa 143.2).

v 21…Also, do not take seriously all words which are spoken (concerning us or of others) lest you hear your servant curse you (which would bother you and treat him unkind).

v 22…For you also have realized that you likewise have many times cursed others (unjustly).

v 23…I tested (examined) all this with wisdom and I said, “I will be wise,” but it was far from me (he determined to know all wisdom but the more he knew he was convinced of his own ignorance).

v 24…What has been is remote (far off) and exceedingly mysterious. Who can discover it (man cannot grasp the elusive wisdom and greatness of God and all his works)?

v 25…I directed my mind (Hebrew “heart” or attention) to know, to investigate, and to seek wisdom and an explanation (reason for things), and to know the evil of folly, and the foolishness of madness (of his own folly and madness).

v 26…And I discovered more bitter than death the woman (the harlot and adulterous woman of Proverbs; also a picture of false religion) whose heart is snares (crafty) and nets (to trap men), whose hands are chains (to hold in bondage). One who is pleasing to God will escape from her (be kept and preserved from falling-Jude 24; Col 1.17; Phil 2.13), but the sinner will be captured by her (handcuffed and chained).

v 27…”Behold (see), I have discovered this” says Kohelet (here the word is feminine and it means a collection of wisdom, not the name of Solomon), “adding one thing to another (summing it all up) to find an explanantion (a proper estimate of this subject),

v 28…which I am still seeking but have not found. I have found one man among a thousand (who is wise and virtuous) but I have not found a woman (who is wise and virtuous) among all these (he is not saying there are fewer good woman than men, but he is saying in his experience that he has not gone the right direction to find the virtuous woman because he deviated from the Torah about marriage and the king. In seeking a companion with wisdom, he ended up collecting a harem of pagan women for indulgence and to magnify himself. Solomon is repenting here and is warning others about the sins he has committed, not criticizing women-1 Kings 11.1-8).

v 29…Behold, I have found only this, that God made man upright (at first with Adam and Chava), but they have sought out many devices (and sinned, not content with their first estate, looked at other ways to be happy apart from what God said and corrupted themselves).

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Ecclesiastes-Chapter 6

Ecc 6.1-12 tells us about how Kohelet talks about the fulility of life and riches when a person has everything but can’t enjoy them.

v 1…There is an evil (in the sense of an injustice) which I have seen under the sun (life, the natural man, everywhere) and it is prevalent among men (common, weighs heavy).

v 2…A man to whom God has given riches and wealth and honor so that his soul lacks nothing of all that he desires, yet God has not empowered him to eat of them (to enjoy them), for a foreigner (Hebrew “ish nakri” one just passing through) enjoys them. This vanity (a waste of time) and a sore affliction (evil disease).

v 3…If a man fathers a hundred children and lived many years (an outward sign of blessing), however many they may be, but his soul is not satisfied with good things, and he does not even have a proper burial (denied this final honor that even the poor get because he was robbed and the body never found, or he was despised), then I say, “Better the miscarriage (never been born) than he.”

v 4…For it (the miscarriage) comes in futility (no purpose) and goes into obscurity (unnoticed, no outward show of grief), and its name is covered in obscurity (never reached the point to be given a name).

v 5…It never see the sun and it never knows anything (didn’t experience life); it is better off than he (didn’t have vexation over what it never had, un like the rich man).

v 6…Even if the other man lives a thousand years twice and does not enjoy good things (n life), do not all go to the same place (the miscarriage and the rich man go to the grave just like everyone else).

v 7…All a man’s labor is for his mouth (to satisfy his hunger and enjoy the food) and the appetite is not satisfied (he craves more).

v 8…For what advantage does the wise man have over the fool (the answer is none, both get hungry and must work to provide for themselves. The difference is now the assets gained are used)? What advantage does the poor man have, knowing how to walk before the living (how is the poor man who has intelligence to get along in this world worse off than a wealthy man who is not content)?

v 9…What the eyes sees (in life) is better that what the soul desires (what it can’t see, the wealth he can’t have). This too is futility (a waste) and a striving (vexation) after wind (of the spirit).

v 10…Whatever exists has already been named (people have already investigated it), and it is known what man is (all of man’s greatness is a waste of time, vanity and nothing), for he cannot dispute (contend) with him (God) who is stronger than he (man must know his limitations, and those are predetermined by Yehovah).

v 11…For there are many words which increase futility (things that man gets involved with that he thinks is important, but later realizes weren’t). What then is the advantage to a man (what can man gain from life, it is contest he can never win)?

v 12…For who knows what is good for a man during his lifetime (in the natural, no man can say what is best for him), during the few years of his futile life? He will spend them like a shadow. For who can tell a man what will be after him under the sun(except for God who directs his steps).

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Ecclesiastes-Chapter 5

Ecc 5.1-20 tells us the proper path we should take after the futilities of life have been discussed.

v 1…Guard your steps (be in the right frame of mind) as you go to the house of God (the Temple) and draw near to listen (to the Torah) rather than offer the sacrifice (zevach) of fools (kesilim); for they do not know they are doing evil (giving thoughtless worship and do not repent).

v 2…Do not be hasty in word (talk without thinking) or impulsive in thought to bring up a matter (Hebrew “davar” or word; sudden notion of the heart) in the presence of God (don’t babble on without much thought in prayer). For God is in heaven (above all foolish talk) and you are on earth (mortal), therefore let your words be few (Matt 6.7).

v 3…For the dream comes through much effort (dreams can come because of unrelated cares and incoherent thoughts during the day), and the voice of a fool through many words (he thinks that long prayers will bring results and are in the same way unrelated and incoherent like a dream).

v 4…When you make a vow to God do not be late (defer) to pay it, for he has no delight (pleasure) in fools. Pay what you have vowed (Psa 66.13-14).

v 5…It is better that you should not vow (make a rash promise) that that you should vow and not pay.

v 6…Do not let your speech (mouth) cause you to sin (by saying a vow) and do not say in the presence of the messenger of God (the priest) that it was a mistake (to make the vow). Why should God be angry on account of your voice (for an unfulfilled vow) and destroy the work of your hands (not bless you in what you do).

v 7…For in many dreams (foolish thoughts) and in many words (hasty) there is emptiness (unreliable to be useful). Rather, fear God (the basis of all wisdom and the guide for what we are to do).

v 8…If you see oppression of the poor and denial of justice and righteousness in the province, do not be shocked at the sight (such things are expected in this world), for one official watches over another official, and there are higher officials over them (to make sure there is justice because man’s nature is fallen. This is how bureaucracies work).

v 9…And the advantage of a land, it is among all (to benefit), even a king has a field being tilled (God can punish a king for being oppressive to the poor by touching his goods).

v 10…He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income (increase causes him to want more). This too is vanity (no purpose to it).

v 11…When good things increase, those who consume them increase (more demand, more expenses). So what is the advantage to their owners except to look on with his eyes (and to feel pleasure that won’t laast).

v 12…The sleep of the working man is pleasant (healthy), whether he eats little or much (he is satisfied with what he has). But the full stomach (abundance) of the rich man does not allow him to sleep (he has financial worries).

v 13…There is a grievous evil which I have seen under the sun (everywhere): riches being hoarded (guarded) by their owner to his hurt (loses them because of some disaster and all his lost sleep was in vain).

v 14…When those riches were lost through a bad investment, and he had fathered a son (didn’t have an heir when rich, now that he is poor he has a son), then there is nothing to support him (his son has no inheritance).\

v 15…As he had come naked from his mother’s womb, so will he return as he came (to the earth). He will take nothing from the fruit of his labor that he can carry in his hand (the Egyptian Pharaohs found this out).

v 16…And this also is a grievous evil, exactly as a man is born, thus he will die. So, what is the advantage to him who toils for wind (because possessions come and go like the wind. He sought things without substance).

v 17…Throughout his life he also eats in darkness with great vexation, sickness and anger (gloominess about the uncertainty of his riches).

v 18…Here is what I have seen to be good and fitting (the result, his conclusion to all this): to eat, to drink and enjoy oneself in all one’s labor in which he toils under the sun during the few years of his life which God has given him; for this is his reward (in this life here; make proper use of what God has given you).

v 19…Furthermore, as for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth (as a blessing), he (God) also empowered him to eat from them and to receive his reward and rejoice in his labor in a lawful way); this is a gift from God (and to be accepted and used with thankfulness and sense).

v 20…For he will not often consider (remember, dwell on) the years of his life (as being tedious and long, full of problems) because God answers him in the gladness (joy) of his heart (God answers his prayers and his days will pass pleasantly as he enjoys God’s blessings and lives according to God’s will).

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Ecclesiastes-Chapter 4

Ecc 4.1-16 tells us that Solomon returns to his previous thought in Ecc 3.16 about some of the abuses of justice on those who had no comforter or defense he has observed, and he talks about success without heirs or friends and the vanity of it all.

v 1…Then I looked again (at the 3.16 thoughts) at all the acts of oppression which are being done under the sun (in the natural world everywhere). And behold (see for yourself) I saw the tears of the oppressed and they had no one to comfort them (to deliver them); and on the side of their oppressor was power, but they had no one to comfort them.

v 2…So I congratulated the dead who are already dead (because from the viewpoint of the natural man their troubles are over) more than the living who are still living (and subject to oppression).

v 3…But better off that both of them is the one who has never existed, who has never seen the evil activity that is done under the sun (and had to live under it).

v 4…And I have seen (work not motivated by criminal minds) that every labor and every skill which is done is the result of rivalry between a man and his neighbor (even success by the sincere brings jealousy, greed and competition). This too is vanity (no purpose) and striving after wind (unsatisfying to the spirit).

v 5…The fool folds his hands (“hugs them”) and consumes his own flesh (using up his money to support himself and lives off his own fat).

v 6…One hand full with quietness (earn less with peace) is better than two fists of full labor and striving after the wind (be content with meeting your needs than to strive after the accumulation of wealth, which vexes the spirit).

v 7…Then I looked again at vanity (no purpose) under the sun (everywhere).

v 8…There was a certain man without dependent (no heirs), having neither a son or a brother, yet there is no end to his labor (accumulates wealth for nothing). Indeed his eyes were not satisfied with riches (and he never asked), “And for whom am I laboring, and depriving myself of pleasure?” This too is vanity (worthless, no purpose) and it is a grievous task (“evil it is”).

v 9…Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor (more productive).

v 10…For if either of them fails, the one will lift up the other companion (help). But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up (there is a benefit in companionship).

v 11…Furthermore (also) if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone (in the winter especially)?

v 12…And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him (the criminal). A cord of three strands (a union) is not quickly torn apart (if they are united).

v 13…A poor, yet wise, lad (in poverty) is better than an old and foolish king who no longer knows how to receive instruction (correction; he is beyond advice).

v 14…For he has come out of prison (a low estate) to become king, whereas also he that is born (a prince by birth) in his kingdom becomes poor (Joseph becomes a ruler, and Zedekiah is led away captive for instance).

v 15…I have seen all the living under the sun (everywhere) throng (support) the side of the second lad who replaces him (support the one who replaced an old foolish king).

v 16…There is no end to all the people, to all who were before them (in the previous generation), and even the ones who come later will not be happy with him (they won’t rejoice long in the new king because they will be just as weary as the parents were of his predecessor), for this too is vanity and striving after the wind (because supporting the new king may prove to be just as worthless).

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Ecclesiastes-Chapter 3

Ecc 3.1-22 elaborates on the major theme of the book about what profit a man has for all his labor under the sun (the natural world). The sun symbolizes “time” which is regulated by the rising and setting of the sun. Man has no control and he cannot change the fixed order of these cycles, he can only witness them. Ecc 3.1-11 tells us about 28 cycles of periods of life. These cycles correspond to the waxing and waning of the moon. Fourteen days of waxing brighter and then fourteen days of waning in brightness. Matt 1.17 alludes to this concept where from Abraham to David was fourteen generations (getting brighter to a full moon). Then from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations (lost its light). Then from the exile to Messiah fourteen generations( got brighter to a full moon) This is a picture of the believer. Psa 31.15 has 28 letters in the verse and it says, “My times (life) are in your hand; Deliver me from the hand of my enemies and from those whom persecute me.” These verses in Ecc 3.1-11 tell us about God’s timing and it alludes to the phrase that fits all occasion, “This too shall pass.”

v 1…There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event (purpose) under heaven (follow a fixed order)-

v 2…A time to give birth (bear), and a time to die (Deut 28.6); a time to plant (in a time of peace), and a time to uproot what is planted (in war or harvest time, etc).

v 3…A time to kill (in war, legal executions, self defense, etc), and a time to heal; a time to tear down (in war, demolition), and a time to build up (like Nehemiah and Zerubabbel did).

v 4…A time to weep (Psa 126.5), and a time to laugh (Psa 126.6); a time to mourn (funeral, any loss, etc), and a time to dance (weddings and festive events).

v 5…A time to cast away stones (like when clearing the ground or the destruction of the Temple), and a time to gather stones (in building-Isa 28.16; Zech 9.16); a time to embrace (to show affection), and a time to refrain from embracing (during times of ritual uncleanliness, etc) .

v 6…A time to get (possessions), and a time to lose (give up as lost); a time to keep (literally “guard” something like the Torah), and a time to throw away (discard).

v 7…A time to tear apart (garments over bad news, etc), and a time to sew together (new clothes, etc); a time to be silent, and a time to speak (when the truth is needed).

v 8…A time to love (God, the Torah, a neighbor, sinners), and time to hate (love less what you loved before salvation, hate what God hates); a time for war (a nation to defend itself or to go to war at the direction of God), and a time of peace (like the Messianic Kingdom).

v 9…What profit is there to the worker (to be engaged in the above activities) in that in which he labors (if there is no lasting benefit in this life)?

v 10…I have seen the task (how man makes a living) which God has given the sons of men with which to occupy themselves (the hardship of it all).

v 11…He has made everything appropriate (beautiful) in its time (each is suited for its time). He also set eternity in their heart (a sense of it), yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end (the full flow and purposes of his 7000 year plan).

v 12… I know (Kohelet will now tell what he knows about man’s happiness) that there is nothing better for them (mankind) than to rejoice and do good in one’s lifetime (do good for himself and others with the blessings God has given).

v 13…Moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor-it is the gift of God (so it should be received and enjoyed with that in mind)

v 14…I know that everything God does will remain forever (unlike man’s works); there is nothing to add to it (they are complete) and there is nothing to take from it (can’t diminish it).

v 15…That which has been already, and that which will be has already been (in the natural order of things there is nothing new), for God seeks what has passed by (in eschatology this verse is similar to Ecc 1.9. History repeats itself because God is in control and this one of the keys to understanding Bible prophecy. Certain events have multiple fulfillments).

v 16…Furthermore, I have seen under the sun (everywhere) that in place of (the) justice (Torah) there isw (the) wickedness (as defined by the Torah-Solomon looked around and saw much injustice and wickedness in the corrupt practices of man and animals).

v 17…I said to myself (in my heart), “God will judge both the righteous man and the wicked man,” for a time for every matter (purpose) and for every deed is there (his conclusion refers to the judgment after death; people may do what they want now but not forever).

v 18…I said to myself (in my heart) concerning the sons of men (natural men), “God (Elohim) has surely tested them in order for them to to see that they are but beasts” (God has shown man that he is not as superior as he thinks. even the elite kings, princes and rulers are as selfish and limited in their physical life as any animal).

v 19…For the fate of all the sons of men and the fate of beasts is the same. As one dies so dies the other; indeed, they all have the same breath (ruach) and there is no advantage for man over beast (as far as physical life is concerned); for all is vanity (empty, worthless).

v 20…All go to the same place (the dust, grave). All came from dust, and all return to the dust (Gen 1.24; 3.19).

v 21…Who knows (perceives) that the breath (ruach) of man ascends (rises) upward and the breath (ruach) of the beast descends downward to the earth (without the word of God, nobody can tell the difference between the death of a human and the death of an animal).

v 22…And I have seen (perceived) that nothing is better than that man should be happy in his activities (enjoy what God has given him; takes a delight in what he is doing), for that is his lot (he has no more than what he needs, and what he leaves behind is not his but will belong to another). For who will bring him to see what will occur after him (for once he is dead he can’t see what happens to all his works and labors or how it is used, by then it doesn’t matter).

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Ecclesiastes-Chapter 2

Ecc 2.1-26 tells us that after Solomon saw the emptiness in all natural wisdom, science and cycles of man and nature, he now is going to tell us what he learned in the realm of life’s pleasures and whether that was as empty and vain.

v 1…I said to myself (in my heart), “Come now, I will test you with pleasure (the things that cause it). So enjoy yourself.” And behold (see with goodness), it too was futile (empty, no purpose).

v 2…I said of laughter, “It is madness,” and of pleasure, “What does it accomplish (its only for a moment)?”

v 3…I explored with my mind (Hebrew “heart”) how to stimulate my body with wine while my mind (heart) was guiding me wisely, and how to take hold of folly, until I could see what good there is for the sons of men to do under heaven the few years of their lives (he sought to gratify himself with wine to see where that led, and to do things contrary to the Torah to experiment).

v 4…I enlarged my works (buildings). I built houses for myself, and I planted vineyards for myself (to walk in and enjot the fruit);

v 5…I made gardens (Hebrew “ganot”) and parks (Hebrew “pardesim” or orchards) for myself (his pleasure), and I planted in them all kinds of fruit trees (for food, medicine and drink, etc);

v 6…I made ponds of water for myself from which to irrigate a forest of growing trees (it was necessary).

v 7…I bought male and female slaves (servants and maids), and I had homeborn slaves (born in his house). I also possessed flocks and herds larger than all who preceded me in Jerusalem (as God promised in 2 Chr 1.12).

v 8…Also, I collected (gathered) for myself silver and gold (1 Kings 9.28; 1 Kings 10.24-29), and treasure of kings and provinces. I provided for myself male and female singers (common in eastern courts) and the pleasures of men-many concubines.

v 9…Then I became great and increased more than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. My wisdom also stood by me (none of these possessions or greatness robbed him of his wisdom during all these experiments).

v 10…And all that my eyes desired I did not refuse them. I did not withhold my heart from pleasure, for my heart was pleased because of all my labor and this was my reward for my labor (he wanted to see if there was any profit in it all).

v 1…Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I exerted (labored), and behold all was vanity (no purpose, a waste of time) and striving after wind and there is no profit under the sun (in the natural, all his labors brought no lasting satisfaction).

v 12…So I turned to consider (examine) wisdom, madness and folly (to compare their value), for what will the man do who will come after the king except what has already been done (the same foolish mistakes that have ben done since the beginning).

v 13…And I saw that wisdom (chachmah) excels folly as light excels (dispels) darkness (the worth of wisdom far outweighed folly because it was empty).

v 14…The wise man’s eyes are in his head (for observation and understanding), but the fool walks in darkness (deliberately closing his eyes). And yet I know that one fate befalls them both (death).

v 15…Then I said to myself (in my heart), “As is the fate of the fool, it will also befall me (as Solomon considered this, he realized he was going to die). Why then have I been extremely wise (wisdom alone without service is of little use)? So I said to myself, “This too is vanity (worthless).”

v 16…For there is no lasting remembrance of a wise man as with a fool (people forget both the wise and the fool), inasmuch as in the coming days all will be forgotten. And how the wise and the fool die alike (experience death).

v 17…So I hated life (weary of what it had to offer), for the work which had been done under the sun was grievous to me (the natural world experience was empty); because everything is futile (empty) and striving after the wind (vexation of spirit).

v 18…Thus I hated all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun (the natural world), for I must leave it to the man who will come after me (his successor will reap the fruit of Solomon’s labor).

v 19…And who knows whether he (his successor) will be a wise man of a fool (Rehoboam was his son and he was a fool)? Yet he will have control over all the fruit of my labor for which I have labored by acting wisely under the sun. This too is vanity (all his wisdom went for nothing) in the natural).

v 20…Therefore I completely despaired (thought he was a failure) of all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun (if he looked at it only from the natural angle).

v 21…When there is a man who has labored with wisdom, knowledge and skill, then he gives his legacy (his share) to one who has not labored (he ends up with it) with them. This too is vanity and a great evil (so what’s the difference if he works or not).

v 22…For what does a man get in all his labor and his striving with which he labors under the sun (what does he have to show for all his work)?

v 23…Because all his days his task is painful and grievous (the only reward it seems); even at night his mind (Hebrew “lev” or heart) does not rest (anxious and troubled). This too is vanity (as far as this natural life is concerned). v

v 24…There is nothing better for a man that to eat and drink and tell himself that his labor is good. This also I have seen, that it is from the hand of God (makes use of the blessings God has given him).

v 25…For who can eat and who can have enjoyment without him (Hebrew “outside of me””)?

v 26…For to a person who is good in his sight (the heart to be obedient to him-Rom 8.28) he has given wisdom and knowledge and joy (as a reward in his mercy ), while to the sinner he has given the task of gathering and collecting (wealth) so that he may give to one who is good in God’s sight (inherits the earth-Matt 5.5). This too is vanity and striving after the wind (vexation of spirit for the natural man without God).

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Ecclesiastes-Chapter 1

The Book of Ecclesiastes is a very unusual book and hard to understand by some. It is part of what is called Ketuvim in the Tanak, and part of what is called the Five Megillot (scrolls) made up of Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes and Esther. Proverbs gives a clear sense of cause and effect in the universe. Bad choices means bad consequences and good choices means good consequences. Ecclesiastes will teach us that it is not so clear and simple. The good suffer and die like the wicked, and seasons come and go without regard to people’s choices. The Book of Job turns the “law of harvest” upside down. The good and the righteous experience horrible problems with no visible cause that the righteous Job can point to.

Ecclesiastes can be very hopeless and dark at times and it talks about the vanity or frailty one encounters in life if one did not have a spiritual or eternal outlook. God is always there and is mentioned in many verses and the author searches the human experience and finds that it is all futile, and he will search various avenues to see if any have any lasting value. Then he will give his final conclusion at the end of the book.

This book begins with “the words of Kohelet” in Hebrew and “Kohelet” has been translated as “preacher” in the KJV and other versions, but it means “assembly or gatherer” of truth. The Hebrew word for assembly is “kahal” (Deut 18.16) and you can see the association with this word in the Hebrew name of this book which is “Kohelet.” The Greek name is “Ecclesiastes” and you can see the word “ecclesia” in this word, where we get the idea of a “called out assembly.” The word Kohelet may be a name for Solomon, the son of David, king in Jerusalem and the author of the book.

Kohelet’s goal is to find what is lastingly important and “tov” (good) or what gives a lasting profit or advantage. But in his search he found nothing permanent in man’s existence without Yehovah. His verdict is things are not so clear and simple. The good suffer and die like the wicked and seasons go in endless cycles without regard to anyone’s choices.. So, the message of the book is simple in the end. We must go deeper into the heart of God to find wisdom and meaning. This book is also prophetic in that Solomon is a picture of the Messiah so Kohelet is another name for the Messiah who will gather his people to himself at the Natzal (2 Thes 2.1).

v 1…The words of Kohelet , the son of David and king in Jerusalem (probably Solomon).

v 2..Vanity (no purpose, worthless) of vanities ,” says the Preacher (Kohelet), “Vanity of vanities! All is vanity (this is the theme of the book).

v 3…What advantage (reward) does man have in all his work which he does under the sun (when Solomon uses “under the sun” he is referring to the nature of man as opposed to the man who has eternity in mind).

v 4…A generation goes and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever (nothing changes).

v 5…Also, the sun rises and the sun sets; and hastening to its place it rises there again (this is an example of the generations).

v 6…Blowing towards the south, then turning to the north, the wind continues swirling along; and on its circular course the wind returns (another example).

v 7…All the rivers flow to the sea, yet the sea is not full. To the place where the river flow and they flow again (and it all starts the cycle again).

v 8…All things (words) are wearisome (without God) and man is not able to tell it (all the trouble he sees). The ey is not satisfied with seeing, nor is the ear filled with hearing (even the senses get tired of all the impressions that bombard man everyday. Man has a lasting cycle of work that can make life meaningless).

v 9…That which has been is that which will be, and that which has been done is that which will be done. So, there is nothing new under the sun (In the Peshat level, this means that in what constitutes the natural order of things in life, nothing really changes. Man is born, he lives and then he dies. In the Sowd level, this is seen as prophetic. All history is unfulfilled prophecy, and all prophecy is unfulfilled history).

v 10…Is there anything (in context with v 9) of which one might say, “See this, it is new?” Already it has existed for ages which were before us.

v 11…There is no remembrance of earlier things ; and also of the latter things which will occur, there will be for them no remembrance among those who will come later (man forgets the lessons of the past and also the lessons of the future. Man will not remember these events and be warned in the future generations).

v 12…I, the Preacher (Kohelet), have been king over Israel in Jerusalem (he will now look back over his reign).

v 13…And I set my mind (gave my heart) to seek and explore wisdom concerning all that has been done under heaven (the motives and actions of men, applying the wisdom God gave him and using the advantages he had as king), it is a grievous task which God has given to the sons of men to be afflicted with (to acquire knowledge is hard job and it is part of the work God has given to mankind).

v 14…I have seen all the works (of men) which have been done under the sun (in the natural world, wherever the sun shines) and behold, all is vanity (efforts that bring about no lasting good, no purpose, worthless for all the work that goes into it all) and striving after wind (he has considered how man busies himself and realizes it goes nowhere and a vexation of the spirit).

v 15…What is crooked cannot be straightened, and what is lacking cannot be counted (man cannot change the things God has determined and they cannot change their sinful hearts; if something is missing and defective it cannot be supplied by man).

v 16…I said to myself (“I spoke with my heart” in Hebrew; as I thought about it), “Behold (see), I have magnified and increased wisdom more than all who were over Jerusalem before me (and he knew it was a gift from God-1 Kings 3.9-13); and my mind (Hebrew “lev” or “heart”) has observed a wealth (abundance) of wisdom (chachmah meaning knowing what to do when you have understanding of the facts) and knowledge (da’at or knowledge in facts).”

v 17…And I set (gave) my mind (heart) to know wisdom and to know madness and folly (of men and the science of the times) and I realized that this also is striving after wind (vexation of the spirit).

v 18…Because in much wisdom there is much grief (as a result, the more Kohelet understood what was really going on, the greater his despair), and increasing knowledge results in increasing pain (made things worse for him, and only the right usage of this knowledge in Yehovah can bring peace).

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Tying into the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Proverbs-Chapter 31

Prov 31.1-31 tells us about the words of King Lemuel (to God), and like Agur in Prov 30, we are not sure who this is. There are no kings in Judah with this name, so he may have been a foreign king who believed in Yehovah, or this was a “pet name” for Solomon. Jewish tradition says this is Solomon and the words are from his mother to Bathsheba, but all of this is conjecture.

v 1…The words of King Lemuel, the oracle (prophetic utterance) which his mother taught him (like Timothy in 2 Tim 1.5).

v 2…What, O my son? And what, O son of my womb (Hebrew “bar bitni” and shows attachment)? And what, O son of my vows (Hebrew “bar nedarai” and refers to the marriage covenant)?

v 3…Do not give your strength to women (in sexual obsession), or your ways to that which destroys kings (this type of obsession will destroy kings, and it was the downfall of Solomon-1 Kings 11.4).

v 4…It is not for kings, O Lemuel (not fit for them to act in the following ways), it is not for kings to drink wine (to excess), or for rulers to desire strong drink (under the influence of them)

v 5…Lest they drink and forget what is decreed (in the Torah), and pervert the rights of the afflicted (as defined in the Torah).

v 6…Give strong drink to him who is perishing (grieved in soul, anxious), and wine to him whose life is bitter (to take away the pain. Her point here is the king must avoid drunkenness in order to rule properly).

v 7…Let him drink and forget his poverty (making life a little brighter), and remember his trouble no more (moderate use of wine is proper and a gift from God here, but a king should not over indulge).

v 8…Open your mouth for the dumb (those who have no voice or can’t defend themselves), for the rights of all the unfortunate.

v 9…Open your mouth, judge righteously (as defined in the Torah), and defend the rights of the afflicted and needy (who are defenseless).

The next twenty-two verses begin with the twenty-two successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet, starting with Aleph in v 10 and ending with Tav in v 31. The Aleph and the Tav allude to total perfection and is used for God and the Messiah. Together they mean “head of the covenant.” The Aleph and Tav symbolize the totality of the word of God and true wisdom, and these verses are about the “excellent wife” of the “Virtuous Woman” we have referred to in this book, contrasted with the Harlot (Prov 1-7). This will have several applications. There is the literal, the contrast between the righteous and the wicked and true religion and false religion. We live with the harlot all around us. Knowledge, insight, discernment, wisdom and understanding come into play because the harlot has presented herself as the virtuous woman, and is perceived by those without the above qualities as the virtuous woman. It is a seduction and you must be able to discern what is of the harlot and what is of the virtuous woman (1 Cor 6.12-20). Micah 7.10 tells us about the end of the harlot. For example, the Hebrew word for marriage is “kedushin.”, related to the word “kedusha, kaddish, kodesh and kiddish.” The word “kedesha” is the word for harlot because she is set apart for evil. They have the same root and you need wisdom, knowledge, insight, discernment and understanding to know the difference spiritually.

v 10…An excellent wife (Hebrew “woman of valor”) who can find? For her worth is far above jewels (valued and rare, and what is listed here is an “ideal goal” and a character list, and it would be rare to find someone who meets every criteria here. It should not used to compare someone to, however, these can be aspirational for any woman who wants to walk in the fear of Yehovah and his wisdom).

v 11…The heart of her husband trusts in her (he relies on her skill at home) and he will have no lack of gain (she guards the family income).

v 12…She does him good (tov) and no evil (ra) all the days of her life (her love is not subject to her moods, it is constant and consistent).

v 13…She looks for wool and flax (to make garments for her family), and works with her hands in delight (cheerful in doing the work needed).

v 14…She is like merchant ships (laden with goods); she brings her food from afar (looks for distant opportunities to meet her family’s needs).

v 15…she also rises while its still night (before dawn), and gives food to her household (having breakfast ready so no time is wasted)

v 16…She considers a field (looking at its worth) and buys a field (as an investment); from her earnings (fruit of her hands) she plants a vineyard (for wine to drink, medicine and offerings, etc).

v 17…She girds herself with strength (vigor) and makes her arms strong (she takes care of her health and is productive)

v 18…She senses (perceives) that her gain is good (profitable) and her lamp does not go out at night (if it is necessary to complete a task on time).

v 19…She stretches out her hands to the distaff (rod on which the flax or wool is rolled), and her hands grasp the spindle (to twist the thread).

v 20…She extends her hand (spreads her palms) to the poor (reaches out), and she stretches out her hand to the needy (is charitable).

v 21…She is not afraid of the snow (cold weather) for her household, for all her household is covered with scarlet (“shanim” wool, a very heavy and warm material).

v 22…She makes coverings for herself (clothing); her clothing is fine linen (shesh) and purple (argamon-very luxurious material).

v 23…Her husband is known in the gates (meeting places for the elders, sages and the courts), when he sits among the elders of the land (in councils).

v 24…She makes new garments and sells them, and supplies belts (sashes and girdles) to the tradesmen (to sell).

v 25…Strength and dignity are her clothing (she is not concerned about what she wears, but her outward display of her character matters because it defines her) and she smiles (is tranquil) at the future (no fear of the latter years).

v 26…She opens her mouth in wisdom and the teaching of kindness (torat chessed) is on her tongue (graceful instruction).

v 27…She looks well to the ways of her household (faithful observation of their needs and how they are doing), and does not eat the bread of idleness (but the bread of the well deserved).

v 28…Her children rise up and bless her (pay her the respect she deserves); her husband also, and he praises her (with the following words):

v 29…”Many daughters have done nobly, but you exceed them all.”

v 30…Charm is deceitful (outer beauty) and beauty is vain (empty, fleeting, does not last and not a true measure of a woman’s worth), but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised (the book ends at it began, with the fear of the Lord-Prov 1.7; she has a real relationship with Yehovah and is a blessing to others).

v 31…Give her the product (fruit) of her hands (publicly praise her for what she has done), let her works praise her in the gates (let the elders and people assembled there acknowledge her).

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Tying into the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Proverbs-Chapter 30

Prov 30.1-33 is a collection of sayings from a man known only as Agur, meaning “collector or gatherer” and the son of Jakeh (pious). When the men of Hezekiah collected additional proverbs they included these sayings of Agur. We know that Solomon was not the only person of wisdom because of 1 Kings 4.30-31, and some in the Jewish Midrashim think that Agur is Solomon, but that is conjecture.

v 1…The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, the oracle (burden, prophetic word), the man declares to Ithiel (God is with me), to Ithiel and Ucal (mighty one).

v 2…Surely I am more stupid (lacking in sense) than any man, and I do not have the understanding of a man (Hebrew “Adam” who knew God, his nature and perfections; to grasp the nature of God).

v 3…Neither have I learned wisdom (in the schools of the prophets and sages-Amos 7.14), but I have the knowledge (da’at) of holiness (given to him from God not man).

v 4…Who has ascended (to get the knowledge) into the heavens and descended (with it-John 3.13)? Who has gathered the wind in his fists (not just any creature could-John 3.5-8)? Who has wrapped the waters in his garment (only God could do this-John 3.5)? Who has established all the ends of the earth (fixed the boundaries-John 16-17)? What is his name (Yehovah) or his son’s name (Yeshua-this passage contains the mystery of the Merkavah, or the throne of God, like in Ezek 1. The Torah answers all these questions)? Surely you know (it is Yehovah).

v 5…Every word of God is tested (examined and purified-Psa 18.30); he (notice the word of God is a he-1 Sam 3.21; John 1.1) is a shield (“magen”-it speaks of the protective quality of the Torah. It protects Israel to enjoy its inheritance; protects the individual people in the nation to enjoy the redemption; it protects the unsaved until the time God will reveal Messiah to them and they become born again).

v 6…Do not add to his words (or detract-Deut 4.2; Rev 22.18-19; 1 Cor 4.6) lest he remove you, and you are proved to be a liar (spreading false doctrine).

v 7…Two things I asked of thee, do not refuse me before I die (he wants the answer to this prayer before he dies).

v 8…Keep deception and lies far from me (he wanted to be a person who spoke truth), give me neither poverty nor riches (both are extremes); feed me with the food that is my portion (to be satisfied with what God has given him),

v 9…Lest I be full and deny thee and say, “Who is the Lord (he did not need God)?” or lest I be in want (poor) and steal, and profane the name of my God (by being accused of theft).

v 10…Do not slander (accuse wrongly) a servant to his master, lest he curse you (for the wrong) and you be found guilty (of accusing him without cause).

v 11…There is a generation (such people in the world) who curses his father, and does not bless his mother (a terrible sin).

v 12…There is a generation (such people in the world) who is pure in his own eyes, yet is not washed from his filthiness (by faith in Yehovah).

v 13…There is a generation (such people in the world)-oh how lofty are his eyes (full of pride) and his eyelids are raised in arrogance (and contempt).

v 14…There is a generation whose teeth are like swords (sharp and cutting), and his jaw teeth (canines) like knives to devour the afflicted from the earth and the needy from among men (their greed cannot be satisfied).

v 15…The leech has two daughters, crying, “Give, give” (never satisfied). There are three things that will not be satisfied, four that will not say, “enough”:

v 16…Sheol, and the barren-womb, earth that is never satisfied with water and fire that never says “Enough.”

v 17…The eye that mocks a father and scorns a mother (despises to obey and both are God’s representatives on earth), the ravens of the valley will pick it out (their body will be food for the carrion), and the young eagles will eat it (idiom for a disaster and alludes to the Feast of Leviathan in eschatology).

v 18…There are three things which are too wonderful (deep, hidden) for me, four which I do not understand (comprehend).

v 19…The way of an eagle in the sky (its flight and power), the way of a serpent on a rock (getting up without legs and can move in a flash without a trace), the way of a ship in the middle of the sea (so small, and where there are no roads but uses the sea to find their destinations to travel on; weathering storms, etc), and the way of a man with a maid (to get her attention and affections).

v 20…This is the way of an adulterous woman; she eats (enjoys her sin and is satisfied) and wipes her mouth (in innocence) and says, “I have done no wrong” (considers herself safe and without blame. The adulterous woman alludes to the apostate from the Torah who think they are safe, too).

v 21…Under three things the earth quakes (is disquited, perturbed), and for four at cannot bear up.

v 22…Under a slave (servant) when he becomes king (and unfit to rule), and a fool when he is satisfied with food (like Nabal at his feast, overbearing and loud).

v 23…Under a hated one (in personality who should have never found a husband) when she is married (doesn’t hide it anymore to her family), and a maidservant when she is heir to her mistress (she will behave in a manner that makes the family uncomfortable, like Hagar did with Sarah-Gen 16.4).

v 24…Four things are small (in bulk) on the earth, but they are exceedingly wise (but overlooked):

v 25…The ants are not strong folk (they are small), but they prepare their food in summer (size does not determine wisdom);

v 26…The badgers (rock badgers in Israel) are not mighty folk (to stand up against larger predators), yet they make their houses in the rocks (showing they are shrewd enough to find a home among the strong);

v 27…The locust have no king (or leadership structure), yet all of them go out in ranks (in order, advancing and overcoming the vegetation);

v 28…The lizard (gecko) you may grasp with the hands, yet it is in the king’s palaces (uses its gifts and abilities to take them anywhere they want to go).

v 29…There are three things that are stately in their march (majestic as they move), even four which are stately when they walk (powerful):

v 30…The lion which is mighty among the beasts and does not retreat before any (has courage);

v 31…The strutting cock (literally “one girded in the loins”), the male goat also (who is at the head of the flock), and a king when his army is with him (whose power cannot be resisted).

v 32…If you have been foolish in exalting yourself, or if you have plotted evil, put your hand on your mouth (and stop the designs of your heart before it is too late, stop talking about it).

v 33…For the churning of milk produces butter and pressing the nose brings forth blood; so the churning of anger produces strife (so avoid forcing and pressing things that will cause contention).

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Tying into the New Testament

Tanak Foundations- Concepts in Proverbs-Chapter 29

Prov 29.1-27 is another in the collection of proverbs by Solomon that were put together by King Hezekiah and his people, with more warnings and instructions.

v 1…A man who hardens his neck (refuses good counsel) after much reproof will be suddenly broken and beyond remedy (because there is no remedy for him).

v 2…When the righteous increase (becomes great and in authority) the people rejoice (because the welfare of the nation is in good hands), but when the wicked man rules, the people groan (grieving because of the harm which is being done).

v 3…A man who loves wisdom makes his father glad, but he who keeps company with harlots wastes his wealth (bringing disgrace on his family).

v 4…The king gives stability to the land by justice (it is in good condition), but a man who takes bribes overthrows it (the stability of the government and the land).

v5…A man who flatters his neighbor is spreading a net for his steps (a trap to keep the neighbor at a disadvantage).

v 6…By transgression an evil man is ensnared (caught in his own sin), but the righteous sings and rejoices (because they do the right thing).

v 7…The righteous is concerned for the rights of the weak (takes action to secure their life, liberty and freedom), the wicked does not understand such concern (they don’t understand such compassion to the weak because they don’t know Yehovah).

v 8…Scoffers set a city aflame (excite the passions of the people), but wise men turn away anger (work to calm things down by being peacemakers).

v 9…When a wise man has a controversy (contends) with a foolish man (trying to get his point across), the foolish man either rages or laughs, and there is no rest (he either gets angry or laughs you off so that it is impossible to argue with him in a coherent way).

v 10…Men of bloodshed hate the blameless (because their life is a rebuke to them), but the upright are concerned for his life (to preserve the life of the upright).

v 11…A fool always loses his temper (Hebrew “rucha” or spirit, or “mind” in the KJV, meaning he lets out all his feelings), but a wise man holds it back (overcomes his anger).

v 12…If a ruler pays attention to falsehood, all his ministers become wicked (imitate him and can influence him with lies).

v 13…The poor man and the oppressor have this in common: Yehovah gives light to the eyes of both (both have understanding or revelation from Yehovah-Rom 1.18-28).

v 14…If a king judges the poor with truth, his throne will be established forever (because he gave the proper attention to his judgments and does not show partiality).

v 15…The rod and reproof gives wisdom (when properly done), but a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother (because the child has been indulged and not corrected).

v 16…When the wicked increase (become great) transgression increases (they influence others); but the righteous will see their fall (brought on by Yehovah, he is still in control).

v 17…Correct your son (with a proper rebuke and punishment) and he will give you comfort (rest).

v 18…Where there is no vision (revelation of God’s word) the people are unrestrained (lawless because they caast off the Torah-Hos 4.6), but happy is he who keeps the law (Torah).

v 19…A servant will not be instructed (corrected) by words (he needs more discipline), for though he understands, there will be no response (he will, not pay attention to mere words, harsh correction will get him to respond to learn wisdom).

v 20…Do you see a man who is hasty in his words (speaks before he thinks); there is more hope for a fool than for him (impulsive speech is worse than a fool).

v 21…He who pampers his servant from childhood (makes life easy and soft, making him think he is more than what he really is) will in the end find him to be a son (he will assume the place of a son and not do servants work, waiting to supplant a son to be an heir).

v 22…An angry man stirs up strife (yields to his temper) and a hot-tempered man abounds in transgression (because there is no self-control).

v 23…A man’s pride will bring him low (he exalts himself so God resists him), but a humble spirit will obtain honor (God promotes him).

v 24…He who is a partner (splits, shares) with a thief hates his own life (being on the same level, he will partake in his punishment), he hears the oath (to tell the truth) but tells nothing (about the crime or his partner, so the punishment comes upon him.

v 25…The fear of men brings a snare (noose), but he who trusts in Yehovah will be exalted (they overcome what others want and they do what God wants).

v 26…Many seek the ruler’s favor (get his attention) but justice for man comes from Yehovah (who has the heart of the ruler in his hands and what the Lord has appointed will come to him).

v 27…An unjust man is abominable to the righteous (they will never be pleased with him), and he who is upright in the way (Torah) is abominable to the wicked (won’t have any pleasure in his presence).

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Tying into the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Proverbs-Chapter 28

Prov 28.1-28 continues with some of the proverbs of Solomon collected by Hezekiah and his people. There are two main sections and themes. Prov 28.1-12 tells us about how the righteous and the wicked conduct themselves. Then in Prov 28.13-28 Solomon discusses the proper attitude about finances and wealth, contraasting the righteous with the wicked.

v 1…The wicked flee when no one is pursuing (they have a bad conscience which causes timidity), but the righteous are bold as a lion (because they have a clear conscience in Yehovah).

v 2…By the transgression of a land many are its princes (rebellion in the country causes many to desire to be rulers), but by a man of understanding and knowledge, so it endures (the rule of one good leader will prolong the land).

v 3…A poor man who oppresses the lowly (Matt 18.23) is like a driving rain which leaves no food (both are unnatural and contrary).

v 4…Those who forsake the law (Torah) praise the wicked (because they are like them), but those who keep the law (Torah) strive (contend) with them (this is true in our elections. We must contend with evil to convince them to repent and to change their outlook).

v 5…Evil men do not understand justice (they don’t want to know), but those who seek Yehovah understand all things (not only justice but other things).

v 6…Better is the poor who walks in his integrity (there are worse things than being poor) than he who is crooked (perverse) though he be rich (he is worse off than a poor person who is righteous).

v 7…He who keeps the law (Torah) is a discerning (wise) son, but he who is a companion of gluttons (loving their company) humiliates his father.

v 8…He who increases his wealth by intent and usury, gathers it for him who is gracious to the poor (God’s providence will direct it to another who will dispense it to the poor.

v 9…He who turns away his ear from listening to the law (Torah), even his prayer is an abomination (deliberately ignoring the Torah, the prayer cannot be made in truth and spirit-John 4.24).

v 10…He who leads the upright astray in an evil way (seducing them) will himself fall into his own pit (God puts them in their place), but the blameless will inherit good.

v 11…The rich man is wise in his own eyes (proud, thinks his wisdom made him rich), but the poor who has understanding sees through him (examines him).

v 12…When the righteous triumph, there is great glory (Hebrew “tiferet” of beauty), but when the wicked rise, men hide themselves (to avoid the trouble the wicked rulers will bring).

v 13…He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses (to God) and forsakes them will find compassion (mercy because Yehovah is happy to receive one who truly repents-1 John 1.9).

v 14…How blessed is the man who fears (reverences God) always (in his conduct), but he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity (by deliberately going after sin).

v 15…Like a roaring lion and a rushing bear (ravenous and cruel) is a wicked ruler over a poor people.

v 16…A leader who is a great oppressor lacks understanding (binah), but he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days (as a ruler).

v 17…A man who is laden with guilt of human blood (weighed down) will be a fugitive until death (attempting to escape the anxiousness of is heart), let no one support him (let him suffer the consequences).

v 18…He who walks blamelessly will be delivered, but he who is crooked (perverse) will fall all at once (suddenly).

v 19…He who tills his land will have plenty of food, but he who follows empty pursuits (to have a good time) will have poverty in plenty.

v 20…A faithful (Hebrew “emunot”) man will abound with blessings (from the Lord as promised), but he who makes haste to be rich will not go unpunished (because he used deceit and fraud).

v 21…To show partiality is not good because for a piece of bread (a small bribe) a man will transgress (be easily bought).

v 22…A man with an evil eye (Hebrew “ein ra” meaning greedy) hastens (runs) after wealth, and does not know that want will come upon him (by Yehovah).

v 23…He who rebukes a man will afterward find more favor than he who flatters with the tongue (a person can be saved by a word of warning, but not by a flatterer).

v 24…He who robs his father or his mother, and says, “It is not a transgression,” (shows his ingratitude, thinking he is entitled to it because they are “family” and all things are in common) is the companion of a man who destroys (has the wickedness to destroy his parents).

v 25…An arrogant (proud) man stirs up strife (starts arguments and quarrels), but he who trusts in Yehovah will prosper (be made fat with God’s kindness).

v 26…He who trusts in his own heart is a fool (goes by “intuition” or “impressions and impulses”), but he who walks wisely (trusting in Yehovah’s word and counsel of wisdom) will be delivered (from foolish decisions and results).

v 27…He who gives to the poor will never want (because God will bless him), but he who shuts his eyes (hides) will have many curses.

v 28…When the wicked rise (to positions of power) men hide themselves (to avoid trouble); but when they perish (and no longer oppress people), the righteous increase (come out of hiding and into the open, using their influence in the community again).

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Tying into the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Proverbs-Chapter 27

Prov 27.1-27 continues with the sayings of Solomon collected by Hezekiah and his servants. It gives various warnings and instructions about presumption, who is a good friend and knowing the conditions of our resources, plus some repeated instructions to his sons.

v 1…Do not boast about tomorrow (or future successes) for you do not know what a day may bring forth (the future is in God’s hands-Matt 6.34; Jam 4.13-16).

v 2…Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips (self-praise has no value).

v 3…A stone is heavy and the sand weighty, but the provocation of a fool is heavier than both of them (a burden that is dangerous).

v 4…Wrath is fierce and anger is a flood (overflows its banks and destroys everything), but who can stand before jealousy (being worse than anger and a bigger “flood” of evil).

v 5…Better is open rebuke (from a friend or an enemy, it tells the truth) than love that is concealed (it is like a fire that neither warms or gives light).

v 6…Faithful are the wounds of a friend (friendly correction), but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy (not sincere, they agree with you about everything).

v 7…A sated (full) man (soul) loathes honey (he is already full), but to a famished (hungry) man (soul) any bitter thing is sweet (“the best cook is hunger”-Carlo Collodi).

v 8…Like a bird that wanders from her nest (a place of security), so is a man who wanders from his home (the place where God put us to seek satisfaction).

v 9…Oil and perfume make the heart glad, so a man’s counsel is sweet to his friend (it is pleasant to him).

v 10…Do not forsake your own friend or your father’s friend (they are reliable and true), and do not go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity (blood relationships do not prove themselves as faithful); better is a neighbor who is near than a brother far away (a genuine friend is more reliable).

v 11…Be wise, my son, and make my heart glad, that I may reply to him who reproaches me (a son who is a fool is a cause of insult to parents).

v 12…A prudent man sees evil and hides himself (takes action), the naive (simple) proceed and pay the penalty.

v 13…Take his garment when he becomes surety for a stranger (if they are a credit risk; get a deposit); and for an adulterous woman hold him in pledge (If a man is foolish enough to be a surety for a harlot, then get collateral from him also).

v 14…He who blesses his friend with a loud voice early in the morning (a flatterer who exceeds normality and probably has evil intent), it will be reckoned a curse to him (he is suspected of being insincere).

v 15…A constant dripping on a day of steady rain and a contentious woman are alike (shows damage and problems, and both are annoying-Prov 19.13, 21.9, 21.19, 22.10, 25.24).

v 16…He who would restrain her restrains the wind (tries to correct her), and grasps oil (hard to hold on to the more you squeeze) with his right hand (causing her to fight more).

v 17…Iron sharpens iron (through striking, friction, sparks, grinding), so one man sharpens another (through the same mechanisms).

v 18…He who tends the fig tree will eat its fruit; and he who cares for his master will be honored (his faithfulness will be rewarded).

v 19…As in water face reflects face (water is like a mirror), so the heart of man reflects man (for where your treasure is, there will you heart be also-Matt 6.21).

v 20…Sheol and Abaddon (Hell and Destruction, a place of perishing) are never satisfied (have enough), nor are the eyes of man ever satisfied (ready for more of what he desires.

v 21…The crucible (refining pot) is for silver and the furnace is for gold (both bring out the purity of the metals), and a man is tested (refined) by the praise accorded him (he is tested by the glory or boasting of others).

v 22…Though you pound a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain (to find a grain of sense in him), yet his folly will not depart from him (despite the rough treatment he will still act foolish).

v 23…Know well the condition (face) of your flocks, and pay attention to your herds (take care of them, manage them correctly).

v 24…For riches are not forever, nor does a crown endure to all generations (so be diligent in your own management of things around you because the future is unknown).

v 25…When the grass disappears, the new growth is seen, and the herbs of the mountains are gathered in (God provides for the prudent manager).

v 26…The lambs will be for your clothing, and the goats will bring the price of a field (once sold the manager has more money to buy more fields).

v 27…There will be goats milk enough for your food, for the food of your household, and the sustenance for your maidens (a person who manages his resources well will be able to provide for himself and his family).

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Tying into the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Proverbs-Chapter 26

Prov 26.1-28 gives us insight into the essence of the fool, the sluggard and busybodies.

v 1…Like snow in summer and rain in harvest, so honor is not fitting for a fool (all of these are out of place).

v 2…Like a sparrow in its flitting (wandering), like a swallow in its flying (it won’t settle down, stick in one place), so a curse without a cause does not alight (come upon a person…it, too, will fly without landing if there is no cause).

v 3…A whip is for the horse, a bridle for the donkey (these instruments are appropriate for control), and a rod (branch) for the backs of fools (because force is needed to get them to walk orderly).

v 4…Do not answer a fool according to his folly (by being on the same level in your actions), lest you also be like him.

v 5…Answer a fool as his folly deserves (sharp, wise answer), lest he be wise in his own eyes (to prevent him from thinking he is wise and we did not answer him).

v 6…He cuts off his own feet and drinks violence (in a helpless position and harms himself) who sends a message by the hand of a fool (expecting your thoughts will be properly expressed and conveyed).

v 7…Like the legs which hang down from the lame (helpless to walk), so is a proverb in the mouth of fools (contradictory and he can’t use the wisdom).

v 8…Like one who binds a stone in a sling (not ever done, it can come back and hit you; it’s dangerous and stupid) is he who gives honor to a fool (also dangerous and stupid, a waste).

v 9…Like a thorn which falls (goes up) into the hand of a drunkard (bringing pain), so is a proverb in the mouth of fools (also brings pain because it will be applied wrong).

v 10…Great (“rav”) is the former (a master workman) of all things, but he who hires a fool is like one who hires those passing by (nothing gets built or done).

v 11…Like a dog that returns to its vomit is a fool who repeats with his folly (repeats his mistakes).

v 12…Do you see a wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than him (a proud man is even worse than a fool because he will never learn wisdom).

v 13…The sluggard (lazy) says, “There is a lion in the road! A lion is in the open square!” (The lazy will give any excuse not to work-Luke 14.15-24).\

v 14…As the door turns on its hinges (but never out of place), so is the sluggard on his bed (he moves but not out of his place, makes no effort to progress).

v 15…The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he is weary of bringing it to his mouth again (lazy).

v 16…The sluggard is wise in his own eyes (due to his conceit) than seven men (completion ,everybody) who can give a direct answer (he is a legend in his own mind).

Prov 26.17-28 now talks about busybodies.

v 17…Like one who takes a dog by the ears (provoking trouble) is he who passes by and meddles with strife not belonging to him (doesn’t mind his own business).

v 18…Like a mad man who throws firebrands, arrows and death,

v 19…So is the man who deceives (deliberately) his neighbor, and says, “Was I not joking?” (plays tricks, teasing him).

v 20…For a lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer (the gossip) contention (strife) ceases (for there is no fuel to put on the fire).

v 21…Like charcoal to hot embers and wood to the fire (to keep the fire going), so is a contentious man to kindle strife (always stirring it up again).

v 22…The words of a whisperer (gossip) are like dainty morsels, they go down into the innermost part of the body.

v 23…Like an earthen vessel overlaid with silver dross (looks good from the outside but inside it is worthless) are burning lips and a wicked heart (insincerity).

v 24…He who hates disguises it with his lips (don’t want to be known as a hater), but he lays up deceit in his heart, bowels, mind, spirit, thoughts and desires).

v 25…When he speaks graciously, do not believe him, for there are seven (complete, total) abomination in his heart (evil plans against you that will shock the righteous).

v 26…Though his hatred covers itself with guile (kept secret), his wickedness will be revealed before the assembly (exposed before the court of God; a Beit Din).

v 27…He who digs a pit will fall into it, and he who rolls a stone, it will come back on him (intent on harming others, it will come back on his own head, like Haman).

v 28…A lying tongue hates those it crushes (no sympathy for others), and a flattering mouth works ruin (by manipulation and deception).

Posted in All Teachings, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Tying into the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Proverbs-Chapter 25

Prov 25.1-28 is a little different than the previous twenty-four chapters. The next five chapters (25-29) are sayings of Solomon that the men of King Hezekiah collected and transcribed. They were written by Solomon but not collected into a book form. Solomon discusses reputation, integrity and wisdom in contrast to the fool.

v 1…These are also the proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezekiah, king of Judah, transcribed (from a collection of Solomon’s sayings that had been preserved for 300 years-1 Kings 4.32).

v 2…It is the glory of God to conceal a matter (because he cannot be comprehended by man’s limited ability), but the glory of kings is to search out a matter (to try and understand every legal matter brought before him, to investigate and open up the judgments of God he has learned).

v 3…As the heavens for height and the earth for depth, so the heart of kings is unsearchable (their reasonings cannot be figured out).

v 4…Take away the dross from the silver, and there comes out a vessel for the smith (the metal is pure enough to be used).

v 5…Take away the wicked from before the king (by judgment, to remove the human dross), and his throne will be established in righteousness (a better government will result from righteous judgment).

v 6…Do not claim honor in the presence of the king (by exalting or boasting), and do not stand in the place of great men (where the king’s family, nobles, ministers or counselors stand).

v 7… For it is better that it be said to you, “Come up here,” than that you should be put lower in the presence of the prince, whom your eyes have seen (humble ourselves, and we will be exalted-Luke 4.8-11).

v 8…Do not go out hastily to argue (contend), otherwise, what will you do in the end (don’t rush to argue because it is easy to quarrel, but the consequences may not be what you think), when your neighbor puts you to shame (when you lose).

v 9…Argue (debate) your case with your neighbor (first) and do not reveal the secret of another (don’t betray their confidence if the case can be settled among yourselves, don’t bring a third party into it),

v 10…Lest he who hears it reproach you (by exposing a secret and your reputation suffers), and the evil report about you not pass away (and perverts others from trusting you again).

v 11…Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in right circumstances (it harmonizes with what is happening).

v 12…Like an earing of gold and an ornament of fine gold, is a wise reprover to a listening ear (it is fit and proper, like beautiful jewelry).

v 13…Like the cold of snow in the day of harvest (used to cool a drink when it is hot) is a faithful messenger to those who send them, for he refreshes the soul of his masters (he does well and it pleases them).

v 14…Like clouds and wind without rain (much promise but nothing happens) is a man who boasts of his gifts falsely (all hat and no cattle).

v 15…By forebearance (self-control) a ruler may be persuaded (to our case), and a soft tongue breaks (wears down) the bone (the obstacles, hardness).

v 16…Have you found honey? Eat only what you need (as your body requires), lest you have it in excess and vomit it (and lose the good thing we have obtained).

v 17…Let your foot rarely be in your neighbor’s house (rare visits), lest he become weary of you (tired of your presence) and hate you (not be blessed by your visit).

v 18…Like a club and a sword and a sharp arrow is a man who bears false witness against his neighbor (his testimony is like a weapon that can mortally wound another).

v 19…Like a bad tooth and an unsteady (slipping) foot is confidence in a faithless man in time of trouble.

v 20…Like one who takes off a garment on a cold day (makes no sense), or like vinegar on soda (it destroys the soda), is he who sings songs (of happiness) to a troubled )evil) heart (it is contradictory and would irritate him more).

v 21…If your enemy (literally “one who hates you”) is hungry, give him food to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink (don’t act with vengeance-Matt 5.44-47; Rom 12.9-21);

v 22…For you will heap (snatch up) burning coals on his head (melt his heart, cause him to regret what he did to you) and Yehovah will reward you.

v 23…The north wind brings forth rain (produces it) and a backbiting tongue, an angry countenance (it produces a distressed face).

v 24…It is better to live in a corner of the roof than in a house with a contentious woman (see Prov 21.9 notes).

v 25…Like cold water to a weary soul, so is good news from a distant land (so little correspondence takes place when there is a long distance, any news is welcome).

v 26…Like a trampled spring and polluted well, ia a righteous man who gives way before the wicked (wavers, lacks moral backbone to face them).

v 27…It is not good to eat much honey (overindulgence) nor is it glory to search out one’s own glory (desire honor from men).

v 28…Like a city that is broken into and without walls is a man who has no control over his spirit (he is open to attacks from everywhere, exposed and in danger).

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Tying into the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Proverbs-Chapter 24

Prov 24.1-34 continues the “Words of the Wise” to Prov 24.22, with additional words to the end of the chapter.

v 1…Do not be envious of the evil men, nor desire to be with them,

v 2…For their minds (hearts, desires) devise violence (to others) and their lips talk of trouble.

v 3…By wisdom a house is built (not only the structure, but the spiritual and moral values of the family) and by understanding (binah) it is established (continues and secured).

v 4…And by knowledge (da’at) the rooms and filled with precious and pleasant riches (not only spiritually but physically).

v 5… A wise warrior is strong (in strength), and a man of knowledge (da’at) increases power (grows stronger and stronger).

v 6…For by wise guidance you will wage war (battle for yourself-this not only applies to kings, but it applies to our spiritual warfare), and in abundance of counselors there is victory (safety).

v 7…Wisdom is too high (out of reach) for a fool, he does not open his mouth in the gate (where the courts and business was done; he is not qualified to be an elder who meet there).

v 8…He who plans to do evil shall be called a schemer ( “baal mizmowt” in Hebrew or a “lord of plots).

v 9…The devising of folly (the plot of foolishness) is sin, and the scoffer is an abomination (hateful) to men.

v 10…If you are slack (fainthearted) in the day of distress (persecutions, afflictions, anxiety; also a term for the Birth-pains) your strength is limited (tribulation revealed their small power).

v 11…Deliver (help) those who are being taken away to death (by interceding, to testify in court on behalf of the innocent) and those who are staggering to slaughter, O hold them back (like Esther did, secure a release).

v 12…If you say, “See, we did not know this (the danger the person was in),” does he not consider it who weighs the hearts? And does he not know it who keeps their own soul? And will he not render (bring back) to man according to his work (if we try to salve our conscience with excuses that “we didn’t know?” This will not fool Yehovah who knows our innermost thoughts).

v 13…My son, eat honey, for it is good, yes, the honey from the comb is sweet to your taste (healthy).

v 14…Know that wisdom is thus (likewise healthy) for your soul; if you find it, then there will be a future (latter end) and your hope will not be cut off (the Olam Haba will show us that the acquisition of wisdom was worth it).

v 15…Do not lie in wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous (to rob or plunder him); do not destroy his resting place (where he leads a quiet, godly life).

v 16…For a righteous man fails seven times (completely), and rises again (you cannot defeat him), but the wicked stumble in calamity (his fate is destruction).

v 17…Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles (David didn’t when Saul died, he did not delight in another’s pain);

v 18…Lest the Lord see and be displeased, and he turn away away his anger from him (to rebuke our proud attitude)).

v 19…Do not fret yourself because of evil men (get angry over their prosperity), or be envious of the wicked;

v 20…For there will be no future (latter end) for the evil man; the lamp of the wicked will be put out (death awaits in this life and in the second death).

v 21…My son, fear (revere) Yehovah and the king (his representative on the throne established by God in the Torah, not to those who are contrary to it- Acts 5.29); do not associate with those who are given to change (rebellious and revolutionary individuals against God and the Torah).

v 22…For their calamity will rise suddenly (unexpectedly), and who knows the ruin from both of them (of those who do not fear Yehovah or the king, like Korah and Absalom).

v 23…These also are the sayings of the wise (in addition to what we have gone over since 22.17). To show partiality in judgment is not good (whether it is in a court of law or personally).

v 24…He who says to the wicked, “You are righteous” (in favor of the guilty), peoples will curse him, nations will abhor him (because he excused the guilty and perverted justice).

v 25…But to those who rebuke the wicked will be a delight (because they do justice), and a good blessing will come back upon them (from God).

v 26…He kisses the lips (loves) who gives a right (honest) answer.

v 27…Prepare your work outside, and make it ready for yourself in the field (till the soil and work for a good harvest); afterward, then build your house (in other words, work for your needs first like paying the bills and feeding yourself, then you can work on your comfort).

v 28…Do not be a witness against your neighbor without a cause (reason), and do not receive with your lips (exaggerate or embellish the truth).

v 29…Do not say, “Thus I shall do to him as he has done to me; I will render to the man according to his work (avoid retaliation-Matt 5.39-45; Rom 12.17).

v 30…I passed by the field of the sluggard (lazy) and by the vineyard of the man lacking sense (heart, understanding);

v 31…And behold, it was completely overgrown with thistles, its surface was covered with nettles and its stone wall was broken down (all signs of neglect).

v 32…When I saw, I reflected (considered) upon it (what lesson does it teach); I looked and received instruction.

v 33…”A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest (the main actions of the lazy),”

v 34…Then your poverty will come as a robber (a prowler, very suddenly), and your want (need) like an armed man (literally, “like a man with a shield”-Prov 6.10-11).

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Tying into the New Testament