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).

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

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