Ecclesiastes 8 – Wisdom and Mystery A. Though the misery of man increases greatly. Who is like a wise man: Solomon searched for a wise man, who knew the interpretation of a thing. Keep the king’s commandment for the sake of your oath to God: The Preacher understood what the Apostle Paul would later write in Romans 13 – that we should obey government authority as part of our obedience to God. And each President thus far has put his hand on a Bible and recited an oath that begins “I do solemnly swear…” and ends with “So help me God.”. VERSE 1. Who is like the wise man? Remember that one treason makes a traitor; one leak sinks a ship; one fly spoils the whole box of ointment. And in particular, for all his wisdom, he still cannot predict the day of his death. There is no release from that war, Because he does whatever he pleases. : The Preacher knew that part of man’s misery on this earth was to be ruled by others oppressively. A man who keeps the king’s commandment shall be protected. Click to enable/disable Google reCaptcha. Book Summary: Ecclesiastes shows us the folly of man’s wisdom, it leads to vanity and meaninglessness, the only wisdom that has value is the wisdom from God, the living truth abiding in us, Jesus Christ. 18 I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me() 19 And who knows whether that person will be wise or foolish() Yet they will have control over all the fruit of my … Which tells you that the common practice in our nation of having inmates on death row for decades is really not the best way to go. There’s no discharge in a war. Ecclesiastes 3 – The Reign of Time, A Glimmer of Hope A. Neither hard work (, ) will unravel the mystery. Click to enable/disable _gat_* - Google Analytics Cookie. Ecclesiastes 8 Solomon, in this chapter, comes to recommend wisdom to us as the most powerful antidote against both the temptations and vexations that arise from the vanity of the world. Chapters 8-12 of Ecclesiastes describe the Preacher’s recommendations and comments on how a life should be lived. (See, for example, Ecclesiastes 8:2; 9:15 and 10:20.) And a wise man’s heart discerns both time and judgment, And who knows the interpretation of a thing? Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. In a New Covenant context, we do it as part of our obedience to God. No one has power over the spirit to retain the spirit, So I commended enjoyment, because a man has nothing better under the sun than to eat, drink, and be merry; for this will remain with him in his labor all the days of his life which God gives him under the sun. Toil Is Meaningless. And so he wants to explore that thought a little more in verses 10 through 13…. This too is meaningless. 8 There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: In other words, if it’s your appointed time to die, you have no power to change that. The benefit and praise of wisdom . i. Now, the Preacher moves on to consider several negative aspects of wickedness. This goes along with the idea that the king does whatever he wants. Because for every matter there is a time and judgment: Wisdom knows what Solomon first poetically explained in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 - that there is a time and purpose for everything under heaven. That’s Ecclesiastes 6-7. These cookies are strictly necessary to provide you with services available through our website and to use some of its features. “…There is a time wherein one man–” what? You can’t discover every single thing that God has done, is doing, or will do. One might say that this question is even more troublesome, because in a very real sense, there are no. RELATE SKILLFULLY TO YOUR KING . Ecclesiastes 8 – Wisdom and Mystery A. (14) Why do the bad have it good and the good have it bad? KJV Ecclesiastes 8:1 Who is as the wise man? Some kings do in fact rule over men in a hurtful way. “I have seen wicked men buried and as their friends returned from the cemetery, having forgotten all the dead man’s evil deeds, these men were praised in the very city where they had committed their crimes!” (Living Bible). iv. God’s work is unsearchable. Enjoy your work – whatever it is you do. So, enjoy the good things that God has given, submit to his sovereignty in your life, value difficult things over pleasant things, remember these contradictions to the law of retribution, and deal wisely with the unjust. The business that is done on earth, even though one sees no sleep day or night, : “The very busyness of life worries us into asking where it is taking us, and what it means, if it does mean anything. a. i. II. Do not take your stand for an evil thing, for he does whatever pleases him.”, Where the word of a king is, there is power; Some particular instances of wisdom prescribed to us. As we enter this Ecclesiastes 8 summary article, we remember that chapter 7 ended with considering our need of wisdom in dealing with the unjust. (Ecclesiastes 8:2). Introduction. Ecclesiastes chapter 8. And I think this relates to the Preacher’s admonition in verse 3 to not leave a king’s presence hastily in order to join in a rebellion against him. Man is miserable, and death is certain. iii. 5 One who obeys the command will come to no harm; the heart of the sage knows the right moment and verdict,. Often, we have the situation described in verse 14…. Again, there are wicked men to whom it happens according to the work of the righteous: Perhaps even more of a problem to the Preacher was the question, “Why do wicked men seem to be blessed?” The strength of this question also made life seem meaningless (vanity). The spirit or soul goes to God (see Ecclesiastes 12:7). The Book of Ecclesiastes, written roughly around 935 BC, comes from the Hebrew word “Qoheleth” (Koheleth) which means “preacher.” The Septuagint, the Greek version of the Old Testament, has the word Ecclesiastes as coming from “assembly.” The Book of Ecclesiastes is part of the wisdom literature of the Bible and written by King Solomon and it’s almost like an autobiography of his own life … b. When I applied my heart to know wisdom and to see the business that is done on earth, even though one sees no sleep day or night, then I saw all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun. A man’s wisdom makes his face shine, and the hardness of … Ecclesiastes chapter 8. Allow me to shed some light on three arenas: authority, agony and academics. 4 Where the word of a king is, there is power: and who may say unto him, What doest thou? This also makes us reflect on our obedience to God as the Great King. Those under authority still need to obey that authority – even when it results in their hurt. But during a war? With his under the sun premise, Solomon despaired that the wicked dead are not punished after death. (9-13) Mysteries of Providence. Here is, I. Verse 1. Learn how your comment data is processed. Summary of Ecclesiastes 6-7. They’re bad to their subjects. Check to enable permanent hiding of message bar and refuse all cookies if you do not opt in. And we have the Supreme Court or the Judicial Branch. Though the misery of man increases greatly. We can agree with Solomon’s advice here, from both an Old Testament and New Testament perspective. With his, the wicked dead are not punished after death, Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men us fully set in them to do evil. i. Click on the different category headings to find out more. He who keeps his command will experience nothing harmful; So, in this world it might appear that sinners are on top and the righteous are the losers. This also is vanity. (14-17) Commentary on Ecclesiastes 8:1-5 (Read Ecclesiastes 8:1-5) There are just men to whom it happens according to the wicked, : Solomon, speaking from his eternity-excluding viewpoint, felt this made life meaningless (, Again, there are wicked men to whom it happens according to the work of the righteous, : Perhaps even more of a problem to the Preacher was the question, “Why do, seem to be blessed?” The strength of this question also made life seem meaningless (, i. Certain things are too powerful for humans to try to control: the command of the king, the wind or "breath of life," and the day when death will come. You won’t get all of it. Knowing God will lead to understanding and then to sharing that knowledge with others. That’s called “going AWOL”. A man’s wisdom makes his face shine, and the hardness of his face is changed. So who can tell him when it will occur? Summary. Then I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the place of holiness, and they were forgotten in the city where they had so done. i. 10 ¶ And so I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the place of the holy, and they were forgotten in the city where they had so done: this is also vanity. EasyEnglish is a system of simple English designed by Wycliffe Associates (UK). 9. And that’s where our system of government is a little different. So I commended enjoyment: With the meaninglessness of life so plain to the Preacher, all he could counsel was to make the best of a bad situation and enjoy life the best way possible. KJV Ecclesiastes 8:1 Who is as the wise man? 7 who does not know what the outcome will be, no one is going to say how things will turn out. A wise man’s heart may discern both time and judgment, but certainly not perfectly; and not all are wise. a man’s wisdom maketh his face to shine [illumines him/brightens his appearance], and the boldness of his face shall be changed [causes his stern (strong) face to beam/softens his harsh countenance]. 14 ¶ There is a vanity which is done upon the earth; that there be just men, unto whom it happeneth according to the work of the wicked [they get what the wicked deserve]; again, there be wicked men, to whom it happeneth according to the work of the righteous: I said that this also is vanity. 10 Then too, I saw the wicked buried —those who used to come and go from the holy place and receive praise [] in the city where they did this. b. 9 All this I saw, as I applied my mind to everything done under the sun. Please be aware that this might heavily reduce the functionality and appearance of our site. RULETH OVER ANOTHER. or government authority (though this is part of our obligation). Now, earlier in the book, we were led to consider that one of God’s works is humbling men through death. And we’ll read the last verse that draws our attention to our duty to obey our authority…. (14-17) Commentary on Ecclesiastes 8:1-5 (Read Ecclesiastes 8:1-5) Solomon knew that wisdom makes a man happier, even in an under the sun premise (makes his face shine… the sternness of his face is changed). Or maybe it’s saying that the king himself made an oath to God concerning his duties while in office. I surely know that it will be well with those who fear God, who fear before Him. Chapter Contents. Chapter 2: Work, wealth and pleasure cannot satisfy people. In a New Covenant context, we do it as part of our obedience to God. As a matter of fact, the word "vanity" is used 33 times, evenly distributed throughout the book in every chapter except chapter 10. But it’s not to say that the king is always going to be right – or even righteous. : Wisdom knows what Solomon first poetically explained in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 – that there is a time and purpose for everything under heaven. The first seven chapters of the book illustrate all of the worldly things under the sun that the Preacher tries to find satisfaction in. He wishes this were true but cannot have confidence that it is while clinging to his under the sun premise. Linking the first part of V1 (Who is like the wise? As a result, we need a summary of the many high points of instruction within it before moving into Ecclesiastes 8. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. And this time we’re led to think of its inevitability…, Your email address will not be published. Here it speaks of the wise man who is visibly gracious in his demeanour, and (as the next phrase says) whose gentleness is obvious in his facial expression.” (Eaton). 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