Ecclesiastes 1:9-18 Notes
by Kevin Poston
9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
10 Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.
11 There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.
12 I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem.
13 And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.
14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.
15 That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.
16 I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.
17 And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit.
18 For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.
Verse 9 What has happened in the past, will happen now, and in the future. There is nothing truly new, just forgotten.
Verse 10 When a man presents something new to the world, it is not. It has merely been forgotten history. In some form or fashion, it has been already of old time or past ages.
Verse 11 No one fully remembers the past. Neither will there be any memory of us at the present time by future generations.
~8/8/2018 Solomon explains the eye is not satisfied with seeing and the ear is not satisfied with hearing. Therefore, nothing will be remembered. It will happen over and over. Men may even present it as new but it has already been done; just forgotten. Even as we teach history, the same things repeat themselves. War is war no matter where the battle is. Genocide is still genocide were mass murder is. Corruption is still corrupt and empires still rule. They are just called by a different name. States are still conquered but excused for humanitarianism. The example of the children of Israel is still played out today. A people begins their reign humbly.
Verses 12-13 Solomon had applied his mind to find the truth by way of wisdom. Seeking all things done here on earth. He had found God has given men a labor intense, difficult, and worrisome path in life.
Verse 14 After seeing the works of man done on earth. Solomon had found all is vanity and vexation of spirit. Which could also be translated from Hebrew to chasing the wind, striving for the wind, feedeth on the wind, or feedeth on ashes. Either way, the point is taken well that man’s endeavors are meaningless.
Verse 15 Adding more to Verse 14, Solomon makes notice that all of a man’s endeavors or inventions, cannot change the course of events. Also, anything man does can not remedy the defects or faults he has committed.
Verse 16 Solomon considered the condition of his own soul. Also, considers his great wealth. He regards that he had great wisdom and knowledge. More wisdom and wealth than all who came before him in Jerusalem.
Verse 17 Solomon had given his mind to wisdom. Also, to madness and folly. He had given himself to know all the good and bad. He has seen that this was vexation of spirit. (feeding on the wind, Striving after the wind, Feeding on ashes, Chasing the wind). Otherwise, it was vain or meaningless to do.
Verse 18 Much wisdom brings out the truth. You see man’s self-destruction, his inevitable outcome, and his imperfections. All of this is worrisome or a heavy burden and increases sorrow.