Book of Ecclesiastes Notes
by Kevin Poston
The Book Ecclesiastes is a constant study and periodically updated. #kevinposton
Learn the lesson from the wisest man who ever lived. Learn from His warning and be wise. Are you prepared for the truth? No matter how much it may hurt. Are you prepared to see the sorrow of mankind? The self-destruction of man and the foolishness of man. Are you prepared for wisdom? What are you prepared to give up to attain it?
Chapter 1 Notes
#Verse 1 The word of the preacher, he reveals the truth and God's word. The son of David, king in Jerusalem, David only had one son who ruled in Jerusalem, and that was Solomon.
Verse 2 "Vanity of Vanities; all is vanity”. This is the case not only from the brevity of life but also when compared to Eccl 12:13. When we see all truly is vanity except our duty to serve God and obey his commands "for this is the whole duty of man."
Verse 3 What profit does man get from all his labor? Putting more emphasis on laboring for God instead of for man or yourself. When nothing labored toward man or self can go to the grave with you. Laboring for God is the only thing that travels with you on the day of death.
Verse 4 Generations come and go as vapors. This is a never-ending cycle we have lived since the beginning. The earth has cycles, but its cycles renew one another. The cycle of the rain refreshes the trees, animals, and even we humans. There is a purpose for the changing seasons, particularly for trees and animals. The spring brings beauty, mating, and food. The Winter brings rest, and the Summer brings food as well. Besides bearing crops in summer. A man really has no purpose in the seasons. Only to enjoy them during their short lives. So truly, the earth abides forever.
Verse 5 Even the heavenly bodies as the sun abide forever. They also have an unending cycle, a purpose that seems never-ending. As the sun arose and set thousands of years ago, so it does also today.
Verse 6 South and North here are examples. For the wind whirls in all directions. Truly, it whirleth continually and returns to the point that it came. Another endless cycle for the earth. It is the same wind as it was in the beginning.
Verse 7 Another endless cycle of the earth, is the water cycle. All the rivers run into the sea and return again to the clouds. Then through rain return again to the rivers. The same water flows again to the sea.
Verse 8 The Hebrew dabar meaning either things or words. So we could rightfully say that the preacher here is saying, all things and words are full of labor. Neither can man ever fully understand these things. The endless cycles and the endless labor for all things and words. So, the eye is not satisfied nor the ear. Since what is seen and heard is only a repetition of the past.
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.
Chapter 2 #Notes
The Book Of Ecclesiastes Chapter 2 Notes
The Vanity of Self-Indulgence
Verse 1 Seeking diligently for happiness Solomon now tries just having a good time. But Solomon found this was vain and did not bring happiness to man.
Verse 2 Solomon had found virtually that laughter is madness. Also, that mirth does nothing for anyone.
Verse 3 Solomon gave himself to drinking wine. Yet, still holding on to wisdom, but committing folly as well. Doing this so that he may find out what was pleasurable for mankind in their lives.
Verses 4-8 Solomon was very wealthy, with at least 700 wives. The amount of gold he received yearly was 666 talents of gold per year. One talent of gold equals 34.5 kg, which converts to 1109 troy ounces. A ballpark current value of gold is $960 per ounce. Multiply that out and the King’s salary was about $760 million per year. which, after 40 years of reign adds up to 30 billion. Not to mention his assets of horses, land, etc. which adds up to amounts we couldn’t imagine.
Verse 9 Solomon points out he was great. He increased all he had more than anyone who had ever lived in Jerusalem before him.
Verse 10 Solomon satisfied all his desires. He enjoyed everything possible. He also enjoyed all his labor. This was his reward for his labor.
Verse 11 After all of this, he found his work fruitless. All he had done and possessed was empty, meaningless, and worrisome to the soul. So actually there is no profit for labor done on earth.
The Vanity of Living Wisely
Verse 12 Then Solomon observed wisdom. Also, madness and folly. Who can do this better than a king? Who has the riches to do so and also anything else he may need? Even if, it had already been done before.
Verse 13 Solomon found that wisdom was better than foolishness. Even if, the pursuit of wisdom was not totally gratifying. Same as the light is better than darkness. It is the difference between being wise and able to see or be foolish and blind.
Verse 14 Solomon seen the event of death happens to both the wise man and the fool. The wise man can see where he is going, but the fool is blind.
Verse 15 Then Solomon Earnestly thought. If the event of death happens the same to wise men and fools: He asks God the question: why was I given more wisdom? This is empty and has no meaning.
Verse 16 After his words in Verse 15 Solomon adds: Because there is no remembrance of the wise more than a fool eternally. All will be forgotten and swept away by the hands of time. Solomon Asks God another question: How is it, that a wise man dies the same as a fool?
Verse 17 So after all this Solomon hated life; because the work that is done on earth is full of grief, and all is empty, meaningless, and worrisome to the soul.
Verse 18 Now Solomon acknowledges, he hated the labor he had done on earth. Because he will leave it for an inheritance to the man after his reign.
Verse 19 Follow up to Verse 18 Solomon says: Who knows if he will be a wise man or a fool? But he will have everything I have, which I showed myself wise in receiving. This is empty and meaningless.
Verse 20 From then on Solomon was depressed and hopeless about the labor he had done on earth.
Verse 21 There is a man who uses wisdom in all he does. Also, he uses knowledge and fairness. But all he gained using these will be left to someone else for their inheritance. This Solomon says is empty and meaningless. It is Vanity of Vanities. The worst of all vanities. A great evil.
Verse 22 What does man gain from his labor, and the weariness or pain of his heart. In the labor, he has done on earth.
Verse 23 Since man’s days are full of sorrow and his labor full of sadness. His nights are restless. This is empty and meaningless.
Verse 24 There is nothing better for man except to enjoy the gifts he has on earth and enjoy his labor on earth. These are gifts from God himself.
Verse 25 Solomon Acknowledges no one could have found these things better than he did. An extremely wealthy, wise, and comfortable king.
Verse 26 God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy to the man who does good in his sight. But gives sinners laborious burdens continuously to give to the upright in God’s eyes. Also, this is empty and troublesome to the soul.
Chapter 3 #Notes
The Book Of Ecclesiastes Chapter 3 Notes
Everything Has Its Time Verses 1-8
Verses 1-8 God has appointed the proper time for all things. Even pertaining to our wants and needs. Be patient with God, his will be done. God appoints the proper time for all in Verses 2 – 8. Also, the duration thereof. We will experience them all in proper time.
The God-Given Task verses 9-11
Verse 9 Since God appoints the times and seasons needed by man for all he does, what is man’s profit? It is none except to glorify God.
Verse 10 This sore travail(Ecclesiastes 1:13) Solomon saw the tasks God had given to men. That never brings lasting profit. After all, we all die naked as we came into the world.
Verse 11(God has made everything beautiful in its time.) All the things we see as beauty God made in its time. To everything, there is a season. (Also He has put eternity in their hearts) God has put an everlasting yearning in the hearts of man for eternity, salvation, and God. (except that no one) Though this is so, man does not know the work of God fully from creation to present.
Do good and enjoy the fruits of your labor verses 12-13
Verse 12 Solomon came to the conclusion after all this. That there is nothing better for a man than be morally good and rejoice in it.
Verse 13 Read Ecclesiastes 2:24 There is nothing better for man except to enjoy the gifts he has on earth and enjoys his labor on earth. These are gifts from God himself.
God's will is unchanging and unchangeable. His will is done as he sees fit verses 14-15.
Verse 14 God’s word, will, and commandments are eternal. Nothing can be added to it or taken away from it. God does so that men should always fear him.
Verse 15 Read Ecclesiastes Chapter 1 What has happened in the past, will happen now, and in the future. There is nothing truly new, just forgotten. Similar to Ecclesiastes 1:9 but Solomon adds that God requires it to be this way.
Injustice Seems to Prevail verses 16-17
Verse 16 Solomon saw corruption and it was in the place of judgment. Perhaps refereeing to the temple or courts, or both. In the place of righteousness, he saw sin within. The temple would be the most righteous. Both of these can easily compare to the present day. Churches pretending to worship God are full of sin. Accepting things contradictory to God’s law. Corrupt politics or courts. Passing laws contrary to God’s laws.
Verse 17 Solomon thought diligently and came to this conclusion. God will judge both the righteous and the wicked. In other words, God is the great avenger of sin. For all will die and face the judgment of God.
The unrighteous life verses 18-22
Verses 18-21 These passages are some favorite Verses for Jehovah’s witness. Who believe the soul does not continue after death. But Ecclesiastes is misinterpreted. Solomon thought well about the condition of men. Condition- in Hebrew has several meanings. One most corresponding to this text would be rest for the soul. Solomon considered those with no rest for their soul. Those that were sinful and refused God’s word. Therefore, God shows them they are like a beast. To the fool, they are themselves simply animals. They will die like an animal. They have no advantage over animals. For once, they die, they will turn back into dust. Jehovah’s Witness has failed this test among millions of others.
Verse 22 Solomon perceived that there was nothing better than enjoying what you have. That is your gift. Stay worry-free from the future. For, no one will be brought back from the dead to see the future.
Chapter 4 Notes
The Book Of Ecclesiastes chapter 4 Notes
The Human (Worldly) Condition Verses 1- 4
Verse 1 This is a sad calamity and a hard one to witness. It is the human who is under oppression by radical rulers, war, famine, and drought. Solomon had considered all these calamities. There were tears shed by the oppressed but had no comforter. No one seemed to care. This is happening in the present. It knowingly happened in the past. It will certainly happen in the future. Verse 2 So in Solomon’s immense common sense, he praised the dead. More than the living, since they will escape the tears, pain, and torment of this oppression. Verse 3 But, most fortunate of them all is those not born yet. Who has not seen the evil that goes on in the world? (Ecclesiastes 6:3). Verse 4 Again, Solomon considers the sore travail of man. (Ecclesiastes 1:13) Also, the good work of a man. Which, make men envy him. Make other men jealous of him, rivals. This is meaningless and troublesome to the soul.
Do not be lazy, but do not destroy yourself overworking Verses 5-6.
Verse 5 The lazy man which is indeed a fool. Folds his hands to refuse work. Which, destroys himself. Referring to the envious in the later Verse. Verse 6 Here Solomon recommends a balanced approach to work. One handful with quietness. That is better than much labor intense and painful work. After all, a man takes nothing to the grave. (Eccl 5:15)
Vanity of being alone and benefits of companionship verses 7-12
Verses 7-8 Solomon had seen the vanity of loneliness. Without any help from anyone, This man still has the same travail. So he will not be satisfied with riches for there is no need for it. Since he is all alone. Even asking himself; Why do I labor so hard for no reason? Missing the good he could have given to his soul. This is meaningless and extremely painful and labor intensive. Verses 9-12 Here Solomon gives an example of the benefits of a friend, spouse, or partner. Their labor together will bring more profit. When they lie together they can be warm. In Verse 12; two can stand against adversity, and three can do this even better than two.
Benefit of wisdom, yet, the owner is only mortal and will still be despised verses 13-16.
Verse 13 A poor child that is wise. Even though, he is poor. Still, he is better than a wealthy king that will not hear correction. (Eccl 9:18) Verse 14 Even though he has come from prison. His wisdom still allows him to become king. Even, in the kingdom where he was imprisoned. Verse 15 Solomon here considers all the people on Earth (under the sun). The rulers of these people are insignificant seeing the next generation will stand up in their places of rule. This is a constant cycle like the cycles we see in chapter one of Ecclesiastes. Verse 16 There is no end of all the people, generation after generation. People are as numerous as the stars in the universe. These people no matter the generation nor the ruler, some numberless will not rejoice in their ruler. This surely is meaningless and troublesome to the soul.
Chapter 5 Notes
The Book Of Ecclesiastes Chapter 5 Notes
In chapter 5 of Ecclesiastes, we find Solomon’s writings become deeper. Focusing more toward man’s duty to God.
Verse 1 (Walk prudently in the house of God- being careful what you do before God. Showing the greatest respect to God. Humbling yourself before God. Control all your activity before God the Almighty. Be eager to hear God’s word, and eager to worship God. Never giving the sacrifice of fools. Here Solomon speaks of those who worship God poorly, with a poor attitude and with no reverence or respect for God. This is seen today also in the church. Our sacrifices today are not the same as the sacrifices of Solomon’ s day. Our sacrifices today are our time. To worship God. To grow in the knowledge of his word. Humble ourselves before him to show our love and fear for him and spread his word. Time to save souls. But in today’s churches, there are those who disrespect the almighty God. They are noticeable in every congregation. Those who speak to others during worship. People who do not bow their head during prayer. Some that have no idea what was taught during worship. I’ve even seen people passing notes to one another. Worse of all during the Lord's supper they show no respect to God. Staring around and not bowing their heads. These are the sacrifice of fools that Solomon speaks of. Disrespecting God during their whole sacrifice to him. Then going away after worship with honor. Never spreading one word of truth to the sinner. They know not what they have done is evil. A disgrace to God!)
Verse 2 When you are in the house of God, do not let your mouth be rash like a fool. Spitting out any kind of trash that comes to your mouth. Showing what evil and foolishness may be in your heart. Think well before speaking in God’s presence. To the wise, this should be a practice done in all settings. Not just the house of God. Again, Solomon stresses having respect and fear for God. Do these things for “God is in heaven”. He is the almighty creator. Stand in awe and bow low before the king of all creation. Standing before such power say little. If you do speak let your words have as much grace as possible. “And you on earth”- Compared to God’s infinite power and wisdom. We men are only insects that are caught in the tractors combine. Very suddenly whisked away like dust in the wind. But a relationship built on fear. Will surely be rebelled against. Much as we see rogue nations rebelling against their government. Because they have feared them so long, just as Solomon who feared God, apparently did not love God. For his rebellion from God was noticeable. Especially in the later part of his reign. We must fear or respect God, but also love him.
Verse 3 This proverb is noticeable to the man who performs much work. At night, he dreams of the work he has done with his hands. The work that he has done hundreds of times over. But, here Solomon is adding to the latter Verse. He speaks here of the fool who utters foolishness in God’s house. All who are around him know he is a fool for he utters an endless amount of words. Even his very voice is known from his endless chatter. His words are rash and hasty. Everything Solomon warns us about in the latter Verse. Therefore, his activity brings him dreams of endless and foolish chatter. Quit miserable dreams! (Proverbs 26:12, Ecclesiastes 10:15)
Verses 4-7 Solomon tells us to pay God for any vow you may make to God. He says better not to make a vow at all than making one and not paying what you vowed. Only a fool breaks his vows to God. God is very displeased with vow breakers. Do not let your mouth entice fleshly desires and break your vow and sin. Moreover, don’t make yourself sin, making meaningless excuses to the righteous for why it happened. God being angry at such incompetence that he destroys everything you have. The more words that are spoken the more meaningless they are. (So fear God instead.)
But this was changed by Christ himself in (Matthew 5:33-37) Christ says not to make a vow period. Do not make a vow to heaven for it is God’s throne. Never make a vow on earth for it is God’s footstool. Do not make a vow on Jerusalem for it is the city of the Great King (God). Neither swear with your body either, for God even controls your body. As the hairs on the head, he is the one who makes them white or black. But be an honest man doing what you say. If you say yes, then truthfully mean yes. The same goes for saying no. Whoever does any different from what Christ demands, is of Satan. (Probably pertaining to those false teachers and false prophets that were to come. So-called Christians who preach contrary to God’s law.)
Verses 8-9 Another vanity of life. It is the oppression of the poor. Which may be by evil rulers or war. Also, justice and righteousness are violently corrupted. When Justice is given by the amount of bribery or bias. As the courts today are biased toward those with fame, or popular trends, such as homosexuals and certain races(so-called racism). As Solomon says in (Ecclesiastes 3:16) Solomon saw corruption and it was in the place of judgment. Perhaps referring to the temple or courts, or both. In the place of righteousness, he saw sin within. The temple would be the most righteous. Both of these can easily compare to the present day. Churches pretending to worship God are full of sin. Accepting things contradictory to God’s law. Corrupt politics or courts. Passing laws contrary to God’s laws. But do not be surprised by the oppression and corruption. This is humanities eventual outcome in all. There is a higher ranked official watching over the corrupt, and God watches over all. In other words, God will judge these people for their sins, since God is the ultimate equalizer that none can escape. The second official seems to refer to corruption even further up the chain of command. But God will judge all those who are oppressors of the poor, and spreaders of corruption. Furthermore, or (besides) even the king milks the land for his own profit. Adding another symbolism of corruption.
Verses 10-11 Silver was knowingly used in Solomon’s time as currency. So it is safe to say Solomon speaks of money/currency. He who loves money will not be satisfied with money. Neither will he be satisfied when his abundance of wealth, Continually increases. Pointing out that money has really no value in the grand scheme of things not even when increasing. Wisdom is the ultimate treasure to be obtained. (Proverbs 8:11, Proverbs 16:16, Proverbs 3:14) Solomon adds “This also vanity or meaningless.” It surely is Meaningless to the man who lives by the world, because, in all their gaining they Will never be satisfied. Solomon adding to Verse 10 tells us, when your wealth increases. The number of people who want a piece of your wealth increases. So, you never really get to enjoy it anyway. It really does not profit the owner because after everyone gets their piece of the pie it’s useless. You only briefly get to view it with your eyes. (With 700 wives this was surely the case for Solomon.)
Verse 12 A laboring man sleeps well because of his tiresome labor. This is true for he is tired from his labor, so he sleeps well, whether he eats or not. But the wealthy worry for the fate of their money and possessions. So he can never sleep for anxiety of losing his possessions.
Verse 13 Solomon had seen this severe evil, that was done upon the earth. Some would call this man stingy, Scrooge, or a penny pincher. This man stores away all his wealth for himself. Only to hurt himself by denying doing good with his wealth. (Eccl 11:1-2)
Verse 14 But the wealth he stowed away, is lost because of misfortune. Perhaps it is stolen or lost when investments fall. Then when he has children he is poor. He has nothing to pass on to his children.
Verse 15 Here Solomon turns to the death of the stingy man. Showing us the obviousness of death. The obviousness of; you can not take riches with you to death. All the wealth he had labored for was meaningless. Meaningless because he can not take it with him.
Verse 16 This is another severe evil to man. Naked as he came, so also he will leave this earth. So, what was the point of all his labor for his wealth? Like chasing the wind why would one chase the wind. It can never be caught. That man would be performing a meaningless task. So, Solomon compares this to our labor upon earth.
Verse 17 He also eats in darkness or everything is gloomy and depressing. Along with his dark and gloomy life, he also deals with sickness and anger as other men.
Verse 18 This is what Solomon found. It was good for men to eat and drink and enjoy their labor. The labor in which a man worries with, within his life God gave him. It is something one should be entitled to.
Verse 19 The blessed man is the one God has given wealth to. He has given him the power to enjoy these things joyfully, and not in gloom and sorrow. He freely receives what he deserves and enjoys his labor. These are gifts from God.
Verse 20 This man does not dwell in sorry, gloom, and depression. This is because God fills his heart with joy.
Chapter 6 Notes
The Book Of Ecclesiastes Chapter 6 Notes
Verses 1-2 Solomon had seen this evil on earth and it was common. Men who are given wealth and honor by God, and gives him all he needs and more. Yet, God does not let him enjoy this, or he is stricken with illness or calamity. So a stranger gets to use his wealth and pleasures. Solomon says this is meaningless and is extremely evil.
Verse 3 Even if a man had a hundred children and lived for many years. But, he does not enjoy it. His soul still longs for goodness or righteousness. He also is not even buried. He also is not buried with God. The man is not buried righteously. The stillborn child would be better than he would. A stillborn child, after all, would be buried righteously.
Verse 4 For his life is vain because he is unrighteous. He dies in darkness or hell bound. His name will bring darkness to the world. He would not have helped anyone. He will be forgotten and his life forgotten.
Verse 5 Solomon speaking of the unborn child. Even though, the child will never know anything about life here on earth. He is better off than the man who lives and dies in darkness.
Verse 6 Even if this man lives very long, and does not enjoy his life. (Eccl 6:3) Since we are all going to die and be put in the grave. What is the point?
Verse 7 Man labors for the necessities of life. To have food, clothing, and shelter. But neither is satisfied for long. We have to have more and better.
Verse 8 So really the wise man has no more than a fool. No more when compared to earthly life. The wise man must labor and deal with the travail of life. All of this the same as the fool. The wise man also has no more than the poor. The poor man being satisfied and is smart enough to sustain for himself and his family.
Verse 9 Better to be satisfied with what you do have, than wonder the ends of the world for desire. The wanderer seeks emptiness and meaninglessness, for he is never satisfied.
Verse 10 Man has chosen the life we live from the beginning. No man’s amount of wickedness can be weighed. Only God can know that. It is known it is man and evils are in their hearts. (Eccl 9:3) We can not make it any different. Because we can not battle with God and his beginning decision of man.
Verse 11 There are so many things here on earth that will increase our sorrow or worthlessness. A lot which is spoken of in the past chapters of Ecclesiastes. How could God’s decision of man ever be changed? Why contend with God, only we humans are to blame for our travail.
Verse 12 Men live by chance (Eccl 9:11), so we do not know what will happen from one moment to the next. Life is worthless without God. Serving God is the whole duty of man (Eccl 12:13). No one can tell the future and after death, no man can come back to see the future.
Chapter 7 Notes
The Book Of Ecclesiastes Chapter 7 notes
The Value of Practical Wisdom
Verse 1 The beginning of this proverb is self-explanatory. Precious ointment, though pricey. Is still of less worth than a good name. The second sentence speaks of death being better for those with a good name. Since all but God is meaningless, then death would be better for the upright. Seeing on earth all they experience is meaningless.
Verse 2 Here we see that going to funerals is better than going to parties. Funerals are better because we will all be there in the grave. Soon considering the brevity of life. The wise man will take this to his heart or seriously. For his soul is sent back to God who made it. Judgment will then soon commence. The condition then will be unchangeable. So truly the wise man would think much about death. Considering the consequences of it very well. Where better to consider the state of your soul, while you’re still among the living. All the fool considers is having a good time (hence the house of feasting).
Verse 3 Sorrow is better than laughter. Sadness humbles a man. The heart seems to care more, understand more, forgive more, and have more love when humbled by sorrow. Most of all he humbles himself before God.
Verse 4 This proverb is similar to Verse 2. Yet it has confirmed which prefers the house of mourning (funerals) or the house of mirth (parties). The wise prefer the house of mourning. Further, putting emphasis on sorrow is better than laughter in Verse 3. The fool only cares about having a good time, his heart is in the house of mirth.
Verse 5 Surely, it is better to be close to the painful rebuke, or constructive criticism of the wise. The fool only praises you, never correcting your errors. Wise words are painful but helpful.
Verse 6 Burning thorns burn very quickly and are very noisy and annoying while burning. Then the remains vanish and are gone forever. So is the laughter and words of fools. Their words come quickly. A fool’s laughter is loud and annoying. Then their words are gone forever, they are vain and quickly forgotten.
Verse 7 A wise man who is in authority to help others. Yet, chooses to oppress them instead. Is truly an absolute madman. Giving up good for evil and he receives bribes. His heart is destroyed. His heart becomes ruthless and selfish. Perhaps an old Solomon speaks of himself here, and of course, all others who do this. “He that winketh with the eye causeth sorrow.”(Proverbs 10:10)
Verse 8 Better is the end of thing truly. Especially burdensome events. Especially for the patient man who waits diligently for its end. But, even the end of a good thing is bittersweet. The patient is joyful at its end. The proud have no patience. Therefore, waiting for the end is impossible. Instead, they lead themselves to many other burdensome events. Then the prideful are always full of burden. Even death is better for the patient in spirit if their heart is truly righteous.
Verse 9 Do not be hasty or quickly aroused to anger. This shows you are a great fool. It shows what sets upon your heart. This shows you have no patience, understanding, wisdom, knowledge, or love. Also, that you have no concern in obtaining either. Therefore, wisdom will never rest in the heart of an angry fool.
Verse 10 In all past generations there has noticeably been good and evil. This is recognizable by studying any sort of history. You do not inquire wisely, for you know not without a doubt it is so. Less, you speak and be made a liar and a fool.
Verses 11-12 Notice “wisdom is good with an inheritance”. When suddenly acquired and not slaved over. For slaving to obtain money will be a hindrance, on a path to search for wisdom. It is profitable to seek wisdom. Wisdom and money are both defenses. Therefore, together are a double defense against foolishness. Of course, if the money is used wisely. But always, wisdom is still more excellent. Obtaining it with or without money. For, the wise man follows God’s laws. Which give him a better life on earth and the possibility of reaching heaven after death.
Verses 13-14 Consider God’s work. Though, it seems crooked and disfigured to us humans. It is very foolish to quarrel with the most mighty. Also, impossible for man to change. It would be like chasing the wind. Be joyful and satisfied with what God gives you. Whether joyous or adverse. For, after any amount of rebellion. God’s will, can only be accepted. It is your choice alone if your acceptance will be painful or easily submissive. For, who can contend with he who is mightier than you? (Eccl 6:10)
Verses 15-18 Solomon begins with the vanity, he has seen, of martyrdom among the righteous. Also, the well-lived life of the wicked. So, his common sense would be a balanced approach to both. Do not be overly righteous or overly wicked. Being so overly wise and righteous that evil men would wish to destroy you. In other words, so eager to spread the truth that the rebuked wish to kill you. Much of the way rebuke or truth killed many prophets and even the son of God. But, do not be overly wicked either, and be a total fool. So evil, that God wipes away your life. Whether it be on earth or in the book of life. Verse 18 seems to be a warning. To grasp or hold this knowledge that Solomon had found. To never forget it if you are wise. Take warning of this vanity done unto the righteous. If you wish to proceed unbalanced, Much as the way of the prophets and apostles did. This is what will happen. For he who fears God will escape them all. Whether balanced or unbalanced will escape it all soon. Perhaps, the unbalanced faster than the balanced. Perhaps, the unbalanced with a greater reward.
Verses 19-20 Though wisdom makes your mind and heart strong. Stronger than the 10 most physically strong men there are. Seemingly strong enough to ward off all foolishness. Do not fool yourself, thinking you are sinless. There will never be a sinless man on earth. No man that always does good. No man is that just and righteous.
Verses 21-22 Very wise advice here by Solomon. Don’t be eager to hear all things spoken about you. Listening to those who curse you. Whether it be for rebuke or reproof. For, you know you have cursed others before. For the same reasons. Knowing what to listen for and what to ignore, shows wisdom. Just as knowing when to speak and when to keep your mouth shut. Never ignore constructive criticism. Remember, no man is always good. No man never sins. Also, anger rests in the bosom of fools. We are all human beings. We are all infallible. Therefore, always have compassion on the other. Even if, their words are harsh. This sore travail we are given. We all must travel it.
Verses 23-24 Solomon had tried to perfect wisdom, all with failure. It was always far off. So deep, even he could not perfect it. Like pieces of treasure, buried deep in the ground. Some so deep they are impossible to retrieve. So is the search for wisdom constant and never-ending.
Verses 25-26 Solomon had dedicated his life to know and search for wisdom. To know the reason of things on earth. Even folly, foolishness, and madness. He had found perhaps by his own experience. Due to his godless foreign wives. A godless woman is more bitter than death. Destroying the godly. Snaring the godly into fornication, adultery, or even worshiping false gods. Whoever pleases God will turn away from her. Ignoring her enticing words or body.
Verses 27-29 Solomon seeking the truth diligently and honestly had tried to find, but not found. Solomon is not belittling women here. Solomon says he had found one upright man and not one woman. Following Solomon says “Lo, this only have I found”. So he had not found upright men or women period. God made us all upright. Yet, the insane inventions we humans have made has taken all of our virtue away. We are born innocent and godlike. As we age, we learn insanity of man. Man’s beliefs throw us a million different ways. Opposite of God’s upright ways. Remember all this pertains also to Solomon himself. He also found he was not virtuous either.
Chapter 8 Notes
The Book Of Ecclesiastes Chapter 8 Notes
Verse 1 Who is wise? The few who fear God, and search out his vast and mysterious plans. Who is he who knows the interpretation of God’s word? This wisdom makes his appearance radiant, and his face is stern from the study of knowledge.
Obey Authorities for God’s Sake.
Verse 2 This must refer to the emergence of kings after the period of the judges. When the children of Israel begged God for a king. (1 Samuel 8) Even after Samuel told the children of Israel what a king would demand. Therefore, swearing an oath to obeying the kings.
Verse 3 Watch your steps before the king, be faithful to him. Do not rebel against the king and plot evil against him. For, he can do whatever he wants to the plotters.
Verse 4 This has a presence of (Eccl 6:10). Solomon must be referring to God here. Perhaps he spoke of God in Verse 3 as well. For God can do as he wishes. Also, who can ask God “What are you doing?” “ Neither may he contend with him that is mightier than he”. Seems, that Solomon speaks of God’s and man’s authority.
Verse 5 This also seems to refer to God’s and man’s authority. For, if you keep the command of both nothing harmful will come. The wise man will accept this truth. He will be submitting to these truths for the sake of God’s and man’s judgment.
Verse 6 (Eccl chapter 3). There are times and purposes for everything. Even a purpose for man’s will, allowed by God. Even if the man is oppressive and destructive. All of these things will be brought to God’s judgment in due time. Even if the misery of man is increased, this is the case.
Verse 7 Solomon is surely speaking of the oppressor and the oppressed here. They do not know the future of their lives. Also, no one can tell them what will happen in the future. Only God knows the duration or an oppressor’s reign or the misery of the oppressed.
Verse 8 No man has power over death. He can not keep his soul from going to God who gave it. The wicked will meet judgment, and they will answer for their sins. Again, because no man can escape the war between life and death. Again the reason the wise think a lot about death. Soon they will face the judgment, so they will consider well the state of their soul.
~ 9/29/2018 Verses 6 - 8 further emphasize that life is decided by chance. Which is stated in chapter 9:11. Men do not know the future. Neither, can it be predicted? Also, they will never know the time of their death. The race is not to the swift, or the battle to the strong, neither bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, or favor to men of skill. It is all decided by chance. So, for this, their misery is great upon them.
Verse 9 Still, Solomon speaks of the oppressive ruler. Perhaps these Verses referencing the oppressive ruler refers somewhat to himself. For he had seen this at his own hands. Referring to, not just other kingdoms but his own. He had seen the wicked ruler was not just hurting his kingdom but also himself. Turning to wickedness toward his kingdom. In turn, destroying his own soul.
Death Comes to All
Verse 10 Solomon speaks of the wicked that was once holy. Those who turned from righteousness to evil. But their wickedness was forgotten where it was committed. In turn, they were given a burial fit for a righteous man. This is meaningless indeed. This could be easily applied to our society today. I myself have seen wicked people who were buried as they were righteous. Spoken of righteously as though they had never committed any evil. This is meaningless indeed.
Verse 11 If an evil man is not punished properly, other evil men see it as an opportunity to do evil. For they have seen they will not pay harsh penalties for doing so. So it is fully set in their heart that they can perform evil. Another great example of current society. Society has deceived themselves into thinking, they are very humane by not being harsh on evil. But, in turn, leaving everyone else in jeopardy and filling prisons.
Verse 12 Solomon points out, even though this may be the case. No matter how much evil they commit, even if their days are prolonged. It will go better for those who fear God. After all, the wicked have only one reward.
Verse 13 “Nor will he prolong”- seeming to contradict Verse 12. But adds here his days are as a shadow. Suggesting his days no matter how prolonged they may be, are like a shadow because he is damned. This because he does not fear God and obey his commandments.
Verse 14 This is the same idea of Verse 10. This Solomon says is a meaningless thing that happens on earth. Righteous men are treated as though they are evil. Also, there are wicked men treated as though they are righteous. This surely is meaningless. Another example that can be applied to today’s society. Today this can be seen in all facets of life. Those who try to do good are labeled as evil to society. Those who try to smother the truth are treated as righteous. Extremely meaningless!
Verse 15 Again, Solomon praises enjoyment, for happiness will remain with a man throughout his life. Happy during the days God gives him to live upon the earth. It seems Solomon is suggesting enjoy the simple things in life. Cease from worry, stress, and anxiety.
Verse 16 Again, as in Eccl chapter 1. Solomon acknowledges he applies his heart to wisdom. To see all that goes on here on earth and the works of God. He has seen there are those who are sleepless in their pursuit of wickedness. They labor day and night at achieving it. (Proverbs 4:16) “For they do not sleep unless they have done evil, And their sleep is taken away unless they make someone fall.”
Verse 17 Then when trying to discover the work God does here on earth. Solomon realized that a man can never know God’s work done here on earth. Men can try to understand it all, but will not be able to. Even if, a wise man attempts to understand God’s work on earth he will not find it.
Chapter 9 Notes
The Book Of Ecclesiastes Chapter 9 Notes
Verse 1 Solomon considered sincerely to seek out the truth of these matters. He found that God controlled the works of the righteous and the wise. Solomon telling the righteous and the wise not to despair. Do not despair for God is in control. People or no one knows love or hatred without God to reinforce their morals. Without God’s wisdom, they will not know the truth of either love or hatred. They can not distinguish between the two.
Verse 2 There is a single evil that happens to everyone on earth. Even the righteous, the wicked, the good, and the sinless. Also, the sinful, him who sacrifices for God and him that does not. Same to the good, the sinner, the one who makes promises, and the one who fears making promises.
Verse 3 This is the evil that is the same for all men under the sun or in the world. Man’s hearts are full of evil and madness while on earth. After all this, they die. A true description of man Solomon had found. We are evil and mad, all of us in some form or fashion. We tarry our whole lives with the burden of sins. After all this, we die and that is the basic view of mankind. Especially the unrighteous man who is only a wild animal with carnal desires.
Verse 4 This is another form of the earthly view. It is he who is glad of life even if he is treated as a dog. He is better than the dead man who dies wealthy because he still lives and breathes and the other does not. Just as long as this dog remains breathing he is better than the dead. Also, you must take in effect that one more day of breath is also desired of the righteous. (Eccl 11:7)
Verses 5-6 Now we see what Solomon was writing about in the previous Verses. “Nevermore will they have a share in anything done under the sun”. It is true the living know they will die. But the dead will know nothing else on earth. They will never be rewarded for anything on earth. Their memory will certainly be forgotten. They will have no more love, hatred, or envy. They will not receive anything from life here on earth after death. We see Solomon is speaking of the earthly man in these passages. Certainly, this is all he has to look forward to when he dies. We can safely say he speaks of the unrighteous here.
Verses 7-8 Again as in chapter 8 Solomon praises the joy of the simple things in life. Eat bread with joy, Drink your wine merrily. Now in these Verses, he speaks of the righteous. God has accepted your works you labor in for him. Let you be clean or sinless and always be noble and honorable before God.
Verse 9 Live a simple and joyful life. Live happily with the wife you love through your meaningless life. God has given you this life under the sun. Even though, your life is meaningless. God has given you this life as a gift. Joyfully perform the work God has given you to do here on earth.
Verse 10 Enjoy the work that God has given you. Enjoy the strength God has given you to perform your work. Work hard and the best you can, because there is no work, planning, knowledge, or wisdom when you die. You can not enjoy this anymore here on earth.
Verse 11 We seemingly live by chance here on earth. We know God controls all things. But it seems like a chance to us. We don’t know what will happen today, tomorrow, or far in the future. For who will tell you what will happen today or in the future.
Verse 12 Solomon gives an example of our unknowing future. We are like fish who are caught in a cruel net or birds in a snare. So we may suddenly fall upon evil times. Like the fish or the birds, we will never see it or know where it may be until we are ensnared within it.
Wisdom Superior to Folly
Verses 13-15 Solomon had seen this happen on earth and it impressed him much. When the city was attacked and overcame. A poor wise man saved the city by way of his wisdom. Everyone forgot this wise man because he was poor. We know this is so by the next Verse. This indeed would be very impressive to a wise man. It is sad to know wisdom is weighed by wealth instead of the weight of wisdom.
Verse 16 “Then I said:” This is the impression that he came away from this scene with. Wisdom was better than the king whose mighty strength could overtake a city. Better because the wise knew how to outsmart the king and his strength. Yet, because he was poor what he did was despised and his words were not heard, or the truth is not heard from a poor man. How Sad!
Verse 17 Solomon saw the vanity of this calamity. The truth a wise man would know. Wisdom should be heard more than any shouts of a fool. Even if this fool had great wealth and power as a king.
Verse 18 Solomon knew that wisdom was still better than the weapons that wage war. Seeing that wisdom can get them to cease. But one sinner likened to the foolish king who besieged the small city. All it takes is one fool like this to destroy many good things.
Chapter 10 Notes
The Book Of Ecclesiastes Chapter 10 Notes
Verse 1 Dead decaying flies, if left in the ointment for making sweet smelling perfume will ruin it. Making it give off a foul decaying odor instead of a sweet smell. The same goes for a man who performs a little folly who is respected for his wisdom and honor. A little folly will make his wisdom decay and give off a foul odor. Turning others away from his wisdom, and they will avoid his wisdom.
Verse 2 “A wise man’s heart is at his right hand” or dominant hand. The hand most used for all activities. So the right hand represents his righteousness. He uses his righteousness for his dominant works. The left hand is lazy and has less muscle mass or the least righteousness. Not very useful in all activities in daily life. But this is the hand a fool prefers. Little or no righteousness and no strength for God’s commands.
Verse 3 This is the fool that is recognizable in his everyday activities. Noticeably to everyone he portrays his foolishness. They know he lacks wisdom by his deeds. All he does in public is foolish. Therefore, showing his foolishness to everyone. Perhaps even being proud to be a fool.
Verse 4 If a man of higher authority is displeased with an offense you have committed. Do not run away and try to avoid him. Be humble and try to correct disputes and it will calm great offenses.
Verses 5-7 Here Solomon speaks of another evil he had found on earth. He sees this error done by a ruler. The ruler gives the senseless great honor. The rich are given low honor. A ruler allows the senseless to have more luxuries than the rich and those of royalty. More fittingly, putting foolishness before honor.
Verse 8 Solomon now goes to the form of proverbs in his scriptures. Giving warning to the wise for caution, common sense, and remembering we are governed by chance. If you dig a pit have common sense when doing so. Be cautious for chances are, there may be danger thereof. When demolishing a wall be cautious and have common sense. Chances are danger may lie on the other side.
Verse 9 Again Solomon speaks of caution, common sense, and chance. Be cautious when dealing with large stones. Use common sense because chances are they could fall and crush you.
Verse 10 If a blade of an ax is dull and you do not sharpen it. You will have to use more power to chop wood. But wisdom gives you the common sense to sharpen the blade before starting. In other words, if you can find an easier way to do something do it. You can save yourself from useless work.
Verse 11 Serpents being charmed in the middle east are done by a skilled charmer. Charmers not skilled he will be bitten. This is compared to a babbler. His words are not skilled when spoken and have no shield against death. So are foolish words like the serpent’s bite, they are deadly. These proverbs, of course, are relevant to life then and now. Solomon stresses having caution, common sense, and the knowledge that the outcome could be of chance. Solomon stresses this in your daily activities. Also, Solomon points out in Verse 10, wisdom will lead you to a better and easier success.
Verse 12 The wise man’s words will bring safety. The wise man’s speeches please others. Soothing to those with anger and offenses. But the lip’s of fools are dangerous and provocative. Their words stir up evil and hate. The fool will destroy himself with his word’s.
Verse 13 Adding more to the nature of a fool’s mouth. What comes from his mouth at the beginning is foolish. But become even more foolish with more words. By the end of his raving words, he is a total madman. His words have no meaning and soon gone and forgotten. (Eccl 7:6)
Verse 14 This seems to speak of the fool that is the false prophet. His words are many, and he pretends to know the future. He oversteps his boundaries of human knowledge. He pretends to know something he does not. Something no man will ever know, and that is the future.
Verse 15 Solomon now speaks of the lazy fool or the sluggard. They are troubled by their labor for they do not know how to perform it, or they resist it. They are so sluggish they don’t even know where they are going.
Verse 16 Sorrowful is the land led by a child. The land having a childish ruler. He has no care for his duties and avoids them. Those in high authority eat in the morning. (Verse 17) They eat at the improper time.
Verse 17 But, blessed is the land whose king is the son of a noble people. The men of authority eat at the proper time. They care about their kingdom and keep to their duty for the kingdom. They eat for strength to perform their duties to the kingdom. Not like the childish king who just eats to get drunk.
Verse 18 Solomon surely speaks of the childish king. He is portrayed as a lazy drunk. Since all he does is stay drunk, his kingdom decays.
Verse 19 Feasts bring laughter and wine brings cheerfulness. But without money neither is so. Without money neither is possible. Constant partying will not obtain money. The possession of money is not simply for parties. Those who waste money on parties will not have any left for meaningful use. This should be read often by the young.
Verse 20 A caution to the wise, do not plot evil against the higher authorities. Do not wish evil on the rich even in the most secret place. For you never know if someone may hear this treason. Then it will be reported to the higher authorities.
Chapter 11 Notes
The Book Of Ecclesiastes Chapter 11 Notes
Starting in Chapter 11 Solomon becomes poetic. It is dark poetry and dark advice for all ages. Adding to the rest of Solomon’s dark sayings in the previous chapters. Hard to read and accept, which most of Ecclesiastes is hard to accept. Even hard for many Christians to accept. But must be read to obtain wisdom.
The Value of Diligence
The starting topic is the value of Diligence. But would be better set as preparing for chance diligently.
Verse 1 Give freely to the word of God or give freely to support his doctrine. Chances are you will be rewarded after many days. Either you will be rewarded by the righteous or by God. Water throughout the Bible represents God’s word. (Eph 5:26-27), (Ezk 36:25), (Heb 10:22) These are some examples of the use of water to represent God’s word.
Verse 2 Give freely of your possessions to as many people as possible. Whether you possess wealth, knowledge, understanding, or wisdom. Give freely whatever possession you have. Chances are you will befall to evil also in the future. Then you will need the charity of others to escape your calamity.
Verse 3 Solomon adds to Verse 2 that no man is immune to the evil that may befall them. When the clouds are full of rain they will fall perhaps as storms. They will fall where they wish no matter the man’s estate in life. Likewise, Solomon compares the evils of life to a tree. Whether it falls north or south it will fall that way and stay. Showing no respect to anyone that evil may destroy. In other words, no one on earth can retain themselves from death. Also, they will never know when that time will be, or how it will be. (Eccl 8:8)
Verse 4 Do not let the uncertainties of life destroy your diligence. Do not look for excuses to stop you from performing your task in life. Do not dwell on the unknowns of life and chase the wind. The unknowns that are just that, those events that will never be known.
Verse 5 Again as in past chapters Solomon points out the work of God. The work that can not be learned by mortals. God’s work is an unknown mystery like the forming of a child in the womb. Though man seeks to find it, they will not. (Eccl 8:17)
Verse 6 Be diligent in your work constantly in the morning, evening, and daily. Do this because you do not know when you will find prosperity. Chances are you will prosper from your work at one time or the other. Perhaps even prosper at all times.
Verse 7 Truly this life is good and it is pleasant. Every new day God bestows upon you is a blessing.
Verse 8 Even though it is pleasant to have a new day, which should be received as a blessing. Even though, God gives you a pleasant life that you enjoy. Remember there will still be many days filled with pain, sickness, struggles, and sorrow. Remember in the whole scheme of things life is meaningless.
Seek God in Early Life
Verse 9 Solomon here starts his plea to the young man. Call it a plea, a warning, or a certainty. Which starts in Verse 9 and extends into chapter 12. Young men rejoice in being young while you can. Have happiness when you enjoy the simplicity of being young. Follow your heart’s desire and live by the sight of your eyes when you are young. But remember this warning, God will still judge you for any wicked and ungodly deeds you do on earth.
Verse 10 Remove sorrow or worry and anxiety from your heart. Avoid fleshly evils, for childhood and youth, are meaningless as well. Though young, you still can not escape the chances of death spoken of earlier. You cannot escape God’s judgment for all evil things you do.
Chapter 12 Notes
The Book Of Ecclesiastes Chapter 12 Notes
Now we reach the end of Ecclesiastes. Solomon begins with the rest of his plea to the young man. Then Solomon gives us the conclusion of all he had seen and experienced. The truest wisdom he could find in all his searching. Solomon’s deep poetry even becomes deeper. Chapter 12 Verses 1-7 are perhaps the hardest to understand out of all chapters in Ecclesiastes.
Verse 1 “Remember your creator” when you are young. Before the days become hard on your body and mind. Death draws near in your old age. Then after all things being experienced, there is no more to experience. You then lose your pleasure in the days for happiness has come and gone.
Verse 2 Praise God young man, while you can still see properly. The beauty of God’s creation you can still enjoy. Your eyes see them brightly, and they still give off an array of beauty. The rain here signifies sight as well. After the rain to the frail eye, the sky still looks cloudy. But the young man can see the sun break through the clouds.
Verse 3 Remember God young man when your body is aged. The keepers of the house symbolize the arms and legs. “The defenders” (arms and legs) instead of being strong, tremble under adversity or lifting. “Bow down” surely represents the back as it is bowed during old age. “Grinders cease” or teeth are fallen out and the grinding of food becomes burdensome. “Those that look through the windows” or the eyes as they are men’s windows to see through. The eyes in old age grow dim.
Verse 4 Young man remember God before the doors remain shut and you avoid social contact. The old man stays inside and can no longer perform their activity. Your teeth finally become useless and you can not chew food. Therefore, they make no sound while eating. When one can not sleep and gets up early in the morning. Since your ears no longer hear well and can not enjoy music.
Verse 5 Remember God young man before you become afraid of heights. Afraid you may fall easily from heights. Afraid of evil things happening to you everywhere you go. When you become gray-headed and the destruction of the grasshopper is burdensome. Making it even harder to perform work. Remember God young man, before you die and people will mourn your death.
Verse 6 Remember God young man before you die. Many believe the silver cord represents the morrow in our spinal cord. But this does not sound like a saying of Solomon. In Verse 7 Solomon mentions the spirit will return to God. It is safe to say the silver cord represents the separation of the soul from the body at death. This would sound more proper compared to the other writing style of Ecclesiastes. The bowl in other translations is the skull or the head. The bowl or head is broken. Not just any bowl, golden signifying the head holding the main organ the brain. The brain holds all knowledge and wisdom. The heart will shatter or stop and the flow of blood will stop.
Verse 8 Solomon repeats that all is vanity (Eccl 1:2)
The Whole Duty of Man
Verse 9 Solomon even though very wise still taught people knowledge. He studied, researched, and wrote many Proverbs.
Verse 10 Solomon taught truthfully and wrote truthfully.
Verse 11 Solomon compares the words of the wise to goads. Goads are sticks used to make livestock move from place to place. The nails are driven into goads for the sharp point. The shepherd would represent the one who spoke wisdom. Otherwise, the words of the wise are painful, like a goad would be to livestock. But the painful words help others find the truth and the right way in life. The same as the goad leads the livestock in the right way.
Verse 12 Be admonished, heed my warning, or heed my advice (Speaking of what he has written in the past chapters). There is no end to writing down words of wisdom, and vast amounts of study to learn this wisdom are wearisome or tiring.
Verses 13-14 Now the conclusion of Ecclesiastes explains why all is meaningless. Everything but God is meaningless. Our position given to us on earth by God is only to worship him. Worshiping God is man’s whole purpose in life. Also, you will be judged by God for everything you have done while on earth. All things you have done whether good or evil, even if they are secret.