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Ecclesiastes (12) Lost enjoyment

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posted on Nov, 20 2020 @ 05:03 PM
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The book of Ecclesiastes tends to be neglected.
I must admit that I’ve been neglecting it myself.
So I come to this book with no preconceptions, except that a book found in the Old Testament must be intended to have a spiritual meaning. The people who compiled the canon were not in the business of collecting an anthology of “Hebrew literature.

The main theme of the early chapters has been that natural life and human life in the natural world do not go beyond a series of cycles of alternating events. Any apparent changes are discovered to be stages within these cycles, while the overall system itself does not change.

It is “vanity” for humans to look for anything beyond these things in the natural world, trying to transcend the system on their own. It is better, and the gift of God, for them to find their enjoyment in the world as it is, maintaining themselves in the way which God has provided.

Nevertheless, God has “put eternity into man’s mind”, in such a way that eternity cannot be known completely. Thus man is made aware of something greater than himself. “God has made it so, in order that men should fear before him.”

It seems that this nearly completes the central message of the book. Much of what follows looks like an assortment of “footnotes” under the general heading “other flaws noticeable in human life when God is disregarded”.

Ch6 vv1-6

The latter part of the previous chapter was chiefly on the theme of toil being wasted in various ways, preventing a man from achieving prosperity. This chapter begins with two paradoxes about wealthy men who cannot enjoy their wealth.

Vv1-2 In the first case, a man has wealth, possessions and honour and keeps them, but is unable to enjoy them. “A stranger” enjoys, or “eats” them instead.

Nothing is said about any children. That may be the key to the situation. Hearing about his promised reward, before the birth of Isaac, Abraham complains “O Lord God, what wilt thou give me, for I continue childless and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus… a slave born in my house will be my heir” (Genesis ch15 vv2-3).

In v11 of the previous chapter, we noticed that “When goods increase, they increase who eat them.” That is, a man’s wealth is consumed by his servants. The simplest explanation of these verses is that the “stranger” is one dominating servant, such as a steward of the household, getting the most benefit out of the wealth of a lonely childless man, and perhaps inheriting the wealth later.

V3 From a man who has no known children, to a man who has many. We are to suppose a man who begets a hundred children and lives many years. This goes a long way towards fulfilling the conditions of the most desired kind of life, in Old Testament terms. Having many children and a long life is almost a definition of “being blessed”.

Yet in some respects, this man is missing out; “He does not enjoy life’s good things, and also has no burial.”

The absence of a good burial is important in itself. One of the conditions of the most desired life is that a man’s grey hairs should be allowed to “go down to the grave in peace”. If he dies by violent hands, and is unburied for that reason, then that is a shameful death- “the death of the uncircumcised”, as Ezekiel puts it (Ezekiel ch28 v10).

Alternatively, a wealthy man might come to an end like that of Ebenezer Scrooge. Despite his family connections, he would be alienated and lonely, surrounded only by those who did not care for him. In the circumstances, he would be placed in the ground somehow, but he would not have a “real” burial with all the associated honours. If he was comparable to Scrooge, that would sufficiently explain his failure to “enjoy life’s good things”. The miser’s life was one of the topics of the previous chapter.

We are told that “an untimely birth” has a better life than such a man;
Vv4-5 “For it comes into vanity and goes into darkness, and in darkness its name is covered; moreover it has not seen the sun or known anything; yet it finds rest rather than he.”

“All go to the one place” in death, so the untimely birth is at least no worse off in the end. Yet that “rather than” implies that the wealthy man finds no rest even in death- perhaps as the direct consequence of not being buried. The belief that the spirit of an unburied man is restless has very ancient, primitive origins.

And in these verses we have one more direct echo of Job, in his first complaints;
“Why did I not die at birth, come forth from the womb and expire?...
For then I should have lain down and been quiet; I should have slept; then I should have been at rest…
Or why was I not as a hidden untimely birth, as infants that never see the light?
There the wicked cease from troubling, and there the weary are at rest” (Job ch3 vv11-17).




posted on Nov, 20 2020 @ 06:28 PM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
The book of Ecclesiastes tends to be neglected.
I must admit that I’ve been neglecting it myself.
So I come to this book with no preconceptions, except that a book found in the Old Testament must be intended to have a spiritual meaning. The people who compiled the canon were not in the business of collecting an anthology of “Hebrew literature.

The main theme of the early chapters has been that natural life and human life in the natural world do not go beyond a series of cycles of alternating events. Any apparent changes are discovered to be stages within these cycles, while the overall system itself does not change.

It is “vanity” for humans to look for anything beyond these things in the natural world, trying to transcend the system on their own. It is better, and the gift of God, for them to find their enjoyment in the world as it is, maintaining themselves in the way which God has provided.

Nevertheless, God has “put eternity into man’s mind”, in such a way that eternity cannot be known completely. Thus man is made aware of something greater than himself. “God has made it so, in order that men should fear before him.”

It seems that this nearly completes the central message of the book. Much of what follows looks like an assortment of “footnotes” under the general heading “other flaws noticeable in human life when God is disregarded”.

Ch6 vv1-6

The latter part of the previous chapter was chiefly on the theme of toil being wasted in various ways, preventing a man from achieving prosperity. This chapter begins with two paradoxes about wealthy men who cannot enjoy their wealth.

Vv1-2 In the first case, a man has wealth, possessions and honour and keeps them, but is unable to enjoy them. “A stranger” enjoys, or “eats” them instead.

Nothing is said about any children. That may be the key to the situation. Hearing about his promised reward, before the birth of Isaac, Abraham complains “O Lord God, what wilt thou give me, for I continue childless and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus… a slave born in my house will be my heir” (Genesis ch15 vv2-3).

In v11 of the previous chapter, we noticed that “When goods increase, they increase who eat them.” That is, a man’s wealth is consumed by his servants. The simplest explanation of these verses is that the “stranger” is one dominating servant, such as a steward of the household, getting the most benefit out of the wealth of a lonely childless man, and perhaps inheriting the wealth later.

V3 From a man who has no known children, to a man who has many. We are to suppose a man who begets a hundred children and lives many years. This goes a long way towards fulfilling the conditions of the most desired kind of life, in Old Testament terms. Having many children and a long life is almost a definition of “being blessed”.

Yet in some respects, this man is missing out; “He does not enjoy life’s good things, and also has no burial.”

The absence of a good burial is important in itself. One of the conditions of the most desired life is that a man’s grey hairs should be allowed to “go down to the grave in peace”. If he dies by violent hands, and is unburied for that reason, then that is a shameful death- “the death of the uncircumcised”, as Ezekiel puts it (Ezekiel ch28 v10).

Alternatively, a wealthy man might come to an end like that of Ebenezer Scrooge. Despite his family connections, he would be alienated and lonely, surrounded only by those who did not care for him. In the circumstances, he would be placed in the ground somehow, but he would not have a “real” burial with all the associated honours. If he was comparable to Scrooge, that would sufficiently explain his failure to “enjoy life’s good things”. The miser’s life was one of the topics of the previous chapter.

We are told that “an untimely birth” has a better life than such a man;
Vv4-5 “For it comes into vanity and goes into darkness, and in darkness its name is covered; moreover it has not seen the sun or known anything; yet it finds rest rather than he.”

“All go to the one place” in death, so the untimely birth is at least no worse off in the end. Yet that “rather than” implies that the wealthy man finds no rest even in death- perhaps as the direct consequence of not being buried. The belief that the spirit of an unburied man is restless has very ancient, primitive origins.

And in these verses we have one more direct echo of Job, in his first complaints;
“Why did I not die at birth, come forth from the womb and expire?...
For then I should have lain down and been quiet; I should have slept; then I should have been at rest…
Or why was I not as a hidden untimely birth, as infants that never see the light?
There the wicked cease from troubling, and there the weary are at rest” (Job ch3 vv11-17).



Man, know your place is the put down, while subtle in places though.



posted on Nov, 20 2020 @ 06:34 PM
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a reply to: smurfy
Thank you for your response written in some obscure form of Hebrew.
I'm not sure whether you agree with the opening post or disagree.




edit on 20-11-2020 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 20 2020 @ 07:42 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI
Just my singularity about Solomon, in that he was a dictator. That might mean his wisdom was flaunting himself.



posted on Nov, 20 2020 @ 08:00 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

With Great Wisdom.

Comes Great Sorrow.

Solomon saw much, he understood much , he saw so deeply into life that it depressed him .

as the old saying goes " Ignorance is Bliss "



posted on Nov, 21 2020 @ 05:39 AM
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You can't see the forest through the trees.



posted on Nov, 21 2020 @ 06:25 AM
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a reply to: ChesterJohn
"I do not bite my thumb at you, sir, but I bite my thumb, sir." Sampson, "Romeo and JUliet".



posted on Nov, 21 2020 @ 07:21 AM
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a reply to: DISRAELIGreat History lesson and fictitious character reference. Scrooge is not even a real person. He is a fantasy of Charels Dickens. Yet While Lazarus and the rich man were real life characters of who Jesus being God knew.

A secular mind cannot fathom spiritual things.

[1 Cor 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
I will post a spiritual application and understanding later for you.


edit on 11/21/2020 by ChesterJohn because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 21 2020 @ 07:55 AM
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originally posted by: ChesterJohn
I will post a spiritual application and understanding later for you.

That is what you should be doing (I was the one who gave you the star for the last two you did). If you think interpretation needs adding, then add it. Something positive in presenting God to the world. If you can do that without getting hot under the collar because other Christians are doing the work God has given them, so much the better.



posted on Nov, 21 2020 @ 10:37 AM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

yeah, but it needs to be pointed out. You are not a spiritual teacher but a secular one. And as such you probably should not teach the Bible.

There is no indication you are a christian.

No one is hot under the collar



edit on 11/21/2020 by ChesterJohn because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 21 2020 @ 11:00 AM
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a reply to: ChesterJohn
Your authority to make judgements of that kind is non-existent. You must have learned by now that I take no notice of them, and I don't suppose anybody else does either. I invite you, once again, to spend your energies on something positive. Let's have those interpretations you promised.



posted on Nov, 21 2020 @ 03:41 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Evidence of ones salvation can be judged by their lifestyle and their words. In your case you words are judged by the reader. I am quite qualified because we that are spiritual judge all things yet we are not judged

1Cor2:15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
If you had the Spirit of God in you you would have seen the spiritual lessons in your threads. It is evident that they are missing from a lot of your threads, which is evident you don't have the Holy Ghost living in you.

1Cor 2:11-13 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
If you haven't learned by now is that a secular lesson in a religious forum that lacks a spiritual lesson is a NEGATIVE. And you need to pay attention to them or you will be off balance. You can't have a positive without a negative. So If you want me to do the positive you are thereby admitting that yours is the NEGATIVE. All I am doing is pointing out the evidence the HOLY Ghost is lacking in your own life. In doing so that is a positive even if you see it as a negative.

Lastly, you hold in your hand an RSV, it is already an interpretation. I too hold in my hand an interpretation. No need for you or I to interpret it again. The only thing necessary for us is to see what it says, then believe what it says, compare it with the rest of the Bible and then let the Holy Ghost bring out the spiritual application or lesson for ones life. I teach How to Study the Bible every week. The Class has gotten so large and popular, I have to set limits to it and have people sign up for the next one. The biggest issue I have is people trying to RE-INTERPRET WHAT THE BIBLE already clearly SAYS. I do believe that is why we have so many sects, denominations, and Christian Cults. It is not reinterpretation that we need what is needed is BELIEF in what it says.

One example I find is people trying to interpret a parable that is already been interpreted in the text. That is why things I have spoken to you are hidden from you and as a result you don't see that Jesus Christ hideth himself from the world so he could finish the work of redemption for the world.

1Cor2:7-8 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
Spiritual things are only understood by those who have the SPIRIT (Holy Ghost).



edit on 11/21/2020 by ChesterJohn because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 21 2020 @ 04:00 PM
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a reply to: ChesterJohn
You offered an additional interpretation of the text which is the topic of this thread. That's the only thing I'm interested in. Do something positive in presenting God to the world.

Also you do need to take some steps towards understanding yourself a little bit more, You are evidently in the grip of an obsession which is driven by your emotions, not by the Holy Spirit. Let's get out of this rut and deal with the text. Do something positive in presenting God to the world.





edit on 21-11-2020 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 21 2020 @ 06:44 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

You should be interested in your eternal condition of your long home (Eccl 12) for once you pass the dead line it will be too late.

I did not offer any interpretation of the text I offered to give you the spiritual application or understanding.

Do you have the Holy Ghost indwelling you? Are you indwelt by the Holy Ghost? Does the person of Christ indwell in you? Does the God who knows your heart indwell you?

These are important points and should never be ignored for any kind of knowledge. That is what Satan did to Eve gave her knowledge but to her own death.
edit on 11/21/2020 by ChesterJohn because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 22 2020 @ 12:44 AM
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originally posted by: ChesterJohn
I did not offer any interpretation of the text I offered to give you the spiritual application or understanding.

That is disappointing. You gave your "spiritual" application of the text on previous occasions, and I hoped you were going to continue, and stay on topic.

I reject your authority to pump me or judge me on these things.
As far as I am concerned, you are not spiritually qualified.

Amongst other things, your evident reading difficulties and the emotional and psychological issues which seem to arise therefrom make you a poor judge of the Bible and a poor judge of other Christians.

You need to look into yourself with a great deal of honesty, and decide whether it is more important to be a useless troll working off resentments, or to be a ganuine servant of God presenting God to the world.

I have given you a lot of patience this time round. Now the end of the tether has been reached, and I see no further purpose in conversing with you.



edit on 22-11-2020 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 23 2020 @ 07:13 AM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

I really don't know what to think about your Christianity. Your worldly bible studies that have no spiritual meat speak to the possible lacking of the indwelling of the Holy Ghost.

Are you indwelt with the Holy Ghost?

About my spiritual application for this section. I apologize my son had a seizure and while I was holding him down I ended up pulling my back out of place and was unable to get to it. But I will


edit on 11/23/2020 by ChesterJohn because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 23 2020 @ 09:04 AM
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posted on Nov, 24 2020 @ 06:27 AM
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When it comes to documents it is best to have many that agree with one another, than a 45 that disagree with each other. It is better to have the Holy Ghost for God to use in preserving his words to every generations as promised in Psalm 12:6-7, than not to have it and only give secular history lessons.



posted on Nov, 24 2020 @ 06:52 AM
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posted on Nov, 24 2020 @ 08:20 AM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Relying on the weak text of the RSV and NIV is like leaning on a reed and it pierces your hand, or fleeing inside from a wild bear only to lean on the wall and a snake comes out and bites you.



edit on 11/24/2020 by ChesterJohn because: (no reason given)







 
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