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Default Day 195. Ecclesiastes 1-3 - 09-22-2009, 05:39 PM

Ecclesiastes 1-3.

1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.

Ecclesiastes means (basically) "assembly" or "speaking to an assembly". The book is another set of life instructions. The author is unknown. Some people ascribe it to Solomon (the son of David). Others think it isn't, as Solomon never referred to himself as the preacher. Additionally, Solomon was more than "king in Jerusalem", he was king of Judah and Israel (the 2 countries). Some people attribute the book to a descendant further down the David line. Others make the claim that this book refers to the messiah (Jesus) who is of the line of David. Some people think that the book was written long after the king period, around 250 B.C. based on some of the words written in Hebrew, and some words borrowed from Aramaic and Persian.

2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.

If this is written by Solomon, it would have to be way later in his life. If Proverbs was when he was sitting down telling his kids how great wisdom is, then Ecclesiastes was written as he was getting old, and realized that wisdom on earth (and riches, and wives) don't count for anything when you are dead. You can't take it with you.

The main word here "vanity" in Hebrew was hevel. The word means vapor, or breath, it can also mean absurd. The NIV has it as Meaningless; the "message" bible has it as smoke; the amplified bible has it as vapor and futility; contemporary english version says "nothing makes sense.everything is nonsense"; New Century Version says "useless". So in looking at all these different versions you see that the word deals with something that is worthless; meaningless; something somewhat abstract but still doesn't count for anything. Vanity is something you do to make you feel good, but really doesn't account for much. In the end, your beauty fades and you are nothing.

3 What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?

Many people believed that this was written in a time when the Hebrews didn't believe in an afterlife. If there is no afterlife, then what is the point of doing anything. This is the same argument that Pastor Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron use against atheists. If there is no judgment, if there is no heaven or hell, then why would an atheist do good, they don't have to? They believe atheists are justified in doing whatever, because there is nothing after... instead of them just doing good, for good's sake.

The author, if it is Solomon, has apparently gotten some of David's depression. It's like a person who has lost everything, and just sits in the basement waiting for time to pass.

4 One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.

Verse 5, the sun. Verse 6, the wind. Verse 7, the rivers. All these things go on continually, but the author seems to be afraid of his death.

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.

You will never have an original thought. Unless you are in the 1% of 1% of 1% of 1% of human kind. You will never think of something that has never been thought of before. Every idea, every word, everything you make, everything you see, someone else did before you.

14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.

The man is tired.

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.

The more you know, the more bad things you will know. Ignorance is bliss, knowledge leads to sadness.

Ecclesiastes 2

1 I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity.

You are going to die.

3 I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine, yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life.

When the author was younger, he looked around to see the things that he was supposed to do. How many people today live by the same measuring stick.

Step 1, graduate from high school; get accepted to college.
Step 2, graduate from college.
Step 3, get a "good" job.
Step 4, find a woman, marry her.
Step 5, get a house.
Step 6, have kids.
Step 7, work at your job for 20+ years, retire.
Step 8, build up your worth so you have something to give to the kids.
Step 9, die.

4 I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards:

There's step 5.

5 I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits:

There's step 3.

8 I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts.

There's step 8.

10 And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour.

Happiness comes from achieving goals. Following the simple life plan, the author seemed to be happy for a while.

But, remember, he may (or may not) be the wisest man ever.

11 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.

What does the simple 9 step life process for a man get you? Eventually, nothing.

13 Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness.

Being wise is better than being a fool... but...

14 The wise man's eyes are in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event happeneth to them all.

Every person, regardless of the steps in between, gets to step 9. The one event that happeneth to them all... everyone dies.

15 Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity.

What good is all the wisdom in the world? How much intelligence did Albert Einstein have? Eventually, was it any better for him to be a genius than the retard that mops the floor? Did it give him eternal life? No.

21 For there is a man whose labour is in wisdom, and in knowledge, and in equity; yet to a man that hath not laboured therein shall he leave it for his portion. This also is vanity and a great evil.

The man who works hard, to feed his kids, working 3 crappy jobs that he hates, what is the point?

23 For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night. This is also vanity.

Working hard to feed your kids at a job you hate, is as worthless as a castle.

24 There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.

God wants you to be happy in this life. A drunk man and a fat man, come to the same end as a sober man and a fit man.

Ecclesiastes 3

Everyone knows the first 8 verses of this chapter. It starts like this:

1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

The song "Turn! Turn! Turn! (to Everything There is a Season)" was composed by Pete Seeger in 1959. It was recorded in 1962. The Byrds made it popular, it reached #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks in December of 1965.

12 I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.

All those things in the first verses aren't necessarily good, it's all in how you do them.

13 And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.

Apparently, modern christianity has left Ecclesiastes 3:13 out of their bibles.

I just looked through other versions, and it's there, eat, drink, enjoy your job, that's God's gift. God's gift is a mullet. It's business in the front, and a party in the back. Deaner is God's gift! He enjoys the work he does, and he enjoys a steak and a beer! That is God's gift. Are you enjoying your beer? I think I'll have a Sam Adams Octoberfest tonight! There's a falsely attributed quote floating around the world (given to Benjamin Franklin) that says "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy". (the quote is actually "Wine is a contstant proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.") So go out tonight, and celebrate the LORD, with a nice glass of wine or a beer, served at the right temperature in the right style of serving glass.

19 For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.

People are no better than animals. They die too.

20 All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.

Rose Tyler: Everything must come to dust. All things, everything dies.

Doctor Who, The Parting of the Ways (2005)

So what have we learned today?

1. You might as well get a job you like, you are going to die anyway.

2. You might as well eat some food you like, you are going to die anyway.

3. You might as well have a beer that you like, you are going to die anyway.


Judges 9:21 And Jotham ran away, and fled, and went to Beer, and dwelt there, for fear of Abimelech his brother.
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