Vid. His viewpoint here seems to be like that of a tribe in Thrace mentioned by Herodotus, "Who bewailed the birth of a child because of its entry into the trials of life, and celebrated death as a joyful release from life's trials. Also take not heed to all words that are spoken, lest thou hear thy servant curse thee; for oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others.". Like many another person, Solomon's experiences, at least many of them, were of a nature to confuse and deceive him; and, here and there in his writings, one finds unmistakable evidence of that truth. "They sought out the inventions of the many", or "great things", or "of the mighty and great ones"F16חשבנות רבים "cogitationes magnatum", De Dieu; "ratiocina multarum, magnarumque rerum", so some in Rambachius; see Luke x. The friends of Job who held the false view that there were no exceptions to the general rule of God's rewarding the righteous and punishing the wicked were rebuked by God Himself for teaching, with reference to God, "Things that were not right" (Job 42:8); but it is an equally false affirmation that God does not reward the righteous nor punish the wicked. Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry; for anger resteth in the bosom of fools. — Who can pursue them with more diligence, obtain them with more readiness, or embrace them with more greediness? This may respect the knowledge of God, and the perfections of his nature; which are as high as heaven, and deeper than hell, Job 11:7; and of his thoughts, counsels, purposes, and decrees, which are the deep things of God; as well as the doctrines of the Gospel, and the mysteries of grace, 1 Corinthians 2:10; and even his providential dispensations towards the sons of men, Romans 11:33. Be not over much wicked,.... Not that a man should be wicked at all; but some, observing that wicked men prolong their days in wickedness, are encouraged to go into greater lengths in sin than they have yet done, and give up themselves to all iniquity; and run into excess of not, into the grossest and most scandalous enormities. 3:1-8), but unprofitable when out of time and place, as for instance, when pursued as the solid and chief good, (Ecc. ; a heart that is possessed of the gifts of wisdom and knowledge; or a munificent heart, a heart disposed to give bountifully and liberally, that oppression destroys and renders useless. Education Details: Ecclesiastes Chapter 2 As we begin (chapter 2 verses 1-11), we find that Solomon pursued fulfillment through pleasure (verse 1-2), wine (verse 3), great works (verses 4-6), wealth (verses 7-8), aesthetic and artistic pleasures (verse 8), and fame (verse 9).Yet all of these failed to bring a lasting satisfaction to … "One must not even eat too much honey." l. 2. c. 25. of some Heathenish and barbarous people in Thrace, and who inhabited Mount Caucasus, that they mourned at the birth of their children, reckoning up the calamities they are entering into, and rejoiced at the death of their friends, being delivered from their troubles: but this is to be understood of the persons themselves that are born and die; not of all mankind, unless as abstracted from the consideration of a future state, and so it is more happy to be freed from trouble than to enter into it; nor of wicked men, it would have been better indeed if they had never been born, or had died as soon as born, that their damnation might not have been aggravated by the multitude of their sins; but after all, to die cannot be best for them, since at death they are cast into hell, into everlasting fire, and endless punishment: this is only true of good men, that have a good name living and dying; have a good work of grace upon them, and so are meet for heaven; the righteousness of Christ on them, and so have a title to it; they are such who have hope in their death, and die in faith and in the Lord: their death is better than their birth; at their birth they come into the world under the imputation and guilt of sin, with a corrupt nature; are defiled with sin, and under the power of it, liable in themselves to condemnation and death for it: at the time of their death they go out justified from sin through the righteousness of Christ, all being expiated by his sacrifice, and pardoned for his sake; they are washed from the faith of sin by the blood of Christ, and are delivered from the power and being of it by the Spirit and grace of God; and are secured from condemnation and the second death: at their coming into the world they are liable to sin yet more and more; at their going out they are wholly freed from it; at the time of their birth they are born to trouble, and are all their days exercised with it, incident to various diseases of the body, have many troubles in the world, and from the men of it; many conflicts with a body of sin and death, and harassed with the temptations of Satan; but at death they are delivered from all these, enter into perfect peace and unspeakable joy; rest from all their labours and toils, and enjoy uninterrupted communion with God, Father, Son, and Spirit, angels, and glorified saints. "[15] In fact Solomon gave two proverbs in which this is not true, namely, in Proverbs 5:4 and in Proverbs 23:32. Samuel Cox, for example, concludes 7Ibid. ESV Compact Bible (Brown, Flap with Strap) Genuine Leather. de Nupt. "A good name is better than precious oil; and the day of death, than the day of one's birth. Bacchides, Sc. , and is pleased with it. Ecclesiastes 7:13 in all English translations. Paul declared that, "It is better to depart and be with Christ (Philippians 1:21-23), Also; "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints" (Psalms 116:15). Solomon is still contrasting the house of mourning with the house of joy; but this does not mean that Christians should not attend such things as wedding feasts and other joyful celebrations. Auson. Thus, Solomon's proverb here fingers an action on the part of old people that is very generally foolish, although, of course, exceptions undoubtedly exist also. So the Midrash interprets it of one that goes out of the world with a good name, considering this clause in connection with the preceding, as many do. A good name is better than precious ointment, And the day of death than the day of one’s birth; Better to go to the house of mourning Than to go to … 1. What is vanity like in these Scriptures. Moreover, his experience had nothing to do with it. New Testament writers echo this same conviction (Romans 3:10-12; 1 John 1:10). Education Details: A Study Commentary on Ecclesiastes.Education Details: 10 A Study Commentary on Ecclesiastes The authorship of Ecclesiastes Before examining the various approaches to Ecclesiastes and the keys for understanding its message, certain introductory questions must be covered.Although there is … Whether or not that is what was intended by the Hebrew, this is what the English translation says to this writer. Or who else can hasten hereunto more than I? Likewise, this uprightness is no other than the rectitude of human nature, of all the powers and faculties of the soul of man, as they were when he was created; his understanding clear of all errors and mistakes, either about divine or human things; his affections regular and ordinate, no unruly passion in him, no sinful affection, lust, and desire; he loved God with all his heart and soul, and delighted in him, and communion with him; the bias of his will was to that which is good; the law of God was written on his heart, and he had both power and will to keep it; and, during his state of integrity, was pure and sinless; yet he was not impeccable, as the confirmed angels and glorified saints are; nor immutable, as God only is; but being a creature, and changeable, he was liable to temptation, and subject to fall, as he did. Some interpret this of original sin, or the corruption of nature, evil concupiscence, which draws men into sin, and holds them in it, the consequence of which is death eternal; but such who find favour in the eyes of God are delivered from the power and dominion of it; but obstinate and impenitent sinners are held under it, and perish eternally. Man works and works but does not find satisfaction (vs. 8). For who can eat, &c. — For the truth of this you may rely upon my experience: for who can more freely and fully enjoy the comforts of this life than I did? The Targum is, "the day in which a man dies and departs to the house of the grave, with a good name and with righteousness, is better than the day in which a wicked man is born into the world.'. Instead of taking God's Word for it that the multiplication of wives to himself and the acquisition of horses from Egypt, and all such things, were both wickedness and folly, Solomon here announced his purpose of `proving' whether or not all this was the truth. That God has set the days of prosperity and adversity side by side so that man cannot predict the future; but, of course, HE CAN PREDICT THE FUTURE. "The statement here is not a repetition of Ecclesiastes 7:1, but states a truth generally applicable to certain situations. "[39] Solomon's bitterness in the final paragraph of this chapter was explained by Grieve, "Either as the result of some bitter personal experience, or from the intrigues of the harem. Referring either to all that he had been discoursing of hitherto in this book, concerning the vanity of natural wisdom and knowledge, of pleasure, power, and riches; or to the several useful instructions given in this chapter, particularly concerning patiently bearing everything from the hands of God or men, Ecclesiastes 7:8. than to go to the house of feasting: the Targum is, "than to the house of a feast of wine of scorners;'. This advice, as the Arabic version, in the several branches of it; neither to be over much righteous or wicked, and over much wise or foolish; to avoid the one and the other, to keep clear of extremes, and pursue the path that is safest; such advice as this it is right to lay hold on, embrace, and hold fast; yea, also from this withdraw not thine hand; from what follows concerning the fear of God; or "this and this" may be rendered "this and that"F3So Broughton, Rambachius, and others. Everything to come is meaningless. He should have known this from the Mosaic account of what happened to Abel at the hands of Cain (Genesis 4:8). Denomination: Free Methodist. see Galatians 6:10; Jarchi's paraphrase is, "when it is in thine hand to do good, be among those that do good;'. A million times NO! 4. Who was the penman's father? Eaton agreed that, "The emphasis here is upon legalistic righteousness, not any excess of true righteousness (there is no such thing), but self-righteousness."[24]. "[36] After all, it was not Solomon, but Lemuel, who wrote that magnificent 31chapter of Proverbs in praise of women. Earthly pursuits are no doubt lawful in their proper time and order (Ecc. Ecclesiastes 7:1-4. Ecclesiastes 5:14 "But those riches perish by evil travail: and he begetteth a son, and [there is] nothing in his hand." Franz Delitzsch stated unequivocally that the literal translation here is, "That man may find nothing behind him," but added, "That is meaningless. Choose a verse from 'Ecclesiastes 7' to begin your 'Verse-by-Verse' study of God's Word using the more than 100 commentaries available on HONOR IS BETTER THAN LUXURY (1a) 1. Want a free Bible overview .pdf study tool ? On women and folly (Ecclesiastes 7:25–29) 4. One's birth is the beginning of sorrows - … "[22] However, he overlooked the fact that this very passage confirms the general law, while citing exceptions to it. Ling. Nevertheless, as Barton charged, what Solomon wrote here is sufficient grounds for assuming that, "He was a misogynist. In Luke 11:24-26, Jesus uses the illustration of an empty house, "swept and put in order," but what fills it makes a great deal of difference in terms of it "end." and observes that there are none but sin in thought, word, or deed. The ancient poet Horace has this:[17], Morose and querulous, praising former days. This truth is freely admitted in the words that the wicked "die before their time" (generally) (Ecclesiastes 7:17) and in the tremendous affirmation of Ecclesiastes 7:18 (See comment below). "Sorrow is better than laughter" (Ecclesiastes 7:3). At least, this was one valid discovery that Solomon actually made. Here again, the truth of this hinges upon the question of whether or not the "thing" spoken of was good or bad, wise or foolish. "Man shall not find out anything that shall be after him" (Ecclesiastes 7:14b) The underlined words here are not in the Hebrew; and we have often observed when the translators add that many words, even including verbs expressing the future tense, it is very probable that there is uncertainty of the meaning. A good name is highly valued 2. Maxim. Idyll. THE DAY OF DEATH BETTER THAN THE DAY OF ONE'S BIRTH. "Wisdom is a strength to the wise man more than ten rulers that are in a city. 1 Samuel 2:7 "The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up." 2. Alexander ab Alex. A statement that `overmuch wickedness' leads to an untimely death cannot be intelligently understood as any kind of an endorsement of a so-called moderate wickedness. So the name or names given to the people of God, the new names of Hephzibah and Beulah, the name of sons of God, better than that of sons and daughters; and of Christians, or anointed ones, having received that anointing from Christ which teacheth all things, and so preferable to the choicest ointment, Isaiah 56:5. This paragraph deals with that second clause of Ecclesiastes 7:1. "[21] Most modern translators have concurred in this; but this writer finds it impossible to believe that the literal translation is meaningless. A. 8Ibid., p. 102, n. 3. ESV Study Bible, Hardcover. etc." and the day of death than the day of one's birth; some render it, in connection with the preceding clause, "as a good name is better, &c. so the day of death than the day of one's birth"F6So Schmidt, and some in Vatablus. but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it; or, "the excellency of the knowledge of wisdom giveth life"F16ויתרון דעת החכמה תחיה "et praestantia scientiae sapientiae vivificabit", Montanus. He should conform when circumstances make conformity the only safe (for him) and wise course. YOUR DEATH DAY IS BETTER THAN YOUR BIRTHDAY (1b) 1. Whole Bible Commentary Critical and Explanatory by Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown offers free online verse by verse bible study. Some understand this of the name of God, which is God himself, who is the "summum bonum", and chief happiness of men, and take it to be an answer to the question Ecclesiastes 6:12; this and this only is what is a man's good, and is preferable to all outward enjoyments whatever; interest in him as a covenant God; knowledge of him in Christ, which has eternal life annexed to it; communion with him; the discoveries of his lovingkindness, which is better than little; and the enjoyment of him to all eternity. 5 n Guard your steps when you go to o the house of God. Now Solomon, with all his diligent search and scrutiny, could not find out the infinity of sin, the boundless extent of it among mankind, the exceeding sinfulness of it, which he sought after, Ecclesiastes 7:25; yet this he "found" out, and this "only", the fountain of all sin, the origin of moral evil; namely, the corruption of human nature through the fall of Adam: this he found by reading the Scriptures, the three first chapters of Genesis; and by consulting human nature he found some remains of the image of God, and of the law that was in man's heart; whereby he perceived that man was once another man than he is now; and that this corruption is not owing to God, who is not the author of any thing sinful, he made man upright; but to himself, his own sin and folly: and this he found confirmed by sad experience; in himself and others, and by observing the history of all ages, from the times of the first man; and as this was notorious, it was worth knowing and observing, and therefore he calls upon others to take notice of it; lo, behold, consider it, as well as what follows; but they have sought out many inventions; that is, Adam and Eve, not content with their present knowledge and happiness, they sought out new ways and means of being wiser and happier than God made them, or it was his will they should be. Some understand this of wealth got in an ill way; or of gifts given to bribe men to do injury to others; and which the following clause is thought to explain; and a gift destroyeth the heart; blinds the eyes of judges other ways wise; perverts their judgment, and causes them to pass a wrong sentence, as well as perverts justice: or, "and destroys the heart of gifts"F11ויאבד את לב מתנה "et frangit cor dotibus praeclaris ornatum", Tigurine version; so some Jewish writers in Mercerus. Rather, take it to heart. Read our version here. Welcome to Master's Online Digital Library developed and hosted by Ecclesiastes 7 – Trying to Find a Better Way A. Ecclesiastes 7. Honor. Christ attended a marriage feast in Cana and made eighty gallons of wine to aid the celebration! 1 A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth. The poetF5Sophoclis Antigone, v. 1140. says. no man, though ever so good, is perfect on earth, or free from sin; see 1 Kings 8:46. Metamorph. Again, the evil of bribes here reflects the teaching in one of Solomon's proverbs (Proverbs 15:27). Looking at life through better and worse. On women and folly (Ecclesiastes 7:25–29) 4. more than ten mighty men which are in the city; that is, than many mighty men, or men of war, which guard a city; the city of Jerusalem, or any other. These verses are an appeal to man's conscience. 16. v. 1, 2. , truly wise and gracious; there are many that walk in the broad way, and but few that find the strait gate and narrow way, and are saved; they are but as one to a thousand; see Jeremiah 5:1. "[18] In fact, Proverbs 8:11 declares that wisdom is so valuable that nothing on earth may be compared with it. Even in Ecclesiastes the infinite superiority of wisdom is apparent. ", "And I find more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets and whose hands are bands: whoso pleaseth God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her. A man should not listen to everything that is said of himself or others; he should not curiously inquire what men say of him; and what he himself hears he should take no notice of; it is often best to let it pass, and not call it over again; to feign the hearing of a thing, or make as if you did not hear it; for oftentimes, by rehearsing a matter, or taking up words spoken, a deal of trouble and mischief follows; a man should not "give his heart"F6אל תתן לבך "ne des tuum cor", Montanus. The word "good" is not in the text, but is rightly supplied, as it is by Jarchi; for of no other name can this be said; that which is not good cannot be better. (b) He speaks thus after the judgment of the flesh, which thinks death is the end of all evils, or else because this corporal death is the entering into everlasting life. On the wise man and the king (Ecclesiastes 8:1–17) If it is to be understood of a mere man, I should think the sense was this; of all the men that have been ensnared and taken by an adulterous woman, but one of a thousand have I observed, and perhaps Solomon has respect to himself, that was ever recovered out of her hands; but a woman among all those have I not found; that is, among all the harlots and adulterous women I ever knew or heard of, I never knew nor heard of one that was ever reclaimed from her evil ways, and reformed or became a chaste and virtuous woman: he may have respect to the thousand women that were either his wives and concubines, and, among all these, he found not one that deserved the above character; for this is not to be understood of women in general, for Solomon must have known that there have been good women in all ages, and perhaps more than men; and that there were many in his days, though those with whom his more intimate acquaintance was were not such, which was his unhappiness; and his criminal conversation with them is what he lamented and repented of. 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