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What on Earth is Ecclesiastes about?

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by Xeno.of.athens, May 22, 2022.

  1. Xeno.of.athens

    Xeno.of.athens The proof of love is in the works.

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    Ecclesiastes is traditionally attributed to Solomon son of David who was King of the united nation of Israel in Jerusalem. He is said to have authorised the building of the Temple in Jerusalem. But what is the book about? It is so full of depressing and somewhat cynical muses on human life.
     
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  2. roman2819

    roman2819 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Is this the first time you read or notice the cynicism or depression of the preacher ? Even though Solomon accomplished much, had power and children, however, he still felt that it was all futile. Today some said that his heart strayed from God, which he might have at certain points of his journey, but mostly he still kept faith with Jehovah.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2022
  3. Xeno.of.athens

    Xeno.of.athens The proof of love is in the works.

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    Not the first time. Probably the 18th time, judged from counting the number of translations I have read from cover to cover.
     
  4. Oompa Loompa

    Oompa Loompa Against both police brutality and cop killing.

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    It is a wisdom literature which describes the state of reality apart from God.
     
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  5. ByTheSpirit

    ByTheSpirit Pray always!!

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    The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.
    Ecclesiastes 12:13‭-‬14 ESV

    This is what it's about
     
  6. Xeno.of.athens

    Xeno.of.athens The proof of love is in the works.

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    Do you think it is about that?
     
  7. public hermit

    public hermit social troglodyte Supporter

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    What on earth is Ecclesiastes? I think it's about the inherent futility of life on earth. That doesn't have to be a negative thing so long as we realize that finite existence is simply that- finite and passing, and trying to make it more than that is like trying to grasp butter or lasso the wind.

    The other notion found in it, I think, is the wisdom of enjoying the simple things of life. A good meal and conversation with someone we love is one of those things that make life worth living. But, instead, we seek finite things in an inordinate manner. We want to make temporal things lasting, which is futile.

    Lastly, there are the commendations to do all things cognizant that we are accountable to God. Some argue those bits are later additions by some who felt the writing was not sufficiently God-oriented and orthodox. I don't think that has to be the case. It's a good qualifier for enjoying this finite existence in a way that is fitting.

    At any rate, I have to run and do some very important things that are finite and passing. ;)
     
  8. BobRyan

    BobRyan Junior Member Supporter

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    He contrasts God's view with a godless view where without god all is pointless given the brevity of life and the inequalities in this life. So he shows both points of views for contrast.
     
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  9. ByTheSpirit

    ByTheSpirit Pray always!!

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    Absolutely... Solomon goes through all the tools and hassles of life. The foolishness of pursuing wealth, happiness, and stuff, because it's all vanity. The only thing that matters in life is to fear God and keep his commandments because he will judge everyone at some point based off of that, not what we achieved or gained in life.
     
  10. Xeno.of.athens

    Xeno.of.athens The proof of love is in the works.

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    What lessons do you learn from Ecclesiastes and how do you apply them?
     
  11. ByTheSpirit

    ByTheSpirit Pray always!!

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    That no matter where I am, I should praise God and fear Him and keep his commandments, for He is with me wherever I go (Isaiah 41:10, Matthew 28:20)

    That no matter what I own, it is not my own and I should be willing to part with it if God so requires that of me, for he blessed me so I can bless others. (Acts 2:42, 2 Cor 8:13-14)

    That in the highs and lows of life, in the abundance and poverty I may face he is with me and I can be confident in that.
     
  12. Xeno.of.athens

    Xeno.of.athens The proof of love is in the works.

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    Do you really live like that? Freed from the chains of possessions, at ease with loss and gain alike. Always praising God even when life is hard and conditions are harsh?
     
  13. fhansen

    fhansen Oldbie

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    Solomon had everything a man could want-and was still unhappy, unsatisfied. That dissatisfaction points to something, something still missing, and that something is God. He knew about God while not knowing Him as directly as we can now under the Now Covenant. We benefit from Solomon's wisdom, from that which he learned, when we come to understand that the full-true happiness that man was made for and cannot help pursuing is definitively not found in worldly things. Combine that wisdom with the knowledge and grace we now have through Christ and then the limitations of this life and its offerings have much less import than the promise that God offers, which begins to be fulfilled even now as we embrace it.
     
  14. ByTheSpirit

    ByTheSpirit Pray always!!

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    I like to think I live more like this than my former way of living. I buried that body of sin when I was baptized and dead people don't come back to life unless God resurrects them and I'm confident He will not resurrect my old self. Doesn't mean I don't stumble but I live in His Spirit as should every child of God. But when I do stumble He forgives me when I confess to Him and I keep going, growing in holiness (1 John 1:9, 1 John 2:1, Romans 6-8)
     
  15. TedT

    TedT Member since Job 38:7

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    Yes...

    It is a debate of sorts with the secular materialistic view countered by the GODly view.
     
  16. Oompa Loompa

    Oompa Loompa Against both police brutality and cop killing.

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    Yes...without God, everything is meaningless.
     
  17. BobRyan

    BobRyan Junior Member Supporter

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    Eccl 1.

    The Earth will remain forever.

    4 A generation goes and a generation comes,
    But the earth remains forever.​

    Circular wind currents -

    6 Blowing toward the south,
    Then turning toward the north,
    The wind continues swirling along;
    And on its circular courses the wind returns.​

    Hydrologic cycle

    7 All the rivers flow into the sea,
    Yet the sea is not full.
    To the place where the rivers flow,
    There they flow again.
    =======================================


    Eccl 9 - at death the activity of the person ceases. (no matter that the person is wicked or a saint)
    4 For whoever is joined to all the living, there is hope; for better a live dog, than a dead lion. 5 For the living know that they will die; but the dead do not know anything, nor do they have a reward any longer, for their memory is forgotten. 6 Indeed their love, their hate, and their zeal have already perished, and they will no longer have a share in all that is done under the sun.
    Eccl 12:

    1 Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years approach when you will say, “I have no pleasure in them”;


    For man goes to his eternal home while the mourners move around in the street. 6 Remember your Creator before the silver cord is broken and the golden bowl is crushed, the pitcher by the spring is shattered and the wheel at the cistern is crushed; 7 then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.


    11 The words of the wise are like goads, and masters of these collections are like driven nails; they are given by one Shepherd.

    13 The conclusion, when everything has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. 14 For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.

    2 Cor 5:10
    10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive compensation for his deeds done through the body, in accordance with what he has done, whether good or bad.

    Rom 6:23 - the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life.
     
  18. Xeno.of.athens

    Xeno.of.athens The proof of love is in the works.

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    Somehow it doesn't seem as if Ecclesiastes is the first time these observations about the world were made, does it?
     
  19. Bob Crowley

    Bob Crowley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Ecclesiastes 12:12 NIV "Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them. Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body."

    So he wrote another one...
     
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  20. Jamdoc

    Jamdoc Watching and Praying Always

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    That without God, everything is meaningless and does not satisfy. It is a book that teaches us, that all the earthly things we desire, sex, pleasure, wealth, accomplishments, hard work.. none of it satisfies, it always leaves an emptiness that only God fulfills.
     
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