Even to the man who knows God – it’s not as if work in and of itself or wisdom or knowledge by themselves is what provide meaning to our life. Is Kohelet questioning whether people are superior to animals or not? God makes all the difference. Ecclesiastes 2:1-26. Required fields are marked *. And so in Ecclesiastes 2:20 he causes his heart to despair of all his work – the work he did with no consideration of God. "The almond tree shall blossom" (Ecclesiastes 12:5). Good times! To eat? This pleasure that Qoheleth heaped unto himself – what did it really accomplish? Emphasis on Life! What a contrast we see then in this section from what came before this. “Utterly meaningless! He puts no stock in it. It works everywhere you sign in, even with the mobile app! Who sends rain to water the seed so that it grows? < Ecclesiastes 2:1. And so, we see Qoheleth here coming to terms with the fact that he cannot find meaning in any permanent achievement that will survive his death. And I think that’s on his mind as we enter into the next section that occupies Ecclesiastes 2:12-17. A VERSE BY VERSE COMMENTARY ON ECCLESIASTES CHAPTER 2 DEALING WITH SOLOMON'S ATTEMPTS TO FIND MEANING IN LIFE. 3 I searched in my heart how to cheer my flesh with wine, my heart yet guiding me with wisdom, and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what it was good for the sons of men that they should do under heaven all the days of their life. Because he did all this stuff through his great wisdom and yet – even if that stuff survives him after his death – he’s still going to die just like a fool. Ecclesiastes 2:3 I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine, yet acquainting mine heart with … Right? In rabbinic Hebrew the word comes to mean “chest” or “coffer.” Solomon writes to tell us not to go the same way that he did. Is there any lasting meaning to it? ECCLESIASTES. 21 For there is a man whose labor is with wisdom, and with knowledge, and with skilfulness; yet to a man that hath not labored therein shall he leave it for his portion. Specifically, he sought for meaning in the pleasures of sensuality (2:1-3), labor (2:4-6), and wealth (2:7-10). ... Ecclesiastes 2:2; Ecclesiastes 2:3; … Your email address will not be published. No meaning here, folks! I made my works great, I built myself houses, and planted myself vineyards. He didn’t just dislike it. And notice the pronoun you keep seeing. Because the pursuit of wine is tied into the next several activities he tells us about engaging in. He’s focused on doing these things for himself. Did you know that? ecclesiastes 12:2 meaning; Blog. That’s what he says in Ecclesiastes 2:13. The wise man has his eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness; (Ecclesiastes 2:14a RSV) ... Is it just a matter of time before we too are all jaded, burned out and surfeited, life having lost all value, meaning and color for us? No, it was hard painful work. Travail. So, he kind of spoils the surprise. Who created animals for our food? He tells us up front that there’s ultimately no satisfaction to be found in pleasure and wealth. We’ve been told that we can’t find meaning or satisfaction in anything. No ultimate meaning. And that caused him to hate life in Ecclesiastes 2:17. Ecclesiastes 2:2, ESV: "I said of laughter, “It is mad,” and of pleasure, “What use is it?”". Here’s the secret: God. Popularity relative to other verses in Ecclesiastes chapter 2 using average monthly Google searches. (Ecc 2:4-8) The search for meaning in work and accomplishments. He had things that were looted from other nations. 2:12 And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly: for what can the man do that cometh after the king? The kind that doesn’t even let you rest at night because there’s so much to get done the next day and you were working so late already to achieve your goals. In fact, most don’t recognize God. It’s empty. He’s drinking to test whether that pleasure is worth pursuing and whether it’s an activity that would bring meaning into one’s life. Ecclesiastes 2. Ultimately, work for work’s sake – work without an eye on God – is meaningless – because it goes to someone else ultimately. Although the author repeats the word a number of times at the beginning and end of the book it is not the theme. This page was last modified on September 15, 2017, at 5:25 AM. However, if you have read the French Existentialists, you will find yourself in familiar territory. I imagine that if you were actually listening, you would be faced with the utter bleakness of life. Quotes available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Wisdom and knowledge – so-called, not given by God – is futile and useless. Ecclesiastes 2:26 tells us that in addition to joy – the joy that only God gives – the joy we ought to have in our eating and drinking and work – well, in addition to that joy, God gives wisdom and knowledge. And that work contributes not to his own well-being – but to the benefit of the one who pleases God. 9 I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. This is the text used in my sharing during the prison chapel service on 20 March 2011… My father had been living on his own for the past twenty odd years since my mother passed away in 1989. The whole time he’s testing the value of alcohol, he says his heart is guiding him with wisdom. Cancel. Ecclesiastes 2:2, KJV: "I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it?" And yet, the next guy in line to inherit it hasn’t done anything to deserve it. You don’t think it’s easy to construct buildings or build houses or arrange landscaping and food sources, do you? Did you know that God isn’t against enjoyment? And that bothers Qoheleth. And I will execute great vengeance upon them, love the Lord your God with all your heart, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, To be clear (orig. Don’t think that these things are somehow below you. God was all but totally absent from this book until this point. They pave the way for accepting truly thrilling instruction about God in relation to time and a Christian's life of faith. as well—the delights of a man’s heart. Well, he comes to think that probably not much will change. 2. New 4-Week Series: Focus. In rabbinic Hebrew the word comes to mean “chest” or “coffer.” No – enjoy them. Your email address will not be published. Verse 2. Use this table to get a word-for-word translation of the original Hebrew Scripture. 9 So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem; also my wisdom remained with me. He made great works, built houses. In all this my wisdom stayed with me. Any permanent value? That’s the focus. There are other passages in the Gospels that warn Christians to keep alert and keep waiting for the Lord’s return. Imagine that you were a man who interprets life completely apart from an awareness of God. Why? 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 the wisest man of all time. And that kind of situation Qoheleth looks at and says “it’s vanity!”. Blog Categories. Ecclesiastes 7:2 [It is] better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that [is] the end of all men; and the living will lay [it] to his heart.. Ver. I don't think so. In Chapter 2, Solomon describes different avenues through which he tried to find meaning, but failed. He gained all of that wealth and stuff and pleasure. 2 I said of laughter, It is mad; and of mirth, What doeth it? 1:1 The words of Ecclesiastes, the son of David, king of Jerusalem. Even though Qoheleth is now speaking very highly of wisdom, knowledge, joy, work, food, and drink – these things in and of themselves are still not where people find meaning and satisfaction. It is so denigrated by some Christians, that they have wondered why it is in the Bible at all. So – who can eat without God? Pleasures Are Meaningless. ” (Ecclesiastes 2:2, HCSB) ... Solomon realized and we can realize that if we make the pursuit of wisdom and work as our meaning in life, in the end, we have nothing. This certainly has. I would venture to guess that almost every lost man in your city right now would think that this would all make him happy and fulfilled in this life – if only he could have it all. 1 2:1 The Hebrew term hebel can refer to a “vapor” or “mere breath”; also verses 11, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 26 (see note on 1:2) 2 2:8 The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain; 3 2:24 Or and make his soul see good; 4 2:25 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint, Syriac; most Hebrew manuscripts apart from me 14 The wise man’s eyes are in his head, and the fool walketh in darkness: and yet I perceived that one event happeneth to them all. Browse Sermons on Ecclesiastes 2:2. Bible Language English. He was still on a solemn pursuit to find meaning in this life apart from God. It’s certainly better than foolishness. “I planted me x”. ” (Ecclesiastes 2:2, HCSB) ... Solomon realized and we can realize that if we make the pursuit of wisdom and work as our meaning in life, in the end, we have nothing. I acquired male and female singers, and a harem 2:8 The meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain. Don’t be ashamed if you find simple pleasure in food and drink and work. And the farmer died and his stuff went to someone else. See Ecclesiastes 2:2 with its adjacent verses in bold below. Asociación; Asociados; Estatutos; Noticias; Normativa; ecclesiastes 12:2 meaning Ecclesiastes 3:10 "I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it." It’s God. Ecclesiastes 2 - I said in my heart, "Come now, I will test you with mirth; therefore enjoy pleasure"; but surely, this also [was] vanity. No, he was foolish. And then he starts drinking alcohol! Ecclesiastes 3 makes clear that God is sovereign over time as well as over the flow of events He is overseeing in the outworking of His plan ... thinks that the way God handles things is unfair, a judgment that is the work of the spirit of this world (Ephesians 2:2-3). Tagged ecclesiastes 2, solomon. 25 For who can eat, or who can have enjoyment, more than I? What permanent accomplishment had he made by all of this labor? And we’ll get to that. And it’s interesting what he says about this pursuit of his. 2:18 And I hated all my labor wherein I labored under the sun, seeing that I must leave it unto the man that shall be after me. He hated it. But now all of a sudden, we’re given this view of God – he gives joy and wisdom and knowledge. There’s nothing wrong with upgrading facilities to accommodate increased needs. In Ecclesiastes 2:1-10, the Teacher describes his search for meaning through pleasure, broadly defined. Definitely a lesson I will pass on to my son. They give me some joy. And what does pleasure accomplish?”3 I tried cheering myself with wine,(C)and embracing folly(D)—my mind still guiding me with wisdom. If you know your Bible, there are a few verses in the New Testament that seem to hearken back to this one. He didn’t allow himself to be sidetracked by all those things. In the rest of Ecclesiastes 2, we’ll see the first part of the Human Quest Satisfied. Yeah – all these things are fun. The word "Ecclesiastes" is the Greek equivalent for the Hebrew word Koheleth, or "the preacher." And yet, his wisdom remained with him. Cook rendered this, "The almond tree shall be despised," [18] and interpreted it to mean that pleasant food would be despised by the aged. Find Top Church Sermons, Illustrations, and Preaching Slides on Ecclesiastes 2:2. Emphasis on Joy. But now you’re left with nothing. And some of them begin to “eat and drink” and get drunk and abuse their fellow slaves. And it is God who actively makes this happen. Buildings, food, beautiful landscaping, water, entertainment, people to serve you, sexual fulfillment, money. ... and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. So enjoy yourself.” And behold, it too was futility. Who provides you with food? 19 And who knoweth whether he will be a wise man or a fool? 2:23 For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night. A time to love, &c.— The third proof the proposition laid down in the beginning, and comprised in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 is taken from the endless vicissitude of things in this world, and especially of those which depend on our choice. And really – who knows if that person will be wise or foolish? In chapter 2, Solomon launches into what he had learned about his works of building material things like houses and gardens and seeking even greater wealth. He gave his heart joy. And the wisest man that’s ever lived is telling you that no matter what you pursue – human wisdom, pleasure, wealth, work, sexual intimacy, you name it – none of that stuff is going to infuse meaning into your life. 2:24 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. A. This Book is called Ecclesiastes, or The Preacher, (in Hebrew, Coheleth,) because in it, Solomon, as an excellent preacher, setteth forth the vanity of the things of this world: to withdraw he hearts and affections of men from such empty toys. And m how dieth the wise [man]? There is nothing better than for you and me to eat and drink and enjoy good in our work. Put yourself in the place of someone who doesn’t know God – who doesn’t have any thoughts of spiritual realities – who has no hope of eternity. Footnotes. Need to know how Ecclesiastes is abbreviated in Book? It’s just like the sun that does the same thing day after day – or the ocean that keeps receiving water but never gets full – or the wind that just blows around all the time and never really accomplishes anything. It is better to go to the house of mourning.] I acquired male and female singers, and a harem # 2:8 The meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain. And the work is along the lines of what Qoheleth said he did – basically back-breaking labor. I got singers, both men and women, and delights of the flesh, and many concubines. That’s it. So, let’s read Ecclesiastes 2:24-26 to begin, where we learn that enjoyment of life is a gift from God. Therefore, those things are poor substitutes for a … Despite the advantages of earthly natural wisdom – both the wise man and the fool suffer the same fate in the end. He gives us food and pleasure. Problem: Sometimes the Bible speaks as though laughter is good and other times as though it is bad. So, that’s what he’s doing here. And yet, he’ll own it all. And those verses are not very positive. Does this answer your question? Laughter: “A superficial gaiety, used of the ‘fun’ of a game (Proverbs 1:23) or a party (Ecclesiastes 10:19), or the ‘derision’ which Jeremiah suffered (Jeremiah 20:7).” (Eaton) ii. If you’re looking for meaning and fulfillment in this life through work alone – you’re not going to find it. What does God give to him? He says in Ecclesiastes 2:10 that he didn’t withhold anything from his eyes. 17 So I hated life, because the work that is wrought under the sun was grievous unto me; for all is vanity and a striving after wind. So, these passages also put “eating and drinking” in a bad light. Now, let’s just consider this as well. That was his portion or payment for all his work. Solomon was the wisest man in the world, people came from all over the world to hear his … I ask for a one-bit answer. And then it’s as if the following thought breaks into his consciousness – What will the man who comes after him do with all his stuff? But that’s it. And one more – Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 tells us that if the resurrection won’t happen, then we might as well “eat and drink”. That’s what God wants us to do. And it’s that last idea that he’ll focus in on in Ecclesiastes 2:18-23. But it failed. He’ll make the point in verse 1 and verse 8 and verse 16 (just to throw out some numbers). It truly is. This shows the English words related to the source biblical texts along with brief definitions. But not all men are like that. One of those verses is in the Gospels where Jesus is exhorting us to be rich toward God – to pay attention to him and not be living for stuff with no concern for him and his wishes in your life. This also is vanity. He had musical instruments. And what does pleasure accomplish?” 3 I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly—my mind still guiding me with wisdom. Therefore, those things are poor substitutes for a sustained sense of well-being. Ecclesiastes 2:26 tells us how God provides wisdom, knowledge, and joy to the one who pleases God – who is good in his sight. But not all men are like that. The guy who comes after him will just do whatever he’s done. (Read Ecclesiastes 2:12-17) Solomon found that knowledge and prudence were preferable to ignorance and folly, though human wisdom and knowledge will not make a man happy. And so… his heart rejoiced. Everything in this life is so … This also is vanity and vexation of spirit." as well—the delights of a man’s heart. 2. And then Ecclesiastes 2:25 follows this admonition to enjoy these things with an argument. He does not mean they resulted in no sense of achievement or passing pleasure, but that their fruit never truly fulfilled God's purpose for man. The search of a carnal man. Use this reference information to gain deeper … And again – Qoheleth asks in Ecclesiastes 2:16, How does the wise man die? So, what is wrong with this farmer? 9 I became greater by far … We want to have something to hold on to and sense that it won’t move. A suggested meaning is “woman” or “concubine,” as it is interpreted here: “many women.” The rest of the section (2:1–12) seems to be a description of Solomon’s kingdom, and the “many women” would represent his huge harem (1 Kgs 11:1–3). Well then, if that’s how you’re thinking, you’d be in the position to receive Qoheleth’s teaching in the next section. 16 For of the wise man, even as of the fool, there is no remembrance for ever; seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. That these things for himself begin to “ eat and drink and work 10 I denied myself nothing eyes. All this while, he enjoyed his own independent life while the fool suffer the same words. 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