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Ecclesiastes




Hello; and welcome to a journey thru the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes.

Bible students are often baffled as to why Solomon's remarks in the book of Ecclesiastes sometimes contradict Jesus' teachings in the New Testament. Well; the answer to that is actually pretty simple.

Solomon wasn't inspired to record his observations from the perspective of an enlightened man who's privy to knowledge beyond the scope of empirical evidence and human experience; rather, from the perspective of a man under the sun; viz: a down to earth thinking man whose perception of reality is moderated by what he can see for himself going on around him in the physical universe; which of course results in an evaluation of life on earth as seen from the earth rather than an evaluation of life on earth as seen from heaven.

In other words: Ecclesiastes is one man's world view-- his personal philosophy of life --rather than a book of either history or prophecy; and it's loaded with pessimism; which is basically a mindset inclined to dwell on the negative in human experience rather than the positive.

Something to keep in mind with Ecclesiastes is that just because people's statements are recorded in a sacred text does not make their statements eo ipso true; for example Eveís response to the Serpent.

"And he said to the woman: Indeed, has God said you shall not eat from any tree of the garden? And the woman said to the serpent: From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said you shall not eat from it or touch it, lest you die." (Gen 3:1-3)

Was Eve telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth? No. God forbad them to eat the fruit, yes, but He didnít forbid them to touch it. (cf. Gen 2:16-17)

The Serpentís response was untrue too.

"And the serpent said to the woman: You shall not surely die." (Gen 3:4)

Did Eve die? Yes.

The conversation between Eve and the Serpent is no doubt on record because God wanted it so; but there are untruths in their statements. Solomon's worldly philosophy of life is a lot like that; in other words: Ecclesiastes isn't necessarily totally wrong just because it's an earthy point of view, nor is it necessarily totally correct just because it contains a kernel of truth. No, the danger is that Solomon's philosophy, like most all philosophy, contains just enough truth to make it misleading. Caveat Lector.

Buen Camino
 


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