By Jacques B. Doukhan
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Extra info for Ecclesiastes : all is vanity
This wisdom must come from above, because "there is not a just man on earth who does good I And does not sin" (7:20). Man by himself cannot make it. Our only help is the wisdom from God, the One who is completely "good " and has never compromised with evil. As far as humans are concerned, we are all sinners. This applies to you, says Ecclesiastes, as well as to the other: ''Also do not take to heart everything people say, I Lest you hear your servant cursing you" (7:21). This admonition is a direct application of the principle we just discussed in verse 20.
At the same time, we are reminded that, apart from this assurance of God's sovereignty, the race for "power" leads nowhere, except to vanity. Ironically, the ambitious person who loves power will always be the subject of someone. The race is endless. And when we think we have reached the top, like a king, we realize that even there we are mere servants. "We serve the field,'' and our new master is blind and under the curse. This is vanity at its worst. From vanity to vanity, the race for power ultimately leads to the "vanity of vanities," the abyss.
9. See Deuteronomy 4:26, 40; 5:16; 1 1 :9; Proverbs 28:16; etc. 10. Compare Job 12: 17; 21:13; Psalm 73 :2, 3. 1 1 . The same usage of aLL is attested in 2:14, where it refers to the rwo opposites wise and fool and in 3:19, where it refers to the two opposites men and beasts. 12. ); it has that meaning in 10:20, when we are urged not to speak or chink badly about the king or the rich. 13. Ir is a cohorrative form that expresses "the direction to an action and denotes especially self-encouragement" (E.
Ecclesiastes : all is vanity by Jacques B. Doukhan