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Bible Study Solomon's World View

Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
75
#1
-
Hello; and welcome to an armchair journey thru the Old Testament book of
Ecclesiastes.

Afterlife opponents often quote the book of Ecclesiastes; which is a fatal
error because proof texts related to the afterlife drawn from this book of are
inadmissible; and the reason is very simple.

Ecclesiastes isn't a book of divine revelation, but rather, a book of
humanistic philosophy; and though a holy man wrote Ecclesiastes, and was
no doubt divinely motivated to do so; he didn't record his observations from
the perspective of an enlightened man who's privy to knowledge beyond the
scope of empirical evidence and human experience; but rather, he recorded
his observations from the perspective of a man under the sun; viz: a down
to Earth thinking man-- a sensible man --whose perception of reality is
moderated by what he can see going on around him in the physical
universe; and that's why Bible students find so much material in Ecclesiastes
contrary to the doctrines of traditional Christianity.

Men under the sun who think for themselves typically find the book of
Ecclesiastes to be spot-on in agreement with their own philosophy of life;
and no mystery there since Ecclesiastes is primarily an evaluation of life on
Earth as seen from the Earth rather than an evaluation of life on Earth as
seen from Heaven.

Another thing to keep in mind when studying Ecclesiastes is that just
because people's statements are recorded in a sacred text does not make
their statements eo ipso true; for example Eve’s 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 didn’t forbid them to touch it. (cf. Gen
2:16-17)

The Serpent’s response was untrue too.

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

Did Eve die? As far as we know; yes, Eve did eventually pass away.

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.

/
 
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
75
#2
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Ecclesiastes 1:1


Ecc 1:1 . .The words of Koheleth son of David, king in Jerusalem.

Koheleth is apparently a transliteration rather than a translation. The
Hebrew word is qoheleth (ko-heh'-leth) which means: an assembly gatherer
(i.e. a lecturer). A qoheleth assembler isn't a mechanic on a factory
assembly line, but rather, someone who assembles a group together for a
speech, a seminar, or classroom situation.

Christ was a koheleth. Just about everywhere he went, Jesus set up a soap
box and drew crowds.

The lecturer obviously isn't female because Koheleth was a son of David and
a king in Jerusalem. Sons and kings are male.

Tradition accredits Ecclesiastes to David's son Solomon, the brightest
intellectual of his day because of the abundance of his God-given wisdom.
None of the other descendants of David ever matched Solomon's intellect.
He may not have been much of a soldier, but Solomon had no equals in
matters of scholarship.

"Yhvh endowed Solomon with wisdom and discernment in great measure,
with understanding as vast as the sands on the seashore. Solomon's wisdom
was greater than the wisdom of all the Kedemites and than all the wisdom of
the Egyptians. He was the wisest of all men: [wiser] than Ethan the
Ezrahite, and Heman, Chalkol, and Darda the sons of Mahol. His fame
spread among all the surrounding nations.

. . . He composed three thousand proverbs, and his songs numbered one
thousand and five. He discoursed about trees, from the cedar in Lebanon to
the hyssop that grows out of the wall; and he discoursed about beasts,
birds, creeping things, and fishes. Men of all peoples came to hear
Solomon's wisdom, [sent] by all the kings of the earth who had heard of his
wisdom." (1Kgs 5:9-14)

Solomon's education would most likely be categorized as Liberal Arts in our
day; which is a pretty broad field of study consisting of a variety of subjects.

Ecc 1:2-3 . . Utter futility!-- said Koheleth --Utter futility! All is
futile! What real value is there for a man in all the gains he makes
beneath the sun?

He has a point. What does it benefit people "beneath the sun" to amass a
fortune, build an empire, accumulate knowledge, possessions, education,
accolades, achievements, and experience when they're only going to die and
lose every single bit of it? Here's a humorous epitaph that quite says it all:

Here lies John Racket,
In his wooden jacket.
He kept neither horses
Nor mules.
He lived like a hog,
And died like a dog;
And left his money to fools.

/
 
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#3
(quote)
"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 didn’t forbid them to touch it. (cf. Gen
2:16-17)

The Serpent’s response was untrue too.

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

Did Eve die? As far as we know; yes, Eve did eventually pass away. (unquote)

"Ye strain out gnats, and swallow a camel."
 
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
75
#4
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Continuing from post #2

Ecclesiastes 1:4-8


Ecc 1:4 . . One generation goes, another comes, but the Earth
remains the same forever.

Solomon didn't intend for anyone to take his comment to mean that the
Earth is eternal. No, within context, he only meant that the Earth outlasts
everybody; viz: compared to human life the Earth is permanent while all of
us are transient.

It's quite humiliating to realize that a mindless lump of granite with an IQ of
zero, and whose personal accomplishments amount to absolutely nothing,
will easily outlive the finest minds and the most energetic movers and
shakers who ever existed. The rock of Gibraltar, for example, was here
before Plato, Alexander the Great, Darwin, Beethoven, Einstein, Eli Whitney,
Edwin Hubble, Jonas Salk, and Steve Jobs; and the rock of Gibraltar was still
here after they all died. It will still be here after you are dead too.
Shakespeare once said: All the world's a stage. He was so right. Actors come
and go, but the stage is always there; ready for a new cast.

It's just not fair. People are much smarter, more sophisticated, and far more
valuable than anything on the planet. But the planet itself-- mute, ignorant,
and impersonal --endures forever; while its superiors die and drop off all the
time. In the grand scheme of things, Man's tenure on the planet is but for a
fleeting moment; then he's gone and forgotten; washed away. For the vast
majority of people, it will be as though they were never here at all. The
planet was doing just fine before they got here, and it will go on doing just
fine after they're gone. In point of fact the Earth would do better if everyone
were gone so that nature could be given time to rectify all the damages that
man has inflicted upon it.

Ecc 1:5 . .The sun rises, and the sun sets-- and glides back to
where it rises.

Sounds like Orphan Annie-- "The Sun-ull come owwwwt too-maw-row.
Betcher bottum doll-ler that too-maw-rohhhhh, thair-ull be Sun." (chuckle)
Annie has it pegged. Maybe clouds block the Sun from view now and then,
but the clouds can never stop the Sun from coming up; nor stop it from
going down either. The Sun always comes up, and it always goes down
there's always day, and there's always night

Ecc 1:6 . . Southward blowing, turning northward, ever turning
blows the wind; on its rounds the wind returns.

Solomon perceived that winds are cyclonic; and he's right. The Earth's air
currents don't move straight ahead like waves roaring in on the beach. No,
they circulate. High pressure areas move air into low pressure areas. And
the winds never blow just once. They keep coming back to blow all over
again.

Ecc 1:7 . . All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full; to
the place [from] which they flow the streams flow back again.

Solomon was pretty doggone savvy about hydrology. It's true. All streams
flow towards the sea (duh! gravity makes water flow downhill, and most
landmasses are above the level of the sea), but the water doesn't stay
there. It returns to the land masses again via evaporation and snow, and
rain, and hail, in a perpetual cycle.

Ecc 1:8 . . All such things are wearisome: no man can ever state
them; the eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear enough of
hearing.

Science is fun. But there is just too much for one man to learn in his
lifetime. Even those who specialize in only one branch, like astronomy, or
biology, or chemistry, never really get it all. They are ever grasping for more
knowledge, but it eludes them. Then they die and someone else comes along
to pick up where they left off and continue the search.

A new 8.7 billion-dollar space telescope, said to be many times more
powerful than the Hubble, dubbed the James Webb Space Telescope (a.k.a.
JWSP) is on track for launch in 2018. What for? Only because Man's eyes
never have enough seeing, and his ears never have enough hearing. He
presses on for more and more knowledge because he just has to know. The
quest for knowledge becomes the entire reason and motivation for missions
like the JWSP. It's being built and launched simply for the purpose of
discovery.

Nobel Prize winner, author of several best-selling books, and recipient of at
least a dozen honorary degrees, Physicist Steven Weinberg (who views
religion as an enemy of science), in his book, The First Three Minutes,
wrote: "The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it seems
pointless. But if there is no solace in the fruits of our research, there is at
least some consolation in the research itself . . The effort to understand the
universe is one of the very few things that lifts human life a little above the
level of a farce and gives it some of the grace of tragedy."

What a dismal appraisal. To a brilliant, secular man like Mr. Weinberg, the
human experience is an exercise in futility. The quest for knowledge seems
the only thing that gives humanity any purpose to exist at all.

/
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
75
#5
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Ecclesiastes 1:9-11


Ecc 1:9 . . Only that shall happen which has happened, only that
occur which has occurred; there is nothing new beneath the sun!


Solomon noticed that nature has yet to reinvent itself; and yet to break it's
own habits. The tide always comes in, and it always goes out. The sun
always rises and it always sets-- there's always a day followed by a night.
The wind blows past us, and eventually returns to do it again. In the Spring,
leaves appear on trees, and in Autumn, they die and drop off-- every year.
In the Winter it's cold, in the Summer it's hot-- always. It rains one day, it
clears; and another day the rains return to do it all over again. Every year in
the woods, little frogs lay eggs in vernal pools. Their pollywogs grow into
more frogs who in turn will lay their own eggs in the very same vernal pools
the following year. Birds fly south for the Winter, and birds fly north for the
Summer

Every 27.3217 Earth days the moon completes one of its own sidereal days,
and every 29.5307 Earth days it completes one of its own lunar months; the
meanwhile always showing us the very same face; never the other side. For
twelve months, the Sun appears to travel along the ecliptic through each of
the constellations of the Zodiac. When it gets back to the Vernal Equinox,
does it then change course and take a new path? No. It will go right back
through every one of those very same twelve signs all over again.

While my wife and I were gazing at a planetary alignment of Jupiter, Saturn,
Venus, Mars, and Mercury some time ago, it occurred to me that I was
looking up at a universe virtually the same as the one that the Egyptians
looked up at during construction of the Pyramids. They saw the very same
stars, and the very same five naked-eye planets more than 4,000 years ago.
Political climates, wars, disease, economic ups and downs, death and life--
none of that has influenced the circuits of those five planets. They
methodically, silently, and religiously go about their business indifferent to
Man's problems; constantly circling the sun and haven't changed their
behavior one single bit since the day their creator hung them out there.

Through our Nikon FieldScope, we saw four of Jupiter's largest moons: Io,
Callisto, Europa, and Ganymede. Those very same four moons were circling
Jupiter on the night that Galileo discovered them with his crude 20x
telescope in 1609 AD. Can you guess what those moons were doing 400
years ago back in Galileo's day? The very same thing they are doing now:
orbiting Jupiter. And can you guess what Jupiter was doing in Galileo's day?
That’s right; the very same thing it does now: orbiting the sun. Nature is
truly in a rut.

Ecc 1:10-11 . . Sometimes there is a phenomenon of which they
say, "Look, this one is new!"-- it occurred long since, in ages that
went by before us. The earlier ones are not remembered; so too
those that will occur later will no more be remembered than those
that will occur at the very end.


When Man discovers something new in nature, it’s best to keep in mind that
the new thing he discovered didn't come into existence the day he found out
about it. No, it was there all the time. He just didn't know about it yet. Like
coal and uranium. Did Man invent those? No. Did he invent petroleum? Did
he invent tectonic plates? Did he invent galaxies? Did he invent quasars? Did
he invent genes? Did he invent DNA? Did he invent electromagnetic waves?
No. Did he invent electricity? No. Did he invent gravity? Did he invent
magnetism? Did he invent molecules? No, No, No, No. All those things are
discoveries, not inventions.

It’s true that Man often manipulates nature to create things like super sweet
corn, lasers, penicillin, plastic, cardboard, aluminum foil, gasoline, and
nitroglycerine. But left to itself, nature rarely produces anything new
because if there’s one thing nature dearly loves; it's routine.

/
 
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
75
#6
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Ecclesiastes 1:12-16


Ecc 1:12-13a . . I, Koheleth, was king in Jerusalem over Israel. I
set my mind to study and to probe with wisdom all that happens
under the sun.


The phrase "all that happens under the sun" is limited to exactly that.
Ecclesiastes is an accumulation of worldly observations; viz: one man's
philosophy of life.

Your philosophy of life may not be on a par with Solomon's in eloquence; but
then it doesn't have to because one's philosophy of life is their own outlook
derived from their own personal impressions, experiences, and observations.
What I'm saying is: there is no one correct interpretation of a book like
Ecclesiastes. Though I offer mine for your intellectual enjoyment; you could
probably write an interpretation of Solomon's composition of your own that's
just as useful.

Ecc 1:13b-15 . . An unhappy business, that, which God gave men to
be concerned with! I observed all the happenings beneath the sun,
and I found that all is futile and chasing the wind: a twisted thing
that cannot be made straight, a lack that cannot be made good.


From a practical point of view; it's futile to attempt to assign any real
meaning to life-- just as there are some things that simply cannot be
remedied; such as a tree twisted and gnarled so badly that it's lumber is
beyond hope for use in a new home, or a five-foot man trying to meet a six
foot height requirement.

Well; that's Mr. Koheleth's preface to Ecclesiastes; and from here on, he will
elucidate his reasons for being so negative about all that goes on under the
sun.

Ecc 1:16 . . I said to myself: Here I have grown richer and wiser
than any that ruled before me over Jerusalem, and my mind has
zealously absorbed wisdom and learning.


Solomon wasn't what might be called a warrior king like Alexander the Great
or Genghis Khan. He was more like Jacob (who had far less concern for
outdoor adventure than his brother Esau). Solomon enjoyed a peace-time
economy and generally good relations with his political neighbors. War was
rare during his tenure on the throne, the state-of-the-union was tolerable,
he was financially independent, comfortable, and had plenty of opportunity
to devote himself to self improvement in the study of liberal arts; which are
defined as: the studies (such as language, philosophy, history, literature,
abstract science) in a college or university intended to provide chiefly
general knowledge and to develop the general intellectual capacities (reason
and judgment) as opposed to specific professional or vocational skills.

Webster's defines "wisdom" as: sagacity, insight, sagaciousness, sageness,
sapience, shrewdness, sound judgment, and good sense.

"Learning" is defined as: knowledge, information, education, scholarship,
erudition, science, and facts.

Obviously, learning does not eo ipso make one wise or we wouldn't have so
many educated people doing so many dumb things.

Solomon's desire to improve his mind isn't uncommon among the idle rich;
after all, who better can afford higher education than they? They say a mind
is a terrible thing to waste. Well, plenty of poor and middle class minds are
going to waste simply for lack of funds. Some have managed to break the
chains of ignorance through scholarships or great personal sacrifice on the
part of themselves and of their families.

But not Solomon. No, he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and
inherited all the money one could ever possibly need, and then some.
Finding the money for an education was the least of Solomon's concerns;
and so, having nothing better to do with his time, he went to school; but
anon discovered there is no guarantee education will bring people things like
peace of mind and less stress. Solomon realized that he had expected too
much from the pursuit of knowledge; in other words: education made him
neither happier nor better off than before.

Many a privileged youngster has thrown away four perfectly good years of
their life in college. They typically enroll in a liberal arts program, not really
knowing what they want in life, often change their major, and come out of
school four years older than when they first enrolled with no marketable
skills, and no idea on earth how they will support themselves. All those
tuition dollars, and all that time out of their life-- puff! . . up in smoke,
frittered away; gone.

Adults seem obsessed with telling young people not to worry too much about
things like career, marriage, family, and retirement because they have their
whole life ahead of them yet. No. They don't have their whole life ahead of
them. By the time a youngster is out of four-year college, at least twenty
two of the best years of their life are gone forever and they are in a third
decade; rapidly approaching an age when they will be old enough to die of
natural causes.

Time and tide wait for no man; with time being the one asset men can least
afford to liquidate at bargain prices. You can always catch another tide, but
no one yet has caught another youth

/
 
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
75
#7
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Ecclesiastes 1:17-18


Ecc 1:17-18 . . And so I set my mind to appraise wisdom and to
appraise madness and folly. And I learned that this too was to
pursue the wind: For as wisdom increases, vexation increases; to
increase learning is to increase aggravation.


Knowledge can be likened to the pieces of a very large, very complicated jig
saw puzzle. In order to see the big picture, it's necessary to assemble the
pieces in their correct location in respect to the other pieces. Well; it seems
that the more someone knows, the harder it is to fit all the information
together in a coherent unity, i.e. the more we know, the more burdened we
become with the difficulty of fitting it all together; and there's probably little
more frustrating than a jig saw puzzle with a number of its pieces missing;
which of course we don't find out till we've already assembled large portions
of the puzzle.

Sometimes it just doesn't pay to be too smart. People who never ponder the
mysteries of life-- existing in obscurity day to day --seem far more content
than sages and philosophers who vex themselves trying to justify the human
existence. Live and let die is the motto of the simple person. But the
philosopher just can't let it go that easily. He agonizes, he ponders the
mysteries of life over and over again for the Nth time, and sometimes can't
sleep because of it.

There's really nothing intrinsically wrong with searching for a meaning to
life. But when people limit their search parameters to the natural world of
personal experience and empirical evidence --then they end up perplexed;
and life seems futile and makes no sense.

In my opinion; leaving a supreme being out of one's quest for the meaning
of life leaves a key piece out of the puzzle. In mathematical formulas, there
is usually at least one constant from which a solution can be derived. Well;
to me anyway, the existence of a supreme being is just as valid a constant
in the meaning of life as the values of pi and the speed of light; and I think
it's an oversight to look for a meaning without it; but hey; that's just me--
others may be just as content with a philosophy of life that's minus a
supreme being as I am with a world view that includes one. Suum Cuique.

/
 
Joined
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Messages
75
#8
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Ecclesiastes 2:1-3


Ecc 2:1-2 . . I said to myself: Come, I will treat you to merriment.
Taste mirth! That too, I found, was futile. Of revelry I said: It's mad!
Of merriment: What good is that?


The only problem with a natural high is that it's so transitory. Joy and
excitement are emotions, and emotions can't be sustained for very long
before they need rest. Sometimes after a very pleasurable experience like a
big night on the town, a great victory, an exciting movie, a day at
Disneyland, or a wedding; we feel run down because the merriment wore us
out. It's not uncommon for people to actually feel very depressed and let
down after a round of excitement. They don't have a mental problem; no,
their emotions are just fatigued.

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with entertainment and excitement.
Solomon's focus isn't upon the morality of fun-- his focus is upon the value
of it. Unfortunately, fun has no lasting value. It's value is temporal. Fun is
only good for now, not for later. And things that are fun for the moment,
often become boring after a while. I mean, picnics are fun, but who wants to
do them every single day? And movies? I love movies like Matrix, Lost in
Translation
, Love Actually, Moonstruck, Inception, Avatar, Margin Call, and
School Of Rock. I've watched them at least six times each. But you know
what? I can't watch just those same eight movies all the time. I need variety
because fun things lose their fun value when you do them too often.

From a practical point of view, entertainment is only profitable for an
entertainment vendor. The patron derives no profits from fun. Take a chess
game. Chess for some people is very entertaining, and quite relaxing. But
there is no profit in a friendly game of chess; only a temporal pleasure.
That's Solomon's point. Fun is good if you keep it in perspective. Have fun
for fun's sake; but don't expect it to gain you anything of long lasting
value-- and for pete's sake, don't let yourself feel guilty about having fun
because amusement has a legitimate place in the human existence. Though
fun has no eternal value, there's really nothing of eternal value to gain by
asceticism either.

Ecc 2:3a . . I ventured to tempt my flesh with wine, and to grasp
folly, while letting my mind direct with wisdom,


The word for "folly" is from cikluwth (sik-looth') and/or sikluwth (sik-looth');
which mean: silliness. Late night comedy like Saturday Night Live, and
Jimmy Fallon would fit into that definition.

Late night comedy isn't for everyone. Solomon, for example, was just far too
sophisticated to enjoy something crass like that. He did give it an honest try
though and thoroughly analyzed comedy's potential just in case there might
be something he was missing. But comedy bounced right off Solomon. He
could recognize humor, but couldn't enjoy it. He was one of those guys who
can sit through episodes of Jerry Seinfeld, the Simpsons, and/or watch a
romantic comedy like Made Of Honor and wonder what people see in them.

What Solomon was searching for was something to cheer himself up. He was
an incredibly brilliant man, but his intellect only made him melancholy. So,
along with comedy, he tried alcohol. But alcohol presents its own problems
because your body gets used to it. Pretty soon, you have to imbibe larger
and larger doses to get a buzz. And then when it wears off, you might have
a headache and a hang-over. Same with narcotics. Users need larger and
more frequent doses, and when they come down they often become blue
and irritable; and sometimes so ill that they die.

Ecc 2:3b . . to the end that I might learn which of the two was
better for men to practice in their few days of life under heaven.


Well, which is the better of the two-- alcohol or comedy --is a matter of
opinion. Some people would prefer not to make a choice between them but
to keep both. You could watch Jimmy Fallon with a night-cap or a glass of
wine just as easily as not. And actually, those two are a pretty good way to
end your day. Fallon makes you laugh at the world, and the booze is
relaxing so you can sleep better. The key to enjoyment in life is to do all
things in moderation. A little wine is okay, but a lot is bad. A little silliness
here and there is okay too; but a whole day of it every day all day long
would not be a good idea.

/
 
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#9
Hey this site is not a personal blog....

Our message boards are for discussions,

Post a bit and allow others to reply

STAFF
 
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Nov 17, 2017
Messages
75
#10
Hey this site is not a personal blog.... Our message boards are for discussions, Post a bit and allow others to reply

What do you feel would be an appropriate amount of interval between Bible
posts . . one day, two, a week, a month?

/
 
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
75
#12
-
What do you feel would be an appropriate amount of interval between Bible posts . . one day, two, a week, a month?

I've yet to receive a response from Reba; so, I've decided to post an
Ecclesiastes comment every two days, beginning with today, and see how
that works out.


FYI: Even by posting a comment every day, it takes very nearly two months
to complete a full, verse by verse, journey thru the book of Ecclesiastes; so
figure on at least four by halving the frequency.

/
 
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
75
#13
-
Continuing from post #8

Ecclesiastes 2:4-7a


Ecc 2:4a . . I multiplied my possessions.

Even the poor have this opportunity-- to multiply their possessions --and
some are pretty good at it in their own way. It's not unusual to see a
homeless person with a shopping cart or a bicycle piled high to the sky with
things they've accumulated. And many low-income folk here in America have
at least two television sets and one car; and sometimes a gun too.

Here in Oregon we have a motto that goes something like this: When the
weather gets bad, it's time to go shopping. (chuckle) Who doesn't enjoy
buying something new? A new possession can cheer you up; even little doo
dads and trinkets that cost only 49 cents.

One thing I really love is
LEGO key rings; a new one always cheers me up.
No doubt Solomon would just shrug and wonder why I was buying that
stupid stuff.

I'm always thoroughly amazed at how lifted my wife's spirits become
whenever she buys herself a trendy new lipstick or nail polish at
SEPHORA.
Multiplying possessions is good for the mood; like
GODIVA chocolate. True,
it's only a temporary high, but it's a good high and I always enjoy buying
things, even if it's only second-hand at Good Will or Salvation Army.

Ecc 2:4b . . I built myself houses

The filthy rich never seem to be satisfied with just one home. No; they have
a house in Bel-Air, and another out on The Hamptons. They have Summer
cottages, and they have Winter cabins. They build custom homes costing in
the millions of dollars and when they tire of those, they sell, move out, and
build another custom home.

Ecc 2:4c-6 . . and I planted vineyards. I laid out gardens and
groves, in which I planted every kind of fruit tree. I constructed
lakes of water, enough to irrigate a forest sprouting with trees.


It isn't unusual for governments to build parks and initiate beautification
programs in their cities. What the heck, why not when you can use someone
else's money and don't have to pay for it yourself? Solomon received tribute
from all his neighboring kingdoms: from the borders of Egypt clear on over
to the Euphrates river. It was actually a time of great peace and prosperity
in Israel according to 1Kgs 4:20 and 1Kgs 5:5.

Of course Solomon himself didn't do a lick of the work. He purchased slaves
and conscripted his own citizens to accomplish his expensive ambitions.
David his father conscripted foreigners, but Solomon went him one better
with a national draft board that inducted his fellow Jewish men into
government service. There was no danger of war at the time. He just
needed manpower in the labor camps.

30,000 were conscripted to work with Hiram's axe men up in Lebanon
logging for the new Temple, and he had another 70,000 general laborers,
plus 80,000 men working in stone quarries-- and not to forget 12,000
horsemen. All his construction projects were very labor intensive because of
the lack of machinery and power tools in those days.

Ecc 2:7a . . I bought male and female slaves, and I acquired
stewards


The Hebrew word for "stewards" is ben, which means sons; viz: children
born of slaves he already owned. So the bens cost him nothing all the while
that his purchased slaves multiplied among themselves since in that day, the
children of slaves were born into slavery.

People like Solomon, born with silver spoons in their mouths, typically don't
take into consideration the feelings of others less privileged than
themselves. They are often totally self absorbed. Those below them exist
only as cannon fodder; lackeys to serve their every wish as if that were
somehow the natural order of things.

Well, Solomon was finding out that sometimes the natural order of things
works against those who are very intelligent, and against those who are very
rich, and against those who are very powerful. Contentment and fulfillment
eluded his grasp. No matter how he exercised his advantages in life,
Solomon couldn't find peace of mind. He found that for men like himself, life
is pointless. The more he sought fulfillment, the more he felt like he was
wasting his time trying.


NOTE: An episode in 1Kgs 12:1-14 reveals that Solomon's people sorely
resented the labor camps. He delighted himself in the public works that they
accomplished with their own backs and the sweat of their own brows while
he laid back in his palace and thought up more things for them to do.

/
 
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#14
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Continuing from post #8

Ecclesiastes 2:4-7a


Ecc 2:4a . . I multiplied my possessions.

Even the poor have this opportunity-- to multiply their possessions --and
some are pretty good at it in their own way. It's not unusual to see a
homeless person with a shopping cart or a bicycle piled high to the sky with
things they've accumulated. And many low-income folk here in America have
at least two television sets and one car; and sometimes a gun too.

Here in Oregon we have a motto that goes something like this: When the
weather gets bad, it's time to go shopping. (chuckle) Who doesn't enjoy
buying something new? A new possession can cheer you up; even little doo
dads and trinkets that cost only 49 cents.

One thing I really love is
LEGO key rings; a new one always cheers me up.
No doubt Solomon would just shrug and wonder why I was buying that
stupid stuff.

I'm always thoroughly amazed at how lifted my wife's spirits become
whenever she buys herself a trendy new lipstick or nail polish at
SEPHORA.
Multiplying possessions is good for the mood; like
GODIVA chocolate. True,
it's only a temporary high, but it's a good high and I always enjoy buying
things, even if it's only second-hand at Good Will or Salvation Army.

Ecc 2:4b . . I built myself houses

The filthy rich never seem to be satisfied with just one home. No; they have
a house in Bel-Air, and another out on The Hamptons. They have Summer
cottages, and they have Winter cabins. They build custom homes costing in
the millions of dollars and when they tire of those, they sell, move out, and
build another custom home.

Ecc 2:4c-6 . . and I planted vineyards. I laid out gardens and
groves, in which I planted every kind of fruit tree. I constructed
lakes of water, enough to irrigate a forest sprouting with trees.

It isn't unusual for governments to build parks and initiate beautification
programs in their cities. What the heck, why not when you can use someone
else's money and don't have to pay for it yourself? Solomon received tribute
from all his neighboring kingdoms: from the borders of Egypt clear on over
to the Euphrates river. It was actually a time of great peace and prosperity
in Israel according to 1Kgs 4:20 and 1Kgs 5:5.

Of course Solomon himself didn't do a lick of the work. He purchased slaves
and conscripted his own citizens to accomplish his expensive ambitions.
David his father conscripted foreigners, but Solomon went him one better
with a national draft board that inducted his fellow Jewish men into
government service. There was no danger of war at the time. He just
needed manpower in the labor camps.

30,000 were conscripted to work with Hiram's axe men up in Lebanon
logging for the new Temple, and he had another 70,000 general laborers,
plus 80,000 men working in stone quarries-- and not to forget 12,000
horsemen. All his construction projects were very labor intensive because of
the lack of machinery and power tools in those days.

Ecc 2:7a . . I bought male and female slaves, and I acquired
stewards

The Hebrew word for "stewards" is ben, which means sons; viz: children
born of slaves he already owned. So the bens cost him nothing all the while
that his purchased slaves multiplied among themselves since in that day, the
children of slaves were born into slavery.

People like Solomon, born with silver spoons in their mouths, typically don't
take into consideration the feelings of others less privileged than
themselves. They are often totally self absorbed. Those below them exist
only as cannon fodder; lackeys to serve their every wish as if that were
somehow the natural order of things.

Well, Solomon was finding out that sometimes the natural order of things
works against those who are very intelligent, and against those who are very
rich, and against those who are very powerful. Contentment and fulfillment
eluded his grasp. No matter how he exercised his advantages in life,
Solomon couldn't find peace of mind. He found that for men like himself, life
is pointless. The more he sought fulfillment, the more he felt like he was
wasting his time trying.


NOTE: An episode in 1Kgs 12:1-14 reveals that Solomon's people sorely
resented the labor camps. He delighted himself in the public works that they
accomplished with their own backs and the sweat of their own brows while
he laid back in his palace and thought up more things for them to do.

/
Partner,I read all of that,checked your age and gender and since I am not 73 until next month, it safe for me to conclude that you are an old, old man with a sour outlook on life. I don't know but perhaps you are another Vietnam Veteran or a Disappointed Hippy but why are you so bitter about the rewards of this life?

I did three tours killing the VC and the NVA and watching them kill my friends, all the while they tried to kill me. That sort of thing will crush a man's spirit, only to come home after eight years of service to be spit on a to be shoved away by the men he grew up with, if you let it it can make a man bitter to the end but that can be and often is such a killer.

I have no money and even had to use.Kindle Direct Publishing to sell my book but tell me, is there anything I can do to help you cure that attitude? It is not healthy to feel that way.
 
Joined
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Messages
75
#15
-
I did three tours killing the VC and the NVA and watching them kill my
friends, all the while they tried to kill me.

The US Army unit in which I served didn't go to Vietnam till 1968. My
enlistment was up in 1964. The only actions I took part in was the Cuban
missile crisis and riot control in Mississippi.

/
 
Joined
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Messages
15,479
Gender
Male
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#16
-



The US Army unit in which I served didn't go to Vietnam till 1968. My
enlistment was up in 1964. The only actions I took part in was the Cuban
missile crisis and riot control in Mississippi.

/
Yeah, I sat on the runway waiting to go attack Cuba also.
 
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
75
#17
-
Continuing from post #13

Ecclesiastes 2:7b-8a


Ecc 2:7b . . I also acquired more cattle, both herds and flocks, than
all who were before me in Jerusalem.


It's interesting Solomon should mention he was a bigger cattle baron than all
who were before him. What was he doing? Competing? Can you imagine? He
wasn't content with enough. No; he had to have more than enough-- larger
herds than all before him so that he became the champion rancher; literally
the King Ranch of Israel.

For some people, it isn't enough to win; no, all others must lose. Does being
number-one really bring contentment? Well, it might for some, but it didn't
for Solomon. And you know: it's only a matter of time before competitors
like Solomon run out of people to best; and then what?

Ecc 2:8a . . I further amassed silver and gold and treasures of
kings and provinces;


Solomon's wealth was what's known as tangible assets as opposed to assets
on paper. The wealth off many of today's rich men is tied up in investments
like derivatives, stocks, bonds, and funds: but much of Solomon's wealth
was in precious metals-- actual metals that you could hold in your hand
rather represented by an on-paper, Wall Street trading account. Though
many of today's rich men can show you on-record that they own a certain
number of ounces of gold, silver, palladium, and/or platinum et al; where is
it? Not in their own hands that's for sure; no, it's in somebody else's hands.
Not so Solomon.

"The Queen of Sheba presented the king with one hundred and twenty
talents of gold, and a large quantity of spices, and precious stones." (1Kgs
10:10)

"Moreover, Hiram's fleet, which carried gold from Ophir, brought in from
Ophir a huge quantity of almug wood and precious stones." (1Kgs 10:11)

"The weight of the gold which Solomon received every year was 666 talents
of gold, besides what came from tradesmen, from the traffic of the
merchants, and from all the kings of Arabia and the governors of the
regions.

. . . King Solomon made 200 shields of beaten gold-- 600 shekels of gold to
each shield --and 300 bucklers of beaten gold --three minas of gold to each
buckler. The king placed them in the Lebanon Forest House.

. . .The king also made a large throne of ivory, and he overlaid it with
refined gold. Six steps led up to the throne, and the throne had a back with
a rounded top, and arms on either side of the seat. Two lions stood beside
the arms, and twelve lions stood on the six steps, six on either side. No such
throne was ever made for any other kingdom.

. . . All King Solomon's drinking cups were of gold, and all the utensils of the
Lebanon Forest House were of pure gold: silver did not count for anything in
Solomon’s days. For the king had a Tarshish fleet on the sea, along with
Hiram's fleet. Once every three years, the Tarshish fleet came in, bearing
gold and silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks. King Solomon excelled all the
kings on earth in wealth and in wisdom." (1Kgs 10:14-23)

Solomon's personal fortune, in adjusted dollars, and counting his property,
his metals, and his livestock, must have easily exceeded Bill Gates' in that
day. But wealth and luxury just didn't satisfy Solomon. I think many of us
commoners would be happy not to work another day for the rest of our lives.
Or would we? You just never know. Riches don't seem to protect the rich
from despondence, boredom, depression, and feelings of failure and futility.

In 1997, Michael Hutchence, the lead singer of a really cool rock group called
INXS, had a pleasant dinner with his dad and then went back to his hotel
room and hanged himself with a leather belt. He was 37 years old. What the
heck was that all about? Hutchence was young, healthy, wealthy, successful,
popular, and doing well on the music charts. At dinner with his dad, he had
expressed concern about the band's popularity and its future.

What is that saying? Hutchence's happiness was all bound up in music? So
his concern over the band's possible decline in popularity made him
despondent enough to end his life? It just doesn't make sense.

So what does it really take to make some people happy? Well, for Solomon,
it wasn't wealth and success; and, apparently for Hutchence, wealth and
success didn't do it for him either: nor did youth, fame, nor popularity
because real peace is psychological, and nowhere else. When you've got
stuff in your head like bad memories, regrets, inner conflicts, a poor self
image, or low self esteem and feelings of failure, inferiority, inadequacy, and
futility; nothing on earth can remedy that: not therapy, not pills, not dope,
not anything-- nothing short of starting life all over again can get that stuff
out of your head.

/
 

reba

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#18
Look at other posts...A paragraph or so inviting discussion.... These forums are not blogs... if one wishes to posts blogs there are sites set up for that... Here at CFnet our forums are designed for discussion.

2.6: ....
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