Ecclesiastes 7. As the Bible says:
Content of the Chapter
The benefit of a good name; of death over life; of sadness over vain joy. (1-6) Concerning oppression, anger and discontent. (7-10) Benefits of wisdom. (11-22) Experience of the evil of sin. (23-29)
It is better, according to Ecclesiastes, to have a good name than valuable things like «precious ointment». Besides, it is still better to die than to be born. He goes on to say that the wise person learns through pain and grief, while the foolish one learns only through laughter and enjoyment. But this leads to a paradox: «by the sadness of the countenance the heart rejoices» (7:3). The laughter of fools is also called «vanity», by the way.
Ecclesiastes warns against anger and pride and advocates patience and wisdom. He also says that you should not ask why the old days were so much better; this is not a wise way of thinking. He implies that no one can try to correct or soften God’s plans.
It’s okay to be wise, righteous and all. But don’t overdo it. Ecclesiastes says that you can destroy yourself by trying too hard to be good, and some evil people actually extend their lives through evil.
It is almost impossible not to do evil deeds, even for the most righteous. And since you know how bad people can be, do not try to spy on the unpleasant things that your servants say about you. You know how people are. It’s just a recipe for trouble. Ecclesiastes praises wisdom a little more. Now, he says that wisdom is really good, and that folly and foolishness are pretty bad.
Now, apparently out of nowhere, there is a burst of women who hate. Ecclesiastes breathes out against women who seduce and trap men and goes on to say (or seems to say, the verse is a bit dark) that an honest man is about one in a thousand, but there are no honest women.
Commentary on Ecclesiastes 7: 1-6
A reputation for piety and honesty is more desirable than all the wealth and pleasure in this world. It will do more good to go to a funeral than to a party. We can legally go to both, according to the occasion; Our Savior celebrated the wedding of His friend in Cana and wept at the grave of His friend in Bethany.
But, considering how fit we are to be vain and pamper the flesh, it is better to go to the house of mourning, to learn the end of man in this world. Seriousness is better than joy and happiness.
That is the best for us, the best for our souls, even though it is unpleasant to feel it. It is better that our corruptions be mortified by the rebuke of the wise, than to gratify them by the song of fools. The laughter of a fool is soon gone, the end of his joy is heaviness.
Commentary on Ecclesiastes 7: 7-10
The event of our trials and difficulties is often better than we thought at first. Surely it is better to be patient in spirit, than to be proud and hasty. Don’t get angry early or quickly resist an affront. Do not be too angry; though anger may enter the bosom of a wise man, it passes through it as a wandering man; it dwells alone in the bosom of fools.
It is folly to weep for the evil of our times, when we have more reason to weep for the evil of our own hearts; and even in these times we enjoy many mercies. It is folly to weep for the goodness of times past; as though the ages before us did not have the same things to complain of: this arises from discontent and the aptitude for fighting with God himself.
Other Topics of Interest in ALPHAPEDIA
Image of the Bible