Sunday, May 24, 2015

King Solomon, who wrote Ecclesiastes

http://www.phoenixmasonry.org/historypage.htm
Ecclesiastes: Chapter One
(King James Version)

... Vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?
One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.
The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.
The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.
All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.
All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.
There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.
I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem.
And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.
I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.
That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.
I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.
And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit.
For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

12 comments:

  1. I love Ecclesiastes, and I return to it often. Qoheleth indeed speaks wisdom.

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  2. :P...

    ...and no, it's NOT Turn, turn, turn!

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    Replies
    1. That's a much-recorded song!

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Satisfied_Mind

      I was only familiar with the Porter Wagoner version.

      Thanks for sharing!

      Delete
  3. There was an awful lot of Greek in Solomon's wisdom, especially in Ecclesiastes, which was written looooong after he could ever have lived.

    JMJ

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    Replies
    1. Jersey,
      Don't pleasure yourself thinking you've burst anyone's bubble.

      We're all familiar with the influence of different philosophies. No society, including the Hebrews of the time, invented it all whole cloth. Intellectual cross-pollination is a constant throughout history.

      Also, while Solomon is traditionally acknowledged as the author of this great work, Biblical scholars tell us that may not be the case, and Jews and Christians accept that possibility. It does not change the nature or stature of the text itself.

      The scholars don't make the categorical statement you do, so that must mean you're smarter than them.

      Delete
    2. Oh Scholars! PHEW! Latterly they see themselves not as Bearers of Enlightenment and Illuminators of Immortal Truth, but act, instead, as cynical DEBUNKERS preoccupied –– even obsessed –– with pettifogging details that have no bearing on TRUTH whatsoever.


      SF was correct when he said. "[W]hile Solomon is traditionally acknowledged as the author of [Ecclesiastes], Biblical scholars tell us that may not be the case. ... Jews and Christians accept that possibility. It does not change the nature or stature of the text itself."

      All that matters in ANY written commentary is QUALITY of CONTENT.

      I frankly don't CARE who "actually" wrote Shakespeare. All that matters to ME is the existence of these marvelous works of literature.

      Delete
  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. stomp, snort, and gruntMay 25, 2015 at 9:42 AM

      This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
  5. "Ozymandias" by Percy Bysshe Shelley might be considered a corollary of the cited portion of Ecclesiastes:

    I met a traveller from an antique land
    Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
    Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
    Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
    And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
    Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
    Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
    The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
    And on the pedestal these words appear:
    `My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
    Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'
    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
    The lone and level sands stretch far away".

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    Replies
    1. I can readily see how some might think that, AOW, although I'd say Ozymandias is more a reminder that "All things are passing," than the statement of a philosophical position claiming the nature of reality to be frivolous and even fundamentally absurd.

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    2. FT,
      The poem is merely a corollary -- not "the whole ball of wax."

      Still, the passing nature of things so valued in this life is part of what is posited in the book of Ecclesiastes as well as in the poem.

      All the power in the this life -- however one defines power other than loving one's neighbor as oneself -- means nothing after we have crossed the bar.

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    3. I don't disagree at all, AOW, but I think The Preacher means that most-if-not-all the things we value in our mortal existence are fundamentally unimportant, even while we live and vainly imagine they are. Life, Truth, Love, Intelligence and Principle –– and what they imply –– may be all that truly matters in the long run,

      Delete

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