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Discover the Arts! Each day a different image from the Literary, Performing, or Visual Arts representing a portion of Scripture
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2018 November 11
Ecclesiastes 9

St Martin Renounces his Weapons (scene 4) - (1320-1325)
Simone Martini (c. 1284 - 1344)
International Gothic Style
Cappella di San Martino, Lower Basilica of San Francesco, Assisi, Italy
Image Source: Web Gallery of Art

     [ Illustration: Today's painting is related to the last section, particularly the concluding statement that wisdom is better than the weapons of war. In today's painting, we see Saint Martin wisely turning from the weapons of war and preparing to use spiritual weapons. See the link in the title of the painting above for further information. ]


[ I will again be working through the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation. I will be adding links, resources, images, and the like, upgrading the former work-through which began with the 2013-10-12 posting which can be found, along with the full Genesis to Revelation postings, in the Archive Page. Postings will be at midnight Eastern Time, as I am able. However, no chapters will be skipped, even though a posting may be late. And all postings will be housed in the Archive Page. ]

     Explanation: Ecclesiastes 9 contains words of wisdom about death, joy, chance, and war.
     Death. In the previous chapter, Solomon had spoken of the vain things which men experience, and he concluded that he should enjoy the good things which God gives him while he can. He attempted to understand this, but was unable to do so. In today's chapter, he continues in the same manner, and he says that the righteous, and the wise, and their works are in the hand of God, so no one knows whether love or hate (good or bad) lie in wait before him (1). Solomon then says that "All things come alike to all" (literally, "all alike to all"). The meaning is somewhat debated, but a common interpretation is that a mixture of good and evil happens to everyone. This fits the context, especially 8:14; and it fits many other statements by Solomon in this book and in Proverbs. And Solomon hastens to add that there is one event which happens to everyone -- the righteous and the wicked; the good, the clean, and the unclean; the one who sacrifices and the one who does not sacrifice; the good and the sinner; the one who swears and the one who fears an oath. One event happens to all; and the heart of the sons of men is full of evil and madness while they live; and after that they go to the dead (2-3). While someone lives, he has hope, because a living dog is better than a dead lion (4). The living know that they shall die; but the dead know nothing, nor do they have any further reward, because the memory of them is forgotten (5). Their love, their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; and they have no further portion forever in anything that is done under the sun (6).
     Joy. In light of all of this, you should go your way, eat your bread with joy, and drink wine with a merry heart, because God now accepts your works (7). Let your garments be always white; let your head lack no ointment (8). Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life. That is your portion of your labor (9). Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave to which you go (10).
     Chance. Solomon returned to his observations, and he noticed that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all (11). Man does not know when his time will come. As fish are caught in an evil net, or birds in a snare, so men are shared in an evil time, suddenly (12).
     War. Solomon made another observation which contained great wisdom. He saw a small city with a few inhabitants which was attacked by a great king who besieged it and built great siegeworks against it (13-14). But a poor man within the city delivered it by his wisdom; yet no man remembered him (15). Then Solomon said that wisdom is better than strength, nevertheless the poor man's wisdom is despised; and his words are not heard (16). But the words of the wise are heard in quiet more than the cry of one who rules among fools (17). And wisdom is better than weapons of war; but one sinner destroys much good (18).

     [ Sermons: William Still. Philip Ryken. Various. ]

Bible Chronologies -- Genesis to Revelation

[Traditional Patriarchal Chronology. Judges Period Chronology 1. Judges Period Chronology 2. Kings of Judah and Israel #1. Kings of Judah and Israel #2].

[Post Exile Chronology 1. Post Exile Chronology 2. Post Exile Chronology 3.]

[Prophets Chronology 1. Prophets Chronology 2. Prophets Chronology 3. Prophets Chronology 4.]

[Intertestamental Period Chronology 1. Intertestamental Period Chronology 2. Intertestamental Period Chronology 3.
Intertestamental Period Chronology 4. Intertestamental Period Chronology 5.]

[New Testament Chronology 1. New Testament Chronology 2. New Testament Chronology 3. New Testament Chronology 4. New Testament Chronology 5.]


PLEASE NOTE: Use the resources on this and other sites thoughtfully, particularly the commentaries and encyclopedias. I have attempted to list conservative, scholarly resources. However, some providers use liberal or liberal-influenced commentaries such as the Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges (in Bible Hub). Such commentaries are undoubtedly included by the provider for the wealth of useful information and comments which they provide. By consulting several commentaries, it should be fairly easy to sort out the wheat from the chaff. If, however, you would like personal assistance, write to me at AD LIB ARTS EMAIL.

          [ THEMATICALLY AND CHRONOLOGICALLY RELATED SCRIPTURES: Ecclesiastes 9: Ecclesiastes 8. ]
[1] 1 Samuel 2:9.
[2] Ecclesiastes 2:14-16.
[3] Ecclesiastes 8:11.
[4] Isaiah 38:18.
[5] Ecclesiastes 7:2; Ecclesiastes 2:16.
[6] Proverbs 10:28.
[7] Ecclesiastes 2:24-26.
[8] Revelation 19:8, 14.
[9] Proverbs 5:18-19.
[10] Psalm 71:15-18; Ephesians 5:16.
[11] Daniel 4:35.
[12] Ecclesiastes 8:5-7, 11.
[13] Ecclesiastes 7:15.
[14] 2 Kings 6:24-33.
[15] Genesis 40:23; Esther 6:2-3.
[16] Ecclesiastes 9:18; Ecclesiastes 7:19; Proverbs 21:22; Proverbs 24:5.
[17] James 1:20; James 3:17-18.
[18] 2 Timothy 2:16-18; Hebrews 12:15-16.
     -- From Treasury of Scripture Knowledge & Others ]

          [ CHRONOLOGY: GENERAL. Patriarchs (Traditional). Judges # 1. Judges # 2. Kings # 1. Kings # 2. Prophets # 1. Prophets # 2. NT # 1. NT # 2. NT # 3. ]

          [ MAPS: Maps # 1. Maps # 2. Maps # 3. Maps # 4. Maps # 5. ]

          [ COMMENTARIES, ETC: GENERAL: Bible Study Tools; Bible Hub: Study Light; Blue Letter Bible // PSALMS: Monergism: Precept Austin: The Treasury of David; John Gill; John Calvin - Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

          [ MUSIC: GENERAL: The Cyber Hymnal // PSALMS: Genevan Psalter (Instrumental). PROVERBS: Book of Proverbs. ECCLESIASTES: Book of Ecclesiastes Dramatized. VARIOUS ARTISTS: Micha'el Ben David. Sons of Korah. Fernando Ortega. Janet Isaac Morrison. Music of the Bible Revealed - Suzanne Haik-Vantoura. Dr. David Erb. Gregorian Chants. ]


John Calvin - CCEL | Analytical Chart - BLB


Gospel Harmony - Summary | The Harmony of the Gospels - Augustine | Gospel Harmony Chart - Online Bible

Greek Harmony of the Gospels - Robertson - (Downloadable PDF) | Gospel Harmony in English - Robertson - (Downloadable PDF)


Hebrew and Greek Interlinear Download - Scripture 4 All

Bible Hub Interlinear Hebrew and Greek Bible

Bible Hub Hebrew Interlinear | Scripture 4 All Hebrew Interlinear

Mounce Interlinear | Bible Hub Greek Interlinear | Scripture 4 All Greek Interlinear Bible

Ecclesiastes Outline

Note: Around 946 B.C., Solomon seems to have been at a peak spiritually, hence Ecclesiastes may have been composed by him around that time, assuming he is the author.

Ecclesiastes 9

Map 1: Bible Nations | Map 2: Empire of David and Solomon Map 3: Kingdoms of Judah and Israel | Post Exile Chronology.

Teacher's Words: Coping with Vanity (2:12 - 11:9)

Death (9:1-6)

1 For [this] -- all this -- I considered in my heart
even to declare [this] -- all this, --
that the righteous,
and the wise,
and their works,
are in the hand of God:
no man knoweth either love or hatred by all that is before them.
2 All things come alike to all:
there is one event
to the righteous, and to the wicked;
to the good
and to the clean, and to the unclean;
to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not:
as is the good,
so is the sinner;
and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.
3 This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun,
that there is one event unto all:
yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil,
and madness is in their heart while they live,
and after that they go to the dead.
4 For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope:
for a living dog is better than a dead lion.
5 For the living know that they shall die:
but the dead know not any thing,
neither have they any more a reward;
for the memory of them is forgotten.
6 Also their love,
and their hatred,
and their envy,
is now perished;
neither have they any more a portion
for ever
in any thing that is done under the sun.

Joy (9:7-10)

7 Go thy way,
eat thy bread with joy,
and drink thy wine with a merry heart;
for God now accepteth [these] thy works.
8 Let thy garments be always [all times] white;
and let thy head lack no ointment.
9 Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest
all the days of the life of thy vanity
which he hath given thee under the sun,
all the days of thy vanity:
for that is thy portion in this life,
and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun.
10 Whatsoever [all which] thy hand findeth to do,
do it with thy might;
for there is no work,
nor device,
nor knowledge,
nor wisdom,
in the grave,
whither [which there] thou goest.

Chance (9:11-12)

11 I returned, and saw under the sun,
that the race is not to the swift,
nor the battle to the strong,
neither yet bread to the wise,
nor yet riches to men of understanding,
nor yet favour to men of skill;
but time and chance happeneth to [these] -- them all.
12 For man also knoweth not [this] his time:
as the fishes that are taken in an evil net,
and as the birds that are caught in the snare;
so are the sons of men snared in an evil time,
when it falleth suddenly upon them.

War (9:13-17)

13 This wisdom have I seen also under the sun,
and it seemed great unto me:
14 There was a little city,
and few men within it;
and there came a great king against it,
and besieged it,
and built great bulwarks against it:
15 Now there was found in it a poor wise man,
and he by his wisdom delivered [this] the city;
yet no man remembered [this one] -- that same poor man.
16 Then said I,
Wisdom is better than strength:
nevertheless the poor man's wisdom is despised,
and his words are not heard.
17 The words of wise men are heard in quiet
more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools.
18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war:
but one sinner destroyeth much good.

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