Friday, May 18, 2018

They key to Ecclesiates

Ecclesiastes seems enigmatic and its authorship is disputed.
   Traditionally it has been attributed to Solomon though it does not bear his name though 'the Preacher,1 the son of David, bking in Jerusalem., seems pretty obvious.
   But the experts say the Hebrew shows later Aramaic characteristics. I have no Hebrew but have another idea.
   Often when you look at a text you should consider not any what it says but what it does not say. The preacher says life under the sun is meaningless. But there is one aspect of life he does not consider. History. In particular the history of his own nation, of Israel, of God's saving acts.If this is Solomon, how could he forget Israel's history?
   Was Solomon not led astray by his many foreign wives and their religion which was tolerated?

1 Kings 11:1.  Now King Solomon loved many foreign womenalong with the daughter of PharaohMoabiteAmmoniteEdomiteSidonianandHittite women, from the nations concerning which the LORD had said tothe people of IsraelxYou shall not enter into marriage with themneither shall they with youfor surely they will turn away your heart after theirgods.” Solomon clung to these in love. He had 700 wiveswho wereprincessesand 300 concubinesAnd his wives turned away his heart. Forwhen Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other godsandyhis heart was not wholly true to the LORD his Godzas was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after aAshtoreth the goddess of theSidoniansand after bMilcom the abomination of the Ammonites. SoSolomon did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and did not wholly follow the LORDas David his father had done. Then Solomon built a high place forcChemosh the abomination of Moaband for dMolech the abomination ofthe Ammoniteson the mountain east of Jerusalem. And so he did for all his foreign wiveswho made offerings and sacrificed to their gods.

Then we read in Ecc 7 -

26 And I find something more qbitter than deathrthe woman whose heart is ssnares and netsand whose hands are fettersHe who pleases God escapes herbut tthe sinner is taken by her.27 Beholdthis is what I foundsays uthe Preacherwhile adding one thing to another to find the scheme of things 28 which my soul has sought repeatedlybut I have not foundvOne man among a thousand I foundbutwa woman among all these I have not found. 

His chauvinistic conclusion was based on personal experience. He had been taken in by the snares and nets of femmes fatale. He writes with his wisdom as it were fettered by attention to the material world visible around him and forgets the history of God's salvation. Hence his conclusion as to the futility and frustration of existence. That is life without knowledge of the one true saving Lord.

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