Understanding The Bible
STUDY REFERENCE
Clarence E. Mason's "OLD TESTAMENT POETIC BOOKS"
The Book of Ecclesiastes
Notes on Ecclesiastes: Part 4: ADVICE FROM THE AGED SOLOMON

Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible
1969

THE BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES
Notes on Ecclesiastes: Part 4 - Advice from the Aged Solomon


  1. Advice from the Aged Solomon, 11:1-12:8
    1. Generosity is always repaid, 11:1-6
      11:6 Whether shall prosper = "which one shall prosper."
    2. Life is sweet -- but even childhood and youth are vanity, 11:7-10
    3. In youth remember God ... and death! 12:1-8
      (This has usually been understood to be a picture of old age)
      v. 2b clouds = clouds of life ... afflictions; as clouds have rain, so life's afflictions bring tears.
      v. 3a keepers ... refer to the arms
      v. 3b bow themselves ... legs and back are bent
      v. 3c grinders cease ... teeth are lost
      v. 4a door shut ... mouth and lips
      v. 4c he shall start up at the voice of the bird ... jumpy nerves
      v. 4d music ... vocal cords in womanly treble
      v. 5a Also when = "Yea"
      v. 5a afraid of ... high (places) ... afraid of falling down steps, etc.
      v. 5b fears in the way ... fear in the highway
      v. 5d grasshopper ... burden ... that which he played with as a boy is now a burden to him.
      v. 6 There are three major areas where failure of function causes death. This passage refers to them picturesquely as follows:
      1. Cerebral failure
        "silver cord loosed" ... spinal cord
        "golden bowl broken" ... head
      2. Respiratory failure
        "pitcher broken at fountain" ... pictures the continual refilling of the lungs with constancy of a fountain
      3. Circulatory failure
        "wheel broken at the cistern" ... the circulatory system pumping from the heart mentioned centuries before Harvey's discovery.

      v. 7 The body goes back to its original habitat (Gen. 2:7). Of course, though the spirits of the unsaved do not go immediately into God's presence ... "every one shall give account of himself to God" eventually. So in this sense of the ultimate, the statement is correct for the spirit as well as the body.

    4. The conclusion of the search: Even death is vanity, 12:8
      12:8 Vanity of vanities. We have already seen that life without God (including youth and old age) is futile. Now we find that even death is powerless to deliver us from vanity = emptiness.

 

"Mason's Notes"


(formerly Philadelphia Biblical University, Philadelphia College of Bible.)
Copyright 2012 to present,
All rights reserved.

Cairn University

200 Manor Avenue
Langhorne, PA 19047
United States of America
"Mason's Notes" Study materials on this website are made available here free, through the generosity of Cairn University, and may be copied for use in Bible study groups, in limited numbers, providing that no charge is made for them.  No further distribution or use of these materials is allowable under U.S. or International Copyright Law without the express permission of Cairn University.

20160408