8 What advantage then does the wise person have over the fool? What advantage is there for the poor person who knows how to conduct himself before others? 9 Better what the eyes see than wandering desire. This too is futile and a pursuit of the wind. 10 Whatever exists was given its name long ago, and it is known what mankind is. But he is not able to contend with the one stronger than he. 11 For when there are many words, they increase futility. What is the advantage for mankind? 12 For who knows what is good for anyone in life, in the few days of his futile life that he spends like a shadow? Who can tell anyone what will happen after him under the sun?
Verse 12 Who Knows ? = Nihilism
a viewpoint that traditional values and beliefs are unfounded and that existence is senseless and useless.
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2 “Absolute futility,” says the Teacher. “Absolute futility. Everything is futile.” 3 What does a person gain for all his efforts that he labors at under the sun?
The he gives us “Wise Sayings” in chapter 7
In proverbial form: A short saying that expresses a basic truth or practical precep
most of these sayings are in the “better than” form
1 A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of one’s death is better than the day of one’s birth.
1 A good name is to be chosen over great wealth; favor is better than silver and gold.
that day of one’s death is better than the day of one’s birth.
Ecclesiastes 7:2 (CSB)
2 It is better to go to a house of mourning
than to go to a house of feasting,
since that is the end of all mankind,
and the living should take it to heart.
2 It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, since that is the end of all mankind, and the living should take it to heart.
3 Grief is better than laughter, for when a face is sad, a heart may be glad.
Irony probably at play here as Solomon wrote
13 Even in laughter a heart may be sad, and joy may end in grief.
4 The heart of the wise is in a house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in a house of pleasure.
Wise verses fool transision begining in verse 5
5 It is better to listen to rebuke from a wise person than to listen to the song of fools, 6 for like the crackling of burning thorns under the pot, so is the laughter of the fool. This too is futile.
7 Surely, the practice of extortion turns a wise person into a fool, and a bribe corrupts the mind.
8 The end of a matter is better than its beginning; a patient spirit is better than a proud spirit. 9 Don’t let your spirit rush to be angry, for anger abides in the heart of fools. 10 Don’t say, “Why were the former days better than these?” since it is not wise of you to ask this. 11 Wisdom is as good as an inheritance and an advantage to those who see the sun, 12 because wisdom is protection as silver is protection; but the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the life of its owner.
13 Consider the work of God, for who can straighten out what he has made crooked?
15 What is crooked cannot be straightened; what is lacking cannot be counted.
11 He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also put eternity in their hearts, but no one can discover the work God has done from beginning to end.
9 Remember what happened long ago, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and no one is like me. 10 I declare the end from the beginning, and from long ago what is not yet done, saying: my plan will take place, and I will do all my will.
Yet the idea of nihlism and naturalism and athiesm seem to be winning the day.
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5 In the same way, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. All of you clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you at the proper time, 7 casting all your cares on him, because he cares about you. 8 Be sober-minded, be alert. Your adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. 9 Resist him, firm in the faith, knowing that the same kind of sufferings are being experienced by your fellow believers throughout the world. 10 The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little while. 11 To him be dominion forever. Amen.