objective of these ‘Frameworks' is to provide an easy-to-read
layout of the text in order then to use these individual verses
for meditation. To achieve this we have used a variety of means,
notes, headings, verse summaries.)
Ecclesiastes 7: Wise Thoughts
Comments: This chapter continues the wise thoughts of
Solomon that start with thoughts about death [v.1-4], then a longer
section of what appear almost a random selection of thoughts about
wisdom etc. [v.5-24] finishing with his thoughts on the ‘stupidity
of wickedness' [v.25-29]
1: v.1-4: Reflections on Death
Death makes us think about life more
A good name
is better than fine perfume,
and the day of death better than the
day of birth.
is better to go to a house of mourning
than to go to a house of feasting,
for death is the destiny of everyone;
the living should take this to heart.
is better than laughter,
because a sad face is good for the heart.
heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,
but the heart of fools is in the house
2: v.5-24: Various reflections on wisdom, folly & wise behaviour
Be careful who you listen to
is better to heed the rebuke of a wise person
than to listen to the song of fools.
the crackling of thorns under the pot,
so is the laughter of fools.
This too is meaningless.
Abusive use of money is self-destructive
turns a wise person into a fool,
and a bribe corrupts the heart.
The end of a task reveals its value, as patience beats pride
end of a matter is better than its beginning,
and patience is better than pride.
Be at peace and reject anger
not be quickly provoked in your spirit,
for anger resides in the lap of fools.
Comparing the past & the present often fails to take all into
not say, “Why were the old days better than these?”
For it is not wise to ask such questions.
Wisdom brings blessing in the same way an inheritance does
like an inheritance, is a good thing
and benefits those who see the sun.
Wisdom protects in the same way money does, and blesses those
who have it
is a shelter
as money is a shelter,
but the advantage of knowledge is this:
Wisdom preserves those who have it.
Don't try and change the way God has designed things; think on
what God has done:
what he has made crooked?
Remember God makes good times and allows bad times
times are good, be happy;
but when times are bad, consider this:
God has made the one
as well as the other.
Therefore, no one can discover
anything about their future.
In this fallen world injustice is often missing in everyday life
this meaningless life of mine I have seen both of these:
righteous perishing in their righteousness,
and the wicked living long in their wickedness.
Don't try, by your own efforts, to be over-good, and beware the
folly of wickedness
not be over righteous,
neither be overwise—
why destroy yourself?
not be overwicked,
and do not be a fool—
why die before your time?
is good to grasp the one
and not let go of the other.
Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes.
Wisdom can produce power
makes one wise person more powerful
than ten rulers in a city.
The fact is we all sin and get it wrong sometimes
there is no one on earth who is righteous,
no one who does what is right and never
Don't listen to those criticizing you
not pay attention to every word people say,
or you may hear your servant cursing
you know in your heart
that many times you yourself have cursed
I wanted to be wise – but couldn't!
this I tested by wisdom and I said,
am determined to be wise”—
but this was beyond me.
exists is far off and most profound—
who can discover it?
3: v.25-29: The Stupidity of Wickedness
So I decided to check out other things
I turned my mind to understand,
to investigate and to search out wisdom
and the scheme of things
and to understand the stupidity of wickedness
and the madness of folly.
For example the conniving woman is to be avoided
find more bitter than death
the woman who is a snare,
whose heart is a trap
and whose hands are chains.
The man who pleases God will escape her,
but the sinner she will ensnare.
I found few upright men, but fewer upright women
says the Teacher, “this is what I have discovered:
one thing to another to discover the scheme of things—
while I was
but not finding—
I found one upright man among a thousand,
but not one upright woman among them
God may have made mankind upright but we go other ways
only have I found:
God created mankind upright,
but they have gone in search of many
to Ecclesiastes 8