Friday, July 22, 2011

Ecclesiastes, or The Preacher

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven..." -- Ecclesiastes 3:1

What a beautifully written book Ecclesiastes is. It's from this book Pete Seeger lifted the lyrics to write what became the Byrd's 1965 classic, "Turn, Turn, Turn"... (To everything turn, turn, turn, there is a season, turn, turn, turn...) and it's also where we get the iconic phrases,

"There's nothing new under the sun,"

"The sun also rises,"

"He who increasesth knowledge increaseth sorrow"  (Though this one seems to contradict Proverbs, which is confusing.)

This book is just 12 chapters long, and written by The Preacher, the son of David. The main message is that life is short and then you die and all of mankind's actions are futile, thus we should enjoy life while we have it... party now for tomorrow ye shall perish. Something like that. Then again, there's a lot in Ecclesiastes about being good and working hard and realizing that God is more important that all the passing vanities of life. This book is the Christian self-help book within the Bible, summing up how to live the best life, to the fullest. And in the end, another reminder to keep the Lord in your heart:

"Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man." -- Ecclesiastes 12:13

**NEXT: Song of Solomon

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