Friday, November 27, 2009

Fri 091127 am - pm Eccl

Ecclesiasties  A two sitting read through.
I knew that vanity fwas a big theme in the book, but I had forgotten how often Solomon referred to himself.  I also did not realize how often the words "wise", "wisdom", etc. were in the book.
3.11  He has put eternity in man's heart...  This is an interesting statement.  What does it mean for man to have eternity in his heart.  How does that effect how we think and respond to the gospel?  How is that effected by our spiritual blindness?
3.12  there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good...  It's so simple and down to earth. 
4.13  who no longer knew how to take advice...  A good reminder for us old coots.  We are still a work in progress-learning and growing.
5.1-7  to listen is better...  A  good passage about being careful what you promise God. 
5.10  He who loves money will not be satisfied...  It is vanity to love something that will never satisfy you.
6.9  Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the appetite...  A wryly proverb in an interesting context.  This is an insightful and intricate one to ponder on for a while.
7.8  Better is the end of a thing than its beginning...  Starting is just a little harder than quiting.  Finishing well, now that is the jewel.
7.9b anger lodges in the bosom of fools...  That pretty well sums it up.
8.8  no man has power to...  This is a good reminder to trust the Lord with this important day.
8.14  This is a vanity that I am waiting for the Lord to explain to me.
9.4  a living dog is better than a dead lion...  Hmmm
9.10  I am trying to decide whether this verse describes diligence or determination.  Maybe both.
10.10  Work smart not hard.
10.14  a fool mulitiplies words...  Yet another good reminder.
11.1  Cast your bread upon the waters...

“What is Solomon’s point?” I would suggest that the word “cast”425 is better rendered “send” (NRSV).426 This verb refers to the commercial enterprises of sea trade.427 Furthermore, the term “bread” refers to grain and wheat from which bread is produced.428
Solomon was deeply involved in international trade with countless merchants.429 Then as now, one of the main trade commodities was grain. The merchants of Solomon’s day would load their grain ships and send them off. The Israelites were “casting [their] bread upon the water.” But notice that with Solomon, the word is plural: “cast your bread on the waters.” In other words, don’t put all your grain in one ship. Put your wheat in several ships, and send it out in a diversified way so that if one of the ships should sink, you’ll not be ruined.430 In others words, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” Diversify your portfolio.   ---Kieth Krell in "No Risks, No Rewards (Ecclesiastes 11:1-6)"

Casting one's bread on the water (v. 1) probably refers to commercial transactions involving the transportation of commodities by ship, not to charitable acts.* If you follow the advice in this verse literally you will experience disappointment. It probably refers to buying and selling. Verse 2 advocates diversifying your resources in one investment.
"'Seven or eight' is a Hebrew numerical formula called X, X + 1. It occurs frequently in Proverbs (chaps. 6, 30) and in the first two chapters of Amos. Here it is not to be taken
literally but means 'plenty and more than plenty,' 'the widest possible diversification within the guidelines of prudence. . . .' Seven means 'plenty,' and eight means, 'Go a bit beyond that.'"** 
*J. S. Wright, "Ecclesiastes," pp. 1189.
**Hubbard, p. 227.
Dr. Constable's Notes
12.13-14  A strong ending with a few good reminders.

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