Ecclesiastes 2 – Vanity of Self-Indulgence

Solomon was one of the wealthiest of the ancient kings. Part of his wealth came from a fleet of ships that traded in ivory; gold, and other valuables (1 Kings 9:26-28)

Solomon was one of the wealthiest of the ancient kings. Part of his wealth came from a fleet of ships that traded in ivory; gold, and other valuables (1 Kings 9:26-28)

Still trying to satisfy his insatiable craving for knowledge, answers, and that which he cannot know, Solomon turns to pleasure; and he has the great wealth to do so with a vengeance.  One of the richest men alive at the time, the king had collected gold and silver in great quantities.  He says that he denied himself nothing – whatever he wanted, he came to possess it.  He indulged himself with wine for distraction, but says that he kept his wisdom.  He had 700 wives and 300 concubines (1 Kings 11:3).  He built great structures and houses, planted vineyards for himself. obtained large herds and flocks of livestock.  And with his wealth, he acquired many slaves.  None of the possessions nor the pleasures did more than temporarily amuse him because none of them possessed the lasting quality he was looking for.

He then realized that even his great wisdom was all for nothing.  In the end, he will end up the same as any fool, and no better.  Everything that happened to the fool would eventually happen to him as well.  Nothing “under the sun” mattered to him.  His only hope was that all of the work that he did to build an empire would be passed on to his heirs.  Then he realized that he had no assurance that even this would be so.  The kingship could be passed on to one that was not of his house, and along with it, all that he himself had worked for.  The ultimate irony, he realized, was that the person to whom it went could himself be a fool.   All of it, he repeated, was “striving after wind.”

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
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some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com

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