Chapter 8

8.1 inner happiness. Solomon was the wisest man to ever live. He has said he sought to know all things. After wasting many years in pursuit of knowledge, he wants to leave succeeding generations the wisdom to not over pursue anything. Enjoy life, and have balance. He concludes that wisdom gives an inner happiness that makes a man’s face to shine and his boldness and confidence will be noticeable.

8.2-4 kings. The value of wisdom is also on display when in the presence of a king. People were required to take an oath of loyalty to the King when in the King’s presence. Wisdom protects people in the presence of all powerful men who can issue harmful edicts. Daniel and Ezra are an excellent example of this.

8.5-8 time and judgment. Only the wise can discern time, for the tomorrow’s of life are unknown. Man cannot restrain the spirit, or control the day of death, or be released from war, or be free from wickedness, once it has a hold on him. These four areas of life document that man is limited in his dominion over life. Wisdom shines like a pearl on black velvet when placed next to the powerful entities of life. Without wisdom to teach time and judgment, life dissolves into hebel.

8.9-14 fear God. Solomon here defends the fear of God. He has observed that evil men receive honorable burials and are even praised at death. He observes that sometimes the fortunes of the righteous and the wicked seem to be reversed. The righteous get what the evil deserve, and the evil get what the righteous deserve. Solomon never surrenders to this dilemma. He maintains his strong position to believe in the fear of God. He knows it will go well with them that fear God (12). He knows it will not go well with the wicked (13). This and other passages show Solomon is not an old, bitter, frustrated man. He is clear eyed and has seen life in it’s fullness. He is seeing through the distortions of life and clearly seeing that no matter how it looks right now, no matter what evidence seems to point toward hebel, remember to fear God.

8.15-17 mirth. Mirth: exceeding gladness, joy, pleasure, rejoicing. Solomon commends mirth. Commend is to address in a loud tone, to glory, to praise. When faced with the dilemmas and contradictions of life, Solomon says mirth is the answer to confusion and disappointment. Man cannot find out the work done under the sun. Solomon proclaims you can spend a lifetime wondering why someone else is blessed, or you have not gotten your desires. This is futile. It is hebel to try and understand hebel. Solomon spent many sleepless nights trying to understand hebel (16), he wanted to sleep with his triangle pillow so bad. His conclusion is to scream with joy and gladness over the joy of today. The answer to the frustrations of life and hebel is to praise and glorify God with loud, exceeding, gladness. Mirth is the master of hebel.

Thanks for reading today…