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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

A striving after wind

You really should read Ecclesiastes all the way through and soon. That "to everything turn turn" part will settle down into its proper place.

Here's a prophet who is viewing the world and its relationship to its Creator coming from the Jewish understanding that there is no afterlife to speak of. As my Jewish friend described his understanding, they will go to "the bosom of Abraham" and they have no special knowledge of what awaits them there.

So "the Preacher" as he calls himself is trying to puzzle out the reasons and results of living. The result is what I think is the most "sophisticated" book of the Bible - he's world-weary, wise and has it all figured out.

This statement originally caught my eye
Every man also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and find enjoyment in his toil -- this is the gift of God. For he will not much remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart. (Eccl 5:19-20)


I took it out of context first, seeing the second line as a nice motto for a rich interior life, but I think instead that it means the contentment that comes with the "wealth and possessions and power to enjoy" will make his life smooth. We all live awfully smooth lives, when you think about it.

Read it in its KJV language or in the Revised Standard Version.

5 comments:

TS said...

Re: your title. I'm sorry, but I always think of wind as, well, a fart!

Rosalind said...

TS -

I hadn't read this post yet when I saw your comment (which had been automatically sent to my e-mail). II must say that, taken by itself without context, I found your remark a bit startling.

I bet your nearest and dearest are never bored.

TS said...

Well, I try to liven up the joint a bit. But I should've said "gas". :-)

Btw congrats on your Tigers! I'll be rooting for them. Right after the "Boston Massacre", in which the Sox lost five straight to the Yanks, the Reds did their own imitation on the Left Coast. Painful!

Therese Z said...

I was going to work in a fart joke but I got distracted. It's a good (if somewhat vulgar) image - striving, trying, urgently concentrating, and what comes out? What we Polish-extraction people call a "plitt."

(We used to drive past the Plitt Theatre and laugh and laugh and laugh...)

Tim said...

Yeah, especially here in the US, we do live a rather rich life just by osmosis.
I mean I work in an air conditioned building (I live in Las Vegas a furnace in the summertime), drive a nice, air conditioned car, live in a well decorated air conditioned house. I get good health care. I have all the informational resources in the world on the Internet. I have the love of my family and friends. I have all kinds of entertainment on the TV. I worship freely. I can basically do what I want free from governmental and criminal hassle.
It's a good life.

 

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