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Author Topic: Solomon's World View  (Read 1631 times)

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Olde Tymer

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Re: Solomon's World View
« Reply #52 on: February 27, 2019, 08:07:56 am »
● Ecc 12:9-10 . . A further word: Because Koheleth was a sage, he continued to instruct the people. He listened to and tested the soundness of many maxims. Koheleth sought to discover useful sayings and recorded genuinely truthful sayings.

Solomon's argument smacks of circular reasoning in that he regards his own personal philosophy as "genuinely truthful sayings" solely because he believes himself to be wise. That's hardly a novel approach. Many bright people are deeply offended when those of lesser IQ reject their (sage) opinions. However, we're inclined to give Solomon the benefit of the doubt and go along with his self-evaluation because we are, after all, Bible students who, for the most part, don't know any better anyway.

● Ecc 12:11a . .The words of wise men are like goads,

Goads were used by mule skinners and such who drive oxen and/or horses to pull plows and wagons. The device is a bit like the pointed tool that workers use to pick up trash along roadways: a long stick whittled to a sharp point at one end. A fancy goad might include an ornate metal prod at one end. When the skinners want an ox to get moving, they just poke its rump.

Anyway; wise people are difficult to oppose without coming across as obtuse because everything they say makes sense to those of us with a lesser IQ. Even when the wise are wrong they sound right so there's nothing to gain by matching wits with them. they'll just keep sticking it to you.

● Ecc 12:11b . . and masters of these collections are like well-driven nails;

The word for "nails" is from masmerah (mas-mer-aw') which actually isn't a nail but a peg. Ecclesiastes is the only place in the entire Old Testament where masmerah is located. Small pegs can be used to build furniture. Large ones can be used as fence posts; and other sizes can be used to hold a tent in place. A husky peg on a tug boat can be used as a tow bit. So peg has lots of meanings and one that we can easily apply in this passage is that the person who takes the words of the wise seriously, supposedly becomes a solid, stable individual.

● Ecc 12:11c . .they are given by one shepherd.

If you asked twenty people to draw a crooked line; you would get twenty different-looking lines. Wisdom is like a straight line. If you asked those same twenty people to draw a straight line, all twenty lines would look the same. They might have different lengths, and they might be of different thickness, but they would all conform to the well known geometric axiom that a straight line is the shortest distance between two points.

Straight lines don't zig nor zag nor kink nor sag nor bow nor bend like a crooked line. All straight lines look the same because straight lines go in only one direction; viz: the words of the wise must be consistent if they're to be taken seriously. A wishy-washy philosopher is just a blow-hard.

● Ecc 12:12 . . But beyond this, my son, be warned: the writing of many books is endless, and excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body.

Back then I'd imagine that prolific authors wore themselves out what with no machines like typewriters to work with. In our day, writing is a snap with computerized word processing.

"My son" doesn't necessarily refer to Koheleth's kin; but can also refer to his students. The teacher then, is the student's father, in an academic sort of way. There's a number of incidents in the Old Testament where Bible students are called sons of the prophets. Compare 2Kings 2:12 where Elijah's apprentice Elisha, called his master "my father".


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