Ecclesiastes 11 – “Assorted Wisdom Sayings”

youthHebrew-English Text
I. Summary
Chapter 11 contains a variety of wisdom sayings. The major topics are the distribution of food, concentration, God’s mysterious ways, and the joys of youth.

II. Photo
Qoheleth tells adolescents to enjoy their early years: “O youth, enjoy yourself while you are young! Let your heart lead you to enjoyment in the days of your youth. Follow the desires of your heart and the glances of your eyes… For youth and black hair are fleeting.” (vv. 9-10)

III. Important Verses
v. 4: If one watches the wind, he will never sow; and if one observes the clouds, he will never reap.
v. 5: Just as you do not know how the lifebreath passes into the limbs within the womb of the pregnant woman, so you cannot foresee the actions of God, who causes all things to happen.
v. 7: How sweet is the light, what a delight for the eyes to behold the sun!
vv. 8-10: Even if a man lives many years, let him enjoy himself in all of them, remembering how many the days of darkness are going to be. The only future is nothingness! O youth, enjoy yourself while you are young! Let your heart lead you to enjoyment in the days of your youth. Follow the desires of your heart and the glances of your eyes — but know well that God will call you to account for all such things — and banish care from your mind, and pluck sorrow out of your flesh! For youth and black hair are fleeting.

IV. Outline
1-2. Distributing bread
3-4. Laziness
5-6. God works in mysterious ways
7-10. The joys of youth

V. Comment
No comment today. I hope to revisit this chapter at the end of the cycle. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Murphy, Wisdom Literature (Forms of Old Testament Literature)
Photo taken from  http://www.deltaartscouncil.com/yac/youth.jpg

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