Ecclesiastes 12 – “Death and Dying; Postscript”

brokenpotHebrew-English Text
I. Summary
Chapter 12 speaks about the joys of youth, the gradual process of dying, and Qoheleth’s wisdom. The book ends with an exhortation to revere God and observe His commandments.

II. Photo
Qoheleth gives a metaphor about the body’s deterioration: “Before the silver cord snaps And the golden bowl crashes, The jar is shattered at the spring, And the jug is smashed at the cistern.” (v. 6)

III. Important Verses
vv. 6-7: Before the silver cord snaps And the golden bowl crashes, The jar is shattered at the spring, And the jug is smashed at the cistern. And the dust returns to the ground As it was, And the lifebreath returns to God Who bestowed it.
v. 9: A further word: Because Koheleth was a sage, he continued to instruct the people. He listened to and tested the soundness of many maxims.
v. 11: The sayings of the wise are like goads, like nails fixed in prodding sticks. They were given by one Shepherd.
v. 13: The sum of the matter, when all is said and done: Revere God and observe His commandments! For this applies to all mankind.

IV. Outline
1-2. Youth
3-8. The process of dying
9-11. Qoheleth and wisdom
12-14. Postscript: revere God

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://chicanery.fibergeek.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/brokenpot.png

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