Ecclesiastes 3 – “Reflections”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
Qohelet reflects upon time, the fate of man, and tells people to enjoy their lives.

II. Photo
Qohelet teaches a lesson: “A season is set for everything… A time for wailing and a time for dancing.” (vv. 1, 4)

III. Select Verses    
1-8: A season is set for everything, a time for every experience under heaven: A time for being born and a time for dying, A time for planting and a time for uprooting the planted;  A time for slaying and a time for healing, A time for tearing down and a time for building up;  A time for weeping and a time for laughing, A time for wailing and a time for dancing;  A time for throwing stones and a time for gathering stones, A time for embracing and a time for shunning embraces;  A time for seeking and a time for losing, A time for keeping and a time for discarding;  A time for ripping and a time for sewing, A time for silence and a time for speaking;  A time for loving and a time for hating; A time for war and a time for peace.
12-13: Thus I realized that the only worthwhile thing there is for them is to enjoy themselves and do what is good in their lifetime; also, that whenever a man does eat and drink and get enjoyment out of all his wealth, it is a gift of God
19-21: For in respect of the fate of man and the fate of beast, they have one and the same fate: as the one dies so dies the other, and both have the same lifebreath; man has no superiority over beast, since both amount to nothing.  20 Both go to the same place; both came from dust and both return to dust.  21 Who knows if a man’s lifebreath does rise upward and if a beast’s breath does sink down into the earth?

IV. Outline
1-8. A time for everything
9-15. God has set man’s place; Enjoy life
16-22. The fate of all living things is the same; Enjoy life

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
C. L. Seow, Ecclesiastes (Anchor Yale Bible 18C; New Haven: Yale, 1997).
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