Summary: A lesson in hermeneutics relating to Ecclesiastes and other texts.
TYPES OF STATEMENTS IN THE BIBLE
I. STATEMENTS OF HISTORICAL TRUTH WHICH TAKEN OUT OF THEIR CONTEXT MAY EXPRESS THEOLOGICAL LIES
(Gen 3:4 NIV) "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman.
(Mat 4:8 NIV) Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.
(Mat 4:9 NIV) "All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me."
(John 8:44 NIV) You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
II. STATEMENTS OF MEN WHO FOR PHILOSOPHICAL PURPOSES HAVE SHUT THEMSELVES UP TO A KNOWLEDGE OF THE WORLD WHICH CAN BE HAD FROM THE FIVE PHYSICAL SENSES
(Eccl 1:2 NIV) "Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the Teacher. "Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless."
(Eccl 1:9 NIV) What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
(Eccl 1:14 NIV) I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
(Eccl 1:15 NIV) What is twisted cannot be straightened; what is lacking cannot be counted.
(Eccl 3:19 NIV) Man’s fate is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath ; man has no advantage over the animal. Everything is meaningless.
(Heb 2:5 NIV) It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking.
(Heb 2:6 NIV) But there is a place where someone has testified: "What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?
(Heb 2:7 NIV) You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor
(Heb 2:8 NIV) and put everything under his feet." In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him.
(Heb 2:9 NIV) But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
(Heb 2:10 NIV) In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering.
(Eccl 9:1 NIV) So I reflected on all this and concluded that the righteous and the wise and what they do are in God’s hands, but no man knows whether love or hate awaits him.
(Eccl 9:2 NIV) All share a common destiny??the righteous and the wicked, the good and the bad, the clean and the unclean, those who offer sacrifices and those who do not. As it is with the good man, so with the sinner; as it is with those who take oaths, so with those who are afraid to take them.
(Eccl 9:3 NIV) This is the evil in everything that happens under the sun: The same destiny overtakes all. The hearts of men, moreover, are full of evil and there is madness in their hearts while they live, and afterward they join the dead.
(Eccl 9:4 NIV) Anyone who is among the living has hope ??even a live dog is better off than a dead lion!
(Eccl 9:5 NIV) For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even the memory of them is forgotten.
(Eccl 9:6 NIV) Their love, their hate and their jealousy have long since vanished; never again will they have a part in anything that happens under the sun.
(Eccl 9:7 NIV) Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for it is now that God favors what you do.
(Eccl 9:8 NIV) Always be clothed in white, and always anoint your head with oil.
(Eccl 9:9 NIV) Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun?? all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun.
(Eccl 9:10 NIV) Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.