0 The best book in the Bible (Ecclesiastes 1-6)

Episode 177: The best book in the Bible

Ecclesiastes 1-6

All is vanity

1 1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.

2 Vanity of vanities; all is vanity.

3 In the end, nothing is achieved by all that we do in our lives.

7 The rivers flow to the sea, yet the sea isn't full.

The water returns to the place where the rivers began and then return again.

9 Things that have happened in the past will happen again.

There's nothing new on earth.

11 No one remembers what happened long ago,

and no one will remember what happens now or in the future.

15 The imperfect can't be corrected, and what is missing can't be counted.

16 I am the wisest person who has ever existed.

17 I have sought wisdom and have come to know madness and folly.

18 With wisdom comes grief, and increasing knowledge increases sorrow.

There is nothing better

2 1 I was wise, rich, and successful.

11 But everything I had achieved was for nothing.

13 Then I discovered that wisdom was greater than folly.

14 Yet the same fate happens to the foolish and the wise.

16 Both die and will soon be forgotten.

18 My work will remain unfinished when I die. Someone else will have to finish it for me.

19 And who knows whether it will be a wise person or a fool?

24 So the best we can do is eat, drink, and enjoy the good in our labor.

Turn, turn, turn

3 1-8 To everything there is a season; (turn, turn, turn)

and a time to every purpose under heaven.

A time to be born, a time to die.

A time to plant, and a time to reap.

A time to kill, a time to heal.

A time to laugh, a time to weep.

A time to build up, a time to break down.

A time to dance, a time to mourn,

A time to cast away stones,

A time to gather stones together.

A time of love, a time of hate.

A time of war, a time of peace.

A time you may embrace

A time to refrain from embracing

A time to gain, a time to lose

A time to rend, a time to sow

A time for love, a time for hate

A time for peace, (I swear it's not too late.)

Dust in the wind

11 God made everything beautiful.

No one can find out anything about God's creation.

12 Rejoice and do good in this life.

13 Eat, drink, and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

14 God makes us fear him.

18 Someday he’ll show us that we are beasts.

19 Because what happens to beasts happens to us.

Our deaths are just like theirs. We aren’t above them.

20 We and the beasts die and go to the same place.

All we are is dust in the wind.

21 Who knows that at death the spirit of humans go up,

and the spirits of beasts go down?

22 So the best we can do is to rejoice in our works.

The fool eats his own flesh

4 1 Many are oppressed without comfort.

2 So I considered the dead more fortunate than the living.

5 The fool folds his hands and eats his own flesh.

One is the loneliest number

9 Two are better than one, since they can get more done than either could alone,

10 help each other if one gets into trouble,

11 keep each other warm when it gets cold,

12 and protect each other if either is attacked.

13 A poor but wise child is better than and old and foolish king.

Let your words be few

5 2 Don't use many words when you pray.

Let your words be few.

3 A fool is known by a multitude of words.

4 If you promise to pay someone something, pay it.

5 Don't make a promise that you can't keep.

6 Don't say to the angel, "I made a mistake."

Or God might get angry and destroy your work.

7 Fear God.

You can't take it with you

10 If you love silver and riches, you'll never be satisfied.

12 Working people sleep better than rich people.

15 You can't take it with you.

18 So eat, drink, and enjoy your good work.

Who knows?

6 6 Don't we all go to the same place when we die?

12 Who knows what is good in this life?

Or what will happen on earth after we die?

A few more words about this episode

Ecclesiastes: the best book in the Bible
See here for how I arrived at this conclusion.
The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem (1:1)
The author claims to be Solomon, but he wasn't. No one knows who wrote Ecclesiastes, but it certainly wasn't Solomon. It was written 600 to 800 years after Solomon supposedly lived (and there's no evidence that he did).
Turn, turn, turn (Chapter 3)
The lyrics to the Song "Turn! Turn! Turn! were written by Pete Seeger in 1959 and became a hit song by the Byrds in 1965. The lyrics were taken nearly verbatim from Ecclesiastes 3 in the King James Bible. (I have used the song's lyrics to summarize the first eight verses of chapter 3.)

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