The Berean Expositor
Volume 12 - Page 55 of 160
Index | Zoom
"After him."--The baffling nature of God's providential dealings is to prevent a man
discovering that which comes after him. This is a theme many times repeated in this
book. When Koheleth had expended his energies and wisdom on labours vast and
wonderful he said:--
"What can the man do that cometh after the King?" (2: 12).
His further investigation was not encouraging:--
"I hated all my labour which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it to the
man that shall come after me; and who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a
fool?" (2: 18, 19).
Having traversed the thoughts of
chapters 2: & 3:,
Koheleth arrives at the
"Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his
own works, for that is his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after
him?" (3: 22).
The question forms the very closing words of the first half of Ecclesiastes, before he
begins to enumerate the good things for this life:--
"For who knoweth what is good for man in this life, all the days of his vain life which
he spendeth as a shadow: for who can tell a man what shall be after him under the sun?"
(6: 12).
Following the verse under consideration (7: 14) we pass on to:--
"A fool also is full of words: a man cannot tell what shall be; and what shall be after
him, who can tell?" (10: 14).
These six references focus the attention on the problem of what shall be "after?"
The reference in 3: 22 shews resignation and contentment, the enjoyment of one's
rightful portion, and leaving the "after" with God. This is seen from another angle in
7: 14. The experiences of prosperity and adversity which come upon man are intended
to prevent discovery of that which shall come after: "To the end that man should find
nothing after him" (7: 14). There is a close parallel here with 3: 11:--
"He that made everything beautiful in His time; also He hath set the olam (the age) in
their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to
the end."
So in 7: 23, 24:--
"I said, I will be wise, but it was far from me. That which is far off, and exceeding
deep, who can find it out?"
In 7: 26, 27, 28, 29 the word "find" comes again and again, leading to the discovery
that man has departed from his original uprightness, and sought out many inventions.