The Berean Expositor
Volume 12 - Page 57 of 160
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the same. Chapter 11: 9, 10 bases its teaching upon the same truth as does 7: 14.
Youth will, and should rejoice, but let rejoicing be of that sort that remembers the fact of
judgment.  Instead of the problem of "good and "evil" being something for the
philosopher only, it enters into the warp and woof of life, and Ecclesiastes rightly
followed will cast many a ray of light upon the ways of God with man, "all the days of
his vain life which he spendeth as a shadow" (6: 12).
[NOTE: * - For the sake of consistency we use throughout these articles the English,
equivalent as given in Englishman's Hebrew and Chaldee Concordance.]
#16. The Policy of Laodicea (7: 15-22).
pp. 147 - 149
"All things have I seen in the days of my vanity. There is a just man that
perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life
in his wickedness" (7: 15).
This is a recurring observation in this book (see 2: 14; 8: 14; 9: 1-4). Its effect
upon the mind and heart has been faithfully chronicled in Psalm 72:, where Asaph
envied the wicked who prosper, and considered that he had cleansed his heart in vain. It
would seem that in Eccles. 7: 16, 17 we have some such sentiments expressed as those
of Asaph before he went into the Sanctuary of God. It seems repugnant to the general
teaching of Scripture to understand that God would have us not to be righteous over
much, or wise over much, or wicked over much. It is far more likely that Koheleth is
expressing the general compromising policy of the world. The very words "over much"
of 7: 16 are used of Solomon in I Kings 4: 29, 30, where we read:--
"And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much . . . . . and
Solomon's wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the East."
Are we to understand that God gave Solomon much wisdom and then inspired him to
discredit it? The word rendered "over wise" in verse 16 comes in Eccles. 2: 15, "Why
was I then more wise", and in 12: 9 (margin), "Because the preacher was more wise".
It appears that when the just man perished in his righteousness the comment of
worldly wisdom was, Keep the happy medium. Don't be over righteous or over wise.
Why should you destroy yourself? Why not make the best of both worlds? Do not be too
strait-laced. On the other hand don't be over wicked. This is not good policy either.
Why should you die before the time? This we understand to be the wisdom of the world,
but that it is not given for us to follow. On the contrary Koheleth appears to counteract
this teaching in verse 18:--
"It is good that thou should'st take hold of this, yea, also from this withdraw not thine
hand: for he that feareth God shall come forth of them all."