Ecclesiastes 9:11-12 – ‘It’s a Chancy Job, and It Makes a Man Watchful…’


Ecclesiastes 9:11-12


Sheriff Matt Dillon’s introduction to each radio episode of Gunsmoke (the title used for this section) serves as a fitting summary. “Time and chance” happen to all; knowing that to be true is part of human wisdom.


This segment of Ecclesiastes expands Matt Dillon’s observation to include all of life. Notice that 9:7-10 (see above) is placed between a reminder of human mortality in 9:1-6 and this recitation about the chanciness of human life in 9:11-12. Both sections remind us that we can never be in complete control of our lives. All humans are subject to the limits of life and the reality of death (9:1-6). And all humans are subject to the fortunes and misfortunes of time and chance.