Ecclesiastes 9:7-10 – Enjoy!

BIBLE TEXT

Ecclesiastes 9:7-10

SUMMARY

Though life is brief and death certain, life is a gift to be enjoyed.

ANALYSIS

Two of the basic forms of Wisdom literature in the Bible are short sayings and longer essays (Proverbs 10-31 provides many examples of the former; Proverbs 1-9 provides examples of the latter–this kind of material is sometimes called “instruction”). The book of Ecclesiastes contains both of these types of material. Here in 9:7-10 is the longest piece of “instruction” in the book, where imperative verbs dominate (Go…eat…drink…enjoy). Note that each imperative is given a reason (for God has long ago approved…because that is your portion in life…for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol); this is a reasonable way to live! Following Ecclesiastes in the Bible is the Song of Solomon, which may be understood as a spelling out of the Teacher’s advice to “enjoy life with the wife whom you love.”

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