King Solomon was king for 39 years (970-931 BC), dying near 80 years of age of natural death. It is considered by many the King of Israel that had more wisdom, and brought more prosperity to his people. He built the First Temple of Israel, and although he was powerful, the idolatry (1Ki 11:4) of his 700 wives and 300 concubines took away his love for the Creator of the Universe, and because of that his Kingdom was divided into two parts when his heir, Rehoboam. He wrote several books of the Tanack: Mishlei (Proverbs), Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) and the Shir has-Shirim (song of songs).
According to the Talmud is one of the 48 prophets of Israel. Furthermore it is said that he had a son of the Queen of Shaba (1 Kings 10:10), named Menelik, from which arose the Empire of Ethiopia. Many of the Ethiopian descendants are Jews in worship and race.
The word Ecclesiastes (Kohelet) means compiler or teacher and these writings are from the year 450 to 180 BC. Also in the text there are several words that need to be explained:
1.Vanidaties (H1892) meaning “unimportant“ or “empty”
2. “Hand“ of Elohim (H3027) which means “power“.
3. Science (H1847) which means “knowledge” or “discernment“
4. The joy of Elohim (H8057 – Simcha) which means “the joy of Elohim“, given by Him.
5. Fear of Elohim means honor and fulfill all His commandments.
At the end the author comes to the conclusion that “life without Elohim is pointless”.
THE REASON OF ECCLESIASTES
Between Koheles (Ecc) 2:4-23 Solomon presents his case, his frustration and his depression about the meaning of life.
Koheles (Ecc) 2:4-24 “I made my works great, I built myself houses, I planted vineyards for myself. I made gardens and parks for myself, and I planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. I made pools of water for myself, to water from them a plantation of growing trees. I bought male and female servants, and I came to have sons of the household. Also, I had greater possessions of herds and flocks than all who were before me in Yerushalayim. I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasures of sovereigns and of the provinces. I provided male and female singers for myself, and the pleasures of men – a woman and women. … And all that my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart rejoiced in all my labour. And this was my portion from all my labour. But when I looked on all the works that my hands had done and on the labour in which I had toiled, see, all was futile and feeding on wind, and there was no gain under the sun. ……. And I hated life because the work that was done under the sun was evil on me, for all is futile and feeding on wind. And I hated all my labour in which I had toiled under the sun, because I leave it to a man who would come after me. And who knows whether he is wise or foolish? Yet he shall rule over all my labour in which I toiled and in which I have shown myself wise under the sun. That too is futile. So I turned my heart and despaired of all the labour in which I had toiled under the sun. For a man might labour with wisdom, knowledge, and skill; yet he leaves his heritage to a man who has not laboured for it. That too is futile and a great evil. For what does a man get for all his labour and strain of his heart with which he has toiled under the sun? For all his days are sufferings, and his work grievous; even in the night his heart takes no rest. That too is futile. A man could do no better but to eat and drink, and enjoy himself in his labour! That too, I saw, was from the hand of Elohim”.
Solomon had all that any of us would like to have, but not he was satisfied with it, nothing for him was make sense; there was much internal pain. Then he discovered that EATING and DRINKING, two simple needs are the basis of being able to see the importance of living with the mind of Elohim. But it is not simply eating and drinking, is to enjoy EACH DAY eating and drinking, with the person that loves and complements your life, and with the attitude of joy of the Lord for all that you have received from him every week. Remember no one in this world can guarantee 100% that the next morning will wake up alive. We must reconnect each Shabbat with YHWH and receive that anointing for the next week, with he teaching of the Torah in the depths of our hearts. Only then we will be happy and life will make sense.
THE KEYS TO ECCLESIASTES
There are certain keys in the text of Ecllesiastes that will help us to live more easily.
1. The crooked can not be straighten and the incomplete can not be count (1:15).Do not attempt to change what cannot be.
2. Life is cyclic (1:4-10)
3. The same event will happen to everyone, and at the end death (2:14-16 and 9:3)
4 Eat, drink and be glad in your soul is all under the Sun and comes from the power of Elohim.
5. A person who Elohim likes(which meets his commandments), Elohim give him/her: wisdom, science and joy. And those He displease work, collect and stack for those who Elohim likes. (2:26)
6. Everything has its time beneath the Sun; everything is beautiful in its time. Let’s rejoyce and do well in life, all which Elohim makes is perpetual and He resets everything. We must have patience. (3:1-15)
7. There are the same trials for all. All return to dust, the spirit of man goes up, the spirit of the animal falls to the ground. (3.17, 20-21)
8. Praise the living rather than to the dead ((4:2))
9. The envy comes for the excellence of your works. Forget those who envy you, better enjoy the little, more than enjoy the much. (4:4, 6)
10 Marry to someone, better are two than one. If one falls another rises him/her. If they sleep together, they get warm, and if there are 3 (father, mother and children) a cord is not broken. (4:9-12)
11. In the presence of the creator of the universe, do not promise anything you‘re not going to meet. Have fear of Elohim, speaks few words. (5:1-7)
12. Do not love money, use it with discernment. The money serves for everything (10:19) but nobody takes anything after death. Be glad of what Elohim gives you. If you have wealth Elohim gave it to you, but also will give you administrative faculty to enjoy it. Saved treasures produces evil. (5:10-6:12)
13 Good fame is better than good ointment. (7:1)
14 In the good days enjoy them, in the day of adversity consider things. (7:14)
15. That which elohim will you to do, do it. There is no righteous man, that does good and never sins. Don’t be too fair, nor do much evil. Or apply your heart (feelings) to things. (7:16-21)
16 Store the commandment of the powerful and the word of the oath to Elohim. Those who keeps the commandments does not experience anything bad (8:2, 5)
17. Inequalities exist, don’t worry about them. Remember at the end of all you anger well who fear elohim. So eat, drink and be happy. (8:10-17)
18. While you are alive there is hope (9:4)
19. Bad times affect everyone. Although you may live many years of joy, remember that the days of darkness will be many. So in the morning planting, and in the afternoon don’t rest your hand. (9:12, 10:6, 8)
20. The meekness will will take great offenses and you will be forgiven for the position. (10:4) Wisdom is better than weapons of war
(9:18) Avoid wars, you should always look for peace.
21 Invest for the future (11:1). Be kind because you do not know the evil that shall come (11:2). Young man remember your Creator in the days of your youth, enjoy them, walk in the ways of your heart(12:1 and 11:9)
Koheles (Ecc) 9:7-11 “Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a glad heart; for Elohim has already approved your works. Let your garments be white at all times, and let your head lack no oil (anointing from EDlohim everytime you come to shabbat). See life with the wife whom you love all the days of your futile life which He has given you under the sun, all your days of futility. For that is your share in life, and in your toil which you have laboured under the sun. All that your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going. I again saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the mighty, nor even bread to the wise, nor even riches to men of understanding, nor even favour to men of knowledge – for time and chance meets with them all.
Blessings to all and a enjoy live day by day!
Rabbi Yosef Ben Marques © 2016