Author Topic: Solomon's World View  (Read 669 times)

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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: Solomon's World View
« Reply #35 on: Thu Jul 23, 2020 - 20:38:49 »
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Ecc 8:9 . . All these things I observed; I noted all that went on under the sun, while men still had authority over men to treat them unjustly.

Solomon's venue throughout the book of Ecclesiastes is "under the sun". It's important to always keep that in mind or risk getting the wrong impression from his sayings. His is not a book upon which to base a religion (unless of course yours is atheism or agnosticism) but rather of inspired philosophy from the perspective of an earthy man rather than a heavenly man.

Soviet leader Joseph Stalin eliminated threats to his power through Purge Trials and widespread secret executions and persecution of his own fellow Soviet citizens. He left behind a legacy of repression and fear as well as industrial and military power. Stalin rid himself of all potential rivals in the party, first by having many of them condemned as deviationists, and later by ordering them executed.

To ensure his position and to push forward "socialism in one country" he put the Soviet Union on a crash course of collectivization and industrialization. An estimated 25 million farmers were forced onto state farms. Collectivization alone killed as many as 14.5 million Soviet people, and Russia's agricultural output was reduced by 25 percent, according to some estimates.

Stalin is only one example of the many oppressive rulers in the course of human history, like Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, Robert Mugabe, Hosni Mubarak, and Kim Jong Il who use and abuse their citizens; instead of managing countries for the country's good, these kinds of rulers manage countries for their own personal good. Their citizens are valued as commodities rather than fellow men.

Ecc 8:10a . . And then I saw scoundrels coming from the Holy Site and being brought to burial

It is truly amazing how the wicked of the world have the nerve to attend church and synagogue. Where's their conscience? And then their families have the chutzpah to make sure the wicked get honorable, Church sanctioned funerals when they die!

Paul Castellano-- John J. Gotti's predecessor as boss of the Gambino clan --was denied a funeral mass in 1985 based upon the notoriety of his background. The decision was backed up by canon law, which prohibits funeral Masses that would engender public scandal among the faithful.

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, Rome can deny a Mass of Christian Burial in the case of those persons who have not lived in communion with Rome according to the maxim which comes down from the time of Pope Leo the Great: (448) quibus viventibus non communicavimus mortuis communicare non possumus (We cannot hold communion in death with those who in life were not in communion with us).

Ecc 8:10b . . while such as had acted righteously were forgotten in the city.

Many good people often live out their lives in total obscurity, never basking in any limelight nor making a name for themselves. Their funerals? You won't see them on a nationally televised broadcast and probably not in a newspaper's obituary column.

Ecc 8:10c-13 . . And here is another frustration: the fact that the sentence imposed for evil deeds is not executed swiftly, which is why men are emboldened to do evil-- the fact that a sinner may do evil a hundred times and his [punishment] still be delayed. For although I am aware that it will be well with those who revere God since they revere Him, and it will not be well with the scoundrel, and he will not live long, because he does not revere God.

Justice is indeed slow, especially if the accused has lots of money because their lawyers can tie up the courts for as long as ten years with appeals and continuances.


BTW: John J. Gotti died in 2002. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn finally did permit a mass of Christian burial for Mr. Gotti but only after he was in the ground. Still it just seems so preposterous to grant a man like that any kind of Christian burial let alone one garnished with a high mass.
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« Last Edit: Thu Jul 23, 2020 - 20:41:44 by NyawehNyoh »

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Re: Solomon's World View
« Reply #35 on: Thu Jul 23, 2020 - 20:38:49 »

Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: Solomon's World View
« Reply #36 on: Fri Jul 24, 2020 - 15:02:45 »
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Ecc 8:14 . . here is a frustration that occurs in the world: sometimes an upright man is requited according to the conduct of the scoundrel; and sometimes the scoundrel is requited according to the conduct of the upright. I say all that is frustration.

Nowhere is that principle more evident than in group discipline. The military commonly punishes an entire platoon for the bad conduct of just one man. In that scenario, there is no individual justice; but collective justice; so that the innocent suffer right along with the guilty. The same effect occurs in group rewards. The people who performed well get no more honor than the people who did poorly because the group as a whole gets the credit; not the individual. Injustice of that nature is indeed frustrating; but nevertheless, unavoidable under the sun.


NOTE: I recently viewed a movie on cable television about the Chernobyl catastrophe. A key scientist towards the end of the movie commented that in a just society honesty is rewarded and dishonesty punished. The reason he said that is because his society, the Russian society, rewards liars who assist with propaganda that protects the State's image.

Had the scientist suppressed information related to the reactor accident, he would've been honored as a hero. But he chose to disclose certain embarrassing facts related to the reactor's design and its regulatory political machinery; consequently he and his career were destroyed.

Ecc 8:15 . . I therefore praised enjoyment. For the only good a man can have under the sun is to eat and drink and enjoy himself. That much can accompany him, in exchange for his wealth, through the days of life that God has granted him under the sun.

There are some things in life; like injustice, that we just have to accept. To fret about it is totally a waste of precious life and energy. It is far better to cope, to adjust, to adapt, and to enjoy life as best as possible with what you have at hand to work with and within the circumstances wherein you find yourself imprisoned.

Ecc 8:16 . . For I have set my mind to learn wisdom and to observe the business that goes on in the world-- even to the extent of going without sleep day and night--

Well; Solomon was one of the filthy rich and could afford to lose some sleep now and then, but working men dare not deprive themselves of sleep. They need their rest; and don't need to lay awake nights fretting over things in the world that are beyond their IQ, and beyond their control.

Ecc 8:17 . . and I have observed all that God brings to pass. Indeed, man cannot guess the events that occur under the sun. For man tries strenuously, but fails to guess them; and even if a sage should think to discover them he would not be able to guess them.

The View Point Inn, perched along the rim of the Columbia Gorge in Oregon, was slowly sinking into financial ruin for lack of business. Then, out of the blue, the production company of the first of the Twilight series of movies selected the inn for Edward's and Bella's prom scene. Subsequently the inn became a popular tourist attraction, and co-owner Geoff Thomson said the inn's business improved 30 to 40 percent. You just never know what a day will bring forth.

Chess masters can often see twelve moves ahead. But they cannot see into their opponent's mind. Just when the master thinks he has the game figured out, his opponent launches an unsuspected strategy and throws the master's calculations off and he must begin to calculate a different twelve moves ahead than before.

Solomon may have been just a bit too superstitious in this regard. He seemed to think that God's hand is in everything. Although that really isn't true, it is a pretty good way for a philosopher to explain away things that we can neither control, alter, foresee, understand, nor do anything about. He can just say: "It is Allah's will." or he can say: "The gods do as they please."
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: Solomon's World View
« Reply #37 on: Sat Jul 25, 2020 - 09:34:27 »
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Ecc 9:1 . . For I have taken all this to my heart and explain it that righteous men, wise men, and their deeds are in the hand of God. Man does not know whether [it will be] love or hatred; anything awaits him.

That was certainly true of Joseph. He was a very good boy; favored by God, yet sold into Egyptian slavery by his own kin. Same with John the baptizer. He too was a good, and wise, man-- the forerunner of Christ. Yet at the young age of thirty, still in the prime of his life, he was beheaded at the whim of a silly young girl whose dancing happened to please a tetrarch. God did nothing to prevent it. Are any of us any safer?

Ecc 9:2-3a . . For the same fate is in store for all: for the righteous, and for the wicked; for the good and pure, and for the impure; for him who sacrifices, and for him who does not; for him who is pleasing, and for him who is displeasing; and for him who swears, and for him who shuns oaths. That is the sad thing about all that goes on under the sun: that the same fate is in store for all.

Oftentimes when people contract fatal diseases, they whine: "Why me?" Answer: Why not? Yes, why not because we're all just lobsters in one of those fish tanks they have in sea food restaurants.. The cook gropes about and the lobster he catches is just a matter of chance. And eventually he gets them all, one by one.

It seemed to Solomon that good people shouldn't have to die. But actually, death is merciful. What if people lived forever? They would continue to age more and more till they were totally debilitated and looked like emaciated mummies. They would have to be carried around like baggage, completely dependent upon the young for subsistence; and forever enduring an unbearable quality of life.

Ecc 9:3b . . (Not only that, but men's hearts are full of sadness, and their minds of madness, while they live; and then-- to the dead!)

The word for "madness" is from howlelah (ho-lay-law') which actually means folly; not insanity. Webster's defines folly as (1) a lack of good sense or normal prudence and foresight, (2) criminally or tragically foolish actions or conduct, (3) a foolish act or idea, and (4) an excessively costly or unprofitable undertaking.

If we take the far view-- if we weigh the value of Man's thoughts and endeavors against the depth of eternity --then nothing a man under the sun does has any real meaning and purpose. After the earthly man lives out his pointless existence, he dies and rots away like common road kill.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: Solomon's World View
« Reply #38 on: Sun Jul 26, 2020 - 11:15:37 »
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Ecc 9:4 . . For he who is reckoned among the living has something to look forward to-- even a live dog is better than a dead lion--

As long as people are still alive, there's always the thought that one day their ship might come in. But once you're dead, there are no more ships other than the one that ferries people across the river Styx.

Ecc 9:5-6 . . since the living know they will die. But the dead know nothing; they have no more recompense, for even the memory of them has died. Their loves, their hates, their envies and their jealousies have long since perished; and they have no more share till the end of time in all that goes on under the sun.

On the face of things, those who have passed on experienced the final phase of life; the last item on their bucket list: and now have nothing left to do. They're all done. They were born (we all are) they lived (we all do) they died (we all will). And everybody not only experiences the final phase, but most everyone also experiences the common experiences of life-- love, hate, envy, and jealousy. Every generation goes through the very same things while they're here.


NOTE: There is a technical difference between jealousy and envy. The first is territorial, i.e. possessive. Whereas the second is begrudging of another's good fortune.

Ecc 9:7-10 . . Go, eat your bread in gladness, and drink your wine in joy; for your action was long ago approved by God. Let your clothes always be freshly washed, and your head never lack ointment. Enjoy happiness with a woman you love all the fleeting days of life that have been granted to you under the sun-- all your fleeting days. For that alone is what you can get out of life and out of the means you acquire under the sun. Whatever it is in your power to do, do with all your might. For there is no action, no reasoning, no learning, no wisdom in Sheol, where you are going.

Sheol is often interpreted "grave". That's a good choice of words for the man under the sun, i.e. a rational man thinking to himself whose perception of reality is moderated by what he can see going on around him in the physical universe rather than what he cannot see going on under his feet in the non-physical sphere.

The man under the sun generally understands that he needs to squeeze every drop of juice out of the orange of life before it's too late. That is both sad and frustrating for many because circumstances will not permit them to enjoy life as much as they would like. They will never achieve their highest potential, never eat right, never dress right, never have a family of their own, never be pretty, never be handsome, never be thin, never be rich, never be intelligent, never be famous, never be popular, never have good health, and never have a home of their own-- the grave ends any and all dreams of ever achieving any of that.

Since a lifetime is so little time to enjoy life, it's tragic that the good life is taken away from us so easily because there's simply not enough time in life to make up for lost time.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: Solomon's World View
« Reply #39 on: Mon Jul 27, 2020 - 10:17:07 »
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Ecc 9:11a . . I again saw under the sun that the race is not [always] to the swift, and the battle is not to the warriors, and neither is bread to the wise, nor wealth to the discerning, nor favor to men of ability;

Typically races are won by the swift, but if the swift should trip and fall, they will lose the race in spite of their superior speed. Battles are usually won by the valiant, not the timid. But again, not always. If the valiant are dunces, then the timid with brains can outsmart them. Food and money are usually plentiful in the homes of people who have a head on their shoulders; but again, if the wise should suddenly lose everything by an economic catastrophe; like the Wall Street collapse of 2008, then all the financial know-how in the world won't buy them a single loaf of bread down at the local Safeway.

The word "favor" is from chen (khane) which means: graciousness, i.e. subjective (kindness, favor) or objective (beauty). For some strange reason, nature allows only a relatively small percentage of beautiful people to have any brains or develop any really useful, productive skills. Most of the achievers in life, like chemists, astronomers, architects, mathematicians, writers, movie makers, physicists, engineers, and designers et al; are ordinary-looking people. The beautiful people are often dead wood (and dead heads). Whenever I look behind the scenes of really difficult movies like Inception, Matrix, Avatar, and Monsters Inc.; I'm amazed at the rather unexceptional looks of many of the makers of our favorite movies. They just don't appear to be all that smart and creative.

I noticed the same thing in my job as a Federal civilian employee. The headquarters in my district has a noticeable shortage of attractive men and women because the government, as a rule, doesn't hire people in respect to how well they fill out their clothes, but in respect to how well their minds work.

Ecc 9:11b . . for time and chance overtake them all.

There are no guarantees in life. It's a gamble. I know of a clerk in Costco who spent four years in college majoring in Sociology. There was plenty of demand for people with that kind of a degree when he entered college; but by the time he finished school, the demand had vanished and my graduate friend had to get a job as a fry cook in a Mongolian grill.

Ecc 9:12 . . And a man cannot even know his time. As fishes are enmeshed in a fatal net, and as birds are trapped in a snare, so men are caught at the time of calamity, when it comes upon them without warning.

A machinist employed by the Corps of Engineers here in Portland Oregon where I once worked as a welder, volunteered to go and help out with the rescue and clean-up operation in New York after the World Trade Center was hit with airliners flown by Islamic extremists. On return, he remarked how he was puzzled by parking structures near ground zero full of very expensive autos like BMW, Corvette, and Lexus that were covered with dirt day after day. He wondered why the people who owned those beautiful cars never washed them.

Then he realized why. It was because those cars once belonged to commuters who worked in the Trade Center-- commuters who were caught by total surprise in the sudden destruction of not only their place of employment, but also of their very lives. Whatever they had planned for that day, was instantly canceled forever. The owners never dreamed that the miles they drove to work that day would be their very last.

Sudden-death incidents like that happen all the time. Not long ago actor Bill Paxton was in the hospital for treatment of an aortic aneurism when he suddenly died of a stroke on the operating table. It took his life right out of the blue like a stray bullet from a drive-by.
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Re: Solomon's World View
« Reply #39 on: Mon Jul 27, 2020 - 10:17:07 »



Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: Solomon's World View
« Reply #40 on: Tue Jul 28, 2020 - 10:39:27 »
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Ecc 9:13-16 . .This thing too I observed under the sun about wisdom, and it affected me profoundly. There was a little city, with few men in it; and to it came a great king, who surrounded it and built mighty siege works against it. Residing in the city was a poor wise man who might have saved it with his wisdom, but nobody thought of that poor man. So I observed: Wisdom is better than valor; but a poor man's wisdom is scorned, and his words are not heeded.

A pity that the truly wise are not always famous nor widely respected; whereas the boastful, the narcissistic, the achievers, and the ambitious always seem to find ample public opportunity to express their opinions, and ways to get them implemented.

There's differences between a statesman and a politician. A statesman has his country's, and his countrymen's, best interests to heart. A politician has only his own and/or his party's best interests to heart. Very few statesmen wield power in the USA. Judging by current events, and recent political scandals, it's mostly the politicians who are running things.

Has a particular politician ever made you angry? Has a particular political body ever made a decision that, to you, seems they have mental illness and/or have forgotten to take their medication? Have you ever wished that you were there to make that critical decision? Maybe there were some issues that troubled you. Maybe the person holding office is voting in such a way as to hurt your district, harm your state and/or ruin your country. If so, perhaps you'd like to run for political office.

You might begin by reading every available article on local and/or state government. You could also make a habit of catching the local evening news so as not to miss a report on a particular bill or hot political topic. You could also begin talking and discussing your political ideas with others every chance you get.

However, unless you have access to millions of dollars, you can forget running for either the US President, the US Senate, or State Governor. The poor cannot run for office no matter how wise and capable they might be because wisdom and ability do not count in politics. Political office is typically only for the powerful, the influential, and for those who have very rich friends and the support of very large special interests. Government and big business may seem like strange bedfellows, but in this USA of ours, their collusion is simply the way things are.

Ecc 9:17 . .The words of the wise heard in quietness are better than the shouting of a ruler among fools.

Unfortunately, the words of the wise are all too often heard in private. They seldom have a large public audience because the wise are neither popular, nor charismatic. The masses want to be entertained by a silver-tongued speaker of grand verbiage and a promoter of impossible social agendas. Bombastic plans for the future seem to be the tried and true method of every successful politician. They offer hope you can believe in; but in reality, all they actually have to offer are impossible ideals.
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Offline Rella

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Re: Solomon's World View
« Reply #41 on: Tue Jul 28, 2020 - 12:31:40 »








 The poor cannot run for office no matter how wise and capable they might be because wisdom and ability do not count in politics.





Explain AOC.

She was previously an activist and worked as a waitress and bartender before running for Congress in 2018.

Ocasio-Cortez is among the first female members of the Democratic Socialists of America elected to serve in Congress

Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: Solomon's World View
« Reply #42 on: Wed Jul 29, 2020 - 13:15:09 »
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Ecc 9:18 . .Wisdom is more valuable than weapons of war, but a single error destroys much of value.

Although wisdom may have more value than a cruise missile, it isn't nearly as effective as that weapon in its purpose. It should be noted that a cruise missile isn't launched indiscriminately; but usually launched only after the wisdom of diplomacy has run its course and left the wisdom of warfare no choice but to do its thing; and it's thing these days can be the destruction of an entire city by just one bomb.

Equipment and munitions, no matter how sophisticated nor how destructive, are wasted in the hands of those untrained and unskilled in their use. So wisdom and weapons of war work together for a victory. But obviously wisdom is the more valuable of the two because it is through wisdom that war materiel is employed to its best effect.

President John F. Kennedy once commented in a speech: Every man woman and child is under a nuclear sword of Damocles, hanging by the slenderest thread, capable of being cut at any moment by accident, miscalculation, or by madness.

In other words, geniuses figured out how to harness fission, but its application is sometimes subject to the arbitrary discretion of fools and Murphy's law.

A really good example of a single error destroying much of value was a 1998 NASA Mars robotic probe that failed to achieve its intended orbit around Mars due to ground-based computer software which produced output in non-SI units of pound (force)-seconds (lbf·s) instead of the SI units of newton-seconds (N·s) specified in the contract between NASA and Lockheed.

As a result of that one software boo-boo; the spacecraft encountered Mars on a trajectory that brought it too close to the planet, causing it to pass through the upper atmosphere and disintegrate. All the ingenious designing and engineering that went into constructing a perfectly good orbiter, and getting it out to Mars, went for naught.

Another good example was the Hubble Space Telescope flub. Nobody physically tested the Hubble's optics before sending the machine into near-earth orbit because a computer model convinced the telescope's makers that everything was okay as-is and needed no testing. As a result, Hubble's initial data produced images little better than those seen by an elderly person with cataracts. Ouch!
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: Solomon's World View
« Reply #43 on: Thu Jul 30, 2020 - 13:41:30 »
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Ecc 10:1 . . Dead insects will cause even a bottle of perfume to stink! Yes, an ounce of foolishness can outweigh a pound of wisdom and honor.

Before the wonders of modern chemistry, perfumes were made (and many still are) from animal and vegetable sources. Those, being all-natural, in a day prior to modern preservatives, could spoil if the perfumer wasn't careful to keep his product protected from exposure to temperature, insects, dirt, moisture, and other contaminants. All the skills and patience and knowledge exercised in the making of expensive scents could be completely annulled by simply forgetting to put the cap back on a jar.

Anyway, Ecc 10:1 certainly rings true in this day and age as a certain large denomination's credibility steadily goes down the tubes because of its ongoing pedophilia scandals aggravated by its deplorable cover-ups.

And we shouldn't forget to mention law enforcement officers stepping out of character to take bribes, commit murder, robbery, theft, kidnapping, assault, battery, and rape.

The media is very attuned to the principle of Ecc 10:1. There isn't a day goes by that they don't grab every opportunity to criticize a US President and/or their family in order to discredit the man and make Americans lose confidence in his executive abilities.

Ecc 10:2 . . A wise man's mind tends toward the right hand, a fool's toward the left.

The right hand is the most useful and dexterous of the two hands. (at least for right-handed people anyway). It swings hammers and it writes letters. It pulls back the bow string, and it wields the sword and axe. It holds your cup of coffee, and it stirs cake mix. So to put your mind towards your right hand is to make your mind the leader in your efforts; in contrast to the fool who doesn't bother taking time to think anything through before charging ahead. The fool leaves behind him a wake of errors; and is always learning things the hard way. His favorite (full time) university is the School Of Hard Knocks. Pity, but it seems to be the only way he ever learns anything.

Ecc 10:3 . . A fool's mind is also wanting when he travels, and he lets everybody know he is a fool.

For some strange reason, the average male doesn't like to ask for directions when he travels. Women usually don't mind at all because they want to get where they're going. The men want to get there too, but they don't want to get there as wimpy men; they want to find their own way there as macho men. They prefer to think of themselves as commandos, patrol leaders: map and compass experts. So they often end up lost and turned around because their male ego will not permit them to let somebody (especially wives and girlfriends) help them find the way.

And then there are people who don't prepare for emergencies when they travel. They don't bring a car blanket, no paper towels, no tarp, no flares, no water, no first aid supplies, no flashlight, no food, their spare tire is flat, nor have they a clue how to install their car's tire chains (that is; if they even have a set) and they try to get by all year long on regular tires rather than go to the trouble of purchasing and installing seasonal tires.

Ecc 10:4 . . If the wrath of a lord flares up against you, don't give up your post; for when wrath abates, grave offenses are pardoned.

It is amazing how time has a way of healing things, and making people's anger dissipate. If your boss blows his top at you for something or other and rakes you over the coals, don't lose heart and quit your job just yet. He'll cool off after a while and soon be back to his old self again. Sooner or later, the boss himself will trip up and do something stupid like sexual harassment or creating a hostile workplace; thus putting himself in the awkward position of owing you one. Then you'll be even, and can go on as if nothing ever happened; and he'll be very glad you didn't do something rash like haul him down to the Equal Employment Opportunity office and make an issue of his professional conduct.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: Solomon's World View
« Reply #44 on: Fri Jul 31, 2020 - 10:07:41 »
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Ecc 10:5-6 . . Here is an evil I have seen under the sun as great as an error committed by a ruler: Folly was placed on lofty heights, while rich men sat in low estate. I have seen slaves on horseback, and nobles walking on the ground like slaves.

That is more a contrast between the nature of two types of character than actual estate. A good biblical example of what Solomon is talking about can be seen at Acts 23:23-24:27; where Paul the apostle mounted his defense against the accusations of his Jewish enemies before a Roman governor named Felix.

Felix wasn't born into nobility. No, he was actually an emancipated slave who worked himself up to rank by craftiness and cruelty. Felix ruled, not with a nobleman's mentality, but with a slave's. Tacitus, Hist. 5, says this of Felix: Per omnem saevitiam ac libidinem jus regium servili ingenio exercuit -- "He used royal power with a servile genius, and in connection with all the varieties of cruelty and lust."

Felix should have been judged by Paul, not the other way around. As Paul discoursed on righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix became nervous and said: That's enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you. (Acts 24:25)

Felix's wife, Drusilla, was a piece of work herself. Her father was Herod Agrippa 1, the one who ordered the death of James the brother of John (Acts 12:2). Her great uncle, another Herod, ordered the Lord's cousin John beheaded (Mk 6:27). And last but not least, her great grandfather was the infamous Herod who ordered the slaughter of pre-schoolers. (Matt 2:16)

Ecc 10:8-9 . . He who digs a pit may fall into it, and a serpent may bite him who breaks through a wall. He who quarries stones may be hurt by them, and he who splits logs may be endangered by them.

Anyone who's ever chopped kindling, already knows how easy it is for sticks of wood to fly up into your face from a blow of the axe.

One of the most dangerous jobs up here in the northwest is logging. There's ten ways from Sunday to get yourself injured logging. Chain saws rip men, loose boughs called widow-makers fall on their heads, cables called chokers sometimes catch the men and crush their hands, tear them in half or pull an arm or leg off their bodies; falling trees lurch and skid rearwards off the stump to hit the logger if he forgets to stand off to the side. They are constantly tripping and falling, getting scratched, bitten by bugs, yelled at, cursed, and threatened by the Bull of the woods (their foreman).

Should men stop logging because it's dangerous? Should they stop digging trenches for pipelines because sometimes the trenches cave in? Should they stop tearing down old buildings for new shopping malls and apartment houses because there might be a rattler, or a scorpion, or a brown recluse spider in the rubble? No. All those hazards just quite naturally come with the turf.

Blue collar men are constantly in danger. But a wise worker will pay attention in safety meetings, and put into practice what's he's taught so he doesn't inadvertently kill himself in the process of bringing home the bacon. My boss always said: Cliff; I don't care if you get killed on the job just so long as you do it safely. (chuckle) That's one of the paradoxes of the blue collar world. Safe working practices save many lives and limbs; but none are fool proof.

Ecc 10:10 . . If the axe has become dull and he has not whetted the edge, he must exert more strength. Thus the advantage of a skill [depends on the exercise of] prudence.

We have a saying in the blue collar world: Work smarter, not harder. Many times a job can be facilitated by just simply taking the time to go and get the right tool instead of struggling to make do with the wrong one. But men can be stubborn; and are sometimes careless, lazy and/or in a hurry; with predictable results.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: Solomon's World View
« Reply #45 on: Sat Aug 01, 2020 - 09:03:59 »
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Ecc 10:11 . . If the snake bites because no spell was uttered, no advantage is gained by the trained charmer.

That continues the thought from verse 10; "Thus the advantage of a skill [depends on the exercise of] prudence."

Trained snake charmers lose control over cobras when they fail to exercise the charm skills they learned in training. Charmers can't just sit there and do nothing. The snake might strike and end the show before the charmer gets any money from his audience. That principle obviously applies in just about any area of life where skills (and prudence) are required to produce results; like driving a car, SCUBA diving, banking, typing, sewing, cooking, rock climbing, welding . . whatever. Trainings and skills are only valuable when they're applied and put to use.

Ecc 10:12-14a . . A wise man's talk brings him favor, but a fool's lips are his undoing. His talk begins as silliness and ends as disastrous madness. Yet the fool talks and talks!

There are some talk shows on television that I simply cannot endure because the hosts are so rude and disorderly. Those people continually interrupt each other and hardly let the others complete a sentence before blurting out their own thoughts; and many times all are talking at once with a din that reminds me of a chicken house with all the birds clucking and squawking an incoherent cacophony.

For some people, every conversation is either a filibuster or a monologue: they do all the talking. I used to work with a young man who not only talked very fast, but with a pretty fair amount of animated arm waving and head tossing to go with it. He had a maddening habit of never finishing one topic at a time. In mid sentence he would branch off to another; leaving the first incomplete. His conversation was like that continually and the effect was nerve jangling because your mind was constantly shifting gears trying to keep up with each new train of his erratic thoughts.

People's words are like pools of water. Some are very deep; yet so clear that you can see all the way down. Others are shallow, but alas, so murky that you cannot see even one inch below the surface.

Ecc 10:14b . . A man cannot know what will happen; who can tell him what the future holds?

Well . . some people seem to know about everything. No matter what topic comes up in conversation, they have something to share about it as if you were the student, and they the master; and they are prolific with rash predictions about this and about that.

Ecc 10:15 . . A fool's exertions tire him out, for he doesn't know how to get to a town.

(chuckle) There's a modern colloquialism similar to that one: So and so is so dumb that he doesn't know his right hand from his left. Or: He wouldn't be able to find his nose if it wasn't attached to his face. That's the general impression bucket-mouths make upon their victims.

"Sooner meet a bereaved she-bear than a fool with his nonsense." (Pro 17:12)

 "A knowledgeable man is sparing with his words; a man of understanding is reticent. Even a fool, if he keeps silent, is deemed wise-- intelligent, if he seals his lips." (Pro 17:27-28)

It isn't necessary to be an aged wizard like Gandalf to be truly wise because wisdom isn't really measured by a person's age. It's measured in good sense. Frodo the Hobbit, although young and inexperienced, is wise in his own way. Some of his friends are imbeciles. But not Frodo. Although he enjoys a good time as well as any of his peers, Frodo is careful to avoid stupidity. Because he exercises a considerable amount of self control, Frodo is the only inhabitant of Middle Earth who can be trusted to bear the one ring that rules them all.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: Solomon's World View
« Reply #46 on: Sun Aug 02, 2020 - 19:57:59 »
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Ecc 10:16a . .Woe to you, O land, whose king is a lad

It is a very sad time in a country's progress when the young are getting their own way. God is known for punishing Moses' people by saddling them with immature leadership and with disrespect for senior citizens. Some see lowering the USA voting age to 18 as progress and a step in the right direction. The Bible would see it as an evidence of America's decadence.

"He will destroy all the nation's leaders-- the heroes, soldiers, judges, prophets, diviners, elders, army officers, honorable citizens, advisers, skilled magicians, and expert enchanters. Then he will appoint children to rule over them, and anarchy will prevail. People will take advantage of each other-- man against man, neighbor fighting neighbor. Young people will revolt against authority, and nobodies will sneer at honorable people." (Isa 3:2-5)

Children's activities, like little league baseball and cub scouts, need adult supervision. Kids, no matter how intelligent, just haven't the maturity to rule either themselves or others. Management of lands and peoples requires a degree of maturity, experience, and self discipline; which is why it's totally stupid to lower the voting age instead of raising it especially when the new 21 in America is now somewhere around 26, and where civil disobedience is thought to be patriotic, and where parent-demeaning sitcoms rate high in television programming.

Ecc 10:16b-17 . . and whose princes feast in the morning. Blessed are you, O land, whose king is of nobility and whose princes eat at the appropriate time-- for strength, and not for drunkenness.

The word for "princes" is from sar (sar) which means: a head person of any rank or class-- captains, chiefs, generals, governors, keepers, lords, taskmasters, monarchs, kings, magnates, barons, czars, foremen, supervisors, etc.

A hearty breakfast of pancakes, fruit, and cereal wouldn't be considered feasting. But a banquet, replete with alcohol, so early in the day, would have to be construed as indulgence. Here in America, where we have so much, overeating is a big problem. Many of us don't eat because we're hungry. No, we eat for recreation: simply because we like food.

Overeating isn't the same as gluttony. Real gluttony is where revelers stuff themselves then regurgitate it so they can continue. But chronic overeating can be evidence of the possible presence of other vices. There used to be an old saying that chubby people are the happiest people. But we now know that over-eating is often the result of psychological problems like depression and anxiety disorders. Is that the kind of people we need in positions of leadership? I seriously doubt it.

Ecc 10:18-19 . .Through slothfulness the ceiling sags, through lazy hands the house caves in. They make a banquet for revelry; wine makes life merry, and money answers every need.

People with vices often put a higher priority upon satisfying their appetites for sex, food, substances, and gambling than taking care of business. Drug addicts often lose their jobs for non-productivity and tardiness. Some lose their friends, and their mental health. Gamblers risk the loss of their homes, credit ratings, and bank accounts. Binge eaters risk heart attacks, strokes, and hardening of the arteries. Smokers risk cancer, premature aging, and high blood pressure. And addicts on meth risk losing their teeth. The best time to break a bad habit is before it starts.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: Solomon's World View
« Reply #47 on: Yesterday at 10:54:59 »
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  Ecc 10:20 . . Do not revile the king even in your thoughts, or curse the rich in your bedroom, because a bird of the air may carry your words, and a bird on the wing may report what you say.

The word for "revile" is from qalal (kaw-lal'); and basically means: to belittle, vilify, despise or express contempt for someone. It can also mean to wish (either in your heart or out loud) for someone's misfortune, or to hope they experience some sort of harm, calamity, and/or injury.

Vilifying the rich is one thing; but vilifying those that employ you in their business is quite another and can possibly lead to the loss of a promotion, or even your job.

Solomon's advice on this point is extremely valuable; and the practice of discretion is an outstanding social skill. It never seems to fail, that when friends get together, some begin airing petty grievances against their supervisors. Of course they wouldn't dare do this if any of the supervisors' friends were around; but they make the common mistake of assuming their friends are all loyal, and can keep a secret, and protect them from scandal. But you just never know who among your friends might be wearing two faces; and looking for an opportunity to curry favor with the very person you just now ran into the ground.

Even the walls can quite literally have ears. Here's how. One year, we were on vacation and staying at a friend's home in the town where we were. Well, one evening as my wife and I were planning our itinerary for the next day, I complained that the day would be ruined if our host wanted to come with us. Guess what? Their home had central heating and every room was equipped with a vent that connected to the main ductwork; which quite effectively carried sounds to every room in the house like a tubular telegraph system. Our host overheard everything we said.

Nowadays we pretty much have to assume that strange rooms, and even our workplaces, are equipped with hidden microphones and tiny little video cameras. Privacy is becoming scarcer and scarcer in the modern world.
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