This is the chapter that is we associate with all the “there’s-a-time-for-everything”.
Is Solomon touching on the yin yang without knowing it? Maybe.
Here are the things that he mentions that there is time for and their counterparts:
There is a time to:
- To be born — — and of course, to pass on, to go back whence we came, that we erroneously call “to die”
- To plant — — and its opposite
- To cure — — and its opposite (?)
- To build — — and its opposite
- To laugh — — and to cry
- To dance — — and to mourn
- To gather stones — — and to scatter them (?)
- To hug — — and to abstain from hugging (?)
- To seek — — and to lose
- To keep — — and to throw away
- To sew something up — — and to tear it
- To talk — — and to be quiet
- To love — — and to not love
- To have peace — — and time to war (I’m using “war” as a verb; we “war” within ourselves often, don’t we? Of course, he probably meant political war).
Solomon wrote this in a time of peace, but his father was a man of war and had lived through great political turmoil, and so he sees war as necessary.
He says that God made “everything beautiful in its time”, and then he says something profound, that eternity was placed in the human heart, and that man never attains an understanding of the works that God has done from the beginning to end.
He then says again, that there’s nothing better for man than to be merry and to do good in their lives. He says that it is a good thing to enjoy from one’s labor. This is a fair thing, for a man or a woman to enjoy the fruit of their labor.
Solomon then attributes a motive to God and I believe he is wrong; he says that God does the perpetual things that he does “so that men may fear before him”… I think he forgets that he is talking about God and not about a king from somewhere, a human being, subject to ego, pride, insecurity and a love for power. Gross. No Solomon, God is not man, nor like man.
He then reflects on the fact that as animals die so do humans, and as animals breathe, so do humans, and that both animals and humans are dust and return to dust.
Yes, that has not and will not change.
He was curious about what happened after the term of this life was over… “who can take one for a tour of what will be after?” he says, more or less. No one.
All is vanity, he says, but seems to imply that it is a good idea still to work well and enjoy things, food, drink, and to do good.
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Viviana Rose — Copyrighted material 2018