Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, June 15th, 2024
the Week of Proper 5 / Ordinary 10
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Bible Commentaries
Ecclesiastes 12

Bridgeway Bible CommentaryBridgeway Bible Commentary

Verses 1-8


Advice to young people (11:9-12:8)

God’s will is that people enjoy life. In fact, they have a responsibility to do so. The writer urges young people especially to take note of this and not to misuse their mental or physical powers through developing wrong attitudes to life. However, their enjoyment of life must be according to a proper understanding of God and his character. They, like all others, are answerable to him for their behaviour (9-10).
Young people should remember that God is the Creator, the giver of life and all that goes with it. They should accept life from his hand and enjoy it as he intended. The opportunity will have passed by the time old age comes (12:1).
The writer pictures old age as a run-down house in a cold dark winter. The old person, now at the end of his life, is shaky, bent, half blind, half deaf, unable to sleep well, fearful of heights and afraid to walk along the street. He has lost all desire for life’s pleasures (2-5). Finally, death overtakes him. He is (to use another picture) like a broken bowl or a smashed water jar. God who first gave him life now takes it back. Life has run its course and has led, in the end, to nothing (6-8).

Verses 9-14


Final comments (12:9-14)

Those whom the writer taught were not only the sons of the rich who attended the wisdom schools, but also ordinary people around the city. His method of study was to consider all the wise teachings relevant to his subject, select the most suitable, then arrange them in a way that was interesting and helpful to his audience. However, he never twisted the truth to suit his own purposes (9-10). True wisdom teaching, such as that which the writer speaks of here, comes from God. It helps people on and sticks in their minds (11).
A final warning is necessary. Too much study can be harmful, especially if it goes beyond what is taught by the wisdom teachers (12). All people have a basic responsibility to fear God and obey his commandments. They are answerable to God for everything they do (13-14).

Bibliographical Information
Fleming, Donald C. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 12". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bbc/ecclesiastes-12.html. 2005.
 
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