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Bible Commentaries

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

Ecclesiastes 8

Verse 1

THE SECRET OF THE SHINING FACE

‘Wisdom maketh his face to shine.’

Ecclesiastes 8:1

‘A man’s wisdom maketh his face to shine, and the boldness or coarseness of his face shall be changed.’

I. In ancient days it was noted that piety has an effect on the countenance.—It brings refinement. It is a remarkable fact that wherever the Bible is read, wherever the Gospel is preached, those who come under its influence find the coarseness of their faces changed. They are raised in thought and feeling to a higher sphere, and that has an effect on their countenances. It is a grand thing to see the effect of conversion on a dull-faced, heavy-eyed, bloated-visaged public-house sot. It is as though a veil were lifted. There comes a new light in the eye, a new expression on the countenance, that leads others to take knowledge of him that he has been with Jesus. When, by Divine grace, the humblest soul gains the true wisdom, and visits the mount of communion with God, the great Father of lights maketh his face to shine, and the coarseness of his visage is changed.

II. So remarkable is this, that the inquiry has been made whether after all, the shining of the face of Moses after communion with God was merely miraculous, but rather the true effect of close intercourse with the God of light; and whether the angelic expression of Stephen was not also the true effect of his elevated spirit. Perhaps so. This we know, that there are to-day holy souls who sometimes carry on their countenances a light of their having been ‘within the veil,’ very near in communion with their Lord.

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Bibliographical Information
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 8". Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cpc/ecclesiastes-8.html. 1876.