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In view of the evidences of the truth of the affirmation, "vanity . . . all is vanity," the preacher now turns to its effect on the mind of the man living "under the sun." He extols this worldly wisdom, which he has already inculcated, and then exemplifies this method. He defends this wisdom and extols it.
First of all, it is to be remembered that all things are in the hand of God. Of course, his doctrine of God is that already dealt with in the earlier part of the discourse. The fact now is that these things being in God's hand, men do not know them, nor can they. The only certain thing is that there is one event to all, righteous and wicked, clean and unclean, the worshiper and the man who fails in worship, the good and the sinner, the swearer and the man who fears an oath. All these are really evil, with madness in their heart in life, and move to death. There is some hope in life, and yet all life at last passes into the utter failure of death. Therefore there is nothing for it other than to enter into the present life, to eat and drink, and to dress, to enter into the experiences of the life of vanity, for there is nothing beyond it. Everything is to be done in the present moment, and for the present moment with might, because there is nothing beyond. Still further, there is very little advantage in the things which men count advantageous. Swiftness, and strength, and wisdom, and skill, of what value are they in view of the fact that as fishes and birds are snared unawares, so at any moment the end of all may come? Wisdom under the sun is granted to be of much relative value, but in the long issues it is of little worth.
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Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 9". "G. Campbell Morgan Exposition on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 12 / Ordinary 17