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Bible Commentaries
Ecclesiastes 8

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-5

ECCLESIASTES

CHAPTER 8

WHO IS WISE?

Verse 1 suggests that he is wise who understands what should be done to meet the problems that confront him; and that such wisdom so strengthens the possessor that his face will shine or reflect his confidence, Psalms 4:8-8; Deuteronomy 28:50; Acts 6:15.

RESPECT FOR AUTHORITY

Verse 2 directs obedience to the king or lawful authority, emphasizing that such is commanded by God, 1 Chronicles 29:23-24; Romans 13:1-5.

Verses 3-4 advise against hasty departure from the presence of the king, or other actions that would indicate disloyalty or intent to disobey.

Verse 4 emphasizes that the king had power to compel obedience. Subjects should therefore respond with forbearance and submissiveness, 1 Samuel 25:23-24; Proverbs 25:15; Ecclesiastes 10:4; Romans 13:1-3.

Verse 5 affirms that he who is obedient to the king will not take part in evil rebellion against him; and if he is wise, he will know whether the king’s commandment should be corrected; also be alert to note when the time is right to seek correction, 1 Samuel 19:4-6; 2 Samuel 12:1-14; Ezra 7:2-4. ,

Verses 6-8

GOD’S SCHEDULE IS UNREVEALED

Verses 6-8 describe the frustration and perplexity of man under the sun because he cannot discern in advance the schedule of the divine will which is steadily being fulfilled. No man can confine the desires and concerns of the human spirit, neither can he evade the appointed time of his death. He must await the unfolding of the will of God; Psalms 49:6-7. However, man whose trust is above the sun has comforting assurance, Psalms 34:7; Psalms 34:15; Psalms 34:17; Proverbs 3:5-6; John 14:1; Romans 8:28.

Verses 9-11

ABUSERS OF POWER

Verses 9-11 continue Solomon’s observations of matters under the sun.

Verse 9 declares he had seen the abuse of power, as one man ruled over another, to the hurt of the man ruled, Nehemiah 5:15; Ezra 9:1.

Verses 10-11 reveal the further record of the abuser, to the time of his death and burial:

1) The abuse had come and gone from the place of judgment without any punitive action, Vs 10; Deuteronomy 1:17.

2) He continued without question in the city where his abuse was perpetrated until he died, and was accorded honorable burial, Vs. 10.

3) Solomon also observed that the absence of immediate punishment encourages offenders to further acts of evil, Vs 11; Psalms 10:2-6; Isaiah 26:10; Romans 2:5; 2 Peter 3:4; 2 Peter 3:10.

Verses 12-13

THE CERTAIN DESTINY OF MEN

Verses 12-13 reveal Solomon’s convictions:

1) That though a sinner repeat his evil a hundred times and God’s patience permit his life to be prolonged, appropriate judgment will be administered; because he feareth not God, Vs 12-13; Proverbs 1:32; Psalms 75:8; Psalms 112:10; Isaiah 3:11; Isaiah 13:11; Revelation 21:8.

2) That it shall be well with them that fear God. Concerning this, Solomon emphasizes the certainty with the expression, surely I know, Vs 12; Psalms 31:19; Psalms 112:1; Luke 1:50.

Verse 14

PERPLEXITY RESTATED

Verse 14 repeats Solomon’s previous acknowledgments of the inequities of life, in which, in the view of men, the just fared as though they were wicked and the wicked prospered as though they were just. He is careful to point out that this is a vanity upon earth, and not a true indicator of things above the sun, Ecclesiastes 3:16; Ecclesiastes 4:1; Ecclesiastes 5:8; Ecclesiastes 7:7.

Verses 15-17

COUNSEL FOR THE PERPLEXED

Verse 15 states Solomon’s conclusion that man has nothing better under the sun than to use the fruit of his labor to eat, drink, and be merry all the days of life God gives him under the sun, see comment on Ecclesiastes 2:24-26.

Verses 16-17 affirm that Solomon diligently applied his heart to know wisdom, and understand the working of Divine Providence upon the earth, and that he had concluded that no man, be he ever so wise or diligent, can find out the secrets of God’s work under the sun, Ecclesiastes 3:11; Job 5:9; Job 11:7.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 8". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/ecclesiastes-8.html. 1985.
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