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Bible Commentaries

G. Campbell Morgan's Exposition on the Whole Bible
Ecclesiastes 5



Verses 1-20

The observation of the religious life brings no truer satisfaction. In this brief passage contempt for religion is not expressed, but there is absolutely no joy or satisfaction manifest. The life is wholly conditioned under the sun. The recognition of God is always irksome. This is based largely on the conception of God which is the inevitable outcome of such life, that conception which we have already seen manifest in the previous words of the king. A11 the things which he advances here are good so far as they go, but they all need something added to them before they can finally express the qualities of the religious life which give rest to the soul. Nothing is here other than a caution, based on fear. Brief phrases taken from these words will reveal the truth of them. "Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God," "Be not rash with thy mouth," "When thou vowest . . . defer not to pay." "Fear God."

Turning again to a general survey of the conditions under which men live, the preacher appealed against surprise at oppression. His reason for the appeal shows how low was his conception of God. He declared that all these things are known to One who is higher than the high, and the deduction he drew is that God does not interfere, that all iniquities are part of the great system. Yet the prosperous are not to be envied, for the man who has possessions does not possess them. Others eat them, and the owner merely beholds them. Indeed, the very care of wealth becomes a reason for restlessness. In view of all these things there is but one attitude, which the preacher advises: Do not hoard anything, but enjoy it. The only answer which God gives a man is the joy he finds in eating and drinking and using for himself the things which he possesses. It is the advice of pure sel6shness, but it is always given by those who live wholly "under the sun."


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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 5:4". "G. Campbell Morgan Exposition on the Bible". 1857-84.

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Sunday, May 24th, 2020
the Seventh Sunday after Easter
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