Ecclesiastes 9:7-8

Ecclesiastes 9:7-8

7 Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do. 8 Always be clothed in white, and always anoint your head with oil.

Once again context is needed and here we will look at the following verses

9 Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun—all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun. 10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.

Notice in verse nine the word meaningless, it is a translation from the Hebrew hevel which is also translated as vanity in the KJV and the NRSV among many others. That may be, but what does it have to do with verse seven above? Bear with me, as there are thirty-eight uses of the word hevel in Ecclesiastes and the second verse of the opening chapter says

Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.”

More literal translations would say vapor or smoke or mere breath and likely be more correct as both vanity and meaningless carry a sense of negative judgment.

Vapor! Vapor!” says the Teacher. “Utterly vapor! Everything is vapor.”
“Mere breath! Mere breath !” says the Teacher. “Utterly mere breath! Everything is mere breath.”

Thus with a single word change, the tenor of the verse and of the book is changed. The overall meaning is not changed, life is still tenuous and like smoke or vapor, it cannot be grasped. So what are we to do? Even though our life is like that of a mere breath we are to Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do. Have joyful heart, enjoy what God has given you, literally the breath of life and if you are seeking after Him, He has already approved of what you do.

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. Genesis 2:7

I believe there is a tremendous connection between Genesis 2:7 and all of Ecclesiastes. Solomon sought to try everything and understand everything, but at the end realized with all his wisdom he could not. Then the only worthwhile thing to do in this life is to enjoy what God has given us and to fear God or hold God in awe.

It’s Friday and I hope you have a Great Weekend. Also hope you take time to read your Bible to see what God will reveal to you. I take great comfort in His Word as it ministers to me. Furthermore, I hope you remember to Go To Church and enjoy the worship of God, the study of His Word, and the fellowship available to you there.