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Ecclesiastes; All Is Vanity


“All is vanity;” yes; all; even the good. Solomon; an old king; approaches his death haunted by his past. When first on the throne; he had asked for wisdom. He was granted that and much more. But looking back over his life in an effort to pass on what he has learned to his successor; Solomon finds his journey riddled with contradictions. Author Jacques B. Doukhan; an Adventist scholar of Jewish heritage; identifies contradiction as a symptom of our human condition. “Ecclesiastes affirms the value of work; wisdom; life; and happiness. But all these good values including religion and even righteousness—contain the potential of corruption and evil.” Twenty-first-century Christians may recognize in Solomon’s musings that “ ‘all’ times are given by God: not only the good times but also the bad; not only the times of life but also the times of death.”