Verse 13. After all, the sum of the great business of human life is comprised in this short sentence, on which some millions of books have been already written! FEAR GOD, AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS 1. Know that HE IS, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. 2. Reverence him; pay him adoration. 3. Love him, that you may be happy.
Keep his commandments - They are contained in two words:
1. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart;" 2. "And thy neighbour as thyself." Blessed be God, much reading and much study are not necessary to accomplish this, which is called µdah lk col haadam, the whole of Adam; the whole that God required of the first man and of all his posterity. But the gospel of Jesus Christ must be understood to comprehend the full force of this short saying.
The word duty, added here by our translators, spoils, if not PERVERTS, the sense.
The whole passage is rendered with great simplicity by Coverdale: - "The same preacher was not wyse alone: but taught the people knowledge also. He gave good hede, sought out the grounde, and set forth many parables. His diligence was to fynde out acceptable wordes, right scripture, and the wordes of trueth. For the wordes of the wyse are like prickes and nales that go thorow, wherewith men are kepte together: for they are geven of one Shepherd onely. Therefore be warre (my sonne) that above these thou make thee not many and innumerable bookes, nor take dyverse doctrynes in hande, to weery thy body withall.
"Let us heare the conclusion of all thinges; Feare God, and kepe his comaundementes, for that toucheth all men; for God shall judge all workes and secrete thinges, whether they be good or evell." I shall give the same from my old MS. Bible: - "And wan Ecclesiastes was most wiis he taght the peple, and told out what he had don, and enserchinge maade many parablis. He soght profitable wordis, and wrote most right sermons, and ful of trewth, The wordis of wismen as prickis and as nailis into herte pigt: that bi the counseyle of maisteris ben geven of oon scheperd. More thann thes sone myn, ne seche thou; of making many bokes is noon eend, and oft bethinking is tormenting of the flesche. Eend of spekinge alle togydir heere mee. Drede God, and his hestis kepe; that is eche man. Alle thingis that ben maad schal bringen into dome, for eche erid thinge, whithir good or evyl it be."
Verse 14. For God shall bring every work into judgment - This is the reason why we should "fear God and keep his commandments." 1.
Because there will be a day of judgment. 2. Every soul of man shall stand at that bar. 3. God, the infinitely wise, the heart-searching God, will be judge. 4. He will bring to light every secret thing-all that has been done since the creation, by all men; whether forgotten or registered; whether done in secret or in public. 5. All the works of the godly, as well as all the works of the wicked, shall be judged in that day; the good which the godly strove to conceal, as well as the evil which the wicked endeavoured to hide.
This, then, will be the conclusion of the whole mortal story. And although in this world all is vanity; yet there, "vanities will be vain no more." Every thing whether good or evil, will have its own proper stable, eternal result.
O God! prepare the reader to give up his accounts with joy in that day! Amen.
Number of verses, 222.
Middle verse, chap. vi. 10.
The ARABIC subjoins this colophon: - "Praise be to God for ever and ever!"By the assistance of the Most High God this book of Ecclesiastes, which is vanity of vanities, written by Solomon the son of David who reigned over the children of Israel, is completed." The SYRIAC has, "The end of the book of Koheleth." There are others, but they are of no importance.