Useful Bible Studies > Ecclesiastes Commentary > chapter 7

Foolish songs and laughter

Ecclesiastes 7:5-6

The people in Israel loved to sing. They sang at home, and they sang at work. They sang at weddings and they sang at funerals. Solomon had a collection of 1005 songs (1 Kings 4:32).

Of course, the foolish people were not singing to praise God. Foolish people do not do that. When they sing, it is for their own pleasure. That is how foolish people behave. They think constantly about themselves; they care only about their own feelings.

Usually, we do not like anyone to tell us that we are wrong. But that attitude is foolish. It would offend those foolish people if someone complained about their songs.

But the person who desires to be wise has a different attitude. He wants to know about every wrong thing that he is doing. He needs to know these things so that he can change his behaviour (Proverbs 9:8-9). That is how a person becomes wise.

Those foolish people are at a party. They have finished their song, and now they are laughing. But their laughter, like their song, has no purpose. It is just a sound that they make. It does not even mean that they are happy. When foolish people cannot laugh about something, they laugh at someone.

In the original language, the word for ‘pot’ in Ecclesiastes 7:6 is the same as the word for ‘thorn’. The same word has two meanings. Thorns are bushes with sharp points. They are a nuisance to collect and they do not even burn well.

So the thorns are like the fools. They both make a lot of noise, but they achieve no useful purpose. The thorns are fit only for the fire, even as the fool is fit only for punishment.

Next part: The danger of money (Ecclesiastes 7:7)

 

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© 2014, Keith Simons.