E C C L E S I A S T E S
In this chapter, I. The royal preacher goes on
further to show the vanity of worldly wealth, when men place their
happiness in it and are eager and inordinate in laying it up.
Riches, in the hands of a man that is wise and generous, and good
for something, but in the hands of a sordid, sneaking, covetous
miser, they are good for nothing. 1. He takes an account of the
possessions and enjoyments which such a man may have. He has wealth
(ver. 2), he has children to
inherit it (ver. 3), and
lives long, ver. 3, 6. 2.
He describes his folly in not taking the comfort of it; he has no
power to eat of it, lets strangers devour it, is never filled with
good, and at last has no burial, ver.
2, 3. 3. He condemns it as an evil, a common evil,
vanity, and a disease, ver. 1,
2. 4. He prefers the condition of a still-born child
before the condition of such a one, ver.
3. The still-born child's infelicity is only negative
(ver. 4, 5), but that of
the covetous worldling is positive; he lives a great while to see
himself miserable, ver. 6. 5.
He shows the vanity of riches as pertaining only to the body, and
giving no satisfaction to the mind (ver. 7, 8), and of those boundless desires
with which covetous people vex themselves (ver. 9), which, if they be gratified ever so
fully, leave a man but a man still, ver. 10. II. He concludes this discourse of
the vanity of the creature with this plain inference from the
whole, That it is folly to think of making up a happiness for
ourselves in the things of this world, ver. 11, 12. Our satisfaction must be in
another life, not in this.