Ecclesiastes 1:12-18 “An Experience of Evil God Has Given the Sons of Humanity to Humble Them”

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Ecc 1:12-18 It Is An Experience Of Evil [ God] Hath Given The Sons Of Humanity To Humble Them By It
Ecc 1:12 I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem.
Ecc 1:13 And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.

Here is verse 13 in the Concordant Literal Version:

Ecc 1:13 I applied my heart to inquiring and exploring by wisdom concerning all that is done under the heavens: it is an experience of evil Elohim has given to the sons of humanity to humble them by it.
Ecc 1:14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.
Ecc 1:15 That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.
Ecc 1:16 I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.
Ecc 1:17 And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit.
Ecc 1:18 For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

Introduction

We must remind ourselves every time we read this book, that it is written from the perspective of “under the sun”. What this means is that it is written from a carnal, earthy perspective with little understanding of the essential function of the temporal, earthy, “first man Adam”. Proverbs was written before Solomon’s apostasy, whereas Ecclesiastes expresses the hopeless despair of an apostatized king. The expression of despair and vanity stems from seeing the first man Adam as the finished product of “the Potter’s hand”, when in reality the first man Adam is merely the disposable, first step in what the Lord is doing within us all to produce a new man whom He calls “the last Adam”.

1Co 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

Being written from a carnal perspective does not rob this book of its inspired status as part of the Word of God. God’s Word is full of “carnal commandment[ s], and stories about carnal men, which are all spiritual shadows of the True, just as the first Adam himself is nothing more than a ‘tupos’, or a ‘type’ or “figure” of “the last Adam”.

Rom 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure [ Greek – tupos, type] of him that was to come.
Heb 7:16 Who [ Christ, the reformer, the last Adam] is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment [ the “law… for the lawless”], but after the power of an endless life.
1Ti 1:9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
1Ti 1:10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

All types and shadows are designed to demonstrate to us the futile and temporal, yet essential nature, of our “marred, carnal, first man Adam”. That is why the first Adam is but a type, a ‘tupos’, of “that which is spiritual… the last man Adam”.
Here is a verse which demonstrates this principle of how the type is opposed to the anti- type, the spiritual end product:

Deu 20:16 But of the cities of these people, which the LORD thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth:

The truth which this verse typifies is actually very much opposed to ‘you shall save alive nothing that breaths.’ The reality which is casting that shadow, that ‘save alive nothing that breaths’ type of death, is the death of our old carnal- minded first man Adam, with whom we are to make no alliances or treaties. He simply must die and be destroyed.

Mat 10:39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
2Th 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

Since the death of our carnal- minded old man is the catalyst for the birth of our new spiritually- minded new man, that carnal commandment to destroy every thing that breathes is actually nothing more than a “figure of that which was to come”, which is: “Thou shalt love thine enemies”. The type and shadow is always completely opposed to the anti- type, the end product, just as the first man Adam is completely opposed to the last man Adam”.
Therefore, Deu 20:16 is a type and shadow of how we are to destroy every “power and principality” within us which exalts itself against the knowledge of the True God who will have all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth.

Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men, to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

It is impossible for the natural man to receive it. Nevertheless, the Truth remains, that by losing our life we find life, and that is the anti- type, the reality, which is foreshadowed by the carnal commandment ‘you shall save alive nothing that breathes,’
So this book of Ecclesiastes is an inspired book which is designed, just like the book of Job, to give us a deep understanding of the futility of our natural desire to preserve our physical bodies of sinful flesh and blood. This book is designed to reveal to us the vanity of the entire physical realm, and mankind’s temporary place within that physical realm. Even if one is a physical king in that physical realm, which is exactly how we all see ourselves as being, as God’s temple we all first reside as “that man of sin”.

2Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
2Th 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
2Th 2:5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?

According to 1Co 3:16-17 we are that “temple of God”, and it is our old, first man Adam, who is sitting in that temple “showing himself that He is God”.

2Th 2:6 And now ye know what withholdeth [ the revelation of “the son of perdition”, verse 3] that he might be revealed in his time.
2Th 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth [ withholds] will let [ withhold], until he be taken out of the way.
2Th 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

Here is this same vain man as he is revealed to us in the Old Testament:

Isa 14:4 That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased!
Isa 14:13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
Isa 14:14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
Eze 28:2 Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God:

All of this is what happened to King Solomon, who is just another type of who we all are in our beginning as we come to understand that it is we must live by every word of God, and we must come to understand the fact that all things are ours.

Ecc 1:12 I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem.

When we are given to understand that physical Israel and physical Jerusalem are nothing more than types and shadows of spiritual Israel, with its spiritual capital, then we can begin to understand that spiritual Israel is typified by “Israel which now is and is in bondage with her children”, as well as “Jerusalem… above which is the mother of us all”.
Here is how Paul compares spiritual things to spiritual concerning this matter of being king over Israel in Jerusalem.

Gal 4:1 Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;
Gal 4:2 But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.
Gal 4:3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:
Gal 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
Gal 4:5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

After reprimanding these Galatian Gentiles for placing themselves back under the law after once being free from it, Paul gives us these very revealing words:

Gal 4:22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
Gal 4:23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
Gal 4:24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.
Gal 4:25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
Gal 4:26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

It becomes clear that the ‘Israel’ and the ‘Jerusalem’ of this 12th verse, are being used in their negative application, as a type and shadow of Babylon the Great,. and this is justt one more statement from the perspective of being “under the sun”, or “under the heaven” as it is worded in verse 13:

Ecc 1:13 And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith. (KJV)

The word ‘exercised’ should be ‘humble’

Let’s look at this 13th verse in the Concordant Literal Version:

Ecc 1:13 I applied my heart to inquiring and exploring by wisdom concerning all that is done under the heavens: it is an experience of evil Elohim has given to the sons of humanity to humble them by it. (CLV)

The Hebrew word which is translated as ‘exercised’ here in the KJV, is the word ‘anah’. I am struck with how the vast majority of the translations choose to translate the Hebrew word ‘anah’ with words like ‘busy, business, exercise, exercised, afflict, afflicted, trouble, and troubled’, instead of the word ‘humble’, which is a much better translation of the Hebrew word ‘anah’.
Young’s Literal is another of the few who have wisely chosen to translate that Hebrew word ‘anah’ as ‘humble’, which in light of the definition of that word, is a much better translation.
Here is Young’s Literal Version of this 13th verse:

Ecc 1:13 And I have given my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom concerning all that hath been done under the heavens. It is a sad travail God hath given to the sons of man to be humbled by it. (YLT)

Here now, is the Strong’s entry for the Hebrew word ‘anah’.
H6031
×¢× ×”
‛ânâh
aw- naw’
A primitive root (possibly rather identical with H6030 through the idea of looking down or browbeating); to depress literally or figuratively, transitively or intransitively (in various applications). (sing is by mistake for H6030.): – abase self, afflict (- ion, self), answer [ by mistake for H6030], chasten self, deal hardly with, defile, exercise, force, gentleness, humble (self), hurt, ravish, sing [ by mistake for H6030], speak [ by mistake for H6030], submit self, weaken, X in any wise.
Here are the various translations given this word in the King James Version:
H6031
×¢× ×”
‛ânâh
Total KJV Occurrences: 83
afflict, 29
Gen_15:13, Gen_31:50, Exo_1:11, Exo_22:22-23 (2), Lev_16:29, Lev_16:31, Lev_23:27, Lev_23:32, Num_24:24 (2), Num_29:7, Num_30:13, Jdg_16:5-6 (2), Jdg_16:19, 2Sa_7:10, 1Ki_11:39, 2Ch_6:26, Ezr_8:21, Job_37:23, Psa_55:19, Psa_89:22, Isa_58:5 (2), Isa_64:12, Lam_3:33, Nah_1:12, Zep_3:19
afflicted, 21
Exo_1:12, Lev_23:29, Deu_26:6, 1Ki_2:26 (2), 2Ki_17:20, Job_30:11, Psa_88:7, Psa_90:15, Psa_107:17, Psa_116:10, Psa_119:67, Psa_119:71, Psa_119:75, Psa_119:107, Isa_53:4, Isa_53:7, Isa_58:3, Isa_58:10, Isa_60:14, Nah_1:12
humbled, 7
Deu_8:3, Deu_21:14, Deu_22:24, Deu_22:29, Psa_35:13, Eze_22:10-11 (2)
forced, 4
Jdg_20:5, 2Sa_13:14, 2Sa_13:22, 2Sa_13:32
humble, 4
Exo_10:3, Deu_8:2, Deu_8:16, Jdg_19:24
exercised, 2
Ecc_1:13, Ecc_3:10
sing, 2
Exo_32:18, Isa_27:2
abase, 1
Isa_31:4
afflictest, 1
1Ki_8:35
afflictions, 1
Psa_132:1
chasten, 1
Dan_10:12
defiled, 1
Gen_34:2
force, 1
2Sa_13:12
gentleness, 1
2Sa_22:36
hardly, 1
Gen_16:6
hurt, 1
Psa_105:18
ravished, 1
Lam_5:11
submit, 1
Gen_16:9
troubled, 1
Zec_10:2
weakened, 1
Psa_102:23
wise, 1
Exo_22:23 (2)

‘Afflict’ and ‘afflicted’ account for 50 of the total 83 occurrences of this word as it is translated in the King James Version. The most common way of translating a word often gives us a much better understanding of scripture, but that is not always true for some very critical words, like the Greek word ‘aion’ and the Hebrew word ‘olawm’. The most common translations of those words are very misleading, because they are most commonly translated in a way that makes them both appear to be speaking of eternity, when in reality they both carry with them the concept of a period of time with a definite beginning and a definite end.
The same is true for this Hebrew word ‘anah’. It is most commonly translated as ‘afflict’, and as ‘afflicted’, when in reality it carries with it the concept of being “beaten down” and “abased”, or “humbled”. It is erroneously translated ‘exercised’ only two times, one of which is here in Ecc 1:13.
Here is just one verse where this word is properly translated as ‘humbled’.

Deu 8:3 And he humbled [ Hebrew – anah] thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.

Anyone in whom Christ truly dwells will be humbled simply because Christ knows that He can of Himself do nothing. Here are Christ’s own words to that effect:

Joh 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

Here are a couple more verses which demonstrate that this word is best translated as ‘humble’:

Gen 16:6 But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thy hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly [ H6031 – ‘anah’] with her, she fled from her face.
Gen 16:9 And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself [ H6031 – ‘anah’] under her hands.

“Dealt hardly” in verse 6, and “submit thyself” in verse 7 are both translated from the single Hebrew word ‘anah’. Is not verse 6 telling us that Sarai humiliated her maid to force her to leave? Is not the angel of the Lord telling Hagar to humble herself under Sarai? Clearly this word is best translated with that thought generally in mind.
Christ was the meekest, most humble man who has ever lived. Everything He did, He did to please His Father and not Himself, and yet just like Moses and all the prophets of God, Christ spoke as one having authority:

Mat 7:28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:
Mat 7:29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

So being humble does not exclude speaking with authority. Anyone who truly knows God and His Son will always be very humble, and yet they will also speak with authority and denounce the unfruitful works of darkness. In doing so they, just like their Savior, will always be accused of “taking too much upon themselves [ and] lift[ ing him] self” up above the congregation of the Lord”, but that is our calling. That is what we are to expect, and that is “an experience of evil” to which those who follow our Lord will humble themselves and endure.
Moses endured this very humbling ‘experience of evil’ as an example to us:

Num 16:1 Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men:
Num 16:2 And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown:
Num 16:3 And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD?

It is humiliating to have ” two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown”, accuse you of being a proud and vain person who simply wants to have the preeminence among the people when the Truth is that you are not the least bit interested in being recognized of men.
So the Young’s Literal Translation and the Concordant Literal Version are much better translations of this verse than most of the translations which are available to us. Here is the Young’s Literal Translation of this 13th verse of Ecclesiastes one:

Ecc 1:13 And I have given my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom concerning all that hath been done under the heavens. It is a sad [ Hebrew – ‘ra’, evil] travail [ Hebrew – ‘inyan’] God hath given to the sons of man to be humbled by it. (YLT)

‘Travail’ can properly be translated as ‘experience’

While ‘travail’ is generally the best translation of the Hebrew word ‘inyan’ in this verse, it is also acceptable to use the word ‘experience’ as the Concordant Literal Version does.
Here is Strong’s definition of the Hebrew word ‘inyan’:

‛inyân
in- yawn’
From H6031; ado, that is, (generally) employment or (specifically) an affair: – business, travail.
This Hebrew word ‘inyan’ comes “from H6031”, the primative root ‘anah’, which is the very same word we just demonstrated should have been translated as ‘humble’ instead of ‘exercised’ in this very same verse.
H6031
×¢× ×”
‛ânâh
aw- naw’
A primitive root (possibly rather identical with H6030 through the idea of looking down or browbeating);

So the Hebrew words for ‘travail’, and ‘humble’ in this verse have the same root, the “primitive root” word ‘anah’, which means ‘to humble’ or ‘to be humbled’. So we could say ‘It is… a humbling God has given to the sons of men to be humbled by it’.

‘Ra’ should be translated ‘evil’

But because the word ‘ra’ is used with the word ‘inyan’, to tell us what kind of experience this particular humbling is, it is proper for the Concordant Literal Version to translate as “it is an experience of evil Elohim has given to the sons of humanity to humble them by it”. So Young’s Literal Translation misses the proper translation of the Hebrew word ‘ra’, which Young has translated as ‘sad’ in this verse.
To make this point let’s read one more time how Young has translated this word ‘ra’ here in verse 13:

Ecc 1:13 And I have given my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom concerning all that hath been done under the heavens. It is a sad [ Hebrew – ‘ra’, evil] travail God hath given to the sons of man to be humbled by it. (YLT)

The word he has translated as ‘sad’, and which the King James translates as ‘sore’, is the Hebrew word ‘ra’, and that word should definitely be translated as ‘evil’, not ‘sad’ or ‘sore’. One can be ‘sad’ or ‘sore’ without being ‘evil’. But we are being informed that God has made men wicked, and He has given mankind an evil experience for mankind’s “day of evil… to be humbled by it”. This is completely consistent with what Solomon had already written earlier in the book of Proverbs:

Pro 16:4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil [ Hebrew – ‘ra’].

In this verse also the word ‘evil’ is translated from the Hebrew word ‘ra’.
Here is Strong’s definition of this Hebrew word, ‘ra’.

H7451
רעהרע
ra‛ râ‛âh
rah, raw- aw’

From H7489; bad or ( as noun) evil (naturally or morally). This includes the second (feminine) form; as adjective or noun: – adversity, affliction, bad, calamity, + displease (- ure), distress, evil ([- favouredness], man, thing), + exceedingly, X great, grief (- vous), harm, heavy, hurt (- ful), ill (favoured), + mark, mischief, (- vous), misery, naught (- ty), noisome, + not please, sad (- ly), sore, sorrow, trouble, vex, wicked (- ly, – ness, one), worse (- st) wretchedness, wrong. [ Including feminine ra’ah; as adjective or noun.]
This is the same word translated as ‘evil’ in this verse of scripture:

Gen 2:9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil [ Hebrew – H7451, ‘ra’]

So the Concordant Literal Version got it right:

Ecc 1:13 I applied my heart to inquiring and exploring by wisdom concerning all that is done under the heavens: it is an experience of evil Elohim has given to the sons of humanity to humble them by it.

The name ‘Yahweh’ never appears in this book

The name ‘Elohim’ is used in scripture to refer to both God and to Pagan Elohim. This name according to e- sword, appears 39 time in this book of Ecclesiastes.

Ecc_1:13, Ecc_2:24, Ecc_2:26, Ecc_3:10-11 (2), Ecc_3:13-15 (4), Ecc_3:17-18 (2), Ecc_5:1-2 (3), Ecc_5:4, Ecc_5:6-7 (2), Ecc_5:18-20 (4), Ecc_6:2 (2), Ecc_7:13-14 (2), Ecc_7:18, Ecc_7:26, Ecc_7:29, Ecc_8:2, Ecc_8:12-13 (2), Ecc_8:15, Ecc_8:17, Ecc_9:1, Ecc_9:7, Ecc_11:5, Ecc_11:9, Ecc_12:7, Ecc_12:13-14 (2)

But the name ‘Yahweh’, by which God revealed Himself to His special people, does not appear one time in this book. This is an indication of the state of mind Solomon was given when he was writing this book. Neither Solomon nor any of the Old Testament prophets knew Christ or His Father.
Christ put it in these words:

Mat 13:17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

He goes on to tell us something very few people know or believe to this very day:

Joh 5:37 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.

What Christ is telling us here is that no one in the Old Testament ever knew the Father: “You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form [ at any time].” Yet most Christians believe to this day that ‘Yahweh’ of the Old Testament was God the Father.
Peter confirms for us that no one in the Old Testament understood “the mysteries of the kingdom of God”, which mysteries God is in the process of establishing:

1Pe 1:9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
1Pe 1:10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:
1Pe 1:11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
1Pe 1:12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

Not understanding that God is making a new Adam, and that the death and destruction of the first Adam is the channel through which the last Adam is birthed, Solomon, as the type of each of us when we do not know this, or we fail to remember it, again laments:

Ecc 1:14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.

Like Job, Solomon is contending with God for giving mankind “an experience of evil to humble him” and then just letting him die, all for no apparent purpose from the perspective of “That which has been done under the sun”.
It was Christ Himself who confirmed this to us:

Mat 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Solomon has not yet been granted faith to believe in another life. He is exactly what the apostle Paul tells us we are if we do not believe in a glorious resurrection from among the dead:

1Co 15:19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

All our old man lives for is this life, and that in the end is a very empty and miserable existence. From that desperate, empty and vain perspective, he continues to lament:

Ecc 1:15 That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.

From the perspective of ‘that which has been done under the sun”, Solomon is exactly right, “That which is crooked cannot be made straight”. God told Job that he had no power over either behemoth or leviathan, and Solomon is simply acknowledging that truth:

Job 40:15 Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox.
Job 40:16 Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly.
Job 40:17 He moveth his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together.
Job 40:18 His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron.
Job 40:19 He is the chief of the ways of God: he that made him can make his sword to approach unto him.

Only He who made behemoth can make His sword approach him and destroy him.
The same is true for leviathan:

Job 41:1 Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook? or his tongue with a cord which thou lettest down?
Job 41:2 Canst thou put an hook into his nose? or bore his jaw through with a thorn?
Job 41:3 Will he make many supplications unto thee? will he speak soft words unto thee?
Job 41:4 Will he make a covenant with thee? wilt thou take him for a servant for ever?
Job 41:5 Wilt thou play with him as with a bird? or wilt thou bind him for thy maidens?
Job 41:6 Shall the companions make a banquet of him? shall they part him among the merchants?
Job 41:7 Canst thou fill his skin with barbed irons? or his head with fish spears?
Job 41:8 Lay thine hand upon him, remember the battle, do no more.
Job 41:9 Behold, the hope of him is in vain: shall not one be cast down even at the sight of him?
Job 41:10 None is so fierce that dare stir him up: who then is able to stand before me?
Job 41:11 Who hath prevented me, that I should repay him? whatsoever is under the whole heaven is mine.

Solomon had no doubt who it is who makes things crooked. In this very same book he tells us:

Ecc 7:13 Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked?

This again, agrees with Job:

Job 26:13 By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent.

You and I have no control over behemoth nor leviathan. That is the meaning of “that which is wanting cannot be numbered”. We are all extremely “wanting” when it comes to controlling the beastly, rebellious, carnal mind within us.
But both behemoth and leviathan are made by our Lord and our Lord owns both: “Whatsoever is under the whole heaven is mine.”

Ecc 1:16 I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.

Our Lord Himself refers to all the glory Solomon, who is a type of our own carnal Christian life and of the great harlot within us all:

Mat 6:28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
Mat 6:29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

Solomon is “king over Israel in Jerusalem” is the perfect type of who we are while we are in league with the great harlot. We have everything and yet we feel empty and vain, and life is nothing more than a miserable, vexation:

Ecc 1:17 And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit.

Here is how Christ Himself describes us at this juncture of our walk:

Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

But Solomon has apostatized, as we all do before we are all brought to our wits’ end. It is when we are at our “wits’ end” that we lament with Solomon:

Ecc 1:18 For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

When we are healed of the deadly wound we all receive when we first come to our Lord, we again become a healthy beast who is “two fold more the child of hell”. So our old man still has to “go into perdition” before he can be saved:

Mat 23:15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! [ the great harlot] for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

It is at this time in our walk that we can indeed increase wisdom and knowledge, and yet be nothing more than “carnal babes in Christ” who know so much and yet do not know the Truth:

2Ti 3:7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
2Ti 3:8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

We have all ‘been there and done that’, and in that sense we are filled with the grief and sorrow, which comes with believing the lies which underlie our carnal, self- righteous wisdom and our twisted, faithless, immature ‘knowledge’.
Here is where we all are at our own appointed time, all the while, thinking that we are mature Christians who know Christ very well:

1Co 1:1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,
1Co 1:2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

All this time the Truth is that we have nothing more than our own wisdom which increases grief and our own knowledge which increases sorrow:

1Co 1:5 That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;
1Co 1:6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:
1Co 1:7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:

It is hard for us to understand how we can “believe on [ Christ] and yet want to kill Him (Joh 8:31-41).

Joh 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
Joh 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Joh 8:33 They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?
Joh 8:34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
Joh 8:35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.
Joh 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
Joh 8:37 I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.

We are all the “servant [ who does] not [ abide] in the house forever”. We actually “believe on [ Christ], we gladly listen to His parables, and we are more than willing to be healed of Him and receive of His loaves and His fishes. We all love physical blessings, and doctrines which teach about nothing but physical blessings. But when He tells us “the flesh profits nothing… My words are spirit… [ then we all] go back and walk no more with Him”, and in a very short time we “seek to kill [ Him] thinking [ we] do God a service.”

Joh 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
Joh 6:64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.
Joh 6:65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
Joh 6:66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

We do not believe that it is possible to believe on Christ and yet want to kill Him. We read John six and John eight, and we think, ‘Wow! What incredibly foolish and ungrateful people those Jews were. We do not see or hear the fact that these are words which we must and which we do live out in our own “one event… to all men” (Ecc 9:2) lives.
So after being told that we are ‘sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, confirming the testimony of Christ, and that we come behind in no gift’ it is hard for us to believe that in reality we are still nothing more than “carnal babes in Christ”, who want the True Christ dead in our lives.

1Co 3:2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
1Co 3:3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
1Co 3:4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

It is at this point that we have been bewitched and our wisdom brings us grief and our knowledge just increases our sorrow, simply because it is all tainted with “another gospel” and “another Jesus”, and God is in the process of revealing this deception to us.

Gal 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
2Co 11:4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

None of us enjoys eating crow, and being forced to admit that everything we have ever believed is filled with lies, but this is just an essential part of the “one event” (Ecc 9:2), which is common to all men.
Solomon Himself, before his apostasy encourages us to get wisdom and knowledge:

Pro 4:5 Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.
Pro 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
Pro 16:16 How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!
Pro 2:10 When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul;
Pro 2:11 Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:
Pro 2:12 To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things;

So it is knowledge from an “under the Sun”, carnal, self- righteous, immature perspective which ‘increases grief and sorrow’ with no mention or understanding of ‘rejoicing in trials or being thankful for being counted worthy to suffer with Christ for His name’s sake. It is only with such a carnal, apostate mind that we can say “all is vanity and a vexation of spirit”.
Next week, if the Lord wills, we will learn how empty and tormented our lives become when we are seduced by a gospel which teaches us of nothing but physical blessing in physical bodies which are only ‘under the sun’ and are not ‘seated with Christ in the heavens’ (Eph 2:6). We will see how the prophets of the Old Testament sought so much to know what we have been given to know, and could not know it:

Ecc 2:1 I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity.
Ecc 2:2 I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it?
Ecc 2:3 I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine, yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life.
Ecc 2:4 I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards:
Ecc 2:5 I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits:
Ecc 2:6 I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees:
Ecc 2:7 I got me servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of great and small cattle above all that were in Jerusalem before me:
Ecc 2:8 I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts.
Ecc 2:9 So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me.
Ecc 2:10 And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour.
Ecc 2:11 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.
Ecc 2:12 And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly: for what can the man do that cometh after the king? even that which hath been already done.
Ecc 2:13 Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness.

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