Ecclesiastes 6:1-6 “Do Not All Go To One Place?”

Audio Links

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Video Links


Ecc 6:1 There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is common among men:

Ecc 6:2 A man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and honour, so that he wanteth nothing for his soul of all that he desireth, yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eateth it: this is vanity, and it is an evil disease.

Ecc 6:3 If a man beget an hundred children, and live many years, so that the days of his years be many, and his soul be not filled with good, and also that he have no burial; I say, that an untimely birth is better than he.

Ecc 6:4 For he cometh in with vanity, and departeth in darkness, and his name shall be covered with darkness.

Ecc 6:5 Moreover he hath not seen the sun, nor known any thing: this hath more rest than the other.

Ecc 6:6 Yea, though he live a thousand years twice told, yet hath he seen no good: do not all go to one place?

Introduction

In our last study King Solomon told us this:

Ecc 5:19 Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God.

Ecc 5:20 For he shall not much remember the days of his life; because God answereth him in the joy of his heart.

He shall not much remember the days [ including the fiery trials] of his life” because God answers him [ when he prays to God] in the joy of his heart”. So there is a rich man whose heart is set on serving God, who uses his riches to glorify his maker, and it produces “joy [ in] his heart”.

This accords with what Solomon had written earlier in the book of Proverbs:

Pro 3:1 My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:

Pro 3:2 For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.

The contrast between the tone of these two books becomes pronounced when we notice the paucity of admonitions in this book of Ecclesiastes to remember the law of God, fear Him and keep His commandments and reap the benefits of doing so. The book of Proverbs, written when Solomon was in the typical “first love” stage of his relationship with God, brims with the benefits of being faithful to a loving heavenly Father:

Pro 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Pro 1:8 My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:

Pro 1:9 For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.

The book of Proverbs also speaks of the curses that befall those who are not faithful.

Pro 1:10 My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.

Pro 1:11 If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause:

Pro 1:12 Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit:

Pro 1:13 We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil:

Pro 1:14 Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse:

Pro 1:15 My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path:

Pro 1:16 For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.

Pro 1:17 Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.

Pro 1:18 And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives.

Pro 1:19 So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.

This book of Ecclesiastes, on the other hand, is lacking that contrast between the benefits of obedience to God and the curses of disobedience, and instead simply bemoans the fate of our old man and reflects the hopelessness of an apostatized king who is in the typical “great falling away” phase of his relationship with God.

Ecc 1:1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.

Ecc 1:2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.

Ecc 1:3 What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?

These first three verses set the tone of this book as the words of our doomed, self- righteous, old, first- man Adam. They are the refrain we are all given when we fall away from the grace of God and leave our first love for “the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches.”

2Th 2:2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

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;

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?

Rev 2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

Our “first love” is the initial “deadly wound” inflicted by the sword of the Word of God upon the beast within us.

Rev 13:14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

Eph 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

The “great falling away” is the ‘loss of our first love’, and the destruction of the “man of sin” within us is the repentance of that loss of our first love, which is also the reinstating of the deadly wound which God’s Word inflicts upon the beast within us.

Once again, King Solomon, as the type of our rebellious “old man”, has only the ability to see the evil in this life. He sees no purpose in all of the evil of this world. He cannot receive the “things of the spirit” (1Co 2:14). This rebellious, resentful spirit dominates the thoughts of our typical, doomed, old man, who is foreshadowed by the apostate King Solomon, who has chosen the fear of his wives and their gods over the fear of the one true God.

This “great falling away” is a part of the “one event [ which] comes alike to all men” (Ecc 9:2). As with physical Israel, the Old Testament type of God’s elect, there are only a few who will “lose their first love… fall away” and then repent of that ‘falling away” and have their “deadly wound” to the beast within restored, and they experience the birth of the new man within renewed.

We read the words “twice dead, plucked up by the roots”, and we forget Ecc 9:2, Mat 4:4 and Rev 1:3, and we think of that part of God’s word as applying only to some very evil person in the past, the present or the future, but always someone else who is ‘out there’ or ‘over there’, anyone, anywhere besides you or me, here and now.

Jdg 1:12 These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;

The Truth is that it is only those who have died twice and are plucked up by the roots as Job was, who will have that “deadly wound” restored and who will “live… by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” in this age, who will be in that “blessed and holy first resurrection” to rule the nations of this world with a rod of iron, followed by being a lake of fire as the pillars in the temple of God through whom all men must pass to come to know their loving heavenly Father.

Jas 5:11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

Mat 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

So even after acknowledging that God does give some men “riches and wealth, and… power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour”, Solomon’s inability to see anything beyond this life causes him to continue his miserable dirge:

Ecc 6:1 There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is common among men:

The one thing that is constant in both Proverbs and Ecclesiastes is the acknowledged sovereignty of God. On this point Solomon is consistent and never wavers. This fact alone helps to explain the sense of hopelessness he must be experiencing. King Solomon is who we are when we, too, know that even our sins are the work of “the law of sin” which God Himself has, by His design, placed within the members of everyone in Adam. Like King Solomon, we all despair of this life when we come to acknowledge the utter helplessness of where the Lord has placed us in these bodies of “sinful flesh”.

Rom 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

Rom 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

King Solomon knows that even all the evil in our lives is a work which the Lord has caused to take place within our lives:

Pro 16:4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

Pro 20:24 Man’s goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?

Pro 21:1 The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.

Isa 63:17 O LORD, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear? Return for thy servants’ sake, the tribes of thine inheritance.

What Solomon cannot understand is why God has made mankind “wicked for the day of evil”. He has no idea that this is true of all men, and just as all men first do, Solomon believes that “the wicked” is someone other than himself. So he laments that there is:

Ecc 6:2 A man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and honour, so that he wanteth nothing for his soul of all that he desireth, yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eateth it: this is vanity, and it is an evil disease.

In a spiritual sense, this is what happened to King Solomon, as it happens to all men. Spiritually we are all, in our own time, given to know God, and thereby we are all the recipients of a deadly wound to the old man within us. The impoverishing of our old man is the riches of our new man. Therefore King Solomon was, at one time in type, spiritually rich and was given to write the book of Proverbs, which to this very day is so full of spiritual riches for those who are able to receive them. But while they were written down, his son Rehoboam, as with all children, was more influenced by his father’s example than by his father’s words. So in spiritual terms Solomon was not given to eat of the spiritual “riches, wealth and honor” he himself had been given by God. His foolish son inherited his kingdom and immediately, through very poor and unproven counsel, lost the ten northern tribes of Israel to “Jereboam the son of Nebat” who had been a servant of King Solomon. “A man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and honour, so that he wanteth nothing for his soul of all that he desireth, yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eateth it“, was a prophecy of what happened to King Solomon and his own son.

Solomon himself had prophesied:

Pro 17:2 A wise servant shall have rule over a son that causeth shame, and shall have part of the inheritance among the brethren.

So spiritually he is again prophesying against himself when he says these words:

Ecc 6:3 If a man beget an hundred children, and live many years, so that the days of his years be many, and his soul be not filled with good, and also that he have no burial; I say, that an untimely birth is better than he.

The scriptures make it clear that “length of days” are sometimes in God’s providence, physically given to the wicked as well as the righteous. But spiritually “length of days” symbolizes life eonian, and that is never given to the wicked. “No burial” in its physical sense means he cannot afford a decent funeral, but his poverty also has the spiritual significance of a rebellious “old man” whose life was “not filled with good”, and in that sense his old man never died and ‘had no burial’. Truly, for such a one, “an untimely birth is better…”

Ecc 6:4 For he cometh in with vanity, and departeth in darkness, and his name shall be covered with darkness.

Ecc 6:5 Moreover he hath not seen the sun, nor known any thing: this hath more rest than the other.

This “untimely birth” has more rest than the man whose “soul be not filled with good” typifies how we all “come in[ to] this world” in clay vessels “marred in the hand of the Potter” (Jer 18:4), which by design “have no good within [ them]”. The life of the man whose “soul [ is] not filled with good” and whose rebellious old man, “has no burial” while in these earthen vessels, “comes in with vanity, and departs in darkness”, never knowing Christ or His Father. The “name [ of the old man within us all] shall be covered with darkness” and will be remembered no more.

Job 24:20 The womb shall forget him; the worm shall feed sweetly on him; he shall be no more remembered; and wickedness shall be broken as a tree.

Eze 21:32 Thou shalt be for fuel to the fire; thy blood shall be in the midst of the land; thou shalt be no more remembered: for I the LORD have spoken it.

Jer 18:4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.

Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

But God is indeed in the process of “making it another vessel, as seems good to the Potter to make it”, and this is the vessel it “seems good to the Potter to make it”:

1Co 15:46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.

1Co 15:47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.

1Co 15:48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.

1Co 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

1Co 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

Here is the Old Testament version of “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God”:

Ecc 6:6 Yea, though he live a thousand years twice told, yet hath he seen no good: do not all go to one place?

Yes, the scriptures are clear, “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God”, and all flesh must return to the dust from whence it was formed “in the lowest parts of the earth” which is what King David calls the flesh of our mothers’ wombs:

Psa 139:15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

Here is King David’s view of our birth into these “marred vessels of clay:

Psa 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Job was given the hope of a resurrection beyond this body of sinful flesh, but it appears an apostate King Solomon had very little hope of a resurrection from the dead or a life after this life.

Job 19:26 And after my skin, even this body, is destroyed, Then without my flesh shall I see God; (ASV)

“Do not all go to one place?” The grave seemed to be the end to him at this time in his life. The benefits of hope were lost on apostate King Solomon, and as the Old Testament type of our old man, he had no hope.

Rom 8:24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?

Rom 8:25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

1Co 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

Heb 6:8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.

2Pe 2:12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;

This all sounds so dire and so final. For these clay vessels, it is the end, but the end of the natural man is the birth of the spiritual man, and that is the meaning of “In your patience possess ye your souls”, and “ Here is the patience and the faith of the saints“.

Luk 21:19 In your patience possess ye your souls.

Rev 13:7 And it was given unto him [ the beast within us all] to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Rev 13:9 If any man have an ear, let him hear.

Rev 13:10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

Rev 14:9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,

Rev 14:10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

Rev 14:11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

Rev 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Since “no man [ can] enter into the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels is fulfilled”, it is clear that enduring those “seven last plagues of the wrath of God” upon the kingdom of our old man “is the patience of the saints… the keep[ ing] of the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus”. It is all the destruction of our old man, but it is also the beginning of the birth of the new man within us all:

1Co 15:47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.

1Co 15:48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.

1Co 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

Yes, it must come through the fire of the fiery sword which guards the way of the Tree of Life, but our fiery judgment is our salvation and the birth of Christ within us.

In our next study in this book of Ecclesiastes, Lord willing, we will discover who it is “who knows what is good for a man in this life”.

Ecc 6:7 All the labour of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled.

Ecc 6:8 For what hath the wise more than the fool? what hath the poor, that knoweth to walk before the living?

Ecc 6:9 Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire: this is also vanity and vexation of spirit.

Ecc 6:10 That which hath been is named already, and it is known that it is man: neither may he contend with him that is mightier than he.

Ecc 6:11 Seeing there be many things that increase vanity, what is man the better?

Ecc 6:12 For who knoweth what is good for man in this life, all the days of his vain life which he spendeth as a shadow? for who can tell a man what shall be after him under the sun?

Other related posts