Saturday, 7 August 2010

Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon

It says that Ecclesiastes is written by David the “Preacher.”

It is merely ‘David’ writing an autobiography with sage advice for his readers.

He obviously regrets some of the silly things he did in his youth and he advocates taking life seriously and preparing for the future.

Edit 30 October 2015:
This book of the King James version of the Old Testament must not be conflated with the Book of Ecclesiasticus which is contained in the Apocrypha, the set of books that were excluded from the final version. This book contains more of the triteness of Ecclesiastes, which is why I, and I am sure other writers have become confused. For example:
Ecclesiastes. 25:13 Give me any plague, but the plague of the heart and any wickedness, but the wickedness of a woman.  
Ecclesiastes. 25:22 Of the woman came the beginning of sin, and through her we all die.  
Ecclesiastes. 25 26; If she go not as thou wouldest have her, cut her off from thy flesh, and give her a bill of divorce, and let her go.  
Ecclesiastes. 26:9-10 The whoredom of a woman may be known in her haughty looks and eyelids. If thy daughter be shameless, keep her in straitly, lest she abuse herself through overmuch liberty.  
Ecclesiastes. 26:14-15 A silent and loving woman is a gift of the Lord and there is nothing so much worth as a mind well instructed. A shamefaced and faithful woman is a double grace, and her continent mind cannot be valued.  
Ecclesiastes.26:25  A shameless woman shall be counted as a dog; but she that is shamefaced will fear the Lord.
Ecclesiastes. 42:13-14 For from garments cometh a moth, and from women wickedness. Better is the churlishness of a man than a courteous woman, a woman, I say, which bringeth shame and reproach.  
See comments below for the post that brought this error to my attention.

Song of Solomon appears written in the throes of a love affair, sometimes it seems that the writer is speaking to a male lover and at others to a female.

It seems to be the words of Solomon, (we know that he had vast numbers of women) but, living in the more liberal 21st century, is it possible that he also had male lovers. It wouldn’t have been unusual considering the time, even though God declared it to be an abomination, or are the the words of one of his women.

It is a little erotic and even quite stirring, not an unpleasant read at all. It demonstrates that life in ancient Jerusalem wasn’t only all about religion and God’s wrath, or that Solomon was more of a lover than a fighter:
Song of Solomon 7:11-13 Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages. Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth there will I give thee my loves. The mandrakes give a smell, and at our gates are all manner of pleasant fruits, new and old, which I have laid up for thee, O my beloved. 

7 comments:

  1. It is addressed to his lover Jonathan, with the possible exception of one or two verses. 1 Samuel 20:40-41. 2 Samuel 1:26.

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  2. david didn't write ecclesiastes, solomon did. nice try tho.

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  3. Ecclesiastes has 12 chapters, so where do you get your quotes from chapters 25, 26 and 42?

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  4. Look at this website:

    http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Ecclesiasticus-25-13/

    "Give me any plague, but the plague of the heart: and any wickedness, but the wickedness of a woman:

    - King James Bible "Authorized Version", Cambridge Edition"

    Which is another reason why the Bible cannot be infallible. Some editions have whole chapters that are simply omitted.

    Just google anything you don't find in one edition, you'll find it on the internet.

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    Replies
    1. Ivy, I personally have a King James Version and a KJV "authorized addition". There are no such chapters. None of any of the Bible's translations have anything past a 12th chapter. Perhaps you could frequent your nearest bookstore and buy yourself a Bible. You wouldn't even have to buy it, if you don't want to. You could just go and pick one up (the version you are speaking of, which you claim exists in the form you read it online, which I believe is "- King James Bible 'Authorized Version', Cambridge Edition" as you wrote). Just pick it up and turn it to Ecclesiastes.

      I can promise you, you will see that only chapter 1-12 exist and were written. No other chapters to Ecclesiastes exist that are in any translation of the Holy Bible.

      What you have read has been made up.

      If your nearest bookstore does not have that version of the Bible, you should try Barnes and Noble. I personally know they have them. That is where I bought my last one. You could also see if any of your local churches have one.

      And if all else fails, or is not an option, I am more than happy to send you my version.

      -artimisrok@yahoo.com

      Delete
    2. Ivy, I personally have a King James Version and a KJV "authorized addition". There are no such chapters. None of any of the Bible's translations have anything past a 12th chapter. Perhaps you could frequent your nearest bookstore and buy yourself a Bible. You wouldn't even have to buy it, if you don't want to. You could just go and pick one up (the version you are speaking of, which you claim exists in the form you read it online, which I believe is "- King James Bible 'Authorized Version', Cambridge Edition" as you wrote). Just pick it up and turn it to Ecclesiastes.

      I can promise you, you will see that only chapter 1-12 exist and were written. No other chapters to Ecclesiastes exist that are in any translation of the Holy Bible.

      What you have read has been made up.

      If your nearest bookstore does not have that version of the Bible, you should try Barnes and Noble. I personally know they have them. That is where I bought my last one. You could also see if any of your local churches have one.

      And if all else fails, or is not an option, I am more than happy to send you my version.

      -artimisrok@yahoo.com

      Delete
    3. If you look at the website at http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Apocrypha-Books/, you see that this chapter is taken, not from the book Ecclesiastes, but from one of the books of the Apocrypha, i.e. the books that were deleted from the KJV in the final editing, as explained by
      "The apocrypha is a selection of books which were published in the original 1611 King James Bible. These apocryphal books were positioned between the Old and New Testament (it also contained maps and geneologies). The apocrypha was a part of the KJV for 274 years until being removed in 1885 A.D. A portion of these books were called deuterocanonical books by some entities, such as the Catholic church.

      Many claim the apocrypha should never have been included in the first place, raising doubt about its validity and believing it was not God-inspired (for instance, a reference about magic seems inconsistent with the rest of the Bible: Tobit chapter 6, verses 5-8)."

      Thank you for your kind offer of your Bible. But I have more than sufficient of them for my purposes.

      The standard version, the one that is distributed, and which has been in circulation for centuries DOES NOT contain the Apocrypha. Perhaps my discussion of Ecclesiasticus was a little confusing placed as it was under the title of the Book of Ecclesiastes. This discussion is merely to demonstrate that the Bible as we see it today, is not the complete text translated during King James I's reign, it is an abridged version. The Apocrypha is not "made up" as you say, but rather deleted, removed from the original for the reasons given: the translators thought it was not "God-inspired" so they simply excluded it.

      Delete