ECCLESIASTES

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ECCLESIASTES 5

Verse 1 Translation: ‘Take care of thy steps when thou goest to the house of God…’ When you go to
the house of God the steps signify the condition of your heart. It tells how humbly you are, how repentant
of your sins you are, how glad you are, how obedient you are, how refined you are, etc. The Hindus can
tell all these things by the way they walk in the temples. Don’t be haughty and proud. Anybody can go
and buy a lamb and give a sacrifice and have not repentance or anything inside. Any fool does that.
Giving a lamb is an outward sign of inward repentance. It says don’t do like the fool but listen to God and
then do what He says.
Keep thy foot, renewed mind. ‘Keep thy foot’—to take care of thy steps. The spiritual meaning is to
take care of your thoughts when you go to the house of God. Keep thought in harmony with the spirit.
Bring them into subjection. Stay your mind on spiritual things so that you will ‘be more ready to hear’
God. Eliminate bad thoughts and expect spiritual enlightenment.
‘Sacrifice of fools’ is words uttered (and actions done) when nothing is meant by them in heart. It is
lip service, idle words.
Thoughts are seeds which bring forth fruit. Whatever is sown is reaped.
Verse 2 ‘Be not rash to speak with thy mouth,…’ Don’t say anything you don’t believe in your heart,
that you don’t intend to do in your heart.
Verse 3 ‘Business’ should be cares. As a man dreams vainly through the multitude of cares.
Verse 12 Poor (sleep).
Laboring man was poor. This doesn’t mean he works hard, it means he was poor. His sleep is sweet
because he has little to worry about. If he had too much money, he would worry about it being robbed or
lost. A rich man is distracted from spiritual things which a poor man was not. No Christian should lack
in anything but have all sufficiency in all things. He should not be distracted by wealth. Set your heart
on things above and you will have perfect peace. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Poor people in India paid about 20¢ per day. This wasn’t much for a family to eat. The wife buys food at
about 6 p.m. when he comes home with the money. Then the whole family goes to sleep on the pavement
of the city. They are not disturbed by cars or anything, they sleep well. (They cannot sleep in their mud
huts because they are too warm, that is why they are in the street.)
This is like Proverbs, it is an old saying used in the East.
Order of religions by age (oldest first)
1. Hindu
2. Jewish
3. Buddhists
4. Christianity
5. Mohammedan
‘Laboring man’ has no worries.
(See also: Ecclesiastes 6:7)
Verses 18-20 (opens in the middle of a teaching). ‘He shall not much remember the days of his life.’
Get acquainted with God by your words; say ‘Lord, here I am.’ When acquainted, you are born
again. You are awakened to the truth of your being.
Verse 18: Everything you have got you must eat, drink, be happy and content the rest of your life. If
a man is healthy, wealthy, able to eat what God gave, be happy, rejoice, joyful, peaceful, content, that’s
the gift of God. That gift we have in Christ. We have been blessed and therefore enjoy the things we
have. Once rich, etc., we forget the past poverty, the failures, that’s finished. Look and go forward to the
hope of Christ Jesus’ return.
 

ECCLESIASTES 6
Verse 2 ‘God giveth him not power to eat thereof…’ God does not make us break His commandments.
God is responsible for the law. Man is responsible to carry it out. (‘Lead us not into temptation’ should
be, ‘Let us not enter into temptation.’) Man enters into temptation and breaking the law. Solomon
obeyed the laws of God and reaped from the fruit of it. This man by his negative thinking affects his
mind, so therefore, he cannot eat or digest food properly. He is all upset, he cannot enjoy eating, due to
negative thinking. All blessing becomes ours when we continue to renew our minds to every promise and
draw from God. The Devil wants you to believe these promises are not yours. Renewed mind is
absolutely necessary for the believer every minute of the day.
Verse 7 Labor of man for his mouth (selfishness). ‘All the labor of man is for his mouth,’ center in
self, not in God. ‘Appetite not filled.’ The more he has the more he wants, God said we should not live
by bread alone (Matthew 4:4). Self-centered are not sold out to Christ. Ghandi taught people who
wanted to serve their country (and were thinking of material benefits): ‘Go out in the street and serve the
people. Help them in any way.’ His encouragement was not well received. Love should constrain to
serve. Serve as if to Jesus Christ. If center is self, appetite will never be filled no matter what the income,
and will always be broke. What you spend on others (of self or money, etc.) you will find again.
Old Hindu saying—labor for the mouth avails little labor for Christ avails much—fills the appetite.
Natural man: labors for the mouth; appetite is not satisfied.
Speaking of the natural man; he thinks that everything he does is for physical reasons. That is why
all of his labor is for his mouth. Man is not only body—he has soul and some men have spirit also. He
must fulfill every aspect of his life. This is why his appetite is not filled. Yet a man with the renewed
mind can do with so much less because his dependency is on God. He has an inside sustenance.
Mark 11:24 (pray). When you pray, believe. When you believe and give thanks in your heart, you
must be assured by thanking, that you have received it. If you are sure on the inside that God heard your
prayer, it will automatically expose or present itself outwardly, physically. First be sure spiritually,
inside. Make sure you know what God says He will do. Once you are sure of what God will do, that is
believing. Then it will appear in the physical realm. Then expect to receive it! If you are not sure inside,
you cannot be confident externally.
 

ECCLESIASTES 7
Verse 26 Translation: ‘A woman is more bitter than death whose heart is snares and net and her hands
as ropes…’
Verses 27, 28 ‘One man among a thousand’ is not a literal 1000. It is among MANY. (Where 2 or 3
are gathered together means A FEW, Matthew 18:20. Two sticks gathered together means SOME sticks’
I Kings 17:112). But a woman among so many, he has not found.
Solomon had a very wealthy monarchy. God gave him wisdom and also money, wealth. But his
downfall was that he put his trust in the apes and peacocks (I Kings 10:22), and he had 300 wives and 700
concubines. God told him not to have all of these women, they would lead his heart away from the true
God. But he didn’t listen to the true God.
So when he had his senses, he said, ‘Well, I’ve searched everywhere, everything under the sun; I’ve
servants, I’ve vineyards, I’ve orchards, pools of water, everything good to drink and eat, golden plates,
golden spoons, golden steps to the throne, mighty in wealth and wisdom and all that.’
But he found everything under the sun to be vanity and vexation of the spirit. He saw the
deceitfulness of the materialism of this world. This is the sum and substance of Solomon’s experience.
One man in many (not a wise man, wealthy, or spiritual man: not a sinless person, either.) Who was
aware and awakened to the deceitfulness of materialism just as Solomon himself was.
He found no woman aware of this. One man asked: ‘What is wrong with this world? What is going
on? Why? Uncertainties of the riches of this world, unreliability of the pleasures of this world,
unsatisfying, unreliability of the pleasures of this world, unsatisfying are the pleasures by which the
people run after. They are unsatisfying, unreliable, they are all illusion, they are all deceitful, all the
things around us is a mire (illusion).
‘The things we see happen under the sun are all illusions, unreal, vanity and vexation of spirit.
People are troubled about these things; people are depressed and oppressed for these things: people are
attempting to be satisfied by these things under the sun, but fail.
It’s a cistern, broken cistern that can hold no water. There was only one man that Solomon found,
and no woman, who had discovered these things, asked if the things which he saw were genuine and if he
was satisfied by them, and if they quenched his inner thirst.
This man, as Solomon, is aware and disgusted with the things under the sun. The tricks of the enemy,
the god of this world are played on men’s minds, to grab them here and there unto a mass wealth, and to
rely on that wealth. And ultimately to be satisfied with that. Most human beings are not aware of the
deceitfulness of the unreliable things of this world. Only one man is aware, is concerned, thinking, about
the tactics of the enemy.
Even among the believers, there are very few aware of the enemy’s tactics. The enemy gets you to be
so busy that you are unable to spend time reading the Bible, meditate, concentrate. A man, even a
believer who runs around to and fro for the things of the world who think they are working for the Lord,
is not renewed in his mind, he is really doing nothing for the Lord. Therefore if a man is running around
deceived by the deceitfulness of this materialism, there is no stability in his mind, either. He is going
with the crowd.
Let us become aware of the tactics of the enemy of our soul, that we never make room for him. Only
one in many stops to think.
Verse 28: One man is a thousand was bad, but no women were.
 

ECCLESIASTES 8
Verse 11 Why God is more lenient with men today when people say, ‘If I am lying, may God strike me
dead!’ This period is one of grace today. Our works determine our rewards today, after we are saved.
Our stewardship is the important thing.
Then Moses prayed to God for Miriam’s healing. God said no, set her out from the camp seven days.
The law is, if a girl is disobedient to her father, then father spits on her face. This makes her unacceptable
to the family for seven days. The spitting has defiled her because of her disobedience.
A mother, to a child, is the first god because of her labor for the child. The father is the second god,
he paid the bills. The third is teacher and/or pastor. Fourth is God. Spanking a child from the beginning
in the East proves God’s Word. They have fewer crimes. They are kept in order, disciplined. Children
are not bad; they have been taught to obey. If the girl repents after seven days she will be accepted back.
What the culture was in the East is spoken of here in God’s Word. God worked with these Eastern laws.
‘Blasphemy’ was a crime equal to stoning. When the Lord was getting ready to be stoned (John 10:30ff)
because he blasphemed. Why stones? Why not knife? Because the people’s ideas were that the law
(which was written on stone) was killing the person—that the stones represented this law. Blasphemy
against the servant of God (as Moses or a responsible man of God) who is a chosen vessel of God,
ordained of God is speaking against God’s spokesman, as if it were God. You may not get leprosy as
Miriam did. However, you do reap and suffer the consequences inside yourself. It is agony, despair,
misery. Confession of sin is necessary.
God doesn’t send lion’s very often to destroy us. We are in a different administration. God dealt
with people immediately in the Old Testament. He will judge us later. In Kings the lion just attacked
him. The lion could have eaten the carcass and the ass. The lion did not. God had him only slay the
man…he was obedient to the will of god. Humans are not loyal to the Word of the Lord.
 

ECCLESIASTES 9
Verse 9 The dead know nothing.
Psalm 33:19: Deliver soul from death. Not much teaching on either.
 

ECCLESIASTES 10
Verse 1 ‘The apothecary’ is the man who mixes medicines, a druggist. In India in the hospitals the
doctor gives the prescription and the compounder mixes it up. He is also a little bit of a physician.
Translation: ‘Dead flies cause the ointment made by the compounder…’ If a man in this profession
makes a little mistake, it is known everywhere.
Dead flies.
Apothecary—old term for doctor; one who knows how to mix the medicine and perform surgery.
The flies get stuck in the ointment and die there and made a bad odor. The same thing happens to us
when we get entangled with the world.
Verse 2 Translation: ‘A wise man’s heart is in his right hand; but a fool’s heart is in his left.’ In his
right hand is symbolic of strength, deserving good, wisdom and understanding. To the Orient the left
hand is always a bad omen. You shouldn’t give any money with your left hand to anybody. You mustn’t
do anything with your left hand.
Wise man’s heart.
Heart—innermost being; wise man—one who is centered in God, his thinking is right. A fool’s
innermost being is never right.
Right hand—strength, blessing.
Left hand—weakness, curse. Do not give anything with left hand. (An Eastern would not even
receive it.)
Wise man’s heart.
Eastern text: ‘A wise man’s heart is in his right hand; but a fool’s heart is in his left hand.’ The right
hand is the hand of power and blessing. The left hand is the hand of cursing and weakness. A wise man
acts rightly. If a man acts rightly, it is said that his heart is in his right hand. A wise man uses his heart well.
Wise man’s heart.
This verse should read: ‘A wise man’s heart moves his right hand to do good; but a fool’s heart
moves his Left hand to do not good.’
In the East, nothing good is done with the left hand, i.e., no money is received, no charity is given,
etc. Right hand is holy, left hand is unholy. God said He will lead us by the right hand of His
righteousness.
A wise man is spiritual-minded and takes every opportunity to do good. A fool is a material-minded
man and evades doing good.
Verse 3
‘…walking by the way,…’ when he is going by the road, ‘wisdom’ should be ‘sense.’ They always say
‘Oh what a fool I am, I should have gone the other way.’
Fool.
Eastern text: ‘The fool, though he walks in the right way, yet he is a fool, and he tells everyone that
he is a fool.’
Verse 4
Translation: ‘if the anger of the king rise up against you,…’ A ruler can be anybody. Ruler of the temple,
household. A steward is also a ruler of the house. ‘…leave not thy place;…’ means don’t compromise,
stick by your point. If you yield you are compromising.
Anger
Spirit—anger, if your boss gets angry at you do not compromise or give up your point, because
yielding pacifies great offences. Please employer as long as it does not interfere with God’s Word.
Bishop gives an incident from his life where he stood for being a Christian.
Verse 5 ‘Ruler’ should be king. Translation: ‘There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and
which is an error receding from before the king.’
Errors proceed from leaders.
Verse 6 Translation, ‘a fool is set in great dignity, [or authority] and the rich sit in a low place.’
Folly, fool.
Folly—fool; rich—influential. The times are such that a fool gets a good job and a qualified man sits
in a low place. Any fool can be rich.
Verse 7 Servants upon horses.
Circumstances sometimes reduce princes to servants and their servants rise up to replace them.
Christ increases in our estimation and we put ourselves secondary. No longer lords of our own lives but
have a new lord.
Servants upon horses
This is referring to the changing world, one day a man is rich the next day he is poor, no
steadfastness and no security in the world.
Verse 8 They don’t remove the landmarks or any hedges. There is always a hedge between one man’s
garden and the next man’s garden. The don’t break through the hedges because they are afraid if they do a
serpent will bite them. That is why there are not many thieves stealing apples, etc. they think that even if
a policeman doesn’t catch them, the serpent will. Fear of God is why there are not as many crimes among
the Eastern people as compared with the Western people. If a minister says something they will act on it
because they believe whatever a man of God tells them.
Verse 9 ‘Removeth’ should be ‘praying.’ Their workman get hurt more by cleaving or splitting wood
than we do because they don’t wear shoes. Translation: ‘…and he that cleaveth wood carelessly should
be…’
Verse 10 ‘What’ means sharpen. Translation: ‘…therefore to do a thing wisely, wisdom is necessary.’
Verse 11 If the people believe there is a serpent somewhere near a house they call a snake charmer. The
snake comes and stands in front of him and the snake charmer grabs him by the throat and takes out the
fangs.
Verse 15 Translation: ‘Because the foolish man does not know the way to the village, His troubles
wearieth everyone.’ Village means a place where a lot of people are, where everybody can give a
solution to solve your problem, or help you solve your problems.
Foolish.
Wearies everyone by asking what to do over and over again and not being able to follow directions.
Foolish have no renewed mind. They do not know how to get to God and worry everyone with their
worry. They ask too many people and get themselves confused. Should go to the proper source at first.
We should always be up on the mountains and not under the circumstances. Keep eyes on pockets of God
and not on own empty pockets. We could die in poverty simply because we do not know how to go to the
city—to God.
Positive confession.
‘Labor’-trouble. A literal translation would be: ‘Because the foolish man does not know thy way to
the village, his trouble wearieth everyone.’
A fool doesn’t know the way to the city; a fool does not know how to get to the Lord and is trouble.
He is trouble to everybody. He cries to everybody, ‘What can I do, what can I do,…?’ Everybody gets
weary of him, because, instead of bearing his own trouble and going about his work, he is such a fool that
he wearies everybody.
As believers we ought to know the way to Christ. He saved us so we know the way rightly. When
we know the way to salvation, we know the way for solving our problem, too. We go to Christ for help in
solving because we were wise enough to go to him for salvation. If we don’t go to Him, we are a burden
to everybody that we come across. We grumble about our lot. We say, ‘I am in a very bad way. Will
you pray for me?’ Then we write a letter to our relatives and tell them all of our troubles. We spread our
troubles by being foolish instead of going to the village of salvation, Christ, we spread the poison of the
problem and thus make the problems bigger than it was before we told them. If we confess the Devil,
trouble, it becomes big, giving Satan the glory. Satan loves to hear his name mentioned. If we just forget
about our troubles and look to Jesus Christ, then the burdens roll away, and then we won’t be annoying
and a burden to other people.
Do you know the way to the city? I do. It is not a literal city. But suppose it were. Ask a man for
directions to a certain location. He says, ‘Go 4 blocks, turn right 3 blocks, turn left, 6 blocks, etc., etc.’
Then he stops the next man, and the next man for directions. Of course, then, because he doesn’t
understand the directions, he repeats them back to each man. He is a fool, wearying everyone on the way
to the village. A believer who does not take his problem directly to headquarters, would be just as
foolish. When the believer goes to headquarters, then God will guide us and solve the problem. We will
weary no one. We won’t multiply our problems by talking about it either.
When we have already consulted God, and say, ‘Yes, I prayed already, but I still have a headache,’
we are fools. We limit God by our confession. If we talk aches, aches are multiplied. What we confess,
grows. The fool is a nuisance to everyone. Let everyone carry his own burden to the Lord. We know the
way. John 14:6, Jesus Christ is the Way. Then we must travel The Way.
Getting into trouble is inevitable. It is not what we face, but how we handle it and the attitude with
which we take that which we face that matters. We will get either joy or misery, depending on our
outlook. Just don’t talk about troubles. Change your attitudes towards trouble.
Foolish
The labor of foolish people wearies everyone because they do not know how to do. ‘City’ —God
(spiritual application). Foolish have no renewed mind. They do not know how to get to God. They
weary everyone by their worry. Worry is a poison.
Verse 16 When a king is a child he is not ruling. ‘Thy princes’ means nobles selected in his place are
trustees. The trustees are usually from the prince’s family or royalty. They are from the same blood.
Translation: ‘…the princes eat early in the morning.’ That means they don’t care what is going to happen
to this kingdom or if the child is going to be king when he grows up. Eating early in the morning is not
the custom of the people in the East especially those who are highly cultured and educated. This includes
nobles and kings. Early in the morning means about 5 or 6 o’clock or the latest 7 o’clock. Eastern people
eat according to the time. In the morning about 5 o’clock they bathe, and have prayer and sing. The
young people eat some breakfast but those that are older and educated eat about 12 o’clock. They make
two meals one.
See Also; Genesis 43:16.
When a king is a child he cannot rule and so the princes will take over the rule of the country.
‘Eat in the morning’—idiom, most Easterners don’t eat in the morning, they wait until noontime for
their first meal. Only children who go to school eat about 8 or 9 a.m.
‘Woe to thee O land, when thy king is a child, and thy princes eat in the morning.’
Idiom: when a king is a child—can’t rule.
Princes eat in the morning: means they stay up all night—eating, dancing and drinking. Then don’t
eat at the right time—ruination of a nation. Your princes are drunk, and king is a child-woe to that nation.
How can princes take care of nation.
Eat in the morning at about 3 or 4 a.m., eating then because they are drunk; go to bed about 5 a.m.,
get up at noon and get ready to start again for evening pleasure. Mostly pagan in high places, no room for
thought of God at all. Isaiah 3:4: I shall give children to be their princes and babes shall rule over them.
Bishop says he didn’t see that.
Verses 16 and 17: Princes eat in the morning.
When the king is a child, the princes take care of business. They drink and dance all night and only
eat in the morning when sober. Always drunk except in morning. Country goes to ruin.
Verse 17: The land is blessed when the prince eat when they should for strength and are not
drunken. Business is taken care of.
Rulership.
Princes would take care of rulership for child king. Often they would drink and dance all night and
then have breakfast in the morning. They would not be in shape to care for kingdom.
Verse 18: Most houses have thatched roofs which need care for maintenance. Problem, with insects.
They used their hands very much to repair and drive out insects.
Spiritual: If we are too lazy to attend upon God, we fall through and corrupt. Should always be on
time with God.
Verse 17 Certain kings come to certain places by appointment. The government appoints some royal
family to look after that territory for a certain time. When the government appoints they pick up any
Tom, Dick, or Harry. They don’t look for nobility or royal blood. Nobles sons will speak noble language,
he has dignity, and greatness in his blood. ‘Season’ should be ‘time.’ It means at meal time. Some
people eat just because they’re drunk. Whenever they drink they want to eat. But those that eat at
mealtime eat for strength. If they do so the kingdom will be better, no crooks will be in the country, the
king is sober, righteous, and good.
Noble Birth.
When the king is the son of a noble, he will have a better character, better dignity. He won’t be
grabbing people’s money. It’s good to have a king of noble birth. Princes don’t eat on schedule because
most of them drink liquor, till 4 a.m. They wake up at 3 p.m. and eat breakfast. A drunkard eats at any
time when his soberness is come and he can get up. The land is blessed when the king is a son of a noble
and when he gets up in time. Kings who eat in time, do it for strength. The drunkard has no time to eat
at all. He is always filling his stomach with liquor, and is always mad. If he is mad and full of liquor
and glutton, then the poor land is in trouble. If someone should attack his land, he wouldn’t be aware of
it because he is drunk.
‘…princes eat in due season, for strength and not for drunkenness!’
If king—son of nobles—will have a good character and will be able to rule people.
Verse 18 ‘Slothfulness’ means ‘lazy plus.’ Translation: ‘By much laziness and thatched roofing
(Some kind of grass is used for the roofing of the poor people’s houses. Thatched roofs must be always
looked after, when the rain comes you must remove some of the grass that is too wet and put more on,
and you must keep looking for the white ants.) decayeth; (gets rotten) and through idleness of the hands
the house leaks through.’ If they don’t repair the place where the grass is wet the rain will come through.
Slothfulness.
White ants (termites) decay the houses. Hands must be used to discover decay and repair it.
Otherwise, house will drop through. Scorpions come through the holes.
Idleness.
If a man owns a building, he must watch over it for repairs. If careful, he gets it repaired
immediately. If slothful, he lets it go, he’s too lazy. ‘Through idleness of hands, the roof leaketh.’ A
house cannot ‘drop through.’ In the East, houses must be diligently watched over because no one wants a
leak during the monsoon season.
‘By much slothfulness the building decayeth…’
Building in East get holes in cement; worms in cement walls. White ants (could be termites) eat
rafters and beams. So owner should be busy with his hands constantly putting on fresh cement. If
slothful the building will decay in course of time because you let it. Be alert to patch, repair, closing the
holes, killing things that come in.
‘…idleness of the hands the house droppeth through.’
Roof will drop through if you don’t take care of with your hands. Roofs are thatched roofs. You
must always repair it with your hands.
Verse 19 ‘A feast is made for gladness, and the wine makes the living merry:…’
Verse 20 ‘Thought’ means conscience, ‘…curse not the rich even in thy bedchamber:…’
Positive confession.
This is the same as ‘walls have ears.’ Don’t whisper anything or even think negatively.
 

ECCLESIASTES 11
Verse 1 Their rice in the East is of the same importance to them as our bread is to us. They eat more
rice than anything else. The brown things on top of the rice is called pattie and they sow the pattie. The
rice is the seed in the pattie. They must break the covering off of the pattie and they do this by putting the
whole rice in a tub of water, keep it for several days and then the pattie shoots forth in the water. They
plow the land after it has been flooded and while this is going on, they fill the land with a couple of inches
of water. This is why the Bible talks about men and oxen in the mud. After the plowing is finished, they
again flood the land with water of an inch or two and the whole field looks like a lake. Then the man puts
the pattie in a basket hanging around his neck and he walks out in the mud and he throws the seed from
the right to the left. When you see it, you see it fall on water only. You don’t know where it will settle.
The wind may blow it and you just don’t know where it is going to grow up. It takes 3, 6, or 9 months to
produce rice because it depends upon the type of rice.
See Matthew 17:24-27
Cast thy bread upon the waters.
Cast thy bread. 1. many people cast offering in the water and a certain type of fish would take it up
in its mouth and carry it. (See ‘Fish’s mouth’) 2. Rice is sown in plowed muddy land after the water is
standing on the land. Looks like just water. After many days rice grows up. Reap what you sow. What
you cast out will come back. Cannot sow hatred and reap love; reap a hundredfold of what is sown. If
you think good, you reap good. We reap what miseries we sow, not from God. Thoughts are seeds.
‘Cast thy bread on the water.’
Rice is planted—they till, plow the ground first, the ground is dry. Then they fill the land with water
about an inch above the plowed ground. The fields look like a lake. Then they plow again with the mud.
Then they fill with water. They throw the pattie (rice with brown covering) in water—it’s there for 2-3
days, then it shoots up from the water. Then he sows them on this ground which has been plowed. He
walks in the mud. It may come just below his knee. He sows this pattie. This is the way they cast their
rice upon the waters.
Another meaning—In the East when they’re on the road and they have an offering they cast it on the
waters—Basically, it means rice floating.
Verse 2 He gets, after many days, the fruit of what he sows. After they give their share to God, they
invite a Bremen priest for the first meal of their produce. They invite seven people for this meal. They
give each one a little of their produce. Seven is the holy number for them. Here it means give to anybody
and everybody that asks you. It is an Oriental figure to say don’t just stick to seven but give also to eight.
No number limit. When the evil days come you will get it back.
 

ECCLESIASTES 12
The whole chapter relates to a man; young, middle-aged, old, and sick, and dead, and his funeral. It
tells about a man when he goes through these different stages.
Verse 1 This can be said to a young man.
Verses 1-3 Keepers of the house, strong men, grinders, the windows.
Oriental way of saying an old man’s consequences of growing old and when you are young,
remember the Creator now. The keepers of the house are the feet and legs. They carry the body, the
house wherein God dwells. The legs shall tremble; when you become old you cannot stay on your feet
too long. Don’t wait till this happens. Rather, remember your Creator when your legs are strong. The
‘strong men’ are the knees. Don’t wait for the knees to bow before getting involved with God’s Word.
Do it while you are strong. ‘Grinders’ are teeth. When you lose them and cannot chew; don’t wait until
then. The ‘windows’ are eyes, ‘darkened’ means when you become blind or cannot read. Don’t wait
until you can’t read the Bible before getting interested in it.
Verses 1-4 Remember the Creator now in youth.
This whole chapter speaks about a young man, middle-aged man, old man, sick man and a dead man,
and his funeral. Verse 1 says remember thy Creator now. Don’t wait until then to serve the Lord.
‘Windows be darkened’ means ‘eyes’—When one becomes old and your eyes get dim—don’t wait
till then to serve the Lord—serve Him when you are young.
Verse 4: ‘Door shut’ means ‘ears.’ Can’t hear anything—serve the Lord when you are young and
can hear well.
‘When the sound of grinding is low’ means ‘grinding of the Eastern people’s wheat’—they grind
their wheat every morning, which gives them fresh flour for bread and cooking. The wheat is ground
between two 18′ stones and two women grind together.
‘Grinding is low’ means ‘poverty’—This is the way the Eastern people express themselves. They
will say, ‘I am all right but the grinding is low’—means ‘not much to eat’—sign of poverty.
‘If a man was put to grinding’ means, he was put to shame; as it is a woman’s work to do all the
grinding in the East.
‘Shall rise up at the voice of the bird’ means when you get old and miserable-even when you hear
the voice of a bird you become scared and afraid.
‘Music shall be brought low’ means ‘voice to sing’—Give your voice to the Lord’s service when
you are young and beautiful and have a voice to sing. Don’t wait till you are old and haven’t a good voice.
Verse 5: When men get old they are afraid and say, ‘Who will pay my bills—since I am old and sick
and who will bury me?’ Don’t wait till you are old and become fearful. Know your Creator as a youth
and will never become fearful.
‘Almond tree shall flourish’ means ‘graying hair’—Almond Tree fruits are white.
‘Grasshopper’ is just an insect and does not mean very much—showing your weakness of the
flesh—Even if a grasshopper sits on you it will be a burden to you—won’t be able to do very much.
‘Desire shall fail’ means you cannot digest anything you eat when you are old.
‘Long home’ means ‘dead man.’
‘Mourners go about the streets’—In the East when a person dies, all the people that live on that
street get together and all take part in his funeral. Not just relatives and friends come but everyone on the
street. No matter how rich, poor, or what or who you are you come to the funeral.
They have no caskets—they carry the dead body on a bier. It is like a stretcher and stands on four
wheels. People can see the body as carried in the street. Two people in front and two in back and take
turns to carry the dead man.
Western people take off their hats; Eastern people give their shoulder to carry the bier.
Verse 6: When a body goes to the grave, no women are allowed to go except the wife of the dead
man. She takes off her silver cord (which her husband had given her when married) and she puts it on her
husband’s dead body. This makes her free to marry again.
‘Golden bowl broken’ —In the East (boys are gifts from God and girls are just a mistake).
‘Lamp’ means son—sons remain with parents till his parents are dead and buried—son must support
his parents and love them (honor thy father and mother) as they get old. If he gets married he must take
his wife home with him and live with his parents in a different apartment. Father and mother come first
and his wife comes second in his life.
When his parent or parents die the son carries the ‘golden bowl’ to the grave. The golden bowl is an
earthen pot made of clay and gilded on the outside with gold. Fire is put inside the pot and the boy carries
it by its strings and goes ahead the bier of his father. As soon as the body is lowered his mother puts the
silver cord on his father. The grave is closed. Son then breaks the golden bowl at head of grave.
This is the last ceremony son performs. If there is no son in the family one is adopted for this
purpose. They never adopt a young boy but must be 20 or 21 years old. He must be old enough to be responsible.
If a son is away visiting when father dies he must come back for the ceremony. The son must be
there to break the bowl when buried.
When Jesus said ‘follow me’ and the son said. ‘Let me go and bury my father’— Jesus said, ‘Let
the dead bury the dead. This is a wrong translation (it is an Eastern Idiom) — it should read, ‘Let the city
bury the dead.’ If you aren’t home the city will bury your father is what Jesus meant. The community
will criticize the son if he does not come home. The price to follow Jesus was ‘shame’ but Jesus said,
‘Let the city bury your father and follow me.’
‘Pitcher be broken’ means: Anyone attending a funeral is unclean and defiled. They must bathe
before leaving the grave. Men sit down in the graveyard and a pitcher full of water is poured on their
heads and they bathe.
Women cannot bathe there is an open place and that is why women cannot go to the grave. The wife
must leave and go home to bathe after putting silver cord on husband.
Then the pitcher is broken—as you cannot take anything from the grave. Also the bier is burnt.
Nothing is brought back home.
‘Wheel’ means ‘bier.’
‘Cistern and fountain’ means same thing.
The Hindu believe in re-incarnation. Your spirit goes to God and God immediately sends the spirit
in another body on earth—this is being born again. They believe one can have 1,000,000 lives and deaths
before going to heaven or hell.
Remember your Creator NOW while you are young. The days of the awful times are when you are
an old man: blind, lame, helpless. God created us to live, not to die. Three score years and ten, that’s
what man thinks.
Verse 3: ‘Keepers of the house’ means legs will tremble when you get old. ‘Strong men’ means
knees shall bow themselves when you get old. ‘Grinders’ means teeth will become few when old.
‘Those that look out of windows’ means the eyes become blind in old age.
Before you become so old that the above things happen to you, come to the Lord now when you are young.
Verse 4: ‘Doors shall be shut in the streets’ means ears become deaf. ‘Sound of the grinding is
low’ means people in East grind their food. If the millstone grinding is little, there is not much to eat,
they are poverty stricken. ‘Rise up at the voice of a bird’ means they are afraid of every little sound and
small noise. ‘Daughters of musick’ means if you are a good vocal singer, you will lose your ability.
Don’t wait for these things to happen to come to God; come while you are still young.
Verse 5: ‘Afraid of high places’ means you cannot go up high as a result of old age. ‘Fears shall be
in the way’ means when they become old they fear the future; where will money come from to pay bills,
to buy a suit, to bury you, to pay undertaker, etc. ‘Almond tree shall flourish’ means a gray headed man.
‘Desire will fail’ means when you are old and weak, despite desire, you cannot eat a steak, because you
cannot digest it. ‘The grasshopper’ means when you are weak, when a grasshopper sits on you, it is a
burden. ‘Long home’ means he’s dead now. ‘Mourners go about the streets’ means all the people in the
locality attend the funeral (friend or not). ‘Silver cord’ means wife loosens this and puts it on the
husband’s body as it is lowered to the grave. ‘Golden bowl’ means the son, in the East, buries the
parents. And he has a pot of earth, gilded gold, is carried with a string (around the neck)? before the
funeral procession. When body is lowered and grave is closed, the golden bowl is broken at the head of
the grave and this symbolized the son’s freedom from an obligation to his family. ‘Pitcher be broken at
the fountain’ means at every grave there is a fountain of water. Every person who comes in contact with
the dead body is defiled. They must bathe at the grave. At the fountain they are each given a pitcher, fill
it, pour water on self, etc. Pitcher is broken at the fountain because everything that comes in contact with
dead body must not go back home. It must be left behind at the grave.
Verses 17 Judges 16:21 Not a huge stone—woman’s work in India not a heavy load, but shame because
he was doing women’s work.
Rise at voice of bird means when you get old you even fear the sound of a bird.
‘Daughter of musick brought low’ means to dedicate voice while you still have a voice to sing.
Verse 5: ‘Afraid of height, fears in the way.’ This means when you get old, you are full of fear and
can’t get up. Don’t wait for this to happen. You are afraid of who is going to pay the bills, who’s sick,
who’s going to bury you when you’re dead, and so on. Fear is in the way so don’t wait for this, but serve
thy Creator in thy youth.
‘Almond tree’ means a gray haired man. When the almond tree puts forth buds and flowers, they are
completely white. Almond tree flourishing is the Eastern expression meaning white or gray hair.
‘Grasshopper shall be a burden’ means the weakness of the flesh; even a little grasshopper is a burden.
‘Desire shall fail’ is can’t digest food. You are unable to eat big meats, etc when you get old.
‘Long home’ means dead man.
‘Mourners go about the streets’ means everyone goes into the streets together until the funeral is
over. Everyone participates in the funeral. In the West, only the family and friends participate. Everyone
in the East does.
Carry the dead body on a bier, not a casket like a hospital stretcher which stands on four wheels.
Body decorated in good clothes for all to see the body as carried in the street. Everyone participates in
carrying the bier. They ‘lend their shoulder’ for a while rather than taking off their hat as in the West in
honor to the dead person.
Verse 6: ‘Silver cord be loosed’ means the women are not permitted to go to the grave in the East.
Only the wife of the dead man may go. She takes the silver cord that her husband puts around her neck
when they were married (This takes the place of a wedding ring in the West) and puts on her dead
husband’s body as he is lowered into the grave. Shows the woman is free to marry again; she is loosed
from her husband.
‘Golden bowl be broken’. Daughters are despised in the East but the boys are a gift from God.
Girls are a mistake. Boys are called ‘lamp’ in the East. (Thou hast given a lamp (boy) unto thy servant,
this is what David said when Solomon was born—IV) Sons should remain with their mother and father
until they’re dead and buried. Important function of a son is to serve parents when they become weak and
old. That’s what it means ‘to honor thy father and mother that thy days may be long.’ Even if I get
married, I take my wife to go live in the same home—different apartments. Father and mother come first
and the wife comes second. When the father or mother dies the boy carries a golden bowl (made of clay)
with him. The bowl is gilded in gold and a fire with coals is inside. The boy goes before the bier of the
father and as soon as the body is lowered, mother puts the silver cord on the body as it’s lowered, grave
covered, (‘ashes to ashes’) then the son breaks the golden bowl at the head of the grave. Last service he
has to perform to the Father or mother. If there isn’t a son to do this service, they adopt a son just for this
service. That’s why people are adopted when they are older (21 or 22).
‘Jesus said to the man, come, follow me,’ he said, ‘I must go and bury my father. Matthew 8:21,22
and Luke 9:59. Let the city bury their dead. If you don’t come home to carry out this act, you will be
disgraced when you go home; humiliated. Jesus told them this is the price they’d have to pay to follow
him. To bear the shame and humiliation.
‘Pitcher be broken at the fountain.’ Everyone that goes to the funeral is defiled according to the
Levitical law. You must bathe before you go home. There are open bathing places at the grave yard.
Men sit down there; each man supplied with a pitcher, fills the pitcher with water and pours on his head
as it is. That’s why women don’t go to the grave yard because of the open bathing space. They bathe at
home, the wife goes home and bathes. After you use the pitcher you break it. Nothing is kept that was
the dead man’s. The Wheel-bier, upon which the body was carried is broken at the fountain also.
Nothing is taken back home that belonged to the dead man.
Verse 7: Hindus believe spirit goes to God and God immediately sends the spirit to some other
‘born-again’ body-reincarnation. They don’t believe they’re purified in each life. One man may go thru
many lives. Buddah reformed Hindu religion as Luther did the church— called Buddhism. Hindu’s are
the largest majority in the world today. All China is Buddhist theosophy also, all Hindu, non-violent
teaching. Hindus practice what Christians only teach—Christianity is a religion—Hindu is a way of life.
Remember creator in days of youth; heir ship: robe, keys; funeral.
Whole chapter speaks about young man, grown man, middle-aged man, old man, sick man, dead
man, and his funeral. Do not mystify it. We are inclined to mystify and spiritualize the Word before we
see that literal side of it. That is the tendency of the Western thinking because we do not know the facts.
A preacher can get nine sermons out of verses 3-11. Verses 1 and 2, Remember God and give heart and
life to Him before old age approaches, while you are still strong and robust. The first verse is the key to
the rest of the chapter. Verse 3, Remember that this passage describes a man’s life physically.
‘Keepers of the house’ equals legs. Who carries my house? It’s my legs. In old age the legs are
weak and trembling. Do not wait till then to serve God.
‘Strong men shall bow themselves’ means knees. Bow from fear. ‘Grinders cease’ and are few
means loose teeth. Do not wait until you are useless to serve God.
‘Those that look out of the windows be darkened’ means blind (eyes are windows).
Verse 5 ‘Afraid of that which is high’ means when old, afraid to go upstairs, etc. Give your strength
to the Lord. Do not wait until it is gone before serving Him.
Verse 4 ‘Doors shall be shut in the streets’ means deaf (ears are doors).
Verse 5 ‘Fears shall be in the way’ means afraid of the future. Cannot support himself, who will
care for him, how will his funeral be taken care of, how will his needs be met.
Verse 4 ‘When sound of grinding is low’ means that the wheat is ground every morning by two
women. Wheat is put in hole in one stone and ground with another. Easterners always eat freshly
prepared food. When the sound of grinding is low, there is not much to eat. ‘Rise up at the voice of a
bird’ is to become frightened at every little noise. ‘All the daughters of music shall be brought low’
means voice is not beautiful as it was during youth.
Verse 5: ‘Almond tree shall flourish.’ The almond tree is first among fruit-bearing trees to bear
foliage and fruit (nut). It buds, flowers and bears fruit. Aaron’s rod that budded was an almond tree
branch which had buds, flowers, and almonds all on it. When God commissioned Jeremiah He showed
him an almond branch and said that he would hasten to perform what He said just as the almond tree
hastens to bring forth fruit before any other tree.
The almond tree is snow white with flowers when it is in bloom. In this verse it is compared to an
old man’s white hair.
‘Grasshopper shall be a burden’—so thin and frail that a grasshopper is a burden.
‘Desire shall fail’ means cannot digest well; loose appetite.
‘Man goeth to his long home’ means he dies.
‘Mourners go about the streets.’ In the East, the entire community goes to a funeral, even if the
deceased is a beggar or leper. Even the princes take part. Everyone gives up their work that day. (Jesus
did not say, ‘Let the dead bury the dead,’ he said, ‘Let the town bury the dead.’) They carried the dead
body on open stretcher on poles which rest on shoulders of four bearers. Everyone wants to do service to
the dead person by offering shoulder for a little bit. Even a king will pay honor to a leper by doing so. If
it’s a woman who was married, she wears her wedding clothes, if it was a bishop he dresses in the clothes
of his office. Easterners do not believe in wasting any money on the funeral and burial because the
person is dead anyway and it would not make any difference to him. Instead of putting a silk pillow in
his casket, give it to him while he is alive. Always give people the best while they are living. The
stretcher is called ‘bier.’
Verse 6: ‘Silver cord be loosed’ Eastern women are not allowed to go to the cemetery unless her
husband is the dead person. She goes to the grave long enough to loosen the silver cord which was given
to her by her husband when she was married (similar in significance to our wedding ring). She takes it
off her neck and puts it on body of her husband and then she is free to remarry.
‘Golden bowl be broken’ Son must bury parents. It is very ceremonial and sentimental. If they
have no son, they must adopt one for this purpose. In the funeral, the son carries the ‘golden bowl’ which
is a pot of clay gilded with gold and having fire inside it. It is held by strings. He walks to grave before
parent’s body while bearing the golden bowl. As soon as the body is lowered to the grave, the mother
places silver cord on body (if this is a father being buried), the grave is closed and then son breaks the
golden bowl at head of grave. Significance: golden bowl is made of clay. The body is made of clay
which is broken here. The gilded gold represents father’s glory of what he had. The glory goes with him.
The fire is symbolic of his life. His life, his body, his glory all go in the grave and the son takes over
from then on for the father.
‘Pitcher be broken at the fountain’ The cemeteries are on a high place and there are fountains which
run below. Every person (according to Hindu (Brahminic) and Jewish law) is defiled when he comes
across a dead body. They must bathe at the cemetery where there is a fountain flowing for this purpose.
Each person is given an earthen pitcher with which to draw water and pour on head. This is the reason
that women could not attend. They could not bathe in an open space, but rather must bathe at home.
‘Wheel broken at cistern’ Wheel is bier; cistern is fountain. The bier is broken at the fountain.
Everything which the man had or which concerned him went with him at the grave, to be remembered no
more. After the funeral all the dead person’s clothes and belongings are burned and the entire house is
washed and cleansed from defilement.
‘Remember thy Creator’
The key to this passage is the first verse.
‘Keepers of the house’ feet and legs, when a person become old he cannot stand too long on his feet.
‘Strong men’ means knees. ‘Grinders’ mean teeth. ‘Those that look out of windows’ mean eyes.
‘Doors shall be shut’ means ears. ‘Sound of the grinding’ means food. ‘Rise up at the voice of a bird’
means afraid of small noises. ‘Daughter of music’ means no appreciation of music. ‘Almond tree shall
flourish’ means gray hair. The almond tree when it flourishes has all white flowers, you can hardly see a
leaf. Almond tree brings forth fruit and flowers before any other tree.
Verses 1-14 The whole chapter talks about a young man, middle aged man, and an old man. Remember
now thy Creator. This is the whole key to the chapter.
1: Don’t put it off until you’re sick, weak or helpless. Remember the Creator when you’re young, etc.
3: Keepers of the house is our feet, upon which we stand, carry us from place to place. We are the
house.
Shall tremble means when you get old and weak, but rather remember thy Creator in thy youth when
your feet are strong.
Strong men—knees bow when they get old and weak.
Knees get weak, old, poor and miserable. He can’t stand right because there’s no strength in knees.
Don’t wait until this happens, but remember thy Creator in thy youth when your feet are strong.
Grinders mean teeth. Don’t wait until you’re old and your teeth fall out, serve your Creator in thy
youth.
Windows are eyes. Don’t wait until you’re blind. Give yourself to the Lord while all these are good.
‘Doors shut in street’ is talking about the ears, hard of hearing. Don’t wait until then.
‘The sound of grinding is low’ Every morning the women grind fresh wheat for bread. Two women
grind together on millstone at 18′ stone each, handle on the upper stone. There is a hole in the middle of
the stone and the wheat is put through the hole.
When the upper stone with the handle is turned against the bottom, white flour falls down on a white
sheet of cloth under the stone. Grinding is low is a sign of poverty. There is not much to eat. Matthew
14:1, Luke 17:35 IV). Grinding is always done by women.
Verse 2 This means while you are young remember the Creator and don’t wait until the sun, moon, stars
be darkened.
Verse 3 Keepers of the house—strong men—grinders—those that look out of the windows.
Legs and feet. Our body, our house of God. Without feet, the house cannot stand. When getting old
and frail, the legs tremble. Don’t wait till this happens. Remember now thy Creator.
Knees. When knees get frail, they bow themselves and knock together, and you are very weak.
Remember the Creator while the knees are strong.
Teeth—eyes.
Verses 3 and 4 Sound of the grinding is low. This is a sign of poverty. The ‘grinders cease’ means teeth.
Verse 4: Doors shall be shut in the streets—grinding is low—rise up at the voice of a bird—
daughters of music.
3: Ears. As an Oriental expression, the Greek and Hebrew translators could not understand to
correctly translate this.
Food. Easterners grind grain every morning and evening. Two women come to grind the grain each
day, with a mill 20 inches wide, round stone, 5 inches thick. Two stones, one on top of the other
connected by a wooden peg in the middle. Two women (Matthew 24:41) hold the handle on upper
millstone and grind it together. Upper stone is turning, grain is between the two stones. The grain is
crushed between the two stones, and falls down onto a white cloth. This is noisy and anyone passing the
home can hear it. If the grinding cannot be heard, it means they are poor. The Eastern way to say that a
man is poor is to say ‘the grinding is low.’ Don’t wait until you have very little to eat. Remember thy
Creator now, while you are young.
When a man becomes old, he becomes frightened, even at the voice of a bird, the squeak of a bird.
Don’t wait until then to turn to the Creator.
The voice. God gave some beautiful voice with which to sing. We must use it when we are young.
When young we sing better than when old.
Verse 4: ‘Sound of the grinding is low.’
This means that there is no food in the house to be ground up to make a meal.
12:4 The sound of the millstone.
‘The sound of the millstone’ indicates that there is food to eat there. If the sound ceases, this means
that there is no wheat to grind, no sound to the millstone. No rain, no growth this is a way we are. We
don’t tithe. Then there is lack.
Verse 4: Doors are shut, grinding low, rise up at the voice of a bird.
‘Doors shut in the street’ means you can’t hear. ‘Sound of the grinding is low’ means that you have
no food at all. Don’t wait to remember the Creator till then. ‘Rise up at the voice of a bird’ is when you
get old then you are afraid that at the screeching of a bird that somebody is coming for you. ‘Daughter’s
of music.’
Verse 5 Afraid of that which is high, fears shall be in the way. Almond tree shall flourish.
When you get old, you cannot go upstairs to sleep because of heights. Having to sleep downstairs is
being, ‘afraid of that which is high.’ When you get old and frail you are always thinking of the funeral,
thinking and worried about who will bury you, who will pay your bills, who will buy your next suit of
clothes, who will take care of you are ‘the fears in the way’. ‘Almond tree shall flourish’ when the
almond tree flourishes it has all white flowers, and they blossom before any other tree. They are white
flowers and when in bloom, they cover up almost all the leaves. Characteristic of the almond tree is that
buds blossom and almonds appear at the same time, (unlike all other trees). This is why when Aaron was
chosen to be priest and the people grumbled, God said to take 12 almond rods, and write the names of the
12 tribes on them. They put the rods in the tabernacle. In the morning the rod of Aaron, budded,
blossomed, brought forth almonds all at the same time! This is how God, with a dead rod, proved the
priesthood of Aaron. ‘Almond tree shall flourish’ is white hair.
Grasshopper shall be a burden, desire shall fail, long home, mourners go about the street.
A man grows old, even the light grasshopper shall seem to be a heavy burden. ‘Desire shall fail’ for
eating large meals because the old person can hardly digest any food. ‘Go to his long home’ means dead.
In the East not only family attends the funeral, but everyone on the street comes out of his home and joins
the funeral. This is ‘the mourners go about the streets. They feel they should honor any dead man despite
his social position. Matthew 8:22. If there is no family around, the city buries the dead anyway.
Afraid of that which is high—fears shall be in the way—almond tree shall flourish—grasshopper
shall be a burden—desire shall fail—man goeth to his long home—mourners go about the street.
When people grow too old, they cannot climb the stairs to go to sleep. They want to sleep
downstairs because they cannot make it up the stairs. If a man cannot go upstairs, what is the use of him
serving God. Remember him now in the day of thy youth.
Afraid of everything. Who will bury me when I’m dead? I don’t have much money now. Will so
and so help me? If I get sick, who will take care of me? Older people fearing their future are very selfcentered.
We must move from being self-centered to being centered on the Creator.
Gray hair. A person who is wholly gray headed is referred to as an ‘almond tree.’ The almond tree
has peculiar characteristics. It brings forth fruit before any other fruit bearing tree. When it begins to
bud, blossom, and bear fruit it does it all at the same time. So at this time of year, it is totally white. So
white that a leaf cannot be seen. (Aaron’s rod—12 dead almond rods were put in the tabernacle—on
which the names of the 12 tribes of Israel were written. All the dead rods were dead, but Aaron’s rod.
Aaron’s rod budded, blossomed, and brought forth almonds all in one night (Numbers 17:6-13). This is
typical of the almond tree’s production. Jeremiah 1:11. As the almond tree hastens to bring forth fruit
before any other fruit bearing tree in its season, so God will hasten to perform his promise to us. Before
man can fulfill his promise, God hastens, as an almond tree, to fulfill His.
Barley Cake, Judges 7:13
When old and frail, even a grasshopper, small as it is, becomes a burden if it sits on an old man’s
body. We don’t have to wait until our body becomes so old and weak. Remember Him in youth when
our bodies are healthy and strong.
When old and frail our digestion becomes poor. We can no longer eat steak as we used to in our
youth. Solomon would encourage us to remember our Creator when we are strong enough to eat steak,
run 10 miles and carry a piano on our back.
The man is dead. An Eastern idiom—another one for death is ‘he feel asleep too long.’
In the East, if a person is dead, all the people of the town take part in the funeral. Even if the man
who died was poor, or if he was not a friend, still the whole town takes part. They get off work, they
close the blinds in their home. They give some money for the body, they look after those who are
mourning; they carry the dead body. They all carry the body, taking turns. They all mourn for him too.
This is why ‘mourners go about the street.’ People think more of a man when he is dead than when he
was living. They think they are doing God a service when they bury a poor man (Deuteronomy 15:4).
There shall not be any poor man among you; therefore, every poor man is rich once he is dead. Because,
all have a share.
Afraid of heights, almond tree shall flourish. ‘Afraid of heights’ people who sleep upstairs get
afraid of sleeping up that high and move their quarters to the first floor.
‘The almond tree shall flourish’ means gray headed people. The almond tree has white flowers and
when they bloom, one can hardly see the leaves. This refers to a man with white hair. The almond tree
produces flowers and fruit before another fruit bearing tree. So Jeremiah will hasten to perform that
which he had promised just as the almond tree produces. Jeremiah 1:11.
Verse 6 Silver cord is loosed, golden bowl be broken, pitcher broken at fountain, wheel is broken.
Bodies are carried on a stretcher in the East, right down the street, with the face exposed. This
stretcher is like a hospital stretcher on wheels. It is called a ‘bier.’ Rather than tip the hat to the dead in
the East, they lend their shoulders to carry the casket for 2 or 3 yards. Only one woman is involved with
the funeral ceremony at the grave which is the wife of the dead man. In the East, the silver cord is used in
place of a wedding ring. When the husband dies, she loosens the cord (which has been given under the
covenant of salt) and throws it into the grave. This symbolizes her freedom from that salt covenant.
After the grave is closed there is a bowl gilded with gold, with a fire inside, which the son carries
before the bier from home to the cemetery. Matthew 8:21. Only a son carries the bowl. This is
imperative according to culture for the son to bury his father. He is obligated to bury his father. This is
his final obligation to his father. Jesus said, ‘Let the city bury the dead.’ Let the people ridicule you and
follow me. The earth of the bowl—body of the father. The gold is the glory of the father, whatever
position he had. The fire is the father’s life. The son breaks the golden bowl at the head of the family
now. Usually done by the oldest son. If the eldest son is not present, then whichever son has broken the
pot is the head of the family.
Below the cemetery is a natural fountain. Everyone who has gone to the grave is defiled according
to the law. They must bathe before returning home, and that is why the cemetery spot is near such a
fountain. It is in an open place, also, which explains why the women are not allowed to go into the
graveyard. When the funeral is finished, they sit down in the fountain, take a pitcher made of clay, and
wash themselves. When the bathing is complete, they break the pitcher there. Everything that belongs to
the dead man remains there. ‘The wheel broken’ is the wheel of the bier. Every dead man has a bier.
The wheel is broken and the bier remains at the fountain or burial area.
The silver cord be loosed—the golden bowl be broken—the pitcher be broken at the fountain—the
wheel broken at the cistern.
When a person gets married in the East, rings are not exchanged. Rather, the groom gives the bride a
silver cord for around her neck. When the funeral of the husband occurs, and is taken to the cemetery.
Men can go to the grave, but women are not allowed, except the dead man’s wife. She goes to the grave.
When the body is lowered into the grave, prayers are said. The wife loosens the cord and puts it in the
grave. This is the silver cord being loosed. Once she does this, she is free to marry anyone thereafter.
Easterners have no divorces. Death only separates an Eastern couple. To prove to the people, the woman
says, ‘Lord, my husband gave me this silver cord. We lived for another. Now that my husband is dead,
all the vows I made when I got married, I have fulfilled them. I give back to the trough, the silver cord.’
By giving back the silver cord a woman can be loosed from her husband in order to marry again.
At the funeral, every person in the East must be buried by a son. This is why Orientals adopt sons if
they have none. It is a disgrace to a father if his son does not bury him. Jesus called a man to follow him.
The man said, ‘Suffer me first to go and bury my father.’ Jesus said in Matthew 8:22, ‘Let the dead bury
their dead.’ It should say, ‘Let the town bury the dead.’ Mitta—town, metts—dead, are the Aramaic
words. The town is going to bury the dead anyway. They all come out and mourn. Let them bury the
dead. The son carries a golden bowl, an earthen pot gilded in gold and in the funeral procession he puts a
fire in the pot and holds the bowl by strings. The son walks before the body in the procession, and he
carries the bowl. The fire in the bowl is symbolic of life. The pot is symbolic of the body. The gold is
symbolic of glory, or position, of the amount of money, of the number of people who loved the man who
is dead. The son breaks this because the son now assumes the glory, position, prestige, body and life of
the father. God says, ‘Don’t wait for this to happen. Remember now, thy Creator.’
The graveyards are mostly built on a mountain top. Most have oak trees, symbolic of the presence of
God. Jacob’s wife brought idols, and buried them under the oak tree. (Genesis 35:4) The angel of the
Lord sat under the oak tree in Judges 6:11. After the burial, there is a fountain not far from the graveyard
where there is a flowing water. All of the men bathe in it. Because, if a man goes to a funeral, he is
defiled, contaminated by coming near a dead body (in Leviticus). Every person who comes to a funeral
must bathe before returning home. If 1,000 go to the grave, then 1,000 must bathe. This is why the
graveyards are near a fountain. This is another reason the women cannot attend the funerals. They
cannot bathe in the open place with the men. The women leave the outside of the graveyard and bathe at
home. At the fountain, everyone sits down in the flowing waters. They use a pitcher supplied by the
mourners. This pitcher, a jug, is filled with water and poured on the head as they sit in the fountain. The
pitchers then become a part of the funeral. If 100 people bathe, 100 people receive pitchers. After
bathing, they all break their pitchers. Because anything belonging to the dead man must not be taken home.
Fountain and cistern are the same thing. A wheel is on an open hospital stretcher type thing which
carries the dead body, so everyone on the street can see the dead man’s face. It is rolled on four wheels.
They did not use coffins; they remembered the record of Jesus touching the bier and raising the widow’s
son in Luke 7:14. After the body is buried the bier is broken, despite its beauty. Whatever belongs to the
dead man must not return home with anyone.
Death. Cistern and fountain are interchangeable. ‘Wheel’ is a stretcher on wheels, like a bier, all
decorated. This bier is broken into pieces at the cemetery.
See topical teaching on ‘Funeral,’ same tape and index.
Verse 7 Heir ship—robe, keys
Verse 7: Dust is the body. The spirit returns to God who gave it. (Hindus believe that as soon as a
person dies his ‘spirit’ goes immediately into another body to be born again. That is why they are not
afraid to die. Death is like merely changing the clothes. When a Hindu knows he is about to die he can
sense it. He calls the family together after he lies down on the bed. He gives last instructions. Raises his
hand and blessed family, then folds hands and dies. Only Christians make a big scene over death because
they do not believe what the Word says is going to happen to them. The eldest Hindu son closes the
eyelids of the parent as Joseph did for Jacob. Even though Joseph had an older brother, Reuben, Joseph
was the eldest of his father’s beloved. God saw Jacob’s heart and granted his desire by counting Joseph as
the eldest. God grants our desires likewise. The father, in a ceremonial service, makes his eldest son an
heir before the father dies. He presents him with the white robe of heirship (it was not a ‘coat of many
colors’) and with the keys of the household. The keys are on a long string with maybe 25 on each end.
The father hangs the keys over the son’s shoulder and then everyone knows he has the authority of the
household. God laid the keys of the house of David on the shoulder of His son Jesus Christ (Isaiah
22:22). He is the Ruler. He is King of kings and Lord of lords.
Verses 7-10 Have no Orientalisms.
Verses 9-11 Back to Ecclesiastes 12:11, ‘The Words of the wise’ which is the Word of God. ‘Goad’ is
a 2 or 3 foot long stick.
Verses 9 and 10—no orientalism
Verse 11 Goads, nails.
‘Words of the wise’ means the Word of God, are as goads. Goads are sticks that are 3-4 feet long
like a cane, with a sharp needle fixed there. The Eastern farmer has a hand on the plow and a goad in the
other hand, to encourage the oxen. The man sticks the oxen in the thigh. The ox will kick back and the
farmer holds the goad steady so that the ox kicks back against the goad. Acts 9:5: When we disobey
God, we are pricked by the Word of God, a goad. (Hebrews 4:12) it pricks both ways. Only when we go
wrong do we get pricked. Don’t kick back against the Word of God. ‘Nails’ should be ‘spears.’ Spears
are made like arrows. Spear is 4-5 feet long made of steel. Spear is a symbol of righteousness and
permanency. ‘masters of assemblies’ is where the judges sit. On the dais where they are seated, there is
a bar running in front of them, where there are many spears lines up. These spears are donated by
shepherds in the East. If 100 spears are needed, usually 100 different shepherds supply these spears.
Here ‘one shepherd’ donates these spears.
Goads, nails. The words of the wise are as goads. A goad is a stick about 20 inches long used by
Eastern farmers. At the end of it is a steel needle or pin. The stick is of wood. It is held in one hand
while the plow is in the other during plowing operation, often under the yoke. (Luke 9:62) If a man
looks back, one ox will go one way and the other, another. The plow will go topsy-turvy. We should go
straight forward following Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. If we don’t walk with Him and look
away from him, we cannot have anything but a topsy-turvy life. The goad is used to keep the oxen in line
with a sharp prick applied to the ox in the thigh which tries to go out of line. Then the ox will kick back
against the prick because the farmers hold the goad stationary. The man does not prick the oxen
continually. If they kick back, they are pricking themselves (Acts 16:14). We must not kick back against
God’s Word. We must confess our sin and walk ahead with our eyes on Christ. When the oxen walk
straight, the farmer does not prick. When we walk straight we are not suffering any consequences. Then
we say, ‘I am a good man, why are these things happening to me?’ We kick back against the pricks. The
more we kick back, the worse we are pricked. We should walk forward with our eyes on Christ. The
goad is symbolic of the Word of God. The Word of God is a two-edged sword.
‘Nails’ should be ‘spears.’ Spears are 3 to 4 feet long, piece of steel with a sharp point at the end.
Spears can be seen at the courthouses in England. There is usually one stuck up in front of the gate.
Whenever there is a courthouse built, the judge sits on a raised dais. Around their seat, spears are sticking
up, maybe 200 for this space. Shepherds supply these spears. The spears are not bought. All of the
shepherds are contacted. Each shepherd brings one spear. It depends how many spears (railings) are
needed. If you need 100 spears, 100 shepherds must bring one.
The Word of God is both a goad and spear. A goad because it pricks only when man goes wrong. A
spear because it is permanent and gives all the protection and safety and sustenance as he believes God,
that is needed. If a man is in Christ Jesus, he is protected forever. There are thousands of spears in both
Old and New Testament. All spears in the Word of God were given by one shepherd, the Lord Jesus
Christ
Goad
Goads were used to prod or prick the animals. Nails should be ‘spears,’ cuts on both sides, double
edged. Goad pricks us when we are wrong. It convicts us, tells you when you are wrong. Spear is used
when we are cold or lukewarm. ‘The words of the wise’ is the Word of God or preached Word. When
an ox would go wrong, the goad was used to prick it to the right direction. If the ox kicked back, the goad
was held there to prick ox’s foot. Best practice is to go straight on with the first prick. The same with
God, when His Word or the preached Word tells us to ‘straighten out,’ then you do it. Just ask
forgiveness and change immediately. The shepherds used spears to build a courthouse: symbolic of
righteousness, honesty and permanency. They use spears for battle. Swords are western. Sword in the
Word means spear. The spear area is where judgments were made. There were spears around a raised
Dais area. They sit behind the Word of God (spears); they are supposed to have God’s authority to give
judgment on every case brought before them. They are fastened together which are given from on
shepherd. The spears are given by many shepherds. One from each. But these ‘words of the wise’.
They are given by only one authority: sole authority of the Word is God. Jesus Christ is the chief
shepherd.