Eecclesiastes Proverbs – Review

Ecclesiastes and Proverbs

by Solomon et al
by Sleeping Dogg

Solomon was a wise old dude and wanted to make sure people would know it in our day, so he had his scribes write down his vision of the world ca 900 B.C. The results are these two books, to be found, of course, in the dusty old King James you have lying around someplace. At the risk of offending the women readers, it must be pointed out that these are books for men; more specifically, they are written for young men, a sort of instruction manual on how to view the world and its reality (Ecclesiastes) and how to deal with women, money, crooks, friends, and enemies (Proverbs).

Nevertheless the advice is good for everyone. It has to be assumed that Solomon knew some of what he was talking about, since it is well established that he was both rich and very good with women, and for these reasons, of course, had more than his share of friends, enemies, and crooks to deal with. The main thrust of Ecclesiastes is that every work of man comes to nothing. The world will wear down everyone and every thing and so judgement of people and things should not go past what is necessary for a society to function. The best thing to do, it says, is to be prudent and try to please God and not be “exceeding righteous.” So said Solomon who was so wise.

The book of Proverbs is less philosophical and deals mostly in simple, practical advice. The array of topics here is too broad to cover fully, but chief ones are finances, booze, gambling, love, and fools. Women are the most curious topic. “The road to hell begins at the harlot’s door,” Solomon advises. He also says, “The lips of the strange woman are as fine oil,” but that in the end she will deceive. Solomon himself had 700 wives and 300 concubines (so it says elsewhere in the Bible), and married extensively outside of Israel (this is what is meant by “strange”), and feminists for centuries have pointed out that this must make him something of a hypocrite. It is probably so, but as every critic of the species must know, so is every man when it comes to love.