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Bible Commentaries
Ecclesiastes 11

Morgan's Exposition on the Whole BibleMorgan's Exposition

Verses 1-10

The method of worldly wisdom is not that of discretion only; it is, moreover, that of diligence, and this passage urges such diligence. Again, we have taken more than one text out of this passage to preach the truth of God, and therein we do not necessarily do wrong, for there are high spiritual applications of all these things. However, it must be remembered that here they are related to the outlook which has characterized the whole discourse. We have not yet reached, though we are fast approaching it, the point of correction. The whole of this may be summarized by saying that it teaches the necessity for diligence in the midst of the things of this life, "Cast thy bread upon the waters" is an injunction to the toiler that makes harvest possible. "Give a portion to seven" is advice to use all opportunity speculatively, because one does not know what calamities may be ahead, and because it is well to have provided beforehand for such contingencies. All this is followed by advice not to waste time in attempting to decide improbable things; and, finally the words of verses six and seven may be expressed in latter-day language as, "Get at it"; "Keep at it"; "Make hay while the sun shines." Almost weirdly this section, setting forth the value and method of worldly wisdom, ends in the same wail of disappointment which has characterized the whole of the discourse. "If a man live many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember the days of darkness, for they shall be many. All that cometh is vanity."

The last division of the Book begins with the ninth verse of this chapter. Its first word, like the first word of the Manifesto of the King in later days, indicates the true thought and desire of God for man: "Rejoice." A statement of life which includes all of truth recognized in the discourse, and yet which far transcends the whole of it, is first made. A man is to enter into life, his own life, and his present life, with avidity; and he is constantly to do so in the sight of God, remembering his relationship to God. Judgment here does not mean punishment but verdict. Everything is to be tested first by the supremacy of God. To attempt to find Him through the medium of our self-pleasing use of life is utterly to fail. To enthrone Him first, and then attempt to find life through Him, is to cancel forever the word "vanity."

Bibliographical Information
Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 11". "Morgan's Exposition on the Bible". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gcm/ecclesiastes-11.html. 1857-84.
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