Ecclesiastes 7:21-29

Ecclesiastes 7:21

Also take no heed unto all words that are spoken; lest thou hear thy servant curse thee:


Solomon continues his thought from verse 20 where he states that all humans are sinners and he counsels us not to take heed of all the words which are spoken because most of the words spoken against someone could include fabrications of truth.  Many times stories that are told about people by people who dislike them are mostly hyperbole and slanders.  If we take to heart everything people say about us, excluding proper constructive criticisms, then we can get to the point of becoming mentally unstable and then fulfilling the things which are spoken.  Gossip is something which should be avoided and never heeded. And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.  (James 3:6)


Ecclesiastes 7:22

For oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others.


Since there is no one who does not sin, that would also include us which means if we looked back at our lives, we could find times when we slandered someone behind their back with gossip and false stories.  In other words, we would find out that we are just as guilty as those who speak against us.  Sometimes we get so angry that we will verbally abuse someone to their face.  But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.  (James 3:8)


Ecclesiastes 7:23

All this have I proved by wisdom: I said, I will be wise; but it was far from me.


Solomon had proved all the things which he has recorded with the wisdom given him.  He had stated that he wanted to be wise so he would not engage himself in any of the aforementioned practices but as a fallible human, he finds out that trying to be wise and controlling himself is hard and sometimes his emotions gets the best of him, no matter how hard he tries.  Even Job asked the question concerning wisdom when he was facing the counsel of his three friends.  Whence then cometh wisdom? and where is the place of understanding?  (Job 28:20) 


Ecclesiastes 7:24

That which is far off, and exceeding deep, who can find it out?


No human being is able to find out the deeper things of God and the wisdom needed in this world.  Our sinful minds continue to hinder our understanding and when we do gain any understanding, the world is so sinful that sometimes we allow ourselves to be derailed by it and we then set aside the wisdom we have.  O LORD, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep.  (Psalm 92:5)  Deep can also carry with it the meaning of profound.


Ecclesiastes 7:25

I applied mine heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness:


The word applied carries with it the meaning of “compass or turn around.”  Here Solomon is stating that he actually compassed his heart to search and seek out wisdom.  He also desired to know the reason that things happen as to what is the catalyst for many things.  Then he turned his heart around and investigated folly which is silliness or craziness.  Then he turned his heart to find out the reason for foolishness and madness.  Madness” would be “foolhardiness” and “folly” would be “silliness or foolishness.”  Solomon had made a complete study of all the tenets of life from wisdom to foolishness.


Ecclesiastes 7:26

And I find more bitter than death the woman, whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands: whoso pleaseth God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her.


Solomon continues his thread from verse 25.  Since Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines, he now makes an allusion to women when he speaks about folly since his marital state would make him an expert on this.  Here Solomon now compares the bitterness of death with the unprincipled woman.  He states that he finds the unprincipled woman to be worse than death since the living are susceptible to her strategies.  He compares her heart to that of the fowler who captures birds.  Her heart is a snare and a net although unknown to the unsuspecting person she has her eye on.  Her hands are like a band which carries with it the meaning of “prison or bonds.”  Those who are walking with the Lord will be able to use wisdom and see her for what she is but the unsuspecting sinner who seeks only pleasure in this world will be taken or caught by her.  That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words.  (Proverbs 7:5) In the end the sinner falls into a trap where he could lose everything including his own soul. 


Ecclesiastes 7:27

Behold, this have I found, saith the preacher, counting one by one, to find out the account:


Now Solomon brings this matter to a conclusion.  The preacher, that is, Solomon now makes a full account and a detailed one by counting the results one by one so he may gain a greater understanding of what he has found.  The word “account” carries with it the meaning of “reason.”  He desired to find out the reasons for things that drive a person do certain things whether it be folly or wisdom based.


Ecclesiastes 7:28

Which yet my soul seeketh, but I find not: one man among a thousand have I found; but a woman among all those have I not found. 


He continued to investigate the things which he was searching out but was still unable to come to a final conclusion.  Solomon could only find one good man who had a good name among a thousand and was virtuous.  Yet among the one thousand women that he had as wives and concubines, he could not find one who had a heart which sought for his good or who had a good reputation.  And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart.  (1 Kings 11:3)  All the women he had, tried to turn his heart to the false gods they served in their countries.  I am sure there must have been much contention among them.  If you have two women after the same man, they will fight.  Can you imagine 1,000 women competing for the love of just one man?  I have seen YouTube videos where women fight and they are worse than the guys. 


Ecclesiastes 7:29

Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.


Solomon then makes a conclusion on this matter.  He found that God created man upright, that is, when he created Adam and Eve they were without sin and living in paradise but they were not satisfied and hoped to become like God in the matter of knowing good and evil.  Instead of remaining obedient to the LORD, they sinned against him and plunged the whole human race into sin.  This is what modern man does, he is not satisfied with whatever situation God has placed him in and is always looking for the proverbial “greener pastures.”  Solomon is showing us that there are no greener pastures on this present earth.