Ecclesiastes 2:24

Hebrew Bible

22 What does a man acquire from all his labor and from the anxiety that accompanies his toil on earth? 23 For all day long his work produces pain and frustration, and even at night his mind cannot relax. This also is futile! 24 There is nothing better for people than to eat and drink, and to find enjoyment in their work. I also perceived that this ability to find enjoyment comes from God. 25 For no one can eat and drink or experience joy apart from him. 26 For to the one who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy, but to the sinner, he gives the task of amassing wealth—only to give it to the one who pleases God. This task of the wicked is futile—like chasing the wind!

1 Enoch 98:11


9 Woe to you, ye fools, for through your folly shall ye perish: and ye transgress against the wise, and so good hap shall not be your portion. 10 And now, know ye that ye are prepared for the day of destruction: wherefore do not hope to live, ye sinners, but ye shall depart and die; for ye know no ransom; for ye are prepared for the day of the great judgement, for the day of tribulation and great shame for your spirits. 11 Woe to you, ye obstinate of heart, who work wickedness and eat blood: Whence have ye good things to eat and to drink and to be filled? From all the good things which the Lord the Most High has placed in abundance on the earth; therefore ye shall have no peace. 12 Woe to you who love the deeds of unrighteousness: wherefore do ye hope for good hap unto yourselves? know that ye shall be delivered into the hands of the righteous, and they shall cut off your necks and slay you, and have no mercy upon you. 13 Woe to you who rejoice in the tribulation of the righteous; for no grave shall be dug for you.

 Notes and References

"... One might ask questions: Where will he store his goods while the bigger barns are being built? And why tear down existing barns? Why not simply build additional ones? Such questions are not dealt with in the story; it is typical for parables to portray 'all-or-nothing' activity. In 12:19 the man rehearses the existential consequences of the action regarding his future. He speaks to himself, addressing himself as though talking to a separate personality ('soul ...'). To do so is not unique in the scriptural tradition (compare Psalm 42:5; 103:1; 104:1, 35) and Jewish literature. He assures himself that he will have plenty; that he will have no need or want for many years. The term 'soul' does not designate a particular part of the man's being, but rather the entire self. The final saying ('eat, drink, and be merry') is commonplace. Similar sayings appear elsewhere in Jewish tradition (LXX Ecclesiastes 8:15 having the same Greek verbs as here ... compare also Ecclesiastes 2:24; Isaiah 22:13; Tobit 7:10; 1 Enoch 98:11) ..."

Hultgren, Arland J. The Parables of Jesus: A Commentary (pp. 106-107) William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2000

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