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On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 30: Requiem for the Wicked

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On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 30: Requiem for the Wicked

While this last presentation in our commentary On the Wisdom of Solomon is titled Requiem for the Wicked, we certainly are not going to sing dirges for bastards. However we are compelled to illustrate the overarching theme in this Wisdom of Solomon which was purposely designed to impart an essential lesson, a lesson which in itself also contains many smaller lessons. Solomon’s intention here has not been to ramble on about unrelated subjects, where he may appear to have forsaken his first comparisons of the wicked and the righteous and had randomly changed to a discussion of the beginnings of idolatry and its consequences, and then again to a discussion of the Exodus account while presenting the initial prayer in which he had supplicated Yahweh for wisdom. Rather, his prayer illustrates what true wisdom is, which is the fear and the knowledge of God, and culminates by comparing the destinies of two nations, one of them wicked and one of them righteous, at least, in the eyes of God. In the end what is righteous is what Yahweh considers righteous, and not what men consider righteous.

As we read in the 111th Psalm, “10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.” This is the lesson which Solomon conveys throughout this work, while making illustrations of the motives, methods and folly of all of those who depart from it. Therefore all of the changes of course throughout this work were calculated, and all of the themes which he presented here are woven together into a single cohesive lesson. However for reason of its length, for the many analogies which it contains, and for its frequent turns of course, the overarching lesson may be easily overlooked by casual readers. But clearly, by enveloping this work with discourses concerning the beginnings and the ends of the wicked, we see that the Exodus account has been set forth here as an example for both men and nations, that the ungodly, or impious, put themselves on a path to destruction, that wicked men who desire to rule by their own strength become unrighteous rulers, and they ultimately bring entire nations down that same destructive path, where in the end, the righteous will escape their destruction only by the grace of God, as the righteous are in the hand of God whether they themselves realize it or not.

On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 29: Born From Above

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On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 29: Born From Above

In the last portion of this commentary, throughout chapter 18 of the Wisdom of Solomon, we saw a description of The Emergent World, as Solomon himself had described the world as being represented by the long garment of the high priest of Israel which had contained twelve gemstones representing each of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel. The breastplate of the garment contained little else besides those gemstones and the Urim and Thummim, which ostensibly represented the twelve tribes under the judgment and counsel of Yahweh their God. Yet Solomon described that as “the whole world” where he said in verse 24: “For in the long garment was the whole world, and in the four rows of the stones was the glory of the fathers graven, and thy Majesty upon the diadem of his head.” This world, referring to the particular κόσμος or society and not to the entire planet, was formed by God Himself as He chose the children of Israel, the seed of Abraham, to endure the trials which they had experienced in Egypt, and coming out of Egypt to be established in His laws and to be organized according to His Word. Solomon will repeat that same profession in another way here in Wisdom chapter 19, whereby he also reveals the meaning of the phrase “born from above”.

In Genesis chapter 15, Abraham was forewarned of this by God, where after Yahweh God had made many other promises to him, we read “13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; 14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.” The four hundred years, as it had been reckoned by Paul of Tarsus and as it is evident in the historical narrative of Scripture, included the time from Abraham’s arrival in Canaan to the subsequent sojourn of Jacob in Egypt and the period during which the Israelites were actually enslaved by the Egyptians, which was only something less than 180 years. This method of counting is verified where in verse 16 of that same chapter of Genesis, it says that “in the fourth generation they shall come hither again”, and in the genealogies it is evident that when Jacob went to Egypt with Levi, his son Kohath was already born, and Kohath was the father of Amram, the father of Moses. So Moses was the fourth generation from Jacob, and although several generations were born after him, he led them back “hither” to the land of Canaan.

On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 28: The Emergent World

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On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 28: The Emergent World

Throughout these late chapters of Wisdom, Solomon had described at length particular elements of the account of the Exodus and the punishments which had come upon Egypt, while contrasting those to the various trials and blessings which were experienced by the Israelites both during and after their own flight from Egypt. Making this comparison, Solomon asserted that Yahweh God had punished the Egyptians for their destruction. However in the process of doing so, He had sheltered Israel from those plagues, although in the preservation of Israel they were also often chastised for their correction. So in his analogy, and especially the manner in which he described the account of the serpents which had beset the children of Israel in the desert, or how they were once fed with the strange-tasting meat of quail-mothers, Solomon conveys the lesson that even when Israel is punished it is to effect their ultimate preservation.

Now, in this 18th chapter of Wisdom, Solomon remains focused on that first Passover upon which the Egyptians had suffered the death of their firstborn. So where he presented an account of this event as an analogy, which continues throughout this chapter, we see that the Egyptians had died of fear in darkness while in the dark of night the children of Israel were preserved in a great light. That light evidently represents the presence of Yahweh God over Egypt, as He both punished the Egyptians and preserved His people Israel. So where we had left off midway through the chapter in our last presentation in this commentary, we had also concluded that: “once The Dark of Night had stricken the Egyptians, the nation never again recovered its former glory, but instead had entered a long period of stagnation and decline. At that same time, the Israelites having enjoyed The Light of Day went on to become a great kingdom.” As Solomon concludes this chapter, we shall indeed see that this was the emergent world, and that in this manner Egypt, representing the old world, also stands as a type, or model, for the future.

On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 27: The Light of Day

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On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 27: The Light of Day

Before we begin our commentary on this 18th chapter of the Wisdom of Solomon, I would like to make a few notes regarding its timeliness, since here Solomon continues to discuss the very first Passover. By my reckoning, the ancient Israelite calendar had to be fixed to the agricultural cycle of the land in which they lived, or it would not serve them. So the feast of first fruits, or the feast of weeks as it was called, being seven weeks after the Passover, had to come at the same time every year, or the first fruits would not be available at the proper time for the feast. Likewise, the feast of tabernacles had to correspond with the time of the harvest, or there would not have been food sufficient for such a holiday. In Exodus chapter 23 we see in a reference to the feast of tabernacles that it was also called “the feast of ingathering, which is in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labours out of the field.” There is another reference to Tabernacles as ingathering at Exodus 34:22, which also shows that it was a feast related to the harvest, and dependent upon the harvest.

So for this reason, that the calendar and the cycle of agriculture had to remain in consistent harmony with one another, the year itself must have started at the same time, on the same date, from one year to the next. The feasts were set to fixed dates in the year, so there was no waiting around for the fruits to ripen. Therefore while it is not mentioned in Scripture, that date must have been the day following the observation of the vernal equinox, which for us marks the first day of Spring. It has long been recognized by archaeologists that ancient stone circles and other stone monuments such as those at Stonehenge or Newgrange in Ireland were constructed with features marking the dates of equinoxes and solstices. The Vernal Equinox occurred on March 20th this year. Then, as the Scriptures command, the fourteenth day from that day would be April 3rd on our calendars, and therefore on this very evening, April 2nd, the Passover should begin, in spite of whatever calendar is kept by the Jews or the Roman Catholics or other denominations.

On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 26: The Dark of Night

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On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 26: The Dark of Night

In our last presentation in this commentary on Wisdom, presenting chapter 16, we discussed Solomon’s narrative as a Tale of Two Torments, wherein he made continual analogies which compare the punishment of the Egyptians for their destruction to the frequent punishments of the children of Israel for their correction. Solomon having done this, there must be something of substance to these comparisons which the ancient Israelites of his own time, who were much closer to the actual history of the post-Exodus period, could have understood and from which they could have learned.

In the centuries before and during the approximately 200 years that the children of Israel were in Egypt, it was a great empire which exerted its control or influence far beyond its own borders, and also held subject many of the city-states of the Levant as vassals. But from the time of pharaoh Thutmose III, which is when the Exodus had occurred, to the time of Akhenaten not even a hundred years later, Egypt had rather quickly decreased in power to the point where, as the Amarna Letters fully reflect, it would not even care to defend its vassal states in Palestine against the invading Hebrews.

For several centuries thereafter, throughout the Judges period and until the time of the divided kingdom and the chastisement of Rehoboam, Egypt had not been a threat to Israel, and apparently showed little interest in regaining its dominion over Palestine. During a short-lived revival, Rameses II exerted Egyptian military strength at the battle of Kadesh against the Hittites, where he failed in his attempt to gain the northern Syrian city. However whatever he may or may not have done in Palestine was unnoticed in Scripture and seems to have been of no consequence, as his own inscriptions were boastful and his achievements were overstated.

Then by the time of the prophet Isaiah, Egypt was invaded and was ruled over for a time by Nubians, and its blood was spoiled forever. During another short-lived revival, over a century after the deportations of Israel and apparently soon after the fall of the Assyrian Empire, Egypt once again sent its armies north, in an attempt to gain control of the ancient Hittite capital city of Carchemish for itself, which is when Josiah king of Judah was slain in battle. Shortly thereafter Egypt would fall subject to the Babylonians, and then to the Persians, and continued its decline until it became a colony for both Macedonians and Romans. So while Egypt has not really been Egypt in well over 2,500 years, its decline and inevitable destruction truly did begin with the Exodus.

On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 25: A Tale of Two Torments

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On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 25: A Tale of Two Torments

One thing which we find most striking in Solomon’s descriptions of the origins and practice of idolatry here in Wisdom is that the general patterns of behavior which lead to idolatry do not change, and they have not changed even over the last three thousand years. In ancient times men, worshipping the works of their own hands, had created idols which they said to be gods. Then whether they were artificers seeking to make more money from their craft or whether they pretended to be priests of some god, for their own profit they deceived others into worshipping their idols while offering them vain hope in a dead object. Of course a third way is the idolatry of kings, who compelled men by threat of force to worship idols of their choosing.

So today men worship commercial icons such as Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, or perhaps some sports figures who endorse certain products. Men worship these idols by going out and engaging in commerce on account of those images which were created by others for the sake of their own profit. At the same time they teach their children to worship those images through the anticipation that they may receive things from them, and when the children find that they are not real, or that they are only mere men who often fail to live up to their expectations, and who cannot really do much beyond playing a game anyway, the children may wonder why their parents taught them lies.

So the love of money certainly is the The Root of All Evil, and as we saw at the end of Wisdom chapter 15, Yahweh God often punishes men with their own delusions. So here in Wisdom, Solomon made another analogy which should be one of the lessons of history, which is the fact that in the plagues of Egypt, the Egyptians were punished with some of the same beasts which they themselves had once worshipped. The Egyptians and other enemies of the ancient Israelites were punished for their destruction, but whenever Israel was punished for their disobedience, it was for their correction, and there was mercy in their punishment. So this is a tale of two torments, or at least, punishments inflicted upon different men for entirely different reasons.

On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 24: The Root of All Evil

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On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 24: The Root of All Evil

As we had noted in the first portion of our commentary on Wisdom chapter 15, when Solomon began his discourse on the subject of idolatry he used the example of a woodworker who in his spare time had made an idol from leftover and otherwise useless wood, and the result of his leisure was that he began to worship the works of his own hands. Now where we had left off in this chapter, Solomon had made a similar analogy of a potter, who purposely and deceitfully crafted and painted images of false gods for men to worship. As a result, men who worship the gods which are made in their own image, or in the images of other men, are led astray into all sorts of other sins which are much more grievous, and ultimately they are led to their own destruction.

So we had also noted that the will to commit idolatry is rooted in pride and arrogance, even when the motive is profit, but that true humility is a willingness to be obedient to God. So even before we began our commentary on chapter 15 of Wisdom, we had concluded that “… forsaking Yahweh we cannot help but sin, and we sin arrogantly as we have purposely forsaken God.” But now as we proceed with Wisdom chapter 15, we may see that even Solomon understood the Christian concept of humility which the apostles had also taught, which is to acknowledge one’s sin and seek forgiveness without imagining that one may escape the judgments of God.”

So now we shall take a short digression, as we ask ourselves a question: What was the humility of the apostles, which Solomon also understood? To answer that, we must understand the concept of patriarchy in antiquity, since we have not lived under such a construct for many centuries. It is through this same concept of patriarchy that even God asserts His rights over His children. While as a nation the children of Israel collectively were considered the wife or bride of Yahweh, individually they are each His children, and therefore they are subject to Him as their patriarch.

On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 23: Arrogance and Humility

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On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 23: Arrogance and Humility

Discussing The Idolatry of Kings in our last presentation of this commentary on the Wisdom of Solomon, it is evident that two such types of idolatry were described: the decrees of kings which forced men to worship certain idols, and the depravity of men who would worship and even encourage others to worship the kings themselves. Encouraging others to worship a king, they seek in turn to flatter the king while making a profit for themselves. So while at first, as we read in verse 16 of Wisdom chapter 14, “graven images were worshipped by the commandments of kings”, later on men “made an express image of a king whom they honoured, to the end that by this their forwardness they might flatter him that was absent, as if he were present”, and through this process “the singular diligence of the artificer did help to set forward the ignorant to more superstition.”

The former mode of idolatry was described as being compulsory, and the later as being voluntary. But if we consider this further, even the compulsory form of such idolatry, whereby a king issues religious decrees, is only possible through the voluntary actions of men. A king cannot rule over any city or any nation unless a certain number of the population have willingly accepted that rule, and then assist in compelling others to accept it even when those others would otherwise refuse, using force on behalf of the man who would be king. Even kings are installed by dominant political parties, the word party actually being a euphemism for gang. So in rather simple language, Solomon is actually describing one aspect of how it is that the wicked come to rule over the righteous, and how they fulfill their endeavor where they had stated, as it was described in Wisdom chapter 2, “11 Let our strength be the law of justice: for that which is feeble is found to be nothing worth.”

On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 22: The Idolatry of Kings

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On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 22: The Idolatry of Kings

As the ancient children of Israel had conquered the land of Canaan, as it is described throughout Scripture they themselves had eventually strayed and had begun to adopt the ways of those whom they had conquered. So Solomon, explaining this phenomenon which we considered one of the important Lessons from History when we discussed Wisdom chapter 12, had begun to describe for his readers the Patterns of Idolatry, which in turn have led to the Adulation of Men. But in ancient times the adulation of men then led to the worship of kings, and men would ultimately be compelled to accept the idolatry of kings.

Earlier in Wisdom, in chapter 2, Solomon had illustrated for us a Portrait of the Wicked whereby he described the desires of wicked men who would oppress the righteous and make themselves the law, as they are portrayed as have exclaimed “Let our strength be the law of justice: for that which is feeble is found to be nothing worth.” In making themselves the law and oppressing the righteous, it seems that the next natural step in the development of tyranny is to acquire control of the minds of the people so that the tyrants can continue to rule over their lives.

Believing what one chooses to believe is a privilege of modern Liberalism. In ancient times, throughout much of history, men often had no choice in what they professed to believe, even if they thought otherwise. So Paul and Silas were in Philippi in Macedonia when they upset some pagans, who, as it is recorded in Acts chapter 16, had seized them “20 And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Judaeans, do exceedingly trouble our city, 21 And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans. 22 And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them. 23 And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely.” Being Romans, the men were required to believe a certain religion and to live by it. In that manner the aristocracy and priesthood of ancient Rome held its grip on the functioning of the greater society.

On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 21: The Adulation of Men

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On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 21: The Adulation of Men

Ostensibly, the first sin in the Garden of Eden was caused by the admiration of a man. As we read in chapter 2 of the Wisdom of Solomon: “24 Nevertheless through envy of the devil came death into the world: and they that do hold of his side do find it.” Today, most supposed Christians continue to adore or worship men, many of whom are devils, through professional sports, entertainment and other media. They may imagine that they are only being entertained, but they are actually also engaged in adoring and idolizing their entertainers. Then they adapt themselves to the moral, religious and political values of those same entertainers, because they want to be like them. But the result is that they are no better off than the sinners who had submitted themselves to the ancient priests of Baal, and according to Tertullian and other ancient authorities, the people had even worshipped the genitals of the priests. That may be graphic, but that is the truth of antiquity, and it is an underlying truth in the allure of Hollywood.

In a different manner, adherents to Roman Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy have also always worshipped men, by bowing themselves before icons and making prayers to presumed saints. But in reality, if you can worship dead men, what is it to worship men who are living? The churches call it veneration rather than worship, and they call the dead saints intercessors rather than gods. But it is all the same, that to bow or kneel before a dead effigy and beg some favor is to worship something dead, something that cannot even help itself. That is the core of what Solomon describes here as the beginning of idolatry.

On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 20: The Paths to Hell

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On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 20: The Paths to Hell

Of course, when I use the word hell here, I am using it metaphorically to describe the punishments we suffer for the consequences of our sin in this life, which is how the word Gehenna was used by Christ Himself in the New Testament.

One dictionary informs us that a cliché is generally a phrase or opinion that is “overused and betrays a lack of original thought on the part of the speaker.” But if the cliché is true, perhaps it reflects the only valid reaction which the speaker should have to a given situation. In those cases, it may be reckless to simply dismiss an idea because it is a cliché, at least by some portion of those who hear it. Repent. Jesus is coming. These warnings have become meaningless clichés in our modern society, since few people believe them and as Jewish entertainment and media has mocked them in various ways for many decades. But they are still true, whether the enemies of Christ mock them or not.

In our last presentation in this commentary on the Wisdom of Solomon, we discussed the patterns of idolatry, the inevitable decadence which results from idolatry, and how the ancient Israelites were oppressed by their enemies every time they turned to idolatry until they were finally sent off into captivity. The lessons from history could not be more clear. What matters is not what our enemies are doing, or what they may be trying to do. What really matters is only what we, the modern nations of Christendom, White Europeans, are doing as a people. When we turn to idolatry and sin, we shall inevitably be oppressed by our enemies. When Jews and all those who hate Christ rule over us, it is only because we have sinned, and there will never be a solution until we repent.

On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 19: Patterns of Idolatry

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On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 19: Patterns of Idolatry

When I began to write this commentary, I honestly thought that I would finish with Wisdom chapter 13 this evening. But in fact, we will not even begin chapter 13. I had so much to write about concerning these last 4 verses of chapter 12, that we will only finish that chapter.

In our last presentation in this commentary of the Wisdom of Solomon, Lessons from History, we noted how Solomon had used the circumstances relating to the Canaanites in ancient Israel in order to show that wicked races cannot ever conform themselves to the righteousness of God for reason that they are bastards, and because they are corrupt from the beginning, from their very genesis or origin. So for that reason he attested that they will never be able to amend themselves. Then we illustrated how this same lesson is taught throughout Scripture, from the dialogue between Yahweh and Cain and Cain’s immediate actions thereafter, to the dialogues between John the Baptist and Yahshua Christ with the descendants of Cain, in the persons of the Edomite Canaanites of their own time. So in that regard, we should also consider what things befell both John and Christ as a result of those dialogues. Making that illustration, we also noted how Wisdom helps us to understand and explain this phenomenon, as it certainly is a lesson which we must derive from history. That is because, contrary to the insistences of the world, bastards will never please God, and neither will we ourselves please Him so long as we continue to produce or to countenance bastards.

The bastard races of Solomon’s time were engaging in fornication, adultery and Sodomy, among other crimes. But here in Wisdom, Solomon had specifically used infanticide, their sacrificing of their own children to pagan idols, as the foremost example of their wickedness. Many critics of Christianity wrongly accuse the God of the Old Testament of advocating such a thing, because of the demand that Isaac be sacrificed. However infanticide is clearly denounced throughout the Bible, and the trial of Abraham was for a greater purpose as well as an illustration, because Isaac’s life was not taken, while at the same time the practice was common among Abraham’s Canaanite neighbors. But no matter how revolting the act is in the minds of Christians today, child sacrifice was a reality of life in the ancient pagan world, and it was not limited to the land of Canaan.

On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 18: Lessons from History

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On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 18: Lessons from History

In our commentary on Wisdom chapter 11, titled The Wisdom in History, we hope to have illustrated not only how Solomon had deduced lessons from history which are not always obvious to the casual reader or observer, but also how his conclusions agreed with both the words of the prophets and those of the apostles of Christ. For example, in the last three verses of Wisdom chapter 11, we read: “24 For thou lovest all the things that are, and abhorrest nothing which thou hast made: for never wouldest thou have made any thing, if thou hadst hated it. 25 And how could any thing have endured, if it had not been thy will? or been preserved, if not called by thee? 26 But thou sparest all: for they are thine, O Lord, thou lover of souls.” In Genesis chapter 1, everything Yahweh God made was good.

To that we had compared the words of Isaiah chapter 43: “1 But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.” We also compared the words of Paul of Tarsus from 1 Corinthians chapter 6: “20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” Now we must ask, who was bought with a price? We find the answer to that question in Isaiah chapter 52 where it speaks of the children of Israel in captivity and we read: “3 For thus saith the LORD, Ye have sold yourselves for nought; and ye shall be redeemed without money.” The children of Israel were bought with a price, which is the blood of Christ by which they alone were redeemed.

On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 17: The Wisdom in History

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On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 17: The Wisdom in History

As we have already explained, in Wisdom chapter 9 Solomon began to recount what is presented as the prayer for Wisdom which he had made upon his having become the king of Israel, the act of which is described in 1 Kings chapter 3. From that point, his prayer for wisdom consumes the balance of this book of Wisdom. As the prayer progresses, most of its content is a recollection of many of the wonders which were worked by Yahweh God on behalf of the children of Israel throughout their developing history. This results in a unique perspective on the significance of the founding events in the history of Israel, and all subsequent history to this very day began with and has been a product of those events. Solomon attributes the origin and outcome of those events to the wisdom of God, and in doing that he is implicitly proposing the fact that every event in the lives of men and nations has already been determined and is guided by the wisdom of God. The men themselves, or even the nations and their rulers, do not need to understand that wisdom in order to be directed by it, as Yahweh Himself has determined their course, and as events unfold they cannot help but to follow the way which He has already foreseen. They appear to make choices of their own volition, but He already knows the choices they will make. However if men seek to please God, they will seek His wisdom, which He has now offered to them through His Word, and Solomon also presents himself as an example of that here, while he had further implied that even the desire and ability to do that is a gift from God.

On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 16: The Works of Wisdom

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On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 16: The Works of Wisdom

From the beginning of Wisdom chapter 9 we have begun to present and discuss Solomon’s Prayer for Wisdom, a prayer which he continues through to the very end of this book. In the final verse of that chapter, addressing Yahweh God Himself while imploring Him for wisdom so that he can rule over the people righteously, Solomon had acknowledged that through wisdom “18 … the ways of them which lived on the earth were reformed, and men were taught the things that are pleasing unto thee, and were saved through wisdom.” Thus he introduces the theme which begins in this chapter, that by the wisdom which is found in the Word of God, God has preserved and shall continue to preserve His Creation so that His will shall be fulfilled upon earth.

Saying this, Solomon was referring to something which he does not explain explicitly until Wisdom chapter 19, where he wrote in reference to the organization of the children of Israel into a peculiar kingdom under the laws which were given through Moses at Sinai and he said: “6 For the whole creature in his proper kind was fashioned again [from above], serving the peculiar commandments that were given unto them, that thy children might be kept without hurt.” This method of writing, where a conclusion is alluded to but not stated explicitly until he approaches the end of the discourse, is also a feature of Ecclesiastes. That is another aspect of Wisdom which leads me to believe that Solomon was indeed its original author, while the work may also have been translated into Greek by a skilled hand at a later time.

On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 15: The Prayer for Wisdom

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On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 15: The Prayer for Wisdom

Throughout the first eight chapters of the Wisdom of Solomon we have seen several changes of subject. First, Solomon introduced wisdom as the Remedy for Sin and Death, and then he contrasted the attitudes and behavior of impious, or ungodly, men to the attitudes and behavior of the righteous, while concluding that the righteous man stands as a barrier to the designs of the ungodly, and as a result the ungodly would persecute and even seek to destroy the righteous. Doing this, we believe that Solomon was also prophesying a Portrait of the Messiah. Then Solomon offered reassurance to the righteous, as their fate is In the Hand of God while impious men shall inevitably suffer for their foolishness. So after describing the punishments of Everlasting Contempt which await the impious and contrasting them with The Reward of the Righteous, Solomon began to present the wisdom which comes from God in a way that it should appeal to men, and especially to kings, as he being a king was addressing the future kings of Israel.

So Solomon set out to describe The Wisdom of Kings, The Origin of Wisdom and The Beauty of Wisdom, portraying Wisdom as a woman whose allures should cause men to pursue her and desire her for themselves. Then finally, in Wisdom chapter 8, describing The Rewards of Wisdom, Solomon reflects back on his youth to the time when he had first prayed for wisdom, exhorting God for His wisdom. Therefore as we continue our commentary on the Wisdom of Solomon with chapter 9, which begins with a very lengthy prayer, we must note that the author presents the prayer as the very prayer which Solomon had made in his youth, when upon becoming king of Israel he had sought wisdom rather than his own worldly magnification.

To us it is not an extraordinary phenomenon, that the Wisdom of Solomon was considered a part of the Christian Scriptures by the earliest Christians. The book is listed in the canon found in the Muratorian fragment, which dates to about 170 AD, and we are confident that it certainly does belong in our canon, where we would place it alongside Ecclesiastes. It expresses things that are later revealed in the New Testament Scriptures, which are not so obvious in the Old Testament. It also serves to explain statements which are found in the New Testament Scriptures that are not direct quotations from the Old Testament, in a manner that reveals their continuity with the Old Testament.

But to us, it is also not extraordinary that Christians of later periods have ultimately rejected the Wisdom of Solomon. While its status as canon was often disputed by Roman churchmen, even as early as the late 4th century, the Roman and later Greek Orthodox churches had nevertheless retained the book. But modern Protestants have relegated it to apocryphal status, if they have not rejected it entirely. However in any event, even if they retained the book, the Wisdom of Solomon was evidently never taught in any of the universal churches. If they had truly learned the wisdom of Solomon, they would not have been universal.

On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 14: The Rewards of Wisdom

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On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 14: The Rewards of Wisdom

In these last few chapters of Wisdom, Solomon has explained that the wisdom of which he speaks is the wisdom which comes from God, and he related it explicitly to the commandments of God. Doing that he had also explained that such is the wisdom by which kings should justly rule, specifically speaking of the future kings of Israel who would be expected to have the commandments of God. Having characterized that wisdom as a woman, he then described her beauty, and now, proceeding with Wisdom chapter 8, he continues by describing her rewards.

Discussing his description of The Beauty of Wisdom, we left off with Wisdom chapter 8 at verse 9 where Solomon had written that on account of that beauty, “Therefore I purposed to take her to me to live with me, knowing that she would be a counsellor of good things, and a comfort in cares and grief.” However in Ecclesiastes chapter 1, Solomon seemed to have sought to justify his purposeful venture into folly by stating “18 For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.” On the surface, one may suspect a conflict in the two statements, although it is evident that both statements are indeed true. In much wisdom there is much sorrow, as one perceives all of the evil around him. However in wisdom there is also comfort in spite of the grief which it causes, as Solomon had ended Ecclesiastes with an assurance that God will indeed judge men for their works.

On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 13: The Beauty of Wisdom

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On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 13: The Beauty of Wisdom

Making these presentations on the Wisdom of Solomon, we have already presented more than a few arguments in support of our profession that Solomon was indeed the author of this work. However in some of those arguments, it might appear as if we may claim that Wisdom was originally written in Greek, and that is not necessarily true. In earlier portions of this commentary, and namely in Part 2 where we had addressed many criticisms of the work, several times we made references to “the author or translator” of the work. We will not lay claim to know with certainty what was the original language of Wisdom, as there is no definite evidence. But if the original language was indeed Hebrew, it cannot be proven conclusively that the work was not translated by a learned scribe at a time much later than Solomon’s own.

At the end of Wisdom chapter 6, Solomon had promised to disclose the Origin of Wisdom, which he then did here in chapter 7. However first he exhorted his intended readers, who were primarily the future kings of the children of Israel, as to why they should listen to his instruction. Doing that, he then described Wisdom as emanating from God, and began to describe her virtues, depicting Wisdom as a woman to be adored for her beauty. Now here at the end of Wisdom chapter 7, Solomon will continue to profess that the wisdom of which he speaks is indeed the wisdom of God, and continues with an anthropomorphism describing the beauty of Wisdom.

On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 12: The Origin of Wisdom

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On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 12: The Origin of Wisdom

In our last presentation on the Wisdom of Solomon, The Wisdom of Kings, which discussed the first 21 verses of Wisdom chapter 6, we showed how Solomon was actually making an exhortation, although it was expressed as a prescient admonition, that the kings of Israel rule the people righteously by following the counsel and keeping the commandments of God. To Solomon, this was wisdom, and he admonished them that they would suffer trials if they did not heed his warning. He then advised them, according to the commandments of God, to keep holiness holily, that doing so they themselves would be judged holy. Since he was speaking to kings whom he had expected to keep the law, which, as he was writing, can only include the kings of the future children of Israel, then the holiness to which he referred is the separation and distinguishing of Israel that is demanded in the law.

Solomon then advised these kings that if they sought wisdom earnestly, they would find it, that it would not be far from them. Since Solomon was speaking of the wisdom which is from God, his words evoke Paul’s address to the Athenians in Acts chapter 17, where Paul told them that God Himself had given all nations of man, which is properly Adamic man, the opportunity to seek Him, and “27… If surely then they would seek after Him then they would find Him, and indeed He being not far from each one of us.” Then again we read in Hebrews chapter 11: “6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” In like manner, Solomon said in verse 13 of this chapter, as we would translate it, that Wisdom “… comes upon those who desire to know her beforehand.”

On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 11: The Wisdom of Kings

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On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 11: The Wisdom of Kings

Discussing the latter portion of Wisdom chapter 5 in our last presentation on the Wisdom of Solomon here, which was titled Who are the World?, we had observed that Wisdom describes the promised vengeance of Yahweh God against His enemies in different terms, but in a manner which is completely agreeable in meaning with prophecies of that same vengeance which are found in Micah chapter 4 and Revelation chapter 18. Once we understand what Solomon had meant where he said that Yahweh would “make the creature his weapon for the revenge of his enemies”, as he himself defines the creature, or creation, as the twelve tribes of the children of Israel organized under the law in Wisdom chapter 19, then we can also understand that he was describing that same phenomenon which was prophesied in different terms in Micah chapter 4 as a call to the children of Israel to “arise and thresh”, and in Revelation chapter 18 as a call to the people of God to “come out of her My people” and then to turn and “Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.” So all three passages have virtually the same meaning, in the same prophetic context.

So in the Wisdom of Solomon we see what Micah had also prophesied, and what Christ Himself confirms in chapter 18 of His Revelation: that the children of Israel themselves shall ultimately be the instruments which are employed by Yahweh God in the execution of His vengeance against His enemies, and that is the day which all true Christians should await with anticipation. Likewise, Paul had told the Corinthians that they should be ready to revenge all disobedience, once their own obedience is fulfilled (2 Corinthians 10:6). Noticing features such as this in Wisdom is an important step to recognizing the veracity of the work. Ultimately, the proof of a prophet is found in the fulfillment of the prophecy. But in this case, the prophecy is still anticipated, so the fulfillment is not yet realized. However if the author of Wisdom prophesied things which are also found in the words of later prophets, and then in the words of Christ Himself, although the language used to describe those things is markedly different, the prophet is nonetheless verified, because the Word of God has confirmed the prophecy for him.

On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 10: Who are the World?

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On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 10: Who are the World?

Initially I wanted to mock pop culture and pondered the title We are the World for this presentation, but sadly there are always questions and contentions, even among various assortments of Identity Christians, over the scope and comprehension of that simple two-letter word, we. Another popular product of our corrupted modern culture had more recently mused about “Forever trusting who we are and nothing else matters”. To me those words may almost ring true, if we properly interpret that same word, we, but his error is made evident a few lines later where he sang “Life is ours, we live it our way”, and believing that opens a door to a multitude of sins. While James Hetfield may have been singing about his own intimate relationship, the words have constantly been echoed through the minds of a generation of Western and marginally Christian youth, and people come to believe what they often repeat to themselves. But as Paul of Tarsus had written in chapter 6 of his first epistle to the Corinthians, “19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” Paul’s words there are true, whether or not we are cognizant of how they are true. Man has no control over his own destiny, and it is hubris to think otherwise. Therefore man must seek to please the God who does control his destiny, and live His way. That is certainly one of the significant underlying messages in the Wisdom of Solomon.

In our last presentation in this commentary on Wisdom, we had left off in Wisdom chapter 5 where Solomon had departed from his descriptions of the plight of the ungodly. They were portrayed as being compelled to acknowledge their ungodliness and to regret the way in which they had lived their earthly lives, eternally suffering the inevitable consequences of their actions. Then once again Solomon turned to describing the destiny of the righteous, whom he said shall realize the promise of a glorious kingdom. That must be the same kingdom which was later announced in the Gospel of Christ and which Christians are instructed to anticipate and prepare themselves by His apostles.

On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 9: Everlasting Contempt

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On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 9: Everlasting Contempt

Here, out of necessity, I am going to repeat some concepts which we have already expounded upon to one degree or another earlier in this commentary on Wisdom, and quite often elsewhere in our commentaries at Christogenea, but with the hope that Solomon himself helps to clarify them for us. However we believe that these concepts, having to do with death, resurrection, and the eternal Adamic spirit, are of crucial importance to a proper understanding of our Christian faith.

Since the beginning of Wisdom chapter 2, Solomon has been contrasting the attitudes and actions of the ungodly and their ultimate fate, with the attitudes and actions of the righteous, and their ultimate fate, alternating back and forth between the two as he proceeds. In that process, one prominent feature of his comparison is the attitude of disdain which the ungodly have towards the righteous, and as a result, how the righteous are mistreated and persecuted by them. Another feature is the parallels with the ministry and gospel of Christ, for which we have viewed the righteous man in Solomon’s example as both a type and a prophecy of the Messiah.

On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 8: The Reward of the Righteous

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On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 8: The Reward of the Righteous

In the most recent presentation of our commentary on the Wisdom of Solomon we saw The End of the Wicked, which was really a description of the fate of the ungodly, the impious among men who would turn their backs on their people, and on Yahweh their God, in order to pursue worldly or fleshly desires. Making such a choice, they actually take the side of the devil, who had corrupted the Creation of God in the beginning, and ultimately finding unlawful beds, which is a metaphor for committing the sins of fornication and adultery, they also find death because their bastard offspring will never be accepted by Yahweh their God. Being unrepentant, it is evidently these men who find themselves in a resurrection to everlasting contempt. Solomon continues to describe them here, even as he turns once more to discuss the righteous.

Yahweh God had made the law of kind after kind from the beginning, He warned Adam not to eat from the evil tree, and men cannot compel God to accept the fruits of their own sin. It is quite arrogant for them, even hubris, to think that they may persuade Him to change from His Word on account of their sin. True humility is the sincere acceptance of His Word and His Law, voluntarily, and not reluctantly – even though in the end, as He Himself had said in Isaiah chapter 45, “unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.”

On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 7: The End of the Wicked

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On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 7: The End of the Wicked

In our last presentation, In the Hand of God, which was our commentary on the first part of Wisdom chapter 3, we had already begun to speak of the end of the wicked in comparison with the fate of the righteous, where we had cited certain of the Psalms of David that address these same subjects which we see being treated at length by Solomon here. But where we allude to the end of the wicked, we do not mean to state that men of the Adamic race who lived wicked lives will cease to exist, or be destroyed in the figurative Lake of Fire. Rather, the end of a man can refer to his destiny in other ways.

In Wisdom chapter 4, for example, Solomon wrote of the wicked as being “a reproach among the dead for evermore”, and then described them as being called to account for their sins. This evokes a passage in Daniel chapter 12 which we have also already cited, where the prophet describes a resurrection to shame and everlasting contempt, which shall apparently be suffered by certain wicked men. In any event, reproach for evermore and everlasting contempt indicate an eternal existence even if it is a miserable existence when compared to what has been promised to the righteous. As we have seen, the Adamic spirit was created in the image of the eternity of Yahweh God, and God cannot fail.

On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 6: In the Hand of God

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On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 6: In the Hand of God

In our last two presentations of this commentary On the Wisdom of Solomon, which discussed chapter 2 of the book, we saw a Portrait of the Wicked, and then a portrayal of a righteous man, which we also identified as a Portrait of the Messiah, since every aspect of Solomon’s portrait of the righteous man, who would be persecuted by the wicked on account of his righteousness, was fully manifest in the life and ministry of Yahshua Christ. But just as significantly, the Gospel of Christ is an announcement to the scattered and sinful children of Israel of the very same message which is found here in chapters 2 and 3 of the Wisdom of Solomon. Therefore it should be evident that there are multiple reasons why we consider this section of Wisdom to be a Messianic prophecy.

First we saw the wicked portrayed as being covetous and lustful men, who would dominate the righteous, the weak and the poor, and rule over them with their own sense of righteousness just so that they themselves can live wantonly in a quest to gratify their own desires. Then we saw a righteous man portrayed as being intractable to the wicked, as rebuking them for their sins, and ultimately as being killed by them, the only way by which they could remove him because he is an obstacle to their quest for gratification. But now we shall see that the righteous have a reward for their righteousness, which the wicked cannot even perceive, and therefore in the end, the wicked shall never succeed. This is revealed at the end of chapter 2, where Solomon had concluded that the Adamic man is indeed immortal, as Yahweh God had originally created him for that purpose, and then in the opening of chapter 3 where he announces the fate of the righteous...

On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 5: Portrait of the Messiah

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On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 5: Portrait of the Messiah

In the first part of this second chapter of the Wisdom of Solomon, we saw a Portrait of the Wicked, which is actually a timeless description of some of the natural tendencies of wicked men. Now we shall see more of those tendencies described in relation to the attitude of the wicked towards the righteous. They are portrayed as declaring their own concept of righteousness and seeking to uphold it forcibly by the might of their own strength, which is a manifestation of the pagan and humanist phenomenon of “might makes right”, and which in turn is really only the law of the jungle and justifies tyranny. With this attitude, the wicked are portrayed as justifying the oppression of the weak, the elderly, and the righteous in their pursuit to gratify their own fleshly desires.

Yet the truly righteous man is an obstacle to the wicked, because he declares to them their sin and stands firmly in opposition to them on account of their sin. So they are depicted as saying, as we would translate verse 12 of the chapter: “Therefore let us lie in wait for the righteous; because he is intractable to us, and he is opposed to our works: he reproaches us for our transgressions of the law, and imprecates the transgressions of our education.” There we also see that in spite of the fact that they seek to implement their own law, the wicked nevertheless are forced to acknowledge that there is a greater law by which the righteous condemn them, and for that alone they hate the righteous and seek to destroy them.

Perhaps with the exception of the Bolshevik Revolution, of which the actual circumstances were purposely hidden from the people of the West for many decades, nowhere in recent history is this phenomenon of the hatred which the wicked have for the righteous more evident than it is today. God-fearing White Christians are being persecuted for their Christian profession, and are hated merely for being White. Today the righteous are being openly and systematically persecuted for nothing else but speaking out against evil. The so-called “Black Lives Matter” organization, and also the so-called Antifa organization with whom it is partnered, are only fronts for the imposition of global communism, by which the wicked hope to steal the wealth of the righteous and destroy Christianity forever, as well as any concept of a White race. They hate Whites for being Christians, and they hate Whites for upholding the rule of law.

On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 4: Portrait of the Wicked

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On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 4: Portrait of the Wicked

The Wisdom of Solomon is timeless. Its portrayal of the wicked is probably much more relevant today than when it was written.

In our last presentation of this commentary on the Wisdom of Solomon, we already began to introduce the second chapter of the work, and discussed aspects of its opening verses, as they provide a conclusion to ideas which were introduced in chapter 1, as well as an introduction to what is described throughout this chapter. I had also presented and briefly discussed this second chapter of the Wisdom of Solomon in Part 45 of my commentary on the Gospel of John, which was titled Gods and Emperors. That is because this chapter, as a whole, may be seen as a Messianic prophecy, and this first half draws a portrait of the wicked which also very well describes the attitudes and behavior of the men who had opposed Christ during the time of His ministry, and also mentions some of the same sentiments or practices of the wicked for which Christ had rebuked them. Then the later half of this chapter draws a portrait of a just man whom the wicked would persecute for his righteousness, and that also very well describes Christ Himself. Being wrapped in passages which discuss death and resurrection at the beginning of the chapter, and professing that God created man to be immortal at the end of the chapter, it is manifest that the whole of this chapter is indeed a Messianic prophecy.

On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 3: The Remedy for Sin and Death

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On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 3: The Remedy for Sin and Death

In the first two presentations of this commentary on the Wisdom of Solomon we hope to have refuted many of the criticisms of the work, which set out to prove by its language and vocabulary that it was not written until the first century before Christ, or according to some claims, even later. Those same critics usually repeat the unfounded claim that it must have been written by some Alexandrian Jew. However as we discuss the actual content of the work, we hope to make it evident that such claims are also false.

One avenue of investigation in our answering the critics of Wisdom was left open where earlier we had described a source which claimed that fragments of the Wisdom of Solomon were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. In an article found at an internet ministry this claim was made and a book was cited, A Survey of Old Testament Introduction by one Gleason Archer, which was first published in 1974. We ordered a used copy of that book, which we expected to be the same 1985 edition of the work as was quoted by the article in question, but it was not. Instead we received a “revised and expanded” 1994 printing. This newer printing does not mention the Wisdom of Solomon, and we surmise that the article was citing an appendix to the book, because the pagination is different, which is a catalog of books found in the Dead Sea Scrolls. We may further pursue this, but Wisdom is not listed in the 1994 version of the catalog.

On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 2, The Introduction of Wisdom

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On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 2, the Introduction of Wisdom

In the opening presentation of our commentary on the Wisdom of Solomon, we provided and refuted many of the popular academic opinions of the work and the frequently-repeated criticisms concerning the nature of its text, by which the provenance and veracity of the work have long been challenged. So although we have already provided commentary on the opening verse of the text, which we also hope to continue here, we realized that some of the newer material discussing the Wisdom of Solomon had further-developed criticisms which must also be addressed. So before continuing, we shall do that here.

In the introduction to its own presentation of the Wisdom of Solomon, the New English Translation of the Septuagint (NETS) claims under the subtitle “Character of the Greek” that “There is widespread recognition that the [Wisdom of Solomon] was composed in Greek… The book is an example of a protreptic work (προτρεπτικὸς λόγος), an exhortation to adopt a particular philosophy, and it deploys literary genres familiar from Hellenistic rhetorical texts including the diatribe… the ‘problem’ genre… and the comparison (σύγκρισις…) Correspondingly… the book is written in a good Greek style and shows none of the characteristics of translation Greek.”

Yet it is commonly exhibited that the Book of Proverbs is also “an example of a protreptic work… an exhortation to adopt a particular philosophy”, and further, that the literary diatribe is a common feature of the writings of the Hebrew prophets. Some examples of Classical Greek literature have been recognized as having the attributes of the genre more recently identified as the Problem Play, such as the 5th century work of Euripides titled Alcestis, as are other early works, as well as the Book of Job which is found in the Bible, which we can certainly esteem to date to as early as the 12th or 13th centuries BC, however it definitely predates the Classical Greek period. Lastly, the σύγκρισις, or synkrisis, is a literary form of comparison, and it has been identified as a feature of both the gospel of John and some of the epistles of Paul, especially in the epistle to the Hebrews. But forms of the so-called σύγκρισις are also found in the Hebrew Old Testament. So none of these features of grammar are exclusive to Hellenistic writings, and these charges against the Wisdom of Solomon are meaningless because these things do not prove it to be a product of the Hellenistic period.

On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 1: Addressing the Critics

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On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 1: Addressing the Critics

Here we are going to examine an apocryphal book of Scripture which I have often cited in my commentaries on various books of the New Testament, and especially in the recently-completed commentary On the Gospel of John. This book I have always accepted as being canonical in spite of the fact that evidence of its great antiquity is very scant, and no original Hebrew version of the work is known to have existed. But rather than judging the book according to the words and deeds of the world, I have chosen to judge it based on its contents.

This book is the Wisdom of Solomon, which I will often identify simply as Wisdom here. It was accepted as canon in the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches, but it was rejected and relegated to apocryphal status by Protestants, who certainly seem to have followed the Jews in this regard. The Wisdom of Solomon was included alongside the other books of Wisdom of the Old Testament in the 4th century Codices Sinaiticus (א) and Vaticanus (B) and in the 5th century Codex Alexandrinus (A), but it is not found in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

At least one source, an online denominational ministry, has published an article on the Scrolls which claims that fragments of the Wisdom of Solomon were found among the scrolls, citing A Survey of Old Testament Introduction by one Gleason Archer, which was first published in 1974. But I have not yet been able to verify this claim, since it is not supported by the first edition of Archer’s work. In the author’s Appendix 4 there is an Inventory of Biblical Manuscripts from the Dead Sea Caves, as he titled it, which has no reference to Wisdom. But the book was revised and updated in 1996, and I have not yet been able to access that edition, as this information is new to me. [I have already ordered a copy of the book.]

Ecclesiastes, Part 8: Even Vanity is Vanity

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Ecclesiastes, Part 8: Even Vanity is Vanity

It seems to be often overlooked, that the first syllable in the word culture is cult. The first definition of culture listed in the Merriam-Webster on-line dictionary is “the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group; also : the characteristic features of everyday existence (such as diversions or a way of life) shared by people in a place or time.” Our definition would be a little different, but the point should be made.

Historically, in societies which are free of tyranny, the people shared a common origin, myth, tradition, and religious practice, which was actually a part of their daily lives from early childhood. The values of their society were ingrained into them during their educational process, taught to them by their parents from infancy. What to think about God, life, death, morality and sin, the people around them, other nations and races, all of these things are taught them in their upbringing, and are taught consistently in every phase of life. But tyrannies are generally compelled to codify and enforce their own religious beliefs and practices by either force or law, when they have objectives which conflict with the values of the organic nation over which they rule. For this reason, in chapter 16 of the Book of Acts, we see where certain Roman citizens were confronted with the Christian Gospel and they complained to the magistrates and said “These men agitate our city, being Judaeans, and they declare customs which are not lawful for us to receive nor to do, being Romans!”

When Rome was a Republic, its people naturally agreed to cooperate because they had a common origin and a shared culture and values. When Rome became an empire, its citizens were required to pledge allegiance to the emperor, even making sacrifices in temples dedicated to the emperor, and their daily practices and customs were restricted by law. The eventual acceptance of Christianity is often blamed for fracturing the Roman people and precipitating the downfall of the empire. However it is clear that the empire and its people had already slid into a state of decadence, and it had already begun to crumble long before Christianity was accepted.

Ecclesiastes, Part 7: The Rhetoric of the Skeptic

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Ecclesiastes, Part 7: The Rhetoric of the Skeptic

As we have already seen in our earlier presentations of Ecclesiastes, the Preacher frequently employs skepticism as a method of teaching, and he also uses much repetition by which he can introduce new aspects for each of the subjects upon which he lectures. So here once again, in chapter 9 of the work, we have more skepticism and further repetition as he returns to topics which he had already discussed in the earlier chapters of the work.

But now his skepticism is magnified beyond pessimism, where he expresses an attitude of nihilism, and it is apparent that this too is a rhetorical prevarication, since it stands in contradiction to the Preacher’s earlier declarations concerning the works of men and the judgment of God. For example, in chapter 3 the Preacher had said: “17 I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work”, or for every deed.

Now he shall once again urge men to consider God and judgment and the necessity of obedience to God for reason of judgment in Ecclesiastes chapter 12. But he only hints at these things here in this chapter, for instance in verse 8 where he exhorts his readers to “Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment.” The reasons for such an exhortation are not given explicitly until we come to his final conclusions in chapter 12. In the meantime, the Preacher is using skepticism and nihilism as rhetorical devices, and his true purpose is to illustrate the vanity of man and the futility of life without God. We must also remember that the Preacher had already proclaimed that it was God Himself who purposely subjected man to vanity, in order to be exercised in travail, in chapters 1 (1:13) and 3 (3:10) of this work, and therefore there must be a greater purpose for the exercise.

 

Ecclesiastes, Part 6: Wisdom and the Power of Authority

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Ecclesiastes, Part 6: Wisdom and the Power of Authority

We do not usually report on news at Christogenea, and we generally ignore all of the school shootings and other mass shootings, unless we can document for ourselves the details. So I think the only mass shooting we wrote about or discussed here was the alleged Whorlando Homocaust. The recent Florida shooting seems to be just as real as that one, another fake news psy-op orchestrated in a community that is heavily Jewish. But neither is it our purpose to discuss that.

But there is another recent event which does have our attention, which shows just how fast we as a nation are sliding into the fires of hell. That is a recent court decision in Hamilton County, Ohio, where a seventeen-year-old girl has been taken from her parents because her parents were denying her desire to transition herself into somehow being a boy. This is according to WCPO in Cincinatti (or Sin-sin-atti, a name which should be spelled using the letter s, not the letter c), where we read in a recent article that:

A 17-year-old Hamilton County boy who has spent more than a year fighting to be recognized by his family and the world as a boy finally has just that.

A ruling handed down Friday by Juvenile Court Judge Sylvia Sieve Hendon awards custody to the boy's grandparents, with whom he currently lives and who have supported his gender transition.

Notice that the article from WCPO has already accepted that this child is a boy, even while it is still a biological female and before it has actually undergone whatever medical procedure may make it a male [like, maybe medically attaching appropriate biological appendages]. The article also makes the supposition that because some local judge decided the girl can be a boy, that the entire world would support and follow the judge's decision....

Ecclesiastes, Part 5: Wisdom and the Power of Sin

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Ecclesiastes, Part 5: Wisdom and the Power of Sin

Presenting our commentary on Ecclesiastes chapter 6, we discussed the vanity of poverty and wealth. The Preacher had presented us with three examples of circumstances in the lives of men, and the evils that befall two of them. The first example was of the man who, having been blessed with riches, was blessed by Yahweh in his later years to enjoy the fruits of his life’s labors. Then there was the man who accumulated riches and was bereaved of them so that he lived his later years in want. Finally, there was the man who worked a long life and had many children, but who had never enjoyed any luxuries all of the time that he lived.

While it was apparent that the men of the latter two examples were undergoing trials imposed on them by Yahweh, whether or not they had sinned, it is also evident from other Scriptures that the man in the first example, the rich man who enjoyed his wealth, was also being tested. But this is not evident unless we examine the Law and the Gospel. In the Law we learn that wealth is given to men by Yahweh so that He may establish His covenant, in Deuteronomy chapter 8. Understanding that, wealthy men should abide the Gospel of Christ and employ their wealth in a manner so as to build His Kingdom, seeking to store treasure in heaven rather than to increase their earthly treasures even further. So this might be the most difficult of these three examples for a man to live up to.

Ecclesiastes, Part 4: The Vanity of Both Wealth and Poverty

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Ecclesiastes, Part 4: The Vanity of Both Wealth and Poverty

Resuming our presentation of Solomon’s Ecclesiastes here with chapter 6, as we have already explained, there are going to be times when we shall necessarily repeat ourselves, because the work itself is quite repetitive in nature. But we have also explained that as he repeats his themes, the Preacher adds different perspectives or new elements to his subjects. With this we have concluded that the repetitious nature of the work is one of its teaching methods, just as the skepticism which is often expressed is also a teaching method. Making repetitive remarks, the author expresses and addresses skeptical concerns in different ways.

The labors of life, the vanity of those labors, the trials which man must undergo only to die in the end empty-handed. And regardless of whether he had been impoverished or wealthy, the oppressed or an oppressor, his fate is the same as all other men, and with this he has no comforter. That was the theme which the Preacher had employed in chapter 4 of Ecclesiastes, that man has no comforter to succour him in his trials, while all of his own labors are vanity. However the antithesis to the skepticism and the dismal outlook of the Preacher is found in Christ, since He is the Comforter of men, as He described Himself, as it is recorded in John chapter 14, and as Paul had also described Christ in the opening passage of his second epistle to the Corinthians. Ultimately, the Preacher will answer his own skepticism in this same manner, that all things are in the hand of God and that He shall judge every good or evil work. But he does not make that conclusion explicit until the very last chapter of the work.

Ecclesiastes, Part 3: The Comforter

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Ecclesiastes, Part 3: The Comforter

Proceeding through our presentation of Solomon’s Ecclesiastes, it is evident that there are going to be times when we shall be compelled to repeat ourselves, because the work itself is quite repetitive in nature. We have also discussed, as our writer himself had explained, why we believe that this preacher is indeed Solomon, the ancient king of Israel. But we have called him the Preacher because that is what he had called himself as he wrote this work. As he repeats his themes, the Preacher also uses different perspectives or adds new elements to his subjects. Therefore we can see that the repetition of the work is one of its teaching methods, just as the skepticism that the Preacher often expressed is also a teaching method. Making his repetitive remarks, the Preacher expresses and addresses skeptical concerns in different ways throughout this work.

The transience, or vanity, of man, the cyclical nature of worldly existence, the fact that man ultimately dies without any apparent reward for his labors, or any ability to enjoy them once he is gone and therefore he must leave them to the enjoyment of others, these have been the primary subjects of the Preacher. And even though he laments such vanity, where he exhorts men to keep the commandments of God we realize that while all may appear to be vanity, all is vanity without God. Therefore with God, it becomes evident that all is not in vain, that there must be something greater in the end, some greater purpose underlying man’s apparent vanity. Realizing this, we must admit that for man, for the Adamic man which Yahweh created to be immortal, the skepticism of the Preacher is unwarranted because there certainly is a God.

In chapter 3 of Ecclesiastes the Preacher added to his lamentation over the vanity of man the idea that men were no different than the beasts, who also labored and died. However there the Preacher had also asserted that it was God who purposely subjected man to vanity, and that man should therefore fear God, because “God requires that which is past” and “God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.” Considering this, we must conclude that man’s labors do indeed matter in the end, that man will be judged for his works, however it is also apparent that man will be judged for the works of his life apart from and beyond whatever worldly riches he was able to accumulate during that life. Later on, in the Gospel, Christ taught the same difference between the accumulation of worldly riches, and the accumulation of treasure in heaven by the good things that a man may do in this life.

Ecclesiastes, Part 2: Vanity and Deliverance

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Ecclesiastes, Part 2: Vanity and Deliverance

Presenting the opening chapters of Ecclesiastes, we showed how this work was attributed to King Solomon from the earliest times, and also how it accords very well with the life of Solomon, once we realize that it must have been written in the later part of his life. Only in the life of Solomon do we find someone who could have had the experiences of this writer, who called himself the Preacher but who also claimed to be a son of David and king over all Israel. Then in addition to these assertions, there is also the confession of an abundantly opulent lifestyle which the historical Scriptures describe for us in the life of Solomon. Writing this book, the Preacher is now reflecting back on that life and assessing its value.

Ecclesiastes was written to lament the plight of man, that none of the works of man seem to be of any benefit to him at the end of his life, because he must leave the fruits of them to others. Realizing this, the Preacher turned to mirth and decadence, but neither did he find any satisfaction in those things. Making our own assessment of his words, we explained that the Preacher had purposely employed skepticism as a teaching method throughout his discourse. All is vanity, he proclaimed, but what he really meant to say is that all is vanity without God, something which is further revealed to us as we make our way through these subsequent chapters of his work.

Ecclesiastes is poorly understood by many Bible readers, since the skepticism it expresses is often mistaken for Scriptural truth. But rather, that skepticism is merely used as a literary device in order to demonstrate that without God, man has no hope at all. Regardless of what he does with his life, in the end he dies like all other men, and all are eventually forgotten. Reading the book, Christians should understand that the conclusions of the skeptic are wrong, because there is a God. The Preacher makes that expression where he declares the importance of keeping the Law. Here in this chapter, chapter 3 of Ecclesiastes, the Preacher informs us that it is God who subjected man to this travail, for man to be exercised in vanity. If man is being purposely exercised in vanity, then there must be something for him beyond this life, or the exercise itself would be in vain. Here we must ask, does even God act in vain?

Ecclesiastes, Part 1: Methods of The Preacher

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Ecclesiastes, Part 1: Methods of The Preacher

Before beginning a commentary on Ecclesiastes, let me first make the confession that none of my commentaries on Scripture are founded on worldly learning. I never went to Bible school, I never studied other mens’ commentaries, and I have little idea what the supposedly learned men say about most aspects of Scripture, or about individual books of Scripture. Neither am I going to research any of them for any particular commentary. With only a few exceptions, on the infrequent occasions where I have tried to read a popular commentary on a portion of Scripture, I have been disappointed, and sometimes even angered by what I have seen. For the most part, my only experience with the popular commentaries is through the editing work which I have done for Clifton Emahiser, who quotes from them frequently.

So when I write my own commentaries, I seek out only what information I can glean from or about the oldest available manuscripts, and I base my commentaries on what I have come to understand from Scripture itself and from classical histories and whatever I remember from my own readings of these and other works, such as the apocryphal literature or the ancient inscriptions of the neighboring cultures. Therefore, whether I say anything new, or whether I repeat anything old, for me to contend with or to mimic any of the traditional commentaries is not premeditated. Rather, I only seek to provide a discussion of Scripture through the lens of that proper covenant theology which is found in our Christian Identity understanding.

However, in my readings of archaeological journals and other worldly sources I am familiar with at least many of the claims of the critics of Scripture. Concerning this particular book, Ecclesiastes, they point to Aramaic or Persian words or other seemingly foreign aspects of its language, and they assert their own interpretation of these things in order to cast doubt upon the veracity of authorship, whether it be claimed or attributed. Here I will only state that their presumptions do not make inevitable their conclusions, as other reasons may also be given to explain the circumstances. The ancient Hebrews did not live in a vacuum, and often they did have foreign influences. For that they were even chastised by Yahweh their God. The ancient Hebrews themselves also greatly influenced the surrounding nations. Under David, and for a long time after David, they did indeed occupy and rule over all of the lands from the River of Egypt to the Euphrates River, and at least as far north as Hamath. So Solomon ruled over a great part of the Aramaic speakers of his time.