Let us enjoy the good things that exist!
Make use of creation to the full
As in youth.
Let us take our fill of costly wine!
Let us take our fill of perfumes!
Let no flower of spring pass us by.
Let us crown ourselves
With rosebuds before they wither.
Let none of us fail to share in our revelry.
Everywhere let us leave signs of enjoyment.
Because this is our portion,
This is our lot.”
Once again, following the advice of Qoheleth in Ecclesiastes, we should enjoy life and not worry because all is vanity. These impious people want to enjoy all the existing good things, the use of all creation as they had done in their youth. They wanted to enjoy costly wine, perfumes, and the flowers of spring. They should be crowned with rosebuds as well as share in their revelry. They should enjoy themselves because this was their portion and lot in life.
“So I commend enjoyment.
There is nothing better for people
Under the sun
Than to eat and drink.
Let them enjoy themselves.
This will go with them
In their toil
Through the days of life
That God gives him
Under the sun.”
Qoheleth has a response to all this ambiguity that was also found with Job. His recommendation is that they should enjoy yourselves. There is nothing better under the sun than to eat and drink. Enjoy your labor under the sun during all the days of your life that God has given you. Just relax and enjoy life.
“There is nothing better for mortals
Than to eat and drink.
They should find enjoyment in their toil.
Is from the hand of God.
Apart from him,
Who can eat?
Who can have enjoyment?
To the one who pleases him,
God gives wisdom.
God gives knowledge.
God gives joy.
However to the sinner,
He gives the work of gathering.
He gives the work of heaping.
He only gives to one who pleases God.
This also is vanity.
This is a chasing after wind.”
Qoheleth continues his comments with the philosophical argument of Epicurus (341-270 BCE). You should enjoy your life in eating, drinking, and working. Qoheleth claims that this is from the hand of God. How can anything happen without God? God is the one who gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy. This was the typical idea that the sinner worked and gathered but was not pleasing to God. Therefore the poor sinner did not get rich. The poor person gave his harvest over to those who pleased God. Once again, this is vanity and like chasing the wind for the poor person.