“Besides being wise,
Qoheleth also taught the people knowledge.
He weighed many proverbs.
He studied many proverbs.
He arranged many proverbs.
Qoheleth sought to find pleasing words.
He wrote words of truth plainly.”
Now we have a description, eulogy, or explanation of Qoheleth by another author in this epilogue. Qoheleth was wise. He taught the people knowledge. He studied and arranged many of the proverbs in this book. He weighted their value. But as we have seen most were useless vanity. He wanted to find pleasing words as he had a good literary Hebrew style. He spoke plain truth. There was nothing fancy about his work.
“Charm is deceitful.
Beauty is vain.
But a woman
Who fears Yahweh
Is to be praised.
Give her a share
In the fruit of her hands.
Let her works praise her
In the city gates.”
Although charm and beauty are deceitful and vain, a woman who fears Yahweh is to be praised. She should share in the fruits of her hands. She should be praised at the city gates among the elders of the village. So Proverbs comes to an end with this eulogy to the perfect hard working wife. It is interesting to note that this author says that charm and beauty are not what makes a good wife.
“Jerusalem is built as a city.
It is bound firmly together.
The tribes go up to it.
These are the tribes of Yahweh,
As was decreed for Israel.
They were to give thanks
To the name of Yahweh.
There the thrones for judgment were set up.
These are the thrones of the house of David.”
Now we have a full blown eulogy to Jerusalem, a well built city. All the tribes of Israel, those who believed in Yahweh, had a decree to give thanks to the name of Yahweh in Jerusalem. This is the place where the thrones of judgment were, the kings of the house of David. This psalm does not seem to be from David, but about David.
“Happy are those whose way is blameless!
They walk in the law of Yahweh.
Happy are those who keep his decrees!
They seek him with their whole heart.
They also do no wrong.
They walk in his ways!
You have commanded your precept.
You have commanded it to be kept diligently.
O that my ways may be steadfast!
That I may keep your statutes!
Then I shall not be put to shame.
I have my eyes fixed on all your commandments.
I will praise you with an upright heart.
I will learn your righteous ordinances.
I will observe your statutes.
Do not utterly forsake me!”
Psalm 119 is one of the longest psalms. However, there are not any titles to this acrostic alphabet psalm about the importance of the law. There are 8 verses to every consonant letter of the Hebrew alphabet instead of just a line or two as in some of the other acrostic psalms. In this eulogy to the law, the happy ones are the blameless ones because they walk in the law of Yahweh. They are happy because they keep his decrees. They seek Yahweh with their whole hearts. They do not do anything wrong because they keep Yahweh’s commandments diligently. They are steadfast in their determination to follow the law. The psalmist will try not to be ashamed as he tries to follow the law. He gets personal since he has an upright heart. Using the first person singular, he wanted to learn all the right ordinances and statutes. He wanted to observe them. He asked Yahweh not to forsake him. This section on the first consonant letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Aleph, comes to an end.