“On entering the house,
They saw the child
καὶ ἐλθόντες εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν εἶδον τὸ παιδίον μετὰ Μαρίας τῆς μητρὸς αὐτοῦ,
The magi entered the house (ἐλθόντες εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν). Unlike the story in Luke, chapter 2:7, the child was in a house (τὴν οἰκίαν), not a manger (φάτνῃ). They saw the child (εἶδον τὸ παιδίον) with his mother, Mary (Μαρίας τῆς μητρὸς αὐτοῦ). There was no mention of Joseph, who had been a key player in the earlier part of this narrative. In fact, he will also play an important role in what was to come.
“I made great works.
I built houses.
I planted vineyards for myself.
I made myself gardens.
I made myself parks.
I planted in them
All kinds of fruit trees.
I made myself pools from which
To water the forest of growing trees.
I bought male slaves.
I bought female slaves.
I had slaves who were born in my house.
I had great possessions of herds.
I also had great possessions of flocks.
More than any
Who had been before me in Jerusalem.
I also gathered for myself
Silver and gold
From the treasure of kings and provinces.
I got singers,
Both men and women.
I enjoyed the delights of the flesh
With many concubines.”
Qoheleth continued his first person singular narrative. Was it all about him? He built great houses and vineyards just for himself. He made his own gardens and parks, all full of great fruit trees. He put in ponds besides the trees for irrigation. He bought both male and female servants. He created his own slaves by having them procreate in his house. He had great herds and flocks of animals and birds. He was richer than any man who had ever lived in Jerusalem. He gathered gold and silver from the various kings and provinces. He had male and female singers. Of course, he had many concubines to delight him. This was the life of luxury of a rich powerful self indulgent king of Jerusalem.
“At this point therefore let us begin our narrative, without adding more to what has already been said. It would be foolish to lengthen the preface while cutting short the history itself.”
This biblical author finishes with a wise comment. Do not talk too long in the preface so that you never get to the story.