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Man Is A Beast (Eccl. 3:19)

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Posted by Harvey on December 7, 2004 23:58:26 UTC

Duane,

I'm going to start bringing some of these topics to the top (for now anyway:

Eccl. 3:18-20
This passage specifically states that the similarity between Man and Beast is that both die. This is repeated twice and contains 80% if the related text. Nothing about origins is mentioned. The question you must ask is are you taking the text in the way it was intended or are you distorting it to fit some preference?
If you canít answer this question yourself honestly I doubt that there is anything I can say that will change your mind on this topic.


Well, you're adding words to a wise man's collection of words. Here's what Eccl.12:10-12 says about that:

"The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true. The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails-given by one Shepherd. Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them."

But, beyond that forewarning by Eccl. 12, if you really think we should add a word to verse 18 so that 'as' or 'like' is put there in scripture, then you would be foiling the meaning of verse 18. Verse 18 says:

"I said in mine heart concerning the estate [Hebrew "Dibrah": cause or reason] of the sons of men, that God might manifest [Hebrew "Barar": test or purify] them, and that they might see [Hebrew "Ra'ah": perceive or discern] that they themselves are beasts."

Notice that Ecclesiastes is concerned about the cause or reason of the sons of men (which is a general reference to humanity) - this is about the origins of humanity. And, notice why Ecclesiastes wished for the sons of men to see that they are beasts. Verse 19:

"For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other. Yea, they have all one breath, so that man hath no preeminence above a beast, for all is vanity." (Eccl. 3:19)

Ecclesiastes believed that seeing the vanity of life made one wise about what the important matters are:

"'Meaningless! Meaningless!' says the Teacher. 'Everything is meaningless!' The Conclusion of the Matter. Not only was the Teacher wise, but also he imparted knowledge to the people... Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. " (Eccl. 12:8-14)

In other words, everything is vanity, including the direct cause or direct reason of humanity. We are beasts, and the truth is that this is a vanity. As the apostle Paul said later:

"For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope" Rom. 8:20

Evolution brings about a kind of meaninglessness to life, and this is what God wishes to test humanity. Not for humans to lose hope, but rather that he can bring humanity to hope because as Ecclesiates said, you cannot live a hopeless life. By understanding the nature of the universe, a universe made subject to vanity, we could come to understand the true importance of life - the meaning of life, and thereby come to worship God in spirit and truth. You see, it is perhaps the central reason that God used evolutionary processes.

So, the question you must ask yourself, why are you adding words that aren't there, and that Ecclesiates specifically asked you not to do? He said he choose his words very carefully, and if he had wanted you to believe that he said humans are 'like' beasts, he was acquainted with enough Hebrew that he could have certainly said that. He specifically choose not to, but you won't allow him to say what he meant to say (tsk tsk).

It's unfortunate but true, special creationists are willing to accept the Bible until it contradicts their beliefs. Once it does, such as God commanded the earth to create life, or God uses natural selection to bring about his kingdom, or the wisest man of scripture says that humans are animals, and then what happens? They will add words in the scripture that aren't there despite the scriptural warnings not to do so. You'd think they would just accept evolution as taught in scripture, but they won't. Tsk, tsk, is all I have to say.

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