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  • Brent Karding

    @John-Mark-Steel said in Ecclesiastes 5:8-9:

    Am I on the right track here with these verses? I’m especially interested in the relationships between ideas in these verses.

    Well, when I studied these verses a few years ago, I saw that commentators call them very difficult to interpret, if not impossible to do so with 100% confidence! But it looks like they are surely talking about injustice,

    It looks like the Preacher is saying, “Don’t be amazed when you see governmental injustice, because of the many layers of authority there.” Butt-covering will always be a reality in the structure of authority in organizations. Bureaucracy naturally leads to injustice - that’s the “because.”

    So I think he is calling us to acknowledge the “vanity” (impossible-to-understandness) of corruption in government. About the laziness, the protection of bad workers, the layers of authority that work against efficiency and ensure some level of mismanagement, the Preacher says, “Of course it’s that way! Always has been, always will.” This author isn’t holding his breath for improvement – not that we shouldn’t try to root out corruption; it’s just that, as Derek Kidern put it, “Qoheleth … knows what is in man" (The Message of Ecclesiastes, 55).

    And I really like your comparison of these verses to modern events, and to God’s good gift of government that is twisted by sinful people, just like all his good gifts.

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  • Brent Karding

    @Nathan-B said in Psalm 133:

    However, is there a possibility that the ‘there’ refers to the unity in verse 1? That the blessing of God and life everlasting are connected to living in unity. Not sure, but it seems to be a possibility.

    That’s a good thought, and it’s important to consider different options when interpreting the text. Here are two reasons why I don’t think that “there” is referring to “unity”:

    1. “There” is more likely referring to something must closer to it than a word or concept introduced at the beginning of the psalm, several verses back. This is the most natural way to read it, absent any clear contextual clues.
    2. If “there” is referring to unity, the argument would be this: “Dwelling in unity is pleasant because that is where God commanded the blessing of eternal life.” But what does it mean to say that unity is where God commanded a blessing? I would have expected a different word, not one that shows location, like “through.” Also, how is eternal life located (even figuratively) within unity? Wouldn’t that be a result of unity, rather than unity being the place where eternal life is located or found?

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  • Brent Karding

    That’s a helpful suggestion. I think it would require a lot of coding to accomplish, though. @Andy-Hubert, what do you think?

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  • Brent Karding

    @John-Mark-Steel No problem! After posting the passage for the arc, you can just click “reply” like you did a minute ago, and then click on the cloud button at the right of the menu (which is just below “Replying to ‘Cantar de los Cantares 3:1-5’”). That’s how to attach an image of your arc from the Discourse module that you’ve already saved to your computer. Of course, you can also type in whatever notes you want.

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  • Brent Karding

    Hi, John Mark!

    Did you mean to post an arc underneath this passage as well?

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  • Brent Karding

    "In my desperation, I cry out to God for deliverance with confident hope."

    COMBINATION

    I combined the two psalms into one arc because I saw that there is a threefold refrain in 42:5-6a, 42:11, and 43:5.

    Here is more support for combining the two psalms into one:

    “Not only does one title serve for the two psalms, but the soliloquy ‘Why go I mourning …’ is heard in both (42:9; 43:2)…” (Kidner, 182, emphasis mine).

    “There is extensive agreement among the majority of interpreters that Pss 42 and 43 should be interpreted as a single psalm, for the following reasons: (a) many Heb. mss present the psalms as a single unit; (b) Ps 43 has no title, which is surprising in Book II of the Psalter; and © they are joined by a common refrain (42:6, 12; 43:5)” (Craigie and Tate, 325, emphasis mine).

    Boice asserts that “[t]he chief reason for taking the psalms together… is that both deal with spiritual depression” (Boice, 367).

    INTERPRETATION

    In the first two sections, the refrain follows the psalmist’s talking to himself (even in verse 9). In the third section, the refrain follows the psalmist’s talking to God.

    APPLICATION

    The threefold refrain teaches us how to respond to situations when we feel distant from God, longing to know him and enjoy his presence (v. 1-6a). It teaches us how to respond to feeling overwhelmed and depressed by our suffering (6b-11). It teaches us how to respond to injustice and oppression against us (1-5).

    In each case, our response should be the same: to talk to ourselves, reminding ourselves to hope in God, to remember our certain future of praise and joy because of the reality of God being our Savior.

    37. Psalm 42-43.png

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  • Brent Karding

    1 As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? 3 My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?” 4 These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I would go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of praise, a multitude keeping festival. 5 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation 6 and my God. My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar. 7 Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me. 8 By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life. 9 I say to God, my rock: “Why have you forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?” 10 As with a deadly wound in my bones, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?” 11 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. 1 Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause against an ungodly people, from the deceitful and unjust man deliver me! 2 For you are the God in whom I take refuge; why have you rejected me? Why do I go about mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? 3 Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling! 4 Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God. 5 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God (Psalms 42:1-43:5 ESV).

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  • Brent Karding

    @Ari-Constancio said in "Proper" behavior in church:

    @Brent-Karding Thank you! Would you deem appropriate to speak also of Ecclesiastes 5:1-7, as you’ve done a live video on “fearing God in corporate worship” over this passage?

    Yes, I had forgotten about that passage! That is one of the best ones, since it talks about fearing God and listening when you worship publicly. Thanks for reminding me!

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  • Brent Karding

    @Ari-Constancio I don’t think there are a lot of passages that address specific behaviour during a congregational gathering. Of course, there are multitudes of verses about how Christians should live in general that apply to church.

    The main two I can think of are James 2:1-13, speaking of those who treat the rich differently than the poor when gathered, and 1 Corinthians 11:17-34, which discusses a similar issue of the rich who caused division in the body by their treatment of the poor when observing the Lord’s Supper together. There’s also the instruction of greeting each other with a holy kiss (1 Thess 5:26) that would apply to whenever Christians meet each other, and of course that applies for church services.

    Can anyone think of other passages?

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  • Brent Karding

    Hi Brian,

    That blog is now defunct, having been replaced by this forum. But the Genitive Relationships cheat sheet is still available in our Phrasing course, near the bottom of this step in Lesson 5.

    The Phrasing Relationships cheat sheet is also still available, at the bottom of this step from Lesson 4.

    Enjoy!

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