The Concluding Words of the Book of Ecclesiastes — Read by Sir Lawrence Olivier

The Book of Ecclesiastes is one of the shortest and most memorable books of the Old Testament. It was said to have been written by King Solomon several hundred years before the Christian era.
This particular passage — Chapter 12, the last chapter of the book —  has special memories for me.
When I was a child, age seven, playing on the veranda of our house overlooking the lake in another land, I remember my father taking up the family Bible and beckoning me over. I sat on his knee as he read me these exact words from Chapter 12 of Ecclesiastes. I was totally enthralled by his reading, although I didn’t understand a word at the time. It was as if I had heard these words, or their echoes, many times before in other lifetimes. I didn’t know what they meant, but I knew they meant something profound. It was only much later that I was to read and understand Plato’s famous words: “Nothing important is learned; it is simply remembered.”
In the final sentence of the Book of Ecclesiastes — see picture quote above — the ancient doctrine of karma is clearly stated, as it will be stated again several times in the New Testament. [LD]

Ecclesiastes 12 :  King James Version (KJV)

1.  Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;

2.  While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain:

3.  In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened,

4.  And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low;

5.  Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:

6.  Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.

7.  Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

8.  Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity.

9.  And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs.

10.  The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth.

11.  The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.

12.  And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

13.  Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

 

14.  For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

VIDEO  :  3.45 mins

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11 thoughts on “The Concluding Words of the Book of Ecclesiastes — Read by Sir Lawrence Olivier

  1. John 5
    22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:
    27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.
    30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

    John 18
    33 Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and
    said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews?
    34 Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell
    it thee of me?
    35 Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have
    delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done?
    36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of
    this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
    37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the
    truth heareth my voice.

  2. I love this piece ,it reflects deeply my beliefs .
    I’m a Muslim and the essence of these words are embedded in my heart since childhood ,I deeply Love Jesus Christ and his teachings.
    Thank you for publishing it.
    God Bless and Protect you

      1. I feel profoundly sad for the Old Testament bashers who cannot see the deep wisdom and beauty of the Book of Ecclesiastes because of the red mist of anti-Semitism that has addled their brains. To hate everything in the OT just because a Jew wrote it has to be a special form of madness I have been spared.

  3. The Bible has been altered several times; the first writing may well have been ‘Love God, God loves everyone, God is not judgmental, and it is your duty to work on your judgment faculties’. Who knows.

    1. @ SNEZ

      Yep. Assuming that the jews did not just make it up, many fail to realize that liars and murders, the jews, had possession of the record commonly known as the Old Testament. We know from even very recent times that the jews have a habit of rewriting history to their advantage to the disadvantage of everyone else. When a tactic works, the jews keep recycling the technique as often as they deem necessary for their goal off ultimate control over mankind.

      In chapter 1, the Apostle John said that Jesus was the accomplisher of the Creation. Jesus did say that he was before Abraham, so his message of love had to be the one in the beginning as it was when he appeared in the flesh. Jesus’ message of forgiveness blows the last line above, considered to be karma, completely out of the water. Due to almost 2,000 years of brainwashing and truth twisting, the basic contradictions between the good news, Gospel, of Jesus versus the Old Testament have become invisible to most.

      I’ll stick with the love and forgiveness Jesus preached. Fear is not appealing to me.

      1. I challenge anyone to find the name Jew and the concept of Zionism in the first translation of the bible into English. Scofield bible does not count.

  4. Ecclesiastes is my favorite Book. I was never ashamed to have “Ecclesiates 9:11” cited on my business cards, next to my name. (There are always winners and losers – just as shall always be the poor among us.)
    This reading by Sir Lawrence Olivier does it justice!

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