Vexed by the Darkness

“Also, all his days he eats in darkness; he is greatly vexed — he suffers and is frustrated.”

(Ecclesiastes 5:16 {5:17 in English Bibles})

In every case where Solomon uses the word חֹשֶךְ (choshek) in his writings, he uses it in the figurative and not in the literal sense. Those who forsake what is upright walk in darkness (Proverbs 2:13); the one who forsakes his parents will be put out into utter darkness (Proverbs 20:20); darkness is compared to foolishness (Ecclesiastes 2:13-14), to the ignorance of a stillborn babe (Ecclesiastes 6:4), and to seasons of trial and difficulty (Ecclesiastes 11:8). 

Thus, we ought not read this, as some do, that the man obsessed with wealth only eats at night, after dark. This, in and of itself, can be wearying to a person’s soul. Yet, what Solomon has in his sight is even more weighty. Those so obsessed will find themselves consuming frustration, foolishness, and the utter darkness of being alone. For, when you are so consumed with wealth and its accumulation, who can you really trust? Whom will you truly love? Will not your eyes darken and you find that you rob yourself of those events in life that are eternally important — friendships, celebrations, and spiritual rest? Such brings little more than suffering and frustration into a person’s life. Beware dear friends, beware!

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