Somewhat of a confusing passage for me today. Ecclesiastes 2:12-14 says, “Then I turned myself to consider wisdom and madness and folly…Then I saw that wisdom excels folly…The wise man’s eyes are in his head, but the fool walks in darkness.”
That all sounds good and normal (biblically-speaking), but the end of verse fourteen ushers in a change of thought: “Yet I myself perceived that the same event happens to them all.”
What is this “event”? Well the context of the previous verses and the context of the following chapters, indeed, the context of the whole book, seems to indicate that the “event” is death, the expiration of life on earth.
Solomon is mourning the fact that “As it happens to the fool, it also happens to me, and why was I then more wise? (2:15).
“For there is no more remembrance of the wise than of the fool forever…And how does a wise man die? As the fool!” (2:16)
Once again, what is Solomon’s conclusion? “Therefore I hated life because the work that was done under the sun was distressing to me, for all is vanity and grasping for the wind” (2:17).
So what is the purpose of life? What’s the point of being wise? We all end up in the same place, right? The answer: yes