Not everything written in the Bible is biblical for a Christian to follow. For example, David took Bathesheba and had her husband murdered.

Now, I'm reading Ecclesiastes 2:24 and I see:

24 There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.

I'm a bit confused -- is this line written as Christian advice, or is this "the best someone who does not follow Christ can do"?

I am confused on this for the following reasons:

  • I consider Proverbs a book of Biblical advice.

  • I consider Ecclesiastes similar to Proverbs

However, this verse appears to ignore Christ (and takes on a rather atheist view -- i.e. eat, drink, work hard, be happy.)

Furthermore, I'm not sure what stage of Solomon's life this verse was written in? (I.e. was this when the 300 wives + 700 concubines were leading him to worship idols?)

In short, summary of question: is Ecclesiastes 2:24 written as advice for Christians or non-Christians?

  • 1
    Well it's part of the Old Testament, so the better question might be whether it's for Yahweh worshipping Israelites or not. – curiousdannii Jan 7 '15 at 14:00
  • This question is primarily opinion based and does not fit into one of the Types of questions that are within community guidelines If possible, edit this question so that it better fits into one of those question types. – 3961 Jan 7 '15 at 21:44
  • perhaps this question is better suited for the BH site, where questions on the meaning of biblical texts are answered. – Dick Harfield Jan 7 '15 at 21:53
  • Its for politicians, especially Democrats, to let them know that they should stop raising taxes and let people eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor. – david brainerd Jan 10 '15 at 10:33

The advice is not to "eat, drink, work hard and be merry". The advice is more similar to Jesus' "See the lilies,...". In this chapter, Ecclesiastes says (attention, context coming ;-) ):

It is vain to work hard and amass earthly riches, they won't go with you. It is even more vain that you work hard and don't even enjoy the outcome.

Instead, we should enjoy the things God has given us.

I don't think that's bad advice, so long as you don't interpret it to mean "eat, drink, work hard, and be merry".

Ecclesiastes 2:26

26 For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.

=> The good man gets everything from God, the sinner works for vain goals


God put Adam and Eve into the garden to work it and to enjoy the fruits of their labor and their relationship with each other and with God. Same thing Ecclesiastes is telling us to do. When we create a religion of self denial in service to Christ that denies these fundamental gifts from the hand of God then truly we have become the atheists.


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