ANSWER: Ecclesiastes 9:1-4 For all this I considered in my heart even to declare all this, that the righteous, and the wise, and their works, are in the hand of God: no man knoweth either love or hatred by all that is before them. All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath. This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead. For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion.
Ecclesiastes 9:5 but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward. Job 14:21 His sons come to honour, and he knoweth it not; and they are brought low, but he perceiveth it not of them. Isaiah 63:16 Doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: thou, O LORD, art our father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting.
Ecclesiastes 9:5 continued: for the memory of them is forgotten, Job 7:8-10 The eye of him that hath seen me shall see me no more: thine eyes are upon me, and I am not. As the cloud is consumed and vanisheth away: so he that goeth down to the grave shall come up no more. He shall return no more to his house, neither shall his place know him any more. Isaiah 26:14 They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise: therefore hast thou visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish.
Ecclesiastes 9:6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 9:7-18: Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works. Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment. Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun. Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest. I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all. For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them. This wisdom have I seen also under the sun, and it seemed great unto me: There was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it: Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man. Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard. The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools. Wisdom is better than weapons of war: but one sinner destroyeth much good.
To dig a bit deeper into the Hebrew words let's look at the words 'know' and 'die'.
For the living 'know' (Hebrew #3045) that they shall 'die' (Hebrew #4191):
[know: O.T. Hebrew #3045 Ya'da'; to perceive, understand; acquire knowledge, know, discern, be acquainted with a woman.(in a sexual way, i.e. sexual intercourse); be known, make oneself known, to be familiar, to be aware of, to appear, to inform; to announce, to reveal oneself, to appoint; to order. It expresses a broad variety of meanings about various types of knowledge which are gained through the senses. Sometimes it describes God's knowledge of man].
[die: O.T. Hebrew #4191 Mu'th; to die, to kill, slay, bring to death, have one executed. The Scriptures present death as unnatural as something which God did not want to happen, but which is very necessary. God takes no pleasure in it (Ezek.8:32) Death was the result of sin (Gen. 3:3). A holy God must separate Himself from anything which is not in harmony with His character. Therefore when our first parents sinned, they had to leave Paradise. They were no longer permitted to continue eating from the tree of life, living in sin. Every human must face physical death (Heb.9:27) but Jesus Christ came to this earth to "taste death for everyone" (Heb.2:9), so that we would not have to undergo the "second death" (Rev.20:11-15), being severed from God eternally.
Canaanites used mu'th as the name of their god of death. His name was Mot. He ruled over the netherworld, a place of slime and filth. He fought with Baal, the god of fertility (Masonic god) for which he suffered the displeasure of El, the head of the pantheon. The Canaanites normalized death through these myths. They practice elaborate rituals, which included mutilization of their bodies and sacrifices for the dead, these were strictly forbidden to the sons of Israel (Deut. 14:1) The Canaanites even sacrificed children (i.e. Palestinian suicides) (Deut.12:31). The low view of life held by the Canaanites was not shared by the O.T. writers (Ps.16:11; 21:4; 73:23-26; Prov.3:2)]
Speaking of death which is described in Ecclesiastes as hopeless.. Jesus Christ came to this earth to "taste death for everyone" Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
Ecclesiastes continued: so that we would not have to undergo the "second death" (Rev.20:11-15)
Revelation 20:11-12 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; Revelation 19:5 And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.
Revelation 20:12 continued: and the books were opened: Daniel 7:10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.
Revelation 20:12 continued: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: Psalms 69:28 Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous. Daniel 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. Philippians 4:3 And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life. Revelation 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. Revelation 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Revelation 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.
Revelation 20:12 continued: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. Jeremiah 17:10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.Jeremiah 32:19 Great in counsel, and mighty in work: for thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men: to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings: Matthew 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Romans 2:6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds: Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
Revelation 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: Revelation 6:8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
Revelation 20:13 continued: and they were judged every man according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. Revelation 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
Revelation 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. 1 Corinthians 15:26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 1 Corinthians 15:54-55 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
Revelation 20:14 continued: This is the second death. Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first [rapture] resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
Revelation 20:15: And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. Revelation 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
Romans 5:8-21 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift.
For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.
For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 8:1-11 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
The Greek word 'quicken' #2227 Zo'opoleo'; from zo'os, alive and poie'o to make. To make alive, vivify ( John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. 1 Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.) The word is used primarily in the New Testament of raising the dead to life ( John 5:21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. Romans 4:17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.
Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. 1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.1 Corinthians 15:36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: 1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: This word is generally used in reference to salvation, answering to the Pauline connection between righteousness and life Galatians 3:21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-23 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves. Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.
See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In closing lets go back to Ecclesiastes 12:7 in addressing death: "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it." The editor of my Bible writes: The belief in an afterlife has always been a part of God's revealed faith. This is seen in that Enoch "as not [on earth] for God took him" (Gen.5:24) There are some who deny that there is such a thing as an "immortal soul" which is separate from the body. They teach that all those who have died are now in a state of unconsciousness and will remain so until the resurrection of the dead by God. Numerous passages of Scripture clearly teach that the soul exists even after death ( Luke 16:19-31 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.) (2 Corinthians 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.) .. In fact, in 2 Timothy 1:10, the Apostle Paul states that in Christ's resurrection from the dead, "He abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel." He is referring to the day when there will be a reuniting of the body and the soul for those who have trusted in Christ for salvation.
The note on Eccleseiastes 8:8 states that Solomon is simply stating that man cannot control the time of his death. When the time comes for a person to die, there is no power within him to stop or even delay it from happening. The attitude if uncertainty concerning death and its inescapablility has plagued mankind throughout his existence. If he knew the specific time that the end was coming, he would certainly seek to delay it. The truth is GHod is in control of man's destiny. Only Christ was able to say that He had "power to lay it (His life) down" and "the power to take it again" (John 10:18). In Man's view, the only solution for death is to attempt to prolong life. Man had been appointed a time for death (Hebrew 9:27), Even in the Christian's life, he must acknowledge that becoming a believer does not make him exempt from death. For the believer, there is the promise of eternal life following death which should be a source of hope to continue living for God.