Sunday, May 11, 2008

Vapory Mists

[HEH-vell heh-vah-LEEM; Hah-KOHL HAH-vell.]
Vapor of Vapor*; all is (vanishing) vapor
[Mah--yith-ROHK lah-ah-DAHM**]
What profit is it for a man
[B'kohl--eh-mah-LOH sh-yah'-ah-MOHL]
In all his labor which he does
[TACH-ath ha-SHEMM-esh.]
Under the sun? (Ecclesiastes 1: 2a-3)

*Often translated as "vanity of vanities"; the Hebrew really says "vapor" because, no matter how much you clutch at vapor, you cannot hold it
**"Adam", a man

Kind of "bleak" taken on its own! But the 12th chapter of Ecclesiastes reminds us we get all of our meaning by remembering our Creator in the days of our youth. And we know that in Jesus, we shall have begun and shall more perfectly live that life in heaven which knows of no vanity or uselessness or futility.


Joyce said...

That is so interesting! The word vapor is possibly more useful in this day and age than vanity-it definately give the sense of the transience of our efforts.

Myra said...

Thank you for stopping by Picture My Thoughts!
I have bookmarked your blog so I can visit again.
I thought of the distillation process. When water is in the vapor form, it can be caught within a tube, cooled, and then condensed into the liquid state. I trust that God will take us when we die and process us into our eternal state to live forever with Him.
Thank you for your post!
Have a great evening. --Myra

C. Marie Byars said...

Thanks, both of you, for stopping by. Yes, there is something so refreshingly "earthy" in Hebrew thought. Although I'm not a convert from Judaism (although I wonder if I have a smattering of Jewish blood in my supposedly al-German genes), I seem to look at some things opposite: many modern, western Christians, going back to the earliest days of Christianity, see the Old Testmament through a New Testament lens. Sometimes, I feel closer to an ancient Hebrew who was called & completed by the Messiah, so I see the New Testament through the Old.
And I totally believe the resurrection of the body: all those sensual pleasures of the new creation---the lush grass on bare feet that will never be harmed by thorns, the freshest of smells unimaginable in this world, etc---heaven's not some abstract place!

Jason Garwood said...

I believe the Luther quote is from his Table Talk...either that or his stuff on Romans..I don't recall. I too have seen it all over the internet. Thanks for stopping by!

C. Marie Byars said...

The quote in question is supposedly by Martin Luther, "God writes his Gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and clouds and stars." Anyone know the source & location?