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The eyes of the wise man are in his head

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but the fool walks

in darkness.


I know from experience that the same unavoidable and unwished-for event

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comes to them all.


The wise man uses his knowledge and insight to his advantage, but the fool acts as if he has no knowledge or insight at all. However, there is one way in which the wise and the foolish are the same, I know from experience that, in the end,

death will come to them all.


1: “The eyes of the wise man are in his head”

A wise man’s wisdom is in its proper place, and he knows how to use it to foresee and avoid dangers and pitfalls. By contrast the fool places what little wisdom he has in the wrong place and fails to use it, therefore, he is unable to avoid anything, and everything catches him off guard.

2: “unwished-for event”

This word means “chance, fortune, an accident, an event, something that happens to someone without them causing it to happen.” It gives the impression of something that happens which interrupts one’s normal routine, something unexpected and undesired. It is usually something bad. However, this word does not mean “chance” in the sense that the Gentiles used the word, for it never entered the mind of a good Jew that something would happen outside the foreknowledge of God.

It is only from the context that we know Solomon is talking about death. Death is the great leveler; it brings both rich and poor to the same end. In this way the wise and the foolish are that same. The unavoidable nature of death is probably the biggest reason Solomon concluded that human accomplishments are like a vapor, for in light of one’s pending death, even very great accomplishments mean very little and affect no lasting change.