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He who loves silver will never have enough silver,

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and he who loves abundance [will not be satisfied] with his income. This too is like a vapor.

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I know from experience that the one who loves money will never have enough money, and the one who loves to have lots of stuff will never be satisfied with his income. This too is frustrating, just like a vapor.


1: “enough silver”

As I understand the life of Solomon, he was headed down the path of becoming too attached to money. He started out with a good heart, but he was also driven to improve and to do more than anyone before him. He enjoyed being rich and was very good at creating new revenue-producing activities. Then his favorite wife died and everything changed; his entire perspective on life was reversed. He had no motivation. Nothing mattered. Later he wrote this book to share with people his new insights on life hoping that they could benefit from the hard lessons he had learned. This perspective was dark, unhappy and shaped by grief, but it was also more real to life.


This use of “vapor” fits the A and E of my acrostic PASSES. The situation he has just described was A: it Accomplished nothing, and E: Endlessly frustrating. In other situations, if you desire something and you pursue it, you will find joy when you reach your goal; there is satisfaction and beauty in art work that is done well, or in music that is performed well; there is a proper sense of pride in having raised responsible children. But money is different. It has a deceitfulness about it that says, “just a little more and that will be enough.” But one can never reach “enough,” no matter how much he gains he only hears “just a little more.”