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But that wealth is caused to vanish through a bad, miserable situation he must endure,

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so when he brings forth a son

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there is nothing in his hand.


Later all the wealth he so carefully horded vanishes due to some bad, misery-inducing situation he was not expecting to have to deal with. The final result is that when he has a son, he has nothing to pass on to him.


1: “must endure”

The word Solomon chose to use here is one of the words he has been using throughout this book for “work.” It can mean “task, or occupation,” or it can mean “travail, a miserable situation, a frustrating effort,” or some other negative aspect of the effort we expend on working to meet our physical needs. Here it has nothing to do with working, but it has everything to do with a miserable situation that one must endure. One could assume that the fictitious person in Solomon’s example took every possible danger into consideration and took every precaution against them all, yet something unexpected brought him to ruin.

2: “bring forth a son”

The picture being painted here is of a man who wanted wealth so badly that he even put off having children until later in life in order to have few hindrances in his accumulation of it. But that plan backfired. The lesson here is: Don’t get your priorities flipped up-side-down or you will get burned.