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Proverb Analysis: Rejoice in your youth...

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Proverb

This proverb can be translated in a number of ways. Literally speaking, (If I had no knowledge of the teachings of Ecclesiastes,) I will translate this using the deconstructionist method of analyzing. "Rejoice in your youth, you who are young; let your heart give you joy in your young days." Literally, this would mean that young people should enjoy life and do every pleasant thing they can do while they are still young. "Follow the promptings of your heart and the desires of your eyes." This means that whatever you feel, no matter right or wrong, to act upon it. "But this you know: for all these things God will bring you to judgment." This line means that all your actions will be seen and judged by God.

When this proverb is analyzed with Ecclesiastes in mind, the theme would be a completely different method. For example, "Rejoice in your youth, you who are young; let your heart give you joy in your young days," means that the youth will desire opportunities to pursue every pleasure, which by the teaching of Ecclesiastes, would be wrong. It would be wrong for the reason that since the youth will be pursuing pleasures, they would be living a toil (toil #2 pleasures to fill the body). Ecclesiastes warns against man living toils. Since a toil is not a man's true center, the youth would be going against the greater good. "Follow the promptings of your heart and desires of your eyes. But this you must know: for all these things God will bring you judgment," also has significant meaning within the teaching of Ecclesiastes. Ecclesiastes tells the youth to follow their heart and eyes' desires, yet they will be watched by God. In writing this, Solomon almost condones the pleasures of sin and seems to temp the youth, but then tells them that if they take that course of sin, God will judge them.
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