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I noticed that the Teacher uses the phrase "under the sun" more than 20 times in Ecclesiastes. I have always understood this to simply mean "on earth" as The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (s.v. tahat) says:

The phrase "under the sun" wends its doleful way through the book of Eccl and has become common parlance in our own skeptical age, especially in the expression "There is nothing new under the sun" (Eccl 1:9 RSV). The phrase itself seems to signify simply "on this earth" (see especially Eccl 7:20, Eccl 8:16, Eccl 11:2) and perhaps underscores the frequently nonreligious emphasis of the author of Eccl who both describes the apparent futility of life and yet lives by faith in it (see further J. Gammie in JBL 93 (1974), p. 363).

But I began to wonder today if there is more to it. I was listening to Ravi Zacharius' message "What is Worthwhile Under the Sun" today. He said it was a Hebrew idiom meaning, figuratively, "life without God." I had never heard this and began to check into it.

What I found is that the phrase appears only once outside of Ecclesiastes.

2 Samuel 12:12 'Indeed you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, and under the sun.'" [NASU, emphasis added]

Here it seems to mean "in the open" since it is placed in opposition to "secretly." But that interpretation doesn't work in Ecclesiastes.

Here are a few examples from Ecclesiastes. All quotations are from the New American Standard Bible, Updated 1995 (NASU).

Ecclesiastes 1:3 What advantage does man have in all his work Which he does under the sun?

Ecclesiastes 1:14 I have seen all the works which have been done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and striving after wind.

Ecclesiastes 2:17 So I hated life, for the work which had been done under the sun was grievous to me; because everything is futility and striving after wind.

Ecclesiastes 3:16 ¶ Furthermore, I have seen under the sun that in the place of justice there is wickedness and in the place of righteousness there is wickedness.

Ecclesiastes 8:9 All this I have seen and applied my mind to every deed that has been done under the sun wherein a man has exercised authority over another man to his hurt.

Ecclesiastes 9:11 ¶ I again saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift and the battle is not to the warriors, and neither is bread to the wise nor wealth to the discerning nor favor to men of ability; for time and chance overtake them all.

I found 29 uses of the term in Ecclesiastes. Obviously, this is an important theme to the Teacher. So is it simply "on earth" or is there a deeper meaning to it? Does it signify, like Ravi says, "a life without God"?

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    I realize that Douglas Adams probably isn't the best resource on a Biblical hermeneutics site, but in Life, the Universe and Everything he refers to a prosaic structure, "above the grass", used by a race that populates a planet completely cut off from the rest of the universe by a thick dust cloud and therefore unaware that anything relevant exists above the treetops. – GalacticCowboy Apr 17 '12 at 1:05
  • Eclesiastes is a Commentary on Proverbs 17:24 in contrast to the following Solomon writing, "Song of Songs" which is commentary on Colossians 3:2 – user4076 May 4 '14 at 20:06
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I guess I prefer the "on earth" reading because the "life without God" reading requires a bit more pressing.

I also wonder if the sun plays such an important role in Ecclesiastes because they may represent a common set of wisdom that was not specific to just Qoheleth. There are apparently some interesting parallels between Eccl. and Egyptian literature and I was aware of parallels between Proverbs and Egyptian wisdom literature as well. Given the importance of the Sun in Egyptian mythology, I might be inclined to view "under the sun" as something along the lines of "within the realm of God's dominion" which would include all of the created order.

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    If Qoheleth is paralleling Egyptian sources with this phrase, I imagine he would be writing polemically. That is, he is showing that the Egyptian wisdom (which would be "under the sun") is worthless, a vanity, a striving after the wind. – Frank Luke Mar 19 '12 at 14:38
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As I've looked into it further, I think we have something along the lines of connotation verses denotation.

The denotative meaning of the phrase "under the sun" in Ecclesiastes is "on earth," and this is neutral in meaning. Something being "under the sun" just means it is on the earth. Indeed, "within the realm of God's dominion" would fit there.

However, words and phrase also have connotative meanings that flow out of context and depending on the speaker. For example, the denotative meaning of "home" is "where you live." The connotative meaning for you might be one of security.

When we consider "under the sun" based on the generally negative tone of Ecclesiastes, we see a negative side to the phrase. When we further consider that "under the sun" would be synonymous with "under heaven" and heaven is the realm of God, we can easily arrive at a connotative meaning of "without God." But on further reflection, a better understanding would be "the physical world." It must be remembered that this is contrasted to the spiritual world, above the sun.

Ecclesiastes 1:3 What advantage does man have in all his work Which he does [in the physical world]?

Ecc 1:9 That which has been is that which will be, And that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new [in the physical world].

Ecclesiastes 1:14 I have seen all the works which have been done [in the physical world], and behold, all is vanity and striving after wind.

Ecclesiastes 2:11 Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit [in the physical world].

Ecclesiastes 2:17 So I hated life, for the work which had been done [in the physical world] was grievous to me; because everything is futility and striving after wind.

Ecclesiastes 2:18 [ The Futility of Labor ] Thus I hated all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored [in the physical world], for I must leave it to the man who will come after me.

Ecclesiastes 2:20 Therefore I completely despaired of all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored [in the physical world].

Ecclesiastes 2:22 For what does a man get in all his labor and in his striving with which he labors [in the physical world]?

Ecclesiastes 3:16 ¶ Furthermore, I have seen [in the physical world] that in the place of justice there is wickedness and in the place of righteousness there is wickedness.

Ecclesiastes 4:1 [ The Evils of Oppression ] Then I looked again at all the acts of oppression which were being done [in the physical world]. And behold I saw the tears of the oppressed and that they had no one to comfort them; and on the side of their oppressors was power, but they had no one to comfort them.

Ecclesiastes 4:3 But better off than both of them is the one who has never existed, who has never seen the evil activity that is done [in the physical world].

Ecclesiastes 4:7 Then I looked again at vanity [in the physical world]. 8 There was a certain man without a dependent, having neither a son nor a brother, yet there was no end to all his labor. Indeed, his eyes were not satisfied with riches and he never asked, “And for whom am I laboring and depriving myself of pleasure?” This too is vanity and it is a grievous task.

Ecclesiastes 4:15 I have seen all the living [in the physical world] throng to the side of the second lad who replaces him.

Ecclesiastes 5:13 There is a grievous evil which I have seen [in the physical world]: riches being hoarded by their owner to his hurt.

Ecclesiastes 5:18 Here is what I have seen to be good and fitting: to eat, to drink and enjoy oneself in all one’s labor in which he toils [in the physical world] during the few years of his life which God has given him; for this is his reward.

Ecclesiastes 6:1 [ The Futility of Life ] There is an evil which I have seen [in the physical world] and it is prevalent among men—

Ecclesiastes 6:12 For who knows what is good for a man during his lifetime, during the few years of his futile life? He will spend them like a shadow. For who can tell a man what will be after him [in the physical world]?

Ecclesiastes 8:9 All this I have seen and applied my mind to every deed that has been done [in the physical world] wherein a man has exercised authority over another man to his hurt.

Ecclesiastes 8:15 So I commended pleasure, for there is nothing good for a man [without God] except to eat and to drink and to be merry, and this will stand by him in his toils throughout the days of his life which God has given him [in the physical world].

Ecclesiastes 8:17 and I saw every work of God, I concluded that man cannot discover the work which has been done [in the physical world]. Even though man should seek laboriously, he will not discover; and though the wise man should say, “I know,” he cannot discover.

Ecclesiastes 9:3 This is an evil in all that is done [in the physical world], that there is one fate for all men. Furthermore, the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil and insanity is in their hearts throughout their lives. Afterwards they go to the dead.

Ecclesiastes 9:6 Indeed their love, their hate and their zeal have already perished, and they will no longer have a share in all that is done [in the physical world].

Ecclesiastes 9:9 Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you [in the physical world]; for this is your reward in life and in your toil in which you have labored [in the physical world].

Ecclesiastes 9:11 ¶ I again saw [in the physical world] that the race is not to the swift and the battle is not to the warriors, and neither is bread to the wise nor wealth to the discerning nor favor to men of ability; for time and chance overtake them all.

Ecclesiastes 9:13 Also this I came to see as wisdom [in the physical world], and it impressed me. 14 There was a small city with few men in it and a great king came to it, surrounded it and constructed large siegeworks against it. 15 But there was found in it a poor wise man and he delivered the city by his wisdom. Yet no one remembered that poor man. 16 So I said, “Wisdom is better than strength.” But the wisdom of the poor man is despised and his words are not heeded. 17 The words of the wise heard in quietness are better than the shouting of a ruler among fools. 18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good.

Ecclesiastes 10:5 There is an evil I have seen [in the physical world], like an error which goes forth from the ruler—

This connotative meaning works throughout the book whereas "without God" has places where it does not work.

I found a rabbi answering a similar question said, 'In the Book of Koheles King Solomon wrote: "There is absolutely nothing new under the sun." He meant that in the physical world nothing is created new.' He goes on to say, 'Only in the spiritual world - "above the sun" - is there renewal.'

"Of the physical world" is not quite the same as "without God", but it should be remembered that it contrasts to "the spiritual world."

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    I guess the way I view this approach is that it is an attempt to press what one hopes the meaning to be into service and cause it to fit. Further research would need to be done in order to validate without God as a reasonable interpretation. Perhaps within other Biblical texts, then other contemporary Jewish literature, and then with other contemporary literature. – swasheck Mar 21 '12 at 18:14
  • I have looked into this further and revised. – Frank Luke Mar 21 '12 at 19:30
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    Every Jewish commentary that I've come across (I've looked at about six or seven) explains the concept as physical vs. spiritual. The most recognised of which would be the talmud, and Rashi. Rashi reads the word תחת as "instead of", and שמש representing Torah [study] (a bit of a stretch, but there are lengthy textual attempts at justifying this reading), whereas the talmud reads "under the sun" as referring to the non-spiritual world (the sun being a physical thing, thus "under the sun" are those things that are subservient to and as physical as the sun). – bjorne Aug 27 '13 at 8:25
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Under the sun—how beautiful is the poetry of the Old Testament!

The swasheck and Frank Luke's answers, as well as the question itself, all contain some helpful thoughts. However, I think they have still failed to capture the full sense of the phrase. I would argue that its meaning is somewhere between in the physical world and life without God: more like, that which is earthly, human, mutable, brief and weak, in contrast to the divine, spiritual, immutable, eternal and invincible.

Because the book is concerned with questions like meaning, change, brevity and happiness, in the physical world can only be a part of the meaning (as on the Biblical view such spiritual considerations are irreducible to matter). However, life without God (which I take to mean life of those who are without God) is not a great interpretation unless you are willing to take Ecclesiastes as a purely negative book (see Is Ecclesiastes a book of negative wisdom? As this answer argues, it has positive wisdom.)

The wisdom of Ecclesiastes is theologically informed, but it is primarily acquired by experience. As such, the book has somewhat less of a "God's eye view" perspective than, say, Ephesians. Eternity is contrasted to the earthly/temporal in both the epistles and this book, but whereas in the epistles, eternity is so in focus that being beaten, stoned, drowned, imprisoned, shipwrecked, hated, opposed, cold, hungry, poor, tired, etc. is "a light, momentary affliction," and the onus is put on eternity, in Ecclesiastes, though eternity still diminishes that which is "under the sun" to insignificance, the onus still remains on discovering the best way to live and act to during this passing life. The perspective in the book is perhaps similar to that of Romans 7 (for my view on that, see this answer; see especially the section "Grammatical Observations")—that is, in a sense more phenomenological than theological. In another analogy to the New Testament, I would compare under the sun to σάρξ, "flesh," insofar as that it often contrasted to πνευματικός, "of the spirit" (usually of God).

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    "that which is earthly, human, mutable, brief and weak, in contrast to the divine, spiritual, immutable, eternal and invincible." That's what I was trying to say with, "Of the physical world" is not quite the same as "without God", but it should be remembered that it contrasts to "the spiritual world." Thanks! – Frank Luke Apr 16 '12 at 18:16
  • @Kazark In SP the sun represents the Holiness of God as revealed through judgement, justice, law, righteousness, etc. The preacher has evaluated all these things 'under the sun' or 'in light of God's holiness'. – Bob Jones Jun 2 '12 at 4:06
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You might want to consider another meaning and teaching that is later revisited in the new testament which is linked to the meaning in Samuel 12:12 and can be found in Matthew 6:1 :

Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

The concept of under the sun may be related to action done for the purpose of glory of men, while action perform for the glory of God are usually personal and hidden from the sight of other.

The same concept is found in:

Matthew 6:5 And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. Truly I tell you, they already have their reward.

Matthew 6:16 When you fast, do not be somber like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they already have their reward.

Matthew 23:5 All their deeds are done for men to see. They broaden their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.

1

Peace.

All flesh is as the grass which withers under the heat of the arising sun of God’s wrath upon man who turns all men to destruction so that the children of men may return to Him.

Our mortal bodies break down…they are crushed …. as our mortal flesh withers away under the sun of His wrath and then we perish from off this earth. Our God is a consuming fire.

He gives man a chance to “Return” to Him.

Psalms 90:3 KJV (3) Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men.

He is not willing that any should perish but should come to repentance…to “Return”…for a 1000 years in His sight are but as yesterday when it is past.

But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

(4) For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.

In the morning we are like grass that springs us. We flourish and grow up….but in the evening it is cut down and withers.

(5) Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up. (6) In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth.

Again, our God is a consuming fire as our iniquities are before Him and our sins in the light (such as the sun is a light) of His face.

(7) For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled. (8) Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.

All our days are passed away in His wrath….under the sun of His wrath.

(9) For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told.

Our mortal flesh withers away “under the sun” of His wrath that is revealed from Heaven upon all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.

We may live a while but the latter years are with labor and sorrow and then we are soon cut off from the face of this earth and we “fly away” as the spirit goes back to God who gave it. We suffer loss: our mortal body.

(10) The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. (11) Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath.

All of man’s works that are done “under the sun” of His wrath are emptiness and a grasping after the Spirit.

Yet, God has not left Himself without witness in that He does good and gives rain from Heaven and fruitful seasons, filling man’s heart with food and gladness. He allows man to enjoy his empty labor done under the sun.

Acts 14:16-17 KJV (16) Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. (17) Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.

He allows the rich man to rejoice in his meaningless works….even though his flesh is withering away to the grave and is soon cut off from this earth.

No mortal flesh can glory in His presence as even the rich man in this world fades away in his mortal body. God has not left Himself without witness that He is good and did good to the rich man.

James 1:9-11 KJV (9) Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:

The rich is made “low”….depressed, humiliated….as his mortal body withers away to the grave. Yet, God allows him to rejoice in the meaningless works and riches that does nothing to save his mortal flesh in this earth.

(10) But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.

The sun….the sun of God’s wrath arises with a burning heat and withers the mortal flesh which is as grass and the glory perishes. The rich man fades away in his ways…but God allows him to enjoy his works which are done “under the sun” that arises with a burning heat.

(11) For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.

God has allowed him to rejoice in his labor…even as his mortal body fades away to the grave. God has left a witness to the rich that He is good.

Ecclesiastes 5:19-20 KJV (19) Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God. (20) For he shall not much remember the days of his life; because God answereth him in the joy of his heart.

God has given the sons of man “sore travail” to be “exercised” with….that is, to be depressed, humiliated, made low as the mortal body of all withers away to the grave. God allows men to enjoy their labor even while their mortal flesh withers.

Ecclesiastes 1:12-14 KJV (12) I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem. (13) And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith. (14) I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.

The wisdom of this world is foolishness. God has chosen the foolish things of the world (that is, foolish in the sight of God) to “confound” (to depress, to humiliate, to make low) the wise of this world as they perish from off this earth.

The things that are highly esteemed by men in this world are foolishness to God….and He uses those base things to shame down their mortal bodies. He gives them “sore travail” to be “exercised” …..humiliated …with. They only seek after the base things of this world in their pursuits...and yet God allows them to enjoy it even though their end is death.

1 Corinthians 1:27-29 KJV (27) But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

He brings them to nothing as no mortal flesh can glory in His presence. All of their mortal flesh perishes from off this earth no matter their earthly wisdom or riches or strength. They perish “under the sun” of His wrath.

(28) And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: (29) That no flesh should glory in his presence.

What profit has a man of all his labor which he takes “under the sun”….as one generated passes away….and another comes? Man perishes from this earth. Riches cannot prevent one from dying.

Ecclesiastes 1:3-5 KJV (3) What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun? (4) One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever. (5) The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.

This is the whole (keeping body, soul and spirit together) of man: to fear God and keep His commandments so that we do not perish “under the sun” of His wrath.

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 KJV (13) Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. (14) For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

If we don't remember to fear God and keep His commandments then the “whole” of man suffers loss as the mortal body withers away under the sun of His wrath and perishes and the spirit returns unto God who gave it.

Ecclesiastes 12:7-8 KJV (7) Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. (8) Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity.

If we fear God and keep His commandments then we shall then abide under the “SHADOW” of the Almighty as we shall no longer be “under the sun” of His wrath. We enter into His rest….and no longer being mortally stricken “under the sun” of His wrath.

Psalms 91:1-2 KJV (1) He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. (2) I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

The “sun “ shall no longer “light” upon us nor any heat as we shall no longer be “under the sun” of His wrath in this earth as we serve Him.

Revelation 7:15-17 KJV (15) Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. (16) They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. (17) For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

We are to labor to enter into that rest….under the shadow of the Almighty.

Hebrews 4:9-11 KJV (9) There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. (10) For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. (11) Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

The heavens and the earth which are now are stored with fire for the destruction of the ungodliness and unrighteousness of men as they perish under the sun of His wrath. The world and its lusts are perishing away as we speak as no flesh is being saved in this earth. All are dying.

2 Peter 3:7 KJV (7) But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

His wrath is revealed from Heaven NOW as our mortal bodies perish under the sun of His arising wrath in the day of our judgment for our ungodliness and unrighteousness.

Romans 1:18-19 KJV (18) For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; (19) Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

The day of the Lord is the day that we “fly away” back to Him as our spirit goes back unto Him who gave it. No one knows when that day should come. Why wish for the day of the Lord for it is darkness and not light? (see Amos 5:18). Death is not a friend but an enemy that is defeated in Christ Jesus.

All of those things we know and worked for here in this earth disappear for us. The heavens will come near (they don't pass away but instead pass by) with a whirring sound (the whirlwind) and we are taken away from off this earth in the day of our mortal death.

2 Peter 3:10-13 KJV (10) But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

But we do not have to go in that manner as we should be people who fear God and keep His commandments and be in all holy behavior and godliness so that the heavens that are stored with fire now for our destruction are dissolved for us.

We are to strive to enter into His rest in this earth so that the former things of death, sorrow, pain (all the old things that exist under the sun of His wrath) pass away for us in the here-and-now and all things become new as there will be no more death, sorrow, pain. These things....the heavens and earth stored with fire for our destruction (death, sorrow, pain)...shall be dissolved for us as all things shall become new. We do not leave this earth to see that change.

(11) Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,

We are to strive to enter into His rest where these things shall no longer have power to destroy us as they shall be “dissolved” from doing so. Again, we do not leave this earth but things get changed from the current system set up for destruction to the new system of no death, etc.

(12) Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? (13) Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

The “elements” ….the doctrines and commandments of men…make us perish by the using of them…but we are to rest from our “works” of the doctrines and commandments of men so that they have no more power to destroy us.

The “elements”...the "rudiments".. that burn us cause us to perish with the using of them. They are the commandments and doctrines of men that we keep and serve.

Colossians 2:20-23 KJV (20) Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (21) (Touch not; taste not; handle not; (22) Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?

They destroy our flesh and do nothing to keep us here. We must rest from our “works”…the keeping of man’s commandments and enter into His rest.

(23) Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.

We are to look for the former things of death and sorrow and crying and pain to pass away. The heavens and the earth which are NOW stored with fire for our mortal destruction becomes "new" as there shall no longer be these things for us when we fear God and keep His commandments.

Revelation 21:3-4 KJV (3) And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. (4) And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation as the old things of death, sorrow, pain are passed away. The heavens being on fire for our destruction are then dissolved.

2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV (17) Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

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