Why be "clothed in white" and anointed with "oil"? (Ecclesiastes 9:8)

 8 Always be clothed in white, and always anoint your head with oil. 

Ecclesiastes 9:8

ESV - 8 Let your garments be always white. Let not oil be lacking on your head.

Clarify Share Report Asked September 08 2020 My picture Jack Gutknecht

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
The wearing of white garments is mentioned in multiple places in the Bible as a symbol of joy, honor, or purity (2 Chronicles 5:12; Esther 8:15; Mark 16:5; Revelation 3:4-5, 18).

Also, the anointing of the head with oil was associated with festive occasions, or with the cessation of mourning (Psalm 45:7-8; 2 Samuel 12:20).

In the verse cited in the question, as well as the larger passage from which the verse comes, Solomon is mentioning these actions as things that individuals can or should do to derive the maximum amount of happiness from their earthly existences, since no possibility of such happiness would exist after death (Ecclesiastes 9:10). (However, as has been noted in other discussions of Ecclesiastes on this site, Solomon (despite his great wisdom) was speaking from the limited perspective of one "under the sun" (Ecclesiastes 1:3) -- that is, from the standpoint of human wisdom, without the benefit of the divinely revealed truths found elsewhere in Scripture -- with regard to the eternal existence of humans, either in a state of blessing or of punishment (Matthew 25:31-46).)

September 08 2020 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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