1. Ecclesiastes 5:8 (ESV)
  2. Exposition

Summary of Ecclesiastes 5:8

Ecclesiastes 5:8 (ESV)

8 If you see in a province the oppression of the poor and the violation of justice and righteousness, do not be amazed at the matter, for the high official is watched by a higher, and there are yet higher ones over them.

Solomon does not close his eyes to the sinful reality in this world. You should not close your eyes to this either. You will discover these things also among the people of God. There too you will find people who oppress the poor; people who bend the law in such a way that the powerful are privileged. People who have held power within a particular group or party for a long time are inclined to enrich themselves more. That was true in Solomon's time and it remains true today.

We read how civil servants look at each other and cover for each other. We could especially think here of people who ask a civil servant for help. A higher official pays close attention to whether the lower official receives money or gifts in return for services given, because then the senior official also wants to share in this. This creates a corrupt network of civil servants. Helping others is no longer the goal, but power and enriching yourself is. It is precisely because of the corruption known and shared, that people protect each other. Justice becomes hard to find.

Those who live without Christ and do not see other people as creatures of God can easily give in to corruption. It is much better if you have a king who has a heart for the country and its people, someone who has the interests of his people at heart. In ancient times, this especially meant a king who was committed to agriculture. He wants to ensure that the entire nation gets to share in the harvest.