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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Proverb on Government from Ecclesiastes

(A brief time-out from my series on immigration.)  In my reading in Ecclesiastes on Monday I found a couple of verses that didn't make sense in my translation, so I retranslated them.  I wasn't sure why I felt compelled to take a few hours to do that very technical work.

Then yesterday I listened to these guys (click for video) . . .

and these guys (likewise) . . .

and this guy (etc.) . . .

and I think I understood.  Ecclesiastes 5:8-9:
If you see the poor oppressed and justice and fairness ripped away in the province, don't be shocked because of what you would like to see, because higher-up supervises higher-up and there are higher-ups over them.  But this is always the land's benefit: the king being worked for the field.
Nothing against any of the individuals displayed above—it's just that bureaucracy is inevitable and inevitably self-absorbed, and the drift is always toward the land serving the government instead of the other way around.  This insight is from a guy (Solomon) whose reign probably saw the largest bureaucratic growth by far in Israel's history.

Take from this whatever the Holy Spirit gives you.  For me it's the reassurance that God isn't surprised; he's seen it all before.  "There is nothing new under the sun."

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