ECCESIASTES 12:11-12 part one “Who is the “shepherd” in verse 11.
10The Preacher sought to find delightful words and to write words of truth correctly. 11The words of wise men are like goads, and masters of these collections are like well-driven nails; they are given by one Shepherd. 12But beyond this, my son, be warned: the writing of many books is endless, and excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body.…
11 The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd. 12 My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh. ESV
The words of wise men are like goads, and masters of these collections are like well-driven nails; they are given by one Shepherd. NAS
The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.12 And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh. KJV
The Question Is Ask Should We Study The Bible Or Its Not All That Important?
So the question that is often ask, did Moses and David, and Solomon know that they were writing the very Word of God when they sat down to write their books, Genesis, Psalms and Song of Solomon! And many will say “no.” Some will say that Proverbs and Ecclesiastes , because when you read them they don’t seem to be written by in a bibical worldview, so they say they were just wrtting what they were thinking.
When you are not careful in your interpretation of a verse or even words you could arrive at a wrong idea of the meaning of the text.
In the verse there is reference to “one shepherd.”
Treasury of Scripture gives us some references:
When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
“But now, for a brief moment, the LORD our God has been gracious in leaving us a remnant and giving us a firm place in his sanctuary, and so our God gives light to our eyes and a little relief in our bondage.
for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise.
Pay attention and turn your ear to the sayings of the wise; apply your heart to what I teach,
It is better to heed the rebuke of a wise person than to listen to the song of fools.
Words from the mouth of the wise are gracious, but fools are consumed by their own lips.
I will drive him like a peg into a firm place; he will become a seat of honor for the house of his father.
Treasury of Scripture which I often use for references
The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd. kjv One Shepherd (esv)
Matthew Henry gives this view:
12:8-14 The Shepherd of Israel is the Giver of inspired wisdom. Teachers and guides all receive their communications from him. The title is applied in Scripture to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The prophets sought diligently, what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. To write many books was not suited to the shortness of human life, and would be weariness to the writer, and to the reader; and then was much more so to both than it is now. All things would be vanity and vexation, except they led to this conclusion, That to fear God, and keep his commandments, is the whole of man. The fear of God includes in it all the affections of the soul towards him, which are produced by the Holy Spirit. There may be terror where there is no love, nay, where there is hatred. But this is different from the gracious fear of God, as the feelings of an affectionate child.
The fear of God, is often put for the whole of true religion in the heart, and includes its practical results in the life. Let us attend to the one thing needful, and now come to him as a merciful Saviour, who will soon come as an almighty Judge, when he will bring to light the things of darkness, and manifest the counsels of all hearts. Why does God record in his word, that ALL IS VANITY, but to keep us from deceiving ourselves to our ruin? He makes our duty to be our interest. May it be graven in all our hearts. Fear God, and keep his commandments, for this is all that concerns man.
John Gill comments: John Gill was the pastor of the church where Charles Spurgeon came after John Gill who was there for 50 years
John Gill (23 November 1697 – 14 October 1771) was an English Baptist pastor, biblical scholar, and theologian who held to a firm Calvinistic soteriology. Born in Kettering, Northamptonshire, he attended Kettering Grammar School where he mastered the Latin classics and learned Greek by age 11. He continued self-study in everything from logic to Hebrew, his love for the latter remaining throughout his life.
His first pastoral work was as an intern assisting John Davis at Higham Ferrers in 1718 at age 21. He became pastor at the Strict Baptist church at Goat Yard Chapel, Horsleydown, Southwark in 1719. His pastorate lasted 51 years. In 1757 his congregation needed larger premises and moved to a Carter Lane, St. Olave’s Street, Southwark. This Baptist church was once pastored by Benjamin Keach and would later become the New Park Street Chapel and then the Metropolitan Tabernacle pastored by Charles Spurgeon.
Which are given from one shepherd. All these words of the wise, collections, etc., proceed from one source, or are set forth by one authority. Who is] this shepherd? Some say that he is the archisynagogus, the president of the assemblies of wise men, to whose authority all these public utterances are subjected. But we do not know that such supervision existed or was exercised at the time when Koheleth wrote; and, as we saw above, there is probably no reference to any such assemblies in the passage.
The “one shepherd” is doubtless Jehovah, who is called the Shepherd of Israel, who feeds his people like a flock, etc. (see Genesis 48:15; Genesis 49:24; Psalm 23:1; Psalm 80:1, etc.). The appellation is here used as concinnous with the thought of the ox-goad, intimating that God watches and leads his people like a tender shepherd and a skilful farmer. This is an important claim to inspiration. All these varied utterances, whatever form they take, whether his own or his predecessor’s, are outcomes of wisdom, and proceed from him who is only wise, Almighty God. It is no disparagement of this work to imply that it is not the production of the true Solomon; Koheleth is ready to avow himself the writer, and yet claims a hearing as being equally moved by heavenly influence. It is like St. Paul’s assertion (1 Corinthians 7:40), “I think that I also have the Spirit of God.”
When you see in the text “shepherd” in the kjv you might not view this as the Great Shepherd, but as we see what Gill says, its should be “Shepherd” which the ESV capitalized it. Which does make good sense because the ancient Hebrews often referred to God as their “shepherd” as in Psalms 23:l
And as the writer sums up his teaching by calling us to “fear God and keep His commandments (12:13) would give evidences that the “Shepherd” here in these verse se would be our Creator.
THEN WHEN SHOULD BE ABLE TO SAY THAT THESE ARE WORDS THAT GOD GAVE THEM TO WRITE IN TERMS THAT WOULD BE KNOWN TO THE WRITER.
So to study the Scritpures would be of a benefit to every Believer.
We will address the reason the Preacher said the other comment in these verses next