- Joe Norton
On Being Joined to the Living (1/30/2022)
First of a two-part study of Ecclesiastes 9:4-5 “But for him who is joined to all the living there is hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion” (Ecclesiastes 9:4).
Solomon here gives a new perspective to the adage ‘Where there’s life, there’s hope.’ His statement may sound like a given, but he is in the midst of expressing a bit of philosophy about how life is “under the sun.”
In these Jewish times, dogs ranked among the lowest of animals and they were not considered a pet or companion, unlike today; but the lion, on the other hand, was considered among the noblest of beasts, full of grace, majesty, and power.
Even so, a dead lion, as princely as it once was, has lost all hope and possibility of performing what it once could. As lowly as it is, a living dog at least still has hope. In this proverb, the Preacher seems to be setting forth a positive attitude about hope for a better tomorrow.