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Joseph Grijalva  Period:  5


Title:  Ecclesiastes 3-9

Author:  Unknown

Source:  New American Bible (Saint Joseph Edition)

            Many people are probably familiar with this selection from the Bible without even knowing it.  It was made popular in the 1960s as in the form of a song performed by the Byrds.  The poem is organized into an opening statement and several examples of the opening statement. 

            Two themes can be derived from this poem.  The first is stated in its title, " Man Cannot Hit on the Right Time To Act" .  Most people have had some experience in their life where they have acted in some fashion that was completely out of place.  One example that many people can identify with can be found on line four.  It states, " A time to weep, and a time to laugh."   In many instances something that should be depressing or serious causes us to laugh even if laughter is completely out of place in the situation.  Another good example that can be applied to real life is " a time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces" .  Often times it is hard for us to tell how other people are feeling as far as emotion goes.  This line points out that sometimes people need to be alone and sometimes they need consolation.  The second theme that is contained within this selection from the bible is: though we might not be able to find the right time to act there is an appointed time for everything.  This seems to me to be saying that everything that is meant to happen will happen.  If we are expecting something to happen in our lives and it does not, then it was simply not meant to be.  A third theme that can be inferred from the poem is that the events that take place in our lives are not necessarily the events that we would like to take place.  Lines such as, " A time to seek, and a time to lose" , and " A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace" , exemplify this ideas. 

            This verse from Ecclesiastes appeals to me, partially do the fact that I enjoyed the song form of the verse.  Besides being a beautiful verse, the poem is also contains useful guidance for life.  For example, many people become discouraged if they miss out on or are not able to take part in some opportunity or activity.  This selection from the bible inspires hope by reminding us that if something does not happen, then it was never meant to happen in first place.  It also reminds us that the tendency to screw up is natural for everyone.  Another reason that I enjoy this poem is because it points out some of the mysteries of life.  After all, there have been countless times when someone has fought to seize an opportunity only to have it denied and then find something better.  Other times people are denied an opportunity they have fought for and don't find another opportunity.  For me the passage from the Bible reminds me not to stress, because once we have done our best, there is nothing else that we can do but trust the future to take care of itself. 

Man Cannot Hit on the Right Time To Act

1.  There is an appointed time for everything,

And a time for every affair under the


2.  A time to be born, and a time to die;

a time to plant, and a time to uproot

the plant.

3.  A time to kill, and a time to heal;

a time to tear down, and a time to


4.  A time to weep, and a time to laugh;

a time to mourn, and a time to dance.

5.  A time to scatter stones, and a time to

gather them;

a time to embrace, and a time to be

far from embraces.

6.  A time to seek, and a time to lose;

a time to keep, and a time to cast away.

7.  A time to rend, and a time to sew;

a time to be silent, and a time to speak.

8.  A time to love, and a time to hate;

a time of war, and a time of peace.