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What Is Vexation of Spirit
by Dale Linton  
10/28/2010 / Bible Studies


Ecclesiastes 6:9 Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering, of the desire: this is also vanity and vexation of spirit.



The English word "vexation" is translated from the Hebrew word "re‛ûth" which has its origin in another Hebrew word "ra`ah".
By looking at the root word "ra`ah" we see the emphasis and the scope of meaning in the phrase "vexation of spirit". Here is a biblical sample of the English words and phrases that define "ra`ah" :

to pasture, tend, graze, feed
to shepherd
to devour

The word vexation carries with it these root meanings. This is how the root word for vexation, "ra`ah" , is used in these verses:

"feedeth on"

Proverbs 15:14 The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness.

"shepherd"

Psalms 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want


Notice how in one case the word is emphasizing a positive service of feeding:

"feed"

Proverbs 10:21 The lips of the righteous feed many: but fools die for want of wisdom.


But in the other case there is a "feeding on" something that expresses a negative operation and or outcome:

"He feedeth"

Isaiah 44:20 He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand?


In some cases this word is shown to have a more aggressive type of feeding:


"doth devour"

Psalms 80:13 The boar out of the wood doth waste it, and the wild beast of the field doth devour it.



And in some cases the word expresses the relationship or character of what is doing the feeding:


"companion"

Proverbs 13:20 He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.


"friendship"

Proverbs 22:24 Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go:



Recapping What Has Been Covered In The Article... What Is The Spirit of A Human Being...and this ariticle:


Our spirit is our source of life
This life source came from Gods breath
Our spirit is in a extremely close relationship with and gives life to our soul
Our spirit is subjected to something called vexation
Vexation comes from a root word that has two distinct meanings ; one to the positive and one to the negative
Vexation expresses itself through characteristics of feeding or eating
Vexation in our chapter verse, Ecclesiastes 6:9, is conveying a negative operation and outcome


By drawing on the positive and the negative aspects of "feeding or eating" with where "life" is concerned; we can see if there is continuity being revealed through other scriptures?

Negative:

"devour"

1st Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:


Positive:

"living bread" "eat of this bread"

John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

We may conclude that if our spirit, being our source of life, is subject to a word called vexation, and vexation has positive and negative connotations expressed through feeding; then the devil's devouring and the living bread being given, is relating to our spirit being fed or fed upon.


What Feeds Our Spirit?


John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.


Jesus is very clear to point out that His words are spirit and it is the spirit that quickeneth , which means to make alive.


John 18:37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.

Those who are of the truth hear the voice, or the words of Jesus.

John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.


The truth feeds our spirit producing life. We may conclude that our spirit is subject to an opposing force orchestrated by the devil. We might expect to see the devil using lies and a devouring that results in death and destruction.


John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

I have a desire to see the body of Christ edified. Within the broad spectrum of edification I feel there exists a great need and opportunity for spiritual education at foundational levels. Please contact me about speaking at your church. Dale Linton 410-378-5035 or dale@agapesolutions.org

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