Being able to know and read the “times” has always been a creditable endeavour for the wise. The men of Issachar were noted for this as David was gathering support at Hebron (1 Chronicles 12:32); wise men long after Solomon’s time were also noted for it (Esther 1:13); and Jesus sarcastically rebuked the Pharisees and Sadducees for being ignorant of the times they were in (Matthew 16:1-4). Solomon reveals to his readers that he does indeed “know the times.” But having recounted a beautiful song of the times (which has persisted as a stand-alone wisdom piece to this day), he laments that the work expended to become experienced in the “times” is futile, because God has hidden the deeper principles of time from man’s understanding. If full understanding of the times is divinely prohibited, then what should the wise do? Enjoy the times as a gift from God’s hand.
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