“A lover of money never has his fill of money, nor a lover of wealth his fill of income. That too is futile.” ECCLESIASTES 5:9 (The Israel Bible™)

The word hevel (הבל), ‘futile,’ appears many times throughout Ecclesiastes as a description of the pursuit of various physical pleasures. Although the word is translated as ‘futile,’ it literally means ‘vapor’. Vapor has the power to distort what a person sees. For example, the hot air rising from desert sands creates the mirage of an oasis. This verse observes that amassing wealth is “hevel.” More than just futile, the pursuit of wealth is similar to vapor, since it has the power to distort a person’s reality and values. The book of Ecclesiastes warns not to pursue wealth, because one who does so will never be satisfied.

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