Ineffective Government Bureaucracy: Notes on Ecclesiastes 5:8 (Excerpt)

Vanity of Vanities (cover)Ecclesiastes 5:8

If you see oppression of the poor and denial of justice and righteousness in the province, do not be shocked at the sight; for one official watches over another official, and there are higher officials over them.

Solomon has earlier spoken of the inevitability of oppression (4:1) and wickedness in the place of justice and righteousness (3:16). We should not be shocked when these conditions exist. The wise man gives one reason here: government bureaucracy. An extensive network/hierarchy of officials who oversee the people is incapable of doing what they are supposed to do. The larger the bureaucracy, the more unaccountable and inefficient it becomes. It is important to note that this is not the observation of one who was a “common man” and was a victim of an ineffective government bureaucracy. It is the observation of Solomon, the head of the government. In his position, he could see that such an arrangement would not work to help the people. When there is a large bureaucracy in place, the wise man says we should expect the poor to be oppressed and justice and righteousness to be denied.

You can read more comments on the book of Ecclesiastes in Vanity of Vanties: Notes on Ecclesiastes. Follow the link to learn more about the book and purchase your copy today!

Share Button