What Does “Be Not Righteous Over Much” in Ecclesiastes 7:16 Mean?

“Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself?”
(Ecclesiastes 7:16)

When we read this most intriguing verse we may ask ourselves:

Is there anyone who can try to be too righteous?

Oh indeed there is!

There are those who are trying to be righteous in their own strength, that is, without having been born again. These people are simply trying to prove that they are a child of God by their own works of righteousness – self righteousness – and they are desparately, in their own eyes atleast, trying to please God, that is, make themselves righteous before God on their own strength.

And in doing so they shall certainly destroy themselves and find themselves before the judgment throne of God on the last day.

It is an uphill climb, and certainly impossible, but they persist, because they are desparately trying to prove to themselves and others that they are a child of God.

And in doing so they’re trying to be “righteous over much”.

“Righteous over much” is altogether talking about those who are trying to get right with God on their own righteousness, that is, their own ‘self’ righteousness and such who take this path are travelling down the broad road “that leadeth to destruction” (Matthew 7:13).

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