“I returned and saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happens to them all” (Ecclesiastes 9:11 MKJV).
I received revelation on the word “chance” in this version.
Another version is pretty much on the money:
“I returned and saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the mighty; nor even bread to the wise; nor even riches to the men of discernment; nor even favor to knowing men. For time and occurrence happen to them all” (Ecclesiastes 9:11 LITV).
What that verse is saying is that nothing happens by our power; God does it all, “chance” meaning “fate” or “all things are determined from above.” Aesop’s fable of the tortoise and hare race are an example, but not a good one. That story illustrates that the race can be won by the slow on occasion, that speed is not the only determining factor. What Ecclesiastes says is that whatever happens is out of our hands, though we go through the motions.
Fatalism? No; that is an attitude, though definitions don’t always describe it that way. I speak of wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of the way things are. But to the definition one source gives the word, I say, “Yes.”
“1. A submissive mental attitude resulting from acceptance of the doctrine that everything that happens is predetermined and inevitable
2. A philosophical doctrine holding that all events are predetermined in advance for all time and human beings are powerless to change them”
– July 27, 2010