The Vanity Of Vanities: The Easy Way
The phrase “Vanity of vanities” is a biblical expression that evokes a variety of emotions. The word ‘vanity’ is a synonym for ‘mischief,’ and the same word can also mean ‘iniquity.’ The Hebrew word for vanity is ‘awen,’ and it is often translated as ‘vapor.’ The Anchor Bible uses the term ‘shaw’ to denote vanities.
The term vaginas originated in the Book of Ecclesiastes and originally meant “the obsession with appearance.” It is the ultimate metaphor for man’s complete preoccupation. It is a phrase referring to a man’s desire to feel beautiful and glamorous and one that are distinctly foreign to those who seek true spiritual fulfillment. Nevertheless, the word vanity has become associated with more than just vanity and emptiness, with several uses.
In addition to its use in the Bible, vanity can refer to an artist’s interpretation of the Book of Ecclesiastes. The word originally meant “the obsession with appearance” and the futility of human effort in this world. In this context, “vanitas” is used to describe an entire preoccupation with a subject’s appearance. For example, the painter Thomas Couture titled Daydreams represents vanity as the vice of the soul.
The phrase ‘vanity’ has a long history in the arts. A small mirror box in King Tut’s tomb served as the source of ointment and fragrance. The extravagant dressing table in Madame de Pompadour’s portrait shows that even the upper crust had the means to call for custom-made furniture. During the Renaissance, the French poudreuse and the low boy remained popular as vanity samples. However, these pieces were made for the upper class.