Vanity of Vanities
Vanity of vanities, written in the Hebrew superlative form, is similar to “holy of holies” in the Bible. This phrase is a key theme in the Song of Songs, also known as the Canticles or the Song of Solomon. Modern translations tend to render this expression as “meaningless” or “absurd,” but those meanings are often misplaced. Vanity means “stuff” or an insult to reason, which is contrary to the purpose and order of things.
The word “vanity” originates in the Bible. It originally referred to the human obsession with appearance and the futility of life in this world. It is a shorthand way of referring to a subject’s entire preoccupation. In other words, vanity is empty. This is the opposite of what the Bible teaches. Many people today are unable to live the life they’ve always dreamed of, and this is one of the main reasons why the word is so prominent in the Christian faith.
The word ‘vanity’ is not new in the Bible. It was first used in the 16th century to describe a toilet table, but by the early 20th century it was a recurring topic. In Bible verses, the word vanitas often refers to idolatry, the days of man, and a man’s life. In addition to their name, vanities can be a good fixture in the interior décor of a home.