Eye Has Not Seen, Nor Ear Heard

Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.

Bible or not? Shakespeare or classic literature? Old Testament or New?


Eye Has Not Seen, Nor Ear Heard — 2 Comments

  1. Written by Empedocles a Greek poet and philosopher (b.490 BCE) in his counsel of old age: “Weak and narrow are the powers implanted in the limbs of man; many the woes that fall on them and blunt the edge of thought; short is the measure of the life in death through which they toil. then they are borne away; like smoke they vanish into air; and what they dream they know is but little that each has stumbled upon in wandering about the world. Yet boast they all that they have learned the whole. Vain fools! For what that is, no eye hath seen nor hath ear heard nor can it be conceived by the mind of man.”

  2. Thanks for your answer John and for sharing some of the writings of Empedocles. While he did write that eye has not seen, nor ear heard, something very similar was originally written by the Bible prophet Isaiah in the 8th century BC, about 300 years before Empedocles. The entire pasage is as follows: “For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.” Isaiah 64:4 (King James Version).

    There are 2 conceivable reasons for the similarity. The most likely IMHO is that as a Greek philospher, Empedocles had access to and surely studied the religious texts of his time, not to mention philosophy texts of his predecessors Plato and Socrates. Having likely read the Book of Isaiah he could have adopted the thought as his own. Another possible reason is that he was inspired, and happened upon the same phrase or thought independently. Note the last thought of the three thoughts (seen, heard, conceived) is different than Isaiah’s.

    Someone who also wrote this and definitely lifted it from Isaiah was the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Corinthians: “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9 (King James Version).

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