There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it (Ecclesiastes 8:8).
Many readers will still remember the end of World War II, and the great celebrations that attended the release and homecoming of the servicemen who had fought in the war. Many more recall the similar enthusiasm that followed the end of the recent Gulf War, and a few can even remember when World War I ended with the signing of an armistice on November 11, 1918, a date still commemorated each year and now called Veterans Day.
But there is a lifelong war going on in the heart and mind of every person now living, and there is no discharge (or release) in that war, until death itself. Since the Hebrew word for spirit is the same as for wind, a number of modern translations use wind instead of spirit in the text verse above.
However, the whole context seems clearly to refer to our life as an ongoing battle against death, a battle as it were fought by God in Christ as against the world, the flesh, and the devil over the destiny of our eternal spirit. The lying wisdom of this world is earthly, sensual, devilish (James 3:15), but this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith (I John 5:4).
We can overcome because Christ is the captain of (our) salvation and the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 2:10; 12:2). When we trust and follow Him, we are assured of ultimate triumph and release from the great war. Through His own death and resurrection, He will destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage (Hebrews 2:14,15). HMM