- ECCLESIASTES – BIBLE
The writer says that he was “the Son of David, King in
Jerusalem” (1:1, 12, 16). The writer is Solomon, and the book
is an autobiography of his experiences and reflections while he
was out of fellowship with God.
have been wise, but he did not follow his own wisdom.
Ecclesiastes has its origin in his tragic sin of forsaking God
and seeking satisfaction in many things “under the sun”.
The message of Ecclesiastes is that, apart from God, Life is
full of weariness and disappointment.
Theme: What is the
meaning of life? The writer is pointing out the folly of human
reasoning in order to focus on the true satisfaction, which is
to be found in God.
term: “vanity of
vanities” (1:2, 12:8) states that authors theme. The word
vanity in the Hebrew means “breath” or “vapor” and thus speaks
of life as “quickly passing”.
Strong’s # 1892: This word basically means “vapor” or “breath”,
such as the rapidly vanishing vapor of one’s warm breath in the
cool air. (See Psalms 39:5, 11; 62:9; 144:4)
read the Word vanity in Ecclesiastes, we should think of what is
“quickly passing”. This is one of the key terms in the Book of
Ecclesiastes, for it is found 38 times there, but only 34 times
in the rest of the Old Testament. With this word, Solomon
received worldly pursuits such as wealth, honor, fame, and
various pleasures as similar to desperately grasping at air
1: Vanity of life and pleasure
search of satisfaction were in wisdom (1:12 – 18) and acquiring
more knowledge. Humanistic wisdom without God, leads to grief
2: Pleasures are meaningless
built houses (See 1 Kings 9:10), water reservoirs, planted
vineyards, gardens, parks and trees, had a large number of
servants, herds of cattle, wealth in silver and gold, choirs and
orchestras, had 700 wives and 300 concubines (1 Kings 11:3).
all my eyes desired: Solomon had limitless ability to fulfill
any and all desires.
at the end of his quest for possessions and experiences, Solomon
concluded that it was vanity or “vapor”, a grasping for wind.
Even with all he had done and experienced, there was still a
sense that nothing lasting or enduring had been achieved.
3: A time for everything
everything there is a season . . . a time. Both words are
usually regarded as being specific points in time. See Daniel
2:21: Seasons here in Daniel refers to the events of history.
See Esther 4:14: “yet who knows whether you have come to the
kingdom for such a time as this?” God sets a time for
4 – 5: The writer considers oppression
the poor and the downtrodden (See Amos 5:11, 8:4-6)
folds his hands:
being lazy better a handful with quietness - moderation, than
both hands full together with toil and grasping for wind -
moderation is better than being over worked.
A man is
envied by his neighbors:
I wish I had what my neighbor has (a nice new boat or car) today
this is called “keeping up with the Jones’”.
prudently: God has no
pleasure in those who do the right things for all the wrong
6 – 12: The best advice the writer gives is to obey God.
At the end
of the book in 12:8, the writer again returns to the theme of
the book found in verse 1:2, “vanity of vanities”. Such is life
“under the sun” (or Earth) apart from God, is “vanities of
vanities”. Solomon concluded that it was all vanity, or “vapor”,
a grasping for the wind, all that he had done and experienced,
apart from God.