Ecclesiastes

Ecclesiastes is one of the poetic books of the Bible, and contains valuable wisdom.

Introduction

When people mention Ecclesiastes, the first thing to pop in my mind is Ecclesiastes 3, which tells us there is a season for everything. I imagine, that's probably the most popular passage in Ecclesiastes, but there are 9 other chapters filled with wisdom. Ecclesiastes is the fourth book in the Books of Wisdom or the Books of Poetry. As such, there is both beautiful language and profound meaning to be found in it's pages.
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Author

Ecclesiastes 1:1 tells us that that author is definitely a son of David. This person is referred to as "the Preacher" as opposed to king, but we can't be certain these offices weren't closely related. Today, we think of preachers the way we think of biblical priests. The original Hebrew word essentially means to assemble or to speak before an assembly, which is precisely what a king would do.[3] Ecclesiastes 12:9 adds that the author of this book is also the author of proverbs, which points us to Solomon.

Date of Authorship

With Solomon identified as the author of both Ecclesiastes and Proverbs, Proverbs being written first, it is estimated that Solomon wrote Ecclesiastes later in His reign, around 935bc.[4] Some scholars believe the text was actually composed 500 years later, around 5 century BC. This is easily refuted by comparing the external texts of philosophies mentioned in the book to texts and philosophies of the time.

Meaning of Ecclesiastes

I like to know interesting facts about the books of the Bible. I feel that knowing as much as we can about the text helps us to understand it better. I found a list of such facts at Only One Hope. One of the interesting things I discovered here is that Ecclesiastes means "speaker before an assembly" or "preacher."[1][2] Preacher is also attribution to be the author within the text. I find this to be both fitting and interesting.

Message & Purpose

People have been seeking the meaning of life since the dawn of time; Ecclesiastes is meant to help us understand the purpose of life. Since we are not immortal, our legacy is what we leave the world, not what we take from it. As such, the book constantly reminds us that certain traits, behaviors, and desires are vanity. Ecclesiastes reminds us that the interactions we have and the lives we touch are what lives on. Unfortunately, we tend to be vain creatures. Vanity causes us to concentrate on frivolous things that are worthless in the grand scheme of things (like name brand clothes or expensive cars).

References

  1. Fun Facts About Ecclesiastes". Only One Hope; visited July 2017
  2. Ecclesiastes". Bible Study Tools; visited August 2017
  3. Thomas Nelson, Inc. Nelson KJV Study Bible. 1989
  4. Holman Bible Publishers. Holman KJV Study Bible, pg. 1089-1093. 2014

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About

Author Image Author Image I love reading the Word of God. With prayer God's Word reveals so much: from comfort to temperance, from perspective to affirmation. Digging into the depths of the Word, cross-referencing history, language and time differences, is a passion of mine. In March of 2015 I decided to go back through the Bible doing an in depth study on each section I read. Eventually I decided to share my journal of notes as I partake in this journey. I hope you are blessed by God and inspired to pursue a deeper relationship with Him. I love reading and learning about God, nature, and science. I am interested in how it all connects. The Creator's fingerprints are all over his creation. We can learn so much about Him and how we came to be by exploring the world around us. Join me as I explore the world and draw closer to the One who created it all.
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