Ecclesiastes

Ecclesiastes Chapter 6

  CHAPTER VI. Remembering how far the writer of our book excels all who have ever come after him, in ability, wisdom, or riches, his groans of disappointment shall have their true weight with us, and act as lighthouse beacons, warning us from danger, or from spending the one short fleeting life we have in treading the same profitless pathway of groaning. So chapter six opens, still on the same subject of wealth and its power to bless. A sore evil, and one that weighs h...

Ecclesiastes Chapter 5

  CHAPTER V. With the opening of this chapter we come to quite a different theme. Like a fever-tossed patient, Ecclesiastes has turned from side to side for relief and rest; but each new change of posture has only brought him face to face with some other evil "under the sun" that has again and again pressed from him the bitter groan of "Vanity." But now, for a moment, he takes his eyes from the disappointments, the evil workings, and the sorrows, that everywhere prevail ...

Ecclesiastes Chapter 4

CHAPTER IV. But we must follow our Preacher, who can only turn away with bitterness from this closed door of Death, once more to take note of what is "under the sun." And sad and sorrowful it is to him to mark that the world is filled with oppression. He has already, in the previous chapter, noted that "wickedness was there in the place of judgment and iniquity in the place of righteousness," and the natural consequence of this is oppression. Wherever men have power they u...

Ecclesiastes Chapter 3

CHAPTER III. Chapter three may be paraphrased, I think, somewhat in this way: Yes, life itself emphasizes the truth that nothing is at one stay here;--all moves. There is naught abiding, like the winds and waters that he has noted in chapter one; man's life is but a wheel that turns: death follows birth, and all the experiences between are but ever-varying shades of good and evil, evil and good. (Let us bear in mind this is not faith's view, but simply that of human wisdom...

Ecclesiastes Chapter 2

CHAPTER II. The wise man, having found that wisdom brought with it but increased sorrow, turns to the other side -- to all those pleasures that the flesh, as we speak, enjoys. Still, he gives us, as in chap. i., the result of his search before he describes it: "I said in my heart, 'Go to now; I will prove thee [that is, I will see if I cannot satisfy thee,] with mirth; therefore enjoy pleasure': and behold, this also is vanity. I said of laughter, 'it is mad'; and of mirth, 'w...

Ecclesiastes Chapter 1

Chapter I. Perhaps there is no book within the whole canon of Scripture so perplexing and anomalous, at first sight, as that entitled "Ecclesiastes." Its terrible hopelessness, its bold expression of those difficulties with which man is surrounded on every side, the apparent fruitlessness of its quest after good, the unsatisfactory character, from a Christian standpoint, of its conclusion: all these points have made it, at one and the same time, an enigma to the superficial student ...

The Sun Also Rises

In Ecclesiastes, Solomon sees the continual rising and setting of the sun as another demonstration that life and its labors are futile (Eccl. 1:5). The sun just keeps doing the same thing, going around in a circle, never getting anywhere. Yet this very same fact, the sun’s continual rising and setting, was used of the LORD in testifying that His promise to David, Solomon’s father, was sure. “Once have I sworn by my holiness; I will not lie unto David: His seed shall end...

An Overview of Ecclesiastes

The Book of Ecclesiastes describes Solomon's search for the meaning of life, by his own unaided intellect and apart from divine revelation. His conclusion was that life is vanity and as futile as chasing the wind.

We know the book was written by Solomon because he was the only son of David who was king in Jerusalem, 1. 1. We do not know what period of his life he is describing.

The key to the book is the expression 'under the sun.' It occurs 29 times. Solomon tries to solve the riddle of life by his own wisdom and by his own observations. His conclusions are the same as you and I might draw if we did not have a Bible.

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