The Book of Ecclesiastes
- Hebrew meaning: Oobelet: Assembly
- Greek meaning: Ecclesiastes: One who calls an assembly ; Teacher, Preacher, Leader
- Solomon authorship was generally accepted in Jewish literature.
- After 17th century, the question of authorship has been raised due to the Hebrew style of Mishnah writings which was 8 centuries later than Solomon; Using Aramaic and Persian words which were not popular in Solomon’s time;.
- Internally, as the author identifies as David’s son and also the king of Jerusalem, it would assume that he was Solomon, the wisest man.
- If Solomon was as the author, then it would probably around 935 BC
- However, there is an argument that someone who edited this book came from the Inter- Testament Period.
- Primarily it addressed to young man but generally it addresses to anyone who wants to explore the meaning of life from faith perspective.
Reality of the Fallen Nature of Humankind.
The Vanity of Life
Effects of Sin and Death
Joy and Frustration of Human Labour
Grateful Enjoyment of God’s gifts
Fear of God
Key Word: Fleeting
Key Theme: Wisdom and Work Don’t Last
- Enjoy Life: "A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?" (2:24-25)
- Fear God: "Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil" (12:13-14).
Purpose of the Book
- To teach people who are skeptical about God apologetically that they might think, act, value and follow spirituality.
- To explain and explore the meaning of life which is not to be found in life but in God who gives life.
- To emphasize the theological theme that the understanding of life begins with the fear of the Lord.
- To teach the new believers in Judaism about the new set of guidelines of godly behavior in the society they live in.
Introduction and Theme (1:1–3)
First Catalog of “Vanities” (1:4–2:26)
Poem: A Time for Everything (3:1–8)
Fear God, the Sovereign One (3:9–15)
Second Catalog of “Vanities” (3:16–4:16)
Fear God, the Holy and Righteous One (5:1–7)
Life “Under the Sun” (5:8–7:24)
The Heart of the Problem: Sin (7:25–29)
More on Life “Under the Sun” (8:1–12:7)
Final Conclusion and Epilogue (12:8–14)