ECCLESIASTES TOTAL CHAPTERS: 12
ECCLESIASTES TOTAL VERSES: 222
TOTAL WORDS: 5,584
DATE WRITTEN: 935 BC
All is Vanity Apart from God. Futility Of Life Without God. Everything in the world, in and of itself, is worthless and empty.
Qohelet (The Teacher, Preacher): Author of the book.
BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES KEY VERSES:
1:2: Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities, all is vanity.
1:18: For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.
2:11: Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.
12:1: Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them.
12:13: 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.
Book of Ecclesiastes traditionally ascribed to Solomon. The word comes from Greek ekklesiastes, to render Hebrew qoheleth “one who addresses an assembly,” from qahal “assembly. Ecclesiastes is mainly composed of observations of life. The author concludes that life is vanity. The author’s effort is to prove the vanity of everything under the sun. This truth is first announced as a fact, then proved from the Preacher’s experience and observations. His perspective and his advice do not seem to square with the more optimistic book of Proverbs. However, the book simply takes a candid look at the way the world operates, observing that God’s promises and God’s wisdom do not always come to pass in the ways we expect. We know that the wicked often prosper, the righteous often suffer, the wise man and the fool alike die. But this Vanity in the book does not mean foolish pride, but the emptiness of life apart from God. Nothing of this world can ultimately satisfy us. In light of all this evidence, it is a testimony to the Preacher’s faith that he never once questions God’s goodness, power, or wisdom. Rather, he wants to know what difference our decisions could possibly make in the seemingly chaotic universe. He attempts to answer the ultimate question, what is the meaning of life? And concludes that only a life with God has any value or purpose. The first seven chapters of the book illustrate all of the worldly things under the sun that the Preacher tries to find satisfaction in.
Chapters 8-12 of Ecclesiastes describe the Preacher’s recommendations and comments on how a life should be lived.
CHAPTER WISE SUMMARY:
Chapter# 1: Everything is futile. Earth remains forever. All toil is profitless and repetitious. Qohelet introduces his quest. The spokesman’s general conclusion. The spokesman begins to study life. Things never change
Chapter# 2: Qohelet’s investigation of self-indulgence. Solomon’s pursuits evaluated. Qohelet’s examination of personal accomplishment. The living beings must abandon the work of their hands to others at death. It is best to just enjoy the passing pleasures of life as a reward for pleasing the lord. The emptiness of work. The spokesman studies wine. Without the lord everything is pointless. Is there real happiness in life?
Chapter# 3: An appointed time for everything. The Lord has ordained the ebb and flow of human activities. No one understands the Lord’s mysterious plan. The lord’s mysterious plan allows injustice to exist in the world. The lord-given task
Chapter# 4: Oppression worse than death. The existence of oppression and injustice in the world makes human life miserable. People need balance in their approach to labor. Wealth and luxury without someone with which to enjoy it is futile. Friends and relatives can help one another in life. One must be willing to listen to advice
Chapter# 5: Approach the Lord with proper fear. Listen to the lord rather than uttering rash vows. Powerful bureaucrats exploit the helpless poor. There is never enough money to satisfy. Hoarding wealth can backfire. If you have wealth, enjoy it as the Lord enables
Chapter# 6: Possessions without enjoyment. Those who have wealth but do not enjoy it are pitiful. One must learn to be satisfied with what one has
It is futile for humans to complain about the lord’s irresistible will. The future is inscrutable to humans
Chapter# 7: A good name and the day of death. People generally do not know what is best for them. Wisdom’although vulnerable’is beneficial. Humans must accept the Lord’s will and make the best of it. The law of retribution does not always work’but it sometimes does. Wisdom is valuable, but no one in this world is completely righteous. Absolute wisdom is unattainable. Wisdom gives life. A truth for every situation
Chapter# 8: Under imperfect human rule. Wisdom is valuable. No one knows the future. The world marred by oppression and injustice. Although evil is not punished swiftly, the lord does eventually punish sinners. Humans should enjoy the life that the Lord gives to them. No one can discover the rhyme and reason for things. Those who fear the Lord will do well. Man cannot know the Lord’s ways. Obedience to the king
Chapter# 9: All have the same outcome. The same fate of death awaits everyone. Death deprives humans of everything in life. Enjoy life while it lasts
The injustice of time and chance. Wisdom’although vulnerable’is superior to the power
Wisdom’although vulnerable’is superior to folly. Where there’s life, there’s hope. Work with all your might
Chapter# 10: A little foolishness outweighs wisdom. Accidents happen even to professionals. Hard work and skill alone cannot succeed’wisdom is necessary
The consequences of foolishness. The burden of folly. The ironies of life. The value of work
Chapter# 11: Seize the opportunity. Life in the light of the limits of human knowledge. Enjoy life to the fullest within the auspices of the fear of the lord. Remember your Creator while you’re young
Chapter# 12: Remember the creator before old age sets in. Advice to the young. Life is short and then you die.