The Book of Ecclesiastes is a treatise on the vanity of all things. The author is identified as Qoheleth, who was probably king Solomon.
The word “Ecclesiastes” is a Latin word.
It is a transcription of the Greek translation of the Hebrew word “Qoheleth.”
Qoheleth is often rendered “Preacher” or “Teacher.”
The author identifies himself as the “son of David” and the ‘king in Jerusalem.”
That is probably a reference to Solomon, although his name never appears in the book. Solomon is Israel’s great gatherer of wisdom.
Some words were borrowed from the Persian language.
That requires a date after Israel’s release from exile in Persia in 539 BC.
The unique language, syntax, and grammar of Ecclesiastes suggest that the book can be dated between the fifth and third centuries BC.
The theme of Ecclesiastes is announced both at the beginning of the book and the end, and is often echoed throughout. The author declares that everything is meaningless.
This includes toil, wisdom, righteousness, wealth, prestige, pleasure, youth, vigor, life, and even the future after death.
ALL HUMAN ENDEAVOR IS MEANINGLESS
HUMAN ACHIEVEMENT IS MEANINGLESS
HUMAN WISDOM IS LIMITED
WALK WITH GOD
Ecclesiastes 4:9. Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor.
Ecclesiastes 4:10. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him who is alone when he falls, and doesn’t have another to lift him up.
Ecclesiastes 11:9. Rejoice, young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth, and walk in the ways of your heart, and in the sight of your eyes; but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.
Ecclesiastes 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. (NIV translation)
The Book of Ecclesiastes sometimes reveals a deeply negative view of women. That probably reflects a misogynistic personality on the part of the man who wrote the book.
Ecclesiastes 7:26. I find more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and traps, whose hands are chains. Whoever pleases God shall escape from her; but the sinner will be ensnared by her.
Ecclesiastes 7:28. which my soul still seeks; but I have not found. I have found one man among a thousand; but I have not found a woman among all those.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.