Ecclesiastes 2020

Solomon was the wisest of men. In this book, he chronicles what he learned using the wisdom that God gave him.

It is loosely chronological and autobiographical in that he records his observations as a young man early in the book and ends it as an old man facing his own mortality.

Some of the observations and translations are from the book, "Great Poems of the Bible," by James Kugel.

  • Ecclesiastes 1-2, Vanity
    The book begins with a note about the futility of seeking life's meaning 'under the sun'. Solomon seeks satisfaction in life by employing all of the resources that wealth and power can provide. He discovers that that which is attainable using only the senses is ultimately unsatisfying.
  • Ecclesiastes 3-5, A Time To...
    The seasons of life - each of us goes through seasons in his life. The events and behaviors during one season are not possible or appropriate in another. The sequence and duration of those seasons varies from person to person. A good life 'under the sun' consists of getting the most from each season.
  • Ecclesiastes 5-7, The House of Mourning
    That the house of mourning is better than the house of feasting may seem counter intuitive. It is only at the end of a life that it is known what the person did with the potential that God invested in him. In the same way, a lumber yard is full of potential, but it is the finished piece that gives that potential its ultimate value.
  • Ecclesiastes 7-8, Deep, Very Deep
    God has put eternity in man's heart, but He has made it impossible to figure out all the reasons for what happens 'under the sun.' So, He has enabled us to realize that this life is not all that there is, but not in such a way that everything that occurs makes sense to us.
  • Ecclesiastes 9-10, Dead Flies
    As Solomon can see the end of his days, he is concerned with passing along some of the wisdom that God has given him. Even after a lifetime of sober living, a single act of folly can spoil one's reputation. This and other parables form the bulk of chapters 9 and 10. Living skillfully in the face of uncertainty.
  • Ecclesiastes 11-12, Remember Your Creator
    Solomon wraps up the book by wrapping up a man's life. Returning to the theme that the world is designed so that it cannot be completely figured out, he counsels that one should enjoy its beauties and pleasures with gratitude toward God and with an eye to the eventual audit.