A  1:1. Introduction.
 B  1:2-6:9. The chief good. What it is not. 
 B  6:10-12:12. The chief good. What it is.
A  12:13,14. Conclusion.

   The name of this book comes direct from the Latin Vulgate through the Sept. version. The Hebrew name is KOHELETH = Assembler or Convener [an appellative, not a proper name]. It is feminine to agree with the word "Wisdom", which is feminine, and is therefore Wisdom personified [as in Prov. 1:20; 8:1, and always with masculine verbs. Cp. Matt. 11:19. Luke 7:35; 11:49,50]. KOHELETH is from kahal = to call, assemble, or gather together.This is what Solomon did [1 Kings 8:1,2,5]. It occurs with a feminine verb in 7:27. The word Koheleth occurs 7 times: 7 = Resurrection; Spiritual completeness; Fathers perfection: 3 times at the beginning [1;1,2,12]; 3 times at the end [12:8,9,10]{3 = Divine perfection}; and once in the middle [7:27]; 1 = Unity; New beginnings.

   This book formed part of the Hebrew Bible long before the time of Christ, and therefore included in His word, "Scriptures" [Matt. 22:29. 2 Tim. 3:16,&c.]. It is given in the canonical books by Josephus [37 A.D.], and is included in all the Ancient Versions made before Christ. It has been rejected by some, or put to a late date, on account of its alleged Theology. Theology is man's reasoning's about the Word of God, as Science [so called] is man's reasoning about the Works of God. Because Genesis does not agree with man's Science that book is rejected by Rationalists. Because Ecclesiastes does not agree with Theology, this book is rejected, as uninspired, even by some Evangelical theologians.

   True, the bible contains an inspired record of what people said and did; and it does not follow that all that they said or did was inspired. Nevertheless, it is inconceivable that this can apply to the whole book, without a word of warning. Those who can imagine such a thing refuse the evidence that Christ in Luke 16:19-30 is using the language of His enemies, and in v.31 giving His own Divine pronouncement. They strain out the gnat and swallow the camel. They do not see that, if any one whole book is not a part of "The Oracles of God", every Christian doctrine loses its foundation. There could have been in that case no Divine selection or preservation of books, and no Divine Canon of Scripture. If one book is thus ruled out, then another may be. Doubt is thus cast upon the whole Bible, and we have no "Word of God" at all! If the book be not part of the Word and words of God, then we have no reply to those who reject Genesis, Daniel, Jonah, or the Apocalypse, who do so on the same ground of human reasoning. If the inner consciousness of each individual is to decide what is and what is not "Scripture", there is and end of Divine Revelation altogether.

   In any case Solomon's "wisdom" was given to him by God [1 kings 3:5-12; 4:29-34], and this "wisdom" was therefore "from above" [Jas. 3:17], as Luke's was [Luke 1:3]. Moreover, Solomon did not lose it, for it "remained with" him [Ecc. 2:9].



Ecclesiastes 1)

1 The words (when this expression occurs at the beginning of a book, it shows that the book is meant for reproof, evidence is from Deut. 1:1 [cp. 32:15]. Amos 1:1 [cp. 4:1]. Jer. 1:1 [cp. 30;6]. David, 2 Sam. 23:1 [cp. v.6]) of the Preacher (= assembler [i.e. lecturer]), the son of David, king in Jerusalem.

B  A1  B1  1:2-11. Man. His labor. Vanity.
        C1  1:12-2:26. Personal search.
   A2  B2  3:1-9. Man. Times for his labor.
        C2  3:10-4:16. Personal Observation.
   A3  B3  5:1-12. Man. His Works.
        C3  5:13-6:9. Personal Observation.

1:2-11. MAN. HIS LABOR.
B  D  2-7. Transience. "Passes away".
     E  8. Dissatisfaction.
    D  9,10. Recurrence.
     E  11. Oblivion.

2 "Vanity of vanities," says the Preacher, "vanity of vanities; the whole (or, the sum total) is vanity (Heb. habal, used of that which soon vanishes).
3 What profit has a natural man of all his toil which he takes under the sun? (It refers to all that is connected with earthly things as such, and with man apart from God, but what is stated is inspired truth. If what is stated here seems to be a "discrepancy" when compared with other scriptures, then these latter must be dealt with and reconciled and harmonized as other supposed "discrepancies" usually are; not cast aside as uninspired. It may be that it is man's theology which has yet to be conformed to these inspired statements.)
4 One generation passes away, and another generation comes: but the earth abides (Cp. Gen. 18:8,22; 19:29. Josh. 18:5. Ps. 119:90) for ever. (Or, for ages. In relation to time past and future: as we use it when we speak of the ancient world, the old world, the modern world, the world to come, the Roman world.)
5 The sun also arises; and the sun goes down; and hastens to his place where he arose.
6 The wind goes toward the south [in winter], and turns about to the north [in summer]; it whirls about continually (i.e. the wind), and the wind returns again according to his circuits.
7 All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; to the place from where the rivers come, there they return again. (This is the point of the illustration. Cp. Job 36:27.)

8 All things are full of weariness; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.

9 The thing that has been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
10 Is there any thing whereof it may be said, 'See, this is new?' it has been already of old time, which was before us.

11 There is no memorial of men; neither shall there be any memorial of things that are to come with those that shall come after [them].

C1  F1  a1  1:12-15. Labor. Things done.
         b1  1:16-18. Wisdom.
          c1  2:1-3. Pleasure sought.
    F2  a2  2:4-8. Labor. "Great works".
         b2  2:9. Wisdom.
          c2  2:10. Pleasure enjoyed.
    F3  a3  2:11. Labor. "Great works".
         b3  2:12-16. Wisdom.
          c3  2:17-. Pleasure hated.
    F4  a4  2:-17-25. Labor. "All my labor".
         b4  2:26-. Wisdom.
          c4  2:-26. Pleasure judged.

12 I (Solomon knew that the kingdom was to be rent [1 Kings 11:11,12] and the People scattered; therefore he sought to kill Jeroboam [1 Kings 11;39-40]. The Chaldee Targum says, on v.1: "These are the words of the prophecy which Koheleth delivered when Solomon foresaw, by the Spirit of prophecy, that the kingdom of Rehoboam his son would be divided by Jeroboam the son of Nebat".) the Preacher came to be king over Israel in Jerusalem. (Solomon was the only king of which this was wholly true)
13 And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom (see Prov. 1:2) concerning all things that are done under the heavens: this sore travail has God (Elohim. The title "Yahaveh" is not used in Ecclesiastes, as this book refers to man in relation to his Creator only; not to man in covenant with Him as Yahaveh. Hence the frequent use of the Heb. 'âdâm for "man' in this book) given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.
14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and feeding on wind.
15 That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.

16 I communed with my own heart, saying, 'Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem:' yes, I myself had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.
17 And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness (as displayed in the loss of self control; raving with self-conceit. So elsewhere in this book) and infatuation: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit.
18 For in much wisdom is much mortification: and he that increases knowledge increases smarting.

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