by Rev. Trevor Moffat

The Book of Ecclesiastes

In brief this book is a collection of “wise” thoughts or sayings, which could serve as the basis for good living for all people in all times. Scholars argue this book is written by Solomon because the claim is made in 1:1 “…the son of David, king in Jerusalem.”

It is also thought that Solomon wrote Ecclesiastes toward the end of his life, when he had repented of idolatry and his pursuit of foreign wives. Hence the book is seen as possibly being Solomon’s recommitment to the living God and as guide for others to help them through the pitfalls of a merely external lifestyle.

Another likelihood is that the book was drawn up as a text for other nations seeking an orderly life, because the author did not refer to “the Law” and used the divine name “Elohim”, meaning “Exalted God,” in place of the covenant name of Yahweh as seen in Exodus (Ex. 3:14, 15).

So, here is the wisdom of Solomon shining through the text of Ecclesiastes; “Fear God and the key Commandments” (12:13); there is a time for all things (3:1f); do not seek popularity for it too easily fades away, e.g. “ Better a poor youth than an old and foolish king” (4:13); also there is a need to value diligence (11:9).

The overall message is to either be committed or recommit to the exalted God at the earliest opportunity, if you truly seek and value contentment in your life.