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Ecclesiastes summary in the Bible

Image of Ecclesiastes

The "Ecclesiastes" as depicted in the Old Testament is one of the Hamesh Megillot (Five Scrolls).

What is the Hamesh Megillot?

  1. Song of Songs
  2. Ruth
  3. Lamentations
  4. Ecclesiastes
  5. Esther

These are the Five Megillot.

For more information on "Ruth" and "Esther,"

Please take a look here.

In this article, I would like to introduce you to the "Ecclesiastes"!

What is "Ecclesiastes"?

The "Ecclesiastes" is famous as one of the most famous treasures of wisdom in all of the Old Testament documents.

This is because it contains philosophical reflections on universal questions (such as the emptiness of life and the impermanence of all things) that transcend religious and ethnic boundaries through the words of the author, Kohelet (the author).

For this reason, it is considered to be relatively easy to familiarize with, and not cause great discomfort to pagans and non-religious people who do not believe in Christianity or Judaism.

On Human Free Will

The general idea in the Old Testament is that God gave man free will and wants man to choose and do righteousness of his own volition.

However, since not all human beings choose righteousness, God rewards each human being with blessings or punishments according to his or her deeds.

Regarding this human free will, the "Ecclesiastes" describes a worldview based on determinism.

Everything in the world is predetermined, including the fact that the righteous and the sinners all die equally, and that predetermination can never be changed.

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I will be immortal!

Even if someone decided of their own free will to do so, it would still be impossible.

If everything is predestined, then free will is futile, according to "Ecclesiastes."

This is somewhat pessimistic, isn't it?

This pessimistic thought is a characteristic of "Ecclesiastes."

This alone makes it seem different from the other books of the Old Testament.

However, on the other hand, the fact that there are things beyond human knowledge in "Ecclesiastes" also means that human beings cannot do anything.

Therefore, there is also an optimistic aspect of affirming people who can do nothing, just as they are.

Fear of God

Although "Ecclesiastes" is a pessimistic book, there are not a few passages in which it tells us to fear God and keep His commandments.

Here are some examples.

Those who fear God are happy because they fear God.

The wicked don't fear God, so they don't live long.

Like a shadow, you can never be happy.

- (8:12-8:13)

The conclusion I came to after listening to all of them.

"Fear God and keep his commandments."

This is what man is all about.

- (12:13)

Thus, the fundamental worldview that "Ecclesiastes" speaks of does not necessarily disturb the worldview of the rest of the Bible.

If you want to know more about God.

Please take a look at this article.

Who is the author?

The first sentence of "Ecclesiastes" is as follows:

The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.

- 1:1

From this sentence, Solomon, the child of David and the third king of the ancient Kingdom of Israel.

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Could he not be the author?

It is widely accepted among conservative commentators.

To learn more about such the Solomon,

Who was King Solomon? A summary of his personality and life episodes!

Please read this article here.

Traditionally, the following three figures in the Old Testament are attributed to Solomon.

  • Song of Songs
  • Book of Proverbs
  • Ecclesiastes

However, many differences are recognized in the thought, style, and writing of these books.

As for these differences,

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Because each book was written during three different periods in Solomon's life.

That's how it's explained.

In other words, they can be divided as follows:

  • Youth = "Song of Songs" (Song of Love)
  • Mature years = "Book of Proverbs" (Words of wisdom)
  • Late life = "Ecclesiastes" (Everything in the world is vain)

However, modern research has led us to estimate that the "Ecclesiastes" were written several hundred years after Solomon.

Therefore, many researchers now believe that

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The author is not Solomon.

They seem to think that the author is not Solomon.