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Bible Commentaries

Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected Books of the Bible

Ecclesiastes

- Ecclesiastes

by Charles Box

Vanity of Vanities Says the Preacher -- Ecclesiastes One --

The name of the book of Ecclesiastes means "the Preacher." Solomon is the author of the book. He is the only son of David that was king in Jerusalem. ( Ecc_1:1 ) It seems that Ecclesiastes was written near the end of Solomon's life. He has become more aware of the folly of his sinfulness. The book of Ecclesiastes is written largely from Solomon's viewpoint as he speaks of the emptiness or vanity of many things that he had once thought important. The word vanity means empty, unsatisfactory or something transitory.

Ecclesiastes is largely a book of repentance. Solomon showed earthly things to be "vanity and vexation of spirit." We learn from Solomon that neither the world nor sin can provide true happiness. In fact, these things tend to make us miserable! True happiness is found in God alone. ( Ecc_12:13-14 ) Ecclesiastes is an inspired part of our Bible where Solomon recorded his own folly and shame, the bitterness of his disappointment, and the life lessons that he had learned. If Solomon is "the preacher," and if "Ecclesiastes" is his sermon then his theme is, "vanity of vanities, all is vanity.