Life-Study of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs

Life-Study of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Songsby Witness Lee

ISBN: 0-87083-947-0
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry

Currently in: Chapter 9 of 20 Section 1 of 6

LIFE-STUDY OF ECCLESIASTES

MESSAGE ONE

VANITY OF VANITIES

(1)

Scripture Reading: Eccl. 1:1-11

In this message we will give an introductory word to the life-study of Ecclesiastes and then begin to consider the book itself.

I. AN INTRODUCTORY WORD

A. The Title

Ecclesiastes in Hebrew is Qohelet, meaning "preacher" (or "teacher"), one who gathered and spoke to an assembly of the children of Israel.

B. The Writer

The writer of Ecclesiastes was the wise King Solomon (1:1, 12; 12:9; cf. 1 Kings 4:32).

C. The Time

The time of writing was about 977 B.C., after Solomon's fall.

D. The Place

The place of writing was Jerusalem (Eccl. 1:1, 12).

E. The Contents

The contents of Ecclesiastes are a description by Solomon, after his falling away from God and returning back to God, concerning the human life of fallen mankind under the sun, which is in the corrupted world. He set his heart to seek and to search out all that is done under the heavens, and he observed that according to the natural phenomena all the things done in cycle remain the same, generation after generation, all wearisome and nothing new. In his conclusion, this is all vanity of vanities and a chasing after wind to the human life of fallen mankind. Such a conclusion of the wise king by his wisdom may be considered a history of the vain life of a fallen man. His conclusion in this book is like a dirge to a man whose end is in misery.

According to Ecclesiastes, human history, from its beginning to the present, is vanity. Because creation has been made subject to vanity and to the slavery of corruption, everything under the sun is vanity. Paul's word concerning this in Romans 8:20-21 corresponds to Ecclesiastes. Today everyone is actually not living but dying. We have been born to die; that is, we have been dying since the day of our birth. From this we see that human life under the sun is vanity of vanities.


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