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Ecclesiastes is classified as a Wisdom Literature book.


King Solomon wrote Ecclesiastes in his old age. Though Solomon's name never appears in Ecclesiastes, internal evidence reveals that he was the author.

Ecclesiastes 1:1 contains, "The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem." Ecclesiastes 1:12 states, "I, the Preacher, have been king over Israel in Jerusalem."

Solomon was the son of David, and was king in Jerusalem. Furthermore, he was the last king who ruled over a united kingdom of Israel. Israel was divided into northern and southern kingdom's following Solomon's reign.

Ecclesiastes 12:9-10 show that the author wrote many proverbs. Proverbs 1:1 begins with this statement, "The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel."

Meaning of Life

Ecclesiastes is a self-reflective chronicle of Solomon's attempts to find the meaning of life. Solomon's position as king, his wisdom, and his considerable wealth (1st Kings 10:14-29) enabled him to fully pursue this quest.

In Solomon's quest to find the meaning of life, he tried to find fulfillment with the following:

  • Wisdom and Knowledge
  • Pleasure
  • Alcohol
  • Building and Planting
  • Buying servants and livestock
  • Amassing wealth
  • Music
  • Sex
  • Work

Solomon reasoned that power, wealth, accomplishment, and pleasure were all vain pursuits. In the end, Solomon concluded that our purpose is to "fear God and keep his commandments" (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

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