Category: A group of biblical books that have a similar literary genre or main themes and have been placed together as a major section of the Bible.
Wisdom Poetry: The poetic books that explore the themes of biblical wisdom and musical worship.
Literary Style: A unique style of writing that follows recognized literary conventions and language patterns.
Prose Discourse: A speech that makes persuasive claims through a logical sequence of thought and clear patterns of rhetoric.
Essay: A short speech aimed at persuading the listener’s thinking with a logical sequence of ideas.
Wisdom: A type of Israelite poetry that persuades the reader to adopt a particular religious and moral outlook.
This book forces us to face death and random chance, and the challenges they pose to a naive belief in God’s goodness.
In this book we hear the skeptical voice of “the teacher.” He observes that living by the book of Proverbs doesn’t always bring positive results. Sometimes life is hard and defies neat explanations. How do you live with that tension, and still strive for wisdom? Ecclesiastes is the second of the biblical wisdom books.
The Book of Ecclesiastes is the critic's response to Proverbs, which states we live a good life when we fear God and follow wisdom. This book's author and the teacher believe that life is hevel, temporary and fleeting like smoke or vapor. We all try to build meaning and purpose in life apart from God, investing in pursuits and things that have no lasting meaning, but time marches on, we all die and bad things happen to good people.
In the end, the key to contentment comes from wisdom, accepting hevel, fearing God, keeping His commandments and putting our trust in Him. We remain puzzled by life's mysteries, but He will bring true justice that fuels our ability to live lives of honesty and integrity.
The author of the Book of Ecclesiastes believes that life is hevel or beautiful and mysterious but unclear, confusing, disorienting and uncontrollable like the fog.
March of Time
Our existence is like a blur or blink of an eye and passes as a shadow compared to the longevity of God's creation and timeline.
We All Die
No matter what we do or who we are, we will die. Death is the great equalizer that renders most of our daily activities meaningless.
Life's Random Nature
Life is unpredictable, out of our control and nonsensical. Good people suffer while evil people live long. We fail if we try to master life.
Life is mysterious, but we can fear God, keep His commandments, enjoy the moment and trust His judgment because one day He will clear hevel.
Watch our Read Scripture video on the book of Ecclesiastes, which breaks down the literary design of the book and its flow of thought. There is one Read Scripture video dedicated to the book of Ecclesiastes, which aims to help you see its unique contribution to the story of Jesus, but also how it works within the Bible’s overall framework.