Ecclesiastes is an Old Testament book representing the third section of the biblical canon, referred to as the Ketuvim (Writings). When reading the Hebrew Bible, Ecclesiastes is found between the Song of Solomon and Lamentations. In this article, you will learn more information regarding Ecclesiastes, including the theorized author and well-known verses.
While many believe that it is Solomon who wrote Ecclesiastes, the exact author is not known. A superscription (1:1) attributes the book to “qohelet” who is identified as “the son of David, king of Jerusalem.” Because of these words, it is believed that the reference points to Solomon. Those who have analyzed the Aramaic forms and content link the verses to the second half of the 3rd century BC.
In the book, the views of one who “questioned the doctrine of retributive justice” as it related to religious wisdom are presented. A topic that emerges throughout the verses is ‘vanity’. The author of the book also believes that any attempt to uncover the mysteries of life and secure one’s fate is pointless. The author gives the advice to enjoy the good that God has provided while there is still time to enjoy. Another well-known verse is associated with this reference, which begins: “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.” Additional lines to the verse are provided at the bottom of this page.
The two opening chapters of Ecclesiastes show that the speaker describes himself as the son of David, who is the kind over Israel in Jerusalem (1:1, 12, 16; 2:7, 9). The author is referred to as a philosopher. Many believe this refers to King Solomon, but others feel it could also involve his successors. For example, the Bible referred to Judah as Israel in Kings/Chronicles. However, the traditional Rabbinic and early Christian view has attributed Ecclesiastes to King Solomon.
Well Known Verses from Ecclesiastes
“Vanity of vanities, says the Teacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity.”
“To fear the Lord is the beginning of freedom.”
“For in much wisdom is much grief, and increase of knowledge is increase of sorrow.”
“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to reap that which is planted.
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to to mourn, and a time to dance.
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing.
A time to get and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”
Ecclesiastes 3: 1