GOOD MORNING SIBLINGS!
Today we begin the book of Ecclesiastes.
Our readings are Ecclesiastes 1-4
~Christy’s Thoughts (these and $5 will get you a cup of coffee)~
Imagine you are an old man. You’ve lived a long life. You’ve known great peace and great war. You’ve been the subject of acclaim, adoration, and fame. You’ve had riches untold bestowed upon you. You’ve had great success and tremendous failure. And now you are old and looking back on it all, examining the course of your life in order to pull the wisdom from each season. Then, you sit down to share that wisdom. This is how I view Ecclesiastes.
Who wrote Ecclesiastes? It is widely believed that Solomon wrote this book and we see evidence throughout to back this up, beginning with the first line where the author says he is the son of David. Now, granted, a son of David could be any male in the line of David.
But in verse 1:16 we see the author say “I said in my heart, ‘I have acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me, and my heart has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.’”
This seems to point to King Solomon. (1 Kings 3:12, 1 Chronicles 1:11)
We should also note that no other son of David was king over Jerusalem besides Solomon. (Ecc 1:1)
The Hebrew name for this book is Kohelet, which means “he who convenes or addresses an assembly”.
Digging deeper through words
Depending on the version you are reading, the first line (and also Ecc 1:12, Ecc 7:12, Ecc 12:9, and Ecc 12:10) has the author referring to himself as either the “Preacher” or the “Teacher”.
Now, in today’s world there is a pretty big difference in meaning between these two words, although they do overlap in areas. Since there is a difference among translations here, let us go see what the Hebrew word is so we can stand a better chance of discerning the author’s original intention.
Click here on Biblehub: https://biblehub.com/ecclesiastes/1-1.htm
This will show you that one verse in multiple translations. It is easy to scroll down and see how they vary. Now, if you’ll go up to the top you’ll see a light blue horizontal strip in the middle of two medium blue strips going across the page. Look for the word “Interlin” or “INT”, depending on if you’re on your phone or your desktop. Click that to pull up the original language of this book, which is Hebrew in this case. If you can’t find the interlinear button, just click the link below.
Note that Hebrew is read right to left. Now look for the word “teacher” and click the number over it to see the number assigned to that word in the concordance. The link you’ll click is below:
The word is (transliterated from Hebrew to English) Qoheleth. A definition you’ll see there is “A collector of sentences. A Preacher”
If you scroll down on that page, under where you see Brown-Driver-Briggs, it lists other suggested verses we can check to further glean the meaning from how this term is used. One of those is Ecclesiastes 12:10, which says (I’m looking at the Hebrew to English) “The Preacher sought to find acceptable words and upright truth.”
A collector and seeker of information and wisdom, that is how I view this word. Ecc 7:27 further backs this thought up. “Behold, this is what I found, says the Preacher, while adding one thing to another to find the scheme of things, which my soul has sought repeatedly but I have not found.”
Okay, I took you far enough down that rabbit trail. Time to move on.
Ecc 2:13 seems to be a theme of this book:
“Then I saw that there is more gain in wisdom than in folly as there is more gain in light than in darkness.”
Ecc 3:14 “ I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it.”
Note: the Hebrew word being translated here as “God” is Elohim. We have seen in our reading and in our world today that man has made an attempt to both take away and add to YHWH’s Word, Wisdom, and declarations. However, YHWH endures forever. He is timeless. His word is timeless and His truth is eternal. All that man has attempted to disprove that is true about Him or has attempted to prove true that is false regarding His character of Wisdom, Grace, and Authority will fade away and the Father will still remain, unfazed by what amounts to barely a trivial effort. All of man’s folly will pass away and YHWH will still reign, as he does now, regardless.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 is a well quoted verse with moving wisdom that you no doubt recognize and most, if not all, of us have pondered at some point in our lives regardless of whether or not we had read the passage in our Bibles. It has been quoted by famous historical figures and made even more famous by a song.
I really enjoy Ecclesiastes and find within this book wisdom that can save us a lot of heartache if we only heed it. But then again, we’ve been seeing that same kind of wisdom since Genesis 1:1.
May the Father bless us with better sense than we’ve had in the past and better sense still as we grow older and closer to Him!
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!
May YHWH bless the reading of His Word!