Graphics of Ecclesiastes






Vital statistics



 Purpose: To spare future generation the bitterness of learning through their own experience that life is meaningless apart from God 
 Author:  Solomon
 Original audience: Solomon's subjects in particular and all people in general  
 Date written: Probably around 935 B.C. late in Solomon's life
 Setting: Solomon was looking back on his life, much of which was lived apart from God
 Key verse: "That's the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone's duty" (12:13)






The Way of Godly Wisdom


12:13–14 The Book of Ecclesiastes shows that apart from God, everything is ultimately “vanity” (Eccl. 1:2):
Without God …
… ultimately leads to …
Learning
Cynicism (1:7–8)
Greatness
Sorrow (1:16–18)
Pleasure
Disappointment (2:1–2)
Labor
Hatred of life (2:17)
Philosophy
Emptiness (3:1–9)
Eternity
A lack of fulfillment (3:11)
Life
Depression (4:2–3)
Religion
Meaninglessness (5:7)
Wealth
Trouble (5:12)
Existence
Frustration (6:12)
Wisdom
Despair (11:1–8)
Word in life study Bible . 1997, c1996 (electronic ed.) (Ec 12.13). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.






The Way of Wisdom


Without reverence for God, “all is vanity”:
Godless learning
cynicism (1:7, 8)
Godless greatness
sorrow (1:16-18)
Godless pleasure
disappointment (2:1, 2)
Godless labor
hatred of life (2:17)
Godless philosopy
emptiness (3:1-9)
Godless eternity
unfulfillment (3:11)
Godless life
depression (4:2, 3)
Godless religion
dread (5:4-7)
Godless wealth
trouble (5:12)
Godless existence
frustration (6:12)
Godless wisdom
despair (11:1-8)
The beginning of wisdom is the fear of God, a deeply serious attitude toward the commands of God.
GODLY FEAR
FULFILLMENT (12:13, 14)
New Geneva study Bible. 1997, c1995 (electronic ed.) (Ec 12.13). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.





The Blueprint


 
1. SOLOMON'S  PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
(1:1-2:26)


2. SOLOMON'S GENERAL OBSERVATIONS
(3:1-5:20)


3. SOLOMON'S PRACTICAL COUNSEL
(6:1-8:17)


4. SOLOMON'S FINAL CONCLUSION
(9:1-12:14)

 
 
Ecclesiastes shows that certain paths in life lead to emptiness. This profound book also helps us discover true purpose in life. Such wisdom can spare us from the emptiness that results from a life without God. Solomon teaches that people will not find meaning in life through knowledge, money, pleasure, work, or popularity. True satisfaction comes form knowing that what we are doing is part of God's purpose for our life. This is a book that can help free us from our scramble for power, approval, and money, and draw us closer to God.