What is the most important thing to note about the author of Ecclesiastes that helps us to understand the Book?


Ecclesiastes 1:1 - 18

ESV - 1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. 2 Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity.

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For follow-up discussion and general commentary on the topic. Comments are sorted chronologically.

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Please note 10 facts of Solomon's Backsliding:

1. His attitude toward creation and human life, everything on earth being considered vain, empty, and extremely vexing.

2. His reasonings "under the sun" prove he was not speaking as an inspired preacher in harmony with God. The expression "under the sun" is used 29 times. No inspired preacher or prophet of God in any other book so reasons about things under the sun as Solomon. This must have been the period of his life after his wives had turned his heart away from Jehovah (1Ki. 11:1-10). He had 1,000 women in all--700 wives and 300 concubines. His reference to them in Eccl. 7:26-28 seems to indicate this as the time of his backsliding.

3. His general dissatisfaction with life (Eccl. 1:8; 4:8) indicates a backslidden heart. A true man of God will be satisfied and contented (Ps. 22:26; 36:8; Php. 4:11; Heb. 13:5).

4. What he gave his heart over to during this time proves it was not right:
(i) He gave his heart to seek and search things done under the sun instead of devoting himself to the conversion of men to things above the sun; i.e., heavenly things (Eccl. 1:13)
(ii) He gave his heart over to know madness and folly, something no true sincere preacher would do (Eccl. 1:17)
(iii) He gave his heart over to wine, folly, mirth and pleasure without restraint (Eccl. 2:1-3)
He fulfilled all his lusts and passions, not withholding his heart from any kind of joy and pleasure (Eccl. 2:10)
(iv) He deliberately caused his heart to despair (Eccl. 2:20)
(v) He gave his heart to know the wickedness of folly, and the foolishness of madness (Eccl. 7:25)

5. His self-exaltation proves that his heart was not right (Eccl. 1:16; 2:4-9). Solomon constantly referred to himself, using "I" 87 times, "me" 17 times, "my" 22 Times, "myself" 4 times, and "mine" 9 times in 222 verses.

6. Being surprised that his wisdom still remained in him while his heart was in this condition indicates that he was not right (Eccl. 2:9).

7. His hatred of life shows that he had no peace with God (Eccl. 2:17).

8. He actually praised the dead as being better off than the living (Eccl. 4:2-3).

9. His selfishness--worrying about leaving his works to others after his death proves he was not right in heart and had no love for others (Eccl. 2:18-19).

10. He taught several FALSE doctrines which he no doubt would not have taught had he been normal in his spiritual life:
(i) No new thing under the sun (Eccl. 1:9-10; 3:15).
(ii) Because Solomon said this, some think that nothing whatsoever can be invented which did not exist in the past; but Daniel predicted an increase of knowledge and this would indicate many new things (Dan. 12:4).
No former things remembered (Eccl. 1:11). All things, good and bad, will be remembered and everyone will be judged for them (2Cor. 5:9-10 Rev. 20:11-15).
(iii) Crooked things cannot be made straight (Eccl. 1:15; 7:13). Not only is it possible to make things straight, but this has been done in all ages, both regarding material things and crooked ways of life. See Isa. 40:4; 42:16; 45:2; Lk. 3:5.
(iv) Increasing knowledge increases sorrow (Eccl. 1:18). This is true when knowledge is used in a wrong way as Solomon used his at various times in this book. When he used it in the right way it increased joy and brought rewards; even Solomon himself recognized this (Prov. 1:5; 9:9). The N.T. encourages an increase in knowledge (2Pet. 1:1-10; 3:18).
(v) No remembrance of the wise more than of the fool, and the past will be forgotten (Eccl. 1:11; 2:16). See statements to the contrary (Ps. 112:6; Mal. 3:16; 2Cor. 5:9-10 Rev. 20:11-15).
(vi) The day of death is better than the day of birth (Eccl. 7:1). This is not true of the wicked (Mt. 26:24; Lk. 16:19-31 Isa. 14:9).
(vii) No just man upon the earth--one that does good and does not sin (Eccl. 7:20). This is contradicted by Rom. 5:1-11; 6:14-23; 8:1-13 2Cor. 5:17-21; 10:4-5 Tit. 2:11-13 1Pet. 2:21-22 1Jn. 1:7-9; 2:29; 3:5-10; 4:1-4,18.

August 05 2014 Report

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