The word “Ecclesiastes” means an official speaker in an assembly or a preacher. Vanity, as he uses it in this book, means “dissatisfaction, emptiness, and unfulfillment.” Solomon examines the beginning and the ends of all the works that man can accomplish in the light of what lasting satisfaction they might find. He discovers that all is vain and empty; yet with this pessimistic attitude, there is one optimistic conclusion: Fear God and keep his commandments because he is the only one who can give lasting rewards for earthly labors.
The book of Ecclesiastes reaches out to all mankind. It shows the vanity of seeking after lasting satisfaction in any work or pleasure that might be done under the sun. It provokes all men to look about the sun to God in order to find that gratification. Ecclesiastes shows why man should fear and love God. Psalms and Proverbs explained how to love your neighbor as your self; Ecclesiastes shows why people should serve God; making Psalms, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes sort of a trilogy.
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