Ecclesiastes Commentaries

ECCLESIASTES RESOURCES
Commentaries, Sermons, Illustrations, Devotionals

THE BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES
The Search for Significance
The Quest for Contentment
The Pursuit of Purpose

Exploration Exhortation
All
is Vanity
Vanity
of Doing
Vanity
of Having
Vanity
of Being
Using Life
Well
Source of True Living
Ec 1:1-18 Ec 2:1-26 Ec 3:1-6:12 Ec 7:1-9:18 Ec 10:1-11:10 Ec 12:1-14
Declaration
of Vanity
Demonstration
of Vanity
Deliverance
from Vanity
Subject Sermons Summary
Fickleness of Life
Versus
Fear of the Lord
Place:
"Under the Sun"
Decades of Searching
(in the days of King Solomon)
circa 936BC
King Solomon
Author

Key Words:

God - 41x/36v - Eccl 1:13; 2:24, 26; 3:10-11, 13-15, 17-18; 5:1-2, 4, 6f, 18-20; 6:2; 7:13-14, 18, 26, 29; 8:2, 12-13, 15, 17; 9:1, 7; 11:5, 9; 12:7, 13-14

Under the sun - 29x in 27v - Eccl 1:3, 9, 14; 2:11, 17-20, 22; 3:16; 4:1, 3, 7, 15; 5:13, 18; 6:1, 12; 8:9, 15, 17; 9:3, 6, 9, 11, 13; 10:5

Vanity - 22x/16v - Eccl 1:2, 14; 2:11, 15, 19, 21, 23, 26; 3:19; 4:4, 7-8, 16; 5:10; 6:2; 12:8

Wise - 24x/23v - Eccl 2:14-16, 19; 4:13; 6:8; 7:4-5, 7, 16, 19, 23; 8:1, 5, 17; 9:1, 11, 15, 17; 10:2, 12; 12:9, 11

Wisdom - 27x/24v - Eccl 1:13, 16-18; 2:9, 12-13, 21, 26; 7:10-12, 19, 23, 25; 8:1, 16; 9:10, 13, 15-16, 18; 10:1, 10

Fool (ish) - 25x/23v - Eccl 2:14-16, 19; 4:5, 13; 5:1, 3-4; 6:8; 7:4-6, 9, 17, 25; 9:17; 10:1-3, 12, 14-15

Righteous (ness) - 11x/9v - Eccl 3:16f; 5:8; 7:15f, 20; 8:14; 9:1f (cf Justice - Ec 3:16, 5:8)

Wicked (ness) - 10v/8v - Eccl 3:16f; 7:15, 17; 8:10, 14; 9:2; 10:13

Evil - 20x/18v - Eccl 2:21; 4:3; 5:1, 13, 16; 6:1; 7:25; 8:3, 8, 11-14; 9:3, 12; 10:5; 12:1, 14

Labor* - 26x/19v - Eccl 2:10f, 18-22, 24; 3:13; 4:4, 6, 8f; 5:15, 18f; 6:7; 8:17; 9:9

Toil - 6x/6v - Eccl 3:9; 5:16, 18; 8:15; 9:9; 10:15

Rich* - 8x.8v - Eccl 4:8; 5:12-14, 19; 6:2; 10:6, 20 (Wealth - 4x/4v - Eccl 1:16; 5:19; 6:2; 9:11)

Wilkinson and Boa write - Ecclesiastes is a profound book recording an intense search by the Preacher (traditionally understood to be Solomon) for meaning and satisfaction in life—in spite of the inequities inconsistencies, and seeming absurdities of life on earth. The key word in Ecclesiastes is vanity, the futile emptiness of trying to make sense out of life apart from God. Looked at “under the sun” (Pr 8:17), Life’s pursuits lead only to frustration. Power, prestige, pleasure—nothing can fill the God-shaped void in man’s life—except God Himself But seen from His perspective, life becomes meaningful and fulfilling Skepticism and despair melt away when each day is viewed as a gift from God. (Talk Thru the Bible)

G Campbell Morgan - Ecclesiastes is an inspired confession of failure and pessimism, when God is excluded, when man lives under the sun, and forgets the larger part, which is always over the sun, the eternal and abiding things. If you want to know what a man of great privilege, and of great learning and great wisdom can come to, read this record of a man who has put God out of count in his actual life.

J Sidlow Baxter - The book of Ecclesiastes is a sermon. There is the announcement of a theme, a brief -introduction, a developing of the theme, and a practical application in conclusion. The theme is: What is the chief good? The standpoint is that of natural reason. We are meant to see where the quest for the chief good leads us when conducted simply on the ground of natural experience, observation, and induction. In the opening verse (and six times later) the author styles himself Koheleth, which is translated as "the preacher" (though perhaps the Hebrew term rather conveys the idea of "Master of Assemblies," or "Teacher"). Our title, "Ecclesiastes," comes from Ecclesiastes, the Latin form of the Greek word for a preacher. Who was this preacher-author of Ecclesiastes? Despite all that has been said to the contrary, we resolutely hold that he was Solomon. (Explore the Book)

David Fairchild (sermons) - Fairchild: Many in our day are looking for a purpose to exist. A purpose profound enough, big enough, consuming enough, that it grabs us by the shirt collar and demands our attention. Many are looking for a reason for living that will plumb the depths of our passions and sustain us until we breathe our last. That’s why this book of Ecclesiastes is such a helpful pre-evangelism tool to use with our unsaved friends. I encourage you to seek out someone with whom you can share a copy of this book (and Swindoll’s helpful guide) and discuss its perspective. But I find that too often Solomon’s perspective of futility mirrors my own thinking as a believer .. how can that be? We all need to be reminded of the vast difference between the worldview of humanism vs one who is united to Jesus Christ and living for eternity. Solomon’s Technique: literary pessimism. It’s a negative argument to demonstrate a profound truth. To learn the true meaning of life … first view life apart from God – see it in all of its futility … then the layer of God-connectiveness can be added and it will mean something

Ray Stedman - Ecclesiastes is a collection of what man is able to discern under the sun, i.e., in the visible world. The book does not take into consideration revelation that comes from beyond man's powers of observation and reason. It is an inspired, an accurate book. It guarantees that what it reports is what people actually believe. but it is an examination of those beliefs.

PAUL APPLE
Commentary on Ecclesiastes
(with John Cobb and Brian Racer)

Well done 77 page commentary in Pdf
Recommended

BILL BALDWIN
Ecclesiastes
This Meaningless Life 
A Study in the Book of Ecclesiastes by Bill Baldwin

WILLIAM BARRICK
Lessons on the book of Ecclesiastes
"The Philippians of the Old Testament"

Well done and well annotated

Introduction to Ecclesiastes
Click for Mp3's

ALBERT BARNES
Commentary on Ecclesiastes

GEORGE BARTON
Commentary on the book of Ecclesiastes
1908

Helps to know Hebrew

BRIAN BELL
Sermon Notes Ecclesiastes
Calvary Chapel Murrieta

JOSEPH BENSON
Commentary on Ecclesiastes

BIBLE.ORG RESOURCES
Resources that Reference Ecclesiastes

Hint: Do a "control + find" when you open a "hit" and search Ecc as well as the full name.
This may take some practice but is guaranteed to yield some "gems"!
Recommended Resource

BIBLICAL ILLUSTRATOR
Ecclesiastes

Note: The sermons are an older genre and the illustrations are of variable quality.

See same resource but in verse by verse format

CHARLES BRIDGES
Commentary on the book of Ecclesiastes
1860

Note: Bridges is the author of the excellent Commentary on Proverbs and is definitely worth consulting.

Spurgeon: After the manner of other works by this devout author, who is always worth consulting, though he gives us nothing very new.

CAMBRIDGE BIBLE FOR SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES
Commentary on Ecclesiastes

Verse by verse comments which offer some useful insights.

CENTURY BIBLE COMMENTARY
Commentary on Ecclesiastes

Comments are lucid, generally literal and generally verse by verse.

ADAM CLARKE
Commentary on Ecclesiastes

critique

THOMAS CONSTABLE
Expository Notes on Ecclesiastes

JOHN DUMMELOW COMMENTARY
Ecclesiastes

ELLICOTT'S COMMENTARY
For English Readers
Book of Ecclesiastes

Note: Comments on most verses, but they are very brief, sometimes little more than a few cross references or a synonym for the word being studied.

EASY ENGLISH
Commentary on Ecclesiastes

Simple translation and comments

EXPOSITOR'S BIBLE
Commentary on Ecclesiastes
Samuel Cox

Note: If you can locate the six-volume edition of the Expositor’s Bible, buy it immediately! It takes up less space than the original fifty-volume set, and not everything in the original set is worth owning. Samuel H. Kellogg on Leviticus is a classic; so is Alexander Maclaren on the Psalms and on Colossians.—Warren W. Wiersbe, A Basic Library for Bible Students

This set, originally published in 1903, contains expositions by both conservative and liberal theologians. The most important works are by Dod (Genesis), Chadwick (Exodus and Mark), Kellogg (Leviticus), Blaikie (Joshua, I and II Samuel), Adeney (Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther), Maclaren (Psalms), Moule (Romans), Findlay (Galatians and Ephesians), Plummer (Pastoral Epistles and the Epistles of James and Jude), and Milligan (Revelation.)—Cyril J. Barber, The Minister’s Library

DAVID FAIRCHILD
Sermons on Ecclesiastes

Updated January 11, 2016. ~200 pages = functions like an expositional commentary

A C GAEBELEIN
Commentary on Ecclesiastes

JOHN GILL
Commentary on Ecclesiastes

GOTQUESTIONS
Related to Ecclesiastes

JOE GUGLIELMO
Ecclesiastes Notes

DAVID GUZIK
Commentary on Ecclesiastes

Note: Brief comments from a more modern perspective. Guzik has useful insights and practical applications.

ROBERT HAWKER
Commentary on Ecclesiastes

Spurgeon: Full of devotion and sweetness....Gentlemen, if you want something full of marrow and fatness, cheering to your own hearts by way of comment, and likely to help you in giving to your hearers rich exposition, buy Dr Hawker's "Poor Man's Commentary. Dr Hawker was the very least of commentators in the matter of criticism; he had no critical capacity, and no ability whatever as an interpreter of the letter; but he sees Jesus, and that is a sacred gift which is most precious whether the owner be a critic or not. It is to be confessed that he occasionally sees Jesus where Jesus is not legitimately to be seen. He allows his reason to be mastered by his affections, which, vice as it is, is not the worst fault in the world. There is always such a savor of the Lord Jesus Christ in Dr Hawker that you cannot read him without profit....not as a substantial dish but as a condiment, place the Plymouth vicar's work on the table. His writing is all sugar, and you will know how to use it, not devouring it in lumps, but using it to flavor other things. -- From Lectures to My Students.

E W HENGSTENBERG
Commentary on Ecclesiastes

Rosscup: This is one of the finest, most scholarly old works on Ecclesiastes.

Spurgeon: Scholarly of course, and also more vivacious than is usual with Hengstenberg.

MATTHEW HENRY
Commentary on Ecclesiastes

GEORGE HOLDEN
Commentary on Ecclesiastes

"An Attempt to Illustrate the Book of Ecclesiastes"

Spurgeon: Bridges says Holden "stands foremost for accuracy of critical exegesis," and Ginsburg considers his Commentary to be the best in our language. We may therefore be wrong in setting so little store by it as we do, but we are not convinced.

LEON HYATT
Commentary Notes
Book of Ecclesiastes

JAMIESON, FAUSSET, BROWN
Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible

Note: One of the better older OT commentaries as it generally interprets the Scripture literally.

KEIL & DELITZSCH COMMENTARY
on the Old Testament:
Ecclesiastes

Spurgeon: Keil's works are valuable helps towards obtaining the meaning of the text 3 but for spiritual reflections and fruitful hints we must look elsewhere..

KEITH KRELL
Sermon Series
Ecclesiastes

PAUL E KRETZMANN
Popular Commentary
Ecclesiastes

LANGE'S COMMENTARY
Ecclesiastes
Otto Zockler

Spurgeon: This volume contains much that we do not like, but its value is considerable.

Rosscup: Another of the very helpful older works, often rich in meaning on details, giving views, considering matters from different angles.

ALEXANDER MACLAREN
Sermons on Ecclesiastes

Excellent Expositor

JAMES M. MACDONALD
THE BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES EXPLAINED

Cyril Barber - MacDonald, James Madison. The Book of Ecclesiastes Explained. 1856. C. H. Spurgeon said of this work, "Thoroughly exegetical, with excellent , scopes of argument' following each division; to be purchased if found:' An excellent work. 

J VERNON MCGEE
Thru the Bible - Mp3's
Ecclesiastes

F B MEYER
Our Daily Homily
Our Daily Walk
Ecclesiastes

HENRY MORRIS
Defender's Study Bible Notes
Ecclesiastes

MISCELLANEOUS RESOURCES
Commentaries, Sermons, Devotionals

JOURNAL ARTICLES

Journal Articles Online - Listing of these articles does not signify I agree with all of the content so Be a Berean!

CYRIL BARBER - The Minister's Library, Volume 2,  The Minister's Library, Volume 3

  • Crenshaw, James L. Ecclesiastes, A Commentary. Old Testament Library. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1987. Posits the possibility of four writers, not one, contributing to the material found in Qohelet. Establishes the value of this book on its canonicity, not its inspiration. While up-to-date, sober, and instructive, what is presented here is highly critical. In spite of this, Crenshaw is an acknowledged specialist in wisdom literature, and there is much to learn from his judicious remarks.
  • Davidson, Robert. Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon. Daily Study Bible. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1986. Seeks to show the relevancy of these books to believers today. Directs the attention of readers to the importance of developing a strong Godward relationship
  • DeHaan, Richard, and Herbert Vander Lugt. The Art of Staying Off Deadend Streets. Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1974. A practical study of Ecclesiastes. Ideal for Bible discussion groups.
  • Ellul, Jacques. Reason and Being: A Meditation on Ecclesiastes. Trans. by J. M. Hanks. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1990. Ellul offers an exposition of three intertwining themes of Ecclesiastes: Vanity, wisdom, and God. While interacting with recent scholarship, his approach to Koheleth's thought is unique. His treatment highlights what he believes to be the books irony of contradictions, and this casts light on some of the enigmas of life.
  • Garrett, Duane A. Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs. New American Commentary. Nashville: Broadman Press, 1993. Works on the Bible’s wisdom literature is growing, and this volume deserves special consideration as an outstanding, detailed exposition of these three canonical books. Conservative in theology and thorough in scope, Garrett interacts with the different approaches to these books, comments on each verse, and treats technical matters in footnotes. The contents is readable and will be particularly apropos to pastors, Bible class teachers, and lay people desiring to study these seldom read portions of God’s Word.
  • Kaiser, Walter C., Jr. Ecclesiastes: Total Life. Chicago: Moody Press, 1979. One of the most satisfying expositions on this portion of Scripture. Highly recommended.
  • Kaiser, Walter Christian, Jr. Quality Living. Chicago: Moody Press, 1986. The reissue of Ecclesiastes: Total Life. A clear, definitive exposition of the theme of this portion of God's Word. Highly recommended.
  • Keddie, Gordon J. Looking For the Good Life: The Search for Fulfillment in the Light of Ecclesiastes. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1991. A unique, popular approach to the book of Ecclesiastes. Covers the text in 13 chapters, each with questions for discussion. Addresses each of the pointed questions posed by the Biblical writer. Points the way out of depression and despair to a life of hope. Discusses the basics of a philosophy of life, the problems that inevitably arise, the quest for answers, and the decisions that must be made. Ideal for use in adult discussion groups
  • Kidner, Derek. A Time to Mourn, a Time to Dance: Ecclesiastes and the Way of the World. The Bible Speaks Today. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1976. Though rejecting Solomonic authorship and struggling with the theme of his book, Kidner nevertheless presents his readers with a fascinating, well-balanced exposition of Qoheleth's thought. His material makes stimulating reading.
  • Loader, J. A. Polar Structures in the Book of Qohlet. Berlin: Waiter de Gruyter, 1979. Analyzes the polar structures of Ecclesiastes and uses these to highlight the tensions created in the experience of the author. For use by the well-informed student.
  • Longman, Tremper, III. The Book of Ecclesiastes. New International Commentary on the Old Testament. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998. The author provides an extensive introduction to Ecclesiastes, explores the traditional background matters as authorship, language, genre, structure, literary style, and theology. Longman argues that the author of Ecclesiastes is not Solomon, but a writer who adopts a “Solomonic persona.” In his verse-by-verse commentary this OT scholar clarifies what to many is the confusing message of Ecclesiastes
  • MacDonald, James Madison. The Book of Ecclesiastes Explained. Minneapolis: Klock & Klock Christian Publishers, 1982. C. H. Spurgeon said of this work, "Thoroughly exegetical, with excellent , scopes of argument' following each division; to be purchased if found:' An excellent work. 
  • Murphy, Roland. Ecclesiastes. Word Biblical Commentary. Dallas, TX: Word Books, 1992. Murphy’s Introduction is extensive, and his bibliographies are of the utmost importance. Of particular significance is his interpretation of the text. It is clear, but not without its reliance on Redaktionsgeschichte and other higher critical theories. To Murphy, the key to understanding what “the preacher” has written is to be found in his (i.e., Murphy’s) definition of faith (i.e., trust) which he further defines as “accepting God on His terms.” Murphy then explains the stages of this book with this definition in mind.
  • Ogden, Graham. Qoheleth. Sheffield, England: Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, 1987. A concise, scholarly exposition that readily draws out the meaning of the original. Olford, Stephen F. A Time for Truth: A Study of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. Chattanooga, TN: AMG, 1999. Practical, relevant messages covering all aspects of the subtitle. Robert G. Witty wrote of this book: “Focuses upon life’s inescapable problems.” Here is an example of what expository preaching can and should be. Recommended.
  • Stedman, Ray C. Solomon's Secret: Enjoying Life, God's Good Gift. Portland, Oreg.: Multnomah Press, 1985. Brief though adequate messages on Ecclesiastes. Opens up this long-ignored book of the OT. Ideal for laypeople's discussion groups.
  • Swindoll, Charles Rozell. Living on the Ragged Edge: Coming to Terms with Reality. Waco, Tex.: Word Books, 1985. Addresses the contemporary milieu; explains from what God chose to reveal through His inspired penman the secret of contentment and the way to enjoy a sense of fulfillment. Each message is at once timely and relevant. The result is a work that deserves widespread circulation.
  • Wardlaw, Ralph. Exposition of Ecclesiastes. Minneapolis: Klock & Klock Christian Publishers, 1982. These sermons, first published in 1868, adequately expound the ethical and practical principles of this portion of God's Word. Readers will find in them a richness of thought and a relevance of application that will reward their inquiry. Recommended
  • Wiersbe, Warren Wendell. Be Satisfied. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1990. A timely, valuable introduction to the teaching of Ecclesiastes. Ideal for adult discussion groups. Those who neglect this important little monograph do so to their own detriment.

WILLIAM BARRICK

BEST COMMENTARIES

KENNETH BOA

DICTIONARIES

BIBLE CHARTS

ARDEL B CANEDAY

IMANUEL CHRISTIAN

DAVID COLBURN

MARK DEVER

JAMES GRAY

WILLIAM HENRY GREEN

TED HILDEBRANDT

TED HILDEBRANDT

J. HAMPTON KEATHLEY, III

A M HODGKIN

This book is one long comment on the words of Christ, ''Whoso drinketh of this water shall thirst again'' [John 4:13].

The expression ''under the sun'' occurs no less than twenty-eight times, and nowhere else in the Bible. It may be taken as the Key-note of the book. ''Under the heaven'' is thrice mentioned, and ''upon the earth'' seven times. The word ''vanity'' occurs thirty-seven times [the Hebrew word means ''a vanishing vapor,'' or, ''emptiness'']. Nearly forty times in this book, does the Spirit of God name the earth and the things belonging to the earth. It is only in the last few verses that we get ''above the sun.''

If life be viewed apart from God, it becomes an insoluble problem; all is vanity and vexation of spirit. Exclude God from the world, and scepticism and materialism must be the inevitable result. The chief design of the book is to test things in order to prove how inadequate they are to satisfy the deepest and truest longings of the human heart. Its problem is-- Can the world, apart from God, meet man's need? The verdict is, ''All is vanity.''

What Shall It Profit? [Ecc 1:3; cp. Mark 8:36]

Who is it that propounds this problem? It is one who was in the very best position to judge. One who possessed everything the world could give, not only of material things, but of intellectual gifts also. Solomon-- ''the peaceful one''-- was intended to be the great ideal king. In the First Book of Kings, we see the extent of his possessions. A large, well-defined, fertile territory, peace within and around his kingdom; an enormous revenue to spend, wealth practically limitless; all the interests of new commerce and exploration. Insight and penetration above all men, sympathy with all men and things, the interest of starting classifications of science, and of forming books of maxims and songs. The respect and admiration of all his contemporaries. The power of expressing his thoughts in words (1Kings ch. 4; 8; and 10; Ecc 2:1-11). Wealth, youth, and strength were all on his side at the commencement of his reign, and, unlike other Easterns, he was never idle. He spent a number of years in building the Temple, a worthy work for such a king. His actual possessions and his power of insight and penetration lift him into a position from which he can really view the whole of life, and the limit of what it can afford. Here is philosophical insight fully developed; the great problem stated, but not solved; the diagnosis of the disease, but not the remedy. The book presents the world in its best aspect, yet says emphatically, ''Satisfaction is not there.''

''Only in the last two verses do we find the solution [Eccl 12:13,14]. Here Solomon gets above the sun, and things begin at once to disentangle and straighten. Love God, obey Him, trust Him, and all will be well with you; for the judgment approaches in which all wrongs will be righted, and all mysteries cleared up, and you will be made glad with a joy unspeakable. This is the key to the book. Live under the sun, rise no higher, and doubt and unbelief will ensue. Live above the sun, spend the days with God, and light and peace you shall have.'' Outline Studies in the Books of the Old Testament, W. G. Moorehead]

A New Center.

In chapter 2, we have a striking parallel to Romans 7. Both chapters are bristling with the personal pronoun ''I,'' and the result, in both, is failure and disaster. In Ecclesiastes 2, Solomon says, ''I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth... I said, I sought, I made, I builded, I planted, I got, I gathered, so I was great. Then I looked, and behold all was vanity and vexation of spirit.'' The pronoun ''I'' occurs thirty-six times, and over thirty times in Romans 7. That New Testament chapter is the expression of what the Apostle's experience would be, any moment, apart from Christ. As he looks at himself, all is failure, vanity and vexation. But in Romans 8, as he looks at Christ, he loses sight of himself. The pronoun of the first-person hardly occurs; he is taken up with the contemplation of God, of Christ, of the Spirit. The Divine Name occurs abundantly all through the chapter, and the result is ''No condemnation,'' ''more than conquerors,'' ''no separation.''

When self is the center of our life, and everything is looked at from that standpoint, all is failure. When we find in Christ a new center and everything revolves around Him, then all falls into its right place, and we find rest and satisfaction to our souls. We begin then to ask about everything-- not ''How will this affect me?'', but ''How will this affect my Lord and Master?'' Does it touch His honor? Does it bring glory to Him?

White Robes.

There is a verse in Ecclesiastes which takes us into the very atmosphere of John's first Epistle. ''Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment.'' (Ecc 9:8). Obviously, this does not allude to outward things. But how can we keep ourselves unspotted in such an evil world? and how can we be continually ''unto God a sweet savour of Christ''? [2Cor 2:15]. ''The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.'' [1Joh 1:7]. As we walk in the light as He is in the light, and abide under the power of His shed blood, we can be kept clean. ''Ye have an unction from the Holy One... and the anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you.'' [1Joh 2:20,27]. As we abide under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, He will abide with us for ever.

The Little City.

Again, this book contains a little parable. It is not a type, it is not a prophecy, but a simple little story with a beautiful truth hidden in it for those who believe that all parts of the Scripture converge towards One Center (Ecc 9:14,15).

''There was a little city, and few men in it''-- a picture of this earth which the Lord hath given to the children of men; a speck in His great universe, yet He is mindful of man.

''And there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it.'' ''The Prince of this world cometh,'' Christ said; and he, the god of this world, has blinded the minds of men, lest the light of the glorious Gospel should shine unto them; so successfully has he laid siege to the city of Mansoul [ie., man's soul]. [cp. John 14:30; 2Cor 4:4]

''Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city.'' We know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, who, though He was rich, for our sakes became poor, and was found in fashion as a man, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross [2Cor 8:9; Php 2:6-8]. The preaching of that Cross is unto them that perish foolishness, but unto us who are saved, it is the power of God and the wisdom of God [1Cor 1:18,24].

''Yet no man remembered that same poor man.'' ''My people have forgotten Me days without number'' [Jer 2:32], ''forgotten that they were purged from their old sins'' [2Pet 1:9]. ''Of the ten cleansed there were not found that returned to give glory to God save this stranger'' [Luke 17:17,18]. Oh, redeemed children of men, ''forget not all His benefits!'' [Psa 103:2]

''Both alike Good.''

Chapter 11 contains words of encouragement to the worker for Christ. ''Cast thy seed-corn on the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.'' When the Nile overflows in Egypt, the rice grain is literally cast upon the fields while they are under water, to spring up in due season. In the parable of the sower, Christ tells us plainly that ''the seed is the word'' [Luke 8:4-15]. The ground, be it shallow, or trodden down, or preoccupied, or good-- that is, soft and empty, and receptive-- is the human heart. From this parable, we see that the heart of man contains nothing of the good seed of the Kingdom to begin with-- it has to be sown. The work of sowing the good seed of the Kingdom is always an act of faith. We cannot tell what sort of ground it will fall upon, but in this passage in Ecclesiastes, God gives the faithful sower the benefit of the doubt as to its success. ''Thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.'' Therefore, we are to be diligent in sowing, whether it be morning or evening, and whichever way the wind blows (11:6,4). ''Preach the word,'' Paul says to the youthful Timothy; ''be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all long-suffering and doctrine'' [2Tim 4:2].

''Those that seek Me early shall find Me.'' [Prov 8:17; cp. Prov 1:24-33]

The book closes with a call to the young: ''Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment'' [Ecc 11:9]. The intention of the writer evidently is not to encourage the young to follow the dictates of their own heart without reference to God's will. He warns them of the result of such a course: ''Therefore, remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh: for childhood and youth are vanity. Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them.' [11:10 - 12:1-7].

This book is given as a danger-post, that we may be spared the bitterness of learning the vanity of the things of earth by finding their waters to fail; that we may choose the Lord's delightsome service of our own free will.

Those who have studied the subject have found that by far the largest proportion of men and women who are living to serve the Lord have chosen that service in childhood; that the proportion of those who are converted to God late in life is very small. How important, then, that the children should be won for Christ, that this most fertile soil should be claimed for Him, that the children should be led to accept His invitation: ''Suffer [ie., allow] the little children, and forbid them not, to come unto Me'' [Mark 10:14].

HOLMAN PUBLISHING

IMAGES

DAN T. LIOY

WILLIAM MACDONALD

DAVID MALICK

JOHN MACARTHUR

Author and Date - The autobiographical profile of the book’s writer unmistakably points to Solomon. Evidence abounds such as: 1) the titles fit Solomon, “son of David, king in Jerusalem” (Eccl 1:1) and “king over Israel in Jerusalem” (Eccl 1:12); 2) the author’s moral odyssey chronicles Solomon’s life (1Ki 2–11); and 3) the role of one who “taught the people knowledge” and wrote “many proverbs” (Eccl 12:9) corresponds to his life. All point to Solomon, the son of David, as the author. Once Solomon is accepted as the author, the date and occasion become clear. Solomon was writing, probably in his latter years (no later than ca. 931 B.C.), primarily to warn the young people of his kingdom, without omitting others. He warned them to avoid walking through life on the path of human wisdom; he exhorted them to live by the revealed wisdom of God (Eccl 12:9–14). (Ed: Bolding added to emphasize that this is almost assuredly written by Solomon -- contrast the comment in the NIV Study Bible introduction below).

Interpretive Challenges - The author’s declaration that “all is vanity” envelops the primary message of the book (cf. 1:2; 12:8). The word translated “vanity” is used in at least 3 ways throughout the book. In each case, it looks at the nature of man’s activity “under the sun” as: 1)”fleeting,” which has in view the vapor-like (cf. James 4:14) or transitory nature of life; 2)”futile” or “meaningless,” which focuses on the cursed condition of the universe and the debilitating effects it has on man’s earthly experience; or 3) “incomprehensible” or “enigmatic,” which gives consideration to life’s unanswerable questions. Solomon draws upon all 3 meanings in Ecclesiastes.

While the context in each case will determine which meaning Solomon is focusing upon, the most recurring meaning of vanity is “incomprehensible” or “unknowable,” referring to the mysteries of God’s purposes. Solomon’s conclusion to “fear God and keep His commandments” (12:13, 14) is more than the book’s summary; it is the only hope of the good life and the only reasonable response of faith and obedience to sovereign God. He precisely works out all activities under the sun, each in its time according to His perfect plan, but also discloses only as much as His perfect wisdom dictates and holds all men accountable. Those who refuse to take God and His Word seriously are doomed to lives of the severest vanity.

Outline - The book chronicles Solomon’s investigations and conclusions regarding man’s lifework, which combine all of his activity and its potential outcomes including limited satisfaction. The role of wisdom in experiencing success surfaces repeatedly, particularly when Solomon must acknowledge that God has not revealed all of the details. This leads Solomon to the conclusion that the primary issues of life after the Edenic fall involve divine blessings to be enjoyed and the divine judgment for which all must prepare.

I. Introduction

A. Title (Ecclesiastes 1:1)

B. Poem—A Life of Activity That Appears Wearisome (Ecclesiastes 1:2–11)

II. Solomon’s Investigation (Ecclesiastes 1:12–6:9)

A. Introduction—The King and His Investigation (Ecclesiastes 1:12–18)

B. Investigation of Pleasure-Seeking (Ecclesiastes 2:1–11)

C. Investigation of Wisdom and Folly (Ecclesiastes 2:12–17)

D. Investigation of Labor and Rewards (Ecclesiastes 2:18–6:9)

1. One has to leave them to another (Ecclesiastes 2:18–26)

2. One cannot find the right time to act (Ecclesiastes 3:1–4:6)

3. One often must work alone (Ecclesiastes 4:7–16)

4. One can easily lose all he acquires (Ecclesiastes 5:1–6:9)

III. Solomon’s Conclusions (Ecclesiastes 6:10–12:8)

A. Introduction—The Problem of Not Knowing (Ecclesiastes 6:10–12)

B. Man Cannot Always Find Out Which Route is the Most Successful for Him to Take Because His Wisdom is Limited (Ecclesiastes 7:1–8:17)

1. On prosperity and adversity (Ecclesiastes 7:1–14)

2. On justice and wickedness (Ecclesiastes 7:15–24)

3. On women and folly (Ecclesiastes 7:25–29)

4. On the wise man and the king (Ecclesiastes 8:1–17)

C. Man Does Not Know What Will Come After Him (Ecclesiastes 9:1–11:6)

1. He knows he will die (Ecclesiastes 9:1–4)

2. He has no knowledge in the grave (Ecclesiastes 9:5–10)

3. He does not know his time of death (Ecclesiastes 9:11, 12)

4. He does not know what will happen (Ecclesiastes 9:13–10:15)

5. He does not know what evil will come (Ecclesiastes 10:16–11:2)

6. He does not know what good will come (Ecclesiastes 11:3–6)

D. Man Should Enjoy Life, But Not Sin, Because Judgment Will Come to All (Ecclesiastes 11:7–12:8)

IV. Solomon’s Final Advice (Ecclesiastes 12:9–14)

J VERNON MCGEE

BILL MCRAE

G CAMPBELL MORGAN

ROBERT MCCABE

W. G. MOOREHEAD

NIV STUDY BIBLE

Author and Date - No time period or writer’s name is mentioned in the book, but several passages suggest that King Solomon may be the author (Eccl 1:1,12,16; 2:4–9; 7:26–29; 12:9; cf. 1Ki 2:9; 3:12; 4:29–34; 5:12; 10:1–8). On the other hand, the writer’s title (“Teacher,” Hebrew qoheleth; see note on 1:1), his unique style of Hebrew and his attitude toward rulers (suggesting that of a subject rather than a monarch—see, e.g., 4:1–2; 5:8–9; 8:2–4; 10:20) may point to another person and a later period. (Ed comment: While it "may point to another" the internal evidence almost assuredly points to Solomon as the author. See John MacArthur's comments above regarding the Authorship of Ecclesiastes. See also Swindoll's comments below).

MYER PEARLMAN

ANSON F. RAINEY

REFORMATION STUDY BIBLE

JAMES S. REITMAN

M. JAMES SAWYER

Summary - “Because man’s existence is perforated with puzzles, the pieces of which he can never assemble, his only recourse is to attain a posture of faith toward his life under the sun and to live it to the hilt knowing that someday the puzzle will be assembled by the One who created it and who will judge every deed.” (Howard Baker, “Theology of Ecclesiastes”)

H CARL SHANK

C H SPURGEON - Commenting on Commentaries on Ecclesiastes

  • ANNOTATIONS on the Book of Ecclesiastes. Lond. Printed by J. Streater. 1669. By no means remarkable, except for extreme rarity.
  • BEZA (THEODORE.). Ecclesiastes. Solomon's Sermon to the People, with an Exposition. Small [1594].  Sure to be weighty and instructive. It is exceedingly rare.
  • BRIDGES (CHARLES, M.A.) Exposition of Ecclesiastes. 1860 -After the manner of other works by this devout author, who is always worth consulting, though he gives us nothing very new.
  • BROUGHTON (HUGH. 1549—1612). A Comment upon Ecclesiastes, framed for the Instruction of Prince Henry.  1605. Broughton was a far-famed and rather pretentious Hebraist whom Dr. Gill quoted as an authority. His work is nearly obsolete, but its loss is not a severe one.
  • BUCHANAN (ROBERT, D.D.) Ecclesiastes; its Meaning and its Lessons, explained and illustrated. Sq. Loud., Glasg., & Edinb., Blackie & Sons. 1859.. Dr. Buchanan has endeavored in every instance to give the true meaning of the text. His explanations were composed for the pulpit and delivered there. The work is most important, but strikes us as lacking in liveliness of style.
  • CHOHELETH, or "The Royal Preacher, a Poem." First published in the year 1768.-Reprinted, 1830. This is the work of which Mr. Wesley wrote:—"Monday, Feb. 8, 1768. I met with a surprising poem, intituled Choheleth, or the Preacher: it is a paraphrase in tolerable verse on the Book of Ecclesiastes. I really think the author of it (a Turkey merchant) understands both the difficult expressions and the connection of the whole, better than any other, either ancient or modern, writer whom I have seen." We defer to Mr. Wesley's opinion, but it would not have occurred to us to commend so warmly.
  • COLEMAN (JOHN NOBLE, M.A.) Ecclesiastes. A New Translation, with Notes. Imp. -Lond., Nisbet. 1867. A scholarly translation with important observations.
  • COTTON (JOHN. 1585—1652). A briefe exposition, with practical observations. 1654. [Reprinted in Nichol's series of Commentaries. See Muffet, No. 596.] By a great linguist and sound divine. Ecclesiastes is not a book to be expounded verse by verse; but Cotton does it as well as anyone.
  • COX (SAMUEL). The Quest of the Chief Good: Expository Lectures. Sq. 1868. We should find it hard to subscribe to Mr. Cox's views of Ecclesiastes, for, to begin with, we cannot admit that its author was not Solomon, but some unnamed Rabbi: nevertheless, "The Quest of the Chief Good" is full of valuable matter, and abundantly repays perusal.
  • DALE (THOMAS PELHAM, M.A.) Ecclesiastes. With a running Commentary and Paraphrase. Rivingtons. 1873. This author makes all that he can out of the errors of the Septuagint, which he seems to value almost as much as the correct text itself. The new translation is a sort of stilted paraphrase, which in a remarkable manner darkens the meaning of the wise man's words. Mr. Dale says he is a man of one book, and we are glad to hear it: for we should be sorry for another book to suffer at his hands.
  • DESVOEUX (A. V.) A Philosophical and Critical Essay on Ecclesiastes. 1760.  A curious and elaborate production. Neither in criticism, nor in theology, is the author always sound, and his notes are a very ill-arranged mass of singular learning.
  • GINSBURG (CHRISTIAN D.) Coheleth, or Ecclesiastes; trans-lated, with a Commentary. 8vo. Lond.,Longmans. 1857. The author does not believe that Solomon wrote the book, and his view of its design is not the usual, nor, as we think, the right one. His outline of the literature of the book is very complete.
  • GRANGER (THOMAS). A Familiar Exposition, wherein the World's Vanity and the true Felicitie are plainly deciphered. 1621.Very antique, containing many obsolete and coarse phrases; but pithy and quaint.
  • GREENAWAY (STEPHEN). New Translation. Leicester, 1781.  Confused, eccentric, and happily very rare.
  • HAMILTON JAMES, D.D. (1814-1867). Royal Preacher: Lectures on Ecclesiastes. 1851;  We have had a great treat in reading this prose poem. It is a charming production.
  • HENGSTENBERG (E. W., D.D.) Commentary on Ecclesiastes. To which are appended: Treatises on the Song of Solomon; on the Book of Job; on the Prophet Isaiah, &c.Edinb., T. & T. Clark. 1860. Scholarly of course, and also more vivacious than is usual with Hengstenberg.
  • HODGSON (BERNARD, LL.D ) New Translation.  1791.  Notes neither long, numerous, nor valuable.
  • HOLDEN (GEORGE, M.A.) An Attempt to illustrate the Book of Ecclesiastes. 1822 Bridges says that Holden "stands foremost for accuracy of critical exegesis," and Ginsburg considers his Commentary to be the best in our language. We may therefore be wrong in setting so little store by it as we do, but we are not convinced.
  • JERMIN (MICHAEL, D.D.) Ecclesiastes.The school to which Jermin belonged delighted to display their learning, of which they had no small share; they excelled in wise sayings, but not in unction. The fruit is ripe, but lacks flavour.
  • LLOYD (J., M.A.) An Analysis of Ecclesiastes: with reference to the Hebrew Grammar of Gesenius, and with Notes; to which is added the Book of Ecclesiastes, in Hebrew and English, in parallel columns. 1874. This will be esteemed by men who have some knowledge of the Hebrew. The repeated references to Gesenius would render the book tedious to the ordinary reader, but they make it all the more valuable to one who aspires to be a Hebraist.
  • [LUTHER]. An Exposition of Salomon's Booke, called Ecclesiastes, or the Preacher.. Printed by J. Day. Even the British Museum authorities have been unable to find this octavo for us, though it is mentioned in their catalogue
  • MACDONALD (JAMES M., D.D. Princeton, Ecclesiastes.  1856. Thoroughly exegetical, with excellent "scopes of argument" following each division: to be purchased if it can be met with.
  • MORGAN (A. A.) Ecclesiastes metrically Paraphrased, with Illustrations. 1856. This is an article deluxe, and is rather for the drawing-room than for the study. A graphic pencil, first-class typography, and a carefully written metrical translation make up an elegant work of art.
  • MYLNE (G. W.) Ecclesiastes; or, Lessons for the Christian's Daily Walk. 1859.The author in this little publication does not comment upon the whole Book; but the passages he touches are ably explained.
  • NISBET (ALEXANDER. Died about 1658). An Exposition, with Practical Observations - One of those solid works which learned Scotch divines of the seventeenth century have left us in considerable numbers. In our judgment it is as heavy as it is weighty.
  • PEMBLE (WILLIAM, M.A 1591—1623). Salomon's Recantation and Repentance; or, the Book of Ecclesiastes briefly and fully explained.  Anthony a Wood calls Pemble "a famous preacher, a skillful linguist, a good orator, and an ornament to society." Moreover, he was a learned Calvinistic divine. This "Recantation" is a minor production. The style is scholastic, with arrangements of the subjects such as render it hard to read. We confess we are disappointed with it.
  • PRESTON (THEODORe, M.A.) A translation of the Commentary of Mendelssohn from the Rabbinic Hebrew; also a newly-arranged English Version,-A book more prized by linguists than by preachers. We might with propriety have named this Mendelssohn's Commentary, for so it is.
  • PROBY (W. H. B., M.A.) Ecclesiastes for English Readers. 1874. About 45 pages, and these are quite enough. What has come to a man's brain when he prophecies that Antichrist will take away the daily sacrifice, that is, "forbid the eucharistic bread and wine," and then adds: "To this awful time there is probably a mystical reference in the words of our present book (XII. 6), 'While the silver cord is not loosed, or the golden bowl broken, or the pitcher broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.' For silver and gold signify respectively, in the symbolic language of Scripture, love and truth: thus the loosening of the silver cord will mean the love of many waxing cold, and the breaking of the golden bowl will mean the failure of truth from the earth; and we understand, then, that in the last awful time there will be no longer any speaking of the truth in love. And as the 'wells of salvation' in Isaiah XlI. 3, are the sacraments and other means of grace, so the breaking of the pitcher and the wheel may signify the cessation of those ministries by which the sacraments and other means of grace are dispensed."
  • REYNOLDS (EDWARD, D.D. Bishop of Norwich,Annotations. Works. Vol. IV. 8vo. Lond., 1826. Reprinted, by Dr. Washburn. 1811. See Westminster Assembly's Annotations (No. 2), for which Reynolds wrote this: he is always good.
  • SERRANUS, or, DE SERRES (JOHN. 1540—1598). A Godlie and Learned Commentary upon Ecclesiastes, newly turned into English, by John Stockwood, Schoolmaster of Tunbridge. 1585. Serranus was a Protestant pastor at Nismes, of such moderate opinions, and such objectionable modes of stating them, that he was about equally abhorred by Romanists and Protestants. He is said to have been very inaccurate in his learning.
  • STUART (MOSES). A Commentary on Ecclesiastes 1851.-Full and minute, with most instructive introductions. It is unnecessary to say that Moses Stuart is a great authority, though not all we could wish as to spirituality.
  • TYLER (Triowas, M.A.) Ecclesiastes; a Contribution to its Interpretation. Williams & Norgate. 1875. This writer is no doubt a profound thinker, but we do not set much store by the result of his thinkings. He maintains that the writer of Ecclesiastes was a Jew who had. traveled abroad, and heard the Stoic philosophers and their opponents at Athens. He seems to think that his point is proved, but it is the merest surmise possible. The work is not at all to our taste.
  • WARDLAW (RALPH, D.D.) Lectures on Ecclesiastes.  1821. Wardlaw is always goad, though not very brilliant. He may be relied upon, when not critical, and he generally excites thought.
  • WEISS (BENJAMIN). New Translation and Exposition, with Critical Notes.1856. It is pleasing to find a converted Jew engaged upon this Book. Mr. Weiss says many good things, but frequently his interpretations and remarks are more singular than wise.
  • YCARD (FR. Dean of Achonry). Paraphrase. 8vo. Lond., 1701. I/6. The clean supposes the Royal Preacher to have been interrupted by an impudent sensualist, and so he gets rid of the difficulty of certain passages by putting them into the scoffer's mouth. The theory is not to be tolerated for a moment.
  • YOUNG (LOYAL, D.D.) Commentary, with introductory Notices by McGill and Jacobus. 1865. This American comment is high & spoken of by eminent judges. and appears to have been carefully executed. It is able and solid, and at the same time enlivened with originality of thought, vivacity of,expression, and practical pungency.
  • SMITH (JOHN, M.D., M.R.C.P.L.) King Solomon's Portraiture of Old Age, wherein is contained A Sacred Anatomy both of Soul and Body, with an account of all these Mystical and Enigmatical Symptomes, expressed in the six former verses of the 12th Chap. of Ecclesiastes, made plain and easie to a mean Capacitie.-A curious book by a Physician, who brings his anatomical knowledge to bear upon the twelfth chapter of Ecclesiastes, and tries to show that Solomon understood the circulation of the blood, &c. Matthew Poole introduced the substance of this treatise into his Synopsis, and in that huge compilation he speaks eulogistically of the author, with whom he resided. We mention it because of its singularity.

RAY STEDMAN

CHARLES SWINDOLL

Who wrote the book? The title “Ecclesiastes” comes from a Greek word indicating a person who calls an assembly, so it makes sense that the author identified himself in Ecclesiastes 1:1 by the Hebrew word qoheleth, translated as “Preacher.” Despite leaving only this rather mysterious name to indicate his identity, evidence in the book, along with most Jewish and Christian tradition, suggests that King Solomon authored Ecclesiastes. The Preacher went on to call himself “the son of David, king in Jerusalem,” one who has increased in “wisdom more than all who were over Jerusalem before me,” and one who has collected many proverbs (Ecclesiastes 1:1, 16; 12:9). Solomon followed David on the throne in Jerusalem as the only Davidic son to rule over all Israel from that city (Eccl 1:12). He was the wisest man in the world during his time (1 Kings 4:29–30) and wrote most of the book of Proverbs (Proverbs 1:1; 10:1; 25:1). Therefore, we can safely identify Solomon as the qoheleth of the opening verse. (Bolding added)

Why is Ecclesiastes so important? Ecclesiastes presents us a naturalistic vision of life—one that sees life through distinctively human eyes—but ultimately recognizes the rule and reign of God in the world. This more humanistic quality has made the book especially popular among younger audiences today, men and women who have seen more than their fair share of pain and instability in life but who still cling to their hope in God.

What's the big idea? Ecclesiastes, like much of life, represents a journey from one point to another. Solomon articulated his starting point early in the book: “Vanity of vanities! All is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 1:2), indicating the utter futility and meaninglessness of life as he saw it. Nothing made sense to him because he had already tried any number of remedies—pleasure, work, and intellect—to alleviate his sense of feeling lost in the world. However, even in the writer’s desperate search for meaning and significance in life, God remained present. For instance, we read that God provides food, drink, and work (2:24); both the sinner and the righteous person live in God’s sight (Eccl 2:26); God’s deeds are eternal (Eccl 3:14); and God empowers people to enjoy His provision (Eccl 5:19). Ultimately, the great truth of Ecclesiastes lies in the acknowledgment of God’s ever-present hand on our lives. Even when injustice and uncertainty threaten to overwhelm us, we can trust Him and follow after Him (Eccl 12:13–14).

How do I apply this? We all desire meaning in life. Often that search takes us along winding, up-and-down paths filled with bursts of satisfaction that shine bright for a time but eventually fade. In one sense, it’s satisfying to see that experience echoed throughout Ecclesiastes. An appreciation for our common humanity emerges from reading its pages. We relate to the journey of Solomon because, for so many of us, it is our own. When we attempt to find meaning in the pursuit of pleasure, the commitment to a job, or through plumbing intellectual depths, we all eventually find in each of these pursuits a dead end. Ecclesiastes shows us a man who lived through this process and came out on the other side with a wiser, more seasoned perspective. When we’re surrounded by the temptation to proclaim life’s ultimate emptiness, we can find in Ecclesiastes a vision tempered by experience and ultimately seen through divinely colored lenses. Life is destined to remain unsatisfying apart from our recognition of God’s intervention. It only remains to be seen whether or not we will place our trust in His sure and able hands. Have you struggled with misplaced pursuits in life? Does your life lack the meaning and purpose you desire? Hear the words of Solomon that they might encourage you to place your trust solely in the Lord. (Excerpt from Ecclesiastes Overview)

JAMES VAN DINE

PAUL VAN GORDER

(Excerpt) The book of Ecclesiastes has been branded as a book of pessimism and denounced by the critics as unworthy of the Holy Spirit's authorship. I must admit that it is indeed filled with hopelessness and despair. Quite often the materialists, the fatalists, and the sensualists support their teachings by sentences lifted from the book of Ecclesiastes.

The opening verse gives the title of the book: ''The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.'' The second verse gives the theme of the book: ''Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.'' But it must be remembered that he speaks only of that which is ''under the sun,'' a phrase that is used 29 times in Ecclesiastes.

This book, given by divine inspiration, is a record of the bitter disappointment that awaits people whose faith soars no higher than the sun. The conclusion a man like that reaches is stated in this key text: ''...all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun'' (Ecc 2:11).

C.I. Scofield has written, ''It is what man, with the knowledge that there is a holy God and that He will bring everything into judgment, discovers of the emptiness of setting the heart upon things under the sun.''

CHRIST IN ECCLESIASTES--I could find no better expression of the purpose of this book that that which was written by F. C. Jennings, a devout student of the Word of God. I am quoting from his book Meditations on Ecclesiastes. "No song brightens its pages; no praise is heard amid its exercises. And yet perfectly assured we may be that, listened to aright, it shall speak forth the praise of God's beloved Son; looked at in a right light, it shall set off His beauty. If ''He turns the wrath of man to praise Him,'' surely we may expect no rest from man's sorrows and ignorances. This, then, we may take it, is the object of the book, to show forth by its dark background the glory of the Lord, to bring into glorious relief against the black cloud of man's need and ignorance the bright light of a perfect, holy revelation; to let man tell out, in the person of his greatest and wisest, when he too is at the summit of his greatness, with the full advantage of his matured wisdom, the solemn questions of his inmost being; and show that greatness to be of no avail in solving them, that wisdom foiled in the search for their answers. (emphasis ours)

ROY ZUCK

Excerpts:

Is Ecclesiastes a Misfit? Through the centuries many people have questioned whether the Book of Ecclesiastes belongs in the biblical canon, and especially in the wisdom corpus. Since it seems to underscore the futility and uselessness of work, the triumph of evil, the limitations of wisdom, and the impermanence of life, Ecclesiastes appears to be a misfit. Because it apparently contradicts other portions of Scripture and presents a pessimistic outlook on life, in a mood of existential despair, many have viewed it as running counter to the rest of Scripture or have concluded that it presents only man’s reasoning apart from divine revelation....

The Doctrine of God in Ecclesiastes - Forty times Ecclesiastes uses the word Elohim, and no other name, in speaking of God. As the transcendent God (“God is in heaven,” Eccl 5:2), He is the Creator (Eccl 12:1), “the Maker of all things” (Eccl 11:5). His created works include man, giving him life (Eccl 8:15; 9:9) and a spirit (Eccl 3:21; 12:7), making him upright (Eccl 7:29), and setting eternity in his heart (Eccl 3:11). In His sovereignty God has planned the timing of all things (Eccl 3:1–8), which timing is beautiful (Eccl 3:13), though incomprehensible (Eccl 3:11; 8:17; 11:5) and unalterable by man (Eccl 3:14; 7:13). The events and activities God has under His control include positive elements of life such as birth, planting, healing, upbuilding, joy, searching, keeping, mending, speaking, loving, and enjoying peace—and all their negative opposites (Eccl 3:1–8). All of life is under divine appointment and timing. Qohelet was not approving man’s killing, tearing, hating, or engaging in war; he was simply affirming that these things occur in human experience (because of man’s sin, Eccl 7:29) and that man cannot alter what God has planned....

The Doctrine of Man in Ecclesiastes - Man's Nature - Man’s finiteness is seen in the fact that he is created (Eccl 11:5; 12:1), earthbound (Eccl 5:2), and subject to death (Eccl 3:19–20; 6:6; 7:2; 9:5). He is a rational creature, for he can be guided by his mind (Eccl 2:3), he can evaluate (Eccl 2:11), understand (Eccl 1:17), investigate (Eccl 1:13), observe (Eccl 1:14; 2:12, 24; 3:10; 5:13; 6:1; 7:15; 8:9–10; 9:11, 13; 10:5, 7), reflect (Eccl 1:16; 2:1, 12, 15; 8:9; 12:9), and draw conclusions (Eccl 2:14, 17; 5:18). Human emotions, according to Ecclesiastes, include joy (Eccl 2:10; 9:7, 9; 11:9), love (Eccl 9:1, 6, 9), hatred (Eccl 2:17–18; 9:1, 6), contentment (Eccl 4:8), despair (Eccl 2:20), grief (Eccl 2:23), envy (Eccl 4:4), anger (Eccl 7:9), and sadness (Eccl 7:4)....

Man's Sin - Sin is universal (Eccl 7:20) and inward (Eccl 9:3, “full of evil”). Man’s inner pull toward sin accelerates if he feels he, like others, can get away with sin without immediate punishment (Eccl 8:11)....

Man's Death - Life is fleeting (“few days,” Eccl 2:2; 6:12), and death is certain. All will die (Eccl 2:14–16; 3:18–20; 6:6) including sinners (Eccl 8:10, 12–13; 9:2–3). Since God has appointed the time of each person’s death (Eccl 3:2), man cannot influence when it will occur (Eccl 8:8) or even know when it will occur (Eccl 9:12). Nothing can be taken from this life when a person dies; his exit is like his entrance (Eccl 5:15–16). The dead go to Sheol (Eccl 9:10), that is, the grave, where they have no more opportunity to participate in this life’s activities (Eccl 9:5–6). Death is final....

Man's Responsibilities - (Ed: This conclusion summarizes what are probably the last written words of the wisest man in the OT and thus are worth reviewing). What responsibilities does man have in light of the futilities and mysteries of life? What actions did Qohelet say will aid man in his pursuit of life? At least six suggestions are given in the book.

1. Be wise. While wisdom has its drawbacks (Eccl 1:18), can be nullified by a little folly (Eccl 10:1), is transitory (Eccl 4:13–16; 9:13–16), and does not prevent death (Eccl 2:12), it does have advantages. It is better to be wise than foolish (Eccl 2:13) or famous (4:13–16), for wisdom can help preserve life (Eccl 7:11–12), gives strength (Eccl 7:19), causes one to reflect on the seriousness of life and death (Eccl 7:5), and can brighten a person’s countenance (Eccl 8:1). Mere human wisdom, wisdom acquired by intellectual pursuits, is inadequate, but divine wisdom enables man to rest in the sovereign ways of God and in His providential timing (Eccl 8:5).

2. Worship and please God. Proper worship entails a sense of caution and apprehension in God’s presence (Eccl 5:1–2). Making a commitment to the Lord should be done thoughtfully and without haste, but once having made it the worshiper should follow through on his promise (Eccl 5:4–6). Pleasing God should be man’s deepest desire (Eccl 2:26; 7:26).

3. Remember God. More than a mental exercise, this means to acknowledge His authority and respond with loyalty (Eccl 12:1, 6) and obedience (Eccl 12:13, “keep His commandments”).

4. Fear God. Fearing God stands at the heart of wisdom literature (Job 28:28; Ps. 111:10; Prov. 1:7; 9:10). Hence it is no surprise that in Ecclesiastes man is commanded five times to fear God (Eccl 3:14; 5:7; 7:18; 8:12–13; 12:13), to recognize who He is and to respond accordingly in worship, awe, love, trust, and obedience.

5. Be diligent. Life with its many uncertainties (Eccl 9:11–12) means man knows comparatively little. “You do not know” is stated three times in six verses (Eccl 11:2, 5–6) along with the words “you do not understand” (v. 5) to point up man’s ignorance of which disasters may come and when, where the wind will blow, how the human embryo develops in the womb, or which enterprise or investment will be successful. This ignorance need not paralyze man or stifle him into laziness. Instead one should forget trying to change things that cannot be changed (Eccl 11:3) or trying to predict what cannot be known (Eccl 11:4, 6), and should be hard at work all day (Eccl 11:6), working wholeheartedly (Eccl 9:10) and leaving the results to the Lord. Laziness results in increased problems (e.g., sagging rafters and leaking roofs, Eccl 10:18).

6. Enjoy life. The fact that Solomon admonished his readers not to look for the answer to life in the pleasures of life itself did not rule out his encouraging them to accept their lot (חלק) in life and to be glad for the simple pleasures of life including food, warmth, marriage, and doing good. This theme occurs seven times in the book: Eccl 2:24–26; 3:12–13, 22; 5:18–20; 8:15; 9:7–9; 11:8–9. “These modest pleasures are not goals to live for, but bonuses or consolations to be gratefully accepted.” The fact that these pleasures are for man’s joy and contentment rules out asceticism, and the fact that they are given by God rules out sinful hedonism.

Castellino well summarizes the message of Ecclesiastes: “Therefore: (a) set aside all anxious striving and labor (amal); (b) avoid all speculations on God’s ruling of the world and (c) be thankful to God for whatever satisfaction He gives you, valuing and measuring everything as a gift from Him and enjoying it, never forgetting that you shall have to render strict account to God Himself.”

SERMONS ON
ECCLESIASTES

BIBLICAL ILLUSTRATOR

Sermons By Chapter and Verse - this resource is different from the one above in that it categorizes the sermons and illustrators verse by verse. Note that to go to the next verse click the arrow. You can also go to the address bar (at top of page) and select the chapter and verse of interest.

MIKE BLACK

3RD MILLENNIUM

Sermons by Dr Michael Ross is recommended (click for list of his sermons).

TOM CHANTRY

IMANUEL CHRISTIAN

W A CRISWELL

DAVID FAIRCHILD

GOSPEL COALITION

JOHN HAMBY - Sermon Series

STEVE KRELOFF - Mp3's only but high quality

LIFEWAY

JONATHAN MCLEOD - Sermon series - 15 messages

DONALD MCCULLEY

JEFF MILLER

MONERGISM

SERMON CENTRAL - most have transcripts

TOM SHEPARD - Sermon series

JEFF STRITE - Sermon series

COMMENTARIES
ON ECCLESIASTES

DON ANDERSON

PAUL APPLE

GEORGE AARON BARTON

BRIAN BORGMAN - 10 page article in Southern Baptist Journal of Theology

CHARLES BRIDGES

ROBERT BUCHANAN

Spurgeon - Dr. Buchanan has endeavored in every instance to give the true meaning of the text. His explanations were composed for the pulpit and delivered there. The work is most important, but strikes us as lacking in liveliness of style.

A B CANEDAY - 15 page article in Southern Baptist Journal of Theology

RICH CATHERS - Sermon notes

THOMAS P DALE

ERIC CHRISTIANSON

MARK COPELAND

JOHN DUMMELOW

WESTON FIELDS

1599 GENEVA BIBLE

SIDNEY GREIDANUS - 6 page article in Southern Baptist Journal of Theology

E W HENGSTENBERG

Spurgeon - Scholarly of course, and also more vivacious than is usual with Hengstenberg.

DANIEL HILL

WILLIAM KELLY

R J KIDWELL

  • Ecclesiastes Commentary - This is a relatively modern, in depth treatment. See page Pdf 307 for a nice listing of 22 "Vanities of Ecclesiastes Contrasted with the Fear of the Lord". Lengthy Bibliography on page 311 (Pdf pagination). "Fact questions" are interspersed throughout the commentary to aid your review. This looks to be a fine resource to aid your study of Ecclesiastes.

JASON S DEROUCHE - 22 page article in the Southern Baptist Theological Journal

J VERNON MCGEE

CHUCK MISSLER

STUART MOSES

RICHARD MOULTON

GEORGE MYLNE - book of short devotionals on multiple verses in each chapter

E H PLUMPTRE

EDWARD REYNOLDS

RELEVANT BIBLE TEACHING - only 35 pages, summarizes a few passages

JOHN SCHULTZ

  • Ecclesiastes Commentary - 103 Pages - Includes numerous quotes from other respected conservative sources, including almost 100 quotations from Michael Eaton's Tyndale OT Commentary (ranked as one of the best on Ecclesiastes).

SERMONS ON ECCLESIASTES - Faith Presbyterian Church, Jackson, Mississippi

SPEAKER'S COMMENTARY

JAMES SMITH

THOMAS TAYLOR

RALPH WARDLAW

BOB UTLEY

ECCLESIASTES
By Chapter

ROBERT MORGAN

WILLIAM S PLUMER

J LIGON DUNCAN

DEREK THOMAS

CORNERSTONE

WILLIAM TIPTAFT

DAN T LIOY

GEORGE W MYLNE (1856, 1859)

Spurgeon: The passages he touches are ably explained.

JOHN ANGELL JAMES

DAVID LEGGE

BRIAN BILL

ALEXANDER MACLAREN

RALPH ERSKINE

ROBERT NEIGHBOUR

F B MEYER

DAVID LEGGE

JOE STOWELL

ROBERT S. RAYBURN

THOMAS BROOKS

J LIGON DUNCAN

GEORGE W MYLNE (1856, 1859)

BRIAN BILL

BILLY DEMPSEY

APIBS

GEORGE W MYLNE (1856, 1859)

DAN T. LIOY - 95 page paper on Ecclesiastes 3

F B MEYER

JAMES HASTINGS

ALEXANDER MACLAREN

J C PHILPOT

BRIAN GAULT

JAMES SMITH

GEORGE WHITEFIELD

GEORGE W MYLNE (1856, 1859)

F B MEYER

GEORGE WHITEFIELD

F B MEYER

J R MILLER

CRAIG WHITE

GEORGE W MYLNE (1856, 1859)

BRUCE GOETTSCHE

ALEXANDER MACLAREN

ANDREW MURRAY

F B MEYER

GEORGE W MYLNE (1856, 1859)

THOMAS BROOKS

GEORGE W MYLNE (1856, 1859)

WILLIAM S. PLUMER

FAVELL LEE MORTIMER

A W PINK

ALEXANDER MACLAREN

COLIN S. SMITH

GEORGE W MYLNE (1856, 1859)

WAYNE A BRINDLE

GEORGE WHITEFIELD

GEORGE W MYLNE (1856, 1859)

RAY PRITCHARD

F B MEYER

GEORGE W MYLNE (1856, 1859)

ALEXANDER MACLAREN

ALAN CARR

F B MEYER

GEORGE W MYLNE (1856, 1859)

RAY PRITCHARD

JAMES HASTINGS

ALEXANDER MACLAREN

GEORGE W MYLNE (1856, 1859)

F B MEYER

HARRY IRONSIDE

ANDREW MURRAY

F B MEYER

MRS DAVID COOPER

C H SPURGEON

ALEXANDER MACLAREN

JAMES HASTINGS

PULPIT PAGES

GEORGE W MYLNE (1856, 1859)

CHRIS BENFIELD

THOMAS BROOKS

THOMAS GLASSON

C H SPURGEON

ROBERT S. RAYBURN

F B MEYER

ROBERT NEIGHBOUR

GEORGE W MYLNE (1856, 1859)

BARRY DAVIS

ALEXANDER MACLAREN

GEORGE WHITEFIELD

ALAN CARR

RICHARD BAXTER

P. G. MATHEW

BARRY DAVIS

JAMES HASTINGS

GEORGE W MYLNE (1856, 1859)

J C RYLE

JOHN NEWTON

ALAN CARR

BRIAN BILL

JOHN ANGELL JAMES

WILLIAM S PLUMER

WILLIAM S PLUMER

TOMMY NELSON
Sermon Series - Mp3's
Ecclesiastes – Sure Footing in an Unsure World

NET BIBLE
Commentary Notes
Ecclesiastes

Note: NETBible notes are in the right panel. You can also select the tab for "Constable's Notes." As you scroll the Bible text in the left panel, the notes are synchronized and will scroll to the same passage. Also has a nice parallel Bible feature (see Tab = "Parallel"). Select a different Bible translation (see Tab = "Bible"). Open Greek/Hebrew tab. Mouse over shows corresponding English word and has short definition at bottom of right panel.

JAMES NISBET'S CHURCH PULPIT COMMENTARY
Ecclesiastes
Commentary in form of Sermons

OUR DAILY BREAD
Devotional Illustrations
Ecclesiastes

Updated January 12, 2016

Note: Each Link Below is to One or More Devotionals in that chapter

Below Are Additional Links to Individual Devotionals

JOSEPH PARKER
The People's Bible
Ecclesiastes

Spurgeon has an interesting note: Dr Parker is an able though somewhat----. But stop, he is a near neighbor of ours!

Note: Covers each chapter but not verse by verse. Comments tend to be long and require one to "wade through" for the "gold." Very, very long prayers!

PASTOR LIFE
Sermons on
Book of Ecclesiastes

Looking Beyond the Bucket List Ecclesiastes Death; Eternity Franklin L. Kirksey
The Fear of God Ecclesiastes God, Fear of; Fear of God Franklin L. Kirksey
For A Season Ecclesiastes 3:1 Time; Purpose; Will, God's Alan Stewart
The Acts of God Ecclesiastes 3:14 God, Acts of; Work of God; Purpose of God; Will of God Franklin L. Kirksey
Seasons of God Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 Life, Seasons of; Growth; Aging Johnny Hunt
God's Time Is NOW Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 Time; Time, God's; Procrastination W. A. Criswell
Seasons of Life Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 Life, Seasons of; Christian Living; Time; Purpose Johnny Hunt
When You Need A Friend Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Friendship, The Danger of; Friendship, The Value of; Friend, The Best Franklin L. Kirksey
Giving God More of our Tongue Ecclesiastes 10:11-14 Tongue; Speaking; Words Steve Wagers
Things Money Can't Buy Ecclesiastes 10:19 Money; Materialism Franklin L. Kirksey
The Call of Duty Ecclesiastes 12:13 Duty; Call, God's Alan Stewart

PETER PETT
Commentary
Ecclesiastes

E H PLUMPTRE
Ecclesiastes; or, The Preacher
With Notes and Introduction
1888

RAY PRITCHARD
Ecclesiastes Devotionals
Something New Under the Sun

Be patient - These open very slowly. 

MATTHEW POOLE
Commentary
Ecclesiastes

PULPIT COMMENTARY
Ecclesiastes

The first list below are to the Expositions (they also have the homilies if you scroll down)

BELOW ARE HOMILIES
ON ECCLESIASTES

DON ROBINSON
Ecclesiastes
Sermon Notes

DR MICHAEL ROSS
Sermon Series on
Book of Ecclesiastes

Mp3 only but Recommended. Messages are each 40-60'

Suggestion - Take a several weeks (take your time) and read through Ecclesiastes day by day, reading each chapter several times (consider reading in different translations). Then supplement your time in the holy Word illuminated by the Holy Spirit by listening to Dr Ross' wonderful messages. You might even keep a small "Ecclesiastes Notebook" to record your own observations (see the value of inductive Bible study), the points you need to apply to your life and the prayers you would like to pray to your God. You can supplement your observations with Dr Ross' expository messages. Beloved, if you are struggling with trying to find the rare jewel of Christian contentment, Ecclesiastes is for you! There has never been a man who had more than Solomon, only to come to the end of his life and find that true and lasting contentment is found ONLY in God, ultimately ONLY in Christ Jesus, "in Whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." (Col 2:3-note).I would suggest that if you dare accept this challenge, your life will never be the same, for you will come to realize that NOTHING in this world will bring the contentment you will find in Jesus!

RAYMOND SAXE
Sermon Notes
Ecclesiastes

  • Ecclesiastes 1:1-3 (pdf)
  • Ecclesiastes 1:4-11 (pdf)
  • Ecclesiastes 1:12-18 (pdf)
  • Ecclesiastes 2:1-11 (pdf)
  • Ecclesiastes 2:12-16 (pdf)
  • Ecclesiastes 3:1-15 (pdf)
  • Ecclesiastes 3:14-22 (pdf)
  • Ecclesiastes 4:1-16 (pdf)
  • Ecclesiastes 5:1-20, hard to read (pdf)
  • Ecclesiastes 6:1-12 (pdf)
  • Ecclesiastes 7:1-10 (pdf)
  • Ecclesiastes 7:11-29 (pdf)
  • Ecclesiastes 8:1-17 (pdf)
  • Ecclesiastes 9:1-12 (pdf)
  • Ecclesiastes 9:13-10:3 (pdf)
  • Ecclesiastes 10:4-15 (pdf)
  • Ecclesiastes 10:16-11:8 (pdf)
  • Ecclesiastes 11:9-12:7 (pdf)
  • Ecclesiastes 12:9-14 (pdf)

C I SCOFIELD
Reference Notes
Ecclesiastes

SERMON BIBLE COMMENTARY
Ecclesiastes

Note: Brief verse specific excerpts from sermons from a variety of preachers.

CHARLES SIMEON
Horae Homileticae
Sermons on Ecclesiastes

NOTE: If you are not familiar with the great saint Charles Simeon see Dr John Piper's discussion of Simeon's life - you will want to read Simeon's sermons after meeting him! - click Brothers We Must Not Mind a Little Suffering (Mp3 even better)

CHUCK SMITH
Sermon Notes
Ecclesiastes

C H SPURGEON
Devotionals from
Morning and Evening
Faith's Checkbook

C H SPURGEON
All of His Sermons
on Ecclesiastes

Updated April 26, 2014

RAY STEDMAN

Sermons on Ecclesiastes. Recommended

Cyril Barber - Stedman, Ray C. Solomon's Secret: Enjoying Life, God's Good Gift. Portland, Oreg.: Multnomah Press, 1985. Brief though adequate messages on Ecclesiastes. Opens up this long-ignored book of the OT. Ideal for laypeople's discussion groups.

THE POWER OF HIS PRESENCE
Ray Stedman

Daily Devotions in Ecclesiastes for February -- Things That Don't Work Recommended

  • 1stThe Search (Ecclesiastes 1:1-3) — Has our pursuit of knowledge and worldly pleasure left us sated and cynical? Do we need to redirect our pursuit from a wholly different perspective?
  • 2ndThe Endless Cycle (Ecclesiastes 1:4-7) — Solomon sagely ponders why we strive, often desperately, to prolong our lives forever? Is something backwards in our human existence?
  • 3rdThe Restless Life (Ecclesiastes 1:8-18) — Do we shop until we drop, always hoping to buy into the ultimate satisfaction? Is life simply an empty pursuit after things that never fully satisfy our deepest desires?
  • 4thThe Pursuit Of Pleasure (Ecclesiastes 2:1-11) — Do we live as consumers, using every resource & person in our quest for fulfillment? Has the well of hedonistic pleasures gone dry? Where do we go after burn out?
  • 5thA Note Of Joy (Ecclesiastes 2:12-26) — Shall we choose to live each day as grateful receivers, acknowledging every good gift as God's provision? Have we seen His intent for joy in everything we experience?
  • 6thA Time For Everything (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8) — Are we learning to see God's wise direction and providence in the contrasting experiences of our lives? If we were in charge would the result be wholeness & joy?
  • 7thEternity On My Mind (Ecclesiastes 3:9-11) — What is it that clearly differentiates us humans from animals? Are we living in denial of that basic element, yet wondering why life seems meaningless?
  • 8thLet God Be God (Ecclesiastes 3:12-22) — God has sovereignly, independently, set up the plan of life in a way with which we cannot interfere. Why has He done this and what is the secret of life?
  • 9thAmbition (Ecclesiastes 4:1-8) — To what degree are admiration and ambition a driving force behind our activity in life? Do we need to redirect our motivation & resources to invest in things that matter?
  • 10thTwo Are Better Than One (Ecclesiastes 4:9-16) — Companionship and fellowship are certainly advantageous in life. Does teamwork play an important role in our ministry or do we tend to go it alone?
  • 11thWatch Your Step (Ecclesiastes 5:1-17) — What is the first thought that pops into our mind when we ask: Who is in charge? Have we learned to let God be God and to humbly inquire and listen to His wisdom?
  • 12thHow To Enjoy Life (Ecclesiastes 5:18-20) — True enjoyment in life comes from a specific knowledge which results in constant thanksgiving. What is a great lesson and gift of God that enables us to enjoy life?
  • 13thThe Power To Enjoy (Ecclesiastes 6:1-12) — Experiencing joy certainly pleases us. Faith and obedience based on faith is what pleases God. Have we assimilated where the enabling power to enjoy originates?
  • 14thWho Is In Charge? (Ecclesiastes 7:1-14) — Life is full of the adversity. Does this make us anxious or fearful? Have we discovered and trusted God's wisdom and love or do we try to control our future?
  • 15thFearing God (Ecclesiastes 7:15-22) — Are we waiting to acknowledge God's presence at the end of our life someday, or do we know His presence now? What are some components of fearing God?
  • 16thLooking For Love (Ecclesiastes 7:23-28) — The billion dollar industry of internet pornography is a snare today for many. Devoid of any relationship, it takes one away from the only relationship that truly satisfies.
  • 17thThe Benefits Of Wisdom (Ecclesiastes 7:29-8:1) — Media bombardment encourages us to always imitate and copy somebody else, but God made us individually unique. Have we discovered the benefits of godly wisdom?
  • 18thCan We Trust The Government? (Ecclesiastes 8:2-15) — Obedience is sometimes difficult and produces uncertainty. Does God want us to struggle & puzzle over what we should do? What about trusting the government?
  • 19thAh, Sweet Mystery Of Life (Ecclesiastes 8:16-9:6) — We soon run out of brain power when trying to find answers to the mystery of life. Is understanding everything in Scripture necessary before accepting it as truth?
  • 20thThe Gift Of God's Approval (Ecclesiastes 9:7-10) — God's approval is always received and not earned. How many of us struggle to please God? Why is this always a vain attempt on our part?
  • 21stWho Wins The Race? (Ecclesiastes 9:11-12) — The sovereignty of God is an important attribute of God to realize and trust. Our own efforts will never trump God's sovereignty. Have we rested in that knowledge?
  • 22ndThe Wisdom That Frees (Ecclesiastes 9:13-18) — Real wisdom is the application of the knowledge & freedom contained in God's word. Do we lean on our own understanding or simply seek to know the Reality revealed?
  • 23rdThe Dangers Of Digging Pits (Ecclesiastes 10:1-15) — Without thinking we follow the secular wisdom around us, wisdom that looks good and feels right, but nevertheless is foolishness. What about the wisdom of the Word?
  • 24thA Little Bird Told Me (Ecclesiastes 10:16-20) — When supportive talk seems out of vogue, how easy it is to passionately complain about the government. Do our conversations betray a lack of trust in the Godhead?
  • 25thLive Generously (Ecclesiastes 11:1-6) — Giving is a way of relieving need, but oftentimes needs are not expressed because people in their pride hide their needs. Do we have a sensitive spirit of generosity?
  • 26thWhat To Do While You're Young (Ecclesiastes 11:7-10) — Youth with all its glory and energy is full of opportunity. While still young are we increasingly thoughtful and mindful of our relationship with the living Lord? How so?
  • 27thBefore Its Too Late (Ecclesiastes 12:1-8) — Have we experienced the joy of learning the Scriptures while young? As we get older it is more difficult to change, yet it's never too late to willingly root and grow in Christ.
  • 28thThe Need For The Truth (Ecclesiastes 12:9-12) — The truth is always attacked by a multiplicity of lies. Have we been guided by the Word of God? Have we discovered the simple, powerful, and restful truth in Christ?
  • 29thThe Secret Of Wholeness (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14) — We all desire to be complete and whole in all areas of our lives. But what is the secret of this wholeness? What does it mean to fear God and how are we to do it?

JOHN STEVENSON
Sermons on Ecclesiastes

MOSES STUART
Sermons on Ecclesiastes
Verse by Verse
1851

Spurgeon: Full and minute, with most instructive introductions. It is unnecessary to say that Moses Stuart is a great authority, though not all we could wish as to spirituality.

AARON STURGILL
Sermons on Ecclesiastes
More Topically Arranged

JOSEPH SUTCLIFFE
Commentary on Ecclesiastes

JOHN TRAPP
Commentary on Ecclesiastes

Spurgeon: "Would it be possible to eulogize too much the incomparably sententious and suggestive folios of John Trapp? Trapp will be most valuable to men of discernment, to thoughtful men, to men who only want a start in a line of thought, and are then able to run alone. Trapp excels in witty stories on the one hand, and learned allusions on the other. You will not thoroughly enjoy him unless you can turn to the original, and yet a mere dunce at classics will prize him. His writings remind me of himself: he was a pastor, hence his holy practical remarks; he was the head of a public school, and everywhere we see his profound scholarship; he was for some time amid the guns and drums of a parliamentary garrison, and he gossips and tells queer anecdotes like a man used to a soldier's life; yet withal, he comments as if he had been nothing else but a commentator all his days. Trapp is my especial companion and treasure; I can read him when I am too weary for anything else. Trapp is salt, pepper, mustard, vinegar, and all the other condiments. Put him on the table when you study, and when you have your dish ready, use him by way of spicing the whole thing. Yes, gentlemen, read Trapp certainly, and if you catch the infection of his consecrated humor, so much the better for your hearers." - Lectures to My Students

BOB UTLEY
Commentary on Ecclesiastes

RALPH WARDLAW
Lectures on Ecclesiastes
1821

Spurgeon: Wardlaw is always good, though not very brilliant. He may be relied upon, when not critical, and he generally excites thought.

Cyril Barber - These sermons....adequately expound the ethical and practical principles of this portion of God's Word. Readers will find in them a richness of thought and a relevance of application that will reward their inquiry. Recommended

TODAY IN THE WORD
Ecclesiastes
Moody Bible Institute

STEVE ZEISLER
Sermons on Ecclesiastes
Peninsula Bible Church

7 lessons approaching Ecclesiastes through Sermon on the Mount.

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DISCLAIMER: Before you "go to the commentaries" go to the Scriptures and study them inductively (Click 3 part overview of how to do Inductive Bible Study) in dependence on your Teacher, the Holy Spirit, Who Jesus promised would guide us into all the truth (John 16:13). Remember that Scripture is always the best commentary on Scripture. Any commentary, even those by the most conservative and orthodox teacher/preachers cannot help but have at least some bias of the expositor based upon his training and experience. Therefore the inclusion of specific links does not indicate that we agree with every comment. We have made a sincere effort to select only the most conservative, "bibliocentric" commentaries. Should you discover some commentary or sermon you feel may not be orthodox, please email your concern. I have removed several links in response to concerns by discerning readers. I recommend that your priority be a steady intake of solid Biblical food so that with practice you will have your spiritual senses trained to discern good from evil (Heb 5:14-note).