Ecclesiastes Commentaries

Commentaries, Sermons, Illustrations, Devotionals

The Search for Significance
The Quest for Contentment
The Pursuit of Purpose

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

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 - 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.

Ted D ManbyAPPROACHES TO THE BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES  The biblical book of Ecclesiastes may well be the most difficult book to understand and interpret in the Bible. It has been the source of debates for thousands of years. Yet, it is still part of the recognized cannon of Scripture endorsed by both Jews and Christians.(1) There is no known questioning of Solomon being the author of the book prior to the Reformation. Even ancient rabbis, who had doubts about the book’s value and place in the canon, had to concede that it was Scripture because Solomon was its author in the tenth century B.C.(2) After the “Enlightenment,” authorship became part of the debate on this work.(3) It appears that the entirety of those who embrace historical-critical methods of interpretation consider Solomon’s authorship of this book to be equal to “the flat earth” theory.(4) What has been even more a source of contention is how to approach the book. The great majority of writers take a negative approach, yet even among them there is very little agreement. Many biblical scholars have been unable to accept the negative viewpoint of their colleagues and their predecessors, so they have offered another alternative negative option.(5) Likewise, many Bible scholars have admitted that one’s approach to this book is more often a reflection on the interpreter than on the book to be exegeted. At the same time, another group of Bible students have taken a positive approach to the book of Ecclesiastes. This group is smaller in number and more unified in their conclusions about the message, theme and purpose of the book. When the Bible student considers the many divergent opinions on Ecclesiastes, it is easy for him to get confused because of the multiplicity of options. However, because these many options can be summarized under just two approaches, namely a negative and a positive approach, the Bible student can eliminate a great number of options once a choice between these two alternatives has been made. Interrelated to one’s approach to this book is the understanding of authorship issues, key terms, key phrases, and the enjoyment refrains. Equally important is the personal outlook, theme, purpose, and message of the author(s). This paper will explore all these areas from both the negative and positive approach. (6) (SEE APPROACHES TO THE BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES)


Most of the books below are newer resources which previously were available only in book form or purchasing in a Bible computer program. This is potentially a very useful resource to supplement your study. In general these books do not allow you to copy and paste. There is NO CHARGE, but you must log in to borrow most of these books by creating a login account! Click picture of the person in right upper corner and set up your free login. Then you can read many excellent modern commentaries free of charge! After you have checked it out for an hour, in my experience you can usually check it out again which gives you sufficient time to read the section in which you are interested.

Note - If book says "Unavailable" it means someone has it checked out and you just have to come back and check. 

The wisdom of Proverbs, Job, and Ecclesiastes : an introduction to wisdom literature by Kidner, Derek  

Cyril Barber - 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.

The message of Ecclesiastes : a time to mourn, and a time to dance by Kidner, Derek

The Preacher's Commentary - Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon - David Hubbard

Beyond futility : messages of hope from the Book of Ecclesiastes  - David Hubbard

Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of songs - The New American Commentary, vol.14. Nashville: Broadman Press, 1993 - Duane A Garrett

Cyril Barber -  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.

The book of Ecclesiastes by Longman, Tremper - New International Commentary on the Old Testament - caveat emptor with this work. 

Cyril Barber - 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 (BE A BEREAN Acts 17:11+), 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.

Rosscup - The Professor of OT, Westminster Theological Seminary, argues that in 1:12–12:7 Qoheleth, not Solomon, is pessimistic, but a different writer (narrator) of the prologue (1:1–11) and epilog (12:8ff.) offers the right view of life. He uses the other material as a method to instruct his son (12:12) about the folly into which a mere human perspective can plunge one. Many readers will, however, find much in 1:12–12:7 showing a healthy outlook, as in repeating the fear of God (5:7; 7:18; 8:12–13, as well as 12:13). The fear in the three earlier places need not be seen as “fright” as Longman perceives it as fitting his theory, but can be respectful awe. Longman does not always steer readers aright, but he has a widely-researched work that stimulates scholarly minds, some of this coming in footnotes about such things as word meaning and grammar.

Ecclesiastes : an introduction and commentary - Tyndale OT Commentary Series - Michael Eaton

The Art of Staying Off Dead-end Streets. DeHaan, Richard, and Herbert Vander Lugt. Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1974. A practical study of Ecclesiastes. Ideal for Bible discussion groups. ("A fresh look at Ecclesiastes, showing how we can bypass failure if we follow the wisdom of God.") Note both authors are frequent contributors to the excellent devotional Our Daily Bread so this book will likely be practical and pithy like their devotionals usually are. 

Excerpt - The secret to uncovering the riches of Ecclesiastes is a proper understanding of the goads and nails. Both the goads (the disturbing reflections of men) and the nails (the revelations of God) are recorded here under divine inspiration. A careful study of them will benefit both the layman and church leader as they face squarely the cacophony of ideas confronting the believer today (ED: AND THIS WAS WRITTEN IN 1974 - IMAGINE WHAT THEY WOULD WRITE TODAY!)....(DESCRIBING A YOKE OF OXEN)...A goad was necessary, therefore, to prod them (OXEN) into a steady pace, and to turn them left or right. The nails Solomon mentioned were either long spikes or tent stakes such as might be used today. Driven deeply, they held securely against all onslaughts. We may contrast the nails and goads of Ecclesiastes in this manner: The nail represents stability, solidness, an anchor. The goad sifnifies a sharp sting, arousing a person from lethargy or driving him in a direction he had not intended to take....The goads demonstrate that life without God is a dead-end street, while the nails of revelation point the way to everlasting life." IF YOU WANT A PRACTICAL TREATMENT OF ECCLESIASTES, READ THIS BOOK. YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED! 

Bible Knowledge Commentary - Old Testament - Ecclesiastes by Donald R Glenn -- see page 974 - 1608 pages. Dallas Theological Seminary Faculty. 

The pundit's folly : chronicles of an empty life Sinclair Ferguson

A Time to be Born, A Time to Die - Robert Short - Ecclesiastes in Pictures. 

Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon - J Vernon McGee

Is This All There is to Life? by Ray Stedman. 196 page book. Stedman's works are always easy to understand, conservative, Biblical and practical. Highly Recommended. 

Proverbs, Ecclesiastes by John Collins (Knox Preaching Guides)

The student's commentary : a complete hermeneutical manual on the book of Ecclesiastes - James Strong

Quality living by Walter Kaiser - Cyril Barber writes "The reissue of Ecclesiastes: Total Life. A clear, definitive exposition of the theme of this portion of God's Word. Highly recommended." 

Challies  In the 1970’s Walter Kaiser released a small, popular, but excellent commentary on Ecclesiastes titled Total Life. That book was much-loved and considering one of the best treatments of the Ecclesiastes. It fell out of print some time ago but has now been replaced by Coping with Change. Dale Ralph Davis compares the two and says, “the ‘bones’ are much the same but the whole has been updated and expanded. Perhaps the most helpful feature … is that he believes the book has a discernible plan and a traceable argument and that Qoheleth was not a cynical old goat who drank Drano and vinegar for breakfast.

The Book of Ecclesiastes Explained. James Madison MacDonald 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. 

Chasing the wind  William MacDonald

Bible Exposition Commentary - Old Testament  Warren Wiersbe - excellent - His book on Ecclesiastes is entitled Be Satisfied and is included in link. Barber writes this is "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." 

Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the Old Testament - see page 484 Warren Wiersbe - Often has some excellent helps for teaching and preaching.

With the Word - Devotional Commentary - Warren Wiersbe Comments on each chapter. Wiersbe is always worth checking!

Ten pearls of wisdom from Ecclesiastes - See table of contents by Woodrow Michael Kroll

The books of Ruth, Esther, Ecclesiastes, the Song of Songs, Lamentations : the Five Scrolls Wesley J Fuerst

A survey of Old Testament introduction - Ecclesiastes on page 458 (Authorship) Gleason Archer 

Wycliffe Bible Commentary (or here) - Charles Pfeiffer - 1560 pages (1962).

Defender's Study Bible : King James Version by Morris, Henry M. Excellent notes by well known creationist. 

ESV Study Bible - Excellent resource but not always literal in eschatology and the nation of Israel 

HCSB Study Bible : Holman Christian Standard Bible - General Editor Jeremy Royal Howard (2010) 2360 pages. Conservative. Good notes. Include Holmans excellent maps. One hour limit

KJV Bible Commentary - Hindson, Edward E; Kroll, Woodrow Michael. Over 3000 pages of the entire OT/NT. Well done conservative commentary that interprets Scripture from a literal perspective. Pre-millennial.  Very well done conservative commentary that interprets Scripture from a literal perspective 

The King James Study Bible Second Edition 2258 pages (2013) (Thomas Nelson) General Editor - Edward Hindson with multiple contributing editors. Pre-millennial. See introduction on How to Use this Study Bible.

Life Application Study Bible: Old Testament and New Testament: New Living Translation. Has some very helpful notes especially with application of texts.

NIV Study Bible - (2011) 2570 pages  - Use this one if available as it has more notes than edition below. One hour limit

NIV Study Bible by Barker, Kenneth L; Burdick, Donald W (1995) 2250 pages. This is the first edition. This resource has been fully revised in 2020. One hour limit 

NKJV Study Bible: New King James Version Study Bible (formerly "The Nelson Study Bible - NKJV") by Earl D Radmacher; Ronald Barclay Allen; Wayne H House. 2345 pages. (1997, 2007). Very helpful notes. Conservative. Pre-millennial. 

NLT Study Bible (Illustration Version) 

MacArthur Study Bible - John MacArthur. Brief but well done notes for conservative, literal perspective.

Ryrie Study Bible Expanded Edition (1994) 2232 pages. Conservative.

Ryrie Study Bible - Charles Ryrie (1978) 2142 pages

David Jeremiah Study Bible - (2013) 2208 pages. - "Drawing on more than 40 years of study, Dr. David Jeremiah has compiled a legacy resource that will make an eternal impact on generations to come. 8,000 study notes. Hundreds of enriching word studies"50+ Essentials of the Christian Faith" articles."

The Holman Illustrated Study Bible Includes the excellent Holman maps but otherwise of little help in serious study.

Life application New Testament commentary - Bruce Barton - 1304 pages.

Reformation Study Bible - not always literal in interpretation of prophecy

Believer's Bible Commentary - see page 874 - OT and NT - MacDonald, William (1995) 2480 pages. Conservative. Literal. Often has very insightful comments. John MacArthur, says "Concise yet comprehensive - the most complete single-volume commentary I have seen." Warren Wiersbe adds "For the student who is serious about seeing Christ in the Word." One hour limit.

Rosscup - This work, originally issued in 1983, is conservative and premillennial, written to help teachers, preachers and people in every walk of life with different views, explanation and application. The 2-column format runs verse by verse for the most part, usually in a helpfully knowledgeable manner, and there are several special sections such as “Prayer” in Acts and “Legalism” in Galatians. The premillennial view is evident on Acts 1:63:20Romans 11:26Galatians 6:16, Revelation 20, etc.

New Bible Commentary - (1994) 

Ecclesiastes - William Brown - This is not my favorite commentary series (INTERPRETATION) but listed as it can be borrowed. Use with discretion.

Evangelical Commentary on the Bible - editor Walter Elwell (1989) 1239 pages.

Compact Bible commentary by Radmacher, Earl D; Allen, Ronald Barclay; House, H Wayne, et al - 954 pages.  Multiple contributors to the comments which are often verse by verse. The comments are brief but meaty and can really help your study through a given book. A sleeper in my opinion. 

Jensen's Survey of Bible - Old Testament and New Testament (online) by Jensen, Irving  This is an outstanding resource and a great place to begin your study on any book of the Bible. 

Explore The Book -  J.Sidlow Baxter- no restriction - Vol. 1 Genesis to Joshua Vol. 2 Judges to Esther Vol. 3 Job to Lamentations  Vol. 4 Ezekiel to Malachi

The Experiencing God Study Bible: the Bible for knowing and doing the will of God - Blackaby, Henry (1996) 1968 pages - Each chapter begins with several questions under the title "PREPARE TO MEET GOD." Then you will interesting symbols before many of the passages. The chapter ends with a "DID YOU NOTICE?" question. This might make a "dry chapter" jump off the page! 

The Jewish Study Bible - Only OT - Interesting Jewish perspective.

Disciple's Study Bible: New international version 54 ratings Not that helpful for verse by verse study. Focuses on application of Christian doctrines. 10,000 annotations; doctrinal summaries, "Life Helps" section relate doctrine to everyday discipleship. 

The Living Insights Study Bible : New International Version (page 664-665) (page 666-667 - One Ultimate Question..."Is Life Really Worth Living?") (page 668-669) (page 670-671) (page 672-673) (674)- Charles Swindoll. Notes are good but somewhat sparse and not verse by verse. Insights often are short, pithy and quotable.

Living on the Ragged Edge - Charles Swindoll - 382 page book. Chapter 1 - "Journal of a Desperate Journey" (12, 15, 17, 19, 21)

See online 96 page workbook on Living on the Ragged Edge

The Apologetics Study Bible Understand Why You Believe by Norman Geisler

NIV Archaeological Study Bible (2005) 2360 pages (See also Archaeology and the Bible - OT and NT)

NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible. Bringing to Life the Ancient World of Scripture Keener, Craig and Walton, John. Editors (2017)

Zondervan King James Version Commentary - New Testament

NIV Celebrate Recovery Study Bible

Daily Study Bible for Women : New Living Translation

The Woman's Study Bible : the New King James Version

The Study Bible for Women : Holman Christian Standard Bible

Daily Study Bible for Men : New Living Translation

NIV Topical Study Bible : New International Version

Unger's bible handbook : a best-selling guide to understanding the bible by Unger, Merrill F

Halley's Bible Handbook Henry H. Halley - (2000) 2720 pages (much larger than original edition in 1965 and no time limit on use). (Halley's Bible handbook : an abbreviated Bible commentary - one hour limit 1965 872 pages)

The Shaw Pocket Bible Handbook - Editor - Walter Elwell (1984) 408 pages. "This hardback is small in size but packed full of content: Brief summaries of every book of the bible, cultural, archaeological and historical info, word definitions, pictures, maps and charts." Worth checking! 

Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties by Archer, Gleason L - or here with no restrictions - scroll to page 259 for Ecclesiastes

Hard Sayings of the Bible - Walter Kaiser - scroll to page 253 for Ecclesiastes entries

Dictionary of Biblical Imagery - free for use online with no restrictions (i.e., you do not need to borrow this book). Editors Leland Ryken, J C Wilhoit, Tremper Longman III - This is a potential treasure chest to aid your preaching and teaching as it analyzes the meaning of a host of Biblical figures of speech. Clue - use the "One-page view" which then allows you to copy and paste text. One downside is there is no index, so you need to search 3291 pages for entries which are alphabetical. 


  1. Today's Handbook of Bible Times & Customs by Coleman, William L
  2. Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Manners & Customs : How the People of the Bible Really Lived by Vos, Howard Frederic
  3. Manners & Customs of the Bible (The New Manners and Customs)  Freeman, James M., 1827-1900 Published 1998
  4. The New Manners and Customs of Bible Times: Gower, Ralph, 1933- Published 1987
  5. Manners and Customs of Bible lands By: Wight, Fred Published 1983
  6. Manners and Customs in the Bible By: Matthews, Victor Harold Published 1991
  7. Handbook of life in Bible times By: Thompson, J. A. (John Arthur), 1913-2002 Published 1986
  8. Illustrated dictionary of Bible manners and customs By: Deursen, A. van (Arie), 1891-1963 Published 1982
  9. The Illustrated Guide to Bible Customs & Curiosities by Knight, George W. 
  10. Orientalisms in Bible lands, giving light from customs, habits, manners, imagery, thought and life in the East for Bible students By: Rice, Edwin Wilbur, 1831-1929 Published 1910
  11. Bible manners and customs By: Mackie, G. M. 1854-1922 Published 1898
  12. Teach it to your children : how kids lived in Bible days By: Vamosh, Miriam Feinberg, author
  13. Everyday life in Bible times : work, worship, and war  By: Embry, Margaret Published 1994
  14. Everyday living : Bible life and times : fascinating, everyday customs and traditions from the people of the Bible  Published 2006
  15. The Land and the Book; or, Biblical illustrations drawn from the manners and customs, the scenes and scenery, of the Holy land  By: Thomson, William M. (William McClure), 1806-1894 Published 1880
  16. Eastern manners illustrative of the Old Testament history By: Jamieson, Robert, 1802-1880 Published 1838
  17. Scripture manners and customs : being an account of the domestic habits, arts, etc., of Eastern nations mentioned in Holy Scripture Published  1895


Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament by Harris, R. Laird - (5/5 Stars) One of the best OT lexicons for studying Hebrew words.

Here is another link to the TWOT which has no time limit on use and does allow copy and paste. Can be downloaded as PDF. 

Vine's Expository Dictionary of Old Testament and New Testament Words - Online pdf

Hebrew Honey: a simple and deep word study of the Old Testament - 330 pages.  The definitions have more of a devotional flavor. For example, see the descriptive definition for "Abide" (Hebrew - gur)

Expository Dictionary of Bible Words by Richards, Larry,  It does not go into great depth on the Greek or Hebrew words but does have some excellent insights. 

So That's What it Means (Theological Wordbook) - Formerly titled "Theological Wordbookedited by Charles Swindoll. It is now under this new title So That's What it Means and can be borrowed - it is more like a dictionary than a lexicon but the comments are superb! The contributors include Donald Campbell, Wendell Johnston, John Witmer, John Walvoord 

Nelson's Expository Dictionary of the Old Testament by Unger, Merrill. Indexed by English word and then any related Hebrew nouns or verbs. Definitions are solid and geared to the lay person. 

Synonyms of the Old Testament-Robert Girdlestone

The Mid-Life Crisis: “Where Your Heart and Treasure Meet.”

A Practical Verse-by-Verse Study of ECCLESIASTES - It is Don’s interpretation that the book of Ecclesiastes describes Solomon’s futile way of living as he heads down that slippery spiral of wine, women and song. (8 studies)

Click to for the Mp3's corresponding  to each study

Teacher Notes - Teacher notes compiled from Don’s material to be used for study & teaching.

  • Ecclesiastes study 1 - excerpt - These are verse by verse studies 
    Eccl 1:1 The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem:
    That first verse you have THREE THINGS.
    1. You’ve got his TITLE.
    2. You’ve got the FAMILY that he belongs to.
    3. You’ve got his POSITION.
    1. Alright, what’s his TITLE? He’s the “teacher.” He’s the coholeth. He is the preacher. He is the communicator.
    2. Secondly, what’s his FAMILY? He’s the “son of David.” He is in the Messianic line. He has qualified as a king.
    3. What’s his POSITION? He is “king in Jerusalem.”

    Now let me tell you, many times you will go and hear people speak and you’ll hear what they have to say because of where they’ve been or what they’ve experienced. And you like that because you know they know what they’re talking about. Well I want to tell you, this guy knows what he’s talking about. I mean, he’s at the top of the ladder as far as power is concerned—prestige, money, things that are available to him—he can really talk to us. And we learn here in this first verse why he has a right to speak. Now you have no problem hearing his message when you get to verse 2.

  • Ecclesiastes study 2
  • Ecclesiastes study 3
  • Ecclesiastes study 4
  • Ecclesiastes study 5
  • Ecclesiastes study 6
  • Ecclesiastes study 7
  • Ecclesiastes study 8

Study Notes - these are additional notes that supplement the formal teaching notes above - about 160 pages of material

  • Ecclesiastes Study 1 Sample Excerpt
    Eccl 1:2 “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.”

    Bridges points out, “This verse appears to have been intended to be a the compendium of the whole treatise. The subject opens upon us abruptly and no wonder. The preacher’s heart is so filled with it, He longs to make a forcible impression. His text is the whole world with all the pleasures and profits and honors and endeavors and business and events that are under the sun. He brings out his subject with a vast variety of illustration and then closes with emphatically repeating his judgment. He seems as if he could not give full expression to his convictions. It is not only vain, but vanity itself. He redoubles his assertion to show the certainty of it and that all is unmixed vanity in its highest degree: “Vanity of vanities!” Nor does this belong only to a part. Everything severally, all things collectively, all is one expanse, one vast heap of numberless perishing vanities. I affirm again and again that there is nothing in this world for the great end of man’s true happiness. It only enlarges his desires in the endeavor to gratify them. But it leaves behind an aching void, a blank that it cannot fill up.” (Ecclesiastes 1 Commentary)

    David Hubbard points out, “Strong language the Preacher used. Everything is empty, hollow, futile. Life is not what it seems, not what we want it to be. Not only is everything vanity but it is the vainest kind of vanity, the most futile brand of futility. The expression conveys a superlative quality. A Song of Songs means the finest song and as King of Kings points to the greatest kings, so vanity of vanities means that life is as empty as possible. It is marked by the worst sort of futility. (BORROW The Preacher's Commentary - Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon page 44)

    Derek Kidner points out, “A wisp of vapor, a puff of wind, a mere breath, nothing you could get your hands on, the nearest thing to zero: that is the vanity this book is about. What makes this reading of life disturbing is that this airy nothingness is not seen as a mere flicker on the surface of things, where it might even have had a certain charm. It is the sum total. If that is really so and the rest of the book will be arguing that it is, it makes vanity a desperate word. It will no longer mean simply what is slight and passing but more ominously, what is pointless. The author doubles and redoubles this bitter word, using twice-over a phrase which might be a parody of that other superlative ‘Holy of Holies’. Utter emptiness stands here in mute contrast to utter holiness, that potent reality which gave shape and point to the traditional piety of Israel. Finally, he clenches it with the terse dismissal, ‘All is vanity’. In the terms we use today, the summing up could be, ‘Utter futility! Utter futility! The whole thing is futile.”

    J. Vernon McGee points out, “Vanity here speaks of emptiness. It is to waste life without any purpose or any goal. It means to live like an animal or a bird lives. There are a great many people who live like that. Without God and without a relationship to the person of Jesus Christ this is truly a summary of life. It is sort of like eating cotton candy. When you put it in your mouth, it just sort of disappears. (BORROW Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon)

    Ecclesiastes 1:3 What does man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun?

    Here we have a key question and also another of the key phrases which occurs throughout the letter; and this is, “life under the sun.” What does a man gain?
    Luke 12:19, 20 And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come. Take your ease. Eat, drink and be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘You fool. This very night your soul is required of you. And now, who will own what you have prepared?’” 

    Ecclesiastes 1:4 Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever.

    The first proof that everything in life is stamped with vanity is seen in these phrases “What does a man gain by all of his toil?” and “A generation goes and a generation comes but the earth remains forever.” Work does not really make a difference in life. We do not fully subdue the earth, despite all of our trying. We till and rake and plant and water. We build our dams, develop our lakes, reshape and contours of our land, but in the long run the earth wins the struggle. It wears us down, generation after generation, while we rarely improve it and sometimes despoil it.

                                                         Life is like mowing the lawn; You do it over and over and over again.

    David Hubbard points out, “And we can see why. Much of our toil is all monotonous, routine, never really accomplished. You think you have all the dishes washed and from a bedroom or a bathroom there appears, as from a ghost, another dirty glass. And even when all the dishes are washed, it is only a few hours until they demand washing again. So much of our work is cyclical and so much of it futile. We shape plans that collapse. We pinch our savings that shrink. We toil for promotions that others get. We leave our goods to governments or heirs that squander them. Yet we have to go on working. Even the disgraced professor, as we might call the Preacher, did not advocate giving up work and waiting for death to come. But how can we move beyond its apparent futility? How can we find true lasting profit in our labors?” (BORROW The Preacher's Commentary - Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon page 44)

    The little phrase “under the sun” will become something of a keynote to the book. We will see it nearly 30 times in the 12 short chapters. The scene in mind is exclusively the world we can observe and that our observation point is at ground level.

  • Ecclesiastes Study 2
  • Ecclesiastes Study 3
  • Ecclesiastes Study 4
  • Ecclesiastes Study 5
  • Ecclesiastes Study 6
  • Ecclesiastes Study 7
  • Ecclesiastes Study 8

Commentary on Ecclesiastes
(with John Cobb and Brian Racer)

Well done 77 page commentary in Pdf Recommended - 

Apple has numerous excellent quotes from other sources (Warren Wiersbe, Ray Stedman, Charles Swindoll, J Vernon McGee and the list goes on).

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

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

Well done and well annotated - About 60 pages of commentary notes. Barrick writes "This series of studies was recently published in my commentary on Ecclesiastes published by Christian Focus Publications."

Introduction to Ecclesiastes
Click for Mp3's

Commentary on Ecclesiastes

Commentary on the book of Ecclesiastes

Helps to know Hebrew

Sermon Notes on Ecclesiastes
Calvary Chapel Murrieta

Sermons are Biblical, practical and well illustrated.

May have some duplication:

Ecclesiastes 1 Ecclesiastes 2 Ecclesiastes 3 Ecclesiastes 4
Ecclesiastes 7 Ecclesiastes 9 Ecclesiastes 10 Ecclesiastes 11

Commentary on Ecclesiastes

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"! 


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

See same resource but in verse by verse format

Commentary on the book of Ecclesiastes

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.

Commentary on Ecclesiastes

Verse by verse comments which offer some useful insights.

Commentary on Ecclesiastes

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

Commentary on Ecclesiastes


Expository Notes on Ecclesiastes


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.

Commentary on Ecclesiastes

Simple translation and comments

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


Commentary on Ecclesiastes

Commentary on Ecclesiastes

Related to Ecclesiastes

Commentary on Ecclesiastes

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

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.

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.

Commentary on Ecclesiastes

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.

Commentary Notes
Book of Ecclesiastes

Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible

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

on the Old Testament:

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..


Popular Commentary

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.

Sermons on Ecclesiastes

Excellent Expositor


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. 

Thru the Bible - Mp3's

Our Daily Homily
Our Daily Walk

Defender's Study Bible Notes

Commentaries, Sermons, Devotionals


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

Forever Blowing Bubbles: A Look at Life “Under the Sun” in the Book of Ecclesiastes R. Logan Carson - His title is "taken from a little ditty written in 1919 by Jaan Kenbrovin and John William Kellette, entitled, “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles.

What does man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun?” (Eccl.1:3NIV) Look! Observe! The generations of man, the sun, the wind, flowing streams, the unsatisfied eye or ear, wisdom, pleasure, folly, toil, the passage of time, human justice, achievement, advancement, religion, riches, the human appetite, kingship, youth—all of these, and more besides: They are vanity! Emptiness! Futility! A chasing after the wind! The Hebrew word for it is hebel. The Teacher, Qoheleth, stated that all these were meaningless. To the whole process of “life under the sun,” as the Teacher saw it, I ascribe the term “Forever Blowing Bubbles,” taken from a little ditty written in 1919 by Jaan Kenbrovin and John William Kellette, entitled, “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles.” (See info on full access as little as $5/mo)

  I' m dreaming dreams, I’m scheming schemes;
  I’m building castles high;
  They’re born anew; their days are few
  Just like a sweet butterfly.
  And as the daylight is dawning
  They come again in the morning:
  I’m forever blowing bubbles, Pretty bubbles in the air.
  When shadows creep, when I’m asleep,
  To lands of hope I stray;
  Then at daybreak, when I awake,
  My bluebird flutters away.
  Happiness, you seem so near me;
  Happiness, come forth and cheer me:
  I’m forever blowing bubbles,
  Pretty bubbles in the air.
  I’m forever blowing bubbles, Pretty bubbles in the air;
  They fly so high, nearly reach the sky;
  Then, like my dreams, they fade and die.
  Fortune always hiding; I’ve looked everywhere:
  I’m forever blowing bubbles,
  Pretty bubbles in the air.

What is life all about, this human life “under the sun”? This was the main question posed by one called Qoheleth: the Preacher, the Teacher, the Speaker in the Assembly.

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. (BORROW his book Qoheleth : the ironic wink)
  • Davidson, Robert. Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon. Daily Study Bible. (BORROW) 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. (BORROW) 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.
    James Rosscup adds "A Professor of OT at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary did this evangelical survey. It gives 252 pp. to Prov., 253–345 to Eccles., and 347–432 to the Song. Garrett opts for Solomonic authorship of much in Prov., of Eccles., and of the Song. He sees the Song as fitting the last of 7 views he surveys, that of a love song, not on historical events, the “Solomon” being a poetic symbol for the splendor of the bridegroom (365). This will not commend itself to all as being necessary. He sees Eccles. as teaching readers to realize they are mortals who must put away illusions of self-importance, face death and life firmly, accept with humility their human limitations, rely on God, enjoy life as His gift, and revere Him (278). He explains some proverbs, skips some in generalizing summaries of several. But he brings well-informed perceptions to supply the main ideas, often syntheses, but often as well details on salient points in verses. Overall the work gives frequent and valuable helps, and is usable for scholars, pastoral workers, church teachers, students, and Christians in devotional times."
  • 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. he message of Ecclesiastes : a time to mourn, and a time to dance 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. BORROW "Is This All There is to Life?" by Ray Stedman.
  • 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. Lectures on Ecclesiastes 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.

JAMES ROSSCUP - critique of commentaries on Ecclesiastes

  • Brown, William P. Ecclesiastes (Interpretation). Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2000.

  Among features that contribute to scholars, pastors, and students are clear details on contrasts of life in 3:1–8, and ideas about death, purpose, work, vocation, and knowing God (121–37). The source is helpful at times, but those also using more detailed tools will be glad they did.

  • Bullock, C. Hassell. Cf. on Job.

  This is outstanding in giving a well-organized survey of main issues relating to interpreting the book. It also has a rich exposition of several of the sections. Teachers and church workers preparing to speak on Ecclesiastes would wisely acquaint themselves with this material before going ahead.

  • Crenshaw, James L. Ecclesiastes (Old Testament Library). Philadelphia: Westminster, 1987. 192 pp.

  This is liberal, an illustration of human rationalism at work on Scripture. In many cases the Duke University scholar in Old Testament wisdom material is contributive in giving views and reasons by other writers on particular passages. Yet in many ways he is very disappointing and the work for the most part of little help. To him, Ecclesiastes has no reasoned structure but is randomly brought together (cf. p. 47). Theologically the work is of little help. Crenshaw sees a pessimistic approach in which life has no meaning (25, 34, 53 etc.), and a positive outlook is downplayed (20). He brings his own rationalization to explain away verses about fearing God (102, 184, 190). He rejects “Remember your creator” (12:1), feeling that it must be “your wife” so as to suit the context (184–85).

  • Delitzsch, Franz. Ecclesiastes, in Keil and Delitzsch series.

  Though old, this is in many ways a productive work offering considerable help on word meaning, connections of sections, views, etc.

  • Eaton, Michael A. Ecclesiastes (Tyndale Old Testament Commentary). Downers Grove: IVP, 1983. 159 pp.

  A carefully measured work that is usually very helpful, by an English Anglican. He holds the author is not Solomon but two persons who put themselves in Solomon’s sandals to speak from his stance, so the date is unresolved. The theme is to advocate faith in a good God, who is in control and invests life with meaning and purpose, as distinguished from futility without Him. Eaton has much of benefit on introduction, word studies and problem passages.

  • Fredericks, Daniel C. Qoheleth’s Language. Re-evaluation of its Nature and Date. Lewiston, PA: Edwin Mellen Press, 1988. 301 pp.

  This examines past explanations and concludes that the Hebrew has evidences of being pre-exilic, not post-exilic as critical scholars usually hold.

  • Ginsburg, C. D. The Song of Songs and Coheleth. NY: KTAV Publishing House, 1970rp of 1857 work.

  A famous Jewish commentary with much to offer on what the text says, what it means, etc. It is one of the better older works with help on exegesis, customs, views.

  • Glenn, Donald. “Ecclesiastes,” in Bible Knowledge Commentary, ed. John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck. Volume I. Wheaton: Victor Books, 1983.

  A skilled Old Testament faculty member at Dallas Theological Seminary contributed this good brief study, giving frequent help on exegesis, connections of verses, and theology.

  • Goldberg, Louis. Ecclesiastes (Bible Study Commentary). Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1983.

  A conservative survey, well-organized, doing a lot to clarify meaning especially for laypeople and pastors needing a quick overview of the book or sections.

  • Gordis, R. Koheleth: The Man and His World. NY: Schocken Books, 1968rp of 1951 ed. 396 pp.

  Here is a detailed, critical work by a liberal Jewish scholar, discussing textual and linguistic matters. Gordis uses the Hebrew substantially. He has delved into detailed research on such areas as background, style and content, and gives conclusions in concise, popular presentation.

  • Hengstenberg, E. W. A Commentary on Ecclesiastes. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1860.

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

  • Jones, Edgar. Proverbs, Ecclesiastes 

    The Professor of Hebrew and Old Testament at the Northern Congregational College, Manchester, England did this. He feels that some parts of Proverbs linked with Solomon’s name may be due to Solomon, but the majority of the material comes from later times (8th to 3rd centuries). In his theorizing Solomon did not write Ecclesiastes; rather more than one teacher in the wisdom school wrote parts of the book, taking the pseudonym of Solomon ca. 250 B. C. Verse by verse this is usually a fair, though quite concise commentary touching on some of the most crucial aspects and based on use of modern critical scholarship on the liberal side. The brevity results in passing over many verses with generalized comments too sparse to be of serious help (cf. Prov. 3:5, 6; 22:6). His lists of sources do not reflect use of evangelical works available when he wrote.

  • Kaiser, Walter C., Jr. Ecclesiastes: Total Life. Chicago: Moody Press, 1979.

  An evangelical book in the Everyman’s Bible Commentary series written in a very interesting fashion on the central concern Kaiser sees in Ecclesiastes: “… that basic hunger of men to see if the totality of life fits into a meaningful pattern” (p. 8). The theme is not “All is vanity” but an optimistic, “Fear God and keep His commandments.” The author’s “words of delight” (12:10) estimating his own work focus not on thinking like a natural man entrapped in “pessimism, skepticism, materialism, fatalism, and the like” (p. 15). The book, says Kaiser, is a divine revelation as surely as any Bible book. The real theme, as suggested in 3:11, is that “man can know how all things, men and ideas fit together …” when he “comes to know the One who built man in his own image with the capacity to understand who he is as a man, what he means, and what is the worth of things, even life itself” (17). Kaiser shows how Ecclesiastes is in tune with distinctive truths of earlier Scripture (33–38). This work is brief but outstanding in setting the message in its right perspective. It is footnoted throughout, and contains a small, select annotated bibliography.—Jan Sattem in part.

  • Kidner, Derek. A Time to Mourn, and a Time to Dance. Downers Grove: IVP, 1976.

  In The Bible Speaks Today series, this is a lively, popular exposition of Ecclesiastes that relates the message, accurately given, to life today. Kidner feels the author is not Solomon but one very close to his spirit. For him 3:11 is a key to the book (God put eternity in man’s heart), which moves toward the last two verses. All things will disappoint men; only God finally satisfies (cf. p. 98). Kidner’s writing style communicates well; he (and Ecclesiastes) bring us to many fresh re-evaluations of what really counts in life, and he shows a fine grasp of the book from a scholar’s perceptions and a simplicity at the same time. He even cites choice things from many sources.—Dan Phillips, in part.

  •   Lange, J. P. “Ecclesiastes,” in Commentary on the Holy Scriptures (Volume 7). Reprint, 25 volumes in 12. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1960.

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

  • Leupold, H. C. Exposition of Ecclesiastes. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1987rp of work that first came out in 1952. 301 pp.

  A thorough work, as Leupold’s commentaries usually are, this is very helpful in a verse by verse older evangelical study on a scholarly level.

  • Longman, Tremper, III. The Book of Ecclesiastes (NICOT). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998.

  The Professor of OT, Westminster Theological Seminary, argues that in 1:12–12:7 Qoheleth, not Solomon, is pessimistic, but a different writer (narrator) of the prologue (1:1–11) and epilog (12:8ff.) offers the right view of life. He uses the other material as a method to instruct his son (12:12) about the folly into which a mere human perspective can plunge one. Many readers will, however, find much in 1:12–12:7 showing a healthy outlook, as in repeating the fear of God (5:7; 7:18; 8:12–13, as well as 12:13). The fear in the three earlier places need not be seen as “fright” as Longman perceives it as fitting his theory, but can be respectful awe. Longman does not always steer readers aright, but he has a widely-researched work that stimulates scholarly minds, some of this coming in footnotes about such things as word meaning and grammar.

  • Murphy, Roland E. Ecclesiastes (Word Biblical Commentary). Dallas: Word, 1992.

  A 170-pp. contribution by an expert in ancient wisdom literature helps teachers and students in the Hebrew, surveys earlier research, and adds new perceptions. He has much exegetical detail on verses. One feature is an opinion with which many disagree, that neither Solomon nor any Hebrew could have written the book (xx–xxi), with unconvincing reasoning. He says he finds many contradictions in the book, and mentions approaches that handle these (xxxiii–xxxiv). The book is some help when used with mature discernment.

  • Swindoll, Charles R. Living on the Ragged Edge: Coming to Terms with Reality. Waco, TX: Word Books, 1985.

  This is a series of messages preached by one of America’s most sought after speakers, a pastor in the Dallas, TX area. Swindoll writes in a creative flow that captures the imagination, leading it through what he perceives the text means. He is perceptive on human problems and principles in passages relevant to these. Devotionally and as a general exposition pulling lay readers or pastors in by clear, interesting communication, the work helps expose how the message lives. Illustrations and applications help make the book a catalyst for seeing the relevance for preaching and living.

  • Whybray, R. N. Ecclesiastes. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans 1989. 179 pp.

  Adept in wisdom literature, the writer sees a positive outlook in the book. God bestows meaning to life; and a person’s pursuits have fulfilling quality only from Him (cf. p. 27). He turns on light at many points exegetically, but conservative readers will not all think he does this in holding a third century B. C. writing. He also sees no unified flow through the book, but thirty-four unconnected subjects. At times his explanations leave matters not sufficiently clarified (cf. p. 27 on women in 7:28).

  • Wright, J. S. “Ecclesiastes,” in Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Volume 5. Ed. Frank Gaebelein and R. P. Polcyn. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1991.

  Arguing for a single writer, Qoheleth. (except possibly 12:9–12), he does not certainly think it was Solomon but sees no passages that rule out that possibility (p. 1140). He is not certain of the date (1143). His statement of the book’s purpose is very good (1144–46), he has a fine one-page outline and is judicious verse by verse, showing that pessimism can be overcome and life given meaning by relating it to God and His will, with the Christian revelation in other parts of the Scripture filling out the picture, as on 3:12–14 (p. 1162). In most cases this is a very good commentary of a conservative nature.

  • Zuck, Roy B., ed. Reflecting with Solomon. Selected Studies on the Book of Ecclesiastes. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1994.

  Here are 33 chapters by scholars on topics and views related to the book, for example authorship, themes, problems, structure, and specific passages set up to deal with all 12 chapters. Some subjects are: Ardel Caneday’s “Enigmatic Pessimist or Godly Sage?”, Duane Garrett’s “The Theology and Purpose of Ecclesiastes,” R. N. Whybray’s “Qoheleth, Preacher of Joy,” Zuck’s “God and Man in Ecclesiastes,” Derek Kidner’s “The Search for Satisfaction: Ecclesiastes 1:12–2:26,” and Louis Goldberg’s “How Much Can We Really Know? Ecclesiastes 7:22–7:1.” This is a companion vol. to Zuck’s edited work Sitting with Job: Selected Studies on the Book of Job, which offers a comparable selection of scholarly discussions on that book.






STUDYLIGHT - verse by verse

Explanation - This tool allows you to check multiple commentaries (generally older works) for what they have to say on a given verse. Click the link below, select chapter and then select the verse you want to studly. E.g., here is a link to the commentaries on Ecclesiastes 1:1 to give you an idea of what you can retrieve. It is a good way to quickly survey the older commentaries on a given book. 










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].






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)







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).






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”)


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.



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)



  • OT Reflections of Christ - Ecclesiastes
    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.''


The Text Proved

  1. By experience (ch. 1,2)
  2. By observation (ch. 3,4)

The Text Unfolded

  1. The miseries of life (1:1-2:11)
  2. The hypocrisies of life (2:12-3:22)
  3. The wrongs and injustices of life (4)
  4. The riches and poverty of life (5)
  5. The uncertainties of life (6-10)
  6. The best thing possible to the natural man apart from God (11:1-12:12)
  7. The best thing possible to the man who knows God and His law (12:13,14).

The man ''under the sun'' had given himself to studying philosophy and exploring science. He had proved that there is pleasure in imparting happiness. He had tested the power of wine to allay care and sorrow. He had engaged in great works-- building houses, planting vineyards, and setting out gardens with pools of water. He had hired servants and maidens, he had sons born in his house, and he had gathered great possessions. He employed singers and musicians, and he was crowned with honor and fame. He did all of this-- only to find that the ambitions and enjoyments of the world had turned to ashes.

God chose, by divine inspiration, to preserve in His Word the reasoning of this natural man ''under the sun.'' We will evaluate this man's thinking in the light of God's Word.


As we read this treatise, we must admit that this man had wisdom and was centuries ahead of the scientific minds of his day. He knew the philosophy of the winds and the science of the rainfall-- but he saw it only as a great machine. When he looked at himself, he saw another machine and reasoned, ''I'm just like the wind and rain; just a drop in the cycles that are ever moving.'' This wrong view of the universe gave him...

A WRONG VIEW OF GOD (Eccl 3:1-9,18-22)

Perhaps a key, to understanding what is being said here, is the word that designates God in this passage. The name used is ''Elohim,'' the same word used in the first verse of Genesis. It means ''the Strong One,'' ''the Mighty One,'' ''the One far away.'' The word ''Jehovah'' is not found in Ecclesiastes. ''Jehovah'' is the name used to describe God with men, the near name, the name of a covenant-keeping God. The name ''Elohim'' was used in the creation account, but it was Jehovah who made the coats of skins to clothe Adam and Eve after they had sinned [Gen 3:21]. The man ''under the sun'' did not see God as the loving Heavenly Father, the covenant-keeping God, the God of redemption.


The whole of this man's religious views is summed up in this statement: ''For God is in heaven, and thou upon earth'' (5:2). This is the religion of the fatalists who say, ''Whatever is to be will be, and there is no use in trying to change it.''


The natural man reasons, ''If the far-away God balances things, why shouldn't we do the same?'' Therefore, he adopts this attitude: ''Don't be too righteous and don't be too wicked.'' The religious middle-of-the-road philosophy of our day says, ''Do the best you can under the circumstances.'' This is the thinking of the natural man.


The man ''under the sun'' thought that everyone would share a common fate. He reasoned that one endtime event was in store for all-- the righteous and the unrighteous, the good and the evil, the clean and the unclean, the one who sacrifices and the one who does not. His view of life was that the grave ends all. The false religions of our day are quick to quote verse 5. But mark this-- this statement is not divine revelation! By God's inspiration, these words are included in the Scriptures, but they are the words of a man ''under the sun.''

What is God's view of life's end? You find it expressed in these words of the apostle Paul: ''His own purpose and grace... is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior, Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel'' (2Timothy 1:9,10).


The man ''under the sun'' reasons that he must make the best of every day by eating well, enjoying wine, and making his heart merry. What a picture of the present age! Dress spotlessly; use the most expensive perfumes; live it up! Why? Because a common fate awaits all. But even in the midst of profane hilarity, the natural man is sad. Read carefully the mournful words of Ecclesiastes 9:11,12.

THE CLOSING VIEW (Eccl 12) After presenting all of this worldly wisdom and natural reasoning, the man ''under the sun'' gives a personification of old age.

The ''clouds'' are like our sorrows that multiply.

The ''keepers of the house'' are the hands that tremble.

The ''strong men'' are the knees that begin to bow.

The ''grinders'' are the teeth, which become few and can no longer chew strong meat.

The ''windows'' are the eyes that become dim.

The ''doors'' are the ears that can no longer hear the noises of the street.

The ''silver cord'' is the spine that can no longer support the weight.

The ''golden bowl'' is the brain that no longer functions well.

The ''pitcher'' is the heart that becomes diseased.

And the ''wheel'' is the circulation that stops.

Then suddenly after this graphic description of old age, the man ''under the sun'' cries out again, ''Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher; all is vanity'' (Eccl 12:8).

CHRIST IN ECCLESIASTES-- I could find no better expression of the purpose of this book than 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)

The Preacher, Solomon, admonished, ''Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter,'' and he stated that the best thing for man is to ''fear God'' and obey Him. At a time when the Law was the highest revelation from God, this was a correct conclusion. But it is not the whole duty of man today. Man must take his place before God as a sinner condemned by the Law, and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. When he does, he receives life and can live in resurrection power. No preacher of the gospel would ever select Ecclesiastes 12:13,14 as a message of salvation!

Christ is seen in Ecclesiastes in contrast to all that man ''under the sun'' can reason, achieve, and enjoy. F.C. Jennings said that this book is the contrast between the ''new song'' and ''the old groan.'' We look beyond the sun to God's Son, and we find in Him an unending source of wisdom and knowledge. The answers to life's deepest questions are bound up in Him.



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 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 Ecclesiastes - 14 sermons - Believers Chapel Dallas - Transcripts


Michael Ross - Mp3 only - click here for sermons listed below

  • The Mysterious Hand of God Ecclesiastes
  • Life Under the Sun — Life Under the Sun Ecclesiastes 1:1-3
  • Life Under the Sun — The Endless Cycles of Life Ecclesiastes 1:1-18
  • Life Under the Sun — Wine, Women and Song!  Ecclesiastes 2:1-11
  • Life Under the Sun — The Search for Significance Ecclesiastes 2:12-26
  • The Pursuit of Pleasure Ecclesiastes 2:1-11
  • The Pursuit of Pleasure Ecclesiastes 2:1-11
  • The Search for Knowledge Ecclesiastes 2:12-17
  • The Drive Toward Success Ecclesiastes 2:18-26
  • Time and Change Ecclesiastes 3:1-22
  • Life Under the Sun — Time and Change Will Surely Show Ecclesiastes 3:1-22
  • Life Under the Sun — Living in a System That's Broken Ecclesiastes 4:1-16
  • A Bent World Ecclesiastes 4:1-16
  • Life Under the Sun — Practical Atheism Ecclesiastes 5:1-7
  • Business with God Ecclesiastes 5:1-7
  • Business with God Ecclesiastes 5:1-7
  • Work, Worry and Wealth Ecclesiastes 5:8-20
  • Life Under the Sun — God and Politics  Ecclesiastes 5:8-9
  • Life Under the Sun — The Poverty of a Rich Man Ecclesiastes 5:10-20
  • Life Under the Sun — The Shadowy Snapshots of Life  Ecclesiastes 6:1-12
  • Life Under the Sun — The Better Things of Life Ecclesiastes 7:1-14
  • Life Under the Sun — The Four Sides of Wisdom Ecclesiastes 7:15-29
  • Four Hard-Learned Lessons Ecclesiastes 7:15-29
  • Life Under the Sun — God and Government Ecclesiastes 8:1-15
  • Between Washington and Heaven Ecclesiastes 8:1-15
  • Life Under the Sun — The Enigmatic Hand of God Ecclesiastes 8:16 - 9:18
  • Simple Gifts Ecclesiastes 9:11-18
  • Life Under the Sun — Come! Be A Fool As Well Ecclesiastes 10:1-20
  • Life Under the Sun — Be Bold in the Lord Ecclesiastes 11:1-6
  • Taking the Long View Ecclesiastes 11:1-10
  • Life Under the Sun — Be Joyful in the Lord Ecclesiastes 11:7-10
  • Life Under the Sun — Be Godly in the Lord Ecclesiastes 12:1-8
  • Growing Old in God Ecclesiastes 12:1-14
  • Life Under the Sun — Be Wise in the Lord Ecclesiastes 12:9-12
  • Life Under the Sun — The Conclusion of It All... Ecclesiastes 12:13-14





JOHN HAMBY - Sermon Series

STEVE KRELOFF - Mp3's only but high quality





JONATHAN MCLEOD - Sermon series - 15 messages

DONALD MCCULLEY - audios and summary outline of the audio

  • Ecclesiastes 1:1-18 The Purposeless Driven Life

    Introduction: Rick Warren has caught a lot of people’s attention with his books The Purpose Driven Church and The Purpose Driven Life. Have you ever thought about the purposeless driven life? This is the first sermon in a series on the subject “The Meaning of Life.” These messages are taken from a book that is rarely read yet houses tremendous treasure. The book is Ecclesiastes and I know of no other book in the Bible that is needed in today’s culture any more than this work. The Secularist is squealing, “Let’s get rid of God.” The Materialist is marketing, “Buy this product and you will be happy.” The Hedonist is harping, “Let’s party dude!” The Religionist is recruiting, “You gotta get religion man!” To all of these the preacher/teacher (Eccl 1:1) has a word. Ecclesiastes is the journal about one man’s journey through life. The man’s name is Solomon. He started out well, but there came a time when he went from doing things God’s way to doing his own thing. He tried it all and each time came up empty. Solomon’s conclusion can best be summed up in one sentence: Life without God is meaningless.

    I. His Premise (Eccl 1:1-11)

    Note the word “meaningless” in Eccl 1:2. It means super vain, completely empty, nothing to it. When you live under the “sun” without the “Son” you’re purposeless and clueless. Look at Solomon’s thoughts concerning:

    A. Occupation (Eccl 1:3): The word “gain” means advantage. When all is said and done, when the red-headed, pony-tailed, guitar strumming philosopher sings “Turn out the lights, the party’s over” (That’s Willie Nelson for all non-cultured people), what’s the advantage? Nobody has a net gain. You won’t take anything with you. 

    B. Generation (Eccl 1:4): He speaks here of nature’s cycle. The expression here is one of futility.

    C. Creation (Eccl 1:5-7): “Sun”. This is like a runner endlessly running around a race track. “Wind”. Goes round and round. It’s monotonous and purposeless. “Streams”. These accomplish nothing. Do you get the picture? Life without God is like running in circles, going nowhere fast and not making any difference.

    D. Explanation (Eccl 1:8): He doesn’t have one.

    E. Summation (Eccl 1:9): Solomon’s point is not to drive us to despair but to God.

    II. His Pursuit (Eccl 1:12-17)

    A. His Dedication (Eccl 1:12): “Study” – to seek, to investigate the roots of an issue. He researched. He made notes. “Explore” – to experiment. He got involved. He stopped at nothing. Here’s a man who has “been there, don’t that”. He speaks to us from his experience. He says to us “Life without God is purposeless.” The booze, affair, money, fame and fortune won’t ever satisfy you.

    B. His Meditation (Eccl 1:16): He stopped at nothing.

    C. His Application (Eccl 1:17): He tried labor, now he tries learning. “Twisted” – cannot be solved. “Lacking” – missing data. Some things cannot be solved and some things we can never find out.

    D. His Frustration (Eccl 1:14, 17): “Chasing the wind”. You can’t catch it. If you do, you don’t have anything.

    III. His Pessimism

    The whole passage is negative. Such is the case when one omits God.

    Conclusion: Chuck Swindoll in his book Living on the Ragged Edge makes two excellent observations:

    1. If there is nothing but nothing under the sun, our only hope must be above it.

    2. If a man who had everything, investigated everything visible, then the one thing needed must be invisible.

    Are you purpose driven or just purposeless? Life without God is meaningless!

  • Ecclesiastes 3:1-22 Time Life Presents

    Introduction: Have you ever caught one of those “Time Life” commercials on television? Time Life is a company that markets CD’s, DVD’s, Music Videos, etc. What does this have to do with this chapter? In twenty-two verses the word “time” is noted thirty-two (32) times. It’s about time, and it’s all about life.

    Solomon pondered the idea of time! Every day we are given 86,400 second, 1,400 minutes, or 24 hours. Regardless of who we are, we all have the same amount of time. Ben Franklin once said, “Time – that’s the stuff life is made of.” How do you perceive time? Thirty minutes for a student awaiting the closing bell is different from that of a convicted murderer on death row who will in thirty minutes receive a lethal injection. One year for a teenager longing for a driver’s license differs from the person who’s just been told they have one year to live because of a terminal illness. As it has been said, “time drags on or flies, but time never stops.” Consider these following ideas.

    I. Time Life Presents Changes (Eccl 3:1-8)

    “Life is full of contrasts.” As Solomon pondered time and life he listed fourteen contrasting events. This is life as it occurs.

    A. Life and Death (Eccl 3:2) – Read Psalm 139:16 on birth and Hebrews 9:27 on death. You can’t choose the first or predict the second. God determines both.

    B. Planting and Uprooting (Eccl 3:2) – You don’t plant in harvest nor harvest in planting. Timing is everything. What is it you need to plant or uproot?

    C. Killing and Healing (Eccl 3:3) – Solomon’s concern here is not ethics but asserting a central fact of life. “Life seems strangely fixed between a battle-field and a first-aid station.” (Swindoll)

    D. Tear Down and Build Up (Eccl 3:3) – There a time to blast and a time to build.

    E. Weeping and Laughter (Eccl 3:4) – Some who are weeping long for laughter. Don’t run from either.

    F. Mourning and Dancing (Eccl 3:4) – Consider death, divorce, marriage and birth. Life swings from grief to joy.

    G. Scatter and Gather (Eccl 3:5) – Here’s a defensive and offensive ploy.

    H. Embrace and Refrain (Eccl 3:5) – There’s a time for affirmation and confrontation.

    I. Search and Give Up (Eccl 3:6)

    J. Keep and Throw Away (Eccl 3:6) – Have you checked your garage, attic or closet lately?

    K. Tear and Mend (Eccl 3:7)

    L. Silence and Speaking (Eccl 3:7) – We need to know when to speak up and shut up!

    M. Love and Hate (Eccl 3:8) – Love what God loves (how about a cheerful giver) and hate what God hates (see Proverbs 6:17-19).

    N. War and Peace (Eccl 3:8) – War is sometimes necessary. How about being a peacemaker in your church.

    See the tension? Each negative cancels out the positive. At the end of the day, what’s the gain? See verse 9. If your journey in life is only from the cradle to the grave and you leave God out, then every day you’re wasting 86,400 precious seconds.

    II. Time Life Presents Certainty (Eccl 3:9-15)

    “There’s more to life than this world!” Most live between sad and bad; between heartache and heartbreak. Life without God is the pits! Until He fills the vacuum life will never have meaning. When he does fill a heart, he does four things.

    A. He Make Life Beautiful (Eccl 3:11) – Note the words “appropriate” (beautiful), “everything” and “in it’s time.”

    B. He Makes Life Interesting (Eccl 3:11) – “Eternity.” He gives us the “itch” for tomorrow.

    C. He Make Life Joyful (Eccl 3:12-13)

    D. He Make Life Stable (Eccl 3:14-15) – God teaches us lessons, sometimes repeatedly, until we learn them. A college professor told his class, “You all can take class in one of two ways. You can take it seriously, or you can take it over.” Bottom line: Life comes from outside this world! It’s taken some people a long time to learn this. Sadly, some never learn.

    III. Time Life Present Confusion (Eccl 3:16-22)

    IV. “Life is not always fair – get used to it.” Solomon turns back to his cynicism. Why? See verse 16. Wickedness is winning. Without God people become beast-like in their nature and actions. Eccl 3:19-21 should not be endorsed as a doctrine but accepted as thoughts from a troubled man who’s trying to understand life “under the sun” or without God’s perspective.

    I think Solomon’s advice in these verses is simply teaching us to learn to take advantage of our disadvantages. You may not be able to change your “lot” (Eccl 3:22), but you can change your reaction or attitude to it. Let him take your mess and make a miracle.

    Conclusion: Without God there is no purpose or meaning. With God you can have the “time of your life!”

  • Ecclesiastes 4:1-16 I See Said The Blind Man!

    Introduction: Late in life Solomon strayed form God. He’s searching for the real meaning of life. His search is “under the sun” and that renders him somewhat blind to that which is “above the sun.” In this chapter you will note the word “saw” five times (Eccl 4:1, 4, 7, 15). He’s looking around at life. Warren Wiersbe lists four places Solomon visited: The courtroom, marketplace, highway and palace. I note he sees at least three classes of people: The oppressor (Eccl 4:1), the aggressor (Eccl 4:4), and successor (Eccl 4:13-16).

    Let me introduce you to eight characters alluded to in this chapter: 1. larcenist (Eccl 4:1); 2. ladened (Eccl 4:1); 3. laborer (Eccl 4:4); 4. loafer (Eccl 4:5); lustful (Eccl 4:6); 6. loner (Eccl 4:8); 7. lender (Eccl 4:9-12); 8. leader (Eccl 4:13-16).

    Solomon went looking around his world. We should look around our world as well. When we do we will see the same things Solomon saw. It’s a “see-saw” battle. When we look around what will we see?

    I. The Good Guys Don’t Always Win (Eccl 4:1-3)

    Innocent people oftentimes get shafted. Lot at what Solomon saw. It reads like the morning headlines.

    A. Oppression – The ego-driven, power hungry maniac wants to dominate. The “top dogs” and “head hogs” are running roughshod over people. The poor are downtrodden and heartbroken.

    B. Depression – Note the word “tears.” One day God will wipe away all tears (Rev. 7:17).

    C. Suppression – “No comforter.” Many who could have brought comfort, but there was no concern.

    D. Confession – (Eccl 4:2-3). This is not an argument justifying abortion or suicide. Hang in there. Why? See 3:15-17. The good guys don’t always win – in the here and now – but one day they will!

    II. Envy Rules Many a Heart (Eccl 4:4)

    The problem here is not his “hands,” but his “heart!” Note = “envy of his neighbor.”

    He’s not talking about healthy competition, but an intense rivalry in a “dog eat dog” world. It’s the pursuit of being number one even if you have to be dishonest. Tragically, this mindset is pervasive in many a preacher’s heart.

    III. Laziness Is a Surefire Path of Self-Destruction (Eccl 4:5)

    The laborer drives. The loafer drifts. Solomon had no sympathy for the lazy (Proverbs 6:10-11), neither did Paul (2 Thess. 3:10).

    IV. A Balanced Life Is a Wise Life (Eccl 4:6)

    It’s better to have a few things (one handful) and be satisfied than to have many things (two handfuls) and lose your health and peace of mind. Bring your labor and leisure into balance.

    V. One Is an Awfully Lonely Number (Eccl 4:7-8)

    It’s lonely at the top. Note “a man all alone,” “no end to toil,” “eyes were not content,” “a miserable business.” And you thought your climb to fame, fortune and fun would make you somebody? What’s the profit if you lose your family and friends along the way?

    VI. Everybody Needs a Friend (Eccl 4:9-12)

    The secret to survival – have a friend! Note the 1-2-3 punch. Wiersbe helps us out

    here. We need a friend when it comes to:

    A. Working (Eccl 4:10) – Two can get more done. Two makes the difficult jobs easier.

    B. Walking (Eccl 4:11) – A friend can help you up and out, whether it’s physical or spiritual.

    C. Warmth (Eccl 4:11)

    D. Watchcare (Eccl 4:12)

    God says, “It’s not good for a man to be alone.” Charles Lowery in his book Comic Belief, says a friend will bring you good cheer, lend a listening ear, shed a sensitive tear, give you a kick in the rear, tell you the truth without fear and always be near.

    VII. A Lot of People are Never Pleased (Eccl 4:13-16)

    You can’t please all the people all the time. Sooner or later people will become as

    displeased with the successor as they were with the predecessor! Welcome to the “fickle family.” They live right next door to the “rat-fink” family!

    Winston Churchill was at a gathering where he was introduced and received a rousing ovation. A lady sitting next to him said, “Mr. Churchill, it must be very rewarding to get such applause from so many people.” Churchill replied, “Madam, if this was my hanging, the crowd would be twice the size.”

    Conclusion: Don’t try to escape life. Meet it head on. Make the most of it. And, by the way, while you’re journeying through life, take a look around. I guarantee you will walk away saying, “I se said the blind man.”

  • Ecclesiastes 5:1-20

    Introduction: What is this title all about? It’s simple. I want to communicate (.com) with you from Ecclesiastes 5 (ECCS) about three issues that all start with the letter “W.” A few sermons back we talked about the letter “I.” Here, let’s talk about the letter “W.” If we ever hope to discover the true meaning of life, then we must address these three items.

    I. Worship (Eccl 5:1-7)

    In chapter 4 Solomon went to the courthouse. In this chapter we find him at the church house (temple). When you think about it, the church house he attended – he built! The tragedy was his worship did little to change his ways. He teaches us the futility of insincere worship. Solomon offers to us some basic counsel on worship when going to the church house:

    A. Guard Your Steps (Eccl 5:1) – approach with care. Come with reverence. Tip-toe! Take off your shoes because you are standing on holy ground! God is present! (see Ex. 3:5) Some come and sit or sleep. Others read, talk or write notes. Some just listen and leave. You can do all those things later, but for now you had better pay attention!

    B. Lend Your Ears (Eccl 5:1) – God has his ears on, do you? Listen. Why? Because God is communicating. Note “sacrifice of fools.” Here’s one who goes through the motions or worship but is unchanged in heart.

    C. Watch Your Mouth (Eccl 5:2) – Underline the words “quick,” “hasty,” “few.” We don’t impress God with flowery language or bloated promises. (cf Eph 4:29+)

    D. Control Your Mind (Eccl 5:3) – Stop daydreaming. Stop drooling. Many sit in church and think of everything but God.

    E. Keep Your Promise (Eccl 5:4-7) – note “vow” (commitment or promise) is mentioned five times. You vowed it – you keep it. Keep your word. God took you at your word and he doesn’t forget. He takes our promises seriously. This is no time for games!

    II. Wealth (Eccl 5:8-17)

    Let me comment on verses 8-9. “Don’t be surprised.” Our government may not be the best, but it beats anarchy. You will always have a few “bad apples” in the basket. It’s inevitable that some will be corrupt.

    Now, onto the subject of wealth. It’s not a sin to be rich! (Abraham/Job/ Solomon). The issue here is making the pursuit of wealth your priority or primary purpose in life. Here’s some sound advice on wealth. Solomon knows what he’s talking about. The man was loaded, but he was also miserable. For those whose goal is money, take careful notes.

    A. He Who Hungers for Money Will Find that His Heart is Never Satisfied (Eccl 5:10)

    Note: It’s not that he possesses it, but that he loves it. (See 1 Tim. 6:10). Enough is never enough. “Meaningless” = empty. Only God can satisfy.

    B. He Who Has Money will Find that His Friends are Multiplied (Eccl 5:11a)

    Ever noted all the leeches, parasites and blood-suckers of society who attach themselves to someone who has money?

    C. He Who Harbors his Money will find that His Worries are Magnified (Eccl 5:11b-12). – More money-more people-more worries-more anxiety-less sleep (see Proverbs 19:4-7). He spends all his time guarding his fortune. He can’t sleep.

    D. He Who Hoards His Money will Find that his Sickness is Intensified (Eccl 5:13)

    Here’s the picture of a miser who ruins himself. Note the word “harm.” “Those who grabbed and rose to the top will ultimately release and drop to the bottom.” (Swindoll).

    E. He Who Hugs His Money will Find that his Security is Nullified (Eccl 5:14) - He made an unsound investment and lost it all (See Proverbs 23:4-5).

    Note Eccl 5:15-17 – “carry in his hand.” What we carry with us when we die?

    Nothing? Also underline the words “frustration,” “affection,” “anger” (Eccl 5:17). We depart as we came – in our birthday suit without a skinny penny!

    III. Word (Eccl 5:18-20)

    Here are some keen observations about work.

    A. Accept Your Lot – mentioned twice. Accept your station. The grass is not always greener on the other side.

    B. Fulfill Your Labor – Work! Be steady.

    C. Enjoy Your Life – Don’t get caught in the greed trap. Laugh more. Lighten up. Relax.

    D. Serve Your Lord – Invest in his kingdom’s work. Be content with Jesus. He’s enough.

    Conclusion: Externally, everything looks good. But what about the internal? Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom…and all these other things will be added to you.” Perhaps you need to visit or revisit

  • Ecclesiastes 6:1-12 The Mick Jagger Syndrome

    Introduction: The title was borrowed from a line in Ed Young’s book Been There, Done That and Now What? Mick Jagger is a rock star. He’s the lead man for the group called “The Rolling Stones.” In the 60’s one song shot the Stones to stardom. The title was “Satisfaction.” The opening line says, “I can’t get no satisfaction…” Isn’t that the theme of Ecclesiastes? Whether it’s the bewildered philosopher, Bandy the rodeo clown (he makes everybody laugh, but keeps a pint hid out behind chute number one to drown his own sorrows), Hugh Hefner and his Playboy band or good time Charlie who’s got the blues; they’re all looking for satisfaction. Here’s the point: looking for satisfaction “under the sun” is only chasing the elusive butterfly of love. It’s spitting into the wind. It’s the Mick Jagger syndrome. Life “under the sun” has no satisfaction!

    In chapter six please note Solomon’s insight. Observe:

    I. The Unfulfilled Life of a Rich Man (Eccl 6:1-6)

    In the NIV the word “enjoy” is used four times. Here’s a person with all the “toys,” but none of the “joys” (Eccl 6:2). To whom is Solomon referring. I agree with Church Swindoll (Living on the Ragged Edge) when he writes this is “the self-portrait of a troubled king.”

    Allow me to draw three principles from these verses.

    A. It’s the Giver not the Gifts that Brings Real Joy (Eccl 6:2) – You cannot enjoy the gifts of life without the God who gives the gifts.

    B. Your Joy can be Stolen (Eccl 6:2) – See the word “stranger” (NIV); foreigner (KJV). Who’s stealing your joy? See John 15:11; Gal. 22; John 16:21-22. Is it circumstances, things, people, worry, adversaries, sickness, family conflicts? When we focus more on the gifts than the giver, God has a way of causing us not to enjoy the gifts! It is then we start to question and evaluate God.

    C. Many Children and More Years Don’t Always Add Up to More Joy (Eccl 6:3-6)

    No doubt a hundred children and two thousand years is an exaggeration although, with regards to the hundred kids, there’s a mayor and state senator in west Tennessee working on that one. More kids may not get you out of depression, but may drive you further into it. Let’s face it, when they are babies they run at both ends. When they’re toddlers they are spoiled little brats who think they have to have every toy Wal-Mart has ever peddled. When they are teens they live on another planet.

    What about the “many years?” If your life is marked by pain and hardship that only prolongs the agony. Also note here Solomon’s reference to “proper burial” and being “stillborn.” What does all this mean? There was no proper burial (nobody grieving) because his family didn’t love him. They only stayed around long enough for the reading of the will! The stillborn is referred to as “it” five times. Not given a name was thought to help the parents get over their grief quicker. Here’s the bottom line: If you can’t enjoy life/riches and no one grieves when you die, what does that say about your life? You’ve be better off never to have been born! Such is the case of the unfilled life of a rich man. “I can’t get no satisfaction.”

    II. The Unsatisfied Soul of a Poor Man (Eccl 6:7-9)

    You can be an unsatisfied poor man as well as you can be an unfulfilled rich man!

    Again, allow me to bring three principles to light here.

    A. You Can Experience Labor without Reward (Eccl 6:7) – “Efforts” = labor. Why work? So we can eat. Why eat? So we can live (add years to our life). What good does it do to add years to your life if you don’t add life to your years? Note the word appetite (v. 7, 9). It’s the Hebrew word (Nephesh) than means soul. Hard word doesn’t necessarily satisfy an empty life. (Remember the story of Mary and Martha?) The most important moments of your day will not be at your desk, but in your prayer closet!

    B. You Can Attain Wisdom Without Advantage (Eccl 6:8) – He’s not belittling education or self-improvement, but these of themselves cannot satisfy.

    C. You Can Have Big Dreams and No Results (Eccl 6:9) – Like Swindoll said, “Give me a hamburger, fries and a coke rather than a dream about a steak, dreams don’t fill empty stomachs.” Come to terms with reality. The real thing you see is better than the dreams you hope for.

    III. The Unanswered Questions of a Confused Man (Eccl 6:10-12)

    In the text (NIV) you will find six questions (Eccl 6:6, 8, 11, 12). Solomon’s search didn’t provide answers, only more questions. The fact is, some questions can never be answered! Let me make three observations from these verses.

  • Ecclesiastes 7:15-29 Some Practical Pointers For Some Particular People

    Introduction: Ecclesiastes is the journal of Solomon’s quest to find “the meaning of life.” He had gotten off to a good start, but somewhere along the path he strayed from God’s ways. Chapter seven begins a turning point as Solomon starts looking back to God and his wisdom. In our last message we noted what benefits wisdom can bring. Let’s finish out this chapter b looking at some more of Solomon’s discoveries and discourse. I want to show you give particular people and offer some practical pointers to each.

    I. The Perplexed (Eccl 7:15)

    Pointer: “What you see is not always what you get.” It’s the age-old question – why do the righteous suffer and the wicked prosper? Do a good study of Psalm 73 and you will discover valuable insight. When the good die young and the bad “nasty” live on, it seems to defy God’s justice and God’s word. Keep in mind this is a generalization. It doesn’t always happen this way.

    Solomon didn’t seem to make sense of it all. It bothered him. It bothers us too. How do you explain it? I can’t explain the why. I can offer insight into whereabouts. You see, even if the righteous die young they are with Jesus in their “eternal” reward. Even if the wicked get by and live to a ripe old age, only in the here and now do “they have their reward.” Their reward is only temporal. Illustrate this with the story of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31). Remember God doesn’t settle all his accounts in October!

    II. The Pretender (Eccl 7:16-18)

    Pointer: “What you appear it not always what you are.” Solomon is not teaching moderation in righteousness or sinfulness. He’s teaching balance in life! He’s really speaking to the hypocrite. In light of Eccl 7:15, don’t claim to be self-righteous or wise. Illustrate with the story of the publican and Pharisee (Lk 18:10-14+). Have you ever spent time with “sanctimonious Sally” or “Pious Paul”? They’re always trying to impress others with their bullet-proof theology all the while dripping with the anointing of the Holy Spirit. They have all the answers – even to Eccl 7:15. In reality, they are nothing more than a pain in the rear end. Sort of reminds me of Job’s three friends.

    While some pretend to be “holier-than-thou,” others may cast caution to the wind and say, “What’s the use?” Life’s a crap-shoot. Let’s revel in wickedness. Eat, drink and be merry.

    What Solomon is arguing for is balance. See verse 18. Fear God. Trust God. Love God. Even when you don’t understand follow him, but don’t lose tough with reality of humanity. “Fear God, but don’t lose your perspective.” (Swindoll)

    III. The Perfectionist (Eccl 7:20)

    Pointer: “What you think is not always what you imagine.” Some think themselves to be a cut-above others. You need to rethink that! Your imagination is run amok! God, along, is absolute perfection. None of us are squeaky clean.

    IV. The Paranoid (Eccl 7:21)

    Pointer: “What you hear is not always what you need.” Don’t take seriously everything you hear. If you can’t handle praise it will go to your head. You begin to read too many of your own press reports. If you can’t handle criticism (and who among us can?) it will cut right to your heart. C. H. Spurgeon in his book Lectures to my Students said, “Every preacher needs one blind eye and one deaf ear.” Don’t be like the old boy who would never attend a football game. He thought every time the teams gathered in the huddle they were talking about him! Not everybody is out to get you. “Oh, be careful little ears what you hear…”

    V. The Pioneer (Eccl 7:22-29)

    Pointer: “What you discover is not always what you expect.” Solomon is like a scientist doing exploratory work. Note Eccl 7:23 – tested/determined; Eccl 7:25 – I turned; Eccl 7:26 – I find; Eccl 7:27 – I discovered. In his pioneering what did he find?

    A. Wisdom is Beyond Me (Eccl 7:23-25) – We can’t make ourselves wise. Wisdom is a gift form God (James 1:5). Note the words “beyond” and “far off.” It must be “above the sun” don’t you suppose? He turned to try to understand wickedness. That leads me to the second idea.

    B. The Affair Can’t Satisfy Me (Eccl 7:26) – Note the words “snare,” “trap,” “chains,” “ensnare.” The other woman looks good, doesn’t she? That hulk with the six-pack abs looks good compared to “Chester Drawers” (his chest has done fell down in his drawers). Look at old bald head with his bifocals, bunions and bulges. It’s all so appealing and compelling. But listen and learn from a man who was a sexual animal (1,000 wives). It never satisfied him.

  • Ecclesiastes 8:1-17 Leaders, Losers And Learners

    Introduction: In chapter 8 Solomon continues his theme on wisdom. Allow me to shed some light on three arenas: authority, agony and academics. Let me put it this way.

    I. The Traits of Wise Leaders (Eccl 8:1-9)

    These verses are for all who are in leadership positions. Everyone of us is affected by authority. We’re either under authority or in a position of authority. Here is good advice for every CEO, supervisor, manager or foreman. But I want to use these verses to speak to those in positions of spiritual leadership. Underscore these words.

    A. Explanation (Eccl 8:1) – The leader should be able to see the big picture. It means to have a solution; to explain the difficult. He or she needs to know the “why” of an organization (Swindoll). They may not know all the “hows” but they need to know the “why.” Mind your mind! Let your mind grow!

    B. Illumination (Eccl 8:1) – Note the words “brightens,” “face,” and “hard.” The word hard means stern, fierce, stiff, tough, unsmiling and negative. Leaders need wisdom that will beam them up! In other words, have a cheerful disposition. Not only “mind your mind,” but “fix your face.” Let your mind grow and let your face grow. The devil shouldn’t have all the laughter and fun. Laughter is vital to a balanced life and ministry.

    C. Communication (Eccl 8:2-4) – Note the use of “command” and “word.” Mind your mind. Fix your face. “Tame your tongue.” Let your mind grow, your face glow and your words “flow” – carefully, of course. What comes out of your mouth sets the tone and direction for your followers. “If you want to manage conflict then master communication” (John Maxwell). Be tactful and diplomatic.

    D. Discrimination (Eccl 8:5-7) – I don’t mean this in a bad way. The point is God has put you where you are so use good judgment. Know the proper time to do what ought to be done. Be calm and stead when trouble abounds. “Judge your judgment.” Let your wisdom “show.”

    E. Limitation (Eccl 8:8) – Learn your limitations. When it comes to this issue just “know.” None can harness the wind or defy death. We are finite. This should produce a humble, teachable spirit. The point here, also, is that I cannot change someone else’s spirit. There are some who try. They use and abuse and wind up losing.

    But what if my boss/parent/authority asks me to do something unethical or downright evil? Warren Wiersbe in his book Be Satisfied, has a good approach to this passage. He notes four possible responses. 1. Disobedience (Eccl 8:2, 4, 5); 2. Desertion (Eccl 8:30); 3. Defiance (Eccl 8:3b); 4. Discernment (Eccl 8:5b-6). Wisdom will help figure out the right thing at the right time. Now listen, we need to be wise leaders who manifest these traits. Why? Because of this second idea (as follows).

    II. The Tragedy of Wicked Losers (Eccl 8:10-14)

    We need wise leaders who bear the traits mentioned about in order to help others find the meaning of life. If they don’t find the real meaning of life they will wind up like the character in this text. Note:

A. His Funeral Is Outrageous (Eccl 8:10) – What good is it if you have an impressive, stately funeral and your soul is in hell?

B. His Folly Is Contagious (Eccl 8:11) – He continued his ways because he thought he could get by with it. Do we ever stop to think that what we are or are not doing could be rubbing off on someone else? “He had an affair and he seems to be happy. She has stolen and lied and she seems to be getting along quite well.” Judgment may not happen immediately, but it will happen! Nobody escapes!

C. His Finale Is Ungracious (Eccl 8:12-14) – How can it be that the Mafia prospers while the missionary is in pain? Why is it that the gangs, hoodlums and thugs run rampant while the godly are oppressed? In act there’s a lot of injustice in life. F. Lee Bailey said, “In America, acquittal doesn’t mean you’re innocent; it means you beat the rap.” Nobody beats the rap with God. Here’s a person who goes into eternity untouched by the grace of God.

Look with me at one more idea.

III. The Turmoil of Wary Learners (Eccl 8:15-17)
There are some who rack their brains trying to figure out all the injustices and mysteries of life. Please note three important words.

A. Spend (Eccl 8:16) – These people spend day and night trying to solve the unsolvable and answer the unanswerable.

B. Comprehend (Eccl 8:17) – Nobody can comprehend God and his plans to any degree of fullness. “God is partly concealed and partly revealed” (Wiersbe). Shoot, we can’t even catch “big foot” let along figure out God. Some preachers think they have him figured out! Benny says, “I can have a miracle.” Rod says, “I’m just one dollar away from a breakthrough.” If you make a mess of your life (and who among us hasn’t?), go see those guys. I’m sorry, but I’m not a miracle worker. I’m not God. I don’t understand very much about him. I can’t change your situation.

  • Ecclesiastes 9:1-18 918-365-Live

    Introduction: What’s with this title? It’s easy – chapter 9 has 18 verses. In this chapter Solomon gives us insight on how to live 365 days a year. Even though Solomon had gotten off to a good start, he had become side-tracked. He messed up big time. In his pursuit of life away from God, he went to Hollywood and Dollywood. He visited Disneyland, Wonderland and Neverland. He thought leisure would satisfy. He then went to Harvard, Yale, Princeton – you know all those “poison” ivy-league schools. He thought learning would satisfy. Solomon headed for the mountains (a cool Coors); he rode shotgun with the Clydesdale (a bubbling Bud); and he visited Jack Daniels (a shot). He thought liquor could satisfy. The “preacher” turned on the tube for some mad TV (also sad TV). He thought laughter could satisfy. He visited Hugh and al his Playboy bunnies. He thought lust could satisfy. He amassed a fortune as if loot could satisfy.

    He’s now come to himself. He’s making his way back to the Lord. He should have never left him in the first place. But he did, and now he’s writing his memoirs. He’s now reasoning from God’s perspective. In this chapter he tells us how to live 365 days a year. What does he say?

    I. Appreciate Sovereignty (Eccl 9:1, 11)

    After his reflection he concluded in order to spare us some heart-ache, he gives us a reality check. “There is a God and He is sovereign.” Note: “The Hand of God”. When we talk about sovereignty we are talking about his rule. One cannot hinder or thwart his plans. He ordains, overrules and orchestrates. He does according to his own will. See Romans 9:18. Simply put, He’s in control!

    Does that mean we are a bunch of robots? No. How do you reconcile sovereignty and free agency? I don’t even try. His ways are past finding out.

    One might conclude that being in His hand is a guarantee of health, wealth, and prosperity. Not so. Note: “Love or hate.” No one can predict tomorrow. What comforts us is that whatever happens there is a God who cares for us and is in control (every day).

    Look at Eccl 9:11. Please note the two words “time” and “chance”. Time = His time. “Chance” = His plan. They win out! Submit to God’s will. Accept His will and be content. Get rid of your ‘rabbit’s foot” – it didn’t bring the rabbit any luck!

    II. Contemplate Destiny (Eccl 9:2-3, 12)

    Life is unpredictable. Death is an absolute certainty. Death awaits us all. Death is not an accident but an appointment (Hebrews 9:27). Our destiny will be in one of two places – heaven or hell. Death must be addressed. Live everyday as it was your last.

    III. Deliberate on Depravity (Eccl 9:3)

    Evil is in the heart. The heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart. We go from madness to meanness. Live every day with this in mind and let it drive you to the throne of God for grace to help live godly.

    IV. Celebrate Activity (Eccl 9:4-10)

    Note: “Hope”, “dog”. A live dog is better off than the king of the jungle if he’s dead. What should we celebrate?

    A. Pulse (Eccl 9:4) – As long as you breathe you have hope. You can get prepared to die. You can help bring about change. You may be “over the hill”, but that’s better than being “under the hill”.

    B. Present (Eccl 9:7) – Celebrate “now”. “Have a blast while you last.” (Swindoll)

    C. Pardon (Eccl 9:7) – “Favors” = he’s not angry. He approves. See Romans 8:1

    D. Purity (Eccl 9:8) – “White” – purity/righteousness

    E. Power (Eccl 9:8) - “Oil” – symbol of Holy Spirit and power

    F. Partner (Eccl 9:9) – Laugh and romance

    G. Pursuits (Eccl 9:10) – “Might” – do your best with all your strength

    V. Meditate Ability (Eccl 9:13-17)

    Solomon ends with a little parable. It is possible this man saved the city. It’s possible he could have saved the city, but didn’t. It’s possible he answered the call but the foolish ruler with the loud mouth got all the attention and this man was ignored. Whatever the case may be here is a man who had an opportunity for greatness. All of us have the ability to help turn the tide whether it’s in our individual lives, homes, churches, communities, nation or world. There are many enemies lurking around us seeking to destroy and demolish.

    Conclusion: Think about these. Do you want to make the most out of life? Then call 918-365-LIVE! Solomon can give you some great counsel!

  • Ecclesiastes 10:1-20 CSI

    Introduction: CSI is a popular series currently airing weekly on our TV sets. CSI stands for Crime Scene Investigation. This sermon has nothing to do with a crime scene, but it has everything to do with “common sense instructions”.

    In Eccl 10 Solomon offers us some common sense instructions about “The Meaning of Life.” This chapter is a bit difficult, not because of its interpretation, but because of its organization. It is very symbolic in nature. It is a group of proverbs that hang together in a loose fashion. Having said that let’s see if we can determine what Solomon is saying here.

    Here are Solomon’s common sense instructions (CSI). “Act like you got some sense” when it comes to:

    I. Lifestyle (Eccl 10:1-3)

    What do we find here?

    A. Eccl 10:1 – Reputation - “Little things can have great consequences.” This verse has more to do than with just flies and fragrance. A little wrong can cast suspicion on your whole life. “Folly” = lack of good sense or foresight; not looking at the consequences.

    B. Eccl 10:2 – Inclination – “The start is in the heart.” Which way is your heart inclined (bent)? “Right/left” = behavior. The right is that which is worth our pursuit, time and effort. It’s God’s way. The left indicates weakness or rejection. Our inclination determines our lifestyle which, in turn, determines our reputation.

    C. Eccl 10:3 – Demonstration – “Stupid is as stupid does.” What’s inside will eventually show up on the outside. We can identify a fool by his “walk”, that is his/her directions or pursuits in life. Our inclination shows up in our demonstration which produces our reputation.

    II. Leadership (Eccl 10:4-7, 16-17)

    A. Eccl 10:4 – Terror – Some leaders produce terror. Here is the picture of a hotheaded boss. This is one easily angered who has no control over moods or temperament. See Eph. 4:26. How do you deal with such? Don’t quit or resign. Allow God to develop within you a gentle, quiet spirit that you might help this person. Take a high road. Control yourself. You will become a leader.

    B. Eccl 10:5 – Error – All leaders make errors, some however, make great errors. Here is a leader who puts little people in big positions, while the one who is capable and competent is low man on the totem pole. Verse 16 – Princes = immature. VerseEccl 10:17 – Princes = mature.

    “A leader is someone who steps out and others follow.” (Young) “If you are leading and no one is following, you’re just talking a walk.” (Maxwell) You have to connect before you can convince.

    A side-note: Characteristics of a wise leader (chapter 10).

    1. He inclines his heart to the ways of God (Eccl 10:2)

    2. He controls his temper (Eccl 10:4)

    3. He directs the right people to the right position (Eccl 10:6)

    4. He thinks ahead (Eccl 10:8-11)

    5. He guards his words carefully (Eccl 10:12-14)

    6. He puts others ahead of himself (Eccl 10:16-17)

    7. He has a good work ethic (Eccl 10:18-19)

    8. He’s a people person

    III. Labor (Eccl 10:8-11, 15, 18)

    A. Eccl 10:8-9 – Be Honest – These verses could be summed up in three phrases: “Set ‘em up, knock ‘em down, and take ‘em in.” We reap what we sow. See Eccl 10:8. Is he digging a “pit” for water or is it a trap to injure someone else? Better watch out! Concerning the “wall” is he remodeling or breaking in to steal? Get the idea?

    It could be that not playing by the rules can get you into trouble. It, also, could be that playing by the rules could be hazardous to your health.

    B. Eccl 10:10-11 – Be Handy – I think both of these verses have to do with “preparation”. In Eccl 11, I, also, think that it has to do with the get-rich-quick issue.

    C. Eccl 10:15, 18 – Be Hardy – Eccl 10:15 has to do with productivity and Eccl 10:18 to do with procrastination. Don’t let things go – get things done.

    IV. Lips (Eccl 10:12-14, 20)

    A. Eccl 10:12 – Be Careful What You Speak – “Gracious” = right, kind, well-spoken. “Consumed” = to swallow up. Give a fool enough rope and he will eventually hang himself. A lot of us just talk too much!

    B. Eccl 10:13 - Be Careful How You Speak – Here’s a first class fool who’s an expert on every subject. He has too high a regard for his own opinions. He goes from foolishness to madness. (cf Eph 4:29+)

    C. Eccl 10:20 - Be Careful Where You Speak – “Thoughts” = among your friends. How did you know all this? “A little bird told me!”

    Conclusion: When it comes to lifestyle, leadership, labor and your lips “act like you got some sense.”

  • Ecclesiastes 11:1-10 The Stewardship Of Life

    Introduction: A steward is someone who manages what belongs to someone else. “All” of life is a stewardship issue! Remember it is required of a steward that he be found faithful.

    In chapter 11 Solomon teaches us about this subject. What all is involved in being a faithful steward of life?

    I. Make An Investment (Eccl 11:1-2)

    See Matthew 6:19-24+, Mt 6:33+. Are you investing your time, talents and treasure in god’s kingdom – His work and church?

    A. The Requirement (Eccl 11:1) – “Cast” = not throw, but send. It’s the picture of someone who engages in commercial enterprises involving overseas trade (waters). Solomon says release it, let it go. Ask God to send you into his kingdom. “Here am I, send me.” Give all you have to further His cause. I’m afraid our pews are full of “rich young rulers.” They look good, but in reality, have missed the kingdom!

    B. The Result (Eccl 11:1) – Trust me, it won’t sink but will eventually pay off. Proverbs 19:17, 21:13. God has a long memory.

    C. The Regions (Eccl 11:2) – “Portions” = not a pitiful and pathetic few. “Seven/eight” = diversify, expand. “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”

    D. The Reality (Eccl 11:2) – Just because we are generous does not immune us from problems or disasters. Bad things, misfortune, pitfalls and hardships may come but give yourself anyway and trust the results with God. He has promised to repay!

    Let me note three observations here.

    1. Don’t expect your ship to come in if you’ve sent non out.

    2. You cannot reap what you do not sow (generally speaking).

    3. Why should God be generous with us if we are stingy with him?

    II. Deal With The Inevitable (Eccl 11:3-4)

    Disasters and storms are inevitable. It’s part of life. The storms (cloud and rain) and the wind (blew the trees over) cannot be avoided. What’s the point here? Don’t use the possibility of disaster or misfortune as an excuse for inactivity. If you magnify every difficulty or hardship, you won’t ever work. If we sit around and wait for the ideal circumstance trying to avoid adverse conditions, we won’t ever get anything done.

    III. Trust The Invisible (Eccl 11:5-6)

    Enjoy life to the fullest! But how?

    A. Love (Eccl 11:7) – “Light/sun” = describes the warmth of God’s love. He gives us permission to enjoy him and ourselves. He can lift the doom and gloom. I wonder how many can’t receive God’s love because they are “mad” at Him for any number of reasons.

    B. Laugh (Eccl 11:8) – Let happiness pervade your whole life all of your days. Every day is a gift from God – laugh a little. Happiness is a choice! Some young people can’t be happy (parents/peer pressure/hormones). Some married people say “I’m just not happy in my marriage.” Quit looking for someone else to make you happy. It’s your choice. Parents, singles and senior adults come up with the same line, “I’m not happy.” Why? Because you choose not to be happy.

    C. Live (Eccl 11:9) – This is not a hedonistic agenda. Swindoll writes, “God inserts just enough warnings to keep us obedient.” Don’t go wild with your liberty. Be balanced. Judgment day is coming.

    D. Lose (Eccl 11:10) – “Anxiety” = vexation. This is anger mixed with resentment which leads to a rebellious spirit. Put away the things that would bring the body pain.

    Conclusion: Make the investment. Deal with the inevitable. Trust the invisible. Accept the invitation. Be a good steward.

  • Ecclesiastes 12:1-14 The Three R's Of Redemption

    Introduction: Many people have heard of the three R’s of education – “readin’, ritin’ and ‘rithmetic” – but how many know about the three R’s of salvation? In this concluding sermon from Ecclesiastes Solomon gives insight on the subject.

    I. Remember (Eccl 12:1,6)

    The word “remember” means to act decisively on behalf of God. It is to listen, take seriously and act on what God says.

    A. Who? – “Remember your Creator.” For “Creator” see Genesis 1:1; 1:26. The Hebrew form is in the plural. It is a reference to the trinity. We worship one God who manifests himself in three persons. It is the same word “baw-raw” found in Genesis 1:1. God is the creator. Guess what? Solomon was a creationist not an evolutionist!

    B. When? – “In your youth.” Suppose Solomon was talking to a grandchild? He could be talking to a youth group, children’s church or the nursery. Start early planting the seeds of the gospel.

    C. Why? – All of us are aging (2 Cor 4:17). We’re headed toward the grave. We have a date with death. Notice in Eccl 12:3-7 – “keepers” = arms and hands. “Strong men” = legs. “Grinders” = teeth. “Windows” = eyes. “Doors” = ears. “Birds” = least little things disturbs your sleep. “Songs” = voice cracks when singing. “Almond tree” = hair turns white. “Grasshopper” = takes you longer to get where you are going. Lost your spring and hop. “Desire” = biological clock. Sexual appetite. ‘Silver cord” = spine. “Bowl” = skull. “Wheel/picture” = heart. The body is planted in the ground and the spirit goes back to God. Now is the time to prepare for death.

    II. Read (Eccl 12:9-12)

    How can we act decisively on what God has said? How do we know what He has said? Because He wrote a book – the Bible! Read the book. Why?

    A. Wisdom (Eccl 12:9) – Solomon got his wisdom from God. See I Kings 3:3-28.

    B. Writing (Eccl 12:9-10) – Solomon “wrote” “right words” that were upright and true. Why? To “impart knowledge.” He carefully arranged them in an orderly fashion. “Goads” (Eccl 12:11) – a long stake with an iron point. It jabs and prods. “Nails” = a tent stake that secures or nails down. Note Solomon got his message from the “Shepherd”.

    C. Warning (Eccl 12:12) – Don’t go beyond.

    III. Rely (Eccl 12:13-14)

    Remember the Creator. Read the book. Rely on His grace.

    A. Fear God (Eccl 12:13) – Reverence, awe, love and respect.

    B. Keep His Commandments

    C. Get ready for the Judgment (Eccl 12:14) – He holds us accountable.

    Conclusion: The key to the “Meaning of Life” is Jesus. Summation: Life without God is meaningless!

MONERGISM MP3s by Chapter - Ecclesiastes

SERMON CENTRAL - most have transcripts

JEFF STRITE - Sermon series





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



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


ERIC CHRISTIANSON - 333 page commentary Pdf - published in 2007





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


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


Introduction to Ecclesiastes Fes-to Kivengere, an leading African Christian, told of his experience as follows: My life was like a spinning top. I worked, I played, I worked. The cycle went around, and the more humdrum it became, the speedier it got - spinning like atop. You know the problem of a spinning top - it has a very big head and a very thin base. It can't stand up unless it's spinning. And a top just spins around itself - that's all, it goes no where. My life was exactly like that. I was just running faster and faster, thinking that the faster I ran the more lively life would become. How wrong! Then something wonderful happened to that African leader. A friend who was a new Christian told him the story of salvation and how his sins could be forgiven. Kivengere said, That day God smashed my heart open and introduced me to the living reality of Jesus Christ. My top stopped spinning, and He gave me direction that lasts through eternity. A spinning top has no direction.

We are going to begin a study of the OT book of Ecclesiastes. It is book that defies human authorship alone. It is unusual and unique. It is not the kid of book man would write if he could or could write if he would. It tells the story of Solomon, a spinning top.

The uniqueness of this book is found in the parallel tracks upon which the story unfolds.

The first track is that of wisdom and both secular wisdom is dealt with along with God's divine wisdom. At time the passages almost seem to contradict one another as they develop these two spheres of wisdom.

The second track is that of man's utter despair and man's tremendous hope in God his creator. The book looks at life and declared despair. It seems to shout out Is this all there is? And yet there is also a faith filled perspective that tells us that life is a gift of God and can be lived with Joy.

Why these contradictions, why this approach? Well, the answered is found in the author, Solomon.

Solomon writes this book towards the end of his life looking back about fifteen to twenty years, from the time he was 40 to a time near his death at 60. He evaluates what he went through as he strayed from the truth of God.

So while at one time we read of the hopelessness he sensed at other times we read of the hope he now knows he could have had.

THE SAD COMMENTARY THAT ENDS THIS BOOK IS THAT all the hopelessness was unnecessary. And so this book comes to us and teaches us that we do not have to join in the chorus of those who would say Vanity of vanities, Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.

NOW TO UNDERSTAND THE BOOK AND SENSE THE full weight of its arguments we need to understand the writer.


The reign of Solomon sees Israel in its golden age. All the tribes of Israel were united. Peace and prosperity were the rule rather than the exception in the land. But, nothing ever remains the same, it would not last. Solomon reigned for forty years (from 970 to 930 BC). He was the hand picked and divinely picked successor to his father David. He began his reign 2 Ecclesiastes at the age of 20 and ended it at the age of 60. At the end of his 40 year reign the nation divided, and remained divided until its destruction. The world will not know a united Israel again until the millennial reign of Jesus Christ. (Click to read the rest of this background on Solomon's reign to get a good context for understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes).

JUSTIN HOLCOMB - Knowing the Bible Series



  • 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







  •   It’s Time for You to Get a Life—Ecclesiastes 1:1–12
  •   It’s Time for You to Get a Life—Ecclesiastes 1:1–12
  •   What to Do When Nothing Makes Sense—Ecclesiastes 1:1–2
  •   The Principles of Prosperity—Ecclesiastes 11:1–10
  •   A Perspective on Life—Ecclesiastes 12:10–14

RELEVANT BIBLE TEACHING - 35 pages, summarizes a few passages


  • 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





By Chapter






















DAN T. LIOY - 95 page paper on Ecclesiastes 3































































Sermons on Ecclesiastes

There are no transcripts but these sermons are definitely worth listening to (or watching) if you are preaching or teaching through Ecclesiastes. You can also buy his related book A Life Well Lived: A Study of the Book of Ecclesiastes (He has a related book The 12 essentials of godly success : biblical steps to a life well lived.)

Ecclesiastes 1995 Series

Ecclesiastes 2017 Series

Here are youtube videos:

An Outline of Ecclesiastes - Following the Logic of Solomon from his book which is recommended A Life Well Lived: A Study of the Book of Ecclesiastes (read some reviews)

I. A Critique of Life: Chapters 1-2

  • Life grinds to nothingness, but man keeps searching (Ecclesiastes 1:1-11).
  • Intellectualism, hedonism, materialism (Ecclesiastes 1:12-2:11)
  • Although wisdom is better, all still die (Ecclesiastes 2:12-16).
  • Thus he despaired (Ecclesiastes 2:17-23). 
  • Conclusion: Apart from God, there can be no life.
  • Man in himself cannot find meaning (Ecclesiastes 2:24-26).

II. A Critique of Belief and of Life with God: Ecclesiastes 3:1-15

  • He decrees pain as well as pleasure (Ecclesiastes 3:1-11).
  • So enjoy the moment now (Ecclesiastes 3:12-15).
  • III. The Conflicts of Belief: Ecclesiastes 3:16-4:16
  • Inequity, oppression, rivalry, materialism, and popularity

IV. Be Cautious about Impertinence toward God: Ecclesiastes 5:1-7

  • Be careful how you approach, speak to, and "bargain with" our mysterious God.

V. Be Correct in Perspective: Ecclesiastes 5:8-7:29

  • Wealth: Don't be deceived when the wicked increase; wealth won't satisfy (Ecclesiastes 5:8-6:12).
  • Adversity: Hard times are not bad; they shape us (Ecclesiastes 7:1-14).
  • Yourself: Be humble; you can't know all things (Ecclesiastes 7:15-29).

VI. Be Courageous in Life: Ecclesiastes 8:1-12:14

  • Be bold in doing right even if you're not rewarded (Ecclesiastes 8:1-10:20).
  • Be bold in living even though you can't control all things (Ecclesiastes 11:1-6).
  • Be bold in enjoying life although death will come (Ecclesiastes 11:7-12:8).

VII. A Creedal Statement: Ecclesiastes 12:9-14

  • God has revealed Himself to us through His Word.

Ecclesiastes Devotional and Practical Meditations

Spurgeon - The author in this little publication does not comment upon the whole Book; but the passages he touches are ably explained.

Commentary Notes

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.

Commentary in form of Sermons

Devotional Illustrations

Updated January, 2024

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

Below Are Additional Links to Individual Devotionals

The People's Bible

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!

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


Ecclesiastes; or, The Preacher
With Notes and Introduction

Ecclesiastes Devotionals
Something New Under the Sun

These are short, pithy and practical, great for devotionals or as an aid in teaching and preaching Ecclesiastes. This 197 page book is highly recommended! 

Click Something New Under the Sun - for all of the titles below

INTRODUCTION - This book is not a commentary on Ecclesiastes. It may look that way, and it may be arranged that way, but it is something else entirely.

This is actually the second installment of a proposed trilogy of "wisdom books" for busy readers. Like many good ideas, this one didn't start out according to a predetermined plan. In 1997 I wrote a book called The ABCs of Wisdom based on the Book of Proverbs. I say "based on" because it wasn't a commentary either. It contains one hundred bite-sized nuggets of character-building truth based on some of the character qualities found in the Book of Proverbs, such as dependability, perseverance, punctuality, and compassion. I wrote about six hundred words on each topic and included a brief prayer and several questions to help readers do a bit of personal application.

When Greg Thornton of Moody Press asked if I would consider writing a sequel, I wondered what he had in mind. When he suggested Ecclesiastes, I took a deep breath, because it is as little known as Proverbs is well known. The ratio of regular readers of Proverbs versus Ecclesiastes is probably 1,000:1, which is odd since the two books rest side by side in the Old Testament.

Of course, there is an excellent reason for this. Proverbs is what it sounds like—short, pithy statements that are easy to understand (mostly) and often very challenging to put into practice. By contrast Ecclesiastes contains so many strange (some would say weird) statements that many people simply refuse to read the book.

Not long ago a friend told me (with great conviction) that Ecclesiastes was written by Solomon when he was in a backslidden spiritual condition. Having worked through the book myself, I can understand and partly sympathize with her sentiments. There are some statements in Ecclesiastes that are extremely hard to understand. I know that some people consider Ecclesiastes the most controversial book in the Bible.

However, I believe that when the whole context of the book is taken into account, it will be discovered that Solomon was a man of faith who leads his readers on a voyage through some of the backwater regions of life that we all think about but don't discuss in public. He isn't afraid to ask the hard questions and to admit when there are no easy answers. Since most of us like answers—simple, clear ones if possible—Solomon's words can sometimes seem very frustrating.

I would submit that there is nothing in Ecclesiastes that truly contradicts the rest of the Bible when we understand that Solomon is looking at life "under the sun"—that is, from a horizontal or earthly perspective. He simply wants to know, "What can we learn about the meaning of life by observing the world around us?" The answer is we can know a great deal, but many mysteries remain.

In the end I think Solomon is writing a kind of Old Testament apologetics in which he invites the secular person to join him on a search for ultimate truth.

I said this isn't a commentary, and very soon you will discover the truth of my words. What follows are bite-sized meditations on the meaning of life for busy people. Each one is based on a portion of the text—not as an exposition but rather touching on some of the underlying themes or else dealing with personal application. While King Solomon concludes wisely there is "nothing new under the sun" (Ecclesiastes 1:9), each reader will discover insights abounding—"something new under the sun"—in this inspired Bible book that chronicles a king's sweeping search for truth.

I've used the same format as The ABCs of Wisdom so that you can read each section "on the run" if necessary; reading one or two, putting the book down, and picking it up again later. Since Ecclesiastes contains many unusual sayings, I have added a feature called "More Light from God's Word." There you will find three Scripture passages from other Old and New Testament books. Please take time to read those passages because they give a broader perspective on the things Solomon wrote.

One final word. I hope you won't read this book straight through. You'll gain much more from it if you read one chapter of Ecclesiastes (about eight entries) a day, using it as a springboard for further Bible study and as a guide for thinking through some fundamental issues of the spiritual life. Or you can treat these as daily meditations; with one hundred entries, you have enough reading for twenty weeks, or almost five months (based on reading Monday through Friday).

For a generation desperately searching for reality— and not knowing where to find it—God wrote a book that sets our feet in the right direction. If you'd like to join Solomon on his journey to truth, Ecclesiastes is the place to begin.

Click Something New Under the Sun - for all of the titles below

  1. Ecclesiastes 1:1-2 Scott’s Story
  2. Ecclesiastes 1:3 The Ultimate Question
  3. Ecclesiastes 1:4-8 The Treadmill
  4. Ecclesiastes 1:9-10. Rainbows, If you see Them
  5. Ecclesiastes 1:11 Faded Photographs
  6. Ecclesiastes 1:12-14 – Big God and Little Me
  7. Ecclesiastes 1:15 Cut It Down and Forget About It
  8. Ecclesiastes 1:16-18 What Knowledge Can't Do
  9. Ecclesiastes 2:1-3 Eat Dessert First
  10. Ecclesiastes 2:4-7 The Man Who Had It All
  11. Ecclesiastes 2:8 Money, Sex and Power
  12. Ecclesiastes 2:9 The View from the Penthouse
  13. Ecclesiastes 2:10 King for a Day
  14. Ecclesiastes 2:11 So What?
  15. Ecclesiastes 2:12 The Turtle on the Fence Post
  16. Ecclesiastes 2:13-14 Am I wise or am I foolish?
  17. Ecclesiastes 2:15-16 Temporary Advantages
  18. Ecclesiastes 2:17 I Hated Life
  19. Ecclesiastes 2:18-19 Passing the Baton
  20. Ecclesiastes 2:20-23 God’s Cure for Anxious Care
  21. Ecclesiastes 2:24-25 Learning to Enjoy Life
  22. Ecclesiastes 2:26 Are You on God's Side?
  23. Ecclesiastes 3:1. Each Precious Moment
  24. Ecclesiastes 3:2-3 24.Times and Seasons
  25. Ecclesiastes 3:4-5 A Time to Laugh
  26. Ecclesiastes 3:6-8 A Time for War
  27. Ecclesiastes 3:9-10 Grasping at Shadows
  28. Ecclesiastes 3:11 A God-Shaped Vacuum
  29. Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 Living in the Here and Now
  30. Ecclesiastes 3:14 Nothing Left But God
  31. Ecclesiastes 3:15 Here Comes the Judge
  32. Ecclesiastes 3:16-17 Original Sin
  33. Ecclesiastes 3:18-19 Thoughts from the Graveyard
  34. Ecclesiastes 3:20-22 Unanswered Questions
  35. Ecclesiastes 4:1-3 Broken Hearts on Every Corner
  36. Ecclesiastes 4:4-6 The Rare Jewel of Contentment
  37. Ecclesiastes 4:7-8 Alone at the Top
  38. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Together is Better
  39. Ecclesiastes 4:13-16 Things We Cannot Control
  40. Ecclesiastes 5:1-3 Guard Your Mouth!
  41. Ecclesiastes 5:4-7 Does God Bore You
  42. Ecclesiastes 5:8-9 Lost in the Bureaucracy
  43. Ecclesiastes 5:10-11 The Money Trap
  44. Ecclesiastes 5:12-14 Lifestyles of the Rich and Frustrated
  45. Ecclesiastes 5:15-17 Death Not the Final Word
  46. Ecclesiastes 5:18-20 The 21-Day Prayer Challenge
  47. Ecclesiastes 6:1-2 He Died Too Soon
  48. Ecclesiastes 6:3-6 Stillborn Misery
  49. Ecclesiastes 6:7-8 A Warning to Workaholics
  50. Ecclesiastes 6:9-10 Too Short to Box With God
  51. Ecclesiastes 6:11-12 True Happiness
  52. Ecclesiastes 7:1-2 Lessons from the Funeral Home
  53. Ecclesiastes 7:3-4 Why Angels Fly
  54. Ecclesiastes 7:5-6 The Healing Power of Hard Truth
  55. Ecclesiastes 7:7-9 Keep Your Cool
  56. Ecclesiastes 7:10-12 Longing for the Good Old Days
  57. Ecclesiastes 7:13-14 The Steps and Stops of Life
  58. Ecclesiastes 7:15-18 Living in the Golden Mean
  59. Ecclesiastes 7:19-22 Blessed Forgetfulness
  60. Ecclesiastes 7:23-25 Living in the Valley of Achor
  61. Ecclesiastes 7:26 Trapped in the Name of Love
  62. Ecclesiastes 7:27-29 A Better Way to Pray
  63. Ecclesiastes 8:1 The Radiant Face (Ecclesiastes 8)
  64. Ecclesiastes 8:2-5 Obey the King!
  65. Ecclesiastes 8:6-8 One Thing I Know
  66. Ecclesiastes 8:9-10 Praying for Your Enemies
  67. Ecclesiastes 8:11 Slow Justice
  68. Ecclesiastes 8:12-13 Is God Intolerant?
  69. Ecclesiastes 8:14-15 A Topsy-Turvy World
  70. Ecclesiastes 8:16-17 Looking for Answers
  71. Ecclesiastes 9:1-3 My Life in God's Hands
  72. Ecclesiastes 9:4-6 If I Should Die Before I Wake
  73. Ecclesiastes 9:7-10 Have a Blast While You Last
  74. Ecclesiastes 9:11 Damon Runyon's Remark
  75. Ecclesiastes 9:12 Like Fish in the Net
  76. Ecclesiastes 9:13-16 The Parable of the Small City
  77. Ecclesiastes 9:17-18 Quiet Words of the Wise
  78. Ecclesiastes 10:1-3 Dead Flies in the Old Spice (Ecclesiastes 10)
  79. Ecclesiastes 10:4-7 Dealing with Difficult People
  80. Ecclesiastes 10:8-9 "These Things Happen"
  81. Ecclesiastes 10:10-11 Be Prepared
  82. Ecclesiastes 10:12-15 Fools and Their Foolish Words
  83. Ecclesiastes 10:16-17 Leaders Good and Bad
  84. Ecclesiastes 10:18 No Room for Sluggards
  85. Ecclesiastes 10:19 What Money Can't Buy
  86. Ecclesiastes 10:20 Little Birds Are Listening
  87. Ecclesiastes 11:1-2 Bread Upon the Waters (Ecclesiastes 11)
  88. Ecclesiastes 11:3-4 Boldness: Taking Advantage of Every Opportunity
  89. Ecclesiastes 11:5-6 Get Busy... Now!
  90. Ecclesiastes 11:7-8 God Is in the Details
  91. Ecclesiastes 11:9-10 God's Word to Party Animals
  92. Ecclesiastes 12:1-2 Remember Your Creator (Ecclesiastes 12)
  93. Ecclesiastes 12:3-5 The Budding of the Almond Tree
  94. Ecclesiastes 12:6-7 A Message for Older Saints
  95. Ecclesiastes 12:8-11 Nails from the Shepherd
  96. Ecclesiastes 12:12 Make Up Your Mind!
  97. Ecclesiastes 12:13 The Last Word and the First Rule
  98. Ecclesiastes 12:14 Coram Deo
  99. Ecclesiastes 12:1:2, 12:13 The Truest Book in the Bible
  100. Ecclesiastes 2:9, Luke 11:31 Solomon and Jesus



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


Sermon Notes

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!

Sermon Notes

  • 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)

Reference Notes


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

Older Exposition

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)

Sermon Notes

Devotionals from
Morning and Evening
Faith's Checkbook

All of His Sermons
on Ecclesiastes

Updated April 26, 2014


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.

Ray Stedman

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

  1:  The Search Ecclesiastes 1:1-3
  2:  The Endless Cycle Ecclesiastes 1:4-7
  3:  The Restless Life Ecclesiastes 1:8-18
  4:  The Pursuit Of Pleasure Ecclesiastes 2:1-11
  5:  A Note Of Joy Ecclesiastes 2:12-26
  6:  A Time For Everything Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
  7:  Eternity On My Mind Ecclesiastes 3:9-11
  8:  Let God Be God Ecclesiastes 3:12-22
  9:  Ambition Ecclesiastes 4:1-8
10: Two Are Better Than One Ecclesiastes 4:9-16
11: Watch Your Step Ecclesiastes 5:1-17
12: How To Enjoy Life Ecclesiastes 5:18-20
13: The Power To Enjoy Ecclesiastes 6:1-12
14: Who Is In Charge? Ecclesiastes 7:1-14
15: Fearing God Ecclesiastes 7:15-22
16: Looking For Love Ecclesiastes 7:23-28
17: The Benefits Of Wisdom Ecclesiastes 7:29-8:1
18: Can We Trust The Government? Ecclesiastes 8:2-15
19: Ah, Sweet Mystery Of Life Ecclesiastes 8:16-9:6
20: The Gift Of God's Approval Ecclesiastes 9:7-10
21: Who Wins The Race? Ecclesiastes 9:11-12
22: The Wisdom That Frees Ecclesiastes 9:13-18
23: The Dangers Of Digging Pits Ecclesiastes 10:1-15
24: A Little Bird Told Me Ecclesiastes 10:16-20
25: Live Generously Ecclesiastes 11:1-6
26: What To Do While You're Young Ecclesiastes 11:7-10
27: Before It's Too Late Ecclesiastes 12:1-8
28: The Need For The Truth Ecclesiastes 12:9-12
29: The Secret Of Wholeness Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

Sermons on Ecclesiastes

Sermons on Ecclesiastes
Verse by Verse

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.

Sermons on Ecclesiastes
More Topically Arranged

Commentary on Ecclesiastes

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

Commentary on Ecclesiastes

Lectures on Ecclesiastes

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

Moody Bible Institute

Sermons on Ecclesiastes
Peninsula Bible Church

Sermon Scripture References Speaker
Preparing for the End: Teaching with Authority Ecclesiastes 12:1-14 Zeisler, Steve
Choices That Matter Ecclesiastes 9:1-6 Zeisler, Steve
Is Anyone Listening? Ecclesiastes 3:1-11 Zeisler, Steve
Justice and Love Ecclesiastes 3:16-20 Zeisler, Steve
Work and Worry Ecclesiastes 2:18-22 Zeisler, Steve
Treasure and Heart Ecclesiastes 2:1-11 Zeisler, Steve
The Way To Blessing Ecclesiastes 1:1-18 Zeisler, Steve
Before It's Too Late Ecclesiastes 11:7 Zeisler, Steve
'Wisdom, Knowledge, And Joy' Ecclesiastes 2:24-26, 5:18-20 Zeisler, Steve
What Money Can't Buy Ecclesiastes 4:4-9, 5:10-20, 6:1-6 Zeisler, Steve
God And Government Ecclesiastes 4:13-16, 8:2-9 Zeisler, Steve
He Set Eternity In Their Hearts Ecclesiastes 3:1-22 Zeisler, Steve
Having It All--Having Nothing Ecclesiastes 1:12-18, 2:1-26 Zeisler, Steve
Is Life A Treadmill? Ecclesiastes 1:1-12 Zeisler, Steve
Before it's Too Late Ecclesiastes 12:1-14 Stedman, Ray
How, then, Should we Live? Ecclesiastes 10:16-20, 11:1-10 Stedman, Ray
The Only Way to God Ecclesiastes 9:11-18, 10:1-15 Stedman, Ray
Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life Ecclesiastes 8:16-17, 9:1-10 Stedman, Ray
Can we Trust Government? Ecclesiastes 8:2-15 Stedman, Ray
Whoever said Life was Fair? Ecclesiastes 7:15-29, 8:1 Stedman, Ray
Things that are not What they Seem Ecclesiastes 6:1-12, 7:1-14 Stedman, Ray
Why does God allow This? Ecclesiastes 4:1-16, 5:1-20 Stedman, Ray
That Wonderful Plan for Your Life Ecclesiastes 3:1-22 Stedman, Ray
Life in the Fast Lane Ecclesiastes 2:1-26 Stedman, Ray
The Search for Meaning Ecclesiastes 1:1-18 Stedman, Ray
The Inspired Book of Error Ecclesiastes Stedman, Ray
Truth for Youth Ecclesiastes 11:9 Stedman, Ray

7 lessons approaching Ecclesiastes through Sermon on the Mount.

Over 600 Older Expositions

The Great Debate J. M. Gibbon. Ecclesiastes 1:1
The Words of the Preacher J. Parker, D. D. Ecclesiastes 1:1
The Summary of a Life's Experience J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 1:1-11
All is Vanity John Taylor, LL. D. Ecclesiastes 1:2
All is Vanity D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 1:2
Is All Vanity T. C. Finlayson. Ecclesiastes 1:2
The Folly of Solomon R. Collyer. Ecclesiastes 1:2
The Trial of Vanity H. Smith. Ecclesiastes 1:2
The Vanity of Earthly Things J. Maude. Ecclesiastes 1:2
The Vanity of the World E. Hopkins, D. D. Ecclesiastes 1:2
Vanity of Vanities Canon Liddon. Ecclesiastes 1:2
The Summary of a Life's Experience J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 1:1-11
Human Life and Human Labor W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 1:2, 3
The Vanity of Man's Life D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 1:3, 4
The Stability of Nature W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 1:4-7
Opposite Ideas of Life Homilist Ecclesiastes 1:4-10
The Abiding Earth U. R. Thomas. Ecclesiastes 1:4-10
The Durability of the Earth Contrasted with Human Mortality J. Foster. Ecclesiastes 1:4-10
The Earth Permanent, Man Transitory J. A. Jacob, M. A. Ecclesiastes 1:4-10
The Law of Circularity H. Macmillan, D. D. Ecclesiastes 1:4-10
The Passing of Humanity H. Macmillan, D. D. Ecclesiastes 1:4-10
The Passing of Humanity S. Hillyard. Ecclesiastes 1:4-10
What Passes and What Abides A. Maclaren, D. D. Ecclesiastes 1:4-10
The Cycles of Nature D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 1:5-7
Pursuit of Happiness E. S. Hicks, M. A. Ecclesiastes 1:7
The Turn of the Year F. Wagstaff. Ecclesiastes 1:7
Views of Life; False and True J. A. Campbell, M. A. Ecclesiastes 1:7
Weariness and Rest W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 1:7, 8
The Insatiability of Sense D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 1:8
The Unsatisfied Eye E. H. Chapin. Ecclesiastes 1:8
Imaginary Schemes of Happiness J. Saurin. Ecclesiastes 1:9
Old Things in New Time A. J. Morris. Ecclesiastes 1:9
On the Resemblance Between the Future and the Past F. D. E. Schleiermacher. Ecclesiastes 1:9
The Helpful Past G. Dawson. Ecclesiastes 1:9
The Past and the Future Alexander Maclaren Ecclesiastes 1:9
Two Standpoints G. Matheson, D. D. Ecclesiastes 1:9
Novelty D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 1:9, 10
The Changing and the Abiding W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 1:9, 10
Life in the Light of Christ T. C. Finlayson. Ecclesiastes 1:10
Something New T. M. Morris. Ecclesiastes 1:10
Oblivion and its Consolations W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 1:11
Speculative Study of the World J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 1:12-18
The Vanity of Human Wisdom D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 1:12-18
Two Views of Life Alexander Maclaren Ecclesiastes 1:13
The Mysteries of Human Life G. Dawson. Ecclesiastes 1:13-14
The Pursuit of Wisdom and Knowledge R. Wardlaw, D. D. Ecclesiastes 1:13-14
Insatisfaction J. Bennet. Ecclesiastes 1:14
Pessimism P. T. Forsyth, M. A. Ecclesiastes 1:14
The Vanity of a Worldly Life W. G. Jordan, B. A. Ecclesiastes 1:14
Making the Crooked Straight J. H. Jowett, M. A. Ecclesiastes 1:15
The Crooked Things Straightened R. Newton, D. D. Ecclesiastes 1:15
The Experience of Wisdom and Knowledge W. D. Horwood. Ecclesiastes 1:16
The Wisdom, of Self-Communion C. R. Panter, LL. D. Ecclesiastes 1:16
Increase of Knowledge Attended with Sorrow R. South, D. D. Ecclesiastes 1:18
Increase of Knowledge, Increase of Sorrow John Ker, D. D. Ecclesiastes 1:18
Knowledge and Sorrow H. Melvill, B. D. Ecclesiastes 1:18
Knowledge and Sorrow W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 1:18
The Acquisition of Knowledge Attended with Sorrow S. Robins. Ecclesiastes 1:18
The Heritage of Knowledge T. Hughes. Ecclesiastes 1:18
The Pursuit of Knowledge T. C. Finlayson. Ecclesiastes 1:18
An Experiment: Riotous Mirth J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 2:1-3
The Trial of Pleasure W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 2:1-11
The Vanity of Wealth, Pleasure, and Greatness D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 2:1-11
A Strange Experiment C. L. Thompson, D. D. Ecclesiastes 2:1-26
The Pleasures of Sin and the Pleasures of Christ's Service Contrasted J. M. Sherwood, D. D. Ecclesiastes 2:1-26
The Threefold View of Human Life W. L. Watkinson. Ecclesiastes 2:1-26
The Wit and the Madman H. Melvill, B. D. Ecclesiastes 2:2
Another Experiment: Refined Voluptuousness J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 2:4-11
Love not the World J. Parsons. Ecclesiastes 2:11
The Failure of Pleasures R. Thomas. Ecclesiastes 2:11
The Review   Ecclesiastes 2:11
The Vanity of Life A. P. Peabody. Ecclesiastes 2:11
The Vanity of Worldly Happiness Abp. Sharp. Ecclesiastes 2:11
Sagacity and Stupidity W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 2:12-14
The Comparison Between Wisdom and Folly D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 2:12-17
The Value and the Futility of Wisdom J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 2:12-17
The Advantage of Wisdom Over Folly R. Wardlaw, D. D. Ecclesiastes 2:14
The Wisdom of the Eye J. Eyre, M. A. Ecclesiastes 2:14
Wisdom and Folly Compared T. C. Finlayson. Ecclesiastes 2:14
Disgust with Life J. Saurin. Ecclesiastes 2:17
Is Life Worth Living J. G. James, B. A. Ecclesiastes 2:17
Life with and Without God G. S. Barrett, D. D. Ecclesiastes 2:17
Pessimism and Optimism A. Crawford, M. A. Ecclesiastes 2:17
Tired of Life Homilist Ecclesiastes 2:17
The Dirge of the Dead Hand Thomas G. Selby. Ecclesiastes 2:18-19
Concern for Posterity D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 2:18-23
Riches, Though Obtained by Much Toil, are Vanity J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 2:18-23
The Complaint of the Successful W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 2:18-24
All Good is from God D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 2:24
The Condition of Pure Enjoyment J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 2:24-26
The Simple Joys of Godly Industry T. C. Finlaysen. Ecclesiastes 2:24-26
Joy in Religion G. H. Conner, M. A. Ecclesiastes 2:26
Piety and Impiety; Recompense and Penalty W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 2:26
Retribution D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 2:26
True Goodness W. L. Watkinson. Ecclesiastes 2:26
Opportuneness J. Willcoc Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
The Clock of Destiny A. H. Moment, D. D. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
The Fall of the Leaf H. Macmillan, D. D. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
The Manifold Interests and Occupations of Life D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
The Realities of Life W. Walters. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
Times and Seasons in the Church Bp. Harvey Goodwin. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
Opportunity; Opportuneness; Ordination W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 3:1-10
A Time to Plant' Alexander Maclaren Ecclesiastes 3:2
How to Make the Most of Life H. M. Field, D. D. Ecclesiastes 3:2
The Periodicities of the Religious World H. Macmillan, D. D. Ecclesiastes 3:2
A Christian View of Recreation J. G. Rogers, B. A. Ecclesiastes 3:3-4
Amusements Bp. H. C. Potter. Ecclesiastes 3:3-4
Spiritual Times and Seasons J. C. Philpot. Ecclesiastes 3:3-4
Decision and Perseverance Needed by the Christian J. W. Hardman, LL. D. Ecclesiastes 3:5
Silence Homilist Ecclesiastes 3:7
The Christian View of War E. H. Day, M. A. Ecclesiastes 3:7
Autumn Musings W. Burkitt Dalby. Ecclesiastes 3:9-11
Desiderium Ceternitatis J. Willcoc Ecclesiastes 3:9-11
The Mystery and the Meaning of Life D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 3:9-13
All Thirsts Beautiful in Their Season H. Allen, D. D. Ecclesiastes 3:11
Beauty A. P. Peabody. Ecclesiastes 3:11
Eternity T. T. Shore, M. A. Ecclesiastes 3:11
Eternity in Man Homilies Ecclesiastes 3:11
Eternity in Man's Heart W. Park, M. A. Ecclesiastes 3:11
Eternity in the Heart J. H. Jowett, M. A. Ecclesiastes 3:11
Eternity in the Heart D. B. Williams. Ecclesiastes 3:11
Eternity in the Heart A. Maclaren, D. D. Ecclesiastes 3:11
Everything Beautiful R. C. Cowell Ecclesiastes 3:11
Noble Discontent T. M. Herbert, M. A. Ecclesiastes 3:11
Religion and the Beautiful H. W. Beecher. Ecclesiastes 3:11
The Author of Beauty J. H. Ecob, D. D. Ecclesiastes 3:11
The Beauty of Change and Glory of Permanence D. Davies. Ecclesiastes 3:11
The Beauty of the World W. S. Davis. Ecclesiastes 3:11
The Child of Eternity W. Gladden, D. D. Ecclesiastes 3:11
The Divine Worker and the Human Student W. Jones. Ecclesiastes 3:11
The Hope of Immortality J. Stalker, D. D. Ecclesiastes 3:11
The Mission of Beauty S. D. Burchard, D. D. Ecclesiastes 3:11
The World in the Soul Homilist Ecclesiastes 3:11
This Unintelligible World W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 3:11
Doing Good and Rejoicing W. Baldwin, M. A. Ecclesiastes 3:12
Life Enjoyed and Improved W. Jay. Ecclesiastes 3:12
Another Condition of Pure Happiness J. Willcoc Ecclesiastes 3:12, 13
The Conclusion of Folly or the Faith of the Wise? W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 3:12, 13, 22
The Eternity and Perfection of the Divine Purposes and Doings J. O. Parr, M. A. Ecclesiastes 3:14
The Purposes of Providence D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 3:14
Divine Constancy and Human Piety W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 3:14, 15
A Present Use and Enjoyment of the Gifts of God is Advisable J. Willcoc Ecclesiastes 3:14-17
God Requireth that Which is Past A. Goodrich, D. D. Ecclesiastes 3:15
Life an Organic Unity R. S. Storrs, D. D. Ecclesiastes 3:15
Overhauling the Past T. De Witt Talmage. Ecclesiastes 3:15
Past Years Returning Homilist Ecclesiastes 3:15
Review of Life W. Jay. Ecclesiastes 3:15
Stability Amidst Change F. W. P. Greenwood, D. D. Ecclesiastes 3:15
The Impotency of Time Homilist Ecclesiastes 3:15
The Indelibility of the Past J. C. Coghlan, D. D. Ecclesiastes 3:15
The Past W. D. Horwood. Ecclesiastes 3:15
The Permanence of the Past H. Macmillan, D. D. Ecclesiastes 3:15
Man's Unrighteousness Contrasted with God's Righteousness D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 3:16, 17
The Reasonableness and Equity of a Future Judgment Isaac Barrow, D. D. Ecclesiastes 3:17
Before and After Christ W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 3:18-21
The Common Destiny of Death D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 3:18-21
The Darkness of the Grave J. Willcoc Ecclesiastes 3:18-22
The Earthly Portion D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 3:22
Worldliness: the Epicurean Gospel J. F. Stevenson, LL. B. Ecclesiastes 3:22
No Comforter W. M. Statham. Ecclesiastes 4:1
The Nature and Wickedness of Oppression Job Orton, D. D. Ecclesiastes 4:1
The Oppressed and the Oppressor D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 4:1
Woman's Work and Overwork T. DeWilt Talmage. Ecclesiastes 4:1
Oppression of Man by His Fellows J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 4:1-3
Pessimism and Christian Life W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 4:1-3
Praising the Dead More than the Living Homilist Ecclesiastes 4:2
The Applause of the Dead Regulated, Vindicated and Improved J. Clayton. Ecclesiastes 4:2
Pessimism D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 4:2, 3
Envy D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 4:4
Ambition and Indolence J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 4:4-6
Practical Wisdom in the Conduct of Life W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 4:4-6
An Old Portrait of Modern Men Homilist Ecclesiastes 4:4-8
Envy H. E. Nolloth, B. D. Ecclesiastes 4:4-8
How the Success of Others Should Affect Us J. Bonnet. Ecclesiastes 4:4-8
Quality Better than Quantity T. C. Finlayson. Ecclesiastes 4:6
The Handful with Quietness D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 4:6
Friendship a Gain in Life J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 4:7-12
The Pain of Loneliness D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 4:8
Mutual Service W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
The Advantages of Fellowship D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
The Necessity and Benefits of Religious Society   Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Two Better than One C. R. Barnes. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
A Threefold Cord T. Spurgeon. Ecclesiastes 4:12
A Threefold Cord J. F. Dempster. Ecclesiastes 4:12
The Threefold Cord W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 4:12
Folly a Worse Evil than Poverty D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 4:13, 14
Circumstance and Character W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 4:13-16
Mortifications of Royalty J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 4:13-16
On the Advantages of Christian Knowledge to the Lower Orders of Society T. Chalmers, D. D. Ecclesiastes 4:13-16
The Old King and the Youth T. C. Finlayson. Ecclesiastes 4:13-16
Lessons for Worship and for Work Alexander Maclaren Ecclesiastes 5:1
The Temple and the Worshippers D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 5:1
Vanity in Religion: 1. Thoughtlessness J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 5:1
Acceptable Service W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 5:1, 2
Behaviour in Church Homilist Ecclesiastes 5:1-12
Reverence and Fidelity De Wm. S. Clark. Ecclesiastes 5:1-12
Reverence and Fidelity D. J. Burrell, D. D. Ecclesiastes 5:1-12
The Prayer and the Dream J. Bonnet. Ecclesiastes 5:1-12
Reverence, Reticence, and Brevity in Devotion D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 5:2
Vanity in Religion: 2. Rash Prayers J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 5:2, 3
Of Remembering and Keeping Our Vows J. Slade, M. A. Ecclesiastes 5:4-5
The Law of the Vow D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 5:4, 5
The Vow J. Bonnet. Ecclesiastes 5:4-5
Vowing and Paying W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 5:4-6
Vanity in Religion: 3. Broken Vows J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 5:4-7
A Misgoverned State J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 5:8
The Oppressor's Accountability D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 5:8
Comfort in Confusion W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 5:8-16
A Well-Ordered State J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 5:9
The Earth and Man D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 5:9
Silver and Satisfaction Homilist Ecclesiastes 5:10-11
The Unsatisfactoriness of Material Wealth J. S. Swan. Ecclesiastes 5:10-11
The Vanity of Riches J. Hamilton, D. D. Ecclesiastes 5:10-11
The Unsatisfying Nature of Riches D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 5:10-17
The Drawbacks Upon Wealth J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 5:10-20
Naked or Clothed? Alexander Maclaren Ecclesiastes 5:15
The Difference At Death W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 5:15, 16
Labour T. A. Leonard. Ecclesiastes 5:18
The Good Things Appointed for Man by God D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 5:18-20
The Unsatisfactoriness and Transitoriness of Earthly Good D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 6:1, 2
Life Without Enjoyment Valueless J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 6:1-6
The Insufficiency of Circumstance W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 6:1-6
Sorrows of Old Age Without Religion J. M. Sherwood, D. D. Ecclesiastes 6:3-4
The Sorrows of Old Age S. H. Tyng, D. D. Ecclesiastes 6:3-4
The Gloom of Disappointment D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 6:3-6
All Men's Place   Ecclesiastes 6:6
Satisfaction Better than Desire D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 6:7-9
The Insatiability of Desire J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 6:7-9
Contending Against Power D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 6:10
Heroism; Infatuation; Wisdom W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 6:10
How is the Adherent Vanity of Every Condition Most Effectually Abated by Serious Godliness S. Annesley, LL. D. Ecclesiastes 6:10-12
Inexorable Destiny J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 6:10-12
Solomon's Dark Ideas of Life J. Hamilton, D. D. Ecclesiastes 6:10-12
What is Man's Good? D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 6:11, 12
Object of Human Life G A. Bartol. Ecclesiastes 6:12
On Our Ignorance of Good and Evil in This Life H. Blair, D. D. Ecclesiastes 6:12
The Known and the Unknown   Ecclesiastes 6:12
The Secret of a Happy Life F. W. Brown. Ecclesiastes 6:12
A Good Name H. W. Beecher. Ecclesiastes 7:1
A Good Name J. Hamilton, D. D. Ecclesiastes 7:1
A Well-Grounded Good Name   Ecclesiastes 7:1
Comparative Estimate of Life and Death S. Summers. Ecclesiastes 7:1
Of the Birthday and the Dying-Day T. Boston, D. D. Ecclesiastes 7:1
Reputation D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 7:1
Reputation W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 7:1
The Believer's Deathday Better than His Birthday   Ecclesiastes 7:1
The Charm of Goodness J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 7:1
The Day of the Christian's Death G. S. Ingram. Ecclesiastes 7:1
The Fragrance of Moral Worth A. M. Stalker. Ecclesiastes 7:1
A Divine Paradox D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 7:2-4
On the Benefits to be Derived from the House of Mourning H. Blair, D. D. Ecclesiastes 7:2-4
On the Dangers of Pleasure S. S. Smith, D. D. Ecclesiastes 7:2-4
The House of Mourning John Morgan. Ecclesiastes 7:2-4
Compensations of Misery J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 7:2-6
The Evil, the Unprofitable, and the Blessed Flying W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 7:2-6
Sorrow Better than Laughter J. W. Alexander, D. D. Ecclesiastes 7:3
The Service of Sorrow Homilist Ecclesiastes 7:3
The Advantages of Visiting the Mansions of Distress T. Secker. Ecclesiastes 7:4
The Mischief of Oppression and Bribery D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 7:7
Patience Under Provocation J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 7:7-10
Finis Coronat Opus Alexander Maclaren Ecclesiastes 7:8
Patience and Pride W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 7:8
The End Better than the Beginning D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 7:8
The End of a Good Man's Life is Better than the Beginning Homilist Ecclesiastes 7:8
The New Year John Foster. Ecclesiastes 7:8
The Power of Patience J. Hamilton, D. D. Ecclesiastes 7:8
The Folly of Pride, Hastiness, and Anger D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 7:8, 9
Discontent with the Present Unreasonable R. South, D. D. Ecclesiastes 7:10
Foolish Comparison and Complaint W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 7:10
Former Things not Better J. Carmichael, D. D. Ecclesiastes 7:10
Laudator Temporis Acti D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 7:10
Mistaken Signs W. L. Watkinson. Ecclesiastes 7:10
Vain Thoughts Concerning the Past H. Melvill, B. D. Ecclesiastes 7:10
Wisdom and Riches J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 7:11, 12
Christianity the Guardian of Human Life H. Melvill, B. D. Ecclesiastes 7:12
Religious Education J. B. Patterson, M. A. Ecclesiastes 7:12
Crooked Things Homilist Ecclesiastes 7:13-14
Resignation to Providence J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 7:13, 14
The Crook in the Lot   Ecclesiastes 7:13-14
The Crooked in Life W. Jay. Ecclesiastes 7:13-14
The Irremediable W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 7:13, 14
The Power of God, and the Duty of Man P. Roe, M. A. Ecclesiastes 7:13-14
The Perplexities of Life D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 7:13-15
Compensations for a Poor Harvest W. G. Herder. Ecclesiastes 7:14
Considerations Homiletic Review Ecclesiastes 7:14
Hard Times F. H. Marling. Ecclesiastes 7:14
Prosperity and Adversity J. Jortin, D. D. Ecclesiastes 7:14
Sunshine and Shadow Thomas Spurgeon. Ecclesiastes 7:14
Righteousness and Wickedness J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 7:15-18
The Lower and the Higher Standard W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 7:15-22
Be not Righteous Overmuch J. Jortin, D. D. Ecclesiastes 7:16-17
Moderation D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 7:16, 17
Overmuch W. M. Taylor, D. D. Ecclesiastes 7:16-17
Righteous Overmuch G. D'Oyly, D. D. Ecclesiastes 7:16-17
Strained Piety W. L. Watkinson. Ecclesiastes 7:16-17
The Danger of Being Over-Righteous or Over-Wise Bishop Stillingfleet. Ecclesiastes 7:16-17
The Righteous Overmuch Dean Hook. Ecclesiastes 7:16-17
Wisdom a Protection J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 7:19-22
Man's Inability to Keep the Law Perfectly T. Boston, D. D. Ecclesiastes 7:20
Perfection is not on Earth D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 7:20, 29
Listeners Hear no Good of Themselves W. Park, M. A. Ecclesiastes 7:21
Degradation and Elevation W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 7:23-28
Woman J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 7:23-29
Bad Women a Curse to Society D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 7:25-28
Solomon's Estimate of Woman J. Bennet Ecclesiastes 7:28
Man in His Original and in His Lapsed Stage E. Payson, D. D. Ecclesiastes 7:29
Man's Creation in a Holy, But Mutable, State John Howe, M. A. Ecclesiastes 7:29
Man's Fall Homilist Ecclesiastes 7:29
The Fall H. Melvill, B. D. Ecclesiastes 7:29
The Original State of Man, and the Covenant of Works J. Guyse, D. D Ecclesiastes 7:29
The State of Innocence T. Boston, D. D. Ecclesiastes 7:29
Gospel of the Shining Face Homiletic Review Ecclesiastes 8:1
Sweetness and Light J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 8:1
The Human Face T. De Witt Talmage. Ecclesiastes 8:1
The Tokens of Wisdom D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 8:1
Obedience to the Civil Government T. Payne, M. A. Ecclesiastes 8:2
Allegiance of Subjects J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 8:2-5
The Ruler and the Subject D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 8:2-5
The King's Word T. Spurgeon. Ecclesiastes 8:4
The Word of a King   Ecclesiastes 8:4
A Watchnight Meditation T. Jackson. Ecclesiastes 8:5
The Wise Man's Improvement of Time John Weir. Ecclesiastes 8:5
The Doom of Tyrants J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 8:6-8
Christian Life-Service S. H. Tyng, D. D. Ecclesiastes 8:8
Death - Our Power and Our Powerlessness W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 8:8
Death an Unpreventable Exit of the Spirit Homilist Ecclesiastes 8:8
The Battle of Life T. Spurgeon. Ecclesiastes 8:8
The Uncertainty of Life A. WilIiamson, M. A. Ecclesiastes 8:8
The Contemplation of Human Life J. Foster. Ecclesiastes 8:9
Sin in Power W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 8:9, 10
Unequal Lots J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 8:9, 10
The Funeral of the Wicked Homilist Ecclesiastes 8:10
The Wicked Man's Life, Funeral and Epitaph   Ecclesiastes 8:10
The Wicked Man's Life, Funeral, and Epitaph Charles Haddon Spurgeon Ecclesiastes 8:10
A Hasty and Foolish Inference D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 8:11
Abused Goodness Joseph A. Seiss, D. D. Ecclesiastes 8:11
God's Delay of Executing the Sentence of Condemnation Against Ungodly Men Often Miserably Abused by Them   Ecclesiastes 8:11
Misused Respite Alexander Maclaren Ecclesiastes 8:11
Present Forbearance no Argument Against Future Retribution J. H. Rylance. Ecclesiastes 8:11
Sin and its Sentence T. Hammond. Ecclesiastes 8:11
The Abuse of Divine Forbearance W. Jay. Ecclesiastes 8:11
The Impunity of Bad Men in the World P. Falle. Ecclesiastes 8:11
The Longsuffering of God J. Tillotson, D. D. Ecclesiastes 8:11
The Longsuffering of God with Individuals J. Saurin. Ecclesiastes 8:11
Retribution Certain J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 8:11-13
The Perversion of God's Patience W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 8:11-13
Five Fears   Ecclesiastes 8:12
Five Fears Charles Haddon Spurgeon Ecclesiastes 8:12
The Christian's Welfare Certified R. S. MacArthur, D. D. Ecclesiastes 8:12
Well with These Who Fear God Homilist Ecclesiastes 8:12
The Certainty of Retribution D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 8:12-14
Apparent Discrepancy Between Character and Circumstances Homilist Ecclesiastes 8:14
One Way Out of Perplexity J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 8:14, 15
The Benefits of Wholesome Recreation F F. Statham, B. A. Ecclesiastes 8:15
Man's Busy Life D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 8:16
Vanity of Philosophizing J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 8:16, 17
The Impenetrable, Inscrutable Mystery D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 8:17
In the Hand of God J. M. Gibson, D. D. Ecclesiastes 9:1
The Antidote to Despondency D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 9:1-3
Inexorable Destiny J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 9:1-6
Providence Z. Cradock, D. D. Ecclesiastes 9:2
The Impartiality of Providence Homilies Ecclesiastes 9:2
The Sufferings of Good Men R. Fiddes. Ecclesiastes 9:2
Moral Insanity   Ecclesiastes 9:3
Moral Madness Homiliest Ecclesiastes 9:3
Scriptural Statement of the Doctrines of Human Corruption E. Cooper. Ecclesiastes 9:3
The Unconverted World A. Robertson, M. A. Ecclesiastes 9:3
Life is Everything W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 9:4
Lion or Dog F. Hastings. Ecclesiastes 9:4
Reality Versus Show A. J. Bray. Ecclesiastes 9:4
Sinners, Living and Dead Homilist Ecclesiastes 9:4
The Delusion of Common Lily Rebuked and Corrected J. Hughes. Ecclesiastes 9:4
A Funeral Sermon Bp. E. Hopkins. Ecclesiastes 9:5
Festival Joy Plain Sermons by Contributors to the "Tracts for the Times." Ecclesiastes 9:7-8
White Robes G. F. Prentiss. Ecclesiastes 9:7-8
The Joy of Human Life D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 9:7-9
Enjoyment of the Present J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 9:7-10
A Home Mission Sermon   Ecclesiastes 9:10
A Home Mission Sermon Charles Haddon Spurgeon Ecclesiastes 9:10
An Earnest Life G. B. F. Halleck. Ecclesiastes 9:10
Diligence D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 9:10
Diligence in Our Spiritual Concerns J. Balguy. Ecclesiastes 9:10
Do Thy Best   Ecclesiastes 9:10
Earnestness T. De Witt Talmage. Ecclesiastes 9:10
Entire Devotion to Duty N. Emmons, D. D. Ecclesiastes 9:10
Impulse, Will, and Habit H. W. Beecher. Ecclesiastes 9:10
Industry Isaac Barrow, D. D. Ecclesiastes 9:10
Industry H. Melvill, B. D. Ecclesiastes 9:10
Life the Season for Action J. F. Pridgeon. Ecclesiastes 9:10
Life's Duty D. Davies. Ecclesiastes 9:10
Much Work to be Done on Earth, and Short Time to Do It James Henderson, D. D. Ecclesiastes 9:10
Of Industry in General Isaac Barrow, D. D. Ecclesiastes 9:10
On Diligence in Our General and Particular Calling J. Tillotson, D. D. Ecclesiastes 9:10
The Day of Opportunity W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 9:10
The Duty of Diligence and Earnestness in Religion The Evangelist Ecclesiastes 9:10
The Gospel of Hard Work John McNeill. Ecclesiastes 9:10
The Improvement of Present Time J. Guyse, D. D. Ecclesiastes 9:10
The Labour of Life Homilist Ecclesiastes 9:10
The Lapse of Time John Henry Newman Ecclesiastes 9:10
The Lesson of Diligence R. Newton, D. D. Ecclesiastes 9:10
The Spur   Ecclesiastes 9:10
The True Idea of Life W. G. Barrett. Ecclesiastes 9:10
With Your Might W. R. Nicoll, LL. D. Ecclesiastes 9:10
The Powerlessness of Man D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 9:10, 11
Many Endeavours of the Creature are Often Frustrated of Their End When There is Greatest Probability of Success   Ecclesiastes 9:11
Success not Always Answerable to the Probability of Second Causes J. Tillotson, D. D. Ecclesiastes 9:11
The Client of Things not Always Answerable to Second Causes S. Clarke, D. D. Ecclesiastes 9:11
Prosperity - the Rule and the Exception W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 9:11, 12
Time and Chance J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 9:11, 12
Blessed Ignorance Homilist Ecclesiastes 9:12
Expectation of Long Life Unwise N. Emmons, D. D. Ecclesiastes 9:12
Man Knoweth not His Time B. Beddome, M. A. Ecclesiastes 9:12
Man's Ignorance of the Time of His Death   Ecclesiastes 9:12
Snares in the Path of the Young G. Fisk, LL. B. Ecclesiastes 9:12
The Uncertainty of Human Life E. D. Griffin, D. D. Ecclesiastes 9:12
An Apologue J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 9:13-16
The Praise of Wisdom D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 9:13-18
Wisdom and Strength W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 9:13-18
The Little City and the Poor Wise Man W. H. M. H. Aitken, M. A. Ecclesiastes 9:14-18
The Poor Wise Man W. Jones, M. A. Ecclesiastes 9:14-18
The Destructiveness of Sin Homiletic Review Ecclesiastes 9:17-18
The Superiority of Moral to Military Force Homilist Ecclesiastes 9:17-18
The Destructiveness of One Evil Life W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 9:18
Dead Flies Homiletic Magazine Ecclesiastes 10:1
Dead Flies J. Hamilton, D. D. Ecclesiastes 10:1
Dead Flies J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 10:1
The Dead Fly in the Ointment W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 10:1
Folly Self-Betrayed D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 10:1, 3
Heart and Hand J. E. Henry, M. A. Ecclesiastes 10:2
Heart and Hand Fergus Ferguson, D. D. Ecclesiastes 10:2
Influence of a Good Heart N. Emmons, D. D. Ecclesiastes 10:2
The Wholesome Influence of Wisdom and the Baneful Effects of Folly J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 10:2-15
A Pacifying Spirit D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 10:4
Social Paradoxes D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 10:5-7
For They that are After the Flesh Do Mind Hugh Binning Ecclesiastes 10:6
A Social Scene in Human Life D. Thomas, D. D. Ecclesiastes 10:7
Fences and Serpents A. Maclaren, D. D. Ecclesiastes 10:8
Respect the Hedge W. L. Watkinson. Ecclesiastes 10:8
Sin Suicidal W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 10:8
Sin; and the Serpent's Bite H. Parrish, B. A. Ecclesiastes 10:8
The Broken Hedge W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 10:8
The Hedges of Life H. Wonnacott. Ecclesiastes 10:8
The Serpent Behind the Hedge W. Osborne Lilley. Ecclesiastes 10:8
The Rebound of Evil D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 10:8, 9
Raising Stones and Cleaving Wood J. H. Moulton, D. D. Ecclesiastes 10:9
Good Workmanship - Ourselves and Our Tools W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 10:9, 10
Blunt Axes Homilist Ecclesiastes 10:10
Blunt Tools: a Counsel and Consolation M. G. Pearse. Ecclesiastes 10:10
Force and Wisdom D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 10:10
God's Provision Concerning Labour H. Melvill, B. D. Ecclesiastes 10:10
The Iron Blunt, and the Iron Whetted Homilist Ecclesiastes 10:10
The Obtrusiveness and the Condemnation of Folly D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 10:11-15
The Way to the City Alexander Maclaren Ecclesiastes 10:15
Wickedness in High Places T. De Witt Talmage. Ecclesiastes 10:16
Statesmanship D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 10:16, 17
Duties of Rulers and Subjects J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 10:16-20
Ruin - its Forms and its Sources W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 10:17, 18
The Curse of Sloth D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 10:18
After Many Days J. S. Mayer, M. A. Ecclesiastes 11:1
Bowing on the Waters A. F. Muir, M. A. Ecclesiastes 11:1
Cast Thy Bread Upon the Waters Brooke Herford. Ecclesiastes 11:1
Cast Thy Bread Upon the Waters W. L. Watkinson. Ecclesiastes 11:1
Certainties and Uncertainties Caleb Morris. Ecclesiastes 11:1
Encouragement to Christian Toilers D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 11:1
Excitements to Missionary Effort R. Watson, M. A. Ecclesiastes 11:1
Faith and Duty Prof. Elmslie. Ecclesiastes 11:1
Sowing on the Waters C. Stanford, D. D. Ecclesiastes 11:1
Spiritual Efforts not Lost H. Melvill, B. D. Ecclesiastes 11:1
The Poor Man's Portion A. Fuller. Ecclesiastes 11:1
The Social Agency of Good Men Homilist Ecclesiastes 11:1
Uninviting Work W. L. Watkinson. Ecclesiastes 11:1
Works of Charity D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 11:1, 2
Incentives to Christian Work W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 11:1-4, 6
Provision for the Future J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 11:1-6
Black Clouds and Bright Blessings   Ecclesiastes 11:3
Difficulties Vanquished David Hughes, B. A. Ecclesiastes 11:4
Optimism and Pessimism Versus Christianity Canon Liddon. Ecclesiastes 11:4
Sowing in the Wind, Reaping Under Clouds Charles Haddon Spurgeon Ecclesiastes 11:4
Sowing in the Wind; Reaping Under Clouds   Ecclesiastes 11:4
The True Workman W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 11:4
Too Late J. A. Jacob, M. A. Ecclesiastes 11:4
Fulfill Duty and Disregard Consequences D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 11:4, 6
Christian Agnosticism J. H. Stowell, M. A. Ecclesiastes 11:5
Magnificent Failures C. F. Dole. Ecclesiastes 11:6
The Seed-Time of Life R. C. Cowell Ecclesiastes 11:6
The Sweet Light of Life Homilist Ecclesiastes 11:7
The Sweetness of Light J. Jenkinson. Ecclesiastes 11:7
Enjoyment of the Present J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 11:7, 8
Light and Darkness D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 11:7, 8
The Shadow of the Tomb W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 11:7, 8
A New Years Sermon to the Young Alexander Maclaren Ecclesiastes 11:9
Youth and Age J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 11:9-12:7
A Warning to Youth N. Emmons, D. D. Ecclesiastes 11:9-10
Advice to Youth Bp. Perowne. Ecclesiastes 11:9-10
Human Joy and Divine Judgment W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 11:9, 10
In Joy Remember Judgment! D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 11:9, 10
Joy and Judgment M. R. Vincent, D. D. Ecclesiastes 11:9-10
Remembrance in Youth of Judgment to Come R. Hall, M. A. Ecclesiastes 11:9-10
The Judgment to Come J. Guyse, D. D. Ecclesiastes 11:9-10
Youthful Pleasures Homilist Ecclesiastes 11:9-10
The Vanity and Glory of Youth W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 11:10
The Conclusion of the Matter Alexander Maclaren Ecclesiastes 12:1
The Vanity and Glory of Youth W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 12:1
Youthful Religion D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 12:1
An Old Sermon for Young Hearers C. S. Robinson, D. D. Ecclesiastes 12:1-7
Days of Youth Homilist Ecclesiastes 12:1-7
Early Piety W. Barrow, LL. D. Ecclesiastes 12:1-7
Human Life Homilist Ecclesiastes 12:1-7
On the Advantages of an Early Piety J. Tillotson, D. D. Ecclesiastes 12:1-7
Preparation for Old Age H. W. Beecher. Ecclesiastes 12:1-7
Remember Thy Creator W. Whale. Ecclesiastes 12:1-7
Remembering God G. A. Gordon. Ecclesiastes 12:1-7
The Creator Remembered D. J. Burrell, D. D. Ecclesiastes 12:1-7
The Creator Remembered H. M. Booth, D. D. Ecclesiastes 12:1-7
The Creator Remembered Monday Club Sermons Ecclesiastes 12:1-7
The Days of Thy Youth J. P. Chown. Ecclesiastes 12:1-7
The Duty and Advantages of Early Piety J. Jortin, D. D. Ecclesiastes 12:1-7
The Irreligious Youth S. Martin. Ecclesiastes 12:1-7
The Remembrance of Our Creator Christian Observer Ecclesiastes 12:1-7
The Warning not to Forget God R. Newton, D. D. Ecclesiastes 12:1-7
The Young Man's Task H. Smith. Ecclesiastes 12:1-7
Young Persons Exhorted to Remember Their Creator Sketches of Four Hundred Sermons Ecclesiastes 12:1-7
Youthful Piety: Described and Inculcated W. Mudge, B. A. Ecclesiastes 12:1-7
Sorrow Unspeakable   Ecclesiastes 12:2
Old Age and Death D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 12:2-7
Windows J. M. Ludlow, D. D. Ecclesiastes 12:3
Doors J. M. Ludlow, D. D. Ecclesiastes 12:4
Man's Long Home T. Young, B. D. Ecclesiastes 12:5
On Death H. Blair, D. D. Ecclesiastes 12:5
Our Long Home Alfred Norris. Ecclesiastes 12:5
The Almond-Tree in Blossom T. De Witt Talmage. Ecclesiastes 12:5
The Eternal House D. Swing. Ecclesiastes 12:5
Death, its Meaning and its Moral W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 12:5-7
Our Destiny After Death H. W. Hutchings, M. A. Ecclesiastes 12:7
The Death of the Body, and Separate State of Souls J. Guyse, D. D. Ecclesiastes 12:7
The Immortality of the Soul O. Scott. Ecclesiastes 12:7
The Individuality of the Soul J. H. Newman, D. D. Ecclesiastes 12:7
The Story of a Soul J. P. Thompson. Ecclesiastes 12:7
The Two Natures of Man F. Noble, D. D. Ecclesiastes 12:7
On the Proper Estimate of Human Life H. Blair, D. D. Ecclesiastes 12:8
The Vanities T. De Witt Talmage. Ecclesiastes 12:8
Two Reviews of Life C. B. Symes, B. A. Ecclesiastes 12:8
The Epilogue J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 12:8-12
The Religious Thinker and Teacher D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 12:9-11
The Function of the Teacher W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 12:9-12
A Wise Preacher Aims to Move His Hearers N. Emmons, D. D. Ecclesiastes 12:11
The Christian Ministry of Literary Men J. H. Rylance, D. D. Ecclesiastes 12:11
The Words of the Wise Archdeacon Perowne. Ecclesiastes 12:11
Books T. De Witt Talmage. Ecclesiastes 12:12
The Scholar's Sorrow D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 12:12
Making the Most of Life J. M. Sherwood, D. D. Ecclesiastes 12:13
The Fear of God H. J. Hastings, M. A. Ecclesiastes 12:13
The Moral of it All E. Johnson, M. A. Ecclesiastes 12:13
The Purpose of Life W. Walters. Ecclesiastes 12:13
The Summary of Manhood R. C. Cowell Ecclesiastes 12:13
The Whole Duty of Man J. M. Buckley, D. D. Ecclesiastes 12:13
What is the Whole Duty of Man L. O. Thompson. Ecclesiastes 12:13
Divine Requirement and Human Response W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14
Religion, Righteousness, and Retribution D. Thomas Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14
The Last Word J. Willcock Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14
Human Responsibility H. Melvill, B. D. Ecclesiastes 12:14
The Great Day of Judgment W. Barns. Ecclesiastes 12:14
The Reasonableness and Credibility of This Great Principle of Religion Bp. Wilkins. Ecclesiastes 12:14

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).