June 12th

Ecclesiastes 1-4

  • 1:9 – “There is nothing new under the sun” is repeated throughout Ecclesiastes. This is used to remind us that the triumphs, tragedies, as well as daily successes and annoyances, are not new to us. Others have experienced them before us and others will after us.
  • 1:12-16 – The traditional understanding is Solomon wrote this book. He is identified as a king, in the line of David, and having greater wisdom than anyone else. Some modern theologians argue that the language suggests that it had to have been written after the exile and thus was someone else. It has not been proven that Solomon didn’t write it. (We will refer to the writer as Solomon throughout the notes for simplicity sake.)
  • 1:17 – “Chasing/striving after wind” is a repeated phrase in Ecclesiastes too. This simply means that it is a futile effort.
  • 2:1-11 – First, Solomon sought out pleasure in wild living and material things. He found out, as many of us could tell him from our own experiences, that wasn’t going to work.
  • 2:12-26 – Solomon then pursues wisdom and working hard to gain wealth. Both also prove to be pointless because it puts you in no better position when you die.
  • 3:1-8 – These verses will sound familiar because of the popular song by The Byrds. These verses explain that God made everything to run in its course in its allotted time. We will face the good and the bad, but nothing should overwhelm or overtake us because it is passing.
  • 4:9-12 – These verses are key in helping us understand the importance of friendship and being in relationship in general. We are designed to lean on others and have them lean on us as well.
  • 4:13 – The things that we value, wealth and power, are not always the things that benefit us most.

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