|eccl. or eccles.|
|eccles. or eccles.|
A book in the Old Testament containing the reflections of a philosopher known as “the Preacher.” “Vanity of vanity saith the Preacher, &ellipsis; all is vanity,” where the word “vanity” indicates that striving is in vain, because death comes to all, and “there is no new thing under the sun.” He believes that our character and achievements do not affect our fate. “The race is not to the swift nor to the strong.” He concludes that one should enjoy the good things found in life until death brings oblivion. The argument and tone of this book are very unlike those of the other books of the Bible. (See nothing new under the sun, A time to be born and a time to die, and Vanity of vanities; all is vanity.)
the Greek rendering of the Hebrew _Koheleth_, which means "Preacher." The old and traditional view of the authorship of this book attributes it to Solomon. This view can be satisfactorily maintained, though others date it from the Captivity. The writer represents himself implicitly as Solomon (1:12). It has been appropriately styled The Confession of King Solomon. "The writer is a man who has sinned in giving way to selfishness and sensuality, who has paid the penalty of that sin in satiety and weariness of life, but who has through all this been under the discipline of a divine education, and has learned from it the lesson which God meant to teach him." "The writer concludes by pointing out that the secret of a true life is that a man should consecrate the vigour of his youth to God." The key-note of the book is sounded in ch. 1:2, "Vanity of vanities! saith the Preacher, Vanity of vanities! all is vanity!" i.e., all man's efforts to find happiness apart from God are without result.