Ecclesiastes

Ecclesiastes

[ih-klee-zee-as-teez]
noun
a book of the Bible. Abbreviation: Eccl., Eccles.

Origin:
< Late Latin < Greek ekklēsiastḗs assemblyman, preacher, equivalent to ekklēsí(a) ecclesia + -astēs, variant of -istēs -ist after a vowel

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World English Dictionary
Ecclesiastes (ɪˌkliːzɪˈæstiːz)
 
n
(functioning as singular) a book of the Old Testament, probably written about 250 bc
 
[via Late Latin, from Greek ekklēsiastēs member of the assembly; see ecclesia]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

Ecclesiastes
c.1300, name given to one of the O.T. books, traditionally ascribed to Solomon, from Gk. ekklesiastes (see ecclesiastic), to render Heb. qoheleth "one who addresses an assembly," from qahal "assembly." The title is technically the designation of the speaker, but that
word throughout is usually rendered into English as "The Preacher."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
Ecclesiastes [(i-klee-zee-as-teez)]

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 American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Easton
Bible Dictionary

Ecclesiastes definition


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.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

ecclesiastes

(Preacher), an Old Testament book of wisdom literature that belongs to the third section of the biblical canon, known as the Ketuvim (Writings). In the Hebrew Bible, Ecclesiastes stands between the Song of Solomon and Lamentations and with them belongs to the Megillot, five scrolls that are read at various festivals of the Jewish religious year. The common Christian English translations follow the Septuagint in placing Ecclesiastes between Proverbs and the Song of Solomon, an order reflecting the old tradition that Solomon wrote all three.

Learn more about Ecclesiastes with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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