The Philosopher

The Book of Ecclesiastes sets out the thoughts of a philosopher who reflects that life is short and contradictory. It was written either during the reign of Solomon (c.970-930BC) or, more probably, some time later during the troubled times of the divided kingdom. Despite his overwhelming sense of gloom, he advises his listeners to work hard and to enjoy God’s blessings.

Despite it's 'doom and gloom' reputation, the Book of Ecclesiastes is the origin of several well-known phrases including 'to every thing there is a season' (Eccles 3:1) and 'there's nothing new under the sun' (Eccles 1.9).

 

Gateway built by King Solomon at Megiddo
Gateway built by King Solomon at Megiddo

 

Eccles 1:1-2   “These are the words of the Teacher, a son of David, king in Jerusalem…. ‘Useless! Useless!’ says the teacher. ‘Completely useless! Everything is useless!’”

Eccles 1:9   “All things continue the way they have been since the beginning. What has happened will happen again; there is nothing new here on earth.”

Eccles 2:24   “The best that people can do is eat, drink and enjoy their work.”

 

Eccles 3:1-4   The writer tells us about the different stages of life:  

  

A sleeping baby  ( Solangg )

"There is a time
to be born ... 

( Solangg )

Old man with baked breads - Greece (Peter van der Sluijs)

 

"... and a
time to die.

(Peter van der Sluijs)

 

 

 

A Time for Everything

The most memorable of the sayings in the Book of Ecclesiastes reflects the many diverse aspects of life and the need to spend each season of life appropriately.

 

“There is a time for everything, and everything on earth has its special season.

There is a time to be born and a time to die,

There is a time to plant and a time to pull up plants,

There is a time to kill and a time to heal,

There is a time to destroy and a time to build,

There is a time to cry and a time to laugh.

There is a time to be sad and a time to dance.     (Ecclesiastes 3:1-4)

 

Eccles 5:4-5   “If you make a promise to God, don't be slow to keep it. God is not happy with fools, so give God what you promised. It is better not to promise anything than to promise something and not do it.”

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