I recently finished reading Ecclesiastes. It’s one of my favorite books of the Bible, although it puzzles me as much as it interests me. The book has great insight, but no hope, which is strange for a book in the Bible.
The writer, King Solomon, is the most depressed person in the Bible and seems to be of two minds. Solomon says he had tried every activity from folly to wisdom and decided everything is “meaningless” or “vanities”. Both the wicked and the good end up dead, so what does it matter how you live?
Then he turns around and says the fear of God is the whole point of life. Solomon seems to acknowledge God and our purpose to serve him but doesn’t seem to think this service has a point.
The only way can explain this attitude is that Solomon wrote this book toward the end of his life. He had already started his journey away from God. Maybe by this time Solomon knew God was taking most of Israel away from him and only leaving his son Rehoboam two tribes. For all his wisdom and wealth, Solomon couldn’t pass a whole kingdom on to his son.
But where Solomon differs from his father David is this realization that life has grown empty doesn’t lead him to repentance. Nowhere in the Bible does it mention that Solomon asks his sins to be forgiven, like David did. He just gets depressed and declares all of life is futile, instead of considering only his life is futile because he quit obeying God.
“Writing Prompts & Thoughts” & Idea … Oh My” is a site with another view on Ecclesiastes. If you have read the book, what are your thoughts? I would live to here a different interpretation than mine.
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