Ecclesiastes or Hebrew: קֹהֶלֶת, qōheleṯ) is one of 24 books of the Tanakh or Hebrew Bible. It is among the canonical Wisdom Books in the Old Testament.
The title Ecclesiastes is a Latin transliteration of the Greek translation of the Hebrew Kohelet (meaning "Gatherer", but traditionally translated as "Teacher" or "Preacher"), the pseudonym used by the author of the book.
Understanding the letters in Hebrew tells us the word means to gather in faith.
The book dates from c.450–180 BC and is from the Middle Eastern tradition of the mythical autobiography, in which a character, describing himself as a king, relates his experiences and draws lessons from them, often self-critical. The author, introducing himself as "son of David, king in Jerusalem" (i.e., Solomon) discusses the meaning of life and the best way to live. He proclaims all the actions of man to be inherently hevel, meaning "vain" or "futile".
Ecclesiastes has had a deep influence on Western literature. It contains several phrases that have resonated in British and American culture, and was quoted by Abraham Lincoln addressing Congress in 1862. American novelist Thomas Wolfe wrote: "[O]f all I have ever seen or learned, that book seems to me the noblest, the wisest, and the most powerful expression of man's life upon this earth—and also the highest flower of poetry, eloquence, and truth. I am not given to dogmatic judgments in the matter of literary creation, but if I had to make one I could say that Ecclesiastes is the greatest single piece of writing I have ever known, and the wisdom expressed in it the most lasting and profound."
Ecclesiastes | Ecclesiastes 1 | Ecclesiastes 2 | Ecclesiastes 3 | Ecclesiastes 4 | Ecclesiastes 5 | Ecclesiastes 6 | Ecclesiastes 7 | Ecclesiastes 8 | Ecclesiastes 9 | Ecclesiastes 10 | Ecclesiastes 11 | Ecclesiastes 12
Preceded by: Proverbs - Followed by: Song of Songs
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