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What exactly is Ecclesiastes? Is it song? a grand musical composition? or is it a personal journal? a diary…? or a personal memoir?


Your concept of a personal journal is a fitting description. The book uses many first person examples, “I acquired”, “I became greater”, “I turned away” etc.

The thing to note is that it all revolves around a quest to answer one question and one question only, “What do we gain from all our hard work?” Ecclesiastes is mankind’s oldest and most complete philosophy of work and it seeks to answer a question that every one of us with struggle with at one time or another.

The reason many get confused by the book is that he is contrasting what happens when we pursue anything as an end in itself (money, pleasure, fame etc)  and how that pursuit always lets us down (is futile) for it cannot provide anything that gains us a lasting benefit.

However when we accept those same things as daily gifts and enjoy the simple rewards of our work (good food, wine, friends) then we can have a good life.

“Go then, eat your bread with gladness and drink your wine with a joyful heart.”

“Life is sweet and it is a pleasure to see the light of day, no matter how many days a person may live each one should be fully enjoyed.”

I hope you can enjoy the book without getting bogged down by the negative way people have traditionally viewed it. It truly is one of mankind’s greatest books of wisdom.

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