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An outline of the Book of Ecclesiastes

An outline of the Book of Ecclesiastes


Hebrew Name - Qoheleth "the preacher"
Greek Name - Ekklesiastes (Greek form of the Hebrew)
Author - Solomon (According to Tradition)
Date - 977 BC Approximately
Theme - All pursuits in life are empty except fearing God and obeying His Word
Types and Shadows - In Ecclesiastes Jesus is true fulfillment  

The book of Ecclesiastes was written by Solomon who was the wisest man in the world, and in fact he was the embodiment of pure wisdom if you read his story. There was no man better qualified to talk about life, because he tasted everything in life to its fullest level, he had fame, wealth, power, women, and everything that any man could ever wish for. He tested out everything in life both with God and without God, and his conclusion was that everything "under the sun" is futile, meaningless, purposeless, and empty, without God. His encouragement is to remember the Lord while you are young, fear him, obey him, and respect him. This is the true meaning and purpose in life, and the source of fulfillment.

The word "Ecclesiastes" is the Greek equivalent for the Hebrew word Koheleth, or "the preacher." Solomon was the wisest man in the world, people came from all over the world to hear his wisdom. He built the Temple in Jerusalem, he was the son of King David, and he was chosen to impart his wisdom to us in the book of Ecclesiastes.

Solomon had thoroughly experienced all avenues of pleasure, all avenues of sensuality, all avenues of wealth, honor, folly, and the pursuit of knowledge. He also sinned in giving way to every excess of life which his position made possible and comes to the realization of the uselessness of it all. He concludes that the result of his efforts have been made him empty and that there is nothing new under the sun, but all is part of the endless, frustrating circularity. His attitude was spoken in the recurring phrase, "vanity of vanities, all is vanity, saith the preacher." In Ecclesiastes, the world is convicted of its vanity by one who has drunk of every spring.

 1:1-1:11    Reflections of a Royal Philosopher
 1:12-1:18   The Futility of Seeking Wisdom

 2:1-2:11    The Futility of Self-Indulgence
 2:12-2:26   Wisdom and Joy Given to one Who Pleases God

 3:1-3:8     Everything Has Its Time
 3:9-3:15    The God-Given Task
 3:16-4:8    Judgment and the Future Belong to God

 4:9-4:16    The Value of a Friend

 5:1-5:20    Reverence, Humility, and Contentment

 6:1-6:12    The Frustration of Desire

 7:1-7:14    A Disillusioned View of Life
 7:15-7:29   The Riddles of Life

 8:1-8:9     Obey the King and Enjoy Yourself
 8:1--8:17   God's Ways Are Inscrutable

 9:1-9:12    Take Life as It Comes
 9:13-9:18   Wisdom Superior to Folly

10:1-10:20   Miscellaneous Observations

11:1-11:6    The Value of Diligence
11:7-12:8    Youth and Old Age

12:9-12:14   Epilogue

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