1The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.Next Verse 2
Ecclesiastes (Greek: Ekkl?siast?s, Hebrew:, q?hele?) is one of 24 books of the Tanakh or Hebrew Bible, where it is classified as one of the Ketuvim (or "Writings"). It is among the canonical Wisdom Books in the Old Testament of most denominations of Christianity. 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.
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", ("mere breath"), as both wise and foolish end in death. Kohelet clearly endorses wisdom as a means for a well-lived earthly life. In light of this senselessness, one should enjoy the simple pleasures of daily life, such as eating, drinking, and taking enjoyment in one's work, which are gifts from the hand of God. The book concludes with the injunction: "Fear God, and keep his commandments; for that is the whole duty of everyone" (12:13).
Ecclesiastes is presented as an autobiography of "Kohelet" (or "Qoheleth"). Kohelet's story is framed by voice of the narrator, who refers to Kohelet in the third person, praises his wisdom, but reminds the reader that wisdom has its limitations and is not man's main concern. Kohelet reports what he planned, did, experienced and thought. His journey to knowledge is, in the end, incomplete. The reader is not only to hear Kohelet's wisdom, but to observe his journey towards understanding and acceptance of life's frustrations and uncertainties: the journey itself is important.
Watch, O Lord, with those who wake, or watch, or weep tonight, and give your angels charge over those who sleep.
Tend your sick ones, O Lord Christ.
Rest your weary ones.
Bless your dying ones.
Soothe your suffering ones.
Pity your afflicted ones.
Shield your joyous ones.
And for all your love's sake. Amen.