The Vanity of a Life Lived for Itself

Ch 1 The Vanity of Labor
The Vanity of Knowledge
Ch 2 The Vanity of Pleasure
The Vanity of Worldly Wisdom
The Vanity of the Vexation of Labor
The Good Enjoy Life
Ch 3 God's Timing
Man's Earthly Mind from God
Enjoy and do Good
God's Sovereignty
God's future Judgement
Man is Mortal
Ch 4 Oppression
Envy is the Motivation behind Hard Work
Self-destructive Behavior
Ch 5 Vows
Corrupt Authority
Seeking Material Abundance
Ch 6 Not being able to enjoy life
Better to be filled with good than to have long life
Ch 7 Death better than Life
Sorrow better than Laughter
All things in moderation
Ch 8 Obeying Human Authority
Unknown Future, Unknown Meaning
Ch 9 Except for Death, the Future is Unknowable
Ch 10 Fools
Ch 11 Generosity
Ch 12 Conclusion: Fear God
Enjoy Life

Understanding Ecclesiastes

Ecclesiastes is directed towards those of a worldly mindset in order to bring revelation of the vanity of a life lived for itself in order to free them up from taking their secular life too seriously and to free them up to pursue that which is truly life. As such at times Solomon will speak as if from the perspective of the worldly, which may seem confusing and contradictory. But much of what is written is written in the sense of "if this is how you think, then this is what it leads to. Now isn't that vain?" Solomon's main conclusion is that this life is not all there is to live for. Rather there is a judgement to come, after death. Therefore people should live now in the fear of God preparing for such a time, rather than making a big deal about things in their life which ultimately matter very little.

The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources