BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES
The Book of Ecclesiastes occupies a unique position in the Bible due to its prevalent sense of pessimism and absence of God's intervention in our world. In fact, the all-prevailing mood of a God remote from our human condition sets the tone for Ecclesiastes which seems incongruent with the other books of the Old Testament. It contains reflections, more philosophical in nature, rather than a testimony of belief, which we would normally associate with the Hebrew scriptural tradition. For the traditional author, in the Book of Ecclesiastes, God is the inscrutable originator of the world who determines the fate of humankind. Just as the natural is in constant movement minus the presence of real change, so the human expenditure of energy comes to nought, despite the fact that reason leaves us baffled, the author affirms that life is worth living with all its limitations..
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The vanity of all temporal things.
The vanity of pleasures, riches, and worldly labours.
All human things are liable to perpetual changes. We are to rest on God's
providence, and cast away fruitless cares.
Other instances of human miseries.
Caution in words. Vows are to be paid. Riches are often pernicious:
the moderate use of them is the gift of God.
The misery of the covetous man.
Prescriptions against worldly vanities: mortification, patience,
and seeking wisdom.
True wisdom is to be observed in God's commandments.
The ways of God are unsearchable.
Man knows not certainty that he is in God's grace.
After death no more work or merit.
Observations on wisdom and folly, ambition and detraction.
Exhortation to works of mercy, while we have time, to diligence
in good, and to the remembrance of death and judgment.
The Creator is to be remembered in the days of our youth: all worldly
things are vain: we should fear God and keep his commandments.