The Book of Ecclesiastes is part of the wisdom literature of the Old Testament also called the black sheep of the Bible, but it is one of my favorite book.
Like many other books in Bible, this book does not directly identify its author. There are some clues in the context that may suggest a different person wrote the book after Solomon’s death, possibly several hundred years later. Martin Luther was probably the first to deny the Solomonic authorship. He regarded the book as “a sort of Talmud, compiled from many books, but the conventional belief is that the author is indeed King Solomon.
In fact there were endless arguments against this book and its inclusion in the Old Testament. The reason for that is that there are certain passages in this book which seem to deny that there is life after death, that it is all over when this life ends and “eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we must die” kind of philosophy.
The Ecclesiastes writer Throughout the book, again and again he says, “A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work.” Although he accepts a kind of fatalism according to which there is a definite time and place for everything, his book is filled with advice about how a person should live in order to get the greatest enjoyment out of life. Above all else, he counsels moderation: “Do not be over righteous, neither be over wise — why destroy yourself?” A person should find a happy medium. One of the tragedies of life, the author tells us, is for a person to spend so much time and energy preparing for old age that when it arrives, the person is unable to enjoy it. We should enjoy life while we are young, for old age is characterized by weakness and infirmities that are but a prelude to the time when “the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.”
Here one of my favorite passage in this book that I have painted.
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up:
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.