This chapter gets all thumbs-up icons from the SAB so it must be good. The first few lines still sound cynical, but v 5-10 are oddly inspiring, esp if the references to god (which add nothing to the sentiment) are removed. They pretty much cover death from a non-believer’s perspective. Funny to read them in the bible, though. V 11-16 offer timeless truths about humanity – the bible’s version of carpe diem! Verse 11 has not only been much quoted,
it has been paraphrased and parodied quite effectively.
The author starts in with another rant about fools. Its content is much like the last few chapters of Proverbs. There are some bits of wisdom in here if you pick them out; eg 5-6 and 19-20.
This is about the uncertainties of life. The first line is well-known. The words of v 1-6 are true, and good advice, except of course for v 5, which makes sense only in a society with no knowledge of meteorology or embryology.
V 1-7 are a very poetic description of old age. And v 8 is familiar: “Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity.” But that’s about all that’s noteworthy of this chapter. I’m so disappointed. I was really looking forward to Ecclesiastes, and now I’m just glad it was short.