Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
   A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

What is the moral meaning of the Holy Book of Ecclesiastes?

The writer of this book (Solomon the king) asks "What profit has a man from all his labor in which he toils under the sun?" (Eccl 1:3).

King Solomon was the richest man on earth; yet he was searching for the true purpose and meaning of life. In this book he writes his observations and words of counsel resulting from his search.

One of the  main two messages in this book is "All is vanity" (Eccl 1:2). The word 'vanity' occurs 35 times in 29 verses. It means "futility, uselessness, nothingness". Another key phrase also to be noted is "under the sun" which occurs 29 times in 27 verses. The author wants to emphasize that vanity is the ultimate reality when one looks at life purely from an earthly perspective excluding God from it. Therefore, the other main message in this book is the importance of serving God throughout life. This message is clear in the author's final words: "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments; for this is the whole duty of man" (Eccl 12:13).

Today in our materialistic society, this book helps us to see the vanity of many earthly pursuits. It contains lessons for all, but especially for the young who will lose so much should they make the wrong choices early in life.
Home | Ask A Question | Search Q&A