Ecclesiastes 1 Commentary

Ecclesiastes 1 Commentary

This is interesting. We are coming from the Book of Proverbs where Wisdom was everything. But here in this book, everything is meaningless, including wisdom!

We should be surprised, of course. Is Wisdom in the Book of Proverbs different from wisdom in Ecclesiastes? Of course, they are different.

Wisdom is actually the person of the LORD Jesus Christ. Wisdom is given from above. Wisdom must be given as Heaven’s special gift to an individual. That is Wisdom according to the Book of Proverbs. But according to Ecclesiastes, wisdom is a branch of study. It is the result of human effort at discovery, experience, knowledge, and intelligence. It is acquired using human effort.

It is this wisdom which is both useless and meaningless.

The Book of Proverbs is a jewel wrapped in gold. Even the wrappings are valuable! Ecclesiastes is a jewel without wrappings. You get what you hear. The teachings are crude and almost rude – the kind that leaves you feeling hard done by. How dare the Book describes God’s creation as dull and meaningless!

While Proverbs is happy to rightly elevate Wisdom above everything else, Ecclesiastes presents a counterfeit version of wisdom. And it is meaningless. Solomon sought Wisdom and the LORD granted his request. Everything else was given to him as well. An individual who seeks human wisdom doesn’t find it and must seek everything else.

Life becomes miserable. Hard labor. The thought of a ‘life by sweat’ as Genesis puts it comes to mind.

Nothing is new. In this meaningless life of fake wisdom, nothing is new. Standing right up against this sad state of affairs is an announcement that the LORD is doing a new thing! Isaiah 43 verse 19.

While the former generations are forgotten and the current generation shouldn’t hope too much, the promise of the gospel is that the LORD remembered His servant Abraham.

While this volume will labor to explain the folly of counterfeit wisdom, the real value lies in its exposition of the Real, original, and God-given gift – Wisdom. It does so by exposing all wisdom counterfeits.

“Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” This is life after Genesis chapter 3. “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” This is life after Calvary.

Standing in the way of the fake wisdom is the Gospel of the LORD Jesus Christ – the Wisdom of God. So the reader is encouraged to read this volume with the cross in mind. What is crooked cannot be straightened. He came to do the impossible. The crooked can be made straight by the miracle working God.

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Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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