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Lowell Brueckner

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Ecclesiastes... Introduction


I have to say that I´m sorry for having neglected this blog over the past weeks and I haven´t written anything new. What I intend to do for the rest of these summer months is present, beginning today, an expository study on the book of Ecclesiastes. I hope, in October, to write about Revelation. If possible, I want to have this study finished by then.

Personally, I have enjoyed studying Ecclesiastes over the years. I remember having taught in the U. S. from the book in a night school, which covered the whole Bible in a period of three years. Solomon, with the inspiration and under the capability of the Holy Spirit, presents irrefutable arguments against living for the things that earthly life offers. There is not a comparable book on this theme in all of human literature.

I saw a lot of value in combining messages over Ecclesiastes with message from the Gospel of John. From the former, I demonstrated the vanity of living for the world and, from the latter, I tried to show what God from heaven purposes, offering the believer eternal life.  

In these days, I have been thinking and preaching much over the brevity of life “under the sun”, as Solomon called it. I have said that all the knowledge and possessions accumulated will come to an end in a cemetery. Nothing that the world gives can reach beyond death. In this expository study, we will consider and emphasize this indisputable fact. It is one of the most essential lessons that a human being can learn. It will tarnish the brilliant and powerful deception, under which countless millions have fallen and are involved in at this moment.

An Expository Study of Ecclesiastes


The book of Ecclesiastes is titled from a Greek word, meaning preacher, and even a casual glance at the word shows that it is obviously derived from the same root as the Greek word for church, ekklesia. Ekklesia means literally called out and applies to an assembly of people, who are called out of the world’s population to be a special possession of God.

Peter, the preacher on the day of Pentecost, gave the standard and first exhorted the unbelieving Jews, gathered for the feast, “To you is the promise, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call unto him… Save yourselves from this crooked generation (race)(Ac.2:39-40). In his first epistle, Peter defined that assembly and their purpose: “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 P.2:9). He personally heard the words of the Lord Jesus, “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Mt.16:18).  

The title in the original Hebrew was Koheleth. It means, one who calls the assembly together and then preaches to it. Certainly, throughout his life, Solomon was a preacher. We have the example of the dedication of his temple, when he assembled and then addressed the congregation: Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the leaders of the fathers' houses of the people of Israel, in Jerusalem… King Solomon and all the congregation of Israel, who had assembled before him, were before the ark… Then Solomon said…” (2 Chr.5:2,6; 6:1{-11}).

In the New Testament, the method given for the proclamation of the Gospel is by preaching. Jesus said that it is necessary, according to the Scriptures, that “repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name unto all the nations” (Lk.24:47).  Paul taught, “After that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe” (1 Co.1:21). Throughout the book of Acts, this is exactly what the apostles and evangelists did. Solomon already preached the vanity of living for the things of the world in the Old Testament times. His intention was especially to cause youth to see the futility and deception of earthly treasures, before they invested time and effort to seeking them.  

In our study of this book, we will never take into account the critics, who, in practice, put their logic and conclusions over the inerrancy of Scripture and deny its authority. As in the case of the book of Daniel, they question the timing of this book and attribute its authorship to another writer. Some statements in Ecclesiastes have been used by the sects to assert their errors and to contradict the general doctrine of Scripture. In truth, all these are enemies of the Holy Spirit-inspiration of the Bible. At the onset of this exposition, all we need to do is ask three questions, the correct answer of which, will clarify totally the contents:

1.   Q: Who is the writer (the preacher) of the book? A: Solomon, king of Israel, who had experienced all that this world had to offer and, after terribly backsliding, informs his readers of the consequences and his conclusions.

2.    Q: What is the total scope of the book? A: Life under the sun… strictly earthly life from a physical point of view.

3.      Q: What is its theme? A: According to his observations, life under the sun is simply vanity.

If we keep these three things in mind, we will avoid potential error and easily dismantle the arguments of false teachers. We will profit from gems of truth, many of which are negative, and divert our attention from all the offers of the world and its system. Therefore, the book is a tremendous aid in presenting irrefutable proof of the absurdity of all the strenuous efforts to prepare for and then strive to reap the benefits of life under the sun. It is a great tool of an evangelism, which leads people to repentance. It demonstrates that all the wisdom of this world from its greatest experts, all the institutions of higher learning, along with their professors, all the accumulation of its knowledge and its wealth terminate in a cemetery. They cannot lead anyone one step beyond… and that fact is simply undeniable! 


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