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King James Version
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"Vanity of vanities; all is vanity." (Ecclesiastes 1:2) An elderly and meditative king Solomon shares wisdom with his court. Illustration from Brockhaus and Efron Jewish Encyclopedia (1906—1913) by Isaak Asknaziy. Image Source
Ecclesiates tells the story of a king who relates his life experiences and draws profound, often self-critical, lessons from them.
The presumed author is king Solomon introducing himself as "son of David, king in Jerusalem". He discusses the meaning of life and the best way to live it. He proclaims all the actions of man to be inherently "vain" or "futile", as both wise and foolishly lived lives end in death. At the same time, the author clearly endorses wisdom as a means for a well-lived earthly life. Despite the senselessness of life, one should enjoy the simple pleasures of daily life, such as eating, drinking, and taking enjoyment in one's work, which are gifts from God. The book concludes with the injunction: "Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man." (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
Psalms is among the Books of Wisdom which includes Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon (Song of Songs).
Most Searched Verse in Ecclesiastes
Most searched verse in Ecclesiastes with 6,600 average monthly searches on Google.
An angel displays symbols of vanity that are associated with the deadly sin of pride. The beginning chapter of Ecclesiates 1:2 and the ending chapter, 12:8 which both state, "Vanity of vanities... all is vanity." (See also Proverbs 6:16-19 for the seven deadly sins, and 8:10-11 plus Proverbs 20:15 for verses equating wealth with wisdom) Allegory of Vanity: Antonio de Pereda (1632-1636) Image Source
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