What is life about? In the end, does it all amount to a wisp of vapor, a puff of wind, a mere breath—nothing you can get your hands on—the nearest thing to zero? So says the Preacher in the book of Ecclesiastes. But is this the whole message of Ecclesiastes?
With imagination and clarity, Derek Kidner introduces this Old Testament book which speaks so powerfully to our generation. His love of Hebrew poetry and his understanding of biblical mind shine through in his careful passage-by-passage exposition. The full biblical text is included.
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Part I: What is this book doing in the Bible? —a reconnaissance
Part II: What is this book saying? —a running commentary
The author, motto and a survey of the scene 1:1–11
The search for satisfaction 1:12–2:26
The tyranny of time 3:1–15
the harshness of life 3:16–4:3
the rat-race 4:4–8
A first summary: A backward glance over Ecclesiastes 1:1–4:8
Interlude: Some reflections, maxims and home truths 4:9–5:12
the bitterness of disappointment 5:13–6:12
A second summary: A backward glance over Ecclesiastes 4:9–6:12
Interlude: Some reflections, maxims and home truths 7:1–22
the search goes on 7:23–29
A third summary: A backward glance over Ecclesiastes 7:1–9:18
Interlude: Be sensible! 10:1–20
towards home 11:1–12:8
Part III: What are we to say to this? —an epilogue