King Solomon wrote this book sometime during the latter part of his forty-year reign (Ecc 1:1).  The word “Ecclesiastes” means preacher or teacher.  This book is written in the form of a sermon.  There is an introduction and announcement of a theme, development of the theme, and a practical application in conclusion.  The theme is: what is the chief good?  The standpoint is that of natural reason.  We are meant to see where the quest for the chief good leads when conducted simply on the ground of natural experience, observation, and induction.  The preacher, Solomon, preaches from a carnal perspective of life under the sun and declares that “all is vanity” (Ecc 1:2, “vanity” 33x’s).  Solomon drifted from God because he loved the world (Ecc 2:4-11, 17; 1 Jn 2:15-17).



I. Solomon’s Initial Reasoning (1-2)

A. Introduction (1:1-3)

B. Cycle of life (1:4-11)

C. The grief of wisdom and knowledge (1:12-18)

D. Earthly pleasures do not satisfy (2:1-11)

E. Both the wise and fool are forgotten (2:12-23)

F. Conclusion: enjoy the good things (2:24-26)

Il. Solomon’s Deeper Observations (3-8)

A. General observations (3-5)

B. Practical morality (6-8)

Ill. Solomon’s Review and Final Conclusions (9-12)

A. Review (9-10)

B. Live by faith (11:1-6)

C. Remember life will soon end (11:7-12:7)

D. Fear and obey God (12:8-14)