We can see from Ecclesiastes 1:1 and Ecclesiastes 2:1-10 that Ďthe teacherí in the Book of Ecclesiastes means King Solomon. Solomon was a great king, and he was also a very wise man (1 Kings 4:29-34). In fact, he became famous across the world for his wisdom (2 Chronicles 9:1-8; 2 Chronicles 9:22-23).
Solomonís wisdom was a gift from God (1 Kings 3:5-12). So Solomon did not study in order to become wise. He studied because he was wise. A wise person always wants to learn more (Proverbs 9:9)
Especially, Solomon studied and collected proverbs (1 Kings 4:32). Proverbs are the wise words that people say. You can find many of Solomonís proverbs in the Book of Proverbs in the Bible.
Solomon did not just collect all this knowledge for his own benefit. In addition to all his other duties, he taught the people. You can read some of his lessons in Proverbs chapters 1 to 9.
Possibly, the person who put the Book of Ecclesiastes into its present form was one of Solomonís students. That person wanted to use Solomonís wisdom in order to teach people that they need to have a right relationship with God (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).
Solomon had studied the nature of peopleís lives in this world very carefully. He could see that people were wasting their lives with stupid activities. He urged people to think seriously about their lives.
Like the lives of many great teachers, Solomonís life disappoints us. If Solomon had followed his own advice, he would not have carried out the evil acts in 1 Kings 11:1-10. But that fact teaches us a useful lesson also. We must not depend even on the greatest people. Our trust must be in God alone. We need the wisdom that God gives. And we will find that wisdom in the Bible.
Next part: Advice about books (Ecclesiastes 12:11-12)
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© 2014, Keith Simons.