By: American Standard Version
Ecclesiastes is a wisdom book of the Old Testament. The author represents himself as the son of David, and king over Israel in Jerusalem. The work consists of personal or autobiographic matter, at times expressed in aphorisms and maxims illuminated in terse paragraphs with reflections on the meaning of life and the best way of life. The work emphatically proclaims all the actions of man to be inherently “vain”, “futile”, “empty”, or “meaningless,” depending on translation, as the lives of both wise and foolish men end in death. While the teacher clearly promotes wisdom as a means for a well-lived earthly life, he is unable to ascribe eternal meaning to it. In light of this perceived senselessness, the preacher suggests that one should enjoy the simple pleasures of daily life, such as eating, drinking, and taking enjoyment in one’s wife and work, which are gifts from the hand of God.
(From Wikipedia, modified by Sam Stinson)