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Ecclesiastes 1:1

The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
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Didymus the Blind

AD 398
Solomon, who here appears as Ecclesiastes, that is, who preaches what is appropriate for the church, is the son of David. He came after Saul, whose rule was destroyed and terminated. Solomon is son of this king David in two ways.… The first is according to nature and lineage; the second is according to his teaching. One has to understand Paul in this [second] way when he says, “For though you might have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers. Indeed, in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.” David thus was Solomon’s father in both respects: according to nature—Solomon was his heir and “David begot Solomon”—but he was also his father in terms of instruction. David was wise as only few are—especially wise regarding God.… But Solomon also became wise in a way that few achieve: he became wise through the wisdom [he received] and through his human lineage. According to both ways Solomon thus was the son of David. But especially in terms of his words a...

Didymus the Blind

AD 398
Question: [Are the] words of Ecclesiastes said by the author personally? Answer: Actually the Spirit is the author of the divinely inspired Scriptures. The Spirit inspires so that words are expressed, but the wise man is also involved. For the Spirit has not himself invisibly written the letter and put down the text, but he breathes it into the soul. Either the real author is Solomon, or some [other] wise men have written it. Maybe we should opt for the latter so that nobody may say that the speaker talks about himself. ...

Evagrius Ponticus

AD 399
The church is [the assembly] of pure souls. It is the true knowledge of the ages and worlds and about their judgment and provision. Ecclesiastes is Christ, the author of that knowledge. Or, Ecclesiastes is one who, having purified the soul by moral contemplation, leads his or her soul to the contemplation of the physical [world]. . ...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Jerusalem. This clearly designates Solomon. See ver. 12., and chap. xii. 8.

Gregory of Nyssa

AD 394
Before us for exposition lies Ecclesiastes, which requires labor in spiritual interpretation quite as great as the benefit to be obtained. The thoughts of Proverbs [have] already prepared the mind by exercise.… Then for those who have developed to the more advanced stages of learning there comes the ascent toward this truly sublime and Godinspired work of Scripture [i.e., the book of Ecclesiastes]. If then the exercise in expressions [from the book of Proverbs] which prepares us for these lessons is so painful and difficult to understand, how great an effort must be envisaged in these lofty thoughts which now lie before us for interpretation?… Nevertheless, since it is also one of the Master’s commands that we must search the Scriptures, there is an absolute necessity, even if our mind falls short of the truth, failing to match the greatness of the ideas, that we should still ensure by all the zeal for the Word of which we are capable that we do not appear to disregard the Lord’s comma...

Gregory of Nyssa

AD 394
Now the teaching of this book looks exclusively to the conduct of the church and gives instruction in those things by which one would achieve the life of virtue. For the object of what is said here is to raise the mind above sensation, to persuade it to abandon all that seems to be great and splendid in the world of existence, to catch a glimpse through the eyes of the soul of those things which are unattainable by sense perception, and to conceive a desire for those things to which sense does not attain. Perhaps the title of the book also envisages the one who leads the church (ekkl&#;sia). For the true Ecclesiast [is] he who collects into one body what has been scattered and assembles (ekkl&#;siazon) into one whole those who have been led astray in many ways by various deceits. Who else would he be but the true King of Israel, the Son of God, to whom Nathanael said, “You are the Son of God, you are the King of Israel”? If therefore these are words of the King of Israel, and this same...

Gregory the Wonderworker

AD 270
These words speaks Solomon, the son of David the king and prophet, to the whole Church of God, a prince most honoured, and a prophet most wise above all men. How vain and fruitless are the affairs of men, and all pursuits that occupy man! For there is not one who can tell of any profit attaching to those things which men who creep on earth strive by body and soul to attain to, in servitude all the while to what is transient, and undesirous of considering anything heavenly with the noble eye of the soul. And the life of men wears away, as day by day, and in the periods of hours and years, and the determinate courses of the sun, some are ever coming, and others passing away. And the matter is like the transit of torrents as they fall into the measureless deep of the sea with a mighty noise. And all things that have been constituted by God for the sake of men abide the same: as, for instance, I that man is born of earth, and departs to earth again; that the earth itself continues stable; ...

Jerome

AD 420
Solomon is here given the Greek name Ecclesiastes [Heb Q&#;helet], for he gathers the assembly [q&#;h&#;l], that is, the church. But we can call him the Preacher because he speaks to the people and his word is directed not only to one person but to everyone.

Richard Challoner

AD 1781
This Book is called Ecclesiastes, or The Preacher, (in Hebrew, Coheleth,) because in it, Solomon, as an excellent preacher, setteth forth the vanity of the things of this world: to withdraw the hearts and affections of men from such empty toys.

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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