Introduction to Ecclesiastes Chapter 1

After the title of the book, which describes the author of it, by his office, as a preacher; by his descent, as the son of David; and by his dignity, king in Jerusalem, Ecclesiastes 1:1; the principal doctrine insisted on in it is laid down, that the world, and all things in it, are most vain things, Ecclesiastes 1:2. Which is proved in general, by the unprofitableness of all labour to attain them, be they what they will, wisdom, knowledge, riches, honours, and pleasures, Ecclesiastes 1:3; by the short continuance of men on earth, though that abides, Ecclesiastes 1:4; by the constant revolution, going and returning, of the most useful creatures, the sun, winds, and water, Ecclesiastes 1:5; by the unfruitful and unsatisfactory labour all things are full of, Ecclesiastes 1:8; by the continual repetition of the same things, and the oblivion of them, Ecclesiastes 1:9; and by Solomon's own experience in one particular thing; his search after, and acquisition of, knowledge and wisdom, which he attained a large share of; and which he found attended with labour, difficulty, and little satisfaction; nay, was vanity and vexation of spirit; for, as his knowledge increased, so did his grief and sorrow, Ecclesiastes 1:12.