Identifying What Is Under the Sun as Vanity

TODAY’S READING: ECCLESIASTES 9-12

In today’s post, I want propose an idea based on the totality of the book of Ecclesiastes and some of the key phrases that are used in it. There phrases help in identifying the meaning of Ecclesiastes. The following is my proposal:

The Preacher came to identify all that is under the sun as vanity so that the God in heaven would be feared on put back on his throne, which is found in our hearts.

(For the meanings of the numbers 29 and 34, I want to give credit to this paper.)

IDENTIFYING THE PREACHER

As I mentioned in my first post on Ecclesiastes, Preacher, or qoheleth in Hebrew, is used seven times in Ecclesiastes. The uses are spread through the book in a way that remind one of the seven feasts of Israel. The seven feasts of Israel reveal Jesus. Therefore, we are to see Jesus as the Preacher of Ecclesiastes. The number seven speaks to spiritual perfection throughout the Bible. Therefore, we are to the Preacher as Jesus who came to bring spiritual perfection.

IDENTIFYING UNDER THE SUN

In the Hebrew, the phrase “under the sun” occurs 29 times in the book of Ecclesiastes (one time it is translated as “beneath the sun.”) The number 29 is the number of departure. Therefore, all of man’s toil, everything he does, under the sun has departed from.

IDENTIFYING VANITY

The word vanity or vanities occurs 34 times in the book of Ecclesiastes. The number 34 is the number of identification. The Preacher identifies all that man does under the sun as vanity.

However, the first occurrences of the word vanity in the book, which are also the first the uses of vanity by the Preacher, come in a group of five. Five is the number of grace. Could it be that the Preacher, Jesus, has come to bring grace to all that man does under the sun that is vanity?

The last occurrences of the word vanity in the book, which are also the last uses of vanity by the Preacher, come in a group of three. Three is the number of divine perfection. Could it be that the Preacher, Jesus, has come to bring divine perfection through grace to all that man does under the sun that is vanity?

IDENTIFYING THE PLACE OF THE PREACHER’S WORK

Ecclesiastes 12:9-10 says, “Besides being wise, the Preacher also taught the people knowledge, weighing and studying and arranging many proverbs with great care. The Preacher sought to find words of delight, and uprightly he wrote words of truth.”

Jesus teaches all people wisdom and knowledge by the Holy Spirit. Jesus certainly weighed and studied kingdom of God and arranged many proverbs, or parables, about it with great care.

But, the Preacher in Ecclesiastes is said to have written these words of truth. We have no record of Jesus ever writing anything? Or, do we?

Second Corinthians 3:2-3 says, “You yourselves are our letter of recommendation written on our hearts, to be known and read by all. And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”

So, I propose that we could read Ecclesiastes as Jesus, the spiritually perfect preacher, coming to bring divine perfection through grace to all that man does under through that was once vanity by teaching us the wisdom and knowledge of God in heaven by writing his words of truth on our hearts.

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