Commentary on the Book of Ecclesiastes
Father Tadross Y. Malaty
VANITY OF LIFE NOT CENTERED ON GOD
If we accept "Qoheleth" (the preacher) as Solomon, we will behold him in this book after a temporary apostasy from the Lord, confessing and forsaking evil, and finding mercy. We behold him returning from the broken and empty cisterns of the world, to the Fountain of living water, recording for admonition of future ages his own folly and shame, the bitterness of his disappointment, and the salutary lessons he had learned from seeking happiness in the vanities of the world without God.
"The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem".
Solomon, although not identified by name becomes the literary spokesman for the observations and convictions of the author. He is the king in Jerusalem who because of his wealth, wisdom, and worldly concern has ample opportunity to sample all of life. He conceals his name Solomon, "peaceable," because by his sin he had brought trouble upon himself and his kingdom, had broken peace with God, and therefore was no more worthy of that name. Call me not Solomon, call me Marah, for, behold, for peace I had great bitterness (Isa. 38:17).
"Qoheleth" which comes from a word signifies "to gather," is a "penitent soul," or one "gathered," one that had gone astray like a lost sheep, but was "gathered" in from his wanderings. Being himself "gathered," and being reconciled to the church, he endeavours to gather others to her that had gone astray like him.
His being "The Son of David" gives him no excuse, for he is the son of agood man. It alsoencouraged him to repent and hope for mercy, for David had fallen into sin, and repented, and therein hetook example from him and found mercy as he did.
"King of Jerusalem." God had done much for him, in raising him to the throne in the city of God where the house of God is located, and yet he had so ill requited him.