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The King James Version

Old Testament

Ecclesiastes

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The Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes (the Preacher), called "Qohelet" or "Kohelet" in Hebrew, was believed in ancient times to have been written by King Solomon. It was probably written between 500 and 250 B.C.E. The language reflects Persian and Aramaic influences typical of late Hebrew and the philosophy reflects Greek influences, notably of the cynics, though the author is probably not Hellenized.  It is remarkable for its sophisticated philosophy and pithy sayings, including, "The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun." and "Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity." The word "Kohelet" or "Qohelet" means compilation or gathering, and that is the meaning of the Greek Ecclesiastes. It has been suggested that Ecclesiastes is taken from a Semitic non-Jewish work, since the name of God does not appear in the text. Ecclesiastes

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Ecclesiastes Chapter 1

Ecclesiastes 1:1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.*

Ecclesiastes 1:2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.

Ecclesiastes 1:3 What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?

Ecclesiastes 1:4 One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.

Ecclesiastes 1:5 The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.

Ecclesiastes 1:6 The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.

Ecclesiastes 1:7 All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.

Ecclesiastes 1:8 All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.

Ecclesiastes 1:9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 1:10 Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.

Ecclesiastes 1:11 There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.

Ecclesiastes 1:12 I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem.

Ecclesiastes 1:13 And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.

Ecclesiastes 1:14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.

Ecclesiastes 1:15 That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.

Ecclesiastes 1:16 I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.

Ecclesiastes 1:17 And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit.

Ecclesiastes 1:18 For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.


* Once thought to be Solomon. Might be a king or viceroy of Persia from the years of missing Jewish history.

 


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The bible and Zionism

The Bible, the Old Testament, has become a mainstay of human culture, but it is first and foremost a historical document of the Jewish people and our culture. It tells the story of our ancient kingdoms and civilization in the Land of Israel, and therefore it kept alive the tie of the people of Israel to the land of Israel for 2000 years. It forms the moral and cultural basis of Zionist ideology and aspirations.

The Bible, the Old Testament, is accepted by the three major Western faiths. It is a major work of Western civilization. The Bible documents the historic connection of the Jewish people to the land of Israel, even for those who do not believe that the Bible is the literal word of God, and even for those who do not believe in God at all. It is the historic epic of the Jewish people in our land.  

Additional Background

Map - Canaan Before the Hebrews

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