Inasmuch as meaningless repetition characterizes life, there is no advantage to toil.
The unusual Heb. form for “the Speaker” indicates that an office, not a name is meant.
The Heb. phrase futility, utter futility is a superlative, just as Song of Songs means “the best song.”
Under the sun: on earth.
Earth endures while the “lord of the earth,” humankind (see Gen. 1.28
), passes on.
Things: or words.
Since one fate comes to all, there is no gain in work, knowledge, or sensuality.
The occupation of the wise is dismissed as a worthless task, even if a gift of God.
Chasing: or shepherding, with nothing to show for one's effort (Hos. 12.1
Predecessors: the fiction of Solomonic authorship is here abandoned; Solomon had only one predecessor in Jerusalem (cf.
The author intends readers to assume that the king possessed the means and power of fulfilling his will, yet at the same time
rendering a negative judgment on “Solomon and all his glory.”
Peace of mind is forbidden even the good person.
Except for the refrain, this may be either a pious gloss or a quotation to be refuted.
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