The Preacher – King Solomon
The title of the book of Ecclesiastes in the Hebrew is Qoheleth, which means “Preacher.” Qoheleth refers to a “convener” of a meeting, or to the official “speaker” or “preacher” at a congregation. The first verse in the book of Ecclesiastes states, “The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem” (Ecclesiastes 1:1). But who was this preacher? There are several reasons that clearly identify King Solomon as the “preacher.” Let’s examine them closely:
The phrase “son of David” (Ecclesiastes 1:1) points to one of David’s literal sons. And the Bible records that Solomon was the only son of David that was a writer of proverbs (Proverbs 1:1). Also, the Preacher in Ecclesiastes was a “king in Jerusalem.” So, this fits King Solomon. Further, this Preacher, according to Scripture, was a “wise” man (Ecclesiastes 12:9). Again, this fits Solomon because according to 1 Kings 4:29, God gave him the gift of wisdom. And in turn, the Preacher “imparted knowledge to the people” (Ecclesiastes 12:9).
King Solomon was given supernatural knowledge. For “He spoke about plant life, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of walls. He also spoke about animals and birds, reptiles and fish. From all nations people came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom” (1 Kings 4:33–34). And he “spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five” (1 Kings 4:32). Further, Ecclesiastes 12:9 confirmed that the Preacher “set in order many proverbs.”
Who better than Solomon, whom God had given the gift of a genius (1 Kings 3:9–13) but who wasted his blessing in vain pursuit of happiness, was fit to write the thoughtful truths of ecclesiastics? No one!
Therefore, Bible scholars are unanimous that King Solomon was the author of Ecclesiastes. And they also agree that from earliest times that Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon were written by one author – Solomon. It should be added that the word Qoheleth entitles not only Solomon as “preacher” but also divine Wisdom speaking through him.
Although Solomon was the most famous of the Hebrew kings, both in wisdom and in material prosperity, he recorded in the book of Ecclesiastes how all of his achievements had failed to give him true satisfaction and fulfillment in life (Ecclesiastes 1-12). He stated that the only way a man can be truly happy is to acknowledge his Creator. A man needs to realize the divine reason that brought him into existence (Ecclesiastes 12:13,14). Thus, Ecclesiastes presents a thorough philosophy of life, the aim of man’s existence, duty and destiny.
In His service,