Moses by John August Swanson. Image from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, Tenn. Original source © 1983 by John August Swanson.
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Preaching Series on O.T. Wisdom and Poetry
Ecclesiastes 1:1-11, 3:1-17 Commentary
by Kathryn M. Schifferdecker
[This is Week 3 of a 4-week preaching series on O.T. Wisdom and Poetry]
Preaching text: Ecclesiastes 1:1-11; 3:1-17
The book of Ecclesiastes is usually called “skeptical” Wisdom or “dissenting” Wisdom. The author of Ecclesiastes, the Teacher, is a sage who has lived long and has grown weary of life’s vicissitudes. Death makes fools even of the wise. What does it matter how hard one works if after death one’s name is forgotten and one’s riches are given to someone else (Ecclesiastes 1:11; 2:18-19)? All is hevel (Ecclesiastes 1:2). The refrain runs throughout the book (25 times in all). Though traditionally translated “vanity,” hevel is better translated “absurdity, meaninglessness, vapor.”
And yet, the Teacher is not a nihilist. Like the author of Proverbs, the Teacher recognizes a certain reliable order that God has put in creation, a time and a season for everything (3:1-8). And the Teacher advocates humility, which is closely related to the fear of the LORD. We are ...
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Summer 2020 Readings
2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL183: Preaching Series on O.T. Wisdom and Poetry
July 26, 2015
Narrative Lectionary podcast on the 4-week preaching series on Old Testament Wisdom and Poetry (July 12 - Aug. 2, 2015).