Outline of the Book of Ecclesiastes

The Book of Ecclesiastes



Qoheleth (Eccl 1:1-1:1)

Vanity of vanities (Eccl 1:2-1:3)


Part One

The earth around us (Eccl 1:4-1:7)

What is new? (Eccl 1:8-1:11)


1. The life of Solomon

King of Israel (Eccl 1:12-1:12)

The foolish search (Eccl 1:13-1:14)

The wise Qoheleth (Eccl 1:15-1:18)


The vanity of pleasure (Eccl 2:1-2:3)

Luxurious wealth (Eccl 2:4-2:8)

The vanity of greatness (Eccl 2:9-2:11)

The importance of wisdom (Eccl 2:12-2:14)

The wise ones and the fools both die (Eccl 2:14-2:17)

The vanity of hard work (Eccl 2:18-2:23)

Please God (Eccl 2:24-2:26)


 2. Death

The right time (Eccl 3:1-3:8)

The human task (Eccl 3:9-3:11)

Be happy (Eccl 3:12-3:13)

God’s role (Eccl 3:14-3:15)

The wickedness (Eccl 3:16-3:17)

Humans and animals (Eccl 3:18-3:21)

Enjoy your work (Eccl 3:22-3:22)


3. The community

Oppression (Eccl 4:1-4:3)

The futility of work (Eccl 4:4-4:6)

The solitary worker (Eccl 4:7-4:8)

Work together (Eccl 4:9-4:12)

The old foolish king (Eccl 4:13-4:16)


Good conduct at the Temple (Eccl 5:1-5:3)

Vows (Eccl 5:4-5:6)

Dreams (Eccl 5:7-5:7)

Oppression (Eccl 5:8-5:9)


 4. Money

The vanity of money (Eccl 5:10-5:11)

Sleep (Eccl 5:12-5:12)

Lost wealth (Eccl 5:13-5:17)

Enjoy your wealth (Eccl 5:18-5:20)


The inability to enjoy a wealthy life (Eccl 6:1-6:6)

The appetites of humans (Eccl 6:7-6:9)

Humans as passing shadows (Eccl 6:10-6:12)


Part Two


The dichotomies of life (Eccl 7:1-7:7)


1. The sanctions

Pass on wisdom (Eccl 7:8-7:12)

Prosperity and adversity (Eccl 7:13-7:14)

Don’t be too wise or too wicked (Eccl 7:15-7:18)

Know your heart (Eccl 7:19-7:22)

The search for wisdom (Eccl 7:23-7:25)

Watch out for women (Eccl 7:26-7:29)


Who is the wise man? (Eccl 8:1-8:1)

The power of the king (Eccl 8:2-8:5)

The right time (Eccl 8:6-8:9)

The wicked (Eccl 8:10-8:14)

Enjoy yourself (Eccl 8:15-8:15)


2. Love

The hidden work of God (Eccl 8:16-8:17)


We do not know love (Eccl 9:1-9:1)

We all share the same fate (Eccl 9:2-9:6)

Enjoy life (Eccl 9:7-9:10)


3. Chance

Life is a game of chance (Eccl 9:11-9:12)

Wisdom versus strength (Eccl 9:13-9:16)

Quiet wise words (Eccl 9:17-9:18)


The fools (Eccl 10:1-10:3)

Upside down world (Eccl 10:4-10:7)

Be careful in what you do (Eccl 10:8-10:11)

Words of the foolish (Eccl 10:12-10:15)

The land and its ruler (Eccl 10:16-10:17)

Be careful about what you say (Eccl 10:18-10:20)


The uncertainty of life (Eccl 11:1-11:3)

Planting seeds (Eccl 11:4-11:6)


4. Age

Light (Eccl 11:7-11:8)

Happy youth (Eccl 11:9-11:10)


Loss of the light (Eccl 12:1-12:2)

The impending death of old age (Eccl 12:3-12:7)

Vanity (Eccl 12:8-12:8)



Qoheleth (Eccl 12:9-12:10)

Wise sayings (Eccl 12:11-12:12)

Fear God (Eccl 12:13-12:14)

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