Ecclesiastes 12:9-10 meaning

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Ecclesiastes 12:9
  • Ecclesiastes 12:10

The Preacher has carefully crafted words of truth in order to share them with God’s people, to invite them into wisdom in the face of mystery.

Verses 9-14 form a double epilogue, supporting the qualifications of the Preacher for writing this book, summarizing the book’s main application, and hammering a definitive conclusion. Some interpreters think it was written by someone other than Solomon, in which case it would be a divinely inspired “editor.” Other interpreters think these words were added by Solomon himself, in which he takes a turn to refer to himself in the third person.

Whichever is the case, these epilogues are designed to establish the fact that Solomon knew what he was doing in writing Ecclesiastes and that this message was what God wanted His people to hear and respond to.

Solomon was a wise man, who was given a divine gift of wisdom by God (1 Kings 4:29-30). But Solomon shared his wisdom. In addition to being a wise man, the Preacher, or Assembler, shepherded his people. He also taught the people knowledge.

Solomon invested much effort into the endeavor of teaching the people knowledge. The Preacher pondered, searched and arranged many proverbs concerning daily living. In his wisdom, he put together a set of sayings that could become mental models for daily living. He knew in this manner he could impart wisdom to the simple. This is a direct reference to The Book of Proverbs, a place where Solomon works out what choosing to live according to wisdom (in the wake of “hebel”) actually looks like. It is a sort of companion piece to the philosophical conclusions of Ecclesiastes.

The Preacher goes to great effort to find delightful words full of truth. He pondered and searched them out. He made sure he wrote them correctly. He took pains to make the writing appealing. He sought to find words to speak the truth that were delightful to read. The word translated delightful can also be translated “pleasing” or “just the right” words. Solomon took pains to express the proverbs in ways that would make people desire to read and understand them. Delightful words full of truth are enlightening and appealing without being fake or pulling any punches.

Biblical Text:
In addition to being a wise man, the Preacher also taught the people knowledge; and he pondered, searched out and arranged many proverbs. 10 The Preacher sought to find delightful words and to write words of truth correctly.

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