In Chapter 4, Solomon discusses a set of social constructs as a way to explore his general conclusions. The frustration of economic pursuits, community, and succession in a society of oppression and rivalry all point to the inadequacies of our reason and experience and necessitate something more.

At the heart of Chapter 4 is an assessment of community; how we interact with one another, what are our weaknesses, and how trusting in God (and uniting together) can redeem our imperfections. Solomon struggles to find balance, consistency, and perspective. We need one another to help spur us on toward a life of faith.

Ecclesiastes 4:1-3

Mankind’s failure to steward justice in this world makes existence on earth vaporous

Ecclesiastes 4:4-6

A proper balance between striving and resting is better than a futile obsession with work

Ecclesiastes 4:7-8

Life alone is vaporous too

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Working together is better than working alone

Ecclesiastes 4:13-16

People are initially appreciative when wise leadership replaces foolish, but soon take their improved circumstances for granted.