Outline of Ecclesiastes

The Vanity and Value of Life

I. The Prologue, Ecc_1:1-11
 II. The Testing of Life’s Experiences, Ecc_1:12-18; Ecc_2:1-26; Ecc_3:1-22; Ecc_4:1-16; Ecc_5:1-20; Ecc_6:1-12; Ecc_7:1-29; Ecc_8:1-17; Ecc_9:1-18; Ecc_10:1-20; Ecc_11:1-10; Ecc_12:1-7
1. The Preacher’s Experience, Ecc_1:12-18; Ecc_2:1-26
 2. The Preacher’s Observation, Ecc_3:1-22; Ecc_4:1-8
 3. The Preacher’s Counsel, Ecclesiastes 4:9-7:10
 4. The Preacher’s Commendation of Wisdom, Ecclesiastes 7:11-9:18
 5. Proverbs-Life’s Closing Scenes, Ecc_10:1-20; Ecc_11:1-10; Ecc_12:1-7
III. The Epilogue, Ecc_12:8-13


The word “Ecclesiastes” is from the Greek, and means “Preacher.” The book is really a sermon, designed to teach the unsatisfying nature of worldly pleasures and attainments unless God rules the heart and life. The great lesson is “that man’s true wisdom lies in fearing God and looking forward to the judgment.”

The word “vanity,” which occurs thirty-eight times, is the keynote of the book. How true happiness may be attained is the problem the author endeavors to solve.