Introduction to Ecclesiastes

(Pioneer Bible Translators and The Word for the World use the following introduction in many of their translation projects around the world.)

Ecclesiastes is a book that teaches wisdom for life. The Hebrew title for the book means “the one who gathers people.” Most scholars believe that King Solomon was the author of Ecclesiastes, but others do not agree with this. If it was Solomon who wrote the book, then it was written around 970-931 B.C. which is when he lived. Other scholars believe that it was written by someone else, because at times it uses the language of a servant rather than a king (Ecclesiastes 5:89). Those scholars think that the book of Ecclesiastes was written much later than the time of Solomon, perhaps between 400 and 200 B.C.

Ecclesiastes starts by saying that everything is like a breath that disappears quickly (1:2). This means that our lives and our work are temporary and difficult to understand. Much of it will be forgotten after a short time. Much of it is out of our control. It’s better to accept life as it is and find happiness in what you have (9:9). The book’s conclusion, considering all the hardships and joys of life, is to fear God and follow his commands (12:13). That is the most important thing.

Outline of Ecclesiastes:

1. Verses 1 through 11 in chapter 1 of Ecclesiastes introduce the author of the book and some of his life experience.
2. Chapters 1:12 until 6:9 discusses the meaning of life.
3. Chapters 6:10 until 12:8 gives the advice of the Teacher.
4. Finally, chapter 12 verses 9 through 14 conclude the book by saying that the whole purpose of life is to fear God and to follow his commands.

This work is owned by Pioneer Bible Translators International and The World for the World International and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License .

Translation: French

Introduction à Ecclésiaste

Ecclésiaste est un livre qui enseigne la sagesse pour la vie. Le titre hébreu du livre signifie « celui qui rassemble les gens ». La plupart des experts croient que le roi Salomon était l’auteur d’Ecclésiaste, mais d’autres ne sont pas d’accord. S’il était Salomon qui a écrit le livre, alors il a été écrit environ 970-931 av. J-C, quand il a vécu. D’autres experts croient qu’il a été écrit par un autre, parce que parfois il utilise le langage d’un serviteur plutôt que d’un roi (Ecclésiaste 5.7-8). Ces experts croient que le livre d’Ecclésiaste a été écrit beaucoup plus tard que le temps de Salomon, peut-être entre 400 et 200 av. J-C.

Ecclésiaste commence par dire que tout est comme un souffle qui disparait rapidement (1.2). Ceci signifie que notre vie et notre travail sont temporaires et difficiles à comprendre. Une grande partie sera oubliée après un court laps de temps. Une grande partie est en dehors de notre contrôle. Mieux vaut accepter la vie telle qu’elle est et trouver le bonheur dans ce que vous possédez (9.9). La conclusion du livre, compte tenu de toutes les difficultés et les joies de la vie, est de craindre Dieu et d’observer ses commandements (12.13). Voilà ce qui est le plus important.

Résumé d’Ecclésiaste
1. Versets 1 à 11 dans le chapitre 1 d’Ecclésiaste présente l’auteur du livre et certaines de ses expériences de la vie.
2. Chapitres 1.12 jusqu’à 6.9 discute du sens de la vie.
3. Chapitres 6.10 jusqu’à 12.8 donne le conseil de Maître.
4. Enfin, chapitre 12 versets 9 à 14 conclue le livre en disant que le but ultime de la vie est de craindre Dieu et d’observer ses commandements.

Translation: Swahili

Utangulizi wa Muhubiri

Utangulizi wa kitabu cha Mhubiri Mhubiri ni kitabu kinachofundisha hekima katika maisha. Maana ya jina la kitabu cha mhubiri katika lugha ya kiebrania ni , “anayekusanya watu.” Wasomi wengi wanaamini kwamba mfalme Suleimani ndiye alikuwa mwandishi wa kitabu cha mhubiri, lakini wengine hawakubaliani na hilo. Wasomi wanasema ikiwa Suleimani ndiye aliyeandika kitabu hicho basi kiliandikwa kati ya miaka ya 970-931 kabla ya Kristo, kipindi ambapo Suleimani aliishi. Wasomi wengine wanaamini kwamba kiliandikwa na mtu mwingine. Kwa sababu lugha iliyotumika kiuandishi ni kama iliandikwa na mtumishi na si lugha ya kifalme, ya mfalme Suleimani( mhubiri 5:8-9). Wasomi hao wanafikiri kwamba kitabu cha mhubiri kiliandikwa baada ya kipindi cha Suleimani kupita, labdaa kati ya miaka 400 na 200 kabla ya Kristu.

Mhubiri anaanza kwa kusema kwamba, kila kitu ni kama pumzi inayopotea. Hii ina maana kwamba maisha yetu na kazi zetu ni vya muda mfupi tu, na ni vigumu kuelewa. Mengi yatasahaulika baada ya muda mfupi. Mengi yapo nje uwezo wetu. Ni vizuri kuyapokea maisha jinsi yalivyo na kutafuta furaha katika vitu ulivyo navyo (Sura ya 9 mstari wa 9). Hitimisho la kitabu, kwa kuzingatia magumu yote na furaha ya maisha, ni kuwa na hofu ya Mungu na kufuata amri zake (12:13). Hicho ndicho kitu muhimu.

Mpangilio wa kitabu cha Mhubiri

1. Mstari wa kwanza mpaka wa kumi na moja katika sura ya kwanza (1:1-11), anatambulishwa mwandishi wa kitabu cha mhubiri na baadhi ya uzoefu wa maisha yake.
2. Sura ya 1 mstari wa 12 mpaka sura ya 6 mstari wa 9 zinajadili maana ya maisha.
3. Sura 6 mstari wa 10 mpaka sura ya 12 mstari wa 8 zinatoa ushauri wa mwalimu ambaye ni mwandishi wa kitabu cha mhubiri.
4. Hatimaye, sura ya 12 mstari wa 9 mpaka wa 14 unahitimisha kwa kusema kuwa lengo zima la maisha ni kuwa na hofu ya Mungu na kufuata amri zake.