Kohelet's story is framed by voice of the narrator, who refers to Kohelet in the third person, praises his wisdom, but reminds the reader that wisdom has its limitations and is not man's main concern.
Kohelet reports what he planned, did, experienced and thought.
His journey to knowledge is, in the end, incomplete.
The reader is not only to hear Kohelet's wisdom, but to observe his journey towards understanding and acceptance of life's frustrations and uncertainties: the journey itself is important.
He proclaims all the actions of humanity to be inherently hevel, meaning "vain" or "futile" (literally, "mere breath"); he declares that all effort expended is as pointless as "herding wind." Kohelet sometimes seems to endorse wisdom as a means for a well-lived life (though at one point he says that more knowledge leads to more misery) and sometimes he seems to conclude that it doesn't matter in the end anyway: everyone, the wise and the foolish, the good and the bad, all die and are forgotten equally.
In light of this, Kohelet advocates enjoying our short and meaningless lives while (and if) we still can: eating, drinking, having marital sex, doing one's work well.
An introduction identifies the author as a "son of David, king in Jerusalem"; he is popularly identified as Solomon, and simply called "Kohelet" (or "Qohelet") in most scholarship.
The author relates his experiences attempting to find the meaning of life and muses on the best way to live.
I am not given to dogmatic judgments in the matter of literary creation, but if I had to make one I could say that Ecclesiastes is the greatest single piece of writing I have ever known, and the wisdom expressed in it the most lasting and profound." Ecclesiastes is presented as an autobiography of "Kohelet" (or "Qoheleth").Ecclesiastes has had a deep influence on Western literature.It contains several phrases that have resonated in British and American culture, and was quoted by Abraham Lincoln addressing Congress in 1862.Most, though not all, modern commentators regard the epilogue (12:9–14) as an addition by a later scribe.Some have identified certain other statements as further additions intended to make the book more religiously orthodox (e.g., the affirmations of God's justice and the need for piety). As king he has experienced everything and done everything, but nothing is ultimately reliable. The only good is to partake of life in the present, for enjoyment is from the hand of God.