Notes on Ecclesiastes 1:1

I. The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem

The beginning of this book informs us as to who its author is: The Preacher, the Son of David, King in Jerusalem. We should immediately note that these three titles are found in the New Testament when our Lord Jesus Christ is addressed. For it is written: “Jesus began to preach, saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’”[1] Our Lord began His public ministry with preaching, for the Father proclaims: “I will put My Spirit upon Him, and He will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.”[2] And He Himself says:

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to proclaim the Gospel to the poor…to proclaim liberty…to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”[3]

Christ’s ministry was a ministry of preaching the Gospel of the kingdom of God, which teaches us of the riches of God’s grace (which supplies what our absolute poverty lacks), liberates us to serve God in the newness of the Spirit (which takes place in Christ, for through Him we died to the law which formerly bound us), and teaches us that God’s wrath has been averted, the demands of the Law have been completely satisfied (for Jesus Christ is our Substitute in both obedience and suffering in our place).

But our Lord was not simply any preacher, He was and is the eschatological Son of David, appointed to reign forever upon His predecessor’s throne. For we are told by the Holy Spirit that Matthew 1 is “the book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David…”[4] And Christ Himself acknowledges that He is the Son of David,[5] although He is quick to remind His foes that is not merely the human descendant of David, but more – He is God Almighty become flesh. He is the Son of David and He is the Son of God; He is David’s Son and yet He is David’s Lord.[6] Whereas Solomon, however, was punished with a rod for his own transgressions, and with stripes for his own rebellion against God,[7] our Lord Jesus, the Son of David was “…wounded for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities…and with His stripes, we are haled.”[8] And He is our King, the King of kings and Lord of lords,[9] the King of the Jews,[10] and the King of the New Heavens and the New Earth, the New Jerusalem.

In this sense, therefore, Solomon could be said to be a type of our Lord Jesus: He was a preacher to God’s people, the son of David, and the promised king of Israel. Additionally, he ruled by wisdom and inaugurated an era of peace. There are differences for us to consider as well, however. For instance, Solomon was a sinner, Christ knew no sin. Solomon’s received wisdom from God, Christ is the wisdom of God. Solomon’s reign of peace ended when his life ended, Christ’s kingdom will know no end. The message of Solomon’s preaching in this book is Law; the message of Christ’s preaching is Gospel. For Solomon, judgment was yet a future event; in Christ, however, we see that God’s judgment has indeed already condemned. For it is written:

“…this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”[11]

-h.


[1] Matt 4:17

[2] Matt 12:18b

[3] Luke 4:18-19

[4] Matt 1:1

[5] Cf. Matt 20:30-31; 21:9 & 21:15

[6] Cf. Mark 12:35-37

[7] Cf. 2 Sam 7:14

[8] Isa 53:5

[9] Cf. Rev 17:14 & 19:16

[10]Cf. Matt 2:2; 27:11 & 29; John 18:33-34, etc

[11] John 3:19-20

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