The Book of Ecclesiastes in part of the "wisdom literature" of the Bible. It concerns itself with universal philosophical questions, rather than events in the history of Israel and in the Hebrews' covenant with God.
Koheleth, the speaker in this book, ruminates on what, if anything, has lasting value, and how, if at all, God interacts with humankind. Koheleth expresses bewilderment and frustration at life's absurdities and injustices.
He grapples with the distortions and inequities that pervade the world, the ineffectuality of human deeds, and the frailty and limitations of human wisdom and righteousness. His awareness of these discomfiting facts coexists with a firm belief in God's rule and God's fundamental justice, and he looks for ways to define a meaningful life in a world where so much is senseless. In design, this volume parallels the other titles in the acclaimed JPS Commentary Series, with Hebrew text and the new JPS English translation at the top of the page and a critical line-by-line commentary at the bottom. Ecclesiastes is read on the Jewish holiday Sukkot, the harvest festival.