Ecclesiastes 1:12


King James Version (KJV)

I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem.

American King James Version (AKJV)

I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem.

American Standard Version (ASV)

I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem.

Basic English Translation (BBE)

I, the Preacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem.

Webster's Revision

I the preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem.

World English Bible

I, the Preacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem.

English Revised Version (ERV)

I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem.

Clarke's Ecclesiastes 1:12 Bible Commentary

I the Preacher was king - This is a strange verse, and does not admit of an easy solution. It is literally, "I, Choheleth, have been king over Israel, in Jerusalem." This book, as we have already seen, has been conjectured by some to have been written about the time that Ptolemy Philadelphus formed his great library at Alexandria, about two hundred and eighty-five years before our Lard; and from the multitude of Jews that dwelt there, and resorted to that city for the sake of commerce, it was said there was an Israel in Alexandria. See the introduction.

It has also been conjectured from this, that if the book were written by Solomon, it was intended to be a posthumous publication. "I that was king, still continue to preach and instruct you." Those who suppose the book to have been written after Solomon's fall, think that he speaks thus through humility. "I was once worthy of the name of king: but I fell into all evil; and, though recovered, I am no longer worthy of the name." I am afraid this is not solid.

Barnes's Ecclesiastes 1:12 Bible Commentary

Solomon relates his personal experience Ecclesiastes 2; the result of which was "no profit," and a conviction that all, even God's gifts of earthly good to good men, in this life are subject to vanity. His trial of God's first gift, wisdom, is recounted in Ecclesiastes 1:12-18.

Was - This tense does not imply that Solomon had ceased to be king when the word was written. See the introduction to Ecclesiastes. He begins with the time of his accession to the throne, when the gifts of wisdom and riches were especially promised to him 1 Kings 3:12-13.

Wesley's Ecclesiastes 1:12 Bible Commentary

1:12 I was king - Having asserted the vanity of all things in the general, he now comes to prove his assertion in those particulars wherein men commonly seek, and with greatest probability expect to find, true happiness. He begins with secular wisdom. And to shew how competent a judge he was of this matter, he lays down this character, That he was the preacher, which implies eminent knowledge; and a king, who therefore had all imaginable opportunities and advantages for the attainment of happiness, and particularly for the getting of wisdom, by consulting all sorts of books and men, by trying all manner of experiments; and no ordinary king, but king over Israel, God's own people, a wise and an happy people, whose king he was by God's special appointment and furnished by God, with singular wisdom for that great trust; and whose abode was in Jerusalem where were the house of God and the most wise and learned of the priests attending upon it, and the seats of justice, and colleges or assemblies of the wisest men of their nation. All these concurring in him, which rarely do in any other men, make the argument drawn from his experience more convincing.

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