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I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

1:14 all the works. King Solomon, the Preacher, had the greatest wealth, the greatest wisdom, the greatest power, and the greatest sensual pleasures and comforts of just about any man who ever lived. Yet when these works were done only “under the sun” (and this is the recurring theme of Ecclesiastes), it was soon found by him all to be done in vain, and merely vexed his spirit, rather than satisfying it.

1:14 all is vanity. “Vanity” in this book, does not mean foolish pride, of course (although Solomon surely had much he could boast about), but rather the emptiness of life when lived outside the will of God.

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