This passage cites evidence to support the idea that life is aimless with no meaning. The preacher offers four pieces of evidence to back up his belief:
1. Generations come and go with boring monotony (1:4): Life is circular, not linear. The human race is headed nowhere. It is simply repeating the boring, meaningless routine of life and death.
The movement of the sun (1:5): Most people in Solomon’s day believed the sun rotated around the earth. The sun was programmed to be unchangeable, repeating the same thing day after day.
3. The blowing of the wind (1:6): Unlike the sun, the wind was created to be haphazard and uncertain. You never can tell which way the wind will blow. Such is life.
4. The flow of the oceans (1:7): The sun has its routine. The wind has its randomness. But the ocean is nothing but endless frustration. Rivers continually flow into it, but the sea never fills up.
For the preacher, life is like a machine where wheels turn, gears grind, belts turn other wheels, and many parts move. But nothing is really happening—no progress is made.
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