"Ecclesiastes is one of 24 books of the Tanakh or Hebrew Bible, where it is classified as one of the Ketuvim (or 'Writings')," Wikipedia notes. "It is among the canonical Wisdom Books in the Old Testament of most denominations of Christianity.
"The title Ecclesiastes is a Latin transliteration of the Greek translation of the Hebrew Koheleth (meaning 'Gatherer', but traditionally translated as 'Teacher' or 'Preacher'), the eponymous author of the book.
"Koheleth introduces himself as 'son of David, king in Jerusalem', perhaps implying that he is Solomon, but the work is in fact anonymous and was most probably composed in the last part of the 3rd century BCE.
"The book is in the form of an autobiography telling of his investigation of the meaning of life and the best way of life. He proclaims all the actions of man to be inherently hevel, meaning 'vain', 'futile', 'empty', 'meaningless', 'temporary', 'transitory', 'fleeting', or 'mere breath', as the lives of both wise and foolish people end in death. While Koheleth clearly endorses wisdom as a means for a well-lived earthly life, he is unable to ascribe eternal meaning to it.
"In light of this senselessness, one should enjoy the simple pleasures of daily life, such as eating, drinking, and taking enjoyment in one's work, which are gifts from the hand of God. The book concludes with the injunction: 'Fear God, and keep his commandments; for that is the whole duty of everyone' (12:13)."