Solomon seems to be bordering on nihilism, i.e., the rejection of all religious and moral principles in the belief that life is meaningless: “It is the same for all, since the same event happens to the righteous and the wicked, to the good and the evil, to the clean and the unclean, to him who sacrifices and him who does not sacrifice. As the good one is, so is the sinner, and he who swears is as he who shuns an oath” (9:2). And what of Solomon’s statement, “Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher; all is vanity” (12:8). Does he really conclude that it really does not matter how we live, that in the end, one path is as good or worthless as another?
Our heavenly Father calls,
And Christ invites us near;
With both, our friendship shall be sweet,
And our communion dear.
God pities all our griefs:
He pardons every day;
Almighty to protect our souls,
And wise to guide our way. -- Philip Doddridge (18th century)