11 Best Ecclesiastes Commentaries You Must Read First

2017-09-13T02:56:22+00:00 By |
Ecclesiastes Commentaries // Category

(Top Ecclesiastes Commentaries)


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With so many Ecclesiastes commentaries, which are the best? These Ecclesiastes commentaries made it to our list of top books and we’ve compiled them to make it easy for you to find them. Please note that we did not write the descriptions ourselves (for our thoughts on books, check out our book reviews).

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1) A Time to Tear Down and a Time to Build Up: A Rereading of Ecclesiastes



Top Ecclesiastes Commentaries // #1

Rabbi Michael V. Fox offers this careful interpretation of Ecclesiastes in A Time to Tear Down and a Time to Build Up: A Rereading of Ecclesiastes.  Rabbi Fox – a Halls-Bascom Professor in the Department of Hebrew and Semitic Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison – produces solid scholarly insight that is readable by all.  His work provides some of the best commentary available on this challenging section of Scripture.  Published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.


2) Qoheleth [Ecclesiastes] (Continental Commentary Series)



Top Ecclesiastes Commentaries // #2

This new addition to the successful Continental Commentary series is a significant and fresh treatment of Qoheleth (or Ecclesiastes).

Famed professor Norbert Lohfink, S.J. – a retired Professor of Old Testament at Sankt Georgen Seminary (Frankfurt, Germany)- presents a startlingly new translation of this often perplexing book of the Old Testament in Qoheleth [Ecclesiastes]. His is a unique interpretation that views the book not as depressing, lost, or cynical, but joyful. The volume (by Continental Commentary Series) includes introduction, new translation, commentary, parallel passages, bibliography, and indexes.


3) Ecclesiastes (The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries)



Top Ecclesiastes Commentaries // #3

The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries is a prestigious series of more than 80 volumes written by scholars of all faiths.  A book-by-book translation and exegesis of the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and the Apocrypha, this massive commentary series makes available all the significant historical and linguistic knowledge which bears on the interpretation of the Bible.  Anchor Yale commentaries are written with the most exacting standards of scholarship, reflecting the highest technical accomplishment. They are accessible for laypersons, and vital for sermon preparation, research, and advanced study of the Bible.


In their Ecclesiastes volume, Bible scholar Choon-Leong Seow creatively translates and carefully interprets this profound Book.  The book begins and ends with the infamous claim, “Vanity of vanities, says Qohelet, vanity of vanities! All is vanity!” This is a timeless and must-have commentary on Ecclesiastes.


4) Ecclesiastes (Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms)



Top Ecclesiastes Commentaries // #4

Craig Bartholomew – a respected Old Testament scholar and coauthor of Drama of Scripture, offers  a careful exegetical reading of Ecclesiastes in this addition to the Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms series.  The seven volume Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms is unique in that it combines poetry and Wisdom literature. It provides students and pastors with a careful reading of the text and its theological implications. Features include:  the message of the biblical book at hand, attention to poetic structure and literary devices, author’s translation of the Hebrew text, canonical insights, textual notes and much more.

5) Ecclesiastes (Geneva Series of Commentaries)


Ecclesiastes (Geneva Series of Commentaries)
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Top Ecclesiastes Commentaries // #5

Charles Bridges – one of the leaders of the Evangelical party in the Church of England in the nineteenth century – left behind Biblically saturated and rich commentary on Ecclesiastes.  Even after all these years, his writing is relevant today, harmonious with the New Testament and extremely timeless.


6) The Book of Ecclesiastes (The New International Commentary on the Old Testament)


Top Ecclesiastes Commentaries // #6

Yale PdD Tremper Longman III takes a canonical-Christocentric approach to the meaning of Ecclesiastes in The Book of Ecclesiastes for The New International Commentary on the Old Testament. One of the strong points of this commentary is how Longman (the Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies and the chair of the Religious Studies department at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California) explains matters in a way that is quite accessible to the layperson.  This series serves as an authoritative guide bridging the cultural gap between today’s world and the world of ancient Israel. Each commentary opens with an introduction to the biblical book, looking especially at questions of its background, authorship, date, purpose, structure, and theology. A select bibliography also points readers to resources for their own study. Each volume aims to help the reader hear God’s word as clearly as possible.


7) Ecclesiastes / Song Of Solomon (The Preacher’s Commentary, Volume 16)



Top Ecclesiastes Commentaries // #7

Written by Dr. David A. Hubbard and edited by Lloyd J. Ogilvie Vol. 16 Ecclesiastes / Song Of Solomon blends sound scholarship with life-related illustrations.
Although originally purposed as a minister’s preparation tool, the Preacher’s Complete Homiletical Commentary is also a fine personal study supplement.
The series distinguishes itself as being a commentary “written by preachers for preachers” and offers thousands of pages of: detailed illustrations suitable for devotional study and preaching; suggestive and explanatory comments on verses; theological outlines of passages; expository notes; ketches and relevant quotes and brief critical notes on chapters.

8) Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs (The NIV Application Commentary Ecclesiastes)



Top Ecclesiastes Commentaries // #8
Andrew E. Hill, PhD – a Marshall Sheppard Professor of Biblical Studies at Regent College – shares thoughtful perspectives on Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs that show ageless truths for our modern lives in this NIV Application Commentary. NIV Application Commentaries have three sections in each chapter: a textual analysis, a section bridging the ancient to the modern, and then modern applications. This top commentary is a must have for anyone who seriously wants to apply the Word of God to modern application


9) Ecclesiastes: An Introduction and Commentary (Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries)


Top Ecclesiastes Commentaries // #9

The premier shorter-length commentary series throughout the English-speaking, the Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries presents Ecclesiastes by Michael Eaton. Eaton has served as lecturer in Old Testament at Baptist Theological College of Southern Africa and is pastor-at-large of Chrisco Fellowship of Churches in Nairobi, Kenya.  The introduction to each Tyndale volume gives a concise but thorough description of the authorship, date and historical background of the biblical book under consideration. Tyndale commentary itself examines the text section by section, drawing out its main themes. Additionally, it comments on individual verses and deals with problems of interpretation. The original, unrevised text of Esther has been completely retypeset and printed in a larger, more attractive format with the beautiful new cover design for the series.

10) Calvins Commentaries (22 Volume Set)


Calvins Commentaries (22 Volume Set)
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Top Ecclesiastes Commentaries // #10

Calvin’s Commentaries are a 22 volume timeless set of texts by John Calvin. Calvin’s commentaries display a unique combination of exegetical insight, pastoral concern, and theological depth which have inspired generations of Christians. This is a massive and classic collection with over 22,000 pages in total. Features include: advanced searching by passage and topic, passage guides and reports, sermon preparation and more.

11) The Message of Ecclesiastes (Bible Speaks Today)


The Message of Ecclesiastes (Bible Speaks Today)
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Top Ecclesiastes Commentaries // #11

This book is part of the Bible Speaks Today commentary series which embraces a three-prong approach to commentaries: expound the biblical text with accuracy, relate it to contemporary life and to readable. Each contributor in this series is both a noted scholar and a working pastor. Derek Kidner introduces this Old Testament book which speaks so powerfully to our generation. His love of Hebrew poetry and his understanding of biblical mind shine through in his careful passage-by-passage exposition. The full biblical text is included.




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P.P.S. Be sure to check out:

With all the Ecclesiastes Commentaries available, we’ve selected some of the very best. Don’t read any other Ecclesiastes commentaries until you’ve read these!



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