The Summarized Bible - Old Testament

By Keith Leroy Brooks


Key Thought   Number of Chapters   Key Verse   Christ Seen As:
Vanity   12   2:11  

Above the Sun

Writer of the Book:   Date:   Conclusion of the Book
Solomon   980 to 985 B. C.   Apart from God, life is full of weariness and disappointment.


Contents: The doctrine of the vanity of the creature, and the impossibility of finding satisfaction without God.

Characters: God, Solomon.

Conclusion: All things, considered as abstract from God, and apart from Him, all worldly employments and enjoyments, are vanity of vanities, and if there were no supernatural method of giving peace to the heart and another life to follow, were indeed made in vain.

Key Word: Vanity, v. 2.

Strong Verses:   8.

Striking Facts: All is indeed vanity if Christ is not in the heart and if there be no hope of eternal life through acceptance of Him. The things of earth are passing away and hence are vanity if they be trusted in. There is a kingdom coming in which believers shall inherit substance and where there is no vanity. Matt. 11:28-29; 1 Cor. 15:19.


Contents: Solomon shows that there is no true happiness and satisfaction to be had in mirth, pleasure and the delights of sense.

Characters: God, Solomon.

Conclusion: True and lasting happiness and satisfaction consist not in mirth, the gratifying of appetites, the spending of money or the getting of wisdom. Only he who sets God always before him and employs himself for God may find heart rest in this world and that joy which He alone can give.

Key Word: Vanity, v. 1.

Strong Verses:   26.


Contents: The mutability of all human affairs and the unchangeableness and unsearchableness of the divine counsels.

Characters: God, Solomon.

Conclusion: We live in a world of changes. The events of time and the conditions of human life are continually passing and repassing, yet every change is determined by the supreme power and we should therefore accommodate ourselves to His purposes. The only true pleasure of life is in making good use of the things God has given us, making ourselves serviceable to those about us.

Key Word: Man's portion, v. 22.

Strong Verses:   12, 14, 17.

Striking Facts: v. 17. In the midst of all the inequalities of human affairs it is a great comfort to know that the eye of faith can see that Jesus Christ, the Judge, stands before the door and that when He comes, He will reward the righteous and punish the pride and cruelty of oppressors. Though the day of affliction may seem long, we may patiently wait His coming, when there will be an examination into every purpose and every work done under the sun.


Contents: Discontent and impatience because of the oppressions and iniquities of life.

Characters: Solomon.

Conclusion: The world is full of trouble. By reason of man's perversity, he is ever disturbed and perplexed by social conditions around him. If Christ and the hope of heaven were not taken into account, to die as soon as possible would be desirable.

Key Word: Vanity, v. 7.

Strong Verses:   6, 13.

Striking Facts: v. 4. For every right work, the Christian is remembered by the Lord Jesus, and at His coming will be rewarded. Though he be hated by a neighbor for a right work, the Christian will always be abounding in the work of the Lord knowing his labor will not be in vain in the Lord.


Contents: Warnings against a vain religion. The vanity and vexation attending the possession of wealth.

Characters: God, Solomon.

Conclusion: We should address ourselves to the worship of God with all possible seriousness and care, for religious exercises if not rightly directed, may become empty ceremony, and we will miss our end in coming into His presence.

Key Word: Vanity, v. 10.

Strong Verses:   1, 2, 12.

Striking Facts: Those who labor only for the world, to fill their hands with that which they cannot take away, will not only die an uncomfortable death, but will miss the only satisfaction of life. (v. 12.) The sleep of the diligent Christian is sweet, for having spent his strength and time in Christ's service, he can cheerfully return to Him and repose in Him who gives rest. Matt. 11:28-29.


Contents: The vanity of worldly wealth as pertaining only to the body.

Characters: God, Solomon.

Conclusion: Man deprives himself of the good he might have had of his worldly possessions by not consecrating them to God. If one does not have the will to serve God with what he has, God may deny him the power to even serve himself with it.

Key Word: Vanity, v. 2.

Strong Verses:   2.

Striking Facts: v. 7. Those who have ever so much, yet do not know Christ, are ever craving. Wealth to a worldling is like drink to one who has dropsy, which only increases the thirst. Christ is the true Bread which satisfies; the Water of life which quenches all thirst of the soul.


Contents: Prudence recommended as a means of avoiding much of the vanity and vexation of the world.

Characters: God, Solomon.

Conclusion: The best way to save ourselves from the vexation which the vanity of the world creates, is to make use of wisdom, maintaining strict government of the passions. Wisdom is a defense (v. 12).

Key Word: Wisdom, vv. 11, 19.

Strong Verses:   9,29.


Contents: Wisdom recommended as an antidote against the temptations and vexations arising from the vanity of the world.

Characters: God, Solomon.

Conclusion: Heavenly wisdom makes a man a good man, emboldening him against his adversaries, their attempts and their scorn. It teaches him that sentence is passed by a righteous Judge against all evil works, even though the execution of sentence is long delayed, and that it shall be well in the end with those who fear God.

Key Word: Wisdom, v. 1.

Strong Verses:   11, 12.


Contents: The universality of death and the need of minding the business of life and using wisdom.

Characters: God, Solomon.

Conclusion: While there is life there is opportunity of preparing for death, and since death is certain, it is our wisdom to make the best possible use of life while it lasts, cheerfully taking our share of life's enjoyments, applying ourselves diligently to life's business, and being governed by divine wisdom in all its affairs.

Key Word: Vanity, v. 9.

Strong Verses:   10, 16.

Striking Facts: v. 1. Regardless of how the outward condition of men may seem to us, let it be remembered that all men's affairs are in God's hand and that prosperity is not necessarily a sign of God's love or affliction of His hatred. If a man has Christ as His Savior, he may be happy though the world frowns upon him, and if he is without Christ, he may be miserable, though the world smiles upon him.


Contents: Proverbs recommending wisdom as of great use for the right ordering of our lives.

Characters: Solomon.

Conclusion: Fools are apt, at every turn, to proclaim their folly, for if one is lacking in true wisdom, it cannot be concealed. True wisdom is true honor and will gain a man a reputation which is very valuable.

Key Word: Wisdom and folly, vv. 6, 10.

Strong Verses:   8, 10.

Striking Facts: v. 1. Those who profess to be followers of Christ, who is said to be "made unto us wisdom," have need to walk very circumspectly lest they be guilty of any instance of folly, for many eyes are upon them.


Contents: Exhortation to works of charity and right living.

Characters: God, Solomon.

Conclusion: Since we have death and judgment to prepare for, we should do good to others and abound in liberality to the poor, which will (if we are in Christ) abound to our account.

Key Word: Give, v. 2.

Strong Verses:   1, 9.


Contents: Exhortation to the young to be religious. The vanity of the world.

Characters: God, Solomon.

Conclusion: The great antidote against the diseases of youth, the love of mirth, the indulgence of sensual pleasures, and the vanities to which youth is subject, is the reverence of God reigning in the heart and a respect to His commandments. To reverence God is the summary of religion.

Key Word: Fear God, v. 13.

Strong Verses:   1, 13, 14.

Striking Facts: v. 13. This is on the ground of law, not grace. To fear God and keep the commandments is the best that man, apart from redemption, can do. The Christian, under the Gospel, has Christ living in Him (Gal. 2:20) and his body is a shrine of the Holy Ghost (1 Cor. 6:19).