This short text is widely accepted as one of the canonical wisdom books of the Bible. It is narrated by one who calls himself a teacher, and also a king, traditionally held to be Solomon. The general recommendation is that the wise man should consider all created things as symbols of vanity and that one's prime concern should be to avoid offending God.
As with the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, commentators have been arguing for centuries about the true philosophical orientation of the author. View range from the advocacy of a radical nihilism to the recommendation of a stringent and unwavering piety. However, scholars agree that the work is a true icon of world literature, and it is one of the most frequently quoted books in the Biblical canon.