Ecclesiastes is one of the most interesting books in the Bible, in part because it is so different from the others, even from the other Wisdom books (Job, Proverbs, Song of Songs). Like the Wisdom books, Ecclesiastes largely ignores the history and law of ancient Israel, but it also challenges the accepted themes and theology of the wisdom tradition. This has led to puzzlement from general readers and a great diversity of interpretation from scholars. The purpose of this commentary is to provide a viable and helpful interpretation of Ecclesiastes while also surveying some diverse interpretations previously made by noted scholars.
The book of Lamentations is a collection of five psalms that lament the fall of Jerusalem. They are largely an expression of grief and contain very little information about the historical events that caused the suffering. Instead they provide details of desolation and shame, expressions of emotion, accusations against God, and sometimes hints of repentance and glimmers of hope. Stephen J. Bennet moves verse-by-verse through Lamentations after providing an in-depth introduction.