What does it say?
All is vanity because everything that happens under the sun was happening before us and will continue when we are gone. Men work all the days of their lives but actually accomplish nothing. The preacher set his mind to know more than any before him but then realized that this too is vanity because with much wisdom and knowledge there is grief. The preacher sought pleasure from alcohol, possessions and women. Then he sought to gain pleasure through the works of his hands but this too was vanity. He sought wisdom all the days of his life but for what, the wise man dies just like the fool who walks in darkness, so he hated life, and saw life as striving after nothing. He also saw the work that he did all of his life, the building of a kingdom as futile because all will be taken over by someone who did not work; he asks, what does a man get for his life long labor? The only way for a man to eat and have enjoyment is with God. There is a time for everything done under the sun. What profit is there for the worker who toils? Men have eternity in their hearts, yet it is hidden from them. There is nothing better than to enjoy what God has given man, the creation belongs to God and man should fear Him. All men are but beasts and like beast all die and return to the earth, is their proof that the life of man ascends after the death of the body or is his fate the same as the beasts? There is so much evil done to men by men on the earth, so the preacher thought, the one who never existed is better off than both the oppressed and the oppressor. Neighbors compete against each other but for what; their end is the same as one who does not labor at all. He saw a man who worked hard, depriving himself of pleasure but for what, the man did not even have a dependent. It is not good to be alone; therefore, two are better than one because they can support one another against evils. Why seek to become king, you will only be replaced by another and be forgotten.
What does it mean?
Life without God is meaningless! Some spend their lives working hard but they will die just like the lazy man. Some spend their lives gaining wisdom and knowledge but will die just like the ignorant fool. Some spend their lives accumulating wealth and things but someone else will get these things. Some spend their lives seeking pleasure but this to will end in nothing. So, without God what is the point of life. Is a man any better than a dog? The body of a man and the body of a dog both rot and return to earth. Without God life is meaningless!
What shall I do?
In my youth and as a young adult I sought only pleasure. I saw this is vain, so I sought a wife. I became married and labored to support a growing family, only to have them leave the home. After this, I sought wisdom and knowledge. I am becoming an older adult and know the fate of my father, who labored all the days of his life, only to have someone else enjoy the pleasure of his labor. What shall I do? If pleasure, work and wisdom or vanity without God, what shall I do? I shall fear God and follow Jesus Christ because He is the way and the truth and the life. Jesus is the way to God. (Jn.14:6) The tomb was found empty, Jesus appeared to His disciples and they believed that He rose from the dead.