There are new things under the sun daily, a new sunrise, sunset, new births. Ecclesiastes 1:9-10 can't possibly be correct.


Ecclesiastes 1:9-10 What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one can say, Look! This is something new? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time.
There are several new things daily. God is always working to bring about his will. Isaiah 43:19 states, "See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland" (cf. Jer. 31:22).

However, the author in Ecclesiastes 1:9-10 is not especially speaking about God doing new things, but rather is denying any distinction between the past and the future. Everything seems the same; the future merely repeats the past. People are born, then married, work, and then die. There is nothing of value that pierces the monotony of life:the eye is not satisfied by seeing or the ear by hearing. D.A Garrett brings out the fuller meaning saying regarding (Ecclesiastes 1:9-11)

The Teacher gives another implication of the description of the world in vv. 38a: "What has been will be again." Nothing is new, and nothing gains eternal fame. The Teacher's words are not contradicted by technological advances or by the fact that we can remember the names of famous people such as Homer, Caesar, and Shakespeare. The fundamental events of life (birth, marriage, work, death, etc.) remain unchanged. The desire for something new is the desire for something that alters the nature of life in the world. Cars, computers, and jet airplanes may have made some things easier and faster. For us, however, as for our ancient predecessors, the sun rises and sets; the rivers run their courses; and people continue their endless quest for fame, power, and happiness even as they move steadily toward death. The vast majority of people never achieve lasting fame, while those who do gain nothing by it.

This passage is not a contradiction to the gospel but a call for it. The world is in bondage; and humanity is unable to explain, find satisfaction in, or alter it. Only the Word, who came into the world from above, can open the way of understanding and escape (John 8:23, 31-32). ...

Garrett, D. A. (2001). Vol. 14: Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of songs (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; The New American Commentary. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).