Bible Question:

Ecclesiastes 1:4 reads as follows, “Generations come, and generations go, but the earth remains eternal.” What place does the world's eternity in Ecc 1:4 have weighed against the immortal soul? Does the planet outlast mankind and will the final judgment occur before we ruin it? Through self destruction by pollution, homicide, genocide, suicide, etc. are we going to bring on our own extinction before we are judged by God?

Bible Answer:

The passage that you refer to is as follows:

A generation goes and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever. Ecclesiastes 1:4 (NAS95S)

The Hebrew word that is translated as “forever” is HOLAM. The root meaning of the word is “thus pointing to what is hidden in the distant future or in the distant past.”[1] Therefore, in some passages the word refers to something in the distant past or future. In this passage it refers to the distant future and is usually translated as “forever.” It is clear from the passage that life today is contrasted with life in the distant future. The message is that we exist for a very short period of time but the earth remains forever in contrast to our short life spans. We will die and eventually stand before God and be judged. Those who have trusted Jesus Christ to forgive their sins and have given Him their lives will spend eternity with God. Those who have not done so will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire.


We would encourage you to listen to a message called “Empty of Empties.” The message explains the meaning of Ecclesiastes 1:1-11.


1. Harris, Archer, and Waltke. Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament.Moody Press., Chicago. Vol. 2, p. 672.

Suggested Links:

Searching For God
Empty of Empties
Did the people who crucified Christ go to hell or the Lake of Fire?