(Eccl. 3:12-13) Is eating and drinking the meaning of life?

CLAIM: Solomon writes, “I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one’s lifetime; 13 moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor—it is the gift of God” (Eccl. 3:12-13). Does this mean that hedonism is the purpose of life?

RESPONSE: No. This would contradict all that Solomon wrote in the previous chapter, where he wrote about the meaninglessness of hedonism. Instead, his focus here is not on eating and drinking, but rather, on “do[ing] good” and having a lasting effect on eternity (Eccl. 3:11). The Bible teaches that we will all be rewarded for our works (2 Cor. 5:10; Rom. 14:10; Eph. 6:8). Thus, Solomon seems to be focusing on how our lives will impact eternity, which is the context of this statement (Eccl. 3:11).