Ecclesiastes 1:3 All the labor taken by man.
Ecclesiastes 1:9 No new thing
Ecclesiastes 1:14 works
Ecclesiastes 2:11 No profit
Ecclesiastes 2:17 work that is done
Ecclesiastes 2:18 labor in which I have toiled
Ecclesiastes 2:19 working wisely
Ecclesiastes 2:20 labor in which I have toiled
Ecclesiastes 2:22 laboring with your heart
Ecclesiastes 3:16 wickedness instead of justice & iniquity instead of righteousness
Ecclesiastes 4:1 Oppressions that are done
Ecclesiastes 4:3 Evil work
Ecclesiastes 4:7 Vanity (uselessness)
Ecclesiastes 4:15 Living people walk
Ecclesiastes 5:13 riches kept to oneself to your own harm
Ecclesiastes 5:18 labor taken
Ecclesiastes 6:1 Common evil
Ecclesiastes 6:12 knowing the future
Ecclesiastes 8:9 work that is done
Ecclesiastes 8:15 eating, drinking, and being merry
Ecclesiastes 8:17 work that is done
Ecclesiastes 9:3 Men are full of evil days, then they die.
Ecclesiastes 9:6 No portion of anything done may be kept after death
Ecclesiastes 9:9 the wife God has given for your life
Ecclesiastes 9:11 time and chance happens to all men, instead of life favoring the swift, the wise, strong, or the understanding men.
Ecclesiastes 9: 13 wisdom
Ecclesiastes 10:5 Dignified fools & Humble Rich men
This book is the only one that has the phrase, "under the sun" in the Bible. These are all the references that use the phrase. Notice that 11 of those were about working. Now that it is Friday, I am sure many of you feel like King Solomon in that sense... what's the sense in working so much? You see, Solomon found all of these things foolish or senseless. What's the point? he said. But, this was a man who was born with a literal silver spoon in his mouth. He was the favored son of the great King David in the Bible. He had lived such a life of opulence and wealth, and had many wives, and possessions. He had enjoyed extreme sports, like the pampered wealthy who never have to work. So, things really had no purpose for him. His life became all about Solomon. It turns out, the life of the wisest man on earth was rather small. He doesn't seem like such a wise man in retrospect, does he? He had been in his early years, but some of his decisions weren't the wisest, it seems.
For example, he married the daughters of Kings of foreign countries, in a "wise" attempt to secure peace with those countries, thereby solidifying his empire. But, he ended up with a family of strangers and they all had strange Gods. He ended up deluded and his faith became diluted. His children did not reap the benefit of all his riches. The empire was divided after his death and his son only took two tribes, of the 12 of Israel. Maybe the foreign wives weren't a wise decision after all.
It seems to me, wisdom is based on outcome. If I want to achieve wealth, then one course of action might be wise, while if I want to have a happy well adjusted family, then another course might be wiser for me. The answer really lies in the place we are looking. Perhaps, Solomon shouldn't have been looking "under the sun" afterall, at least not for fulfillment. It seems most of the real fulfillment and purpose in this life comes from God... beyond the son.