The words of the Preacher, the son of David, King in Jerusalem. Eccl. 1.1 (KJV)
The ‘words’ is derived from dāḇār דָּבָר(H1679) meaning ‘a thing’ or ‘a matter.’ In context of its root word דָּבַר (H1696), dāḇār could be defined as ‘a word; by implication a matter (as spoken of) of thing; adverbially a cause.’ By extension, the word is also used in relation to business, occupation, et cetera. In other words, it could also be seen as important instructions for executing an important task. In the context of this verse, we may probably seek its meaning to be stating – a speech or utterances about an important (or profound) matter. In KJV’s usage, it also means – to act, advice, et cetera. In Old Testament, these words occur as a way to introduce a collection of sayings. (Bartholomew, 2009, 88)
‘Preacher’ is derived from qôheleth קֹהֶלֶת (H6953). It means ‘collector of sentences.’ The root word, qāhal קָהַל (H6950) means ‘to assemble.’ The preacher (in the least controversial way) can be understood as a persona adopted in the likeness of a Davidic King (Provan, 2001, 53); with a purpose of addressing the descendants of David. This persona can also be understood as a royal fiction. (Bartholomew) The root word qāhal is a feminine verb and it seems to suggest the same character as that of wisdom in Proverbs 1-9. In this reading, the preacher could also be presented as ‘one who gathers material for education… (a) teacher to the public.’ (Bartholomew)
The ‘son’ is derived from bēn בֵּן (H1121) meaning son, member of a group… of a nation. Its root word bānâ בָּנָה (H1129), which is a verb, and it means, to build, rebuild, establish, cause to continue.
A few things we can infer: (1) that it is collection of sayings, its content seems to be of wisdom, and of utmost importance, (2) it seems to be attributed to a royal fiction, to emphasis on the importance of the work, (3) the work seems to be of importance as its effective purpose is to strengthened, build, rebuild, and substantiate the continuation of the Davidic heritage – vis-à-vis, the body of believers.
Image: Gustave Doré, Jonah Preaches to the Ninevites (1866)
Bartholomew, C. (2009). Ecclesiastes, Baker Academic
Provan, I. (2001). Ecclesiastes/Song of Songs: The New Application Commentary, Zondervan
 Scriptural references: 1:1, 2, 12; 7:27; 12:8, 9, 10