Survey of the Bible: Ecclesiastes

Survey of the Bible: Ecclesiastes


Text: Ecclesiastes 1:1-11

 

I.         About the book

            A.        The name of the book means “preacher”

                        1.         It comes from a Hebrew term, qoheleth, which is only found in Ecclesiastes - Ecclesiastes 1:1-2, 12; 7:27; 12:8-10

                                    a.         It means one who addresses an assembly

                        2.         The Septuagint translated it to ekkleiastes, which is a form of the Greek word ekklesia, the word for an assembly.

                        3.         In Latin it is ecclesiastes, which means a speaker before an assembly

            B.        The book is authored by Solomon, though he is never mentioned by name

                        1.         He was a king in Jerusalem and a son of David and reigned over Israel - Ecclesiastes 1:1, 12

                                    a.         Only Solomon and Reheboam match that description

                        2.         He was wiser than anyone else in Jerusalem’s history - Ecclesiastes 1:16

                                    a.         If you say it was not Solomon, then you are saying that a later king was wiser than Solomon - I Kings 3:12

                        3.         The list of accomplishments match only Solomon - Ecclesiastes 2:4-6

                        4.         The wealth mentioned only match Solomon - Ecclesiastes 2:7-10

                        5.         The proverbs in Ecclesiastes are similar in nature to those found in Proverbs

                                    a.         There is also a mention of the author’s collection of proverbs - Ecclesiastes 12:9

                        6.         The lack of historical events doesn’t tell us when in Solomon’s reign it was written, other than it certainly wasn’t at the beginning of his reign.

II.        If you were to pick one word to describe this book, surely the word “vanity” would be the main choice.

            A.        Vanity means useless. It is the idea of blowing into the wind and thinking you are going to change things. Or grabbing the wind to control it.

            B.        Job told us how to suffer. Psalms told us how to pray. Proverbs told us how to live. Ecclesiastes tells us how to enjoy life.

                        1.         Which at first seems odd in a book that labels so many things in life as being useless.

                        2.         Many people focus on the negative themes, but positive themes are developed at the same time.

            C.        Solomon noted that world contains endless cycles. So what difference does man make in the world

                        1.         Why are we here? - Ecclesiastes 1:3

                        2.         What difference to we make? - Ecclesiastes 1:4-7

                        3.         What satisfaction is drawn from life? - Ecclesiastes 1:8

                        4.         How are people made better? - Ecclesiastes 1:9-10

                        5.         What impact in life remains? - Ecclesiastes 1:11

III.       It is written in the style of a research paper

            A.        A description of the problem is given at the start - Ecclesiastes 1:1-11

            B.        A proposed method of researching the problem is given - Ecclesiastes 1:12-14

            C.        Limitations on the research are addressed - Ecclesiastes 1:15-18

            D.        Experiments are conducted and preliminary findings noted - Ecclesiastes 2-11:8

            E.        The conclusion is then drawn - Ecclesiastes 11:9-12:130

IV.      What life isn’t about

            A.        Fun and pleasure - Ecclesiastes 2:1

            B.        Making things - Ecclesiastes 2:11

            C.        Education - Ecclesiastes 2:14-17

            D.        Accumulating wealth - Ecclesiastes 2:18-21

            E.        Working hard - Ecclesiastes 2:22-23

            F.        Sinning - Ecclesiastes 2:26

            G.        Living for the moment - Ecclesiastes 3:18-19

            H.        Being the best - Ecclesiastes 4:4

            I.         Being lazy - Ecclesiastes 4:5

            J.         Being independent - Ecclesiastes 4:7-8

            K.        Being powerful and famous - Ecclesiastes 4:13-16

            L.        Escapism, daydreaming - Ecclesiastes 5:7

            M.       Wealth - Ecclesiastes 5:10

            N.        Not enjoying what you have - Ecclesiastes 6:1-2

            O.        Not being satisfied with what you have - Ecclesiastes 6:3-4

            P.        Desire - Ecclesiastes 6:9

            Q.        Discovering something new - Ecclesiastes 6:10-11

            R.        Having a complete plan for your life - Ecclesiastes 6:12

            S.        Being foolish - Ecclesiastes 7:6

            T.        Perfectionism or moral degradation - Ecclesiastes 7:15-17

            U.        Wickedness - Ecclesiastes 8:10

            V.        Expecting life to be just or fair - Ecclesiastes 8:14

            W.       Long life without sorrow - Ecclesiastes 11:8

            X.        Staying young - Ecclesiastes 11:10

V.        What makes life better

            A.        Eat, drink, and satisfaction in your work - Ecclesiastes 2:24-25

            B.        Doing things at the right time, patience - Ecclesiastes 3:1, 10-11

            C.        Have fun, do good, eat, drink, see the good in your work, fear God - Ecclesiastes 3:12-14

            D.        Be happy with the present - Ecclesiastes 3:22

            E.        Take time to rest - Ecclesiastes 4:6

            F.        Have friends - Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

            G.        Learn - Ecclesiastes 4:13

            H.        Eat, drink, enjoy yourself in your work, enjoy what you produce - Ecclesiastes 5:18-20

            I.         A good reputation - Ecclesiastes 7:1

            J.         Experiencing sorrow - Ecclesiastes 7:2-3

            K.        Being corrected - Ecclesiastes 7:5

            L.        Finishing things and having patience - Ecclesiastes 7:8

            M.       Accept things as they are - Ecclesiastes 7:14

            N.        Be righteous, fear God but accept the fact you won’t be perfect - Ecclesiastes 7:18

            O.        God made men to be righteous - Ecclesiastes 7:29

            P.        Fear God openly - Ecclesiastes 8:12

            Q.        Enjoy life - Ecclesiastes 8:15

            R.        Where there is life, there is hope - Ecclesiastes 9:4

            S.        Live a life approved by God - Ecclesiastes 9:7

            T.        Take care of yourself - Ecclesiastes 9:8

            U.        Get married - Ecclesiastes 9:9

            V.        Work hard, don’t procrastinate - Ecclesiastes 9:10

            W.       Be wise, learn wisdom - Ecclesiastes 9:13-18; 10:10

            X.        Not having self-indulgent rulers - Ecclesiastes 10:17

            Y.        Have alternative plans - Ecclesiastes 11:6

            Z.        Get outside and enjoy life - Ecclesiastes 11:7-8

            AA.     Enjoy childhood, youth, follow impulses without sin - Ecclesiastes 11:9

            BB.     Serve God from youth - Ecclesiastes 12:1

            CC.     Respect God and obey Him - Ecclesiastes 12:13-14


What Life Isn’t About

 

                      Fun and pleasure - Ecclesiastes 2:1

                      Making things - Ecclesiastes 2:11

                      Education - Ecclesiastes 2:14-17

                      Accumulating wealth - Ecclesiastes 2:18-21

                      Working hard - Ecclesiastes 2:22-23

                      Sinning - Ecclesiastes 2:26

                      Living for the moment - Ecclesiastes 3:18-19

                      Being the best - Ecclesiastes 4:4

                      Being lazy - Ecclesiastes 4:5

                      Being independent - Ecclesiastes 4:7-8

                      Being powerful and famous - Ecclesiastes 4:13-16

                      Your dreams - Ecclesiastes 5:7

                      Wealth - Ecclesiastes 5:10

                      Not enjoying what you have - Ecclesiastes 6:1-2

                      Not being satisfied with what you have - Ecclesiastes 6:3-4

                      Desire - Ecclesiastes 6:9

                      Discovering something new - Ecclesiastes 6:10-11

                      Having a complete plan for your life - Ecclesiastes 6:12

                      Being foolish - Ecclesiastes 7:6

                      Perfectionism or moral degradation - Ecclesiastes 7:15-17

                      Wickedness - Ecclesiastes 8:10

                      Expecting life to be just or fair - Ecclesiastes 8:14

                      Long life without sorrow - Ecclesiastes 11:8

                      Staying young - Ecclesiastes 11:10



What Makes Life Better

                      Being satisfied - Ecclesiastes 2:24-25

                      Waiting for the right time, patience - Ecclesiastes 3:1, 10-11

                      See the good in what you do and fear God - Ecclesiastes 3:12-14

                      Be happy with the present - Ecclesiastes 3:22

                      Take time to rest - Ecclesiastes 4:6

                      Have friends - Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

                      Learn - Ecclesiastes 4:13

                      Enjoy what you produce - Ecclesiastes 5:18-20

                      A good reputation - Ecclesiastes 7:1

                      Experience sorrow - Ecclesiastes 7:2-3

                      Correction - Ecclesiastes 7:5

                      Finishing things and having patience - Ecclesiastes 7:8

                      Accept things as they are - Ecclesiastes 7:14

                      Be righteous, fear God but accept the fact you won’t be perfect - Ecclesiastes 7:18

                      Know that God made men to be righteous - Ecclesiastes 7:29

                      Fear God openly - Ecclesiastes 8:12

                      Enjoy life - Ecclesiastes 8:15

                      Be optimistic - Ecclesiastes 9:4

                      Live a life approved by God - Ecclesiastes 9:7

                      Take care of yourself - Ecclesiastes 9:8

                      Get married - Ecclesiastes 9:9

                      Work hard, don’t procrastinate - Ecclesiastes 9:10

                      Be wise, learn wisdom - Ecclesiastes 9:13-18; 10:10

                      Not having self-indulgent rulers - Ecclesiastes 10:17

                      Have alternative plans - Ecclesiastes 11:6

                      Get outside and enjoy life - Ecclesiastes 11:7-8

                      Enjoy childhood, youth, follow impulses without sin - Ecclesiastes 11:9

                      Serve God from youth - Ecclesiastes 12:1

                      Respect God and obey Him - Ecclesiastes 12:13-14