Lesson 1 Study Guide

Ecclesiastes Lesson 1 Study Guide

I. Introduction

II. Read 1:1-3, 6-7, 8-10.

A. How are these verses conventionally understood?

B. What “promise” of the Bible - at least one experienced on the surface of the text – might be vexing to Solomon? And what idea of the Bible appears to be rejected in these verses, especially in 9-11?

C. How could these verses be understood very differently, indeed in a way that is more in sync with the more traditional perspective of a person of faith?

III. Read 1:12-18; and 2:1-2, 4-8, 10-11.

Here we see Solomon applying his wisdom to all things, including the pursuit of joy and pleasure (including luxury). Again, he finds futility.

Do you recall Solomon’s life from Kings? How might what we read here be seen as a true understanding he developed?

IV. Read 2:13-17, 20-21, and 26.

A. In 2:13 and thereafter, we see Solomon making the distinction between wisdom and folly. But he again finds futility. What idea brings him to that conclusion? Where does all this land him?

B. Yet, there seems to be a turn in Verse 26. Do you see it? What is it?

V. After noting the verses that make up the song made popular by the Byrds, read 3:9-22.

A. Solomon is struggling back and forth with the major challenges of life. He appears to have an answer and hope but then falls back into doubt and pain, and then back and forth again. Can you follow the flow of it?

What causes the pain? Look, too, at 4:1-6.

What are the possible ultimate sources of hope?

VI. Read 4:7-15, 5:1.

What do these verses teach? If all were futility, why would we have these verses?

VII. Conclusion - what are our takeaways after our first experience of Ecclesiastes?

Ecclesiastes Lesson 1 Study Guide

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