Memory Verse
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

The book of Ecclesiastes communicates the truth that the source of true joy and satisfaction is in God alone. Solomon was on a search for his ultimate purpose in life. Ecclesiastes describes what a life lived apart from God looks like by examining “life under the sun.” This is life without considering God.

Solomon explains his journey through life and the relative value of pleasure, work, wisdom, intellect, activity, and wealth. In short, the book of Ecclesiastes records Solomon’s search for meaning and significance. 

Hymn: Be Thou My Vision
Sheet Music
Top 5 Facts to Remember
  1. Authentic joy and satisfaction are found in God alone.
  2. There is a season and a time for everything (Eccl. 3:1–8).
  3. God has set eternity in the heart of every person (Eccl. 3:11).
  4. God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes (Eccl. 7:29).
  5. It will be well with those who fear God (Eccl. 8:12).
Theme: Life Apart from God

In Ecclesiastes, God is glorifying Himself through disclosing what it means to live life apart from God, so that He might demonstrate His superior goodness in the salvation sinners, the damnation of the wicked, and for the preservation of His people for His eternal glory, and their eternal joy.

Author: Solomon

Solomon is the author of Ecclesiastes. Although the name, “Solomon” never appears in the book, the author refers to himself as “the son of David” (Eccl. 1:1) and asserts that he “was king over Israel in Jerusalem” (Eccl. 1:12). Since Solomon was the only son of David to become king, and the last king to reign over both Israel and Jerusalem, this description could only be true of him.

Time of Writing: 940-931 B.C.

Solomon wrote Ecclesiastes sometime during his reign (971–931 B.C.). Since Solomon seems to be looking back on his life, a date closer to 931 B.C. is probable

Key Verses:

“A good name is better than precious ointment,
And the day of death than the day of one’s birth;
Better to go to the house of mourning
Than to go to the house of feasting,
For that is the end of all men;
And the living will take it to heart.”

Ecclesiastes 7:1–2

“Truly, this only I have found:
That God made man upright,
But they have sought out many schemes.”

Ecclesiastes 7:29

“Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth,
Before the difficult days come,
And the years draw near when you say,
‘I have no pleasure in them.’ ”

Ecclesiastes 12:1

  1. There is a time and season for everything.
  2. God has set eternity in the human heart.
  3. It is better to go to the house of mourning than to the house of feasting.
  4. Remember your Creator in the days of your youth.
  5. We ought to fear God and keep His commandments
Christ in Ecclesiastes:
  1. Solomon

    Solomon is a type of Christ. Like Solomon, Christ was a preacher, one who demonstrated the vanity of living without God.

  2. Deliverance from Vanity

    Our deliverance from vanity was manifested in the person and work of Jesus Christ, who is the Wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1:22–24, 30). Without Christ, our lives would have remained vain and meaningless.

  1. Enjoying Life as a Gift from God (Eccl. 1–2)
  2. Understanding God’s Plan for Your Life (Eccl. 3–7)
  3. Removing Discouragements and Applying God’s Plan (Eccl. 8–12)
Study Questions

Chapters 1–5

When was the book of Ecclesiastes written?
Sometime between 971 and 931 B.C.

Who wrote the book of Ecclesiastes?
Solomon, “the Preacher” (Eccl. 1:1). 

How does Solomon contrast the earth with the generations of men?
Generations come and go, but the earth remains (Eccl. 1:4).

What does the author conclude after seeing “all the works that are done under the sun”?
All of them are vanity and grasping for the wind (Eccl. 1:14).

What comes with an increase of wisdom and knowledge?
An increase of grief and sorrow (Eccl. 1:18).

What does the preacher say about pleasure?
It also is vanity (Eccl. 2:1).

What does the preacher say about all his works and labor?
All of it was vanity and grasping for the wind, and there was no profit under the sun (Eccl. 2:11).

What does God give to the man who is good in His sight?
Wisdom, knowledge, and joy (Eccl. 2:26).

What does God give to the wicked?
The work of gathering and collecting things that the righteous will ultimately receive (Eccl. 2:26).

What has God put in the heart of every man?
Eternity (Eccl. 3:11).

What does the preacher say about God’s work?
It lasts forever and cannot be changed (Eccl. 3:14).

Where do all men come from and return to?
Dust (Eccl. 3:20).

What does the preacher say about companions?
They are needed in times of trouble (Eccl. 4:9–12).

How should we walk when we go to the house of God?
Prudently (Eccl. 5:1).

What warning does Solomon give us about our speech in God’s house?
Do not be rash with your mouth (Eccl. 5:2).

What does God require of those who make a vow?
That they pay it without delay (Eccl. 5:4).

What is the difference between the sleep of the laboring man and that of the rich man?
The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, but the rich man cannot sleep (Eccl. 5:12).

Who gives men the gift of wealth?
God (Eccl. 5:19).

Chapters 6–12

Why is it better to go to the house of mourning than the house of feasting?
Because death is the end of all men (Eccl. 7:2).

Where is the heart of the wise, compared with the heart of fools?
The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth (Eccl. 7:4).

In what condition did God make mankind?
Upright (Eccl. 7:29).

What have men done since creation?
They have sought out many schemes (Eccl. 7:29).

What should our response be to the king’s commandment?
Obedience (Eccl. 8:2).

Why will it be well with the righteous, but not with the wicked?
Because the righteous fear God, but the wicked do not (Eccl. 8:12–13).

What should a husband’s attitude be towards his wife?
He should live joyfully with her all the days of his life (Eccl. 9:9).

What should our attitude be towards the work that God has given us? 
We should do it with all our might (Eccl. 9:10).

How does wisdom compare to strength?
Wisdom is better than strength (Eccl. 9:13–18).

What does the fool show everyone?
That he is a fool (Eccl. 10:3).

What is the difference between the mouth of the wise man and the mouth of the foolish man?
The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious, but the lips of a fool shall swallow him up (Eccl. 10:12).

What is the preacher’s charge to young men?
To remove sorrow from their hearts, and to put away evil from their flesh
(Eccl. 11:9–10).

What is the preacher’s conclusion at the end of the book of Ecclesiastes?
Fear God and keep His commandments (Eccl. 12:13–14).

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