Studying the Book of Ecclesiastes

(Thirteen Lesson Set of Questions)

By David J. Riggs

Lesson One - Eccl. 1:1-18 (Please read chapter one and answer the following questions giving scriptural references for your answers whenever possible.)

1. Who was the writer of Ecclesiastes?

2. Which verse (from among the first few verses) indicates the purpose and design of the book?

3. From verses 4-11, what are some of the things which give a feeling of emptiness and a sense of uselessness so far as this life is concerned?

4. How should we answer the Jehovah's Witnesses' argument from verse 4 that the earth will abide forever?

5. From the latter part of chapter 1, list the things the preacher said he gave his heart to do.

6. What was his conclusion after seeking after these things?

LESSON TWO: Eccl. 2:1-17

7. In verses 1-3, what did the preacher do in trying to find the chief good or purpose in life?

8. Through what means in verses 4-ll is the preacher trying to find the chief good and purpose in life?

9. When the preacher looked on all his great works, what was his conclusion?

10. Did the preacher include in his experiments such things as madness and folly?

11. Of what was the writer speaking of in verse 15 when he said, "As it happens to the fool, it also happens to me"?

12. Why did the preacher hate life?

LESSON THREE - Eccl. 2:18-3:8

13. From verse 19, to what was the preacher referring when he said, "this also is vanity?"

14. From verses 22 and 23, what does a man have of all his labor?

15. From verse 24 (also see 3:12-13, 22; 5:18; 8:15; 9:9), what is the best thing for man to do regarding his labor?

16. What does God give to the good and to the sinner?

17. What is the point the writer is making in verses 1-8 of chapter 3?

LESSON FOUR - Eccl. 3:9-22

18. Which verse again indicates the purpose and design of the book?

19. Which verse shows that man's wisdom will always be limited?

20. Which verses in this section show that the writer had a profound faith in God?

21. Which verse shows that evil government is no new thing?

22. From verses 18-21, in what sense is man like a beast?

23. What did he perceive that man should do as stated in verses 13 and 22?

LESSON FIVE - Eccl. 4:1-16

24. Why did he praise the dead more than the living?

25. What other verses in the Bible teach the same as in verse 6?

26. In verse 8, to what was he referring when he said, "This also is vanity and a grave misfortune."

27. How can two be better than one?

28. What is better than an old and foolish king who will no longer be admonished?

29. Which verse seems to indicate that one's popularity is short-lived?

LESSON SIX - Eccl. 5:1-17

30. Which verse shows that men ought to be very careful and not just give any type of performance in the name of worship?

31. In what way can the principle of verses 2-7 be applied to us today?

32. Which verse indicates that one should not be overly concerned about the oppression of the poor?

33. Do men become satisfied with riches?

34. What other verses in the Bible teach the same as in verse 12?

35. What is the "severe evil" of verse 13?

36. What is the "severe evil" of verse 16?

LESSON SEVEN - Eccl. 5:18-7:2

37. From verses 18-20, what does the writer again suggest as he observes the ways of life?

38. What was the evil that he saw which is common among men?

39. From 6:3-5, explain how an untimely birth is better.

40. To what place was he referring when he said, "Do not all go to one place?"

41. Which verse shows that it is better to enjoy the present good than to vainly desire more?

42. What are the answers to his question in 6:12?

43. Why is it better to go to the house of mourning?

LESSON EIGHT - Eccl. 7:3-22

44. What other verses in the Bible teach the same as the first part of verse 5?

45. What did he mean when he said, "A gift destroyeth the heart" (KJV)?

46. Why should one not be hasty to be angry? Is it wrong to be angry at all?

47. In verses 11 and 12, what good things does he say about wisdom?

48. Concerning verse 16, list some ways in which one might be "overly righteous."

49. Which verse shows the same as his conclusion in 12:13-14?

50. Which verses show that at times it is wise to not pay attention to what one hears?

LESSON NINE - Eccl. 7:23-8:13

51. What did he find that was more bitter than death?

52. God made man upright but what did he do? What did he mean by this statement?

53. From 8:1, what does wisdom do for a person?

54. To what was he referring in verse 8 when he said, "There is no discharge in that war..."?

55. In verse 10, to what was he referring when he said, "This is also vanity"?

56. Why is the heart of the sons of men fully set in them to do evil?

57. Which verses show that we should not be deceived though at times it may appear that things are better for the wicked?

LESSON TEN - Eccl. 8:14-9:10

58. List other verses from the book of Ecclesiastes which teach the same as verse 15.

59. What is it that a wise man shall not know or find?

60. What in 9:1 indicates that the writer had strong faith in the providence of God?

61. What is the "one event" of verses 2 and 3?

62. What does the expression, "but the dead know nothing" mean in 9:5?

63. Which verse again shows that it is God's will that we enjoy life?

LESSON ELEVEN - Eccl. 9:11-10:10

64. What two things did the writer say "happen to them all"?

65. How does he show by the poor wise man that wisdom is not the chief good?

66. Give an example of how a sinner could destroy much good as stated in verse 18.

67. What does a little folly do to a person who has a good reputation?

68. If the spirit of the ruler rose up against one, what should he not do?

69. What do verses 8 and 9 seem to be indicating?

LESSON TWELVE - Eccl. 10:11-11:8

70. What does the term "babbler" mean in verse 11?

71. From verses 12-15, what is the difference between the words of the wise and the fool?

72. What happens when there is much idleness?

73. How does verse 20 show that we must be careful in what we say?

74. What are verses 1 and 2 of chapter 11 teaching?

75. What words of wisdom can a farmer glean from verses 4 and 5? How can this be applied in doing good works; for example, in teaching?

76. From verses 7 and 8, what does the writer indicate that all people will have?

LESSON THIRTEEN - Eccl. 11:9-12:14

77. From verse 9, what should young people always bear in mind?

78. What should the young do in the days of their youth? What does this involve?

79. What are verses 2-7 describing?

80. Which verses show that the author of Ecclesiastes was diligent in pursuing acceptable words?

81. What lesson can be learned from his admonishment in verse 12?

82. What is the conclusion of the whole matter?