Summary: The Study Of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song Of Solomon
The Study Of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song Of Solomon
2 Timothy 3:16 (KJV)
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon are not studied very much today. A few verses are known from Proverbs. About the only people who study Ecclesiastes are Jehovah’s Witnesses. They often take verses out of context to try to prove their false doctrines. Because the Song of Solomon has sexual references in it, many are embarrassed by it. However, these three books are a part of God’s inspired Word to man. He expects us to study them (Romans 15:4).
King Solomon, the son of David and Bathsheba, is the writer of these books. Some believe Solomon wrote the Song of Solomon in his youth, the books of Proverbs in his middle age, and the book of Ecclesiastes when he was old.
Most of the proverbs were written by Solomon (Proverbs 1:1). However, chapter 30 is credited to Agur. Chapter 31 was written by Lemuel. Many Bible students believe that “Agur” and “Lemuel” were names used by Solomon. If this is correct, this means that Solomon is the author of the entire book.
Solomon was one of the greatest kings of Israel. During the time he ruled, Israel was a powerful and rich nation. Solomon was given great wealth by God (1 Kings 10:7, 14, 23). God also made him the wisest man in all the earth (1 Kings 3:11, 12; [bible 1 Kings 10:24]). He wrote 1,005 songs and 3,000 proverbs (1 Kings 4:32). Too, God allowed Solomon to build His temple in Jerusalem (1 Kings 5-6). Solomon served God until his old age. He disobeyed God by marrying many foreign women (Deuteronomy 17:14-17). When he was old, his pagan wives turned him away from worshiping the true God (1 Kings 11:1-8).
During Solomon’s rule, the people of Israel were very prosperous. When people have plenty, they often forget God. They forget the important rules of righteous living. The book of Proverbs was written to help people remember God and the right way to live.
Proverbs are short, wise sayings. They usually make just one point. They are easily remembered. Most nations have proverbs which are commonly repeated among them. The wise sayings in the book of Proverbs were given by the inspiration of God (2 Timothy 3:16,17). They were meant for all people in all nations.
There are four sections in the book of Proverbs. Chapters 1-9 teach the importance of wisdom. Chapters 10-24 teach the principles of wisdom. Chapters 25-29 contain various proverbs by Solomon which were collected by the wise men of Hezekiah’s day. Chapters 30 and 31 are the sayings of Agur and Lemuel.
Ecclesiastes has been called “The search for happiness under the sun.” The writer of this book is Solomon (Ecclesiastes 1:1). There are some who think Ecclesiastes was written much later than Solomon’s day. They say the book was credited to Solomon so it would be accepted. There is no evidence for this. If one believes all the Bible was inspired by God, he cannot accept this view, for the book itself claims to have been written by Solomon.
The book of Ecclesiastes deals with the purpose of life. It seeks to answer the question: “What should man do during his time ‘under the sun’ (on the earth)?” Solomon had the opportunity to test the various ways men seek happiness. He had great riches, and therefore could buy anything he wanted to buy. He also had great power, and therefore could do anything he wanted to. Besides this, he was the wisest man in all the earth. He knew how to test things to see which was best.
Solomon tried many different things. First, he looked for worldly wisdom (education, learning, and philosophy). Many people try to find happiness today by going to school and ever continuing their learning. Education is good if it is used right. However, it must never become the reason for living (Ecclesiastes 1:16-18; Ecclesiastes 2:12-16; 1 Corinthians. 1:22-26; 1 Corinthians 2:1-5).
Solomon also tried to find the meaning of life in pleasure. Many people do this today. They are only interested in fun, games, parties, drinking, dancing and such things. It is good for one to rest his body. There is nothing wrong with having fun if one does not do anything sinful such as drinking or dancing. But having fun is not the purpose of man’s life on this earth (Ecclesiastes 2:1-3; 1 Timothy 5:6).
Solomon next tried to find the meaning of life in wealth (Ecclesiastes 2:4-11). He was a very rich man. He worked to become richer. Many people spend their whole lives acquiring wealth. When they die, they must leave it all behind. It is not wrong to have wealth if one uses it correctly. But seeking money and the things money can buy is not the reason God put man on this earth. Those who are interested only in material things will be unhappy in this life. They will lose their souls in eternity (Matthew. 6:19-21; Matthew 16:26; Luke 12:15-21; 1 Timothy 6:6-10).