Week #85; Wed, August 14: Proverbs 31:1–Ecclesiastes 9:18

PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS AND BLOG INFORMATION:
1. Overview: This three-year complete Bible study for men and women convenes January 2018 running through December 2020 using websites below or personal resources

2. Weekday and Time: Wednesdays, 9:00—11:00 AM for each new session study, however users may choose best time to suit individual weekly needs

3. Location: Anywhere your computer, tablet, phone, cable, and/or WiFi connect to the Internet and/or use personal Bible and e-mail input to host if preferred.

4. Session Info:

  • Format—Study of the entire English Standard Version (ESV) of the Holy Bible in a dramatized audio/visual setting with ample time allotted for expansion of ideas by blogging/e-mail—word-by-word, verse-by-verse—as desired.
  • Coverage per week—Key observations for seven to ten chapters are presented here every Wednesday morning in accordance with the schedule at link “5-Schedule” in above home menu.
  • Audio/Visual software—Use free ESV with PC downloads and/or tablet or phone apps for full coverage of text at: http://www.jwaministries.net.

5. This week’s Observations:

  • Wisdom literature—Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon are five biblical books that emphasize our need to understand and attain wisdom for all areas of life, including our relationships with God and with one another.
  • ExampleProverbs 1:2-7 says: “To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth—Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

CHAPTER OBSERVATIONS:
Proverbs 31, The Words of King Lemuel
1. King Lemuel attributes the words of this proverb to his mother. She give strong counsel to her son on not giving his strength to women, drinking too much wine or strong drink, but to serve the mute, the destitute, and the poor.

  • Inference: “Give strong drink to the one who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress; let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more.” (31:6)

2. The King’s mother describes the woman who fears the Lord.

  • Inference: “An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. (31:10)
  • Inference: “The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. (31:11)
  • Inference: “She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.” (31:12)
  • Inference: “She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy.” (31:20)
  • Inference: “Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land.” (31:23)
  • Inference: “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” (31:25-26)
  • Inference: “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” (31:30)

Ecclesiastes 1All Is Vanity
1. Solomon describes vanity.

  • Inference: “What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun?” (1:3)
  • Inference: “The sun rises . . . , the wind blows . . . , streams run . . . , All things are full of weariness; a man cannot utter it . . . ” (1:5-8)
  • Inference: “I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind.” (1:14)
  • Inference: “For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.” (1:18)

Ecclesiastes 2, The Vanity of Self-Indulgence
1. “I (Solomon) said in my heart, ‘Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself.'” (2:1)

  • Inference: “I searched with my heart how to cheer my body with wine–my heart still guiding me with wisdom–and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the children of man to do under heaven during the few days of their life.” (2:3)
  • Inference: “So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me. And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them.” (2:9)
  • Inference: “Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.” (2:11)
  • Inference: “So I turned to consider wisdom and madness and folly. . . . Then I saw that there is more gain in wisdom than in folly, as there is more gain in light than in darkness.” (2:12-13)
  • Inference: “Then I said in my heart, ‘What happens to the fool will happen to me also. Why then have I been so very wise?’ And I said in my heart that this also is vanity.” (2:15)
  • Inference: “For of the wise as of the fool there is no enduring remembrance, seeing that the days to come all will have been long forgotten. How the wise dies just like the fool.” (2:16)
  • Inference: “I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to the man who will come after me, and who knows whether he will be wise or a fool?” (2:18-19)
  • Inference: “There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment? For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the singer he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.” (2:24-26)

Ecclesiastes 3, A Time for Everything
1. “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: . . .” (3:1)

  • Inference: “a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.” (3:2-8)
  • Inference: “I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil–that is God’s gift to man.” (3:9-13)
  • Inference: “Moreover, I saw under the sun that in the place of justice, even there was wickedness, and in the place of righteousness, even there was wickedness.” (3:16)
  • Inference: “For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity. All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return. Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth?” (3:19-20)

Ecclesiastes 4, Evil Under the Sun
1. “Again I saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun.” (4:1)

  • Inference: “And behold, the tears of the oppressed, and they had no one to comfort them!” (4:1)
  • Inference: “And I thought the dead who are already dead more fortunate than the living who are still alive.” (4:2)
  • Inference: “Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from a man’s envy of his neighbor. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.” (4:4)
  • Inference: “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For it they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” (4:9-10)
  • Inference: “And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him–a threefold cord is not easily broken.” (4:12)

Ecclesiastes 5, Fear God
1. “Guard your steps when you go to the house of God.” (5:1)

  • Inference: “Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let you words be few.” (5:2)
  • Inference: “When you vow a vow to God, do not delay paying it, for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you vow. It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay.” (5:4-5)
  • Inference: “If you see in a province the oppression of the poor and the violation of justice and righteousness, do not be amazed at the matter, for the high official is watched by a higher, and there are yet higher ones over them.” (5:8)

2. “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity.” (5:10)

  • Inference: “When goods increase, they increase who eat them, and what advantage has their owner but to see them with his eyes.” (5:11)
  • Inference: “There is a grievous evil that I have seen under the sun: riches were kept by their owner to his hurt, and those riches were lost by bad venture.” (5:13)
  • Inference: “As he came from his mother’s womb he shall go again, naked as he came, and shall take nothing for his toil that he may carry away in his hand. (5:15)

3. “Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot.” (5:18)

Ecclesiastes 6, Striving After Wind
1. “There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, and it lies heavy on mankind; a man to whom God gives wealth, possessions, and honor, so that he lacks nothing of all that he desires, yet God does not give him power to enjoy them, but a stranger enjoys them. This is vanity; it is a grievous evil.” (6:1-2)

2. “If a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his soul is not satisfied with life’s good things, and he also has ho burial, I say that a still born child is better off than he.” (6:3)

3. “For who knows what is good for man while he lives the few days of his vain life, which he passes like a shadow? For who can tell man what will be after him under the sun?” (6:12)

Ecclesiastes 7, The Contrast of Wisdom and Folly
1. “A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of birth.” (7:1)

2. “It is better for a man to hear the rebuke of the wise than to hear the song of fools.” (7:5)

3. “Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools.” (7:9)

4. “Consider the work of God: who can make straight what he has made crooked?” (7:13)

5. “Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.” (7:20)

6. “See, this alone I found, that God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes.” (7:29)

Ecclesiastes 8, Keep the King’s Command
1. “Who is like the wise? And who knows the interpretation of a thing? A man’s wisdom makes his face shine, and the hardness of his face is changed.” (8:1)

2. “Whoever keeps a command will know no evil thing, and the wise heart will know the proper time and the just way.” (8:5)

3. “No man has power to retain the spirit, or power over the day of death.” (8:8)

4. “Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil.” (8:11)

Ecclesiastes 9, Death Comes to All
1. “It is the same for all since the same event happens to the righteous and the wicked, to the good and the evil, to the clean and the unclean, to him who sacrifices and him who does not sacrifice. As the good one is, sons the sinner, and he who swears is as he who shuns an oath.” (9:2)

2. “Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all.” (9:11)

3. “The words of the wise heard in quiet are better than the shouting of a ruler among fools. Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good.” (9:17-18)

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