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Gospel Briefs on Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song
Date written – 970 BC Author – Solomon
Solomon was favored by GOD and was told to ask for anything he wanted. He chose wisdom (1 Kings 4). How many of us would have asked for wisdom???
The Book of Proverbs is the result of that wisdom, writing down as a good teacher and king things for others to listen to and follow in order to follow the ways of the wise. The Proverbs usually are not really connected with each other. The chapters and verses read more like a list of short, wise sayings.
Author: King Solomon is the principal writer of Proverbs. Solomon’s name appears in 1:1, 10:1, and 25:1. We may also presume Solomon collected and edited proverbs other than his own, for Ecclesiastes 12:9 says, "Not only was the Teacher wise, but also he imparted knowledge to the people. He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs." Indeed, the Hebrew title Mishle Shelomoh is translated "Proverbs of Solomon."
Date of Writing: Solomon’s proverbs were penned around 900 B.C. During his reign as king, the nation of Israel reached its pinnacle spiritually, politically, culturally, and economically. As Israel’s reputation soared, so did King Solomon’s. Foreign dignitaries from the far reaches of the known world traveled great distances to hear the wise monarch speak (1 Kings 4:34).
Reason for Writing: Knowledge is nothing more than an accumulation of raw facts, but wisdom is the ability to see people, events, and situations as GOD sees them. In the Book of Proverbs, Solomon reveals the mind of GOD in matters high and lofty and in common, ordinary, everyday situations, too. It appears that no topic escaped King Solomon’s attention. Matters pertaining to personal conduct, sexual relations, business, wealth, charity, ambition, discipline, debt, child-rearing, character, alcohol, politics, revenge, and godliness are among the many topics covered in this rich collection of wise sayings.
Brief Summary: Summarizing the Book of Proverbs is difficult, for unlike other Books of Scripture, there is no specific plot or storyline found in its pages; and too, there are no principal characters in the Book. Wisdom simply takes the center stage . . . a majestic, divine wisdom that transcends the whole of history, peoples and cultures. Even a automatic reading of this superb treasury reveals the abrupt sayings of the wise King Solomon, and are as appropriate today as they were some three thousand years ago.
Prophesy: Wisdom and its need in our lives finds its fulfillment in Christ Jesus. We are continually urged in Proverbs to seek wisdom, get wisdom, and understand wisdom. Proverbs also tells us repeatedly that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (1:7; 9:10). Our fear of the LORD’S wrath and justice is what drives us to Christ, who is the embodiment of GOD’S wisdom as expressed in His glorious plan of redemption for mankind. In Christ, “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col.2:3), we find the answer to our search for wisdom, the remedy for our fear of GOD and the “righteousness, holiness and redemption” that we so desperately need (1 Cor.1:30). The WISDOM that is found only in Christ is in direct contrast to the foolishness of the world which encourages us to be wise in our own eyes. Proverbs also tells us that the world’s way is not GOD’S way (Pro.3:7) and leads only to death (Pro.14:12; 16:25).
How do we apply Proverbs to our life today? Dear one, Proverbs is practical! We can go to its thirty-one Chapters for sound and sensible answers for our complex difficulties. Proverbs is by far, the greatest "how-to book" ever written, and those who have the good sense to take Solomon’s lessons to heart will quickly learn contentment, holiness, peace and success to make our life easier.
The repeated Promise of the Book of Proverbs is that those who choose wisdom and follow GOD will be blessed in many ways: with long life (9:11); prosperity (2:20-22); joy (3:13-18); and the goodness of GOD (12:21). On the other hand, those who reject GOD, suffer shame and death (3:35; 10:21). To reject GOD is to choose folly over wisdom and that separates us from GOD, His Word, His wisdom and His blessings.
The Book of Proverbs is a collection of essays, poems, and sayings expressing the wisdom of ancient Israel. Some of the material probably originated as folk wisdom, circulating in the family or the clan. Other parts reflect the life of the royal court. Arrangement began during the time of Solomon (about 961-922 B.C.E.), and the final edition was likely produced during the exile in Babylon (about 587-539 B.C.E.). Jeremiah 18:18 refers to the priest, the wise, and the prophet as leaders in Israel; the book of Proverbs is the product of the work of “the wise.”
The Book of Proverbs is a manual for conducting one’s everyday affairs in a manner that is happy and successful in worldly matters and responsible before GOD.
HOW DO I READ IT? Proverbs lends itself to being read a Chapter a day, matching the number of the day of the month (there are 31 chapters). The short sayings should be taken individually, like a variety of expensive chocolates in a gift box. Some may be enjoyed and savored; others can be swallowed quickly or even skipped over.
The Messianic Link: Messiah was established from the beginning (Ch.8:22-23). He would be the Son of GOD (Ch.30:4). He is symbolized in the writings about wisdom.
CHAPTER SUMMARY: The reason for the Proverbs is that we can receive wisdom, justice, judgment and fairness.
Chapter 1: The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge. The enticement of sinners. The call of wisdom.
Chapter 2: The value of wisdom. Seek wisdom as for hidden treasures.
Chapter 3: Be wise and trust in the LORD with all your heart. Honor Him, praise Him. Wisdom brings happiness. Wisdom brings security. Wisdom brings right conduct toward others. Do good to others whenever possible. Seek wisdom, be not wise in your own eyes. Whom the LORD loveth He corrects. Blessed is the one who finds wisdom.
Chapter 4: A father’s wise instruction. Above all, obtain wisdom. Shun wicked paths. The path of the righteous is as a shining light. Safeguard your heart. Avoid the paths of evil men. Be careful in the path you tread.
Chapter 5: Warning against adultery. Rejoice with your wife.
Chapter 6: Practical warnings to lazy, useless and wicked men. Seven things the LORD hates. The six things hated by the LORD are a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness, and he that soweth discord among brethren. Warning against adultery.
Chapter 7: Warning against the adulteress. Embrace GOD’S commands and live. Wisdom should be thy sister.
Chapter 8: The blessings of wisdom. The LORD possessed her in the beginning; she was set up from everlasting. Before the mountains were settled, she was brought forth. Her presence at prehistoric Creation is continually emphasized. He that sinneth against wisdom, wrongeth his own soul. All that hate wisdom, love death.
Chapter 9: The way of wisdom and the way of folly.
Chapter 10: The Proverbs of Solomon. The difference between the wise and the foolish, the righteous and the wicked, the diligent and the idle.
Chapter 11: Practical wisdom. The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.
Chapter 12: The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.
Chapter 13: Those who seek advice are wise. Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.
Chapter 14: Many moral observations. The opposite between wisdom and folly, and the different effects of each.
Chapter 15: The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.
Plans fail without consultation. Think before answering.
Chapter 16: The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD. Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
Chapter 17: He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD. Never repay bad for good.
Chapter 18: A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother . . . The LORD Jesus IS that Friend!
Chapter 19: Wisdom = the fear of the LORD tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil. Wisdom of listening to counsel. GOD and His Word is our Counselor!
Chapter 20: Warnings against wine and strong drink. Avoid arguments. Weights and measures must be honest. The benefit of correction.
Chapter 21: There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD. There is joy for the righteous. There are great blessings for the wise. To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.
Chapter 22: Words of the wise. A good name better than great wealth. Early training will last a lifetime. Lazy people fear the lion outside. Chastisement is at times necessary. Call to wisdom. Rob not the poor. Do not be friends with an angry man. Be honest.
Chapter 23: Be discreet in accepting hospitality. Do not pursue riches. Wealth can fly away from you. Do not associate with heavy drinkers, for alcohol bites like a serpent. Have no fellowship with the covetous.
Chapter 24: More wise sayings. Do not envy evil men. By wisdom a house is built up. Fear GOD and the king. Prepare thy work. The field of the sluggard and the vineyard of the foolish described.
Chapter 25: More Proverbs of Solomon. GOD’S mysteriousness is awesome. Do good to your enemies. The need for self-control. If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head.
Chapter 26: Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him.
Chapter 27: Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.
Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips. Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.
Chapter 28: The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.
Rebuke is better than flattery. He is blessed who fears the LORD (reverences, honors, glorifies).
The faithful man. The corrupt judge. It is foolish to trust in one's own heart.
Chapter 29: He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy. We must not despise correction. The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame. The LORD is the Righteous Judge.
Chapter 30: Wise words of Agur. Give me neither poverty nor riches. Some things never get satisfied. Four wonderful things (the flight of an eagle, the way of a serpent, the way of a ship, the way of a man with a maid). Some of GOD’S creatures are very wise. Four small but resourceful animals (ants, rabbits, locusts, spiders). A man should stop foolishness and trouble.
Chapter 31: The Words of King Lemuel. Who can find a good wife? Diligent, hardworking and kind. Children and husband praise her. Her price is above rubies. Wickedness and much wine to be avoided. Kings should administer justice soberly.
How Does the Book of Proverbs Relate to Us?
The Book of Proverbs is a foundation of practical wisdom for living a life that pleases GOD. Because it covers countless subjects, there is not one situation in life that cannot be helped by at least one of the Proverbs. Taking the advice to heart will result in better relationships, honest and fruitful business dealings, rewarding and a moral lifestyle.
Sexual immorality is a HUGE problem today in the church and in the world. Pro.5:3-23 and Pro. 6:24-7:27 provide an extensive and detailed account of the lure of this temptation, the destruction resulting from adultery, and strong words of warning to avoid it. This is one of the most sobering sections in all of GOD’S Holy Word that deals with this matter.
There is much information very quickly available on absolutely any topic imaginable . . . BUT . . . this is NOT wisdom; this is information. TRUE wisdom comes ONLY from the LORD God!
Proverbs teaches us how to fear the LORD and live in a right way, because it teaches us how to apply knowledge to all of life’s situations. Proverbs gives us access to so much Godly information. I highly recommend that you read and apply the instruction and gain wisdom. Please do NOT ignore it…for the one who finds wisdom finds life and obtains favor from the LORD.
Proverbs 8:32-36 Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways. 33 Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. 34 Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. 35 For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD. 36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death. (KJV)
Date written – 950 BC Author – Solomon
In this Book, Solomon portrays himself as the “Teacher”. This is a very serious and hard-hitting Book that does not hold much back. Solomon wants to save us grief by giving practical advice on how to avoid bad decisions and how to make right choices in life. But, most important in our life is pursuing a passionate relationship with GOD. Everything else is second place!
The Book of Ecclesiastes holds Proverbs, maxims, sayings, and is mainly autobiographical. Solomon wrote it late in his life, approximately 935 B.C., after he became so aware of the mistakes that he made throughout his life and had started to document them.
The Book of Ecclesiastes was written by Solomon who was the wisest man in the world, people came from all over the world to hear his wisdom. He built the Temple in Jerusalem, he was the son of King David, and he was chosen to convey his wisdom to us in the book of Ecclesiastes.
No one was better qualified to talk about life, because he tasted everything in life to its fullest level . . . he had fame, wealth, power, women . . . everything any man could ever hope for. He tested out everything in life both with GOD and without GOD, and his conclusion was that everything "under the sun" is futile, meaningless, purposeless and empty, without GOD. He encourages us to remember the LORD God while we are still young . . . we must fear Him, obey Him and respect and reverence Him. This is the true meaning and reason in life, and the source of fulfillment . . . IF we desire a close relationship with the LORD God, our Mighty Creator who loves us!
Solomon had thoroughly experienced all roads of pleasure, all roads of sensuality, all roads of wealth, honor, folly and search for knowledge. He sinned in giving in to every part of life which his position made possible, and then realizing the utter hopelessness of it all. He summarized that the result of his efforts made him empty and that there is nothing new under the sun, but all is part of the endless, frustrating circle. What he concluded was spoken in the frequent phrase, "vanity of vanities, all is vanity, saith the preacher." In the Book of Ecclesiastes, the world is convicted of its vanity by Solomon who has drunk at every spring.
The decision which Solomon "the preacher" reaches is that in such an empty and unsatisfying world where disappointment, trouble and death cannot be avoided, a quiet enjoyment of GOD’S gifts is the only true enjoyment and wisdom. The person who is truly wise will "fear God and keep his commandments." Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. (KJV) The person who is truly wise will make the best of things as he finds them and trust in the lovingkindness of GOD. This is a secret that the vast majority of people (Mat.7:14), in the world simply cannot understand! The Book of Ecclesiastes truly illustrates the idea that a life apart from GOD is a life without meaning, and always has disastrous results.
The Messianic Link: Messiah was established from the beginning (Ch.8:22-23). He would be the Son of GOD (Ch.30:4) the Lord JESUS is symbolized in the writings about wisdom.
Prophesy: For all of the vanities described in the Book of Ecclesiastes, the Answer is Christ. According to Ecc.3:17, GOD judges the righteous and the wicked, and the righteous are only those who are in Christ (2 Cor.5:21). GOD has placed the desire for eternity in our hearts (Ecc.3:11) and has provided the Way to eternal life through Christ (John 3:16). We are reminded that striving after the world’s wealth is not only vanity because it does not satisfy (Ecc.5:10), but even if we could achieve it, without Christ we would lose our souls and what profit is there in that (Mark 8:36)? In the end, every disappointment and vanity described in Ecclesiastes has its remedy in Christ, the Wisdom of GOD and the only true meaning to be found in life.
The Book in brief: The outline of Proverbs is written in the first chapter verses 1-6 and is basically a Book primarily devoted to giving out wisdom and wise instruction to the reader.
Ecclesiastes 1:1-6 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. 2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. 3 What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun? 4 One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever. 5 The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose. 6 The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.(KJV)
Solomon was well known and respected for his wisdom in dealing with difficult matters, and kings, dignitaries and learned people would travel for miles to hear his sound advice.
Wisdom itself plays the biggest role throughout the book, and it is linked to knowing GOD, prosperity and long life. Wisdom is recommended right from the first Chapter as beginning with ‘the fear of The Lord’ (Ch.1:7).
Brief Summary: Two phrases are repeated often in Ecclesiastes. The word translated as “vanity” in the KJV, and is used to stress the temporary nature of worldly things. In the end, even the most impressive human achievements will be left behind. The phrase “under the sun” occurs 28 times, and refers to the mortal world. When the Preacher refers to “all things under the sun,” he is talking about earthly, temporary, human things.
The first seven chapters of the Book of Ecclesiastes describe all of the worldly things “under the sun” that the Preacher tries to find fulfillment in. He tries scientific discovery (1:10-11), wisdom and philosophy (1:13-18), mirth (2:1), alcohol (2:3), architecture (2:4), property (2:7-8), and luxury (2:8). The Preacher turned his mind towards different philosophies to find meaning, such as materialism (2:19-20), and even moral codes (including chapters 8-9). He found that everything was pointless, a temporary diversion, because without GOD, nothing has purpose or permanence.
Chapters 8-12 of Ecclesiastes describe the Preacher’s suggestions and comments on how a life should be lived. He comes to the conclusion that without GOD, there is no truth or meaning to life. He has seen many evils and realized that even the best of man’s achievements are worth nothing in the long run. So, he advises the reader to acknowledge GOD from youth (12:1) and to follow His will (12:13-14).
How do we apply the Book of Ecclesiastes to our life today?
Ecclesiastes offers TRUE Christians a chance to understand the empty, hopelessness that those who do not know GOD struggle with. All those who do not have a saving faith in Christ Jesus are faced with a life that will end in the horrific fires of Hell (Mat.25:41, 46). If there is no salvation, and no GOD, then not only is there no point to life, but no purpose to it. The world “under the sun,” apart from God, is frustrating, cruel, unfair, brief, and “utterly meaningless.” But with Christ, life is but a shadow of the glories to come in a Heaven that is only accessible through JESUS!
Ecclesiastes shows us a man who lived through life’s process and came out on the other side much wiser. When we are surrounded by temptations to proclaim life’s ultimate emptiness, we can find in Ecclesiastes a vision tempered by experience and ultimately seen through divinely colored lenses. Life will remain unsatisfying unless we recognize GOD’S intervention is always for our good. It only remains to be seen whether or not we will place our trust in His sure and capable Hands. Let us take the words of Solomon seriously, so that they might encourage us to place our trust completely in the LORD.
SONG OF SONGS
Date written – 970 BC Author – Solomon
Song of Songs is about passionate romance. This is written like a love letter in very graphic language, so much so, that young Jewish boys were forbidden to read this book. This book shows us that sexuality is not a dirty thing but is a blessing. It demonstrates the beauty of the human body, the passion one should have for their spouse, and the importance of romance.
Date of Writing:Solomon most likely wrote this song during the early part of his reign. This would place the date of composition around 965 B.C.
Purpose of Writing: The Song of Solomon is a lyric poem written to extol the virtues of love between a husband and his wife. The poem clearly presents marriage as GOD’S design. A man and woman are to live together within the context of marriage, loving each other spiritually, emotionally and physically.
This Book struggles between two extremes: self-discipline and pleasure-seeking. The marriage profiled in Song of Solomon is a model of care, commitment and delight.
Brief Summary: This poetry takes the form of a talk between a husband (the king) and his wife (the Shulamite). We can divide the Book into three sections: the courtship (1:1 - 3:5); the wedding (3:6 - 5:1); and the maturing marriage (5:2 - 8:14).
The Song begins before the wedding, as the bride-to-be longs to be with her future husband, as she looks forward to his loving touches. But, she recommends letting love develop naturally, in its own time. The king praises the Shulamite’s beauty, overcoming her feelings of insecurity about her appearance. The Shulamite has a dream in which she loses Solomon and searches throughout the city for him. With the help of the city guards, she finds her beloved and clings to him, taking him to a safe place. Upon waking, she repeats her ban not to force love.
On the wedding night, the husband again praises the beauty of his wife, and in highly symbolic language, the wife invites her spouse to partake of all she has to offer. They make love, and GOD blesses their union.
As the marriage matures, the husband and wife go through a difficult time, symbolized in another dream. In this second dream, the Shulamite rebuffs her husband, and he leaves. Overcome with guilt, she searches the city for him; but this time, instead of helping her, the guards beat her . . . which is symbolic of her pained conscience. Things end happily as the lovers reunite and are reconciled.
As the song ends, both the husband and wife are confident and secure in their love, they sing of the lasting nature of true love, and they yearn to be in each other’s presence.
Prophesy: Some Bible interpreters see in Song of Solomon an exact symbolic representation of Christ and His church. Christ is seen as the King, while the church is represented by the Shulamite. This Book should be understood literally, as a portrayal of marriage, but there are some elements that foretell the Church and her relationship with her king, the LORD Jesus.
Song 2:4 He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love. (KJV)
This describes the experience of every believer who is sought and bought by the LORD Jesus. We truly are in a place of great spiritual wealth and are covered by His love.
Song 2:16 My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies. (KJV)
This is a picture not only of the security of the believer in Christ (John 10:28-29), but of the Good Shepherd who knows His sheep (TRUE believers), and lays down His life for us (John 10:11).
Because of Christ Jesus, we no longer are stained by sin, having had our “spots” removed by His precious Blood. Song 4:7 Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee. (KJV)
Ephesians 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. (KJV)
How do we apply Songs to our life today? Our world today is SO confused about marriage. Divorce is rampant, and man’s modern efforts to REDEFINE marriage stand in blatant contrast to Solomon’s Song. Marriage, says the Biblical poet, is to be celebrated, enjoyed and valued. This Book provides some practical guidelines for strengthening our marriages:
(1). Give your spouse the attention he or she needs. Take the time to really know your spouse.
(2). Encourage, honor and praise, do not criticize, are vital steps to a successful relationship.
(3). Enjoy each other. Plan some time together, just the two of you. Delight in GOD’S gift of married love.
(4). Do whatever is needed to strengthen your commitment to your spouse. Work through your problems, do not consider divorce. The LORD God intends for you both to live a calm, deeply peaceful and secure love.
(5). NEVER get married with the thought . . . If it does not work, we can get a divorce. THAT is NOT what GOD expects of you!
“Song of Songs” is one of the most beautiful love songs that was often linked to the Bible because of its strong religious content. The symbols are often and strong and the Song also contains shepherd motives, because the husband-to-be is to be a shepherd in the marriage.
Is the Gospel in the Old Testament?
YES! It certainly is!
The GOSPEL is in the Old Testament
The Bible Helps us Better Understand GOD
Gospel Briefs in Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers
Gospel Briefs in Deuteronomy and Joshua
Gospel Briefs in Judges and Ruth
Gospel Briefs in 1&2 Samuel and 1&2 Kings
Gospel Briefs in 1&2 Chronicles and Ezra
Gospel Briefs in Nehemiah and Esther
Gospel Briefs in Job and Psalms
Gospel Briefs in Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song
Gospel Briefs in Isaiah Chapters 1-33
Gospel Briefs in Isaiah Chapters 34-66
Gospel Briefs in Jeremiah and Lamantations
Gospel Briefs in Ezekiel and Daniel
Gospel Briefs in Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah and Jonah
Gospel Briefs in Micah, Nahum, Habbakkuk and Zephaniah
Gospel Briefs in Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi
The GOSPEL IS in the OLD Testament
The Gospel IS in Exodus Chapter 12
The Gospel IS in Isaiah Chapter 53
The Gospel IS in Psalm 90
The Gospel For the Jews IS in the Old Testament
The Gospel IS in Many Places in OT, Many rolls of JESUS!
The Gospel, Special Comments to OT Books
The Gospel, WHAT Does GOD want From YOU?
The Gospel, Which Is the Truth of the Gospel?