Getting Started with Ecclesiastes
1. Ecclesiastes speaks of all of the following EXCEPT
A. The frustrating and tedious nature of much of our existence
B. The brevity of life
C. The finality of death
D. All of life is meaninglessness
E. Pain of incessant injustice
2. What is the Hebrew word translated “vanity” in the phrase “vanity of vanities” by the King James translators?
3. What is the literal meaning of the word hevel?
A. Meaningless or futile
B. Vanity or worthless
C. Vapor or breath
D. Short or partial
4. What would be a good translation of the word hevel in Ecclesiastes?
5. From what perspective does most of the book of Ecclesiastes speak?
A. Upon the earth
B. The way of all flesh
C. Under the sun
D. Along the path
6. What does “chasing after the wind” mean in Ecclesiastes?
A. An enterprise that yields no tangible results
B. A meaning endeavor
C. Something that is impossible to achieve under the sun
D. That which is worthless and futile
7. Given all the uncertainties what refrain does Ecclesiastes often advise?
A. Do the best you can, given the circumstances
B. Do what is right, and walk humbly
C. Eat, drink and be satisfied
D. Seize the day
8. Where does the title Ecclesiastes come from?
A. The Hebrew word for “meaningless”
B. The Latin word for “assembly”
C. The English word for “congregation”
D. The Greek word for “church”
9. Qohelet, the title of Ecclesiastes, probably is best thought of as ______
A. The Preacher
B. The Rabbi
C. The Leader
D. The Sage
10. Who does Ecclesiastes want the reader to think of as one reads the book?
11. All of the following are used to identify Qohelet EXCEPT
A. Son of David
B. King in Jerusalem
C. Wiser that all before him in Jerusalem
D. The builder of the temple
12. The feminine for of Qohelet is used which may parallel what other preacher?
A. Huldah the prophetess in the time of Hezekiah
B. Woman Wisdom in Proverbs 1:20-33
C. The teaching of Pharaoh’s daughter whom Solomon had married
D. The woman in the Song of Songs
13. What threads its way through Qohelet’s reflections ?
14. “Under the sun” all of the following are highlighted by Qohelet EXCEPT
A. The more knowledge the more grief
B. Things striven for must be left upon death
C. Insatiable desire for pleasure when achieved has no lasting satisfaction
D. The pursuit of folly may end with wisdom
E. Lack of personal importance when faced with death
15. In Ecclesiastes what is a person driven to?
A. Endless striving
B. Meaningless achievement
C. Unknowing of everything
D. Existential aloneness
16. What two things result in Qohelet’s hatred of life?
A. The presence of pain and absence of joy
B. The inevitability of death and the futility to hard work
C. The inability to control results and the inability to grasp meaning
D. The inescapability of being under the sun before one is put under the ground
17. What gives Qohelet a new perspective from which he gains?
A. The perspective from above the sun
B. The beyond the grave
C. God’s presence
D. When he enters the temple
18. What confidence does the poem in Eccles. 3 impart?
A. Life’s experiences are balanced with both good and evil to be expected
B. The range of life experiences embrace all sides of every question
C. God is in control of all extremes of life even though it doesn’t initially appear that way
D. Life is cyclical and what comes around goes around and there is no stopping it
19. What is the other side of the paradox that eternity is planted deep in the hearts of humankind?
A. Yet with all striving it cannot be attained
B. It is impossible to know anything beyond the present
C. Humans can only work hard to shape the future which they cannot control
D. Yet history is the only thing humankind can know for sure
20. What clarion call is made in the book of Ecclesiastes?
A. To pursue what is right, just and walk humbly with God
B. To forgive those who have hurt us
C. To trust God’s providential ordering of events
D. To submit to God’s laws and walk in his ways
21. Why are people to fear God?
A. Because he controls all things
B. Because he alone is to be worshipped
C. Because his anger can wipe away all human achievements
D. Because all injustices will be brought to judgment
22. What constant counterpoint is found for the frustration, despair and injustices found in Ecclesiastes?
A. The divine Presence
B. Joy and meaning if one follows God’s ways
C. Forgiveness and reconciliation
D. Holiness and awe of God
23. What is a literary inclusio?
A. Literary hinges
B. A form called Janis
C. Bookends with similar beginning and ending
D. Figure of speech using metaphors to communicate ideas
24. What inclusion is found in the book of Ecclesiastes?
A. Begins with sources of personal anguish and ends in death
B. Begins with pursuit and ends with the inability to achieve it
C. Begins with Solomon and ends with God
D. Begins with questions and ends with an answer
25. What results as a result of the repetitive nature of existence?
A. Satisfaction with one’s work
B. The fear of the Lord
C. Ennui and frustration
D. Alienation and aloneness
26. What is described at the end of Ecclesiastes?
A. The hope that transcends life under the sun
B. How dying is to be dealt with
C. Why things do in fact matter
D. The navigating through old age
27. What happens to the vessel bearing life?
A. It is shattered and returns to dust
B. It descends into the heart of the earth
C. It is shed as the spirit goes upward
D. It cannot contain the glory God has placed in it
28. How does a fool approach God?
A. Taking the emptiness of life into the presence of God
B. Failing to observe his holiness being locked into the repetitions of life
C. With no sense of remorse over evil and excess of words
D. With no fear of the Lord
29. What must be carried through on?
A. Our promises to others
B. The intentions of our hearts
C. Our responsibilities in this life
D. Our vows before God
30. What simple and profound advice does Qohelet offer?
A. Listen and fear God
B. Pursue your passions
C. Turn and pray toward the temple
D. Forgive as you have been forgiven
31. What is meant when Qohelet says not to be “too righteous”?
A. It is not referring to true righteousness
B. It is talking about being righteous in order to look righteous
C. It is referring to the hypocrisy of those who think they are righteous
D. It is saying to avoid all extremes
32. When Qohelet says he’s found one upright man among a thousand but not one upright woman among them all how was that to be understood?
A. To think of that culture where women were uneducated and not wise
B. To see this in the context of widows trying to make ends meet
C. To reflect on the adulterous woman folly in Proverbs and Solomon’s experiences
D. To see this in the context of the foreign Midianite women that caused so much trouble in Israel
33. What did the poor man do that was not remembered?
A. He was righteous
B. He saved a city
C. He gave counsel to the king
D. He fought in the army
34. What is in the backdrop of all of Qohelet’s observations?
35. What will happen to both the righteous and the wicked?
A. They will both have to make life choices
B. They will each have to face the king
C. They will both be hurt by the evils of life
D. They will both be called into account
36. What is the conclusion of the matter?
A. Fear God and keep his commandments
B. Trust God and live life with vigor
C. Realize life is a mysterious mist but God lives in that mist
D. Death itself is only temporary