Written by the wise King Solomon, Ecclesiastes explores the idea that everything is meaningless, while Song of Solomon is a poem that celebrates love.
TWO OPPOSITE BOOKS BY KING SOLOMON
However, the next two books are very different from his previous work, and opposites in themselves.
THE BOOK OF QUESTIONS: ECCLESIASTES
Ecclesiastes isn’t quoted much because of it’s mostly negative feel, because the focus of the book is that everything is meaningless.
Wisdom, labor, pleasures, folly, success, riches—what’s the point? If generations continue on, the sun continues to rise and set and the wind blows without our help, what difference does anything make?
The book of Ecclesiastes wrestles with the insights that comes with deep wisdom. Solomon says in the opening verses:
“I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. I devoted myself to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under heaven. What a heavy burden God has laid on men! I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind. For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief." Ecclesiastes 1:12-14, 18
This book always seems so sad to me!
It’s a reflection that we can do whatever we want with our time, but it won’t last. Only God knows his plans and we have to trust him and worship his perfect authority. Our “duty” is to “fear God and keep his commandments”. See the closing verses of the book:
“As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.” Ecclesiastes 11:5 ”Now all has been heard, and here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecclesiastes 12:13
THE ROMANCE BOOK: SONG OF SONGS
The next book by Solomon, is more hopeful and optimistic. Song of Songs (aka Song of Solomon) is a dialogue through poetry about the joys of love. It’s been said this book is the most scandalous in the Bible because it talks about sex, but it sure is refreshing to read after a solemn book like Ecclesiastes.
Solomon is reminding us that sex isn’t sinful and that it was made to be celebrated. It’s an actual gift from God.
There are 4 ways you can read this book:
- Intimacy between a married man and woman
- God’s love for his people
- Christ’s love for the church
- A Christian’s love for the Lord
God is comparing the strength of earthly love to our relationship with him. He wants us to know he is passionate for us. We are not an afterthought, an irritation, or something he has to put up with. His relationship with us not like a loveless marriage—he is a perfect God with perfect love for his creation.
"Listen! My lover! Look! Here he comes, leaping across the mountains, bounding over the hills. My lover is like a gazelle or a young stag. Look! There he stands behind our wall, gazing through the windows, peering through the lattice. My lover spoke and said to me. See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance. Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me." Ecclesiastes 2:8-13
Open up your Bible, read through these two books and print out these visual notes to guide you as you read.
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You can find all of my Bible Timelines as I work my way through the ENTIRE BIBLE in my shop.
For more Biblical history, check out these other posts:
- Understanding the Old Testament Timeline
- Genesis Printables
- Job Printables
- Psalms Printables
- Study the Bible with these Book of Proverbs Printables
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