Ecclesiastes Quiz


BACKGROUND NOTE: Note 1: Our purpose in writing these quizzes on the books of the Bible is to limit them to content and in general to avoid interpretation. However, since Ecclesiastes is such a misunderstood book, we encourage you to read the interpretive material we have on our Ecclesiastes page. The answers to the quiz questions here do not in general take into account the context in which they are found, which often is the key to their interpretation. Therefore, understanding the truly positive message of the Book of Ecclesiastes requires more than learning the right answers to these questions. It requires a careful analysis of the overall argument throughout the book that leads to Solomon's conclusion in chapter 12. This is what the articles do on our Ecclesiastes page.

Note 2: In this book Solomon calls himself by the Hebrew word, Qoheleth, which has been translated various ways: e.g., "Preacher" in the KJV and "Teacher" in the NASB and NIV. There is likely more to the use of this term than these simple translations. Discussions of this issue can be found in the articles on our Ecclesiastes page. For this quiz, we simply use "Solomon."

  1. What is the striking phrase with which Ecclesiastes opens?

    "All is vexation of Spirit."
    "That which is crooked cannot be made straight."
    "Vanity of vanities; all is vanity."
    "I, King of Israel in Jerusalem, have found great wisdom."
  2. Solomon mentions the activity of the sun, wind, streams. What claim is he illustrating?

    That the earth provides the answer to the meaning of life.
    That motion is the essence of meaning.
    That the earth will someday perish.
    That the earth remains forever.
  3. In chapter 1, Solomon claims to have

    gained great wisdom
    acquired many wives
    acquired many concubines
    conquered many nations
  4. Solomon observed that

    every generation displays many new things
    there is nothing new under the sun
    newness and oldness alternate as each generation comes and goes
    what is new in every generation unlocks the meaning of life for that generation
  5. In addition to studying wisdom, Solomon also studied

    marriage customs around the world
    trade relationships between nations
  6. According to Solomon what was the result of wisdom and knowledge?

    Sorrow and grief
    Enjoyment of life
    Acquiring much wealth
    The ability to solve problems
  7. Solomon tried pleasure. Name three of the pleasures he tried.

  8. What fate overtakes both the wise man and the fool?

  9. Why did Solomon despair over all the great things he had toiled for?

    They were not up to his standards.
    They must be left to the one who comes after him.
    They will not last forever.
    They were destroyed in war.
  10. In concluding the first section of Ecclesiastes, Solomon states that "a man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work." But how can this be, when eating, drinking, and all his work are "vanity"?

  11. "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven" (3:1). Solomon follows this well-known statement with a rather long list of examples. See if you can name at least five of the fourteen pairs.

  12. In a verse important to the overall argument in the book, Solomon states that God has put something in the heart of every man. What is it?

  13. According to Solomon, what do men and animals all have in common?

  14. What does Solomon advise about vows to God?

  15. What does Solomon say about money?

  16. What does Solomon say about the wealth of a rich man at death?

  17. In concluding the second section of Ecclesiastes, Solomon draws the same conclusion as he did in the first section. What is it?

  18. Solomon mentions an "evil under the sun common among men." What is it?

    To assemble a great army for battle and then lose.
    To acquire great knowledge and then have no one listen.
    To marry multiple wives but have no sons.
    To acquire great wealth but find no joy in it.
  19. In chapter 7, Solomon assembles a number of proverbs. In one of them, what is it that the living should take to heart?

  20. Another proverb states, "It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise than..."

  21. What does Solomon say about asking why the former days are better than the present?

  22. What kind of man does not exist on the earth?

  23. Here's an important point for our own society: what does Solomon say is the result when the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out?

  24. Solomon gives an example of wisdom that greatly impressed him. What was it?

    A wise but poor man saved a small city attacked by a powerful king.
    A wise man became king and built a great empire.
    A wise man chose a wise woman to marry.
    A wise man saw the folly of false friends and became a hermit.
  25. In chapter 10 and most of chapter 11, Solomon assembles another list of proverbs. In one of them he cites an error that rulers often make. What was it?

    They marry multiple wives.
    They attack a king who is too powerful to defeat.
    They impose taxes that are far too high.
    They appoint fools to high positions.
  26. We sometimes say that "the walls have ears" to imply caution about what we might say. What was Solomon's expression for this same warning?

    The wind may make known what you said.
    A mouse may make known what you said.
    A bird may make known what you said.
    A river may make known what you said.
  27. Solomon gives both advice and a warning to a young man. What was it?

  28. Following a most remarkable allegory on death, Solomon gives three metaphors for death. Which of the following is not one of them?

    The golden cord is broken.
    The stream has now dried up.
    The pitcher by the well is shattered.
    The cistern is crushed.
  29. What does Solomon say happens at death?

  30. What is Solomon's great conclusion "when all has been heard"?

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