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                       "THE BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES"

                              Chapter Nine


1) To reflect upon the inevitability of death, and the uncertainty of

2) To consider how time and chance happens to all

3) To appreciate the importance of a joyful, diligent life, and heeding
   the words of the wise


The Preacher continues to share counsel gleaned from observations on
life made during his search for meaning.  He noted that all things come
alike to all, it matters not that you are righteous or wicked.  One
thing that certainly happens to all is death, after which one is soon
forgotten and has no share in this life (things done "under the sun"). 
Should one therefore despair?  No, the Preacher again encourages us to
live joyfully, especially with the wife of our youth, and to work
diligently in what time we have in this life.  Once you die, you won't
be able to continue your efforts in the grave.  This is our portion in
life, and God has already accepted our works (1-10).

The Preacher also observed that time and chance happens to all, and that
evil times come suddenly.  The uncertainty of life can be softened with
the aid of wisdom, which the Preacher praises as better than strength
and the weapons of war.  Thus the words of the wise should be heard,
even when spoken softly, or coming from a poor man (11-18).



      1. It happens to both the righteous and the wicked
         a. While the righteous are in God's hands
         b. And the sons of men are full of evil
      2. While we live, there is hope; when we die...
         a. We know nothing of what goes on here on earth
         b. Others' memory of us soon fades

   B. ENJOY LIFE (7-10)
      1. While death is inevitable, we should still enjoy life
      2. Live joyfully with the wife God has given you
      3. Work diligently while you are here; you won't be able to do
         anymore after you die


      1. Time and chance happens to all
         a. Being swift and strong does not mean you will always win
         b. Being wise, understanding, and skillful does not always
            ensure food, riches, or favor
      2. Sometimes death will come unexpectedly, like animals caught in
         a trap

   B. ESTEEM WISDOM (13-18)
      1. The Preacher saw how wisdom saved a city
         a. Even though found in a poor man
         b. Even though the man was soon forgotten
      2. Therefore he praises the value of wisdom
         a. As better than strength, though a poor man's wisdom is often
         b. As better than weapons of war, though spoken quietly by the


1) What are the main points of this chapter?
   - Enduring the inevitability of death (1-10)
   - Enduring the uncertainty of life (11-18)

2) What did the Preacher consider about the righteous and the wise? (1)
   - They and their works are in the hand of God

3) What two observations did he make regarding the righteous and the
   wicked? (2-3)
   - All things come alike to all
   - One thing happens to all

4) What one event does he discuss that happens to everyone? (3-5)
   - Death

5) What two things does he see in the hearts of men? What happens to
   them? (3)
   - Evil, madness; they die

6) Who still has hope?  Why? (4-5)
   - Those who are living
   - For they know they will die

7) What is said of the dead? (5-6)
   - They know nothing, they have no more reward
   - The memory of them is forgotten
   - Their love, hatred, and envy have perished
   - They no longer have a share in things done "under the sun"

8) What does the Preacher counsel the living to do? (7-10)
   - Eat and drink your food with joy
   - Adorn yourself with good apparel
   - Live joyfully with the wife of your youth
   - Work diligently

9) What reasons does he give for such counsel? (7-10)
   - God has already accepted your works
   - That is your portion in life
   - There is no work, device, knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave

10) What other observations did the Preacher make about life? (11-12)
   - Time and chance happen to all men, despite their strength, wisdom,
     or skill
   - Evil times often come suddenly upon men

11) What observations did he make about the value of wisdom? (13-18)
   - Wisdom is better than strength
   - A poor man's wisdom is often despised
   - Quiet words of the wise should be heard rather than the shout of a
     ruler of fools
   - Wisdom is better than weapons of war
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