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Ecclesiastes Runner theme

The Pursuit of Pleasure
Ecclesiastes 2:1-11

Bible Study Questions

The Bible Teaching Commentary

Paul J. Bucknell

The Pursuit of Pleasure | Cycle of Satisfaction | The Pleasure Cycle | Bible Study Questions

Ecclesiastes Outline | Design
Ecclesiastes 2:1-11| Ecclesiastes 3:1-22 | Ecclesiastes 4:4-5:7
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12| Ecclesiastes 9:13-10:20

Purpose: Bible Study Questions on Ecclesiastes 2:1-11 is part 4 of 4 on a study of The Pursuit of Pleasure, prompting us to seriously reflect on the Biblical passage and the place of pleasure, amusement and success in life.

Ecclesiastes 2:1-11 Chart

Ecclesiastes 2:1-11

“I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure. So enjoy yourself.” And behold, it too was futility. I said of laughter, “It is madness,” and of pleasure, “What does it accomplish?”

"I explored with my mind how to stimulate my body with wine while my mind was guiding me wisely, and how to take hold of folly, until I could see what good there is for the sons of men to do under heaven the few years of their lives. I enlarged my works: I built houses for myself, I planted vineyards for myself; I made gardens and parks for myself, and I planted in them all kinds of fruit trees; I made ponds of water for myself from which to irrigate a forest of growing trees."

I bought male and female slaves, and I had homeborn slaves. Also I possessed flocks and herds larger than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. Also, I collected for myself silver and gold, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I provided for myself male and female singers and the pleasures of men--many concubines.

Then I became great and increased more than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. My wisdom also stood by me. And all that my eyes desired I did not refuse them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart was pleased because of all my labor and this was my reward for all my labor. Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 2:1-11).

Bible Study Questions Ecc 2:1-11

  1. Go through Ecclesiastes 2:1-11 and write down all the “I”s. Write down the verb to the right of it. (e.g. “I said.”)

  2. Next, circle all the ‘myself.’ What observations can you make of Solomon from his words during this time of his life?

  3. What is similar with the beginning (verse 1) and the ending (verse 11) of this section?

  4. Why do you think he spoke up so clearly on this matter?

  5. Go through, verse by verse, and write down what things it was that he involved himself in. On the right of each, write down whether it was right or wrong. On the right of that, write why it was right or wrong.

  6. When is amusement right? When does it get wrong?

  7. When is storing up wealth right? When does it get wrong?

  8. When is having sex right? When does it get wrong?

  9. When is possessions right? When does it get wrong?

  10. When are work or public projects right? When do they get wrong?

  11. Is success bad? When does it get bad?

  12. Would you want your child to embark on this life of exploration? Why or why not?

  13. Why do you think Solomon said all this was futile?

  14. What do you think of his wisdom (2:9)?

  15. Do you think all he did was a waste? What would you do with lots of money and time if you had it? Why?

  16. How can we live and teach so that our children are not caught up in this pursuit of pleasure?

Next -> Ecclesiastes 3:1-22 Bible Story and Short Commentary