The Well Community Church

Generations Feed Series

Song of Solomon / Proverbs / Ecclesiastes

April 21, 2013

This week we close the book on the life of Solomon. We saw his rise to power and the expanse of his influence. Now we look at the three books of wisdom literature that he wrote or contributed to during his reign. These writings include a book on marital love and romance, a body of work containing nuggets of poetic truth, and a twelve-chapter swan song that communicates his striving for meaning outside of God and the futility of those pursuits.

Song of Solomon

Author

King Solomon, who claims to be the author in the first verse of the book.

Date

Between 971 and 931 B.C., during Solomon’s reign as King. He likely didn’t compile it in its final form until he had been married for several years, and it was probably finished before the last years when he strayed away from the Lord.

Theme

Israel’s Love Story

This is Israel’s love story of Solomon and his bride as an example of marital courtship and love in the midst of life’s daily challenges.

Additional Info

The book is a collection of songs and also one song. Solomon’s object of affection is the Shulammite, who was not his first wife, but was well known as the queen, even among the 60 queens and 80 concubines of the time. He eventually had 700 wives and 300 concubines.

© Dr. Rick Taylor

Proverbs

Authors

The Hebrew title of the book is Miashle Shelomoh, which means “Proverbs of Solomon.” Solomon’s name appears at the beginning of three sections (Proverbs 1-9; 10-22:16 and 25-29) and we know he weighed, studied and arranged “many proverbs” (Ecclesiastes 12:9). The section from 22:17 to 24:34 consists of “words of the wise,” which may have been collected and arranged by Solomon. Agur, an oracle (Proverbs 30) and King Lemuel (Proverbs 31) contributed the final chapters.

Date

Solomon’s proverbs were written by 931 B.C. King Hezekiah collected the material in chapters 25-29 about 230 years later.

Theme

Israel’s Wisdom

This is wisdom given for temptation, morality, marriage and family, daily living and daily choices.

Additional Info

Proverbs is a collection of topical maxims where the author uses a combination of poetry, parables, pithy questions, short stories and wise sayings to share in a memorable form the common sense and divine perspective necessary to handle life’s issues. It was designed to serve as a teaching manual, especially for the youth (Proverbs 2:1).

© Dr. Rick Taylor

Ecclesiastes

Author

Likely Solomon, which is consistent with Jewish and early Christian traditions. The text itself claims to be written by the “son of David, king in Jerusalem” (Ecclesiastes 1:1), which describes Solomon.

Date

Likely between 971 and 931 B.C., during the reign of Solomon, probably closer to 931 B.C. toward the end of his life.

Theme

Israel’s Philosophy

Human life on planet earth is empty activity without God; therefore man should fear God and obey Him.

Additional Info

Most of the history of Solomon includes his great accumulations and accolades (1 Chronicles 29:25, 2 Chronicles 1:11-12). The book of Ecclesiastes indicates Solomon eventually concluded that a life on earth lived apart from God is empty, worthless and meaningless.

© Dr. Rick Taylor

Resources for Song of Solomon, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes

Audio:

Attachments: