Oppression, Toil and Friendlessness (Ecclesiastes 4:1 – 12)

Scripture Text:

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Ecclesiastes 4:1 – 12

1. When in life were you most in need of a friend? Did one come?

2. Which of your neighbor’s possessions do you most covet?

3. Who are the “oppressed” in verse 1? The “oppressor”?

4. Why does the Teacher say that the dead are happier than the living?

5. What does he say is the primary motivation for humankind (verse 4)?

6. What is the meaning of the proverbs in verses 5 and 6? What do they imply is the Teacher’s view of labor and competition?

7. Do you see yourself more often in the role of the “oppressor” or the “oppressed”? How so?

8. How much does someone’s wealth or status affect the way you treat him or her?

9. Do you presently have “one handful” or “two” (verse 6)?


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