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An Analysis of the Inter-Dependency of the Prominent Motifs Within the Book of Qohelet


Richard Alan Jr. Fuhr

The key to a balanced and accurate understanding of the book of Ecclesiastes lies in the inter-dependent relationships between the prominent motifs within the book. An Analysis of the Inter-Dependency of the Prominent Motifs Within the Book of Qohelet explores this dynamic. The final outcome of such an approach is a wisdom-based paradigm for living «under the sun», a wise man’s approach to living in a fallen world. Qohelet’s conclusions are two-fold and balanced. First, in light of the fact that life is fleeting, death is inevitable, and one’s future lies outside of the realm of human control, the wise will enjoy life as a gift from God, recognizing that joy is ultimately a responsibility and a mandate placed upon them. Second, in light of the fact that life is fleeting, death is inevitable, and God’s enigmatic ways on earth are sure to be followed by an equitable future judgment, the wise will fear God and keep his commandments. Therefore, the wise man or woman will enjoy life but not enjoy sin, living each day to its fullest but in sobriety, knowing that for all our actions there is a coming judgment. This is the wisdom of Ecclesiastes.


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EDITOR’S PREFACE More than ever the horizons in biblical literature are being expanded beyond that which is immediately imagined; important new methodological, theological, and hermeneutical directions are being explored, often resulting in significant contributions to the world of biblical scholarship. It is an exciting time for the academy as engagement in biblical studies continues to be heightened. This series seeks to make available to scholars and institutions, scholarship of a high order, and which will make a significant contribution to the ongoing biblical discourse. This series includes established and innovative directions, covering general and particular areas in biblical study. For every volume considered for this series, we explore the question as to whether the study will push the horizons of biblical scholarship. The answer must be yes for inclusion. In this volume, Richard Fuhr seeks to establish a “balanced approach to Qohelet” by a systematic analysis of seven of the most prominent motifs in the book. The exploration and discussion in this volume is not only designed to highlight the various themes, but the author ably demonstrates the interdependency of the motifs. In so doing this study crafts a viable argument that invites a reading, interpretation and understanding of Qohelet as an organic whole. The theological implications of this approach are woven throughout, and this study thus is not only designed for scholars, but may prove to be very useful to clergy as well. This study is certain to generate ongoing discourse, and will not only further expand the biblical...

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