Show Less

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

Series:

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.

Prices

Show Summary Details
Restricted access

CHAPTER 4: Looking Through the “Lens of Wisdom”: The Role of Wisdom and Genre in the Book of Qohelet 75

Extract

CHAPTER 4 Looking Through the “Lens of Wisdom”: The Role of Wisdom and Genre in the Book of Qohelet Wisdom takes on a complex role in Qohelet; in one sense, it entails the genre of the book, in another sense, it is the guiding perspective from which Qohelet is led throughout his quest, and finally, it functions as a motif that is explored within the book and in relationship to the other prominent motifs. Qohelet is generally considered a wisdom book, and as such, should be expected to manifest characteristics of Hebrew wisdom literature. However, it is obvious to most that Qohelet does not read in the same manner as the more conventional wisdom of Proverbs. 1 Qohelet, while containing many examples of proverbial wisdom, is structured in a more complex manner, containing non-proverbial wisdom and a complex line of argument that incorporates elements of tension, skepticism, and exploration into the nature of wisdom itself. One of the obvious paradoxes facing the interpreter of literature, and in this case, the literature of the Bible, is that an accurate understanding of genre is necessary for the interpretation of the literary text, and yet genre is wholly determined by an accurate understanding of that same text. Thus the genre comes to be understood by the text, and yet the text is truly only understood once the genre is determined. This leads of course to circularity in reasoning, yet it is an inevitable paradox in hermeneutics. 2 The reader, however, should not be...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.