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

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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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APPENDIX 193

Extract

APPENDIX The following chart illustrates the number and the locations of segmented citations for each of the motifs surveyed throughout this monograph. The entire text of Qohelet is represented by these citations, with the exception of Qoh 1:1, 12. Each citation was segmented as a unit of thought, and does not necessarily match lexical occurrences of key terms and phrases. In certain cases, the idea behind a motif was implied, but there were no explicit references to the motif in lexical form. This is illustrated by the designation of Qoh 1:3–11 as representing the lbh motif, even though the word lbh is not found within this text. In this case, it is the concept of lbh that is communicated by these verses, not the lexical term itself. 194 F e a r G o d ( 9 C it a ti o n s) 3 :1 7 5 :1 -7 E n jo y L if e (1 3 C it a ti o n s) 2 :2 4 -2 5 3 :1 2 -1 3 ; 3 :2 2 4 :8 c 5 :1 8 -2 0 6 :1 2 a In e v it a b il it y o f D ea th ( 1 8 C it a ti o n s) 1 :4 ; 1 :1 1 2 :3 b ; 2 :1 4 b ; 2 :1 6 ; 2 :1 8 b 3 :1 9 -2 1 5 :1 5 -1 6 ; 5 :1 8 6 :6...

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