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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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BIBLIOGRAPHY Anderson, Gary. A Time to Mourn, a Time to Dance. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1991. Anderson, William H. U. Qohelet and Its Pessimistic Theology: Hermeneutical Struggles in Wisdom Theology. Lewiston, New York: Edwin Mellen Press, 1997. Archer, Gleason L. “The Linguistic Evidence for the Date of ‘Ecclesiastes,’” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 12 (1969): 167–81. Armstrong, James F. “Ecclesiastes in Old Testament Theology.” Princeton Seminary Bulletin 94 (1983): 16–25. Arnold, Bill T. and John H. Choi, A Guide to Biblical Hebrew Syntax. New York: Cambridge, 2003. Backhaus, Franz J. “Denn Zeit und Zufall trifft sie alle”: Studien zur Komposition und zum Gottesbild im Buch Qohelet. Bonner biblische Beitrage 83. Frankfurt am Main: Anton Hain, 1993. Bailey, Lloyd R. Sr. Biblical Perspectives on Death. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1979. Baker, David W. and Bill T. Arnold, eds. The Face of Old Testament Studies: A Survey of Contemporary Approaches. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1999. Barre, Michael L. “Fear of God and the World View of Wisdom.” Biblical Theology Bulletin 11–13 (1983): 41–43. Bartholomew, Craig G. Reading Ecclesiastes: Old Testament Exegesis and Hermeneutical Theory. Analecta Biblica 139. Rome: Editrice Pontificio Istituto Biblico, 1998. Barton, G. A. A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Ecclesiastes. International Critical Commentary. Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1912. Barton, John. Reading the Old Testament: Method in Biblical Study. 2nd ed. revised. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1996. Beal, Timothy K. and Tod Linafelt, eds. God in the Fray: A Tribute to...

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