Ecclesiastes

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Ecclesiastes

(ēklē'zēăs`tēz), book of the Bible, the name of which is a latinized derivation of the Hebrew Qohelet [the Preacher]. Although traditionally ascribed to Solomon (who is identified as the author in the text), it was clearly written much later (c.300 B.C.). Like Job, the book takes issue, it would seem, with the confident assertions of the Wisdom tradition exemplified by Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) and Proverbs, both of which stress the possibility of leading a life in harmony with cosmic order. For the author of Ecclesiastes, life bears no order and no meaning. Omnipresent wickedness and death are realities which mock all effort to find meaning and purpose in life. Moreover, the purposes of God cannot be fathomed. It opens with the theme that, since "all is vanity," life should be enjoyed. This is followed by passages in praise of wisdom and mercy, with increasing emphasis on the universality of death; there is a brief epilogue on the fear of God's judgment. Despite the devout and ill-fitting conclusion of the work, the apparent cynicism of the book as a whole is said to have distressed the ancient rabbis; some scholars ascribe to pious correctors a number of nonpessimistic observations. Ecclesiastes is one of the biblical examples of wisdom literature (see Wisdom of SolomonWisdom of Solomon
or Wisdom,
early Jewish book included in the Septuagint and the Vulgate but not in the Hebrew Bible. The book opens with an exhortation to seek wisdom, followed by a statement on worldly attitudes.
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).

Bibliography

See J. L. Crenshaw, Ecclesiastes (1987); R. Alter, The Wisdom Books (2010). See also bibliography for Old TestamentOld Testament,
Christian name for the Hebrew Bible, which serves as the first division of the Christian Bible (see New Testament). The designations "Old" and "New" seem to have been adopted after c.A.D.
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.

References in periodicals archive ?
What has indeed lasted, however, is the legacy of his wisdom, embodied in the Book of Ecclesiastes.
This does not mean that the Book of Ecclesiastes does not have glosses, but that the utilization of this argument, in particular at the verse level, should be kept as much as possible at a minimum.
Scott treated the little book of Ecclesiastes in a commensurately brief compass, 20 pages of introduction and 45 pages of text and commentary.
The book of Ecclesiastes says, "It is fitting to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun.
Similar wisdom schools of ancient Israel produced ideas reflected in a number of biblical proverbs as well as the Book of Ecclesiastes, written during the fourth century BCE.
Notwithstanding recent protests that Hemingway did not understand his own novel, a considerable amount of ink has been spilled on the resemblance between The Sun Also Rises and the book of Ecclesiastes.
So begins oft-quoted Chapter 3 of the Book of Ecclesiastes of the King James version of the Bible.
The book of Ecclesiastes expressed the same idea even earlier: "The oppressed were crying, and no one would help them.
Among his favorite sections, the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes and the New Testament book of James.
prose and poetry, the Biblical book of Ecclesiastes contains a treasury
The Book of Ecclesiastes is the only piece of discursive prose in the Old Testament and is, at least apparently, at odds with the rest of the Bible in many respects.
In the Hebrew wisdom book of Ecclesiastes, the author, Qohelet, laments that "all is futility.