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Encyclopedia > Ecclesiastes
Hebrew Bible or
Old Testament
for details see Biblical canon
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Ecclesiastes, Qohelet in Hebrew, is a book of the Hebrew Bible. The title derives from the Greek translation of the Hebrew title: קֹהֶלֶת (variously transliterated as Qoheleth, Qohelethh, Kohelet, Koheles, Koheleth, or Coheleth). 11th century manuscript of the Hebrew Bible with Targum This article is about the term Hebrew Bible. For the Hebrew Bible itself, see Tanakh (Jewish term) or Old Testament (Christian term). ... Note: Judaism commonly uses the term Tanakh. ... A biblical canon is a list published by a religious authority of those books of the Bible that are considered inspired by God. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Protestantism is a general grouping of denominations within Christianity. ... The Roman Catholic Church, most often spoken of simply as the Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with over one billion members. ... The Eastern Orthodox Church is a Christian body that views itself as: the historical continuation of the original Christian community established by Jesus Christ and the Twelve Apostles, having maintained unbroken the link between its clergy and the Apostles by means of Apostolic Succession. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Look up Pentateuch in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The Book of Joshua is the sixth book in both the Hebrew Tanakh and the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. ... Book of Judges (Hebrew: Sefer Shoftim ספר שופטים) is a book of the Bible originally written in Hebrew. ... Naomi entreating Ruth and Orpah to return to the land of Moab by William Blake, 1795 Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld: Ruth in Boazs Field, 1828 The Book of Ruth (Hebrew: מגילת רות, Megilat Rut, the Scroll of Ruth) is one of the books of the Ketuvim (Writings) of the Tanakh (the... The Books of Samuel (Hebrew: Sefer Shmuel ספר שמואל), are part of the Tanakh (part of Judaisms Hebrew Bible) and also of the Old Testament (of Christianity). ... The Books of Kings (Hebrew: Sefer Melachim ספר מלכים) is a part of Judaisms Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible. ... The Book of Chronicles is a book in the Hebrew Bible (also see Old Testament). ... The Book of Ezra is a book of the Bible in the Old Testament and Hebrew Tanakh. ... 1. ... The Book of Nehemiah is a book of the Hebrew Bible, known to Jews as the Tanach and to Christians as the Old Testament. ... 1. ... The Book of Esther is a book of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) and of the Old Testament. ... The Book of Job (איוב) is one of the books of the Hebrew Bible. ... Psalms (from the Greek: Psalmoi (songs sung to a harp, originally from psallein play on a stringed instrument), Ψαλμοί; Hebrew: Tehilim, תהילים) is a book of the Hebrew Bible, Tanakh or Old Testament. ... The Book of Proverbs is one of the books of the Ketuvim of the Tanakh and of the Writings of the Old Testament. ... For other uses, see Song of Solomon (disambiguation). ... The Book of Isaiah (Hebrew: Sefer Yshayah ספר ישעיה) is one of the books of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament, traditionally attributed to Isaiah. ... The Book of Jeremiah, or Jeremiah (יִרְמְיָהוּ Yirmiyahu in Hebrew), is part of the Hebrew Bible, Judaisms Tanakh, and later became a part of Christianitys Old Testament. ... The Book of Lamentations (Hebrew מגילת איכה) is a book of the Bible Old Testament and Jewish Tanakh. ... Ezekiel the Prophet of the Hebrew Scriptures is depicted on a 1510 Sistine Chapel fresco by Michelangelo. ... The Book of Daniel, written in Hebrew and Aramaic, is a book in both the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) and the Christian Old Testament. ... A minor prophet is a book in Minor Prophets section of the Hebrew Bible also known to Christians as the Old Testament. ... Tobias and the Angel, by Filippino Lippi The Book of Tobit (or Book of Tobias in older Catholic Bibles) is a book of scripture that is part of the Catholic and Orthodox biblical canon, pronounced canonical by the Council of Carthage of 397 and confirmed for Roman Catholics by the... For other uses of Judith, see Judith (disambiguation). ... 1 Maccabees is a deuterocanonical book of the Bible which was written by a Jewish (pre-Christian) author, probably about 100 BC, after the restoration of an independent Jewish kingdom. ... 2 Maccabees is a deuterocanonical book of the Bible which focuses on the Jews revolt against Antiochus and concludes with the defeat of the Syrian general Nicanor in 161 BC by Judas Maccabeus, the hero of the work. ... Wisdom or the Wisdom of Solomon is one of the deuterocanonical books of the Bible. ... The Wisdom of Ben Sira, (or The Wisdom of Yeshua Ben Sira or merely Sirach), called Ecclesiasticus (not to be confused with Ecclesiastes) by Christians, is a book written circa 180–175 BCE. The author, Yeshua ben Sira, was a Jew who had been living in Jerusalem, who may in... It has been suggested that Epistle of Jeremy be merged into this article or section. ... Letter of Jeremiah is an Apocryphal book consisting of a letter ascribed to Jeremiah to the Jews in exile in Babylon warning them against idolatry by demonstrating its unreasonableness. ... The Book of Jeremiah, or Jeremiah (יִרְמְיָהוּ Yirmiyahu in Hebrew), is part of the Hebrew Bible, Judaisms Tanakh, and later became a part of Christianitys Old Testament. ... The additions to Daniel comprise of three additional chapters appended to the Hebrew/Aramaic text of Daniel from the Greek Septuagint. ... The Book of Esther is a book of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) and of the Old Testament. ... By far the most important of the many synods held at Jerusalem (see Wetzer and Welte, Kirchenlexikon, 2nd ed. ... 1 Esdras is a deuterocanonical book accepted by most Orthodox Christians, but rejected as apocryphal by Jews, Catholics, and Protestants. ... 1. ... The Biblical book 3 Maccabees is found in most Orthodox Bibles as a part of the deuterocanonical books. ... The book of 4 Maccabees is a homily or philosophic discourse praising the supremacy of pious reason over the passions. ... This short work of only 15 verses purports to be the penitential prayer of the Judean king Manasseh, who is recorded in the Bible as one of the most idolatrous (2 Kings 21:1-18). ... This article or section is missing references or citation of sources. ... The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church is an Oriental Orthodox church in Ethiopia that was part of the Coptic Church until it was granted its own Patriarch by Cyril VI, the Coptic Pope, in 1959. ... In the Septuagint and for Eastern Orthodox Christians, 2 Esdras refers to the combination of Ezra and Nehemiah. ... 1. ... The Book of Jubilees (ספר היובלים), sometimes called the Lesser Genesis (Leptogenesis), is an ancient Jewish religious work. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... A series of three books in the Ethiopian Biblical canon. ... Syriac is an Eastern Aramaic language that was once spoken across much of the Fertile Crescent. ... The Peshitta is the standard version of the Bible in the Syriac language. ... These are additional Psalms found in the Syriac Peshitta and some Greek Septuagint and at Qumran: 11QPs(a)154,155. ... 2 Baruch or the Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch is a Jewish pseudepigraphical text written in the late 1st century CE or early 2nd century CE, after the fall of Jerusalem to the Romans in 70 CE. It is not part of the canon of either the Jewish or most Christian... “Hebrew” redirects here. ... 11th century manuscript of the Hebrew Bible with Targum This article is about the term Hebrew Bible. For the Hebrew Bible itself, see Tanakh (Jewish term) or Old Testament (Christian term). ... “Hebrew” redirects here. ...


The author represents himself as the son of David, and king over Israel in Jerusalem (1:1, 12, 16; 2:7, 9). The work consists of personal or autobiographic matter, largely expressed in aphorisms and maxims illuminated in terse paragraphs with reflections on the meaning of life and the best way of life. The work emphatically proclaims all the actions of man to be inherently "futile" and/or "meaningless," as the lives of both wise and foolish men end in death. While the teacher clearly promotes wisdom for the enjoyment of an earthly life, he is unable to ascribe eternal meaning to it. In light of this perceived senselessness, the teacher suggests that one should enjoy the simple pleasures of daily life, such as eating, drinking, and taking enjoyment in one's wife and work, which are gifts from the hand of God. The book ends with postscripts, perhaps as many as three.[1] David and Goliath by Caravaggio, c. ... For other uses, see Jerusalem (disambiguation). ...


According to Orthodox Judaism however, the point of Kohelet is to state that all is futile under the sun. One should therefore ignore physical pleasures and put all ones efforts towards that which is above the Sun. This is summed up in the second to last verse "The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God, and keep his commandments; for that is the whole duty of everyone."


In Jewish society, Ecclesiastes is read on the Shabbat of the Intermediate Days of Sukkot, a harvest holiday. If there is no Intermediate Sabbath of Sukkot it is read on Shemini Atzeret (in Israel, it is read on the first Shabbat of Sukkot). It is read on Sukkot as a reminder to not get too caught up in the festivities of the holiday. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Sabbath. ... Sukkot (סוכות or סֻכּוֹת sukkōt, booths) or Succoth or Sukkos is a Biblical pilgrimage festival which occurs in autumn on the 15th day of the month of Tishri (early- to late-October). ... Sukkot (סוכות or סֻכּוֹת sukkōt, booths) or Succoth or Sukkos is a Biblical pilgrimage festival which occurs in autumn on the 15th day of the month of Tishri (early- to late-October). ... Shemini Atzeret (שמיני עצרת - the Eighth [day] of Assembly) is a Jewish holiday celebrated on the 22nd day of the Hebrew month of Tishri. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Sabbath. ...

Contents

Etymology

Tanakh
Torah | Nevi'im | Ketuvim
Books of Ketuvim
Three Poetic Books
1. Psalms
2. Proverbs
3. Job
Five Megillot
4. Song of Songs
5. Ruth
6. Lamentations
7. Ecclesiastes
8. Esther
Other Books
9. Daniel
10. Ezra-Nehemiah
11. Chronicles

The Hebrew קהלת is a feminine participle related to the root קהל meaning "to gather." Scholars are unsure if it means the "one who gathers" or the "one among the gathering." Although the form is a feminine participle, virtually no scholars argue that it is a woman. Except for one dubious example of a 3fs verb associated with qohelet, the subject always uses masculine nouns and even refers to his wife and women. He says that he has acquired shida we-shidot, an ambigious phrase that may refer to a harem (,shdh "breasts"), he describes how he could not find a virtuous woman, and he exhorts the reader to enjoy (re'a) (as he should) life with his wife. Tanakh (Hebrew: ‎) (also Tanach, IPA: or , or Tenak, is an acronym that identifies the Hebrew Bible. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Neviim [נביאים] (Heb: Prophets) is the second of the three major sections in the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible), following the Torah and preceding Ketuvim (writings). ... Ketuvim is the third and final section of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible). ... Ketuvim is the third and final section of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible). ... Psalms (from the Greek: Psalmoi (songs sung to a harp, originally from psallein play on a stringed instrument), Ψαλμοί; Hebrew: Tehilim, תהילים) is a book of the Hebrew Bible, Tanakh or Old Testament. ... The Book of Proverbs is one of the books of the Ketuvim of the Tanakh and of the Writings of the Old Testament. ... The Book of Job (איוב) is one of the books of the Hebrew Bible. ... In the third major section of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible), which is called Ketuvim (The Writings), there are five relatively short biblical books that are grouped together and known collectively in the Jewish tradition as The Five Scrolls (Hebrew: Hamesh Megillot or Chamesh Megillos). ... For other uses, see Song of Solomon (disambiguation). ... Naomi entreating Ruth and Orpah to return to the land of Moab by William Blake, 1795 Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld: Ruth in Boazs Field, 1828 The Book of Ruth (Hebrew: מגילת רות, Megilat Rut, the Scroll of Ruth) is one of the books of the Ketuvim (Writings) of the Tanakh (the... The Book of Lamentations (Hebrew מגילת איכה) is a book of the Bible Old Testament and Jewish Tanakh. ... The Book of Esther is a book of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) and of the Old Testament. ... The Book of Daniel, written in Hebrew and Aramaic, is a book in both the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) and the Christian Old Testament. ... The Book of Ezra is a book of the Bible in the Old Testament and Hebrew Tanakh. ... The Book of Nehemiah is a book of the Hebrew Bible, known to Jews as the Tanach and to Christians as the Old Testament. ... The Book of Chronicles is a book in the Hebrew Bible (also see Old Testament). ... “Hebrew” redirects here. ...


The English title of the book, Ecclesiastes, comes from the Septuagint translation of Qohelet, Εκκλησιαστής. It has its origins in the Greek word Εκκλησία (originally a secular gathering, although later used primarily of religious gatherings, hence its New Testament translation as "church"). The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... The Septuagint: A page from Codex vaticanus, the basis of Sir Lancelot Charles Lee Brentons English translation. ...


The word Qohelet has found several translations into English, including The Preacher (translating Jerome's ecclesiastes and Martin Luther's Der Prediger). Since preacher implies a religious function, and the contents of the book do not reflect such a function, this translation has largely been rejected by modern translations and scholars. A better alternative is "teacher", although this also fails to capture the fundamental idea behind the original Hebrew title. “Saint Jerome” redirects here. ... Martin Luther (November 10, 1483 – February 18, 1546) was a German monk,[1] priest, professor, theologian, and church reformer. ... “Hebrew” redirects here. ...


Authorship and Historical Context

Author

In the two opening chapters the author describes himself as the son of David, and king over Israel in Jerusalem, presenting himself as a philosopher at the center of a brilliant court. This could apply only to king Solomon, for his successors in Jerusalem were kings over Judah only. Consequently, the traditional Rabbinic and early Christian view attributed Ecclesiastes to king Solomon. This view has been abandoned by many modern critical scholars, who now assume that Qoheleth is a work in the pseudepigraphical tradition that borrowed weight for a new work by putting it in the mouth of a well-known sage. Most critical scholars suggest that Ecclesiastes was written around 250 BCE by a non-Hellenized intellectual in the milieu of the Temple in Jerusalem, though Seow of the Anchor Bible commentary argues that it dates to the Persian period. The latest possible date for it is set by the fact that Ben Sirach (written cca 180 BCE) repeatedly quotes or paraphrases it, as from a canonic rather than a contemporary writing. King Solomon Latin name (Hebrew: שְׁלֹמֹה, (Shelomo) (Shlomo pronounced with Yiddish accent)Standard Tiberian ; Arabic: سليمان, Sulayman; all essentially meaning peace) is a figure described in Middle Eastern scriptures as a wise ruler of an empire centred on the united Kingdom of Israel. ... King Solomon Latin name (Hebrew: שְׁלֹמֹה, (Shelomo) (Shlomo pronounced with Yiddish accent)Standard Tiberian ; Arabic: سليمان, Sulayman; all essentially meaning peace) is a figure described in Middle Eastern scriptures as a wise ruler of an empire centred on the united Kingdom of Israel. ... Pseudepigrapha (Greek pseudos = false, epi = after, later and grapha = writing (or writings), latterly or falsely attributed, or down right forged works, describes texts whose claimed authorship is unfounded in actuality. ... (Redirected from 250 BCE) Centuries: 4th century BC - 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC Decades: 300s BC 290s BC 280s BC 270s BC 260s BC - 250s BC - 240s BC 230s BC 220s BC 210s BC 200s BC Years: 255 BC 254 BC 253 BC 252 BC 251 BC - 250 BC... The term Hellenistic (established by the German historian Johann Gustav Droysen) in the history of the ancient world is used to refer to the shift from a culture dominated by ethnic Greeks, however scattered geographically, to a culture dominated by Greek-speakers of whatever ethnicity, and from the political dominance... A stone (2. ... The Wisdom of Ben Sirach, (or The Wisdom of Joshua Ben Sirach or merely Sirach), called Ecclesiasticus by Christians, is a book written circa 180 BCE in Hebrew. ... (Redirected from 180 BCE) Centuries: 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC - 1st century BC Decades: 230s BC 220s BC 210s BC 200s BC 190s BC - 180s BC - 150s BC 140s BC 130s BC 120s BC 110s BC Years: 185 BC 184 BC 183 BC 182 BC 181 BC - 180 BC...


Many modern conservative scholars today also recognize that Solomon is an unlikely author. Since this work is found within the Ketuvim, there must be some room for poetical treatment. There are two voices in the book, the frame-narrator (1.1-11; 12.9-14) and Qoheleth (1.12-12.8). Though this is not considered to be indicative of two authors, it does encourage the reader to place himself within the frame and see the pursuit of Wisdom from the perspective of Solomon. Thus, the author is probably a Hebrew poet who is using the life of Solomon as a vista for the Hebrews' pursuit of Wisdom (Ecc 1.13, 7.25 8.16; Job 28.12). This would place the book in the latter days of the canonical writings (see Josephus' claim for a closed canon in the early post exilic age Against Apion 1.38-42) when wisdom seemed out of reach to the Hebrews (Ecc 1.17, 7.23; Pro 30.1-3) King Solomon Latin name (Hebrew: שְׁלֹמֹה, (Shelomo) (Shlomo pronounced with Yiddish accent)Standard Tiberian ; Arabic: سليمان, Sulayman; all essentially meaning peace) is a figure described in Middle Eastern scriptures as a wise ruler of an empire centred on the united Kingdom of Israel. ... Ketuvim is the third and final section of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible). ... King Solomon Latin name (Hebrew: שְׁלֹמֹה, (Shelomo) (Shlomo pronounced with Yiddish accent)Standard Tiberian ; Arabic: سليمان, Sulayman; all essentially meaning peace) is a figure described in Middle Eastern scriptures as a wise ruler of an empire centred on the united Kingdom of Israel. ... King Solomon Latin name (Hebrew: שְׁלֹמֹה, (Shelomo) (Shlomo pronounced with Yiddish accent)Standard Tiberian ; Arabic: سليمان, Sulayman; all essentially meaning peace) is a figure described in Middle Eastern scriptures as a wise ruler of an empire centred on the united Kingdom of Israel. ... A fanciful representation of Flavius Josephus, in an engraving in William Whistons translation of his works Josephus (years 37 – shortly after 100 AD)[1], who became known, in his capacity as a Roman citizen, as Flavius Josephus[2], was a 1st-century Jewish historian and apologist of priestly and...


Language

The Hebrew of Ecclesiastes was not common in the era of Solomon’s reign, and the book contains words borrowed from other languages. For example, the book contains several Aramaic and two Persian words. The influence of Aramaic is characteristic of late Hebrew. Other examples of late Biblical Hebrew include the qetAl pattern form nouns, which would have dated after an Aramaic influence, the frequent use of the relative sh alongside asher, the Ut ending, the frequent use of the participle for the present (which is later developed in Rabbinic Hebrew), using the prefix conjugation in the future (vs. the older preterite use), and terms that appear to specifically fit a Persian/Hellenistic context (e.g. Shallit). During the time of Solomon and through the eighth century, mater's were not used inside words (except maybe in 'ir (city) in the Lachish letters), and there is no evidence for early orthography.


Date of Writing

Dominic Rudman, Determinism in the Book of Ecclesiastes (JSOTSup. 316; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001, p. 13) cites the modern commentaries supporting this dating.

  • Dominic Rudman. "A Note on Dating of Ecclesiastes". Catholic Biblical Quarterly vol. 61 no. 1 (1999) pp. 47-53 contains a discussion with C. L. Seow, "Linguistic Evidence and the Dating of Qohelet." in JBL vol. 115 (1996), pp. 653-54 - Seow supports a 4th century dating.

"Most current commentators e.g., R. N. Whybray, Ecclesiastes [NCB Commentary; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans; London: Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1989] 4-12) argue for a mid-to-late-third-century date. Others, among them N. Lohfink (Kohelet [NEchtB; Wurzburg: Echter Verlag, 1980] 7) and C. E Whitley (Koheleth: His Language and Thought [BZAW 148; Berlin/ New York: de Gruyter, 1979] 132-46), have suggested an early- or mid-second-century background."


Placement in canon

Name of God

The book of Ecclesiastes uses the expression haelohim, "the God", 32 times. But as the Jewish Encyclopedia has it:

The Israelitish name for God is nowhere employed, nor does there appear to be any reference to Judaic matters; hence there seems to be a possibility that the book is an adaptation of a work in some other language.

In other words, the more conventional YHWH is not used, though almost no modern scholars think that the book was written in Aramaic or Phoenician.


Canonicity

Bible scholars often consider Ecclesiastes to be divinely inspired and always accepted as canonical[2].


The Jewish Encyclopedia states:

The canonicity of the book was, however, long doubtful (Yad. iii. 5; Meg. 7a), and was one of the matters on which the school of Shammai took a more stringent view than the school of Hillel; it was finally settled "on the day whereon R. Eleazar b. Azariah was appointed head of the assembly." Endeavors were made to render it apocryphal on the ground of its not being inspired (Tosef., Yad. ii. 14; ed. Zuckermandel, p. 683), or of its internal contradictions (Shab. 30b), or of a tendency which it displayed toward heresy—that is, Epicureanism (Pesik., ed. Buber, viii. 68b); but these objections were satisfactorily answered (see S. Schiffer, "Das Buch Kohelet," Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1884).

Citing further from the Jewish Encyclopedia:

Yet without the idea that Qohelet was Solomon one could scarcely imagine the work ever having been included in the canon; and had it not been adopted before the doctrine of the Resurrection became popular, it is probable that the author's views on that subject would have caused his book to be excluded therefrom.

As this citation points out, the book fails to accord with the last of Maimonides' Thirteen Principles of Faith. (Though these Principles were articulated at a much later date, they evolved over a long period of time, and they are generally considered authoritative.) Commonly used image indicating one artists conception of Maimonidess appearance Maimonides (March 30, 1135 or 1138–December 13, 1204) was a Jewish rabbi, physician, and philosopher in Spain and Egypt during the Middle Ages. ... There are a number of basic Jewish principles of faith that were formulated by medieval rabbinic authorities. ...


According to Orthodox Judaism however, the holiness of Kohelet was never in doubt. The discussion was only if, because of the possibility that a superficial reading will lead to heretical beliefs it would be preferable to keep the book out of the hands of laymen. A similar discussion revolves around the book of Ezekial. This article is about the prophet Ezekiel. ...


Orthodoxy of views

Ecclesiastes appears in harmony with other Scriptures where they treat exactly the same subjects[citation needed]. It agrees with Genesis that a human is composed of the dust of the ground and a sustaining spirit[3] from God (Ecclesiastes 3:20, 21; 12:7; Genesis 2:7; 7:22; Isaiah 42:5). Ecclesiastes also affirms the Toranic teaching that man was created perfect and upright but willfully chose to disobey God (Ecclesiastes 7:29; Genesis 1:31; 3:17; Deuteronomy 32:4, 5). Ecclesiastes also acknowledges God as the Creator (Ecclesiastes 12:1; Genesis 1:1). This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...


Death and afterlife

A great portion of the book concerns itself with death. The author emphatically affirms human mortality, going so far as to say that the dead in sheol know nothing. He mentions no resurrection. In fact, it is the lack of consequences after death that lead the author to advocate enjoying life while you can. Martin Luther and certain other Christian leaders have quoted these verses in defense of the doctrine that the soul sleeps between death and resurrection. A meaningless life followed by oblivion is consistent with the purport of much (though not all) of the rest of the Tanakh as to the state of the dead (Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10; Genesis 3:19; Psalms 6:5; 115:17). This view that death is oblivion stands in contrast to later descriptions of the afterlife, such as gehenna, the bosom of Abraham, and the resurrection of the dead. In Hebrew, Sheol (שאול, Shol) is the abode of the dead, the underworld, the common grave of mankind or pit.[1] In the Hebrew Bible, it is a comfortless place beneath the earth, beyond gates, where both the bad and the good, slave and king, pious and wicked must go... Look up Resurrection in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Martin Luther (November 10, 1483 – February 18, 1546) was a German monk,[1] priest, professor, theologian, and church reformer. ... Soul sleep is a belief held by some Christians claiming that between death and the resurrection of the dead, the body and soul rest together in unconsciousness. ... Tanakh (Hebrew: ‎) (also Tanach, IPA: or , or Tenak, is an acronym that identifies the Hebrew Bible. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The phrase the Bosom of Abraham is used in the Christian Bible. ... // Main article: Jewish eschatology Orthodox Judaism holds that belief in the Resurrection of the Dead is one of the cardinal principles of the Jewish faith. ...


"Vanity"

Qoheleth's stated aim is to find out how to ensure one's benefits in life, an aim in accord with the general purposes of Wisdom Literature. For Qoheleth, however, any possible advantage in life is destroyed by the inevitability of death. As such, Qoheleth concludes that life (and everything) is senseless. In light of this conclusion, Qoheleth advises his audience to make the most of life, to seize the day, for there is no way to secure favorable outcomes in the future. Although this latter conclusion has sometimes been compared to Epicureanism, for Qoheleth it comes about as the inevitable result of his failure to make sense of existence. Wisdom literature is the a genre of literature common in the Ancient Near East. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Epicureanism is a system of philosophy based upon the teachings of Epicurus (c. ...


This conclusion is reflected in the refrain which both opens and closes Qoheleth's words:

"Utterly senseless" says Qoheleth, "Utterly senseless, everything is senseless!"

The word translated senseless, הבל (hevel), literally means vapor, breath. Qoheleth uses it metaphorically, and its precise meaning is extensively debated. Older English translation often render it vanity, but in modern usage this word has come to mean "self-pride" and lost its Latinate connotation of emptiness and is thus no longer appropriate. Other translations include futile, meaningless, absurd, fleeting or senseless. Some translations use the literal rendering vapor of vapors and so claim to leave the interpretation to the reader.


Ultimately, the author of Ecclesiates comes to this conclusion in the second to last verse of the last chapter:

"The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God, and keep his commandments; for that is the whole duty of everyone."

Some argue that these two last verses are an addition to the original script since they stand in contrast to all of the previous statements made. Others argue that it actually completes the message by saying that nothing is of as high importance as the work of God.


Other versions of Ecclesiastes 1:2 include:

  • "Vanity of vanities! All is vanity!"
  • "Meaningless of meaningless! All is meaningless!"
  • "Futility of futilities, all is futile."

References to Ecclesiastes in later works

  • Few certain allusions to "Ecclesiastes" arise in the New Testament. Romans 8:20 is the most commonly cited allusion: "For the creation was subjected to futility..." (where futility renders the Greek word used in the Septuagint to render the Hebrew hevel as discussed above).
  • The sonnet "Lift Not the Painted Veil" (1818) by Percy Bysshe Shelley alludes to the "Preacher" in its last line.
  • The 1845 Robert Browning poem "The Bishop Orders His Tomb at Saint Praxed's Church" opens with a clear allusion to the first line of Ecclesiastes: "Vanity, saith the preacher, vanity!" in which both the Latinate and modern meanings of "vanity" are implied.
  • The House of Mirth is a 1905 novel by Edith Wharton. The title is taken from Ecclesiastes 7:4: "The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.”
  • The title of Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises (1926) is taken from Ecclesiastes 1:5: "The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to the place where he arose..."
  • Ecclesiastes 1:9 "...and there is nothing new under the sun" is reversed in the opening line of Samuel Beckett's "Murphy" (1938) as "The sun shone, having no alternative, on nothing new."
  • George Orwell, in his 1946 essay "Politics and the English Language", cites a well-known passage from Ecclesiastes (Eccl. 9:11) to illustrate his point about effective, honest and direct language using concrete words from everyday life: "I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all."
  • In Ray Bradbury's 1953 novel, Fahrenheit 451, the protagonist, Guy Montag, represents the back-up copy of the Book of Ecclesiastes for the Book People.
  • In John Updike's 1960 novel, Rabbit, Run, Ecclesiastes is alluded to in the character of the minister, Reverend Eccles.
  • The poem about times in Eccl. 3:1-8 is also well known as the inspiration for the Pete Seeger song, "Turn, Turn, Turn", most famously recorded by The Byrds in 1962.
  • The protagonist in Roger Zelazny's 1963 Hugo Award-nominated short story "A Rose for Ecclesiastes" uses quotations from Ecclesiastes to great emotional effect.
  • The song "Profecias" (from the album "La Biblia", 1971), by classic-rock, Argentinean band Vox Dei is based on Ecclesiastes (e.g. excerpt stating "todo tiene un tiempo bajo el sol", meaning "everything has a time under the son" and the ensuing verses based on the "there is a time for..." section of the book).
  • Mark Alburger's cantata "Ecclesiastes, or The Preacher" (1975, premiered in 2005 by the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra) sets fragments from each of the book's eleven chapters, the third movement being a distorted trope of the Pete Seeger song.
  • The lyrics of the song Dust in the Wind (1977), by Kansas, are heavily influenced by the tone of Ecclesiastes.
  • Cultural-theorist Jean Baudrillard cites Ecclesiastes in the first chapter of Simulacra and Simulation (1981) as the source of the following quotation: "The simulacrum is never what hides the truth — it is truth that hides the fact that there is none. The simulacrum is true." The quotation is apocryphal, however.
  • The 1986 film Platoon opens with the line, " Rejoice, O young men, in thy youth" taken from Chapter 11, verse 9.
  • John Cougar Mellancamp quotes Ecclesiastes on his landmark album "The Lonesome Jubilee" (1987).
  • The song "Rise and shine" (from the album "Three sides to every story", 1992), by hard-rock, American band Extreme is based on Ecclesiastes (e.g. excerpts from its lyrics such as "Vanity/yes, all is vanity" and "There is a time for everything/under the sun".
  • The title of the Deep Space 9 episode Nor the Battle to the Strong (1996) is inspired by Ecclesiastes 9:11.
  • The song/rap "Dancing is not a Crime" in the musical Footloose (1998) includes a reference to chapter 3 of Ecclesiastes.
  • Vanity of Vanities (2006) is a novel based on Ecclesiastes by Martin Bertram.
  • The song "Open Hands to the Wind" by hard rock band Hopesfall is inspired very heavily by Ecclesiastes.
  • The title of a series of Star Trek: The Next Generation novels "A Time To..." is inspired by Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.
  • Theta Tau National Professional Engineering Fraternity's open motto is "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might" taken from Chapter 9, verse 10.
  • An episode of Northern Exposure is titled 'All is Vanity' and is inspired in part by the themes of Ecclesiastes 1:2.
  • The song "Happy is a Yuppie Word," by the band Switchfoot paraphrases portions of the book, specifically the ideas that there is nothing new and nothing meaningful and consistent.

John 21:1 Jesus Appears to His Disciples--Alessandro Mantovani: the Vatican, Rome. ... The Epistle to the Romans is one of the letters of the New Testament canon of the Christian Bible. ... The Septuagint: A page from Codex vaticanus, the basis of Sir Lancelot Charles Lee Brentons English translation. ... Percy Bysshe Shelley (August 4, 1792 – July 8, 1822; pronounced ) was one of the major English Romantic poets and is widely considered to be among the finest lyrical poets of the English language. ... Image:Nishon- Project Gutenberg eText 13103. ... The House of Mirth is a 1905 novel by Edith Wharton. ... Edith Wharton (January 24, 1862 – August 11, 1937) was an American novelist, short story writer, and designer. ... Ernest Miller Hemingway (July 21, 1899 – July 2, 1961) was an American novelist, short-story writer, and journalist. ... Battlestar Galactica episode, see The Son Also Rises. ... Eric Arthur Blair (25 June 1903[1][2] – 21 January 1950), better known by the pen name George Orwell, was an English author and journalist. ... Politics and the English Language (1946) is one of George Orwells most famous essays. ... Ray Douglas Bradbury (born August 22, 1920) is an American literary, fantasy, horror, science fiction, and mystery writer best known for The Martian Chronicles, a 1950 book which has been described both as a short story collection and a novel, and his 1953 dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451. ... Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian soft science fiction novel by Ray Bradbury that was published in 1953. ... A protagonist is the main figure of a piece of literature or drama and has the main part or role. ... Guy Montag is the central character in Ray Bradburys 1953 novel, Fahrenheit 451. ... John Hoyer Updike (born March 18, 1932) is an American writer born in Shillington, Pennsylvania. ... Rabbit, Run is a 1960 novel by John Updike, concerning a former basketball player named Harry Rabbit Angstrom, and his attempts to escape the constraints of his life. ... Pete Seeger (1955) Peter Seeger (born May 3, 1919) almost universally known as Pete Seeger, is a folk singer and political activist. ... Turn! Turn! Turn!, also known by its full title Turn! Turn! Turn! (to Everything There Is A Season), is a song written by Pete Seeger, wherein Seeger set text from The Bible to music, specifically, a reading from the Book of Ecclesiastes, 3:1-8, in the Old Testament. ... The Byrds (formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1964) were an American rock band. ... Roger Joseph Zelazny (May 13, 1937 – June 14, 1995) was an American writer of fantasy and science fiction short stories and novels. ... The 2005 Hugo Award with base designed by Deb Kosiba. ... This article is in need of attention. ... A Rose for Ecclesiastes is one of Roger Zelaznys early stories. ... Vox Dei (Latin: Gods Voice) is an Argentine rock band. ... Official language(s) none Capital Topeka Largest city Wichita Area  Ranked 15th  - Total 82,277 sq mi (213,096 km²)  - Width 211 miles (340 km)  - Length 417 miles (645 km)  - % water 0. ... Jean Baudrillard (July 29, 1929 – March 6, 2007) (IPA pronunciation: [1]) was a French cultural theorist, philosopher, political commentator, and photographer. ... Simulacra and Simulation (Simulacres et Simulation in French), published in 1981, is a philosophical treatise by Jean Baudrillard. ... Platoon is an award winning 1986 Vietnam war film written and directed by Oliver Stone and starring Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, and Willem Dafoe. ... See also Extreme value, Extreme sports, Extremophile Extreme was an American funk metal / hair metal / hard rock band which achieved popularity in the late 1980s and early 1990s. ... Space station Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (ST:DS9 or STDS9 or DS9 for short) is a science fiction television series produced by Paramount and set in the Star Trek universe. ... Jake Sisko learns about the horrors of war first-hand. ... Footloose was based on a movie of the same name which was released in 1984. ... Vanity of Vanities is a medieval novel by Martin Bertram. ... Martin Bertram (born November 18, 1976) is the author of Vanity of Vanities. ... The title as it appeared in most episodes opening credits. ... ΘΤ (Theta Tau) Fraternity was founded in 1904 by four engineering students at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. ... Northern Exposure was a quirky, surreal, character-driven American dramatic-comedy television series. ... Switchfoot is a Grammy nominated alternative rock band from San Diego, California, United States. ...

See also

Wikisource has original text related to this article:
Bible (King James)/Ecclesiastes

Image File history File links Wikisource-logo. ... The original Wikisource logo. ... The Bible is the collection of Religious text or books of Judaism and Christianity. ... Tanakh (Hebrew: ‎) (also Tanach, IPA: or , or Tenak, is an acronym that identifies the Hebrew Bible. ...

External links

  • Jewish translations:
    • Kohelet - Ecclesiastes - Job (Judaica Press) translation with Rashi's commentary at Chabad.org
  • Christian translations:

Related articles: This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Rashi (1040-1105) (Artists imagination) Rashi רשי is a Hebrew acronym for רבי שלמה יצחקי (Rabbi Shlomo Yitzhaqi), (February 22, 1040 – July 13, 1105), a rabbi in France, famed as the author of the first comprehensive commentaries on the Talmud and Tanakh. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...

References

  1. ^ Harris, Stephen L.. Understanding the Bible: a reader's introduction, 2nd ed. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985. page 174.
  2. ^ "The book, entitled Koheleth, or Ecclesiastes, has ever been received, both by the Jewish and Christian Church, as written under the inspiration of the Almighty; and was held to be properly a part of the sacred canon." Adam Clarke’s 19th century Methodist Commentary, Volume III, page 799
  3. ^ (Hebrew ruach, life-force, the breath understood as the vital principle)

  Results from FactBites:
 
Ecclesiastes, the Preacher - International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (2848 words)
Ecclesiastes 7:14 b-16) the experience matter and the gnomic matter are closely combined in sense and in grammatical construction.
In Ecclesiastes the syntax of the verb is peculiar.
The strong resemblances between Ecclesiastes and Omar Khayyam have no weight to prove that the Hebrew author was later than the Persian Ecclesiastes presents a perfectly distinct doctrine of immortality, whether it affirms the doctrine or not; but that proves a relatively early date for the doctrine, rather than a late date for Ecclesiastes.
CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Ecclesiastes (4618 words)
Ecclesiastes is the name given to the book of Holy Scripture which usually follows the Proverbs; the Hebrew Qoheleth probably has the same meaning.
True, the author, who is supposed to be Solomon, speaks of the oppression of the weak by the stronger, or one official by another, of the denial of right in the courts of justice (iii, 16; iv, 1; v, 7 sqq.; viii, 9 sq.; x, 4 sqq.).
There is an unmistakable similarity between Ecclesiastes and the Canticle of Canticles, not only in the pithy shortness of the composition, but also in the emphatic repetition of words and phrases, in the boldness of the language, in the obscure construction of the whole, and in certain linguistic peculiarities (e.g.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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