By Charles Francis Whitley

For the student apprehensive to have his introductory fabric available for painless, highbrow intake, by way of rapid pedagogical transmission, there might be no doubt that Ecclesiastes is among the such a lot teasing, even exasperating, books of the Hebrew Bible. Successive generations of commentators have didn't achieve that elusive consensus approximately almost any point of the e-book, and people courageous sufficient to liberate the stuffed shop of inventive scholarship gathered through the years usually are beaten by way of the welter of perspectives for you to come sallying forth. the variety of opinion is large and complicated, beginning out with the conventional attribution to an previous and cynical Solomon within the 10th century-B.C., and attaining the other severe with H. Graetz’s declare that the booklet displays the stipulations of the Herodian interval and is to be dated on the finish of the 1st pre-Christian century. The highbrow stimulus for Qoheleth’s philosophy has been variously traced to Babylon, Egypt and Greece, whereas a few have even hazarded the view that what's right here recorded is none except real Hebrew concept. As to the language of the e-book, its presence within the Hebrew Bible has confident few linguists that it's adequate to claim that it truly is written in overdue Biblical Hebrew. Dialectical similarities were sought in Phoenician, Aramaic and Mishnaic Hebrew, an Indo-German resource has been recommended, and the speculation has been complicated, and vigorously mentioned and defended, that the textual content is a translation of an Aramaic unique. A comment made in reference to this linguistic controversy via a type of at its centre, Professor Mitchell Dahood, serves as an invaluable precis of the location relating to all of the difficulties raised via what Elias Bickerman has outlined as one of many “four unusual books of the Bible”: “The dialogue fortunately indicates no signal of abating” (Biblica forty three [1962], p. 349). it really is opposed to this kind of vibrant and intricate backdrop that this new publication on Ecclesiastes makes its visual appeal.

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E. A. Speiser, 42 3* 36 An Examination of the Language of Koheleth for DIP is established, it is likely that it may also have the nuance "too, also" 63 . It is then possible that we are to recognise this asseverative particle here, and that accordingly we should render the line "for there is a time for everything and for every act too". But while this meaning for DIP would suit the context, it must be admitted that the force of the term is still uncertain. 318 üTSfi-ia m m - V s . r n m is the construct of mτa: n· "manner,' τ τ τ · · : - : · cause"; hence m a i " 1 ?

17 Cf. G K § 141 gh (453). 18 So BDB 725 b; KBL 684a; L H A V T 575 b. 19 Bibl 33 (1952), 48. Cf. also his Ugaritic-Hebrew Philology (1965), 36, where he regards m i » as the same adverb as p » followed by the -h directionts temporale. î0 Driver, ZAW 78 (1966), 5f. 21 U T No. 1813 (453b). 42 An Examination of the Language of Koheleth fty felm (while the gods ate [and] drank)22

That the root 0*757 may have this meaning may be seen from more than one biblical text. In Koh 12u it is used of "the hidden" (0*757]) works which God will judge. In Job 28ai it is applied to wisdom being "hidden" 13 11 15 16 17 1β 19 20 21 22 23 S4 25 26 Das Buch des Predigers Salomo 168-172. Der Prediger 116 and cf. also 134f. ZAW 65 (1953), 22-27. , and cf. also his article in ZThK 58 (1961), 1-15. Hengel, Judentum und Hellenismus, 1973 2 , 221. So Schmid, Wesen und Geschichte der Weisheit, 1966, 192, also renders as "Zeitablauf".

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