Ecclesiastes authorship and dating

Another way of accounting for it was to suppose that Solomon composed it during the period in which he was driven from his throne (Giṭ. 1, where Solomon is said to have gathered an assembly. As to the age of the work, there is an indication of the latest date at which it could have been written in the fact that Ben Sira repeatedly quotes or imitates it (Ecclus. 17, 18); later, however, he relapsed into the Epicurean conclusion (iii.

68b), a legend which may have originated from this passage. 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. Azariah was appointed head of the assembly." Endeavors were made to render it apocryphal on the ground of its not being inspired (Tosef., Yad. 22), accentuated by further observation into pessimism (iv. At this point he proceeds to introduce a variety of maxims, illustrated by anecdotes, leading up to the conclusion (vii.

Thus some would regard all the edifying passages as interpolations (so Haupt, "Oriental Studies," pp.

This inconsistency, which could probably be paralleled from the works of Oriental pessimists like Omar Khayyam and Abu al-'Ala of Ma'arrah, attracted attention, as has been stated, in early times; but the various attempts that have been made to bring the author into harmony with himself are too subjective to be convincing.

The word therefore gets translated in Greek to 'Ecclesiastes' to mean something like "assemblymen." This is a word that translators also use when translating Aristotle's 'Politics': an ecclesiastic is a member of an assembly, just a person in a group, while a dicast is a judge or someone who has a final say in things.

A secular argument highlights the presence of Persian loan-words (words used in a language from some other language, like 'restaurant' or 'Schadenfraude' in English) to establish the dating and possible sources of the text.

Hebrew writers wouldn't have encountered the Persian language before then.

But that does not mean that Solomon was the author of Ecclesiastes.If so, the author probably used words and ideas that Solomon had taught to him.If that is correct, then the author would have become one of Israels wise men. One of them may be the son who appears in Ecclesiastes .His argument seems to be that the Hebrew is characteristic of a much later era, with substantial Aramaic influence.On the other hand, a long tradition asserts Solomonic authorship, and some modern commentaries object to Delitzsch’s conclusions.The canonicity of the book was, however, long doubtful (Yad. 17) that the plan of the universe is incomprehensible. formulates the doctrine that men's actions and motives are all foreordained, and advises gaiety on the ground that whatever is to happen is already fixed, and that there will be no room for activity in the grave.


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