Click here to get the answers to the most commonly asked RBL questions.

Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Qoheleth
Ogden, Graham S.

Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix, 2007 pp. 275.2nd Edition. $25.00

Series Information
Readings: A New Biblical Commentary

Buy this book now from SBL

Description: Qoheleth's driving question, according to Ogden, is posed in the opening lines of his book. It is the question, What lasting advantage (yithron) results from the multitude of activities in which humans find themselves engaged? In a word, the answer is, None; but the supplementary question remains, How shall we then live? Qoheleth is no pessimist. Even though he believes that nothing survives from the activities of life, he encourages his readers to live life to the full, to 'eat, drink and enjoy what God provides'. Wisdom is one of those enjoyable benefits of life, but even it has its limitations: it can never produce an understanding of the totality. What of the classic term hebel (traditionally translated 'vanity') in Qoheleth's thought? It is much better understood, argues Ogden, as 'enigma' or 'mystery', and the mystery it points to is the mystery of the yithron: how is joy the proper goal of human life when we know it must inevitably come to an end without leaving any surplus?

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Wisdom Literature, Ecclesiastes/Qoheleth, Literature

Login to Read the Review(s)

You must be a member of SBL to read the review(s). In May 2019, SBL improved security of its main site with a new login procedure that requires an email address and a password, instead of an SBL member number. RBL’s login procedure is now synched to SBL’s. Please use your email address and SBL password to log in to RBL. Your use of this site indicates your acceptance of RBL’s Terms of Use.


Email Address
SBL Password
 
  
 Forgot Your Password
 Join SBL or Renew Membership


Review by Ludger Schwienhorst-Schönberger
Published 10/4/2008
Citation: Ludger Schwienhorst-Schönberger, review of Graham S. Ogden, Qoheleth, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2008).


Adobe Acrobat Reader
All RBL reviews are published in PDF format. To view these reviews, you must have downloaded and installed the FREE version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have the Reader or you have an older version of the Reader, you can download the most recent version now.

 

 
Privacy PolicyTerms of UseContact Us