Departmental Papers (Jewish Studies)
Date of this Version
Journal for the Study of the Old Testament
When Elias Bickerman wrote a little volume called Four Strange Books of the Bible, Ecclesiastes was an easy choice for inclusion. As he remarks, "Ecclesiastes has no known antecedents or spiritual posterity in Jewish thought."¹ This is an exaggeration,² but even Qohelet's successors, the Jewish sages of the rabbinic period, found Ecclesiastes questionably biblical. Thus in Leviticus Rabbah 28:1, R. Benjamin B. Levi remarks, "They sought to suppress Ecclesiastes, for they found in it matters that tend toward the heretical."³ The purpose of this article is to highlight what I think is a particularly significant facet of Ecclesiastes' distinctive, and at first glance heretical, stance vis-á-vis the rest of biblical literature. This is Qohelet's emphasis on the imagery of turning.
Carasik, Michael, Qohelet's Twists and Turns, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament (Vol. 28, no. 2) pp. 192-209. Copyright © 2003 SAGE. Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications
Carasik, Michael, "Qohelet's Twists and Turns" (2003). Departmental Papers (Jewish Studies). 18.
Date Posted: 14 June 2017
This document has been peer reviewed.
This is a pre-publication version; the version of record can be found at DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/030908920302800204