[b-hebrew] Ecc 9:14

bhebrew at shields-online.net bhebrew at shields-online.net
Fri Jul 12 20:39:15 EDT 2013

There's a long history of attempts to find some sort of historical background for these feasibly historical illustrations in Qohelet (perhaps most recently see Jennie Barbour, The Story of Israel in the Book of Qohelet, who sees here an allusion to the siege of Jerusalem in 701 and the wise man as Isaiah), but there has been no consensus at all and every suggestion I've seen runs into problems one way or another.

Furthermore, however, reading this as a piece of wisdom literature would tend to suggest to me that it is a parable (and the points Chris makes about the scenario would lead in this direction). The point is not really whether it has any solid historical antecedent, but to make the point. In light of 9:16 I think the parable records the downfall of the "small city" through its failure to heed the sage's wisdom because he was poor.

Martin Shields,
Sydney, Australia.

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list