ends with an extensive Epilogue examining the significance of Ecclesiastes for Christian faith and practice (121-37). In later times the term "sacred language" was sometimes employed by the Jews to designate the Bible Hebrew in opposition to the "profane language", i.e.To answer the question, I first need to understand who Qohelet was and the context in which he wrote.So I need to know when he lived and who his audience might have been. There are wildly varying opinions on Qohelet’s identity, which have great bearing on interpretation. Even so, everyone agrees that Qohelet was a Jerusalem sage.The migrations of the southern Arabs carried at an early date a branch of the Semitic languages into Abyssinia, and in like manner the commercial enterprise of the Phoenicians caused Semitic colonies to be established along the northern coast of Africa and on some of the islands of the Mediterranean.The Semitic languages may be divided geographically into four groups, viz.Tradition unanimously ascribes Ecclesiastes to Solomon, but the evidence here is admittedly thin, so much so that even some evangelical writers are content to ascribe it to the period between 400-200 BC (that is, about 600-800 years after Solomon).
In the two opening chapters of the text, the author describes himself as the "son of David" and king over Israel in Jerusalem.While previous translators have suggested that Qohelet could be fittingly translated as The Preacher (as in Saint Jerome's Ecclesiastes and Martin Luther's Der Prediger), this term implies a religious characterization that is not inherently reflected in the text.A better alternative is "teacher," as "a teacher not only assembles information to convey to students but also carries out this function in an assembly, perhaps even in a place of congregational worship." However, this rendition is not without its own issues, as "there are other perfectly good and far more common Hebrew words for "teacher," …Whether Ecclesiastes’ message is dark or light or a balance of the two is not an easy question to answer.But you can easily tell how I want it to come out; that doesn’t make it so.I need to understand the role of the sage in the Jerusalem society he might have lived in, and how he might have perceived his obligation as a writer of wisdom.