Any reading of a biblical text requires the delineation of its literary units by means of identifying linguistic and thematic coherency or embedded rhetorical devices. The Book of Ecclesiastes presents complexity of thought and stylistic expressions that do not make it easier for the reader to define literary units and the ideational development of juxtaposed discussions. Ecclesiastes presents contradictory statements concerning existential issues, normative patterns of behavior, and moral values. This fact has aroused perplexity among traditional as well as modern readers who try to resolve the logical and dogmatic contradictions, sometimes by suggesting more than one author/editor. This paper understands the ideational polarity in Ecclesiastes as a guiding principle of a single author who intentionally seeks to give voice to contradictory values that exist in life. I will exemplify this rhetorical principle by examining two sayings (10:1, 11). A close reading of both sayings in their specific contexts suggests thematic unity in shaping the dialectic discourse on measuring the values of wisdom and folly.
|Translated title of the contribution||Arrangement and Editing in Ecclesiastes: The saying as a connective link|
|State||Published - 2012|