Nov 20, 2011

The Limitations of Wisdom in Ecclesiastes 1:12–18

How does Ecclesiastes 1:12-18 relate to Ecclesiastes 1:1-11? I suggest that in 1:12-18 Qohelet anticipates someone who might wonder whether the meaninglessness and frustration expressed in 1:1–11 could be attributed to failing to apply wisdom to the observations made in these verses. Perhaps if one could understand life then such an understanding would result in significance and meaning. However, Qohelet puts an end to such speculation in 1:12-18 with his comments concerning the limitations if wisdom. As one author suggests, Qohelet is shutting off all escape routes.[1]

[1] Michael A. Eaton, Ecclesiastes: An Introduction and Commentary, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, ed. D. J. Wiseman, vol. 16 (Downers Grove: Inter-Varsity , 1983), 61.

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