But while Qohelet's question resonates with readers today, his answer is shocking. "Meaningless," says Qohelet, "everything is meaningless." How does this pessimistic perspective fit into the rest of biblical revelation? In this commentary Tremper Longman III addresses this question by taking a canonical-Christocentric approach to the meaning of Ecclesiastes.
Longman first provides an extensive introduction to Ecclesiastes, exploring such background matters as authorship, language, genre, structure, literary style, and the book's theological message. He argues that the author of Ecclesiastes is not Solomon, as has been traditionally thought, but a writer who adopts a Solomonic persona. In the verse-by-verse commentary that follows, Longman helps clarify the confusing, sometimes contradictory message of Ecclesiastes by showing that the book should be divided into three sections -- a prologue (1:1-11), Qohelet's autobiographical speech (1:12-12:7), and an epilogue (12:8-14) -- and that the frame narrative provided by prologue and epilogue is the key to understanding the message of the book as a whole.
The Old Testament Library provides fresh and authoritative treatments of important aspects of Old Testament study through commentaries and general surveys. The contributors are scholars of international standing.
This superb study thoroughly explores the wisdom writings of the Bible, interpreting this literature in a way that illumines the development of Israel's search for wisdom throughout its tumultuous history. Murphy looks at each wisdom book individually -- Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes, Ecclesiasticus, and Wisdom of Solomon -- and adds to them a discussion of wisdom from other parts of the Old Testament. His careful investigations expose the various guises that wisdom adopts -- the "fear of the Lord," moral formation, the universality of human experience, the mysteries of creation, and others.
Opening chapters of The Wisdom Literature comment on the striking similarities between ancient and modern "wisdom literature" and on the comparable literature from ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Canaan. Thereafter, a chapter is devoted to each biblical wisdom book (Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Sirach, and Wisdom of Solomon), studying not only its content but also its rhetoric -- how it engages the reader.
A respected expert in both hermeneutics and homiletics, Greidanus does preachers a great service by here by providing the foundations for a series of expository sermons on Ecclesiastes. He walks students and preachers through the steps from text to sermon for all of the book's fifteen major literary units, explores various ways to move from Ecclesiastes to Jesus Christ in the New Testament, and offer insightful expositions that help the preacher in sermon production butomit the theoretical andoften impractical discussions in many commentaries.
"One of the those rare volumes that should be read by all preachers who take the task of interpretation and proclamationwith great seriousness."---Preaching
"Will help preachers develop homileticalo muscle memory that will transform them from workmen into artisans."---Calvin Theological Journal
"Sidney Greidanus is one of the most gifted advocates of `redemptive historical' preaching....In a time when there is much confusion about what it meansto preach in fidelity to the Scriptures, we very much need the lessons that he offers us."----Richard J Mouw Fuller Theological Seminary
"A master stroke from one of the sminal thinkers and writers in homiletics".---Bryan Chaell Covenant Theological Seminary
"A master stroke from one of the seminal thinkers and writers in homiletics"---Bryan Chapell Covenant Theological Seminary
C. Hassell Bullock, a noted Old Testament scholar, delves deep into the hearts of the five poetic books, offering readers helpful details such as harmeneutical considerations for each book, theological content and themes, detailed analysis of each book, and cultural perspectives.
Hebrew is a language of "intrinsic musical quality that naturally supports poetic expression," says Bullock in his introduction. That poetic expression comes from the heart of the Old Testament writers and reaches all of us exactly where we are in our own struggles and joys.