The Burden of Prophecy: Poetic Utterance in the Prophets of the Old Testament

By Albert Cook | Go to book overview

6
Self-Reference, Prophetic Recursion, and Image in Ecclesiastes

T HE FIRST WORDS of Ecclesiastes indicate the metamorphosis that the prophetic tradition has undergone through the centralization of the wisdom tradition. Indeed, more than any other wisdom text, Ecclesiastes fixes its fusion of roles from the start: "The words of the Preacher [qôhelet, "convener"], son of David, king in Jerusalem" (1.1). The action of the prophet, to call the people together and speak, and the message of the prophet are linked to a legendary wise king, Solomon, here defined in terms of his descent from David, a king who was also a prophet. The vision of empire and career and life cycle in this book distantly echoes the themes of prophecy, while at the same time enlisting the parallelism of biblical poetry in new ways. The wisdom tradition of Proverbs, sometimes continuous in its runs, has been adapted in Ecclesiastes to a new rhythmic continuity in which the skillfully modulated flow, allowing for prose punctuations, appears in sharp relief, especially if it is seen in the light of the similar, longer, but somewhat more simply additive Ecclesiasticus. A comparison with The Wisdom of Solomon, too, will point up how integrally shaped Ecclesiastes is.

In the suppleness of this flow, contradictions as well as varied repetitions and qualifications are absorbed into the overall harmony, which manages to string together proverbs without either obscuring their distinct, aphoristic force or allowing them to come apart disjunctively:

Vanity of vanity, saith the Preacher,
Vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
What profit hath a man of all his labor
Which he taketh under the sun?
One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh:
But the earth abideth forever. The sun also ariseth and the sun goeth down,
And hasteth to his place where he arose.

-103-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Burden of Prophecy: Poetic Utterance in the Prophets of the Old Testament
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 166

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.