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New Interpretation of Ecclesiastes 7: 15-18 in the Eyes of Zhuanzi

  • Korean Journal of Old Testament Studies
  • Abbr : KJOTS
  • 2020, 26(2), pp.41-67
  • DOI : 10.24333/jkots.2020.26.2.41
  • Publisher : Korean Society of Old Testament Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Christian Theology
  • Received : April 6, 2020
  • Accepted : May 4, 2020

Lee, Hana 1

1계명대 Ph.D

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study is to examine the meanings of two similar passages in Ecclesiastes and 「Zhuangzi」 and to create, then, a new interpretation based on the common concepts found. That is to interpret the book of Ecclesiastes in terms of the concept of 「Zhuangzi」. First, after considering the meaning of 「Zhuangzi」 「Yangshengzhu, 1-2」, it is discussed the new interpretation of Ecclesiastes 7:15-18. The Psalms warn against human beings captivated by their ‘limitations of knowledge(Chengxin)’ to live their true life, and encourage them to live according to ‘Du’. This is in the state of following ‘Dao’, and it does not make it absolute by biasing either good or evil. And this is ‘following the laws of nature’. Rereading Ecclesiastes 7: 15-18 through the lens of 「Zhuangzi」 「Yangshengzhu, 1-2」, it is found the possibility of expressing Ecclesiastes in the language of 「Zhuangzi」, and is also found new interpretations. The unreasonable reality in Ecclesiastes could be interpreted as ‘the reality of no limit’ of 「Zhuangzi」 and the concept of ‘the fear of God’ could be interpreted as the concept of ‘Yuandu’. This added an oriental concept on the text of Ecclesiastes, which means giving it ample meaning. Also, when reading the book of Ecclesiastes in terms of the concept of ‘Chengxin’, it is found an interpretation that Ecclesiastes is wary of the absoluteness of humanity, and the story of 「Zhuangzi」 about the result of ‘Yuandu’ also has revealed positive expectations of life emphasized throughout Ecclesiastes. The attempts in this study to read the Hebrew Scriptures, the Bible, in the concept of ‘Daojia’ could give a new direction to the interpretation of Ecclesiastes that has been only carrying out in the Western-centered perspective. And this would be the opportunity to build a new foundation of sermons to which Asians can relate.

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