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A Study of Theology of Ecclesiastes through the final Lesson of the Kohelet (Ecc. 11:9-12:7)

  • Korean Journal of Old Testament Studies
  • Abbr : KJOTS
  • 2021, 27(3), pp.72-103
  • DOI : 10.24333/jkots.2021.27.3.72
  • Publisher : Korean Society of Old Testament Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Christian Theology
  • Received : July 6, 2021
  • Accepted : August 17, 2021

Kyung-Taek Ha 1

1장로회신학대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study is to examine the meaning of the final lesson of the Kohelet and to explore the theological meaning of Ecclesiastes. Kohelet's final lesson (11:9-12:7) is a summary and synthesis of Ecclesiastes theology. Kohelet's final lesson is condensed into two imperatives. One is ‘to rejoice in the days of youth’ and the other is ‘to remember the Creator’. The first command is, in other words, a lesson to live a “life of joy.” Kohelet emphasizes that the life of joy should be “a way of walking in the ways of the heart and in the sight of the eye” (v. 9). It also emphasizes that such a life of joy is possible when a healthy life is maintained by removing the heart of ‘anger’ and eliminating ‘the bad’ from the body (v. 10). The second command is, in other words, a lesson to live a life of walking with God. This life with God is not always allowed. For this limitedness, Kohelet emphasizes the expression 'before' three times (vv. 1, 2, 6). The life of remembering the Creator leads us to the life of fearing God with the awareness of the end of life. Kohelet's final lesson, along with consideration of the statement that 'all things are vanity' (12:8), show what the theology of Ecclesiastes is. The theology of Ecclesiastes can be encapsulated in following three characteristics: “theology of doubt and question,” “theology of joy and enjoyment,” and “theology of trust and reverence.”

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