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This work defends a new thesis for the word "hebel", a word with which the interpreters of Ecclesiastes have struggled (traditionally meaning "vanity", but literally meaning "vapour"). The positions adopted by interpreters have influenced their interpretation of the book as a whole. This book presents a methodology for metaphor and symbol, then demonstrates how Qohelet employs hebel in the book with referents related to "insubstantiality", "transience" and "foulness". These referents are incorporated into a single, multivalent vapour-symbol by which Qohelet represents human experience. The study provides significant substantiation for the "realist" position on Ecclesiastes: Qohelet does not declare life to be entirely meaningless or absurd, but rather says that life is filled with limitations and complications and counsels his readers how to make the most of that life. The study concludes with a proposal for the rhetoric of Ecclesiastes in light of the symbol thesis.
Buy Symbol and Rhetoric in Ecclesiastes: The Place of Hebel in Qohelet's Work (Academia Biblica, 2) by Douglas B. Miller from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781589830295 & 1589830296
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