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Bibil Identifier bibil:204241
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) The Variation of Nature in Ecclesiastes 11
Author Whitwell, Christopher
Journal Journal for the Study of the Old Testament (Volume: 34, Issue: 1)
Year (Publication) 2009
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2009
Year (Copyright) 2009
Year (Reference) 2009
Year (Second publication) 2009
Language English
Pages 81-97 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract R.N. Whybray suggests in his NCBC Commentary that Qohelet points to the ‘apparent randomness of nature’ in Eccl. 11.3b (his italics). This article argues that randomness of nature (in this study, the ‘variation of nature’) is more significant, in vv. 1, 4 and 6 of the passage. The feature connects act to consequence in the source domains of two figures. Farmers observe the wind and look at the clouds (v. 4). They hesitate, unsure about whether or not to sow. The weather variations make it impossible to know whether a crop will be successful. The hesitation is firmly based, for failure would bring hardship to their families. In the case of the effectively parallel v. 1, variable water movements lie between act and an unpredictable consequence. Liberality does not necessarily lead to a beneficial outcome. Old wisdom could sometimes be too optimistic over reward. In his concluding remark of the passage 11.1-6, Qohelet returns to the agricultural figure. Repeat sowing can reduce risk. He expects this to be interpreted in the target domain as hedging one’s bets in a wide range of circumstances.
DOI 10.1177/0309089209346354
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : Old Testament (Introduction) : Theology : Themes : Nature
Pericopes Ecclesiastes 11
Last modification 2017-10-27