Abstract

Among the scrolls in the Megilloth, the book of Ecclesiastes seems out of place in terms of its motifs, themes, and literary features. Unlike the rest of the Megilloth, where good people receive happy endings and bad people deserve bad endings, death in Ecclesiastes renders everyone equal. Unlike the rest of the Megilloth where there is a sense of hope in the midst of death and even afterwards, death in Ecclesiastes is gloomy and hopeless. Unlike the rest of the Megilloth where memories are preserved through the survival of the community, Ecclesiastes asserts that death erases memory. Unlike the rest of the Megilloth, which comprises two historical narratives and two songs, Ecclesiastes belongs to the wisdom genre. This article argues that it is precisely this wisdom genre of the book of Ecclesiastes that forms an interthematic link with the larger Megilloth. One of the main themes in Ecclesiastes is death. This theme situates Ecclesiastes among the Megilloth and offers a counterperspective to the other scrolls contained within.

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