A Time to Tear Down and a Time to Build Up: A Rereading of Ecclesiastes

Michael V. Fox

A Time to Tear Down and a Time to Build Up: A Rereading of Ecclesiastes
A Time to Tear Down and a Time to Build Up: A Rereading of Ecclesiastes

Book Details

Categories: Ecclesiastes
Tags: Jewish

Book Information

Pages: 422 pages
Publisher: Eerdmans
Published: 1999
ISBN-10: 0802842925
ISBN-13: 9780802842923

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4.33333333333333 out of 5 based on 3 user ratings
A highly regarded authority on biblical wisdom literature considers Ecclesiastes as a tract on the absurdity of life. [Full Review]
Denver Seminary Journal June 16, 2008 4 5
A highly regarded authority on biblical wisdom literature considers Ecclesiastes as a tract on the absurdity of life. [Full Review]
Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999. Pp. xvii + 422, Paperback, $30.00, ISBN 0802842925. Keith Bodner Tyndale College Toronto Canada M2M 4B3 By most accounts, the wisdom literature of the Hebrew Bible is difficult terrain to navigate. Over the years, Michael Fox has proven to be a reliable guide, and the book of Ecclesiastes is his subject in numerous publications. According to Fox, this present book started as a revision of his earlier study (Qohelet and His Contradictions [Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1987]) but quickly became a rather different work altogether. In the present volume Fox intends not only to expand and clarify his earlier exegesis but also to focus on the “building up” aspect of Ecclesiastes, which he defines as the constructive phase of Qohelet’s thought. He also examines more carefully “the underlying, unspoken premises that express themselves in Qohelet’s conclusions, even the strangest and most contradictory of them. It is on this deep level of premises that Qohelet’s true consistency is to be found, not on the bumpy surface that scholars have tried so hard to smooth out” (ix–x). While his basic theses regarding the book’s message have remained consistent, Fox explains that his understanding of Qohelet’s words have evolved and deepened in numerous ways—after all, reading this biblical book is not a “once-for-all effort,” and so not surprisingly Fox’s thinking has shifted on a number of issues. The book is divided into two main sections. [Full Review]

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