N5np, Kohelet, " Koheleth"; Sept.
The book, as it stands, is a collection of the discourses, observations and aphorisms of a sage called Koheleth, a term the precise meaning of which is not certain.
The form may have been suggested by that of the Hebrew word for" wisdom."Koheleth, however, is employed in the book not as a title of wisdom (for" wisdom "is never the speaker), but as the independent name of the sage.
Further, says Koheleth, man is impelled to study the world,.
Human life, Koheleth declares, is unsatisfying.
First, Koheleth is endorsed as an industrious, discriminating and instructive writer.
More than this, there are many resemblances between the dialect of Koheleth and that of Mishna.
By about the beginning of our era the Jews had given up Hebrew and wrote in Aramaic; the process of expulsion had been going on, doubtless, for some time; but comparison with the later extant literature (Chronicles, the Hebrew Ecclesiasticus or Ben-Sira, Esther) makes it improbable that such Hebrew as that of Koheleth would have been written earlier than the 2nd century B.C. (for details see Driver's Introduction).
The the scepticism of Koheleth differs from that of Job in quality and scope: it is deliberate and calm, not wrung out by personal suffering; and it relates to the whole course and constitution of nature, not merely to the injustices of fortune.
In any case, since Ben-Sira belongs to about 180 B.C., the date of' Koheleth, so far as these coincidences indicate it, would not be far from 200 B.C. The contrast made in x.
14 and on Koheleth xii.
Koheleth or Koh.