Chapter

‘All Princes, I’: The Making of Qohelet’s Composite King

Jennie Barbour

in The Story of Israel in the Book of Qohelet

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199657827
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744914 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199657827.003.0002

Series: Oxford Theological Monographs

‘All Princes, I’: The Making of Qohelet’s Composite King

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This chapter considers the usual Ancient Near Eastern and Greek models for the royal figure in Ecclesiastes, and proposes as a further filter that the king in the book is a composite of Israel and Judah’s kings, drawn using many of the standard typologies common to kings in Chronicles and other post-exilic reflection on the monarchy. This portrait is also critical, since it makes use of the Greek motif of the oriental (usually Persian) despot, employed in a satirical way in other early Jewish literature (Esther, Daniel, 4 Ezra, Judith) but here forming the beginnings of a critique of Israel’s own native rulers.

Keywords: royal; composite; critical; chronicles; monarchy; satirical; oriental despot; persian; critique

Chapter.  14215 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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