Remembrance of Kings Past

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:

Series: Oxford Theological Monographs

Remembrance of Kings Past

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Meditation on the history of the monarchy is found in other texts of early Judaism, such as 4QMMT, 1 Enoch and the Hellenistic Jewish historians. The model of collective memory or cultural memory, as put forward by Halbwachs and developed by Yerushalmi, Assman and Zerubavel, is suggested as a way to understand the fragmented, shared memory of history proposed within Ecclesiastes. Echoes of collective memory of the monarchy are proposed for the story of an old foolish king and poor wise youth at 4:13-16, which seems to tell a story replicated within the Bible as an archetype in the accounts of Solomon and Jeroboam, Saul and David, and David and his sons. The instructions about temple service and vows at 4:17-5:6 similarly echo stories of Solomon and Saul, in a pattern of disappointment at the follies of the kings of Israel.

Keywords: cultural memory; halbwachs; yerushalmi; zerubavel; archetype; solomon; david; saul; kings

Chapter.  16058 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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