Publication Date


Degree Granted


Institution Granting Degree

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary


Qohelet, Motifs, Inter-dependency, Wisdom-based paradigm


This dissertation analyses and evaluates the seven most prominent motifs in the book of Qohelet with a view towards demonstrating the inter-dependency between these motifs. As each motif is evaluated in light of its relationship to other prominent motifs, a balanced approach to Qohelet is reached.

Chapter one presents an introduction to the background issues vital to Qohelet studies, along with a survey of current approaches and the presuppositions from which my own analysis of Qohelet will be taken. Chapter 2 begins the evaluation of motifs, focusing on the problem, or "dilemma" of hevel and Qohelet's quest to find a "solution," or yitron, which may in some way provide an answer to the "dilemma." Chapter 3 serves as an excursus of sorts, dealing with the theological context and perspective from which Qohelet writes, namely, the "under the sun" perspective.

Chapters 4 through 6 continue the analysis of the other prominent motifs observable within Qohelet, including the role of wisdom, divine determinacy and mortal limitations, and finally, the inevitability of death. The analysis conducted in each of these chapters explores the nature of each motif along with primary issues relevant to a proper exegetical understanding of each.

Chapters 7 and 8 continue to explore the details regarding an understanding of prominent motifs, although the focus now shifts to the concluding motifs of the "enjoyment of life" and the "fear of God." The enjoyment of life and the fear of God are presented as wisdom based imperatives that bring Qohelet's quest to a conclusion.

Finally, chapter 9 concludes the analysis of the inter-dependency of the motifs, and proposes an approach to the book that incorporates a positive, wisdom based paradigm for living in a fallen world.