EcclesiastesGloomy. Pessimistic. Depressed. These are all ways that people feel when they read Ecclesiastes, a book that at times makes one feel no hope exists. And this is just the beginning! Ecclesiaistes is a difficult book to sort through, and in addition to a textual analysis, we also need to mine its strange nature in order to determine its meaning in our context. Indeed, as Michael Eaton shows, it has much relevance for us, for its mind set often mirrors the mind set of our own modern world.
Tyndale Old Testament Commentary SeriesThese commentaries are designed to help the reader of the Bible understand what the text says and what it means. The Introduction to each book gives a concise but thorough treatment of its authorship, date, original setting, and purpose. Following a structural Analysis, the commentary takes the book section by section, drawing out its main themes, and also comments on individual verses and problems of interpretation. Additional Notes provide fuller discussion of particular difficulties. The goal throughout is to explain the true meaning of the Bible and make its message plain.
"If it needs a man who has suffered to write a commentary on Job . . . . Perhaps the only person entitled to comment on Ecclesiastes is a cynic who has revolted from the world in disillusionment and disgust." "If so," writes Michael Eaton, "I qualify." Scholars have long wrestled with the gloomy pessimism and striking omission of any mention of Yahweh in this portion of the Wisdom literature. After setting forth the issues related to the text, authorship, date and canonicity, Eaton assesses the purpose and structure of the book. He then provides a passage-by-passage analysis that attempts to account for the oddities of the text and to show its contemporary relevance. The original, unrevised text of this volume has been completely retypeset and printed in a larger, more attractive format with the new cover design for the series.
Michael Eaton has served as lecturer in Old Testament at Baptist Theological College of Southern Africa and is pastor-at-large of Chrisco Fellowship of Churches in Nairobi, Kenya.
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