MES 381 • Ecclesiastes: Scroll of Qohelet
3:30 PM-6:30 PM
Ecclesiastes (Hebrew: Scroll of Qohelet) is one of the five scrolls (Megillot). The author of this scroll is referred to as "Qohelet, or Ha-Qohelet, designating himself as "Qohelet son of David, King of Jerusalem," hence his traditional identification with King Solomon. The name Ecclesiastes is derived from the Septuagint, meaning "Convoker" in Greek. Scholars find a problem with the attributed authorship to King Solomon, since the language of Qohelet reflects later phases of Hebrew. (e.g., Borrowings from Persian). We will read the text in Hebrew and interpret it and discuss it in English, along with references to traditional Hebrew commentaries.
Grading will be based mainly on assigned readings, class discussion, reports and a term paper. In addition to regular class assignments throughout the semester, undergraduate students' final requirement will be a written project based on the texts that we are studying (8-10 pages); Graduate students need to submit in addition to that a term paper.