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The Formation of the Hebrew BibleA New Reconstruction$
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David M. Carr

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199742608

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199742608.001.0001

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Other Supposedly Solomonic Books

Other Supposedly Solomonic Books

Song of Songs and Qohelet

(p.432) 15 Other Supposedly Solomonic Books
The Formation of the Hebrew Bible

David M. Carr

Oxford University Press

This chapter adopts criteria developed in chapter 15 (on Proverbs) to assess the extent to which two other purportedly Solomonic books, Song of Songs and Qohelet, might contain early pre-exilic materials. The conclusion is that the evidence for this is better for Song of Songs than for Qohelet. Though elements of Song of Songs may have been added over time, it shows unambivalent dependence on New Kingdom period Egyptian love poetry, and appears to have been the source of several formulations found in Hosea and Deuteronomy. In contrast, the main link of Qohelet to a demonstrable non-Israelite tradition, its links to the song of the alewife in the Old Babylonian edition of Gilgamesh, is relatively isolated. In addition, Qohelet’s orientation to monarchal institutions and other indicators suggest a more likely post-exilic date.

Keywords:   Song of Songs, Qohelet, Egyptian love poetry, Gilgamesh, Hosea, Deuteronomy

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