Psalm 73 and the Book of Qoheleth

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 16
  • Abstract:

    The author of Ps 73 and the author of Qoheleth both underwent experiences that did not accord with the traditional wisdom para-digm. The author of Qoheleth stated that he saw how the righteous suffered an early death while the wicked grew old (Qoh 7:15). The author of Ps 73 saw how impious folks experienced health, wealth and prosperity, while he “kept his heart pure and his hands clean” (Ps 73:13). Both authors tried to come to terms with these contra-dictions in life. One wrote a whole book, the other a poem, and both of them made use of quotations to argue their case. However, while the author of Qoheleth undermined the traditional wisdom para¬digm, the author of Ps 73 tried to keep it intact. The author of Qoheleth concluded that nothing made sense; everything was futile, especially if the doctrine of retribution is used as a benchmark. The author of Ps 73, on the other hand, followed another route. He redefined the outcomes of shalom. In doing this, he successfully kept the traditional wisdom paradigm intact.