Qoheleth's Language. Re-evaluating its Nature and Date

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Previous conclusions on the date of the language of Qoheleth (Ecclesiastes) have been based on comparisons with Mishnaic Hebrew, Late Biblical Hebrew, Aramaic, and Canaanite-Phoenician. This study concludes that when all such comparisons are submitted to reliable methodology, the late date of Qoheleth's composition becomes less probable since the language shows itself to be basically classical in both grammar and vocabulary.


"Claiming that scholars have neglected three vital concerns in discussing Qoheleth's language (the priority of grammatical comparison in linguistic studies about the date of the book, the effect of genre on grammatical-lexical comparisons, and the effect of dialect on such comparisons), Fredericks applies the three categories to Qoheleth and concludes that a date in the eighth or seventh centuries BCE best fits the data." - Religious Studies Review

"Using sound linguistic methods, Fredericks shows conclusively that the Hebrew of Ecclesiastes displays a linguistic stratum earlier than either Mishnaic Hebrew or the biblical and nonbiblical writings of the Second Temple period." - Bibliotheca Sacra

". . . challenges the virtual consensus of modern scholarship regarding the date of the book. . . . [Fredericks'] detailed analysis of Qoheleth's literary style contains much that will be of value for the serious student of the book." - Norman Whybray in The Expository Times "This book will not go unnoted, for it totally upsets the modern critical approach to Qoheleth . . . . It is also the most comprehensive study ever made on the subject. . . . We may congratulate the author for this outstanding piece of work . . . ." - Antoon Schoors, of Katholieke Univ. Leuven, Belgium, in Journal of Biblical Literature

". . . carries through a very detailed examination of Qoheleth's language to asses the date of composition . . . linguistic examination of the book's Hebrew is most thorough . . . excellent bibliography . . . [s]tudents will find such a full bibliography

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