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Concluding Epilogue: The Teacher’s Advice is Wise

Not only was the Teacher wise,[a]
but he also taught knowledge to the people;
he carefully evaluated[b] and arranged[c] many proverbs.

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Footnotes

  1. Ecclesiastes 12:9 sn Eccl 12:9-12 fits the pattern of a concluding colophon that draws from a conventional stock of ancient Near Eastern scribal practices and vocabulary. See M. A. Fishbane, Biblical Interpretation, 29-31.
  2. Ecclesiastes 12:9 tn Heb “he weighed and studied.” The verbs וְאִזֵּן וְחִקֵּר (veʾizzen vekhiqqer, “he weighed and he explored”) form a hendiadys (a figurative expression in which two separate terms used in combination to convey a single idea): “he studiously weighed” or “carefully evaluated.” The verb וְאִזֵּן (conjunction + Piel perfect third person masculine singular from II אָזַן (ʾazan) “to weigh; to balance”) is related to the noun מֹאזֵן (moʾzen) “balances; scales” used for weighing money or commercial items (e.g., Jer 32:10; Ezek 5:1). This is the only use of the verb in the OT. In this context, it means “to weigh” = “to test; to prove” (BDB 24 s.v. מאזן) or “to balance” (HALOT 27 II אָזַן). Cohen suggests, “He made an examination of the large number of proverbial sayings which had been composed, testing their truth and worth, to select those which he considered deserving of circulation” (A. Cohen, The Five Megilloth [SoBB], 189).
  3. Ecclesiastes 12:9 tn The verb תָּקַן (taqan, “to make straight”) connotes “to put straight” or “to arrange in order” (HALOT 1784 s.v. תקן; BDB 1075 s.v. תָּקַן).This may refer to Qoheleth’s activity in compiling a collection of wisdom sayings in an orderly manner, or writing the wisdom sayings in a straightforward, direct manner.

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