Posted by: mattcolvin | November 23, 2011

Ecclesiastes 7: Misogyny?

Thursday of the 22nd week after Trinity: Ecclesiastes 7.

7:26 – “I find woman more bitter than death.” On the face of it, this is an ugly, misogynistic statement, the sort of thing one would expect from Hesiod or Semonides of Amorgos rather than the Bible. Indeed, the NKJV translators use discourse segmentation to blunt the blow: they continue the sentence “I find more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets.” The adjustment may not be warranted by the grammar, but it is clearly in accord with the spirit of the passage, since the context makes clear that Qohelet is talking about a Proverbs 5-style seductress, not the “wife of your youth” with whom he will exhort you to “live joyfully” in 9:9.

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