procrastination, heresy, and navel-gazing.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Ecclesiastes Structure

I know the task of finding a structure of Ecclesiastes is the very definition of vanity, a chasing after the wind. Nonetheless this is what I'm working with and has been updated with links to individual posts as the series has gone on.

A Frame Narrator (1.1)
  B All is vanity (1.2)

First Poem What is man? 1.3-11
C Question about life under the sun (1.3)
  D paradox of people on the earth (1.4)
     E always moving sun (1.5)
        F untameable wind (1.6)
     E' always moving water (1.7)
  D' paradox of senses (1.8)
C' Statement about life under the sun (1.9-11)

Two ways to live and work 1.12-2.26
G  Introduction and presumptive conclusion (1.12-13)
  H Why be wise (1)? (1.14-18)
      I The pursuit of pleasure (2.1-11)
  H' Why be wise (2)?  (2.12-17)
      I'  The character that matters (2.18-23)
G' Conclusion: two ways to work (2.24-26)

Second Poem Understanding the time 3.1-15
J Statement about time (3.1)
    K Two extremes (3.2)
        L Four extremes (3.3-4)
        L' Four extremes (3.5-6)
    K' Two extremes (3.7)
            M' Two last extremes (3.8)
J' Question about time and what we can know (3.9-15)

Where is justice? 3.16-4.16
N I saw wickedness under the sun (3.16)
     O God will judge even the dead (3.17-21)
N' I saw that it's good to seize the day while you live (3.22)

P I saw oppression under the sun (4.1a)
     Q that power is with the oppressors makes me wish I was dead (4.1b-3)
P' I saw that working out of jealousy is vanity (4.4)

          R wisdom interlude linking sections either side (4.5-6)

S I saw vanity under the sun (4.7-8)
     T It's not good to be alone in this vain world - it's a miserable task (4.9-12)
     T' It's not good to be 'good' if you're not wise (4.13-14)
S' I saw under the sun that you shouldn't follow someone who'll be forgotten (4.16)

Wisdom Collection I 5.1-12
U Better to be obedient, therefore fulfil what you vow (5.1-4)
V Better to not vow, therefore fear God (5.5-7)
W If you see oppression, be assured that the worker can at least sleep well (5.8-12)

Finding good amongst tragedy 5.13-6.12
X I saw a sickening tragedy (5.13a)
     Y The tragedy discussed (5.13b-15)
X' The sickening tragedy (5.16-17)

Z I saw what is good (5.18a)
     a The good discussed (5.18b-19c)
Z' This is a gift (5.19d-20)

b I saw a tragedy upon humanity (6.1)
     c The tragedy and opportunity for good discussed (6.2-11b)
b' Three questions for humanity (6.11c-12)

Wisdom Collection II 7.1-14
d What is good in the midst of death (7.1-6)
e What is good in the midst of fools (7.7-12)
     f  Seeing what God has made will teach us to live wisely (7.13-14)

I've seen it all 7.15-9.13
ghg  I've seen it all (7.15-28)
iji  I saw that God made people upright; they pursued many schemes (7.29-8.9)
klk  I saw the wicked confused with the righteous (8.10-16)
mnm  I saw how hard it is for people to understand God (8.17-9.10)
     opo  I saw there is wisdom in understanding the limits of human perception (9.11-13)

Wisdom Collection III 9.14-11.10

Third Poem Approaching Death 12.1-7
! Statement about the Creator when death is near (12.1)
  @ when the eyes fail (12.2)
     # when the face degrades (12.3)
        $ when the hearing stops working (12.4)
     #' when the stomach degrades (12.5)
  @' when the frame fails (12.6)
!' Conclusion about God when death has come (12.7)

Closing 12.8-14
  B' All is vanity (12.8)
A' Frame Narrator (12.9-14)

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