publication . Article . 2008

Remember the 'spring' of your youth: The vanity of male power in Qohelet 12

Nel, Philip;
Open Access English
  • Published: 01 Jan 2008
  • Publisher: The Old Testament Society of Southern Africa (OTSSA)
In patriarchal and phallic cultures the loss of power to create life as well as the implicit loss of potency are symbolized in the decaying or breaking of the phallic simulacrum representing the male genital member - often at the very 'fountain' of its power exhibition. This paper is a close reading of Qoh 11:7-12:8 (a highly contested text in critical reading). What follows is an analysis of the metaphoric references whereby an argument is construed in favour of the idea that, according to Qohelet, male power and virility are the ultimate expressions of meaningful life. Should fate strike in this realm it is also considered the worst of disasters (hebel) that m...
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