Linguistic dating of the Book of Qohelet: A new angle

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This paper proposes a new linguistic method for dating the Book of Qohelet. While linguistic methods employed in previous studies of Qohelet led to the conclusion that it is a post-exilic book, they could not yield a more accurate dating. The methodology proposed here identifies calques in Qohelet that reflect Aramaic phrases of uneven distribution-i.e., phrases that occur only in the Aramaic dialects of a specific period. Two Aramaic calques serve as test cases: Tracing the inner-Aramaic development and distribution of their Aramaic equivalents, I conclude that these phrases evolved in Aramaic in the Hellenistic period, thus excluding a Persian-period dating of the relevant calques. The paper then briefly refers to the implications of these findings for the contextualization and interpretation of the Book of Qohelet.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)430-447
Number of pages18
JournalVetus Testamentum
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021


  • Aramaic
  • Book of Ecclesiastes
  • Late Biblical Hebrew
  • Linguistic Dating

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • History
  • Religious studies
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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