• Kingship and Carpe Diem, Between Gilgamesh and Qoheleth

    Author(s):
    Matthew Suriano (see profile)
    Date:
    2017
    Group(s):
    Ancient Near East, Biblical Studies
    Subject(s):
    Hebrew bible, Mesopotamian mythology, Wisdom literature, Ancient Near East
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Qoheleth, Epic of Gilgamesh, Kingship
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M65T3FZ8W
    Abstract:
    The comparison of Qoheleth and Gilgamesh begins with the so-called carpe diem advice of Siduri and Eccl 9:7-9. Additionally, the rhetoric of kingship evoked through Gilgamesh’s narû (“stele”) at the beginning of the epic parallels the royal voice of Qoheleth beginning in Eccl 1:12. Yet these similarities raise several historical issues. First, Siduri’s speech is only found in an Old Babylonian fragment of the epic. The redaction of this advice was part of a process of adapting kingship motifs in the Standard Babylonian Epic. This process appears to bring Gilgamesh closer to Qoheleth, particularly in its reference to narû literature. But in reality the message of later versions of the Mesopotamian epic diverges from that of Ecclesiastes. Furthermore, Qoheleth’s royal voice finds a closer parallel in Northwest Semitic memorial inscriptions. A careful reconsideration of these factors will show that the similarities and differences reflect how both works interact with kingship.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    1 week ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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