Biblical Division


Old Testament


Amanda Benckhuysen

Reader 1

Arie C. Leder


Joan Beelan

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Theology (Th.M)


Abel, Referent, Hebel, Book of Ecclesiastes


This work contends that Abel should be considered as a possible referent for hebel in some contexts in the book of Ecclesiastes. The attempt to rightly understand the usage of hebel has employed several translation philosophies, but the theory of hebel in Ecclesiastes as a metaphor functioning with multiple referents best explains the variety and complexity of its usage in Ecclesiastes. This thesis contends that Abel should be considered an additional referent in cases where the usage of hebel is framed by the concepts of death and transience, a relationship which is made stronger in nearby allusions to Gen 1-4 in Ecclesiastes.



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