Visite nuestro sitio/Visit our home page:

Jewish Tours Argentina

Ecclesiastes, Fleeting and timeless


Biblical Philosophy

In light of Kohelet’s preoccupation with death, his reference to Abel is striking. Abel is the first human being to die. Just two verses after humankind was denied the tree of eternal life, his story becomes the embodiment of human mortality. It is in this context that we may reread the verses of Ecclesiastes: “Man sets out for his eternal abode, with mourners all around in the street.… And the dust returns to the ground as it was, and the life breath returns to God who bestowed it. Hevel havalim, says Kohelet. All is hevel.”19


However, Abel’s representation of death is only one side of the story. He is also the first human being to offer a sacrifice that God accepts. This is no trifle. A far cry from the guilt of Adam, Eve, and Cain, all of whom were rebuked by God, Abel was the first human whom God clearly likes. Before him, we did not even know it was possible. When we read that “the Lord heeded Hevel and his offering,” the verb “heeded,” vayisha, carries a powerful overtone of deliverance as well as acceptance. Isaiah, for example, declares, “ Israel shall be delivered (nosha) in the Lord, an eternal salvation (teshuat).”20 Moses, in his very last words on earth, proclaims: “O happy Israel ! Who is like you, a people delivered (nosha) in the Lord.…”21 Furthermore, God is deliberately accepting, or as the Hebrew connotes, “delivering,” not only the offering, but Abel himself. Not until Abraham do we find such unqualified approval by God. Not until the crowning moment of Exodus, as God forged his eternal bond with the people of Israel , is the cognate word for “deliverance,” yeshua, used again.

Next Page

Read about our specially designed tours Click here to know who we are Customers Testimonials  Site map  
News and Media  Prices Directory of Synagogues  
More info? Click here to send us an email

Terms and Conditions

Related links Other services