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Mitchell Young

Cosmin Ritivoiu
English 102 Literary Analysis
7 April 2014
Literary Analysis of Ecclesiastes Chapter 7
The first thing one notices in this passage is the
comparison between a good name being more valuable than
precious ointment. The second noticeable phrase is about
the day a man dies being better than the day he was born.
This seems contradictory to the first comparison because a
good name is of no use if one is dead. In most cases, a
good name does more good in the world while individuals are
alive than when they are dead. This passage puts the reader
in contemplative mood because of the deep nature of it.
There is a lot of wisdom packed into the words that should
be taken to heart.
The first words that pop out to the reader are the
words that are being compared to each other such as: death
and birth, sorrow and laughter, and others. Other words
that stand out are oppression and destroyeth. All these
words are either being compared to each other or saying, if
this happens, then the result will be this. The word
sorrow seems oddly used because, according to the
passage, it (sorrow) is better than laughter. It is general
knowledge that laughter is good for a person and makes them
happy while sorrow brings people down and creates a
depressed spirit. None of the words had obvious double
Throughout the passage wisdom is mentioned and made to
be the main focus. The theme of gaining wisdom is the main
focus of the entire book of Ecclesiastes, and is mentioned
in nearly every chapter. Although different, each chapter
brings out the main focus of the book, clearly letting the
reader know what the theme of the book is. The sentences
are smooth and flowing for example, verse 25. I applied
mine heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom,
and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of
folly, even of foolishness and madness. The thoughts and
ideas in the sentence run together with good transitions.
This chapter is a perfect example of Hebrew poetry, which
is not about rhymes so much as it is about the rhythm and
smoothness of each line. The punctuation in this chapter is
appropriate, but as expected, there are many colons and
semicolons used to separate or connect ideas. The entire
chapter moves very quickly, meaning that it jumps from one
idea to another rapidly, making it hard to guess what
Solomon is going to say next.
Poetry and comparisons are used to convey the thoughts
and ideas, not straightforward sentences. But that is what
makes the passage moving and interesting. If it had just
been written, wisdom is the thing you should want more
than anything, it wouldnt be very interesting. But
Solomon instead says, Wisdom strengtheneth the wise more
than ten mighty men which are in the city.(verse 19) The
author makes the points clear with the use of familiar
things such money and a camp fire to appeal to the senses
and imagination. This passage is aimed at any and all who
will read it from young children to grown men. There is
good counseling for all who will read it.
There are several metaphors in the chapter. An example
of this is found in verse 26. And I find more bitter than
death the woman, whose heart is snares and nets, and her
hands as bands. A womans heart is not literally a snare
or net, but it tells that there is danger in an evil woman
and they should be avoided. There is not one dominant
metaphor in the passage, just several smaller ones that are
used to make points.