with hvqt95 are to be found in the book with a meaning of
"hope" or any related meaning. Although biblical Hebrew has a rich lexicon for "hope" Qoheleth has no need of it. His vision is hope-less.
Quite apart from linguistic considerations, however, the content of this "hope" must be taken into account. This content is that the living know that they shall die. If God were to redeem death through the gift of new life,96 then knowledge of death might be hopeful, but Qoheleth denies this possibility.
For the fate of the sons of men and the fate of beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the
other. They all have the same breath (Hvr),
and man has no advantage over the beasts; for all is vanity. All go to one place; all are from dust, and all turn to dust again. Who
95 hFbm ("confidence, security") in Psalm 71:5; hlsk) ("confidence") in Job 4:6; tlHvt ("expecta- tion") in Prov. 10:28; 11:7; hvxt ("desire") in Prov.
11:23; hlxw ("request") in Job 6:8; and tyrHx ("end, future") in Prov. 23:18; 24:14 (cf. Jer. 29:11; 31:17) appear in synonymous parallelism with hvqt. Only
tyrHx): appears in Qoheleth at 7:8 and 10:13 where it
means simply "end," not "hope."
96 Late pre-Christian Judaism entertained several dif- ferent notions of "life after death" including "immortality" (Wisd. 15:3), "assumption" (cf. the numerous "assumption" documents of the pseudepigrapha) and "resurrection" (Isa. 26:19; Dan. 12:1-3; II Macc. 7:9, 14, 23). The problem had still not been resolved in the New Testament period as is seen in Matt. 22:23-33 and par., Acts 23:6-10 and I Cor. 15:12-56. Cf. E. Schillebeeckx, Jesus: An. Experiment in Christology, trans. by H. Hoskins (New York: Seabury Press, 1979), pp. 516-523, especially the bibliography on pp. 516- 517.