The "powerful answer" to which Crenshaw refers is to enjoy whatever pleasures are afforded in life. Immediately following the "hopeful" passage in Qoheleth 9:4-6, the instructions are given to eat bread "with enjoyment"
(hHmwb), to drink wine "with a merry heart"
(bvF-blb), to wear white garments continually and
"let not oil be lacking on your head" (9:7-8).100 Qoheleth similarly counsels enjoyment.
And I commend enjoyment (hHmw), for man has no good thing under the sun but to eat and drink, and enjoy himself (Hvmwlv), for this will go
with him in his toil through the days of life which God gives him under the sun. Qoheleth 8:15101
Indeed, such enjoyment is a "gift of God" (5:18-19).
100 Commentators are fond of pointing to the strikingly similar advice of Siduri to Gilgamesh: Gilgamesh, whither runnest thou? The Life which thou seekest thou wilt not find; (For) when the gods created mankind, They allotted death to mankind, (But) life they retained in their keeping. Thou, 0 Gilgamesh, let thy belly be full, Day and night be thou merry; Make every day (a day of) rejoicing. Day and night do thou dance and play. Let thy raiment be clean, Thy head be washed, (and) thyself be bathed in water. Cherish the little one holding thy hand, (And) let the wife rejoice in thy bosom. This is the lot of [mankind . . . ]. A. Heidel, The Gilgamesh Epic and Old Testament Parallels (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1949), P. 70. Cf. 3:12, 22; 11:8-9. 101