find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live; also that it is God's gift to man that every one should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil. I know that whatever God does endures for ever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it; God has made it so, in order that men should fear before him. That which is, already has been; and God seeks what has been driven away.
The reason Qoheleth fears God is because God has struc- tured creation in such a way as to bring about this fearful response. This "fear of God" is far removed from that of earlier wisdom literature. Generally the expressions "fear
of Yahweh" (hvhy txry) and "fear of God" (txry)
Myhlx) mean something like "religion," "piety," or
"commitment."116 "Only for Koheleth, who has been drained of life's possibilities, does the primitive attitude
the world, and (4) knowledge or ignorance." Perhaps it is an attempt to speak of human "self-transcendence." Given the fact that biblical Hebrew was not used to articulate philosophical problems, Qoheleth's linguistic tradition may have hampered him, for he seems clearly to be aiming to discuss such issues. Later writers, of course, were able to use Hebrew as a vehicle for philosophical discussion
(e.g. Maimonides). On the possible relation of this Mlf to Mlc of Gen. 1:26 see Zimmerli, p. 172. Crenshaw,
p. 42, writes, "Whatever the meaning of ha’olam may be, the context emphasizes man's inability to discover." With
regard to Mlfh, this writer must take his stand in solidarity with Mdx.
116 Cf. von, Rad, Wisdom in Israel, p. 66; J. Becker, Gottesfurcht Lm Alten Testament (Rom: Papstliches Bibelinstitut, 1965), pp. 210-248.