Studies on the Woman in Ecclesiastes 7:28

There are many texts in the Old Testament in which women are spoken of in a very negative way. Take for instance, the reference to women in Ecclesiastes 7:28. The Hebrew text is very difficult to translate into English and most translations do not present a good characterization of women.

Look for instance at the way the NIV translates the second half of 7:28:

“I found one upright man among a thousand, but not one upright woman among them all” (Ecclesiastes 7:28 NIV).

The translation of the NIV seems to indicate that while there was one upright man among one thousand men, there was not one upright woman among them.

This translation denigrates women and, in my opinion, the translation does not reflect the true intent of the biblical text. In addition, some scholars have said that the author of the book of Ecclesiastes was a misogynist, an individual who had a very bad attitude toward women.

In order to clarify what the author of Ecclesiastes is saying about women in Ecclesiastes 7:28, I have written a series of posts which seek to clarify the meaning of the text and at the same time try to ascertain whether the writer of the book of Ecclesiastes was a misogynist.

I hope that, as you read these four posts, you will develop a better understanding of this very difficult text. Here are the links to my studies on Ecclesiastes 7:28:

Studies on the Woman in Ecclesiastes 7:28

Ecclesiastes 7:28: Not One Upright Woman?

Ecclesiastes 7:28: In Search of a Better Translation

Ecclesiastes 7:28: Was Qoheleth a Misogynist? – Part 1

Ecclesiastes 7:28: Was Qoheleth a Misogynist? – Part 2

Enjoy reading these articles and feel free to let me know how you respond to what you have read.

Claude Mariottini
Emeritus Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

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