Master of Ceremonies
Who is this strange messenger, the Qoheleth? Qoheleth does have some technical sense of “proclamation”, but we’re best served if we tie together the title of this book and its author. Each unlocks the other. “Ecclesiastes” means “gatherings”, and “Qoheleth” means “proclaimer.” Placed together, we set the stage: there is a crowd, and a speaker. We may imagine ourselves in a stuffy lecture hall with a pulitzer-prize winning author, or assembled together, cellos poised, with a maestro as he prepares to teach the craft.
Best of all, we may imagine ourselves at a lavish banquet table, seated with society’s best, awaiting the words of the host as he lifts a glass of wine. Wine and food, we will see, is a prominent theme in the book. So perhaps a dinner party is the scene meant to be conjured, with Qoheleth starring as both host and lecturer. He is the “Proclaimer of Gatherings”, or, to sharpen it a bit: “The Master of Ceremonies.”
We are his guests, attending his MasterClass on the art of living well.