Stones of Contention?!

A Critical Evaluation of the Erotic Interpretation of Qoh 3:5a

In: Vetus Testamentum
Author: Hans Debel1
View More View Less
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution


Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):


It is widely recognised that the expression ‘gathering stones and throwing them away’ in Qoh 3:5a presents the most enigmatic phrase within Qohelet’s well-known ‘catalogue of times’. This paper presents a brief overview of the divergent solutions that have been offered throughout its exegetical history, and subsequently evaluates in greater detail the suggestion that the ‘stones’ should be considered a sexual euphemism. Observing that all the arguments provided in favour of this interpretation are flawed, it calls for the development of an alternative interpretation.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 230 64 5
Full Text Views 170 9 0
PDF Views & Downloads 42 15 0