My understanding is that the ‘traditional’ view holds Solomon to be the author of the book who frames his own monologue by referring to himself in the third person in the prologue (1:1–11) and epilogue (12:8–14). I recently asked another question about whether Solomon was likely the author. My impression after that Q&A is that it was more likely written much later.
Now I am wondering whether the book itself indicates that Qohelet and the author are the same person. As brought up in a prior Q&A about Ecclesiastes 7:27, there is an abrupt interruption of the first person monologue midway through the book.*
רְאֵה֙ זֶ֣ה מָצָ֔אתִי אָמְרָ֖ה קֹהֶ֑לֶת אַחַ֥ת לְאַחַ֖ת לִמְצֹ֥א חֶשְׁבּֽוֹן׃
Behold, this is what I found, says the Preacher, while adding one thing to another to find the scheme of things
After this it returns to the first person up until the epilogue.
- Is there a precedent, among contemporary† writings, to narrate a book like this, the author referring to himself in the third person in a prologue/epilogue that frames his own first person monologue?
- Is 7:27 problematic in that regard?
- Does the text indicate that Qohelet is the author?
* This seems to be mostly unrelated to the question addressed there regarding the odd use of a feminine verb אָמְרָ֖ה in the MT, except for the fact that gender is marked only because it’s third person (in contrast to the first person ‘common’ gender verbs referring to the speaker in 1:12 - 12:7).
† You decide. :-)