Articles

Ecclesiastes & the Time of Our Rejoicing

By Tim Hegg

The wisdom of the Sages is displayed yet again in the tra dition of reading Qohelet during the Fes ti val of Sukkot. But it is not readily apparent why Qohelet was chosen for a festival that has re joicing as its main theme! Many who read Qohelet are left with the impression that the words of Shlomo are de pressing rather than uplifting, and do not fit the theme of joy. Yet a closer reading of the book reveals just the oppo site. In fact, the theme of the book is joy, but the surprise is where this joy is actually found.

Sukkot reminds us of the goal to which we are heading: dwelling together in the presence of HaShem. Like the hum ble and transitory huts we built when we left Egypt, the sukkah we build at this festival reminds us that our freedom to worship HaShem is our wealth, and that even if we live in temporary struc tures our joy can be complete. For seven days the Al mighty asks us to put away the comforts of our normal dwellings; to gather together in a humble sukkah; and to eat, drink, and enjoy the com pany of family and friends. He does this to remind us of the real nature of joy. Apart from such reminders, we might be persuaded that our material possessions, our position in life, along with a host of other good things are more important than our re la tionships with God, family, and friends.

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Tim Hegg

President / Instructor

Tim graduated from Cedarville University in 1973 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music and Bible, with a minor in Philosophy. He entered Northwest Baptist Seminary (Tacoma, WA) in 1973, completing his M.Div. (summa cum laude) in 1976. He completed his Th.M. (summa cum laude) in 1978, also from NWBS. His Master’s Thesis was titled: “The Abrahamic Covenant and the Covenant of Grant in the Ancient Near East”. Tim taught Biblical Hebrew and Hebrew Exegesis for three years as an adjunct faculty member at Corban University School of Ministry when the school was located in Tacoma. Corban University School of Ministry is now in Salem, OR. Tim is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and the Society of Biblical Literature, and has contributed papers at the annual meetings of both societies. Since 1990, Tim has served as one of the Overseers at Beit Hallel in Tacoma, WA. He and his wife, Paulette, have four children, nine grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.