27 All your creatures wait for you to provide them with food on a regular basis. 28 You give food to them and they receive it; you open your hand and they are filled with food. 29 When you ignore them, they panic. When you take away their life’s breath, they die and return to dust. 30 When you send your life-giving breath, they are created, and you replenish the surface of the ground. 31 May the splendor of the Lord endure. May the Lord find pleasure in the living things he has made.
12 Indeed, in truth, God does not act wickedly, and the Almighty does not pervert justice. 13 Who entrusted to him the earth? And who put him over the whole world? 14 If God were to set his heart on it, and gather in his spirit and his breath, 15 all flesh would perish together, and human beings would return to dust. 16 “If you have understanding, listen to this, hear what I have to say.
Notes and References
"... God’s sovereign control over death itself is affirmed in another parallel, Job 34:14–15 / Ecclesiastes 12:7 and 3:20, cited by both Dhorme and Schoors ... The idea of the human spirit or breath being gathered is also found in Psalm 104:29: “when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.” ... The verbal correspondence between Job 34:14–15 and Psalm 104:29 is so close and extensive, including the use “die” (eight times in Job), that some type of dependence seems likely here, one text either expanding or abbreviating the other. This raises the question of whether Ecclesiastes has been influenced here by Psalm 104 rather than by Job 34. (Both Ecclesiastes 3:20 and Psalm 104:29, as well as Genesis 3:19, use the directive preposition ...) The expression “and the breath returns to God who gave it” in Ecclesiastes 12:7, which may recall Ecclesiastes 3:21, “the human spirit goes upward,” is a more passive way to say “If he should take back his spirit to himself, and gather to himself his breath,” as in Job. Job 34:15 admittedly more closely parallels Ecclesiastes 3:20, but it is likely that both Ecclesiastes 3:20 and 12:7 are dependent rather on Genesis 3:19 ..."
Schultz, Richard L. "Job and Ecclesiastes: Intertextuality and a Protesting Pair" in Dell, Katharine Julia, and Will Kynes (eds.) Reading Job Intertextually (pp. 190-203) Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2013
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