picture of Karin Huegel

Cover SJOT 28 1 2014


Karin Hügel, "A Queer Reading of Qohelet 4,9-12".

Qohelet 4,9-12 can be interpreted today as a queer countertext in relation to conservative exegeses of the biblical second creation account. To answer the question, which partners we need in order not to be alone or to be able to survive, Qoh 4,9-12 suggests also other models than an exclusive man-woman relationship. It can be argued from a queer perspective that a sexual relation between men is mentioned in Qoh 4,11: That two men warm up while lying, can imply that they sexually arouse each other. Within the framework of a queer reading Qoh 4,11 may also trigger associations about other, diverse, queer companions, who sexually arouse each other while lying. Various things can be associated with the threefold cord, which is not so quickly torn apart, mentioned in Qoh 4,12. Not only future children, as asserted in the Midrash on Qohelet, may form a basis for partnerships – perhaps also queer –, affection and sexual desire also play an important role. It follows from later Jewish interpretations, namely from the Babylonian Talmud Qiddushin, i.e., bQid 82a, and from parallel passages, that Jewish scholars have not previously forbidden that two unmarried men sleep with each other under the same cloak.

  • Karin Hügel, "Eine queere Lesart von Kohelet 4,9-12", in: Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament. An International Journal of Nordic Theology, Volume 28, Issue 1, Routledge, London 2014, 104-115.

    ISSN: 0901-8328,
    eISSN: 1502-7244.

    Acquisition of the paperback edition from Routledge via email to subscriptions@tandf.co.uk

    Lecture of my queer reading of Qohelet 4:9-12 as part of the 6th Annual Conference of the Gender Studies Association Austria "Cultures of Knowledge and Diversity: Positions, Diffractions, Participations" on September, 28th 2018 at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna.

  • Abstract: Queer Interpretations of the Commandments of Love in Leviticus

    Abstract: Jewish Legal Interpretations of Female Homoeroticism

    Abstract: Readings for Blessing Ceremonies of Same-Sex Couples Queerly Interpreted

    Abstract: King Davidʼs Exposure while Dancing: A Queer Reading of 2 Samuel 6

    Abstract: Queer Appropriations of David and Goliath: Artistic Self-portraits as Defeated Pederasts

    Abstract: Queer Readings of the Song of Songs

    Abstract: A Queer Reading of Joseph

    Abstract: Queer Readings of the Hebrew Bible. The Book of Ruth and the Creation Accounts

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