Life is profitless; totally absurd. This oppressive message lies at the heart of the Bible's strangest book. Enjoy life if you can, advises the author, for old age will soon overtake you. And even as you enjoy, kw that the world is meaningless. No wonder, then, that an ancient rabbi argued that King Solomon wrote the Song of Songs in his youth, Proverbs in mature years and Ecclesiastes in his senility. Professor Crenshaw differs: 'For many years I have been fascinated with the book, perhaps because it makes my own sceptism appear solidly biblical. Like the author, I observe a discrepancy between the vision of a just world, which I refuse to relinquish, and reality as I perceive it. This radical absurdity gives an urgency and ultimacy to theological probings.' His commentary follows the usual Old Testament Library pattern, with a completely new translation of the text.