The compilation of Proverbs is later than any of those whose proverbs are therein contained; but Ecclesiastes and Canticles are wholly Solomon's except the titles.
A desire for change of air - he fancied Freiburg was damp - rumours of a new war with France, and the necessity of seeing his Ecclesiastes through the press, took him back to Basel in 1535.
Comparison of Proverbs with Ecclesiasticus, Ecclesiastes and Wisdom of Solomon shows that it belongs, in its main features, in the same category as these.
The fact that it stands in the third division of the Hebrew Canon, the Writings or Hagiographa, along with such late works as Job, Psalms, Chronicles, Daniel, Ecclesiastes and Esther, must be allowed weight; the presumption is that the arrangers of the Canonical books regarded it as being in general later than the Prophetical books.
The Greek ecclesiastes means one who takes part in the deliberations of an assembly (ecclesia), a debater or speaker in an assembly (Plato, Gorgias, 452 E), and this is the general sense of the Hebrew word.
His Dialogues philosophiques, written in 1871, his Ecclesiastes (1882) and his Antichrist (1876) (the fourth volume of the Origins of Christianity, dealing with the reign of Nero) are incomparable in their literary genius, but they are examples of a disenchanted and sceptical temper.
If only upon linguistic grounds - for the Hebrew of the book resembles often that of the Mishnah more than the ordinary Hebrew of the Old Testament - Ecclesiastes must be one of the latest books in the Hebrew canon.
Examination of titles in the Prophets and the Psalms (to say nothing of Ecclesiastes and Wisdom of Solomon) makes it evident that these have been added by late editors who were governed by vague traditions or fanciful associations or caprice, and there is no reason to suppose the titles in Proverbs to be .exceptions to the general rule.
In 1522, a Polish translation of Ecclesiastes appeared from that press, and before the conclusion of that year The Life of Christ, with woodcuts, translated into Polish by Balthasar Opec. Many other presses were soon established.
The Pentateuch (or Hexateuch) was finally completed in its present form at some time before 400 B.C. The latest parts of the Old Testament are the books of Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah (c. 330 B.C.), Ecclesiastes and Esther (3rd century) and Daniel, composed either in the 3rd century or according to some views as late as the time of Antiochus Epiphanes (c. 168 B.C.).