Sunday, May 9, 2010

Dr Seuss says it's time for Ecclestiastes 3

It's fair to say that this is new
for I haven't seen it before
in contrast to the two prior posts
which are revisions of the first of more

“Today you are You, 
that is truer than true. 
There is no one alive 
who is Youer than You.”


לַכֹּל זְמָן
וְעֵת לְכָל חֵפֶץ תַּחַת הַשָּׁמָיִם
3.1 làkol zman
v`ét lkal xépec tàxàt hàshamayim
To everything there is a season
and a time for every delight under the heavens
I was tempted to use calendar and date (for time) but the image will not bear it throughout this discourse and so must be rejected
This 'time for every delight' is also a frame for this section (See Eccl 3:17)
Season is late (Seow p 159) among many examples of late language in the book (c 6th c - 4th c BCE Seow p 11-16)
עֵת לָלֶדֶת וְעֵת לָמוּת
עֵת לָטַעַת וְעֵת לַעֲקוֹר נָטוּעַ
3.2 `ét laledet v`ét lamvut
`ét la+à`àt v`ét là`aqvor na+vuà`
a time to bear and a time to die
a time to plant and a time to root out what is planted
it's not passive - so not 'to be born'
עֵת לַהֲרוֹג וְעֵת לִרְפּוֹא
עֵת לִפְרוֹץ וְעֵת לִבְנוֹת
3.3 `ét làharvog v`ét lirpvo)
`ét liprvoc v`ét libnvot
a time to destroy and a time to heal
a time to breach and a time to build
..
עֵת לִבְכּוֹת וְעֵת לִשְׂחוֹק
עֵת סְפוֹד וְעֵת רְקוֹד
3.4 `ét libkvot v`ét lisxvoq
`ét spvod v`ét rqvod
a time to cry and a time to laugh
a time to wail and a time to dance
..
עֵת לְהַשְׁלִיךְ אֲבָנִים וְעֵת כְּנוֹס אֲבָנִים
עֵת לַחֲבוֹק וְעֵת לִרְחֹק מֵחַבֵּק
3.5 `ét lhàshlyk )abanym v`ét knvos )abanym
`ét làxabvoq v`ét lirxoq méxàbéq
a time to throw stones
and a time for gathering stones
a time to clasp
and a time to be distant from clasping
..
עֵת לְבַקֵּשׁ וְעֵת לְאַבֵּד
עֵת לִשְׁמוֹר וְעֵת לְהַשְׁלִיךְ
3.6 `ét lbàqésh v`ét l)àbéd
`ét lishmvor v`ét lhàshlyk
a time to desire and a time to disappear
a time to keep and a time to throw
..
עֵת לִקְרוֹעַ וְעֵת לִתְפּוֹר
עֵת לַחֲשֹׁות וְעֵת לְדַבֵּר
3.7 `ét liqrvoà`v`ét litpvor
`ét làxashovt v`ét ldàbér
a time to tear and a time to sew
a time to be still and a time to speak
..
עֵת לֶאֱהֹב וְעֵת לִשְׂנֹא
עֵת מִלְחָמָה וְעֵת שָׁלוֹם
3.8 `ét le)ehob v`ét lisno)
`ét milxamah v`ét shalvom
a time to love and a time to hate
a time of war and a time of peace
only the last phrase has nouns rather than infinitives
Seow translates them as as gerunds (up to 8b). As is my usual slavishness to form, I like the sound 'to' to imitate the 'le' in the same aural order as the Hebrew.
מַה יִּתְרוֹן הָעוֹשֶׂה בַּאֲשֶׁר הוּא עָמֵל3.9 màh yitrvon ha`voseh bà)asher hvu) `amél what is left for the worker from his toil?..
רָאִיתִי אֶת הָעִנְיָן אֲשֶׁר נָתַן אֱלֹהִים
לִבְנֵי הָאָדָם לַעֲנוֹת בּוֹ
3.10 ra)yty )et ha`inyan )asher natàn )elohym
libnéy ha)adam là`anvot bvo
I have seen the business that God gives
to the children of earth to be busy with.
..
אֶת הַכֹּל עָשָׂה יָפֶה בְעִתּוֹ
גַּם אֶת הָעֹלָם נָתַן בְּלִבָּם
מִבְּלִי אֲשֶׁר לֹא יִמְצָא הָאָדָם
אֶת הַמַּעֲשֶׂה אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה הָאֱלֹהִים
מֵרֹאשׁ וְעַד סוֹף
3.11 )et hàkol `asah yapeh b`itvo
gàm )et ha`olam natàn blibam
mibly )asher lo) yimca) ha)adam
)et hàmà`aseh )asher `asah ha)elohym
méro)sh v`àd svoph
The whole he has made beautiful in its time
Even the age he has set in their heart
so that from outside the earthling does not
find out the work that this God worked
from beginning to end
Three mysteries remain: time, gravity, and consciousness - link them by all means but don't pretend you understand until you are also prepared to raise the dead (it did after all come through a man). As for ha`olam 'meaning' eternity. All I can say is 'no'. This answer will not be read today with any 'meaning'.
יָדַעְתִּי כִּי אֵין טוֹב בָּם
כִּי אִם לִשְׂמוֹחַ וְלַעֲשׂוֹת טוֹב בְּחַיָּיו
3.12 yadà`ty ky )éyn +vob bam
ky )im lismvoàxvlà`asvot +vob bxàyayv
I know that there is no good in them
but to rejoice and to do good in each life
The tension in singular and plural I have resolved by considering the third person singular pronoun as 'each' rather than his or its. The earthling might be 'humanity' - but it is singular and is not the 'children' of the earth or any variation.
וְגַם כָּל הָאָדָם שֶׁיֹּאכַל וְשָׁתָה
וְרָאָה טוֹב בְּכָל עֲמָלוֹ
מַתַּת אֱלֹהִים הִיא
3.13 vgàm kal ha)adam sheyo)kàl vshatah
vra)ah +vob bkal `amalvo
màtàt )elohym hy)
and even every earthling that eats and drinks
and sees the good of its toil
from the giving of God it is
Here we have God
יָדַעְתִּי כִּי כָּל אֲשֶׁר יַעֲשֶׂה הָאֱלֹהִים
הוּא יִהְיֶה לְעוֹלָם
עָלָיו אֵין לְהוֹסִיף
וּמִמֶּנּוּ אֵין לִגְרֹעַ
וְהָאֱלֹהִים עָשָׂה שֶׁיִּרְאוּ
מִלְּפָנָיו
3.14 yadà`ty ky kal )asher yà`aseh ha)elohym
hvu) yihyeh l`volam
`alayv )éyn lhvosyph vumimenvu )éyn ligroà`
vha)elohym `asah sheyir)vu
milpanayv
I know that each action that this God does
it is forever
There is nothing to add to it and
from it nothing is to be taken away
and this God does just what they fear
from his presence
and here we have the God - and not I think 'the gods' though that is possible. The definite article with Elohim is never required. So why does the writer use it?

I have decided to point out the difference (sometimes) with 'this'
מַה שֶּׁהָיָה כְּבָר הוּא
וַאֲשֶׁר לִהְיוֹת כְּבָר הָיָה
וְהָאֱלֹהִים יְבַקֵּשׁ אֶת-נִרְדָּף
3.15 màh shehayah kbar hvu)
và)asher lihyvot kbar hayah
vha)elohym ybàqésh )et-nirdaph
what is it that becomes? already it is.
and that that is to become? already it is.
for this God desires the one that is pursued.
..
וְעוֹד רָאִיתִי
תַּחַת הַשָּׁמֶש
מְקוֹם הַמִּשְׁפָּט
שָׁמָּה הָרֶשַׁע
וּמְקוֹם הַצֶּדֶק
שָׁמָּה הָרָשַׁע
3.16 v`vod ra)yty
tàxàt hàshamesh
mqvom hàmishpa+
shamah hareshà`
vumqvom hàcedeq
shamah harashà`
and further I saw
--- under the sun
a place of the judgment
there were the wicked
and a place of the righteous
there were the wicked
O the subtle difference in pointing! Say what is the difference between הָרָשַׁע and הָרֶשַׁע ?
אָמַרְתִּי אֲנִי בְּלִבִּי
אֶת הַצַּדִּיק וְאֶת הָרָשָׁע יִשְׁפֹּט הָאֱלֹהִים
כִּי עֵת לְכָל חֵפֶץ
וְעַל כָּל הַמַּעֲשֶׂה שָׁם
3.17 )amàrty )any bliby
)et hàcàdyq v)et harasha` yishpo+ ha)elohym
ky `ét lkal xépec
v`àl kal hàmà`aseh sham
I said, I did, to my heart
this God will judge the righteous and the wicked
for the time for every delight
and on account of every particular deed there
..
אָמַרְתִּי אֲנִי בְּלִבִּי
עַל דִּבְרַת בְּנֵי הָאָדָם
לְבָרָם הָאֱלֹהִים
וְלִרְאוֹת שְׁהֶם בְּהֵמָה
הֵמָּה לָהֶם
3.18 )amàrty )any bliby
`àl dibràt bnéy ha)adam
lbaram ha)elohym
vlir)vot shhem bhémah
hémah lahem
I said, I did, to my heart
about the things of the children of earth
to purify them for this God
and to show that they are a beast
they are to themselves
..
כִּי מִקְרֶה בְנֵי הָאָדָם
וּמִקְרֶה הַבְּהֵמָה
וּמִקְרֶה אֶחָד לָהֶם
כְּמוֹת זֶה
כֵּן מוֹת זֶה
וְרוּחַ אֶחָד לַכֹּל
וּמוֹתַר הָאָדָם מִן הַבְּהֵמָה אָיִן כִּי הַכֹּל הָבֶל
3.19 ky miqreh bnéy ha)adam
vumiqreh hàbhémah
vumiqreh )exad lahem
kmvot zeh kén mvot zeh
vrvuàx)exad làkol
vumvotàr ha)adam min hàbhémah )ayin
ky hàkol habel
for what happens to the children of the earth
and what happens to the beast ?
so what happens to them together ?
It is as death for this
and so is death for the other
and spirit together for the lot of them
and left for the earthling over the beast there is nothing
for the whole is futility
Compare also Genesis 1 and 2 in the creation of human and beast - there is no difference in wording. Each becomes a living being.
הַכֹּל הוֹלֵך אֶל מָקוֹם אֶחָד
הַכֹּל הָיָה מִן הֶעָפָר
וְהַכֹּל שָׁב אֶל הֶעָפָר
3.20 hàkol hvolék )el maqvom )exad
hàkol hayah min he`apar
vhàkol shab )el he`apar
The whole goes to one place.
The whole comes from the dust
and the whole returns to the dust
..
מִי יוֹדֵע רוּחַ בְּנֵי הָאָדָם
הָעֹלָה הִיא לְמָעְלָה
וְרוּח הַבְּהֵמָה הַיֹּרֶדֶת
הִיא לְמַטָּה לָאָרֶץ
3.21 my yvodé` rvuàxbnéy ha)adam
ha`olah hy) lma`lah
vrvux hàbhémah hàyoredet
hy) lmà+ah la)arec
who knows if the sprite of the earthling child
rises herself to the height
and the sprite of the beast descends
herself down to depths of the earth?
..
וְרָאִיתִי כִּי אֵין טוֹב
מֵאֲשֶׁר יִשְׂמַח הָאָדָם בְּמַעֲשָׂיו
כִּי הוּא חֶלְקוֹ
כִּי מִי יְבִיאֶנּוּ לִרְאוֹת בְּמֶה
שֶׁיִּהְיֶה אַחֲרָיו
3.22 vra)yty ky )éyn +vob
mé)asher yismàx ha)adam bmà`asayv
ky hvu) xlqvo
ky my yby)envu lir)vot bmeh
sheyihyeh )àxarayv
and I saw that there is no good
but that the earthling should rejoice through its deeds
for this is its share
for who will bring it to see in what is
that will be after it
Here there is an explicit comparison - so perhaps we should read one in Eccl 2:24 but translator should not write it


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