Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ecclesiastes chapter 5 - after words will I remain alive

Ah beloved, Qohelet's delightful
but since I have not yet reached the end
I can't be sure that it will be a good plateful
But I hope it will continue to help me amend

I have to admit I am enjoying the research on Dr. Seuss almost as much as the translation. I am beginning chapter 9 as I review chapter 5 and I haven't too many conclusions yet. At SBL, I indicated my slight distaste for Judges and Chronicles. In both cases, it was intimated that I have something to learn. Judges is supposed to be funny according to one. Perhaps I have misjudged them both. The Bible's a big book on which many tomes have been written. My prejudice is rightly dismissed.

If the verse is hard to understand in English - it is hard to read in Hebrew too. (It's a bit of a relief that Seow, ABC 1964, against whom I review my draft, often agrees when I have trouble parsing the sentences.)

אַל תְּבַהֵל עַל פִּיךָ
וְלִבְּךָ אַל יְמַהֵר לְהוֹצִיא דָבָר
לִפְנֵי הָאֱלֹהִים
כִּי הָאֱלֹהִים בַּשָּׁמַיִם
וְאַתָּה עַל הָאָרֶץ
עַל כֵּן יִהְיוּ דְבָרֶיךָ מְעַטִּים
5.1 )àl tbàhél `àl pyka
vlibka )àl ymàhér lhvocy) dabar
lipnéy ha)elohym
ky ha)elohym bàshamàyim
v)àtah `àl ha)arec
`àl kén yihyvu dbareyka m`à+ym
Do not be brash with your mouth
or of your heart rush to let a thing emerge
before the face of God
For this God is in the heavens
but you are on the earth
therefore let your things be muted
=5:2 AV Things דְּבָרִים is a theme in these verses.
Could be words too.
כִּי בָּא הַחֲלוֹם בְּרֹב עִנְיָן
וְקוֹל כְּסִיל בְּרֹב דְּבָרִים
5.2 ky ba) hàxalvom brob `inyan
vqvol ksyl brob dbarym
for the dreams come in much business
and the foolish voice in many things
..
כַּאֲשֶׁר תִּדֹּר נֶדֶר לֵאלֹהִים
אַל תְּאַחֵר לְשַׁלְּמוֹ
כִּי אֵין חֵפֶץ בַּכְּסִילִים
אֵת אֲשֶׁר תִּדֹּר שַׁלֵּם
5.3 kà)asher tidor neder lé)lohym
)àl t)àxér lshàlmvo
ky )éyn xépec bàksylym
)ét )asher tidor shàlém
In that you vow a vow to God
do not delay to fulfill it
for there is no delight in fools.
What you have vowed, fulfill.
Qohelet never breaks into prayer,
and God is only spoken of
in the third person.
טוֹב אֲשֶׁר לֹא תִדֹּר
מִשֶּׁתִּדּוֹר וְלֹא תְשַׁלֵּם
5.4 +vob )asher lo) tidor
mishetidvor vlo) tshàlém
Good that you do not vow
than that your vow not be fulfilled
My love, I haven't promised you anything
- only everything.
What have I got besides you?
אַל תִּתֵּן אֶת פִּיךָ לַחֲטִיא אֶת בְּשָׂרֶךָ
וְאַל תֹּאמַר לִפְנֵי הַמַּלְאָךְ
כִּי שְׁגָגָה הִיא
לָמָּה יִקְצֹף הָאֱלֹהִים עַל קוֹלֶךָ
וְחִבֵּל אֶת מַעֲשֵׂה יָדֶיךָ
5.5 )àl titén )et pyka làxa+y) )et bsareka
v)àl to)màr lipnéy hàmàl)ak
ky shgagah hy)
lamah yiqcoph ha)elohym `àl qvoleka
vxibél )et mà`aséh yadeyka
Do not let your mouth cause your flesh to sin
and do not say in the presence of the angel
that it was an inadvertent error.
Why would this God be furious at your voice
or bind the deed of your hands?
No, my love, it was not an accident.
You were just in your anger
as the prophet David says.
(See Psalms 6:1, 51:4, 51:6 Hebrew)
כִּי בְרֹב חֲלֹמוֹת וַהֲבָלִים וּדְבָרִים הַרְבֵּה
כִּי אֶתהָ אֱלֹהִים יְרָא
5.6 ky brob xalomvot vàhabalym vudbarym hàrbéh
ky )atah )elohym yra)
for in many dreams
so futile
so many things ---
as for you
fear God
text incomprehensible but there is an envelope with 5:2 -
three repeated words makes a strong envelope.
That means that what's
in the middle is important.
Note - attach the הָ to אֶת and
re-point and you get 'you'
and lose the unnecessary article for once.
אִם עֹשֶׁק רָשׁ וְגֵזֶל מִשְׁפָּט וָצֶדֶק תִּרְאֶה בַמְּדִינָה
אַל תִּתְמַהּ עַל הַחֵפֶץ
כִּי גָבֹהַּ מֵעַל גָּבֹהַּ שֹׁמֵר
וּגְבֹהִים עֲלֵיהֶם
5.7 )im `osheq rash vgézel mishpa+ vacedeq tir)eh bàmdynah
)àl titmàh `àl hàxépec
ky gabohà mé`àl gabohà shomér
vugbohym `aléyhem
if exploitation of the poor and plunder of judgment and righteousness you see in a province
do not be astonished at the delight
for the proud keep with the proud
and the proud are among them
compare Eccl 4:1 -
my first impulse is to see this
as closing another envelope
וְיִתְרוֹן אֶרֶץ בַּכֹּל היא
מֶלֶךְ לְשָׂדֶה נֶעֱבָד
5.8 vyitrvon )erec bàkol hy)
melek lsadeh ne`bad
and of what is left of earth, in all of her,
the king in the field is served
..
אֹהֵב כֶּסֶף לֹא יִשְׂבַּע כֶּסֶף
וּמִי אֹהֵב בֶּהָמוֹן לֹא תְבוּאָה
גַּם זֶה הָבֶל
5.9 )ohéb keseph lo) yisbà` keseph
vumy )ohéb behamvon lo) tbvu)ah
gàm zeh habel
One who loves silver is not satisfied with silver
and who loves abundance not with revenue
This too is futility
..
בִּרְבוֹת הַטּוֹבָה
רַבּוּ אוֹכְלֶיהָ
וּמַה כִּשְׁרוֹן לִבְעָלֶיהָ
כִּי אִם רְאוּת עֵינָיו
5.10 birbvot hà+vobah
ràbvu )vokleyah
vumàh kishrvon lib`aleyah
ky )im r)yt r)vut `éynayv
In the increase of the good
the ones eating her increase
so what is success for her owner?
in this case to see with his eyes.
..
מְתוּקָה שְׁנַת הָעֹבֵד
אִם מְעַט וְאִם הַרְבֵּה יֹאכֵל
וְהַשָּׂבָע לֶעָשִׁיר
אֵינֶנּוּ מַנִּיחַ לוֹ לִישׁוֹן
5.11 mtvuqah shnàt ha`obéd
)im m`à+ v)im hàrbéh yo)kél
vhàsaba` le`ashyr
)éynenvu mànyàxlvo lyshvon
Sweet the sleep of a servant
whether little or much he eats
but the satiation of the rich -
for him? it will not let him sleep
..
יֵשׁ רָעָה חוֹלָה רָאִיתִי תַּחַת הַשָּׁמֶשׁ
עֹשֶׁר שָׁמוּר לִבְעָלָיו לְרָעָתוֹ
5.12 yésh ra`ah xvolah ra)yty
tàxàt hàshamesh
`osher shamvur lib`alayv lra`atvo
There is a sickly evil I have seen
--- under the sun
wealth kept for its owners to their evil
..
וְאָבַד הָעֹשֶׁר הַהוּא
בְּעִנְיַן רָע
וְהוֹלִיד בֵּן
וְאֵין בְּיָדוֹ מְאוּמָה
5.13 v)abàd ha`osher hàhvu)
b`inyàn ra`
vhvolyd bén
v)éyn byadvo m)vumah
but this wealth disappears
in an evil business
and a son is born
and there is nothing at all in his hand
..
כַּאֲשֶׁר יָצָא מִבֶּטֶן אִמּוֹ
עָרוֹם יָשׁוּב
לָלֶכֶת כְּשֶׁבָּא
וּמְאוּמָה לֹא יִשָּׂא בַעֲמָלוֹ
שֶׁיֹּלֵךְ בְּיָדוֹ
5.14 kà)asher yaca) mibe+en )imvo
`arvom yashvub laleket ksheba)
vum)vumah lo) yisa) bà`amalvo
sheyolék byadvo
as he emerged from his mother's belly
naked will he return
to go as he came
and nothing at all will he lift from his toil
that will go in his hand
..
וְגַם זֹה רָעָה חוֹלָה
כָּל עֻמַּת שֶׁבָּא כֵּן יֵלֵךְ
וּמַה יִּתְרוֹן לוֹ שֶׁיַּעֲמֹל לָרוּחַ
5.15 vgàm zoh ra`ah xvolah
kal `umàt sheba) kén yélék
vumàh yitrvon lvo sheyà`amol larvuàx
And even this is a sickly evil
totally and exactly as he came so he will go
and what is left to him that has toiled for the wind?
..
גַּם כָּל יָמָיו בַּחֹשֶׁךְ יֹאכֵל
וְכָעַס הַרְבֵּה וְחָלְיוֹ וָקָצֶף
5.16 gàm kal yamayv bàxoshek yo)kél vka`às hàrbéh vxalyvo vaqaceph Even all his days in darkness he eats
and he is vexed the more
and his sickness and anger
..
הִנֵּה אֲשֶׁר רָאִיתִי אָנִי
טוֹב אֲשֶׁר יָפֶה
לֶאֱכוֹל וְלִשְׁתּוֹת
וְלִרְאוֹת טוֹבָה בְּכָל עֲמָלוֹ שֶׁיַּעֲמֹל
תַּחַת הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ
מִסְפַּר יְמֵי חַיָּו
אֲשֶׁר נָתַן לוֹ הָאֱלֹהִים
כִּי הוּא חֶלְקוֹ
5.17 hinéh )asher ra)yty )any
+vob )asher yapeh
le)ekvol vlishtvot
vlir)vot +vobah bkal `amalvo sheyà`amol
tàxàt hàshemesh
mispàr yméy xàyav
)asher natàn lvo ha)elohym
ky hvu) xlqvo
Note I have seen, I have,
a good that is beautiful,
to eat and to drink
and to see good in all his toil that he toils
--- under the sun
in the tale of the days of his life
that this God gives him
for it is his portion
..
גַּם כָּל הָאָדָם
אֲשֶׁר נָתַן לוֹ הָאֱלֹהִים
עֹשֶׁר וּנְכָסִים
וְהִשְׁלִיטוֹ לֶאֱכֹל מִמֶּנּוּ
וְלָשֵׂאת אֶת חֶלְקוֹ
וְלִשְׂמֹחַ בַּעֲמָלוֹ
זֹה מַתַּת אֱלֹהִים הִיא
5.18 gàm kal ha)adam
)asher natàn lvo ha)elohym
`osher vunkasym
vhishly+vo le)ekol mimenvu
vlasé)t )et xlqvo vlismoàxbà`amalvo
zoh màtàt )elohym hy)
Even every earthling
to whom this God gives
riches and wealth
and power to eat from them
and to lift up its portion
and to be happy in its toil
this is the giving of God here and now
..
כִּי לֹא הַרְבֵּה יִזְכֹּר אֶת יְמֵי חַיָּיו
כִּי הָאֱלֹהִים מַעֲנֶה בְּשִׂמְחַת לִבּוֹ
5.19 ky lo) hàrbéh yizkor )et yméy xàyayv
ky ha)elohym mà`aneh bsimxàt libvo
For it will not much remember the days of its life
for this God answers in the happiness of its heart
This is good - tov, tov, tov


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