Friday, May 14, 2010

Translating Qohelet 10:1

Here is a verse I am stumped on - The AV is a creative attempt.

Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: [so doth] a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom [and] honour.

A dead fly makes a stink in a bowl of perfumer's oil
from shrewdness, from glory - a little foolishness

Seow suggests the missing bowl. The second half is reversed order with ellipsis. The surrounding proverbs help a bit - but did the writer not want to admit the trouble with folly? Qohelet sought it out after all.