[b-hebrew] Eccl 4:10 plural

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Fri Jul 22 11:46:03 EDT 2005

>  > As the text stands, the subject of YIP.OLW. is HA$.:NAYIM in the previous
>>  verse. Note the zaqef over YIP.OLW.
>Syntactically, I don't see how this can be.  First, there's a verse (sentence)
>break indicated.  I know those are somewhat artificial in places, but it must
>be considered.  Second, the whole thing is inside the KIY )IM subordinating
>structure, which helps separate it from the previous clause/verse.  The NIV
>translates as though HFEXFD is the subject of YIP.OLW. where the RSV goes the
>way you suggest.  'Twould appear that others have had the same problem with
>>  The verse is not without its problems, though: if both fall, how can "the
>>  one" help the other to get up again?
>Agreed.  In practical terms, the contrast in the second half of the verse has
>to do with a second companion who, apparently having NOT fallen, can help the
>first one up, whereas the one who is walking alone doesn't have that
>advantage.  In that context, if they're both down, they're not going to be
>much help to each other.

HH: This is a good point, and one thought is the ease with which 
Hebrew shifts from the plural to the distributive singular (GKC #145 
l, m) or from the collective singular to the plural (GKC #135 p; #145 
b-g). It may be that the Hebrew reader would have been able to 
understand "if they fall" to mean "if either one of them falls," 
given the context of the rest of the verse.

					Harold Holmyard

>Dave Washburn
>"Well, if I'd wanted a safe life, I guess I wouldn't have
>married a man who studies rocks." - Betty Armstrong (Fay Masterson)
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