[b-hebrew] Ecclesiastes 3:11

Bryant J. Williams III bjwvmw at com-pair.net
Thu Nov 1 23:07:43 EDT 2007


Dear Martin,

I did not receive your reply. In case something happened my e-mail is
bjwvmw at com-pair.net.

Thanks

Rev. Bryant J. Williams III
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "B. M. Rocine" <brocine at twcny.rr.com>
To: "b-hebrew Hebrew" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Thursday, November 01, 2007 5:56 PM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Ecclesiastes 3:11


>
> Hi Martin,
>
> I like your analysis.
>
> As you noted a key word is, mib.:liy.
>
> It's an idiom that I think the BDB does better defining than the HALOT.
>
> See BDB p. 115, highly edited here:
>
> "2. adv. of negation ...With preps. c. MI (a) from want of; for lack of;
> on account of there being no..."
>
> Ironically, the BDB does not list Ecc 3:11 under sense 2c(a), but under
> 2c(b) with pleonatic lo', as you have mentioned.  In this latter
> interpretation mibliy means "so that no...", also, as you have mentioned.
>
> Like you, I think the mibliy belongs in section 2c(a) rather than 2c(b),
> and may be thought to mean "because without..." as it often does.  See
> Isa 5:13 mibliy da`at "because [they are] without knowledge."
>
> We may say the notion or deep structure of Ecc 3:11 is mibliy tet
> 'elohiym ha`olam bilbam, where tet... surfaces as 'a$er.
>
> Thank you for sharing your analysis.
>
> Shalom,
> Bryan
>
> Martin Shields wrote:
> > Hello Bryant,
> >
> >
> >> My question is, "What is your take on the phrase in the second half
> >> of the
> >> verse, "et-olam natan bilbam milbam asher lo-yimtza hadom et-hammaaseh
> >> asher-asah...?
> >>
> >
> > There are a couple of issues in this verse (aren't there always), the
> > meaning of ‏העלם and the meaning of ‏מבלי אשר לא.
> > Taking the second first, we have a double negative which is
> > universally understood as either indicating a negative purpose ("so
> > that not") or else a simple negative ("yet [he] cannot"). The problem
> > is that the parallels frequently cited to justify these translations
> > do not include אשר between the negatives so that the second negative
> > is effectively in a separate clause. If you look for examples where
> > this does happen, the double negatives in those instances never lose
> > their individual negativity (if you follow my meaning).
> >
> > Hence I render the expression "without which [he] cannot find..." I'll
> > admit that I'm on my own here, but I think that it both makes sense in
> > context (see below) and also makes sense of the Hebrew.
> >
> > As a result of the usual understanding of this clause, some propose
> > reading העלם as "darkness" so that the "darkness" God has placed in
> > our hearts functions to inhibit any ability to find our what God has
> > done from the beginning to the end. With my reading I think taking
> > העלם as a temporal term (so "eternity" in most translations) makes
> > sense: God has placed "eternity" (some sort of awareness which extends
> > beyond the present moment) in our "hearts" without which we could not
> > find what God has done from start to finish.
> >
> > How does this make sense in context? The fact that Qohelet proceeds to
> > make assertions about what God has done and will do (cf. especially
> > Qoh 3:14-15) immediately demonstrates that Qohelet has some awareness
> > of what God has done and will do (at least he thinks he does!). It is
> > obvious that Qohelet isn't claiming omniscience nor comprehensive
> > knowledge of what God has and will do, but he has some awareness and
> > that seems to be sufficient to justify his observation.
> >
> > I hope that helps!
> >
> > Regards,
> >
> > Martin Shields,
> > Sydney, Australia.
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > b-hebrew mailing list
> > b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> > http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-hebrew
> >
>
> -- 
> B.M. Rocine
> Living Word Church
> 6101 Court St. Rd.
> Syracuse, NY 13206
> W:  (315) 437-6744
>
> _______________________________________________
> b-hebrew mailing list
> b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-hebrew
>


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