[b-hebrew] Ecclesiastes 3:11

Martin Shields enkidu at bigpond.net.au
Fri Nov 2 21:02:07 EDT 2007


Karl is reading the "double negative" in pretty much the same way as I  
am, but translates העלם differently (yet still following a number  
of others). I think there are good grounds for understanding העלם  
as something like "eternity" since "from beginning to end" sounds a  
lot like a temporal reference, and עלם is often temporal (in  
whatever way "eternity" is temporal, we need to be careful not to read  
modern notions of eternity into the text), and that עולם in 3:14  
has the meaning "eternity."

I'm not sure what Karl's "hidden things" are without which we cannot  
find what God is doing from beginning to end. He may be able to  
elucidate further.

Further, double negatives are more complex in English than you  
suggest. "No, that will never happen" is an example of an emphatic  
double negative with negative meaning. I think there is a similar  
range of possibilities in both Greek and BH.

Martin Shields,
Sydney, Australia.

On 03/11/2007, at 11:06 AM, Bryant J. Williams III wrote:

> [Karl]
> "...He even placed the hidden things in their hearts, without which  
> they would
> not know ..."
> [Bryant]
> Thank you, Karl. I will have to think your translation through a  
> bit. It does
> give a different nuance to the negatives. I know that in English the  
> double
> negative would turn a phrase into a positive, while Greek  
> intensifies it or
> turns it to a positive (OU MH vs MH OU), but would Hebrew do the  
> same as the
> English here is a good question.
> Martin, et al, what do you think?

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