[b-hebrew] Ecc 12:6: BWR

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Sun Mar 30 20:59:33 EDT 2008

It appears that Kohelet 12:6 depicts minor household accidents,  
occurring at a gradually falling levels, and resulting from a  
possible sudden faculty loss by man.
XEBEL HA-KESEP is apparently the decorative cord that was used in the  
patrician homes of Jerusalem to lower, lift and then fix a chandelier  
[recall the NEBRE$TA of Daniel 5:5] fitted with a crowning GUL-AT  
ZAHAB, 'a golden cup', for holding the oil and reflecting the light  
[see Zechariah 4:2-3 and 4:12]. This cord is snapped or escapes, Y-E- 
RAXEQ, the grasp of an infirm hand, and the golden cup comes down  
tumbling and crushing, W-TA-RUC  GULA-AT HA-ZAHAB.
The next, W-TI-$ABER KAD (AL HA-MA-BU(A is the dropping and  
shattering of a jar by a well [today we would say And the newspaper  
fell scattering to the floor].
W-NA-ROC HA-GALGAL )EL HA-BOR describes the free fall [rushing and  
crushing] of a suddenly released bucket and the idle spinning of the  
pulley-wheel whirled by the unraveling rope of a mechanical  
contraption used for drawing water from a rain-water cistern.
Are all these hints to the ultimate failing of top to bottom body  
parts: spinal column = XEBEL HA-KESEP, head = GUL-AT HA-ZAHAB, heart,  
stomach, legs? I don't know.
The root RC essentially means 'free, loose' [recall the VA-YI-T-ROCC- 
U HA-BANIM B-KIRB-AH of Genesis 25:22], which is the primary idea of  
the roots RUC, RCH, RCC, )RC, (RC, R(C, RC(.
The "prefix" NA- is a contracted ANI, English 'I', used here in the  
sense of 'oneself, itself'. Likewise, the TA- in W-TA-RUC and the TI-  
of W-TI-$ABER are pronouns referring to the KAD and the GULAH  
themselves, as is the -AT of GUL-AT. So is also the -AH of GUL-AH.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

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