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tion there; and in ver. 13 it is added, “Moreover that a man can do so is the gift of God. See v. 18, where the emphasis of O is on the same (but still more remote) clause bin na 897. In vii. 22, Drefers to the remote nx, as is shewn by its emphatic repetition before that pronoun. See also vii. 14, 21; ix. 3, 12. I shall assume then that, as in iii. 13 Oi emphasizes '3) noo, so in ver. 11 it emphasizes not oby but
-is appar עלם If this be the case the meaning of .מבלי וג'
ently determined, for the words
את העלם נתן בלבם
must be read in complementary parallelism with
את הכל עשה יפה בעתו
-to find out , to under = מצא (1) [מבלי אשר לא ימצא
To express this the more clearly in English it may be well to insert the word thus :
He hath made it all pleasant in its season:
] (1) = stand, as in vii. 14; viii. 17.
(2) The significance of the preceding particles is much disputed. Some make the clause final, thus,
cannot but So that man
find out the work which God hath
cannot wrought from beginning to end.
The positive rendering ...cannot but...' may be rejected on the ground that the book does not contemplate the possibility of man's being able to understand the whole work of God, but assumes throughout that he is totally unable to do so. The negative rendering may also be rejected, because the giving of the world into man's heart (= the making terrestrial affairs pleasant in their season) is regarded as a benefit, a good 'gift of God' (ver. 13), and therefore cannot well be regarded as causing an ignorance of the work which God hath wrought'—if at least that ignorance be viewed as an evil.
,מבלי דעת causal ( as in מבלי It is perhaps better to make
is בלי It may be added that המבלי אין אלהים בישראל ,3
Is. v. 13), and one of the negatives redundant, as in 2 Kings i. 3, . followed by a finite verb in Gen. xxxi. 20, 7:27 ob by. The verse may now be rendered,
He hath made the whole [of man's travail] pleasant in its season : yea,-he hath thus given the world into their heart because that' man cannot find out the work which God hath wrought from beginning to end.
Since man cannot comprehend God's work in its entirety he falls back upon the present for satisfaction: he has no capacity for the highest knowledge, and so God has given him by way of compensation to find pleasure in mundane affairs : The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord's: but the earth hath he given to the children of men' (Ps. cxv. 16). “I know (concludes the Preacher) that there is no good for them but to eat, and drink, and enjoy life; and moreover that they can thus enjoy it is the gift of God' (ver. 12, 13).
II. The next verse to be considered, viz. Eccl. iii. 18, is of still greater difficulty. It runs thus in the Hebrew,
אמרתי אני בלבי על דברת בני האדם לְבָרָם האלהים ולראות שהם בהמה המה להם
yaba] In ver. 17 and also in ii. 1, 15 the same phrase 'I said in my heart' occurs, and in each case the word following is begins the expression of the thought or thing ‘said.' So, (we may conjecture) 7727 5y in ver. 18 is not to be joined to what precedes, as e.g. in the Authorized Version, but to what follows. ]
occurs in Ps. cx. 4, where it is commonly allowed to mean katà tùy táčiv, 'after the order of Melchizedek.' In Eccl. vii. 14 the meaning kata
על דברתי The phrase [על דברת
מבלי משים Or we may compare
(Job iv. 20) and render · without man's being able...,' i.e. even though he can. not.... In other words :--Man can
find satisfaction in the present notwithstanding his failure in the quest of a higher knowledge.'
TNV Tážu is appropriate :- God also hath set the one over against the other, after such a sort that man can find out nothing after him.' In Eccl. viii. 2, it would appear from the accentuation (**») that 01737 and by are not to be combined. Analogy theu suggests' some such rendering of Eccl. iii. 18 as,
I said in my heart, It is according to the condition of the sons of men that &c.
] a , prefix and affix, from 2: this accounts for the pointing, but as I do not at present see how to adapt this construction to its context, I follow the great majority of commentators in making the word an infinitive of anomalous form. Some take it as a contraction for Dyna?, from the piel infinitive 979:
may be suggested that it is contracted from Dynas, the being absorbed in Qamets as in iv. 14, where D'TiD7 is written for D'70X7': but the most commonly received opinion is that the form is analogous to 77 and , which are supposed to
It is not quite clear that .שכך and רדד be infinitives from
7e is an infinitive“, but it has been well remarked that onas may have taken its present pointing propter Resch', for 7 (like Y and 7) has a predilection for Pathach, which with compens
1 The phrase does not occur again in the Bible except in Dan. ii. 30, where its explanation is similar to that given above in the case of Eocl. vii. 14, the meaning so that, or in order that, being assumed. Compare the sequence of meanings in omws, viz. (1) how, in what manner; (2) in such a manner that, so that. Our in ORDER that' is literally the .kard točiv,' which (after Ps. cx. 4) I '. When a verb follows, the meaning ideo ut is suitable; but not so (from the nature of the case) when, as in Eccl. iii. 18, a noun follows. In this case some such rendering as kard TV táčlv
thu dvopwrivnu may be assumed.
. The following gives à possible construction but perhaps a not very appropriate meaning :- I said in my heart, It is (=happens) after the (common] lot of men [even] to those whom God has chosen; and it is for them to see (n987 D7%) that they are beasts.' • There is one event to the righteous [=those whom God has chosen], and to the wicked' (ix. 2).
3 (2 . xxii. 5): but for the pointing compare p. 304, note 1.
4 See No. 3 of this Journal, p. 132. conception I remark that I am not (Ezek. xxi. 33); naop for nybe desperate expedients, but simply ob(Ezek. xx. 37). For omissions of 8
.על דבר' I take as the true meaning of
.Chron 2) הָאֲרַמִּים for הָרַכִּים So
לָבוּר it may ,באר or ברר that even if the former comes from ,(1)
ation for Dagesh becomes Qamets. I shall attempt in the sequel to obtain a suitable meaning for ons by comparing 7729 (ix. 1), which occurs in a very similar context ; remarking (1, still mean the same as if it came from 912?; and (2) that it is not clearly proved that it does not come (anomalously) from 12 itself. But first, what is the construction? Is the affix subjective or objective ?
According to the usual arrangement it would be the former,
Deut. vii. 24.
עד השמידך אתם עד השמידו אתך
Deut. xxviii. 48.
Josh. xxiii. 15. nx 1700 7y Moreover, if as some have assumed, the subject of nas is the same as that of the following 11859, then the subject must be represented by the affix, for that of his is clearly not pub&7?-unless indeed we adopt the desperate expedient of accommodating the text where it is clear to a hasty conjectare about one of the most obscure words in the Bible“. This some have done, reading his as a hiphil, and making
i On further consideration I am 2 The Authorized Version gives for inclined to think this by far the most 782 in Deut, i. 5, and 72 in Eccl. ix. natural account of the form 077?, 1, the same word 'declare.' involving nothing beyond a simple con
3 Geier however, as quoted by traction from a regular form. The
Rosenmüller, gives the rendering: 'ob verb 782 occurs besides (always in the
conditionem filiorum hominis futurum piel) in Deut. i. 5; xxvii. 8 (2097 789);
est ut purget eos Deos...et ut intueatur Hab. ii. 2. We might also take for
Deus quod ipsi jumentum sint sibi.' our groundform Disas, comparing for
4 To guard against a possible misthe contraction, Soaps for support here characterizing all emendations as Dubx7 the subject of both infinitives: so Rashi, after the LXX.,
jecting to such alterations (great or compare further, 2 Sam. xix. 14; Prov. small) in what eems plain enough as i. 10; xvii. 4; Is. xiii. 20; and see are devised in order to suit a precarious Fürst Concord. V. T. under the 1st conjecture about what is confessedly pers. futuro or imperfect of 278. obscure.
קקני להודיעס סfין מרלתס כלוס ונקרfותס מיס 6ף קסריס קתלכיס: נקמת המס לקס וג'
לברם Before assigning a meaning to the root of [ולראות וג'
mean , to perceive that לראות שהם בהמה המה The words
It remains .אשר היא...אסורים ידיה ,26
.is found in Eccl
It seems preferable to regulate that which is obscure by that wbich is plain, and therefore if the two infinitives have the same subject we may assume that the affix is subjective: but if this identity of subject be thought unnecessary, we may then fall back upon acknowledged usage, and say that the more natural construction of 097587 0935 is that which makes it mean, not
that God should......them, but
that they should...... God.
] a it may be well to consider the construction of this last clause.
,m, ' they are beasts,' or more fully, that as for themselves they are beasts,' according to a very common usage, of which an example
. , ' . to determine the application of the final 275; and this may well be taken in the sense 'to themselves,' i.e. so far as their knowledge and observation go. This meaning is not unsuited to the context, for it is added in ver. 19, that 'even one thing befalleth them' sc. men and beasts), and in ver. 21, ' who knoweth (= no one has any certain knowledge of) that which men assert, viz. that the spirit of man goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast downward to the earth ? What they do know is that there is one hap' to man and beast; and so, let them acknowledge that to themselves and as far as they can see, they are beasts.
Lastly, what is the meaning of the verb of which 0725 is conjectured to be an infinitive? The word ab, to which I propose to assimilate it, occurs in a strikingly similar context, and is rendered in the Authorized Version, to declare. In transcribing the passage I shall substitute acknowledge for deJournal of Philology. VOL. II.