Internet Verse Search Commentaries Word Analysis ITL - draft

Ecclesiastes 2:25

Context
NET ©

For no one 1  can eat and drink 2  or experience joy 3  apart from him. 4 

NIV ©

for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?

NASB ©

For who can eat and who can have enjoyment without Him?

NLT ©

For who can eat or enjoy anything apart from him?

MSG ©

Whether we feast or fast, it's up to God.

BBE ©

Who may take food or have pleasure without him?

NRSV ©

for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment?

NKJV ©

For who can eat, or who can have enjoyment, more than I?


KJV
For who can eat
<0398> (8799)_,
or who else can hasten
<02363> (8799)
[hereunto], more
<02351>
than I?
NASB ©
For who
<04310>
can eat
<0398>
and who
<04310>
can have
<02363>
enjoyment
<02363>
without
<02351>
<4480> Him?
HEBREW
ynmm
<04480>
Uwx
<02351>
swxy
<02363>
ymw
<04310>
lkay
<0398>
ym
<04310>
yk (2:25)
<03588>
LXXM
oti
<3754
CONJ
tiv
<5100
I-NSM
fagetai
<2068
V-FMI-3S
kai
<2532
CONJ
tiv
<5100
I-NSM
feisetai
<5339
V-FMI-3S
parex {PREP} autou
<846
D-GSM
NET © [draft] ITL
For
<03588>
no one can
<04310>
eat
<0398>
and drink
<04310>
or experience
<02363>
joy apart
<02351>
from
<04480>
him.
NET ©

For no one 1  can eat and drink 2  or experience joy 3  apart from him. 4 

NET © Notes

tn Heb “For who can…?” The rhetorical question is an example of negative affirmation, expecting a negative answer: “No one can!” (see E. W. Bullinger, Figures of Speech, 949-51).

tn The phrase “and drink” is not in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for stylistic harmonization with v. 24.

tn The verb II חוּשׁ (khush, “to enjoy”) is a hapax legomenon which BDB defines as “to feel; to enjoy [with the senses]” on the basis of the context, and the cognates: Arabic “to feel; to perceive [by senses]”; Aramaic חושׁ “to feel pain,” and New Hebrew חושׁ “to feel pain” (BDB 301 s.v. II חֹוּשׁ). HALOT relates the Hebrew root to Akkadian havavu “to be delighted with” (HALOT 300 s.v. II חושׁ 1). The Vulgate renders this term as “to enjoy.” The Greek versions (LXX, Theodotion) and the Syriac Peshitta, however, did not understand this hapax; they rendered it as “to drink,” making some sense of the line by filling out the parallelism “to eat [and drink]” (e.g., Eccl 8:15).

tc The MT reads מִמֶּנִּי (mimmenni, “more than I”). However, an alternate textual tradition of מִמֶּנּוּ (mimmennu,“apart from him [= God]”) is preserved in several medieval Hebrew mss, and is reflected in most of the versions (LXX, Syriac, Syro-Hexapla, and Jerome). The textual deviation is a case of simple orthographic confusion between י (yod) and ו (vav) as frequently happened, e.g., MT צו לצו צו לצו (tsv ltsv tsv ltsv) versus 1QIsaa 28:10 צי לצי צי לצי (tsy ltsy ts ltsy); see P. K. McCarter, Jr., Textual Criticism, 47. It is difficult to determine which reading is original here. The MT forms a parenthetical clause, where Qoheleth refers to himself: no one had more of an opportunity to experience more enjoyment in life than he (e.g., 2:1-11). The alternate textual tradition is a causal clause, explaining why the ability to enjoy life is a gift from God: no one can experience enjoyment in life “apart from him,” that is, apart from “the hand of God” in 2:24. It is possible that internal evidence supports the alternate textual tradition. In 2:24-26, Qoheleth is not emphasizing his own resources to enjoy life, as he had done in 2:1-11; but that the ability to enjoy life is the gift of God. On the other hand, the Jerusalem Hebrew Bible project retains the MT reading with a “B” rating; see D. Barthélemy, ed., Preliminary and Interim Report on the Hebrew Old Testament Text Project, 3:570. The English versions are split on the textual problem: a few retain MT מִמֶּנִּי (“more than I”), e.g., KJV, ASV, YLT, Douay, NJPS, while others adopt the alternate reading מִמֶּנּוּ, “apart from him” (NEB, NAB, MLB, NASB, RSV, NRSV, NIV, Moffatt).



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