Internet Verse Search Commentaries Word Analysis ITL - draft

Ecclesiastes 2:3

Context
NET ©

I thought deeply 1  about the effects of 2  indulging 3  myself 4  with wine (all the while 5  my mind was guiding me 6  with wisdom) 7  and the effects of 8  behaving foolishly, 9  so that I might discover what is profitable for people to do on earth during the few days of their lives.

NIV ©

I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly—my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was worth while for men to do under heaven during the few days of their lives.

NASB ©

I explored with my mind how to stimulate my body with wine while my mind was guiding me wisely, and how to take hold of folly, until I could see what good there is for the sons of men to do under heaven the few years of their lives.

NLT ©

After much thought, I decided to cheer myself with wine. While still seeking wisdom, I clutched at foolishness. In this way, I hoped to experience the only happiness most people find during their brief life in this world.

MSG ©

With the help of a bottle of wine and all the wisdom I could muster, I tried my level best to penetrate the absurdity of life. I wanted to get a handle on anything useful we mortals might do during the years we spend on this earth.

BBE ©

I made a search with my heart to give pleasure to my flesh with wine, still guiding my heart with wisdom, and to go after foolish things, so that I might see what was good for the sons of men to do under the heavens all the days of their life.

NRSV ©

I searched with my mind how to cheer my body with wine—my mind still guiding me with wisdom—and how to lay hold on folly, until I might see what was good for mortals to do under heaven during the few days of their life.

NKJV ©

I searched in my heart how to gratify my flesh with wine, while guiding my heart with wisdom, and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the sons of men to do under heaven all the days of their lives.


KJV
I sought
<08446> (8804)
in mine heart
<03820>
to give
<04900> (8800)
myself
<01320>
unto wine
<03196>_,
yet acquainting
<05090> (8802)
mine heart
<03820>
with wisdom
<02451>_;
and to lay hold
<0270> (8800)
on folly
<05531>_,
till I might see
<07200> (8799)
what [was] that good
<02896>
for the sons
<01121>
of men
<0120>_,
which they should do
<06213> (8799)
under the heaven
<08064>
all
<04557>
the days
<03117>
of their life
<02416>_.
{to give...: Heb. to draw my flesh with wine} {all...: Heb. the number of the days of their life}
NASB ©
I explored
<08446>
with my mind
<03820>
how to stimulate
<04900>
my body
<01320>
with wine
<03196>
while my mind
<03820>
was guiding
<05090>
me wisely
<02451>
, and how to take
<0270>
hold
<0270>
of folly
<05531>
, until
<05704>
<834> I could see
<07200>
what
<0335>
<2088> good
<02896>
there is for the sons
<01121>
of men
<0120>
to do
<06213>
under
<08478>
heaven
<08064>
the few
<04557>
years
<03117>
of their lives
<02425>
.
HEBREW
Mhyyx
<02416>
ymy
<03117>
rpom
<04557>
Mymsh
<08064>
txt
<08478>
wvey
<06213>
rsa
<0834>
Mdah
<0120>
ynbl
<01121>
bwj
<02896>
hz
<02088>
ya
<0335>
hara
<07200>
rsa
<0834>
de
<05704>
twlkob
<05531>
zxalw
<0270>
hmkxb
<02451>
ghn
<05090>
yblw
<03820>
yrvb
<01320>
ta
<0853>
Nyyb
<03196>
Kwsml
<04900>
yblb
<03820>
ytrt (2:3)
<08446>
LXXM
kateskeqamhn {V-AMI-1S} en
<1722
PREP
kardia
<2588
N-DSF
mou
<1473
P-GS
tou
<3588
T-GSN
elkusai {V-AAN} eiv
<1519
PREP
oinon
<3631
N-ASM
thn
<3588
T-ASF
sarka
<4561
N-ASF
mou
<1473
P-GS
kai
<2532
CONJ
kardia
<2588
N-NSF
mou
<1473
P-GS
wdhghsen
<3594
V-AAI-3S
en
<1722
PREP
sofia
<4678
N-DSF
kai
<2532
CONJ
tou
<3588
T-GSN
krathsai
<2902
V-AAN
ep
<1909
PREP
afrosunh
<877
N-DSF
ewv
<2193
ADV
ou
<3739
R-GSM
idw
<3708
V-AAS-1S
poion
<4169
A-ASN
to
<3588
T-ASN
agayon
<18
A-ASN
toiv
<3588
T-DPM
uioiv
<5207
N-DPM
tou
<3588
T-GSM
anyrwpou
<444
N-GSM
o
<3739
R-NSM
poihsousin
<4160
V-FAI-3P
upo
<5259
PREP
ton
<3588
T-ASM
hlion
<2246
N-ASM
ariymon
<706
N-ASM
hmerwn
<2250
N-GPF
zwhv
<2222
N-GSF
autwn
<846
D-GPM
NET © [draft] ITL
I thought
<08446>
deeply
<03820>
about the effects
<03820>
of indulging
<04900>
myself with wine
<03196>
(all the while my
<01320>
mind
<03820>
was guiding
<05090>
me with wisdom
<02451>
) and the effects of behaving
<0270>
foolishly
<05531>
, so that
<0834>
I might discover
<07200>
what
<0335>
is profitable
<02896>
for people
<0120>
to do
<06213>
on earth
<08064>
during the few
<04557>
days
<03117>
of their lives
<02416>
.
NET ©

I thought deeply 1  about the effects of 2  indulging 3  myself 4  with wine (all the while 5  my mind was guiding me 6  with wisdom) 7  and the effects of 8  behaving foolishly, 9  so that I might discover what is profitable for people to do on earth during the few days of their lives.

NET © Notes

tn Heb “In my heart I explored.” The verb תּוּר (tur, “to seek out, to spy out, to explore”) is used in the OT to describe: (1) the physical activity of “spying out” or “exploring” geographical locations (Num 13:2, 16, 17, 21, 25, 32; 14:6, 7, 34, 36, 38; Job 39:8) and (2) the mental activity of “exploring” or “examining” a course of action or the effects of an action (Eccl 1:13; 2:3; 7:25; 9:1). See BDB 1064 s.v. תּוּר 2; HALOT 1708 s.v. תּוּר. It was used as a synonym with דָרָשׁ (darash, “to study”) in 1:13: “I devoted myself to study (לִדְרוֹשׁ, lidrosh) and to explore (לָתוּר, latur).”

sn As the repetition of the term לֵב (lev, “heart” or “mind”) indicates (2:1, 3), this experiment appears to have been only an intellectual exercise or a cognitive reflection: “I said to myself (Heb “in my heart [or “mind”],” 2:1); “I explored with my mind (Heb “heart,” 2:3a); and “my mind (Heb “heart”) guiding me with wisdom” (2:3b). Qoheleth himself did not indulge in drunkenness; but he contemplated the value of self-indulgence in his mind.

tn The phrase “the effects of” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for clarity.

tn Or “I sought to cheer my flesh with wine.” The term לִמְשׁוֹךְ (limshokh, Qal infinitive construct from מָשַׁךְ, mashakh, “to draw, pull”) functions in a complementary sense with the preceding verb תּוּר (tur “to examine”): Heb “I sought to draw out my flesh with wine” or “I [mentally] explored [the effects] of drawing out my flesh with wine.” The verb מָשַׁךְ means “to draw, to drag along, to lead” (BDB 604 s.v. מָשַׁךְ) or “to draw out; to stretch out [to full length]; to drag; to pull; to seize; to carry off; to pull; to go” (HALOT 645–46 s.v. משׁך). BDB suggests that this use be nuanced “to draw, to attract, to gratify” the flesh, that is, “to cheer” (BDB 604 s.v. מָשַׁךְ 7). While this meaning is not attested elsewhere in the OT, it is found in Mishnaic Hebrew: “to attract” (Qal), e.g., “it is different with heresy, because it attracts [i.e., persuades, offers inducements]” (b. Avodah Zarah 27b) and “to be attracted, carried away, seduced,” e.g., “he was drawn after them, he indulged in the luxuries of the palace” (b. Shabbat 147b). See Jastrow 853-54 s.v. מְשַׂךְ. Here it denotes “to stretch; to draw out [to full length],” that is, “to revive; to restore” the body (HALOT 646 s.v. משׁד [sic] 3). The statement is a metonymy of cause (i.e., indulging the flesh with wine) for effect (i.e., the effects of self-indulgence).

tn Heb “my flesh.” The term בְּשָׂרִי (bÿsari, “my flesh”) may function as a synecdoche of part (i.e., flesh) for the whole (i.e., whole person). See E. W. Bullinger, Figures of Speech, 642. One could translate, “I sought to cheer myself.”

tn The phrase “all the while” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for clarity.

tn The word “me” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for clarity.

tn Heb “and my heart was leading along in wisdom.” The vav + noun, וְלִבִּי (vÿlibbi) introduces a disjunctive, parenthetical clause designed to qualify the speaker’s remarks lest he be misunderstood: “Now my heart/mind….” He emphasizes that he never lost control of his senses in this process. It was a purely mental, cognitive endeavor; he never actually gave himself over to wanton self-indulgence in wine or folly.

tn The phrase “the effects of” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for clarity.

tn Heb “embracing folly.” The verb אָחָז (’akhaz, “to embrace”) is normally used to describe the physical action of taking hold of an object. Here is it is used metaphorically to describe a person’s choice of lifestyle, that is, adopting a particular course of moral conduct (e.g., Job 17:9); see HALOT 31–32 s.v. אחז; BDB 28 s.v. אָחַז.

10 tn Or “until.” The construction עַד אֲשֶׁר (’adasher, “until”) introduces a temporal result clause (e.g., Gen 27:44; 28:15; Num 21:35; Isa 6:11); see HALOT 787 s.v. III עַד B.b. With an imperfect verb (such as אֶרְאֶה, ’ereh, Qal imperfect first common singular from רָאָה, raah, “to see”), the compound construction עַד אֲשֶׁר usually refers to future time (Gen 27:44; 29:8; Exod 23:30; 24:14; Lev 22:4; Num 11:20; 20:17; 1 Sam 22:3; Hos 5:15), but it also rarely refers to past time (Jonah 4:5; Eccl 2:3); see BDB 725 s.v. III עַד II.1.a.b. Joüon 2:370 §113.k notes that when the compound construction עַד אֲשֶׁר is occasionally used with an imperfect depicting past action to denote a virtual nuance of purpose: “until” = “so that,” e.g., Jonah 4:5; Eccl 2:3.

11 tn Heb “I might see where is the good?” The interrogative particle אֵי (’e, “where?”) used with the demonstrative pronoun זֶה (zeh, “this”) forms an idiom: “where [then]?” (HALOT 37–38 s.v. אֵי 2.a; see, e.g., 1 Sam 9:18; 1 Kgs 13:12; 2 Kgs 3:8; Isa 50:1; 66:1; Jer 6:16; Job 28:12, 20; 38:19, 24; Esth 7:5). The phrase אֵי־זֶה טוֹב (’e-zeh tov) is an indirect question that literally means, “Where is the good?” that is, “what good?” (HALOT 38 s.v. אֵי 2.d).

12 tn Heb “the sons of man.”

13 tn Heb “under the heavens.”

14 tn Heb “number of the days.” The Hebrew noun מִסְפַּר (mispar, “number, quantity”) sometimes means “few” (e.g., Gen 34:30; Num 9:20; Deut 4:27; 33:6; Isa 10:19; Jer 44:28; Ezek 12:16; Ps 105:12; Job 16:22; 1 Chr 16:19); see HALOT 607 s.v. מִסְפָּר 2.b; BDB 709 s.v. מִסְפָּר 1.a. This phrase is an idiom that means, “during all their lives” (BDB 709 s.v.), “during their total [short] time of life,” that is, “as long as they live” (HALOT 608 s.v. מִסְפָּר 3.d). Ecclesiastes often emphasizes the brevity of life (e.g., 5:17; 6:12; 9:9). The LXX rendered מִסְפַּר in a woodenly literal sense: ἀριθμόν (ariqmon, “the number [of days of their lives]”). Several English translations adopt a similar approach: “all the days of their life” (ASV, Douay) and “the number of days of their lives” (YLT). However, this idiom is handled well by a number of English translations: “during the few days of their lives” (RSV, NRSV, NASB, NIV, Moffatt, NJPS), “during the limited days of their life” (NAB), and “throughout the brief span of their lives” (NEB).



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