Internet Verse Search Commentaries Word Analysis ITL - draft

Ecclesiastes 7:1

Context
NET ©

A good reputation 1  is better 2  than precious 3  perfume; 4  likewise, 5  the day of one’s 6  death 7  is better than the day of one’s birth. 8 

NIV ©

A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth.

NASB ©

A good name is better than a good ointment, And the day of one’s death is better than the day of one’s birth.

NLT ©

A good reputation is more valuable than the most expensive perfume. In the same way, the day you die is better than the day you are born.

MSG ©

A good reputation is better than a fat bank account. Your death date tells more than your birth date.

BBE ©

A good name is better than oil of great price, and the day of death than the day of birth.

NRSV ©

A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death, than the day of birth.

NKJV ©

A good name is better than precious ointment, And the day of death than the day of one’s birth;


KJV
A good name
<08034>
[is] better
<02896>
than precious
<02896>
ointment
<08081>_;
and the day
<03117>
of death
<04194>
than the day
<03117>
of one's birth
<03205> (8736)_.
NASB ©
A good
<02896>
name
<08034>
is better
<02896>
than
<04480>
a good
<02896>
ointment
<08081>
, And the day
<03117>
of one's death
<04194>
is better than
<04480>
the day
<03117>
of one's birth
<03205>
.
HEBREW
wdlwh
<03205>
Mwym
<03117>
twmh
<04194>
Mwyw
<03117>
bwj
<02896>
Nmsm
<08081>
Ms
<08034>
bwj (7:1)
<02896>
LXXM
agayon
<18
A-NSN
onoma
<3686
N-NSN
uper
<5228
PREP
elaion
<1637
N-ASN
agayon
<18
A-NSN
kai
<2532
CONJ
hmera
<2250
N-NSF
tou
<3588
T-GSM
yanatou
<2288
N-GSM
uper
<5228
PREP
hmeran
<2250
N-ASF
genesewv
<1078
N-GSF
autou
<846
D-GSM
NET © [draft] ITL
A good
<02896>
reputation
<08034>
is better
<02896>
than precious perfume
<08081>
; likewise, the day
<03117>
of one’s death
<04194>
is better than the day
<03117>
of one’s birth
<03205>
.
NET ©

A good reputation 1  is better 2  than precious 3  perfume; 4  likewise, 5  the day of one’s 6  death 7  is better than the day of one’s birth. 8 

NET © Notes

tn Heb “name.” The Hebrew term שֵׁם (shem, “name”) is used metonymically for a person’s reputation (e.g., Prov 22:1; Deut 22:14, 19; Neh 6:13; also Gen 6:4; 12:2; 2 Sam 7:9; 8:13; 23:18, 22; 1 Chr 5:24; 12:31; 2 Chr 26:15; Neh 9:10; Isa 63:12, 14; Jer 32:20; Ezek 16:14; Dan 9:15); cf. HALOT 1549 s.v. שֵׁם D.2; BDB 1028 s.v. שֵׁם 2.b.

tn The comparative term טוֹב (tov, “better”) is repeated throughout 7:1-12. It introduces a series of “Better-than sayings,” particularly in 7:1-6 in which every poetic unit is introduced by טוֹב.

tn Heb “good.” The repetition of טוֹב (tov, “good”) forms an inclusion (a structural device that rounds off the unit), while the two internal terms מִשֶּׁמֶןשֵׁם (shem mishemen, “name …ointment”) create a paronomastic wordplay (see the note on the word “perfume”). The combination of these two sets of literary devices creates an AB:B'A' chiasm: מִשֶּׁמֶן טוֹב // שֵׁם טוֹב (tov shem // mishemen tov, e.g., “good name”// “ointment good”).

tn Or “oil”; or “ointment.” The term שֶׁמֶן (shemen) refers to fragrant “perfume; cologne; ointment” (Amos 6:6; Eccl 10:1; Song 1:2 [1:3 HT]; 4:10); see HALOT 1568 s.v. שֶׁמֶן A.2.c. Bodily oils were expensive (1 Kgs 17:12; 2 Kgs 2:4). Possession of oils and perfumes was a sign of prosperity (Deut 32:8; 33:24; Job 29:6; Prov 21:17; Ezek 16:13, 20). Wearing colognes and oils was associated with joy (Ps 45:8; Eccl 9:8; Isa 61:3) because they were worn on festive occasions (Prov 27:9). The similar sounding terms “name” (שֵׁם, shem) and “perfume” (שֶׁמֶן) create a wordplay (paronomasia). See W. G. E. Watson, Classical Hebrew Poetry (JSOTSup), 242–43; J. J. Glück, “Paronomasia in Biblical Literature,” Semitics 1 (1970): 50–78; A. Guillaume, “Paronomasia in the Old Testament.” JSS 9 (1964): 282–90; J. M. Sasson, “Wordplay in the OT,” IDBSup 968-70.

tn The vav prefixed to the form וְיוֹם (vÿyom) functions in a comparative sense, e.g., Job 5:7; 12:11; 16:21; Prov 25:25 (see R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 71, §437).

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

tn The article prefixed to הַמָּוֶת (hammavet, “death”) probably functions in an indefinite possessive sense or in a generic sense: “one’s death,” e.g., Gen 44:2 (see R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 19, §86, §92).

sn There are two ways to understand this proverb: (1) Happy times (characterized by celebration and “fragrant perfume”) teach us less than hard times (“the day of one’s death”) which can bring about moral improvement (“a good reputation”). (2) It is better to come to the end of one’s life (“day of one’s death”) with a good reputation (“a good name”) than to merely be starting life (“day of one’s birth”) in an auspicious manner in joy and wealth (“fine perfume”). Folly and wickedness could foil a good beginning so that a person ends life as a fool. For example, Solomon began as the wisest man who ever lived, only to end life as one of history’s greatest fools.



TIP #11: Use Fonts Page to download/install fonts if Greek or Hebrew texts look funny. [ALL]
created in 0.03 seconds
powered by bible.org