Like the crackling of thorns under the pot, so is the laughter of fools. This too is meaningless.
For as the crackling of thorn bushes under a pot, So is the laughter of the fool; And this too is futility.
Indeed, a fool’s laughter is quickly gone, like thorns crackling in a fire. This also is meaningless.
The giggles of fools are like the crackling of twigs Under the cooking pot. And like smoke.
Like the cracking of thorns under a pot, so is the laugh of a foolish man; and this again is to no purpose.
For like the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of fools; this also is vanity.
For like the crackling of thorns under a pot, So is the laughter of the fool. This also is vanity.
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
1 tn The term “thorns” (הַסִּירִים, hassirim) refers to twigs from wild thorn bushes which were used as fuel for quick heat, but burn out quickly before a cooking pot can be properly heated (e.g., Pss 58:9; 118:12).
2 tn The word “kind of folly” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for clarity.
3 tn It is difficult to determine whether the Hebrew term הֶבֶל (hevel) means “fleeting” or “useless” in this context. The imagery of quick-burning thorns under a cooking pot is ambiguous and can be understood in more than one way: (1) It is useless to try to heat a cooking pot by burning thorns because they burn out before the pot can be properly heated; (2) the heat produced by quick-burning thorns is fleeting – it produces quick heat, but lasts only for a moment. Likewise, the “laughter of a fool” can be taken in both ways: (1) In comparison to the sober reflection of the wise, the laughter of fools is morally useless: the burning of thorns, like the laughter of fools, makes a lot of noise but accomplishes nothing; (2) the laughter of fools is fleeting due to the brevity of life and certainty of death. Perhaps this is an example of intentional ambiguity.