Author Topic: ἐὰν ἐκπέσῃ τὸ σιδήριον καὶ αὐτὸς πρόσωπον ἐτάραξεν καὶ δυνάμεις δυναμώσει καὶ περισσεία τοῦ ἀνδρείου σοφία (Ecclesiastes 10:10, LXX version) -> If the iron axe fails, and the man has furrowed his brow, he will gather his strength, and the redoubling of his manly vigor will be the wise thing.  (Read 2117 times)

luisffmendes

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The greek is from LXX, Eccl. 10:10

ἐὰν ἐκπέσῃ τὸ σιδήριον καὶ αὐτὸς πρόσωπον ἐτάραξεν καὶ δυνάμεις δυναμώσει καὶ περισσεία τοῦ ἀνδρείου σοφία

I know that there are more than 12 words (16 actually), but καὶ appears three times, τό one time, so... I hope it is admissible!

I just want to have "your" opinion about the following translations:

- If the utensil of iron falls, it will disturb the face of him [who carried it], and he must endure his effort, and abundance of man is wisdom;
- if an implement fails, and he [who carried it] in his countenance is disturbed, then he shall put power in his power, and the gain of being a man is wisdom.



« Last Edit: 13 Dec, 2012, 22:53:59 by billberg23 »



billberg23

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if an implement fails, and he [who carried it] in his countenance is disturbed, then he shall put power in his power, and the gain of being a man is wisdom.
This seems much closer to the original Greek.  Even more literal would be "If the implement is missing, and the man has troubled his countenance, he shall strengthen the forces, and the abundance of his manly action (τὀ ἀνδρεῖον can mean the same as ἡ ἀνδρεία, 'courage,' 'manliness')  will be wisdom."

However, we should probably see this in the context of the preceding verse, which speaks of the problem with splitting logs (σχίζων ξύλα κινδυνεύσει ἐν αὐτοῖς).  A free translation of 10:10 might then look something like this:
If the iron axe fails, and the man has furrowed his brow, he will gather his strength, and the redoubling of his manly vigor will be the wise thing.
What do you think?  
« Last Edit: 18 Jun, 2012, 22:07:50 by billberg23 »
Τί δέ τις; Τί δ' οὔ τις; Σκιᾶς ὄναρ ἄνθρωπος. — Πίνδαρος


luisffmendes

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I read your translation carefully. In the process I get some doubts. From your words it seems to me that - in the last part of it (“and the redoubling of his manly vigour will be the wise thing”) - you are saying this:

- The abundance (περισσεία) of his manly vigour (ἀνδρεῖος) will be wisdom (σοφία) for him (i.e. the wise thing);

But previously I have read the Greek like this:

- Wisdom (σοφία) would be the best thing (his gain is in it - περισσεία) to man (ἀνδρεῖος), given his nature.

I mean: my interpretation seems to me to be different from yours. My doubt is: did I understand your translation?

I thought the Greek meant that “wisdom is the best thing to man”, but I think you are saying that “manly vigour, the abundance of his manly action, is wisdom”. Am I right?
« Last Edit: 19 Jun, 2012, 03:07:43 by luisffmendes »

billberg23

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- Wisdom (σοφία) would be the best thing (his gain is in it - περισσεία) to man (ἀνδρεῖος), given his nature.
While it's true that in the LXX περισσεία sometimes means "an advantage over something" (which you've extended to "gain"), its normal meaning is "an excess," "something extra," or "an abundance," which seems to make better sense in this context where an extra manly exertion (ἀνδρεῖος means "manly," τὀ ἀνδρεῖον means "manliness," not "man"), an "abundance of manliness" resulting from "gathering strength" is needed to cut wood with a dull axe.  The lesson seems to be that, if your resources fail you, you need to put extra effort into the project, redouble your efforts.  And that lesson is "wisdom."
Τί δέ τις; Τί δ' οὔ τις; Σκιᾶς ὄναρ ἄνθρωπος. — Πίνδαρος

luisffmendes

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I was reading ἀνδρεῖος in the sense of "nature of man": wisdom is what he has as advantage, given his nature (manliness), so man should be wise and he must "gather his strength"...

Nevermind! Once again, your explanation seems to me perfectly appropriate for the given case.

Thank you very much!


luisffmendes

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Sorry, one question more:

- αὐτὸς πρόσωπον ἐτάραξεν means that:
     α  - man troubled (ταράσσω) + the face (πρόσωπον) + of man
     β  - man troubled (ταράσσω) + the face (πρόσωπον) + of axe (cf. "he does not sharpen its edge" from NASB translation of the Hebrew, MT)
     γ  - axe troubled (ταράσσω)  + the face (πρόσωπον) + of axe

Does αὐτός refer to man? And whose is the face?

billberg23

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Sorry, one question more:

- αὐτὸς πρόσωπον ἐτάραξεν means that:
     α  - man troubled (ταράσσω) + the face (πρόσωπον) + of man
     β  - man troubled (ταράσσω) + the face (πρόσωπον) + of axe (cf. "he does not sharpen its edge" from NASB translation of the Hebrew, MT)
     γ  - axe troubled (ταράσσω)  + the face (πρόσωπον) + of axe

Does αὐτός refer to man? And whose is the face?
This is a really interesting question.  Nowhere do I find that πρόσωπον can refer to the "face," or edge, of a blade.  Instead, it invariably refers to a countenance or aspect of a person (primarily) or a thing (occasionally).  Nor do I find that ταράσσω ("disturb," "agitate") anywhere means "sharpen" or "whet."  So I think the phrase must refer to the disturbance of a man's countenance (on discovering that the axe is blunt).  Here is a case where, if we had the Alexandrian Hebrew text, it would probably show a significant difference from the Masoretic Hebrew text.  And conceivably make more sense than the Masoretic text?
« Last Edit: 19 Jun, 2012, 08:48:53 by billberg23 »
Τί δέ τις; Τί δ' οὔ τις; Σκιᾶς ὄναρ ἄνθρωπος. — Πίνδαρος

luisffmendes

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I completely agree.

This verse shows that there must be a different text on the basis of the translation made by the 70. Even if we had not proven that archaeologically, we could see that here.

And I really think that the LXX makes more sense, although I realize the temptation to see here a blunt ax that should be polish. The difference seems to me to focus on the use of the term קלקל (to be slight, trifling or swift; polish) by the Hebrew (MT), because the term פָנִ֣ים ("not like פי, the edge, but the front, face" - Keil & Del.) seems to be adequately conveyed to πρόσωπον.

Thank you for your time and accurate commentaries...

billberg23

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Τί δέ τις; Τί δ' οὔ τις; Σκιᾶς ὄναρ ἄνθρωπος. — Πίνδαρος