4Q184

28 09 2008

Thinking, as I am, of 4Q184 (I do so from time to time), I thought that I might take this opportunity to share an observation of mine in relation to this text. Lines 8 and 9 feature the following couplet:

הוי הוה לכול נוחליה ושדדה לכ[ול] תומכי בה
כיא דרכיה דרכי מות ואורחותיה שבילי חטאת

“Alas! She is a misfortune to a[ll] who inherit her and a calamity to all who grasp her;
For her ways are ways of death and her paths are tracks of sin.”

This is a very beautiful chiastic inversion of Proverbs 3:17-18:

דרכיה דרכי נעם וכל נתיבותיה שלום
עץ חיים היא למחזיקים בה ותמכיה מאשר

“Her ways are ways of pleasantness and all her paths are peace;
She is a tree of life to those who grasp her and those who hold her are fortunate.”

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