Ecclesiastes 6:1tn The word “weighs” does not appear in Hebrew, but is added in the translation for smoothness.
Ecclesiastes 6:1tnHeb “it is great upon men.” The phrase וְרַבָּה הִיא עַל־הָאָדָם (verabbah hiʾ ʿal-haʾadam) is taken in two basic ways: (1) commonality: “it is common among men” (KJV, MLB), “it is prevalent among men” (NASB), “that is frequent among men” (Douay). (2) oppressiveness: “it lies heavy upon men” (RSV, NRSV), “it weighs heavily upon men” (NEB, NAB, NIV), “it presses heavily on men” (Moffatt), “it is heavy upon men” (ASV), and “a grave one it is for man” (NJPS). The preposition עַל (ʿal, “upon”) argues against the first in favor of the second; the notion of commonality would be denoted by the preposition ב (bet, “among”). The singular noun אָדָם (ʾadam) is used as a collective, denoting “men.” The article on הָאָדָם (haʾadam) is used in a generic sense referring to humankind as a whole; the generic article is often used with a collective singular (IBHS 244 §13.5.1f).
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