5 Now no shrub of the field had yet grown on the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground. 6 Springs would well up from the earth and water the whole surface of the ground. 7 The Lord God formed the man from the soil of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. 8 The Lord God planted an orchard in the east, in Eden; and there he placed the man he had formed. 9 The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow from the soil, every tree that was pleasing to look at and good for food. (Now the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil were in the middle of the orchard.)
5 and they are afraid of heights and the dangers in the street; the almond blossoms grow white, and the grasshopper drags itself along, and the caper berry shrivels up—because man goes to his eternal home, and the mourners go about in the streets— 6 before the silver cord is removed, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is shattered at the well, or the water wheel is broken at the cistern— 7 and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the life’s breath returns to God who gave it. 8 “Absolutely futile!” laments the Teacher, “All these things are futile!” 9 Not only was the Teacher wise, but he also taught knowledge to the people; he carefully evaluated and arranged many proverbs.
Notes and References
"... If we take Genesis 3:19 and Ecclesiastes 3:20, the first stage would be to identify whether “dust to dust” is a citation; the second whether its potential source is Genesis and whether Genesis was known to Qohelet’s audience; third, to identify thematic connections such as mortality and human origins which are important issues in both texts. The last stage would be to analyse other thematic elements in Genesis that might help us to establish a cognitive environment that enables us to arrive at a richer understanding of Ecclesiastes. As noted above, the diverse books of the Bible cite other biblical books in a variety of ways. It was also noted that establishing the existence of the citation, allusion or echo must be done with care. It will be argued below that Ecclesiastes reuses the language of Genesis 3 and 4 for its own ends. Lexicographic citations, the use of common words, are among the most difficult to substantiate and the reuse of relatively common words is insufficient to demonstrate dependency, though clusters of common language, such as we find in Ecclesiastes and Genesis, may be sufficient to demonstrate a link ..."
Moxham, Ray Qohelet's Fall: The Use of Genesis 2-4 in the Book of Ecclesiastes (pp. 35-36) University of Otago, New Zealand, 2015
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