[Milton-L] "due at their hour" PL 10.93

Horace Jeffery Hodges jefferyhodges at yahoo.com
Wed Mar 14 14:39:09 EDT 2007


I'd never noticed that Genesis 3.8 says "le-ruach ha-yom," literally, "the spirit/wind of the day." I  presume that the expression "the cool of the day" is an idiomatic translation, for I didn't find "cool" for "ruach" in my Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament.
   
  Here's an unscholarly-looking website that compares Genesis 3.8 with Genesis 18.1:
   
  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  http://net.bible.org/dictionary.php?word=Afternoon
   
  AFTERNOON - af-ter-noon' (neToth ha-yom, "the declining of the day"; Jdg 19:8 the King James Version): The expression kechom ha-yom, "in the heat of the day" (Gen 18:1) refers to the early afternoon when the sun is a little past its zenith, its rays still being very strong. The phrase le-ruach ha-yom, "in the cool of the day" (Gen 3:8) is in contrast to the last phrase and points to the late afternoon; in the Orient a cooling breeze arises at this period of the day, and it is then that much of the day's business is transacted.
  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   
  No lexical sources are given, so take the above with a grain of salt, but the reasoning sounds reasonable.
   
  Jeffery Hodges
  

ms493101 at ohio.edu wrote:
  Dear Carl,

Interestingly, the 1560 Geneva, 1558 Bishop's Bible, the 1540 Great Bible, and 
the 1611 Authorized Version all refer to this as "the cool of the day" at 
Genesis 3:8. The 1610 Duoay-Rheims, while stopping short of naming the exact 
hour, renders it as "the afternoon air." Literally, the Hebrew here (ru'ach) 
could be translated as "spirit" or "wind" or "breath" of the day. Sounds 
refreshing enough.

Contast this period of the day with Genesis 18:1 where Abraham's visitors were 
said to come "in the very heat of the day." 

At any rate, I don't think you are going too far by suggesting that this refers 
to a specific time of day.

Cheers,

Matthew Stallard
Ohio University
Department of English Language and Literature


Quoting carl bellinger :

> Dear scholars,
> 
> Looking at PL 9.93... Was there by convention a specific "hour" of
> the 
> clock when, the "gentle Aires [are] due ... to fan the Earth?" The
> language 
> might seem to suggest a specific hour of the day, but perhaps I'm
> reading 
> too closely:
> 
> 92: Now was the Sun in Western cadence low
> 93: From Noon, and gentle Aires due at thir hour
> 
> The ancient Christian service of vespers has "Now that we come to the
> 
> setting of the sun and our eyes behold the vesper light," and
> although I 
> doubt Milton here is making any kind of liturgical reference, the
> passage 
> might represent [but that's my question] some at least psychological
> if not 
> mystical convention.
> 
> The whole ten line context is thick with terms and notions relating
> to time; 
> please see below. Why such a concentration of chronological interest
> at this 
> point in PL?
> 
> Thanks -Carl
> 
> * The word "now" appears three times.
> * There is "sun" and "noon" and "eavning;"
> * there is "low" [of th sun] and "western cadence" [whatever
> "cadence" may 
> denote (?) it (also) suggests timing issues of a more or less precise
> 
> nature];
> * there is "due at thir hour," and "now wak'd."
> * Finally, there is "Time" itself; and the _only_ reference in PL to
> 
> "minutes."
> * The collocation of "western cadence" and "gentle aires" is
> revisited at 
> the close in "soft windes" and "day declin'd."
> 
> PL Book 9:
> 92: ____________________; the speed of Gods
> 91: Time counts not, though with swiftest minutes wing'd.
> 92: Now was the Sun in Western cadence low
> 93: From Noon, and gentle Aires due at thir hour
> 94: To fan the Earth now wak'd, and usher in
> 95: The Eevning coole when he from wrauth more coole
> 96: Came the mild Judge and Intercessor both
> 97: To sentence Man: the voice of God they heard
> 98: Now walking in the Garden, by soft windes
> 99: Brought to thir Ears, while day declin'd, 
> 
> 
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University Degrees:

Ph.D., History, U.C. Berkeley
(Doctoral Thesis: "Food as Synecdoche in John's Gospel and Gnostic Texts")
M.A., History of Science, U.C. Berkeley
B.A., English Language and Literature, Baylor University

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