Thursday, January 21, 2016

Cometh the Words Cometh the Idea

Yesterday, 20 January 2009 was the date of Inauguration of President Obama. For some of us euphoria reigned. Hope sprang! Part of my post for that day included thoughts on a phrase I've often pondered: "Cometh the hour, cometh the man". There's more than a whiff of a "fated coming" embedded in the phrase, though realistically, I guess the idea could be turned around to be proclaiming "cometh an opportunity there'll always be someone around to take it".

Sir Winston Churchill "cameth" when his country needed him most, as did Abraham Lincoln, George Washington - the right men for the jobs, and the times. With hindsight, throughout history many such men and women can be identified as popping up at exactly the right time, with exactly the right combination of talent and character.

My 2009 meanderings on the source of the phrase "cometh the hour, cometh the man" led me to find that the source of the exact phrase is yet to be discovered. The early 19th century writings of Sir Walter Scott contain a near match - in the novel Guy Mannering these words appear: "Because the Hour's come, and the Man" in the first edition, and in the magnum opus edition that Scott supervised in his last years, the phrase is emphasized by putting it in italics. A similar phrase appears in another of Scott's novels. Guy Mannering, by the way was an astrologer. The secondary title of Scott's novel was The Astrologer.

Later novelists and writers picked up the idea - for example:

Harriet Martineau wrote The Hour and the Man: An Historical Romance (1839), a three-volume novel about the Haitian slave leader Toussaint L'Ouverture, who contributed to the island nation's gaining independence in 1804.

American William Yancey said about Jefferson Davis, President-elect of the Confederacy in 1861: "The man and the hour have met".

In P.G. Wodehouse's Aunts Aren't Gentlemen: "And the hour ... produced the man."

Having given some more thought to the phrase's original source, I now suspect there is none - at least not of the phrase in its current form. I think biblical references must have been the original source of the idea behind the phrase.

King James Bible
Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come.
John 7:30

Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.
Luke 12:40

But the hour is coming, and now is...
John 4:23-24

So, though there's no evidence who was first to combine the idea of a man and "his hour", it'd be a good bet that whoever first did so was strongly influenced by biblical style, and especially by the mention of a Saviour and a "fated" hour.


mike said...

It seems that demons arrive at the appointed hour, else to explain the likes of little Bush and big daddy Cheney, et al? There is a time for everything.

Sonny G said...

there's certainly no doubt of the age old patriarchal mindset. much as some say its been changing, I think NOT.

Perhaps one day the time, words and ideas will cometh from the Woman.

as has been discussed here many times, astrology seems to appear more correct in retrospect:)
after someone or something occurs- its easy to look back and say Oh yes, it was because of this planet in this house at this degree:-)
as for the future all we can ever do is plan for the worst and hope for the best and always wonder , what could have been.

Twilight said...

mike ~ I guess so. And that idea cameth from the bible too. We had this passage read to us regularly at morning assembly back in schooldays, aeons ago:

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
(Ecclesiastes 3 King James Version)

Later on somebody wrote a song about it too: "Turn, turn, turn".

I'm not much on religion but admit that words from the bible can be, as they say on this continent "kind of neat". ;-)

Twilight said...

Sonny ~ I never take the word "man" to be exclusively male - I take it as a shortened version of "human". In this case, if the words were inspired by phrases from the bible, relating to Eastern countries and Jesus Christ, male was embedded in the original thought.

Words have cometh from a few women in history, and in the bible (Song of Deborah springs to mind). Some women's words and actions have been as dangerous as those from any man. Let us not overlook that! We're slowly moving in the right direction now, but I will never support just any women, just because she's a woman. That way lies disaster (Maggie Thatcher taught me that much).

mike (again) said...

From Wiki:
"The song was first released by the folk group The Limeliters on their 1962 album Folk Matinee, under the title 'To Everything There Is a Season'."!_Turn!_Turn!

Is Ecclesiastes 3, King James Version, an astrological metaphor?
"It is unfortunate that most people have an opinion, even a judgment about subjects that they have not really looked into. So much harm has been done by people throughout history who have not taken the time to find the truth themselves, but have relied on other opinions and beliefs. Also, it is so very important that you get a recent Bible translation from the original Aramaic text such as the Revised English Bible (Oxford University Press) which is the most accurate and current translation, or the New American Bible (Collins World). So many other Bibles including the King James Version were translated from the Greek translations of the old text and unfortunately, the Greeks mistranslated quite a few words. I only ask that with God's guidance you read the following passages and reflect on their meaning and symbolism. These are just a few:

Genesis 1:14
'Then God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to separate the day from the night; and Let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.' (It is the path of the earth around the Sun called the ecliptic, which is the plane of signs of the Zodiac, seasons, and what years are measured by.)

In Deuteronomy 18:9-14, the passage most quoted as opposing Astrology, there is no mention of Astrology or signs in any translation.It is only the King James Version, and not the Later and more accurate translations of the Bible that mentions 'keepers of times.' For those that adhere to the King James Version the phrase, 'keepers of time,' is in exact contradiction to Ecclesiastes 3:1-15
'For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the sun.'"

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ I've never heard of the writer on your linked website (Signe Quinn Taff), but she does appear to consider herself an expert. Anyway, King James version of the bible will do for me, as I don't consider anything in the book to be factual, its translation is a matter of taste - a bit like the various translations of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. :-)

I like the way the King James version sounds in the Ecclesiastes 3 quote. I do think there are astrological metaphors to be found in the bible, but then one could probably find unintentional astrological metaphor in many classical novels or writings if so inclined. It's just that some of us would like to think that in biblical times (Old Testament) they knew something then that we don't know now, and metaphor was intentional.

Am I now accidentally sliding into mention of that possible new planet in the news yesterday? Best not say that other "N" word though, the Sitchin one. ;-) Didn't the Sumerians know something then that we don't know now? Maybe are about to get to know it now.

mike (again) said...

Yes, it's taken a while for the science to catch-up to Sitchen. My mother was a BIG fan of Sitchin's writings...she sent me the "Lost Book of Enki" that I'd better dust-off and peruse...maybe delve deeper into Sitchen's other writtings...LOL. A number of scientists have proposed that the skies of the ancients may have been much different than they appear to us now, due to some celestial event(s) not evident in modern history. The dynamic battles and chariots of the gods that are described in many unrelated, ancient writings from around the world, as well as our classical mythology, may have origins in actual events...perhaps planet #9's 10,000 to 20,000 year, solar orbit has something to do with it all. Should planet #9 exist, it would be way beyond the astrological notion of generational influencing...more like millenniums...more like what we currently define as "The Age of _____". The scientific models of the orbits indicate that it is there, just a matter of finding it. Planet #9's extensive orbit is now known and it's thought that within five years the sighting will manifest. Hope it's far, far away! Considering that the ancients may have been on to something and it may concur with #9, the number of years from then to now would indicate it isn't that far away and is approaching the Sun as I type...LOL.

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ I don't know whether you've seen this old post

The Sitchin stuff and some bits of the Old Testament and the "books" not included in the Old Testament, have long held a strange fascination for me, without my being completely convinced about any of it. As I wrote in a conversation with a commenter at the linked post "these types of authors [incl. Sitchin] ought to make it clearer [or come clean] that what they are doing, really, is fantasising, using a few facts as a starting point."

It's those few facts that are, or ought to be, the real fascination!

Yes, my first thought with regard to #9 and astrology was - it cannot be relevant to anything in personal or mundane astrology, orbit too darn long! I suppose it'd be mildly interesting to know where it has been coinciding with a zodiac sign in our known history so far. The distances are just so vast - to parody anyjazz's "I get a nosebleed over $1,000" - I get a brain fuzz outside of Pluto! ;-)

mike (again) said...

No, I hadn't read that post...thanks. Alien visitations, archangels, giants, Atlantis, reptile-bird-amphibian-humans, the great war of the heavens, etc...mind twirling and completely fascinating! All of the written hand-me-downs are filtered through the usurping religious doctrines over extensive eras (what could go wrong with that process?). There are too many surviving structures built with advanced engineering, earth sculptures, and various, mysterious archaeological artifacts that suggest there was something more happening in our past, and these surviving indicators only go back a few thousand years.

I don't believe in the god-view that various religious scriptures archangels, god's war, etc for me. Aliens?...much more likely, as is perturbations caused by inter-planetary events.

BTW - "11. Shamshiel: taught the signs of the Sun."...should be SONGS of the Sun.

And - Planet #9 should really be referred as #10, assuming Earth is planet #3.

mike (again) said...

A "Bernie Cash" T-shirt that would look stunning on both you and anyjazz...$5 goes to Bernie's campaign:

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ Lots of tempting mysteries and rabbit holes to investigate. We'll never know the reality, so there's lots of room for speculation! I do think there's much more exciting stuff in our distant past than the small amount of which we're currently aware.

"Songs" or "signs" of the Sun- either is good for me!

I suppose we'll be stuck with whatever number astronomers put on this new body - if they ever do get to see it through their powerful telescopes.

Ew ew ew... that tee shirt isn't worthy of Bernie! I've sent him several modest donations over the past months, and have a Bernie lapel badge I wear whenever I'm wearing something I can fix it to. :-)