JACK and JILL
EXEGESIS OF JACK AND JILL
From Atschft. fur Alg. Biblfschng.
l: "Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water." The word
"and" presents some difficulties which are not apparent to the casual
reader. There is considerable doubt in the minds of most scholars as to
whether Jack was actually accompanied by Jill, in the sense that the
phrase is intended to record an historical event.
the setting out upon this expedition which was apparently undertaken
for a specific purpose, or, at least, with some definite object in
mind, it seems likely that Jack was stimulated to undertake this
mission by a basic need for water. Since most functions in the home
involving water, such as cooking, washing clothes, scrubbing floors,
etc., are normally undertaken by the distaff side, it is widely held
that the force of "and" in this context probably means that Jack set
out with a strong picture image of Jill in his mind, and several
existentialist scholars also insist that her parting words were
undoubtedly ringing in his ears.
in his monumental essay entitled "Jackmitjilldamrotarung," takes a
contrary view. He dates this passage considerably earlier than is
generally believed (somewhere between 404 B.C. and the 19th amendment).
On this basis he maintains that the hewing of wood and the drawing of
water were exclusively carried on by women at this period, and that the
words "Jack and" are a gloss by some later copyist, and did not appear
in the original manuscripts.
up the hill" is obviously allegorical. The ancients, although probably
ignorant of Otis' First Law of Evaluation ("What goes up must come
down") were well aware that the transfer of water by artificial means
normally involves transportation from an inferior to a superior
position (e.g., The old Oaken bucket, Down by the old Mill stream,
etc.). Professor Gard de l'Eau, the distinguished hydrographer and
mystic, suggests that this anabasis symbolizes man's struggle to rise
nearer to ultimate unity with the cosmic. The water, he continues, has
precisely the same symbolism as the crossing of the Red Sea, the
Jordan, Lindbergh's trip across the Atlantic, and the landing on Omaha
Beach in World War II, with which everyone is familiar.
in the original was probably "carry." This transposition of meanings
indicates editorial alteration of the text during the Irrational
Period. As H. O. Cuspocus, Professor of Tautology at the University of
Bologna, states, "La Donna a mobile, quai piuma la Viants." In other
words, "Iffa da water she's atta da bottom of da hill, she wanta da
water atta da top." This, we submit, is a conclusive argument.
care must be exercised in interpreting the word "pail." Some
authorities on Centic history maintain that there is an allusion here
to the twelfth century Pale. This is borne out by the disastrous ending
of the pericope ("Jack fell down and broke his crown..." et seq).
"Beyond the Pale...chaos," writes Sean O'Gobragh in the only part of
his commentary which has thus far been translated from the Gaelic.
(So much for verse 1 ... now you take it from there.)
Of course, it is to be remembered, that the infallibility claimed for
this passage does not apply to the text, but to the truth contained
This item was sent to Investigator by a subscriber in the USA in 1992.
It apparently makes fun of sect-leaders and theologians who read dubious/pedantic details into the Bible.