From Atschft. fur Alg. Biblfschng.

Verse 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.

In 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.

Grosskopf, 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.

"Went 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.

"Fetch" 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.

Great 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.)

(N.B. 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 therein.)

Author unknown
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.