The word hevel, moreover, resembles a number of Hebrew roots clearly dealing with demise over time: “And we all do wither (navel) as a leaf” (Isaiah 64:5); “They shall perish…all of them shall wear out (yivlu)… and they shall pass” (Psalms 102:27); “And your dead shall live; corpses (nevelati) shall arise… (Isaiah 26:19). This root, moreover, finds cognates in Old South Arabian, where blwt is “grave”; the Ugaritic bly and the Ethopic balya (“to be consumed”); and the Akkadian balu (“to fade, pass away”). Cf. Cyrus H. Gordon, Ugaritic Textbook, entry #471; ZAW 75:307; Ludwig Koehler and Walter Baumgartner, The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament (Boston: Brill, 2001), p. 132.
Ethan Dor-Shav, “Ecclesiastes, Fleeting and Timeless”, Azure No. 18 (Autumn 2004), 83, n. 19.