Abarim Publications' online Biblical Hebrew Dictionary
It's not clear what the curious root כסל (kasal) may actually mean. Some scholars think it started out with a meaning of to be thick or plump, but here at Abarim Publications we doubt that. Being thick, fat or heavy have positive connotations in Hebrew whereas our verb כסל (kasal) is decidedly negative.
From what we can tell from its sole occurrence in Jeremiah 10:8 and the extant derivatives it seems to us here that this root talks about being an invertebrate blubbering, boneless mass: areas of the body that are held together by skin but not by a skeletal structure and which have no muscles to do any work beyond serving as isolation.
Intellectually this root describes pareidolia: a huge amount of observations that are not related by any verifiable theoretic structure and only kept together by the insistent "belief" of the observer, and which can't be translated into any kind of technology that would help mankind along.
The derivatives of this verb are:
- The masculine noun כסל (kesel), meaning loins (Job 15:27, Leviticus 3:4), stupidity (Ecclesiastes 7:25, Psalm 49:13), or confidence (Job 31:24, Proverbs 3:26).
- The feminine noun כסלה (kisla), meaning stupidity (Psalm 85:8), or confidence (Job 4:6).
- The masculine noun כסיל (kesil), meaning fool or dullard (Psalm 49:10, Proverbs 1:22).
- The identical masculine word כסיל (kesil), meaning either the constellations in general, or more specific the constellation Orion. Perhaps as a response to the mythology of the surrounding nations, Egypt for instance, the Hebrew word for Orion (Chesil) is exactly the same as the Hebrew word for fool.
- The feminine noun כסילות (kesilut), meaning stupidity (Proverbs 9:13 only).
Note that stellar constellations exist only in man's imagination, and are entirely equal to faces we see in clouds, conspiracies we see in unrelated events, or pseudo-scientific and religious theories we derive from otherwise explicable observations. Equating astrology's most signature stellar constellation with the word for fool clearly reveals the very nature of the means with which the Hebrews acquired and maintained their reality model.