Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Isaiah 38

Well, here's a surprise. Hezekiah is one who really prays. The historian in Kings and Chronicles does not record a prayer, just the judgment of the king's self-centred attitude toward his own remaining time, but the prophet records the prayer and it is tender-hearted and the king like other prayers in the Bible switches from third to second person in mid thought. This is the simple turning that I have written of before. It is not repentance or any complex psychological movement. It is a very simple turn from self to other, that other presence that is always in the present for us.

Here also is a metaphor of exile from self, where self is represented as 'my generation'. One might see verse 12 as a meditation on body as tent, a place where the 'I' is tended, as a shepherd tends a sheep. This is followed by a metaphor of weaving. So the king speaks in poetry. This prayer is hard to render. Some words are rare and the context demands something more creative for the metaphor or simile implied in the prayer.

I reviewed some of this with the Jerusalem Bible who are happy to correct the Hebrew from the Greek or other sources and conjectures. For verse 16 their note is: the Hebrew is unintelligible. Does every prayer have to be formed in sentences? Is Hezekiah writing literature? Or is this a hesitant, dismal, inarticulate, searching, guilty human, who does not make sense without a certain senselessness? It's part of the puzzle that some bits are unintelligible and some bits are lost under the chesterfield.

Sometimes I cannot tell what the root is or the sense. For example in verse 12, is מדלה from דל, דלל, or דלה. I chose to ignore the weakness guess and picked lattice from the Song of Songs, 'cause I think Hezekiah got Yahweh's attention with this simple turn of his. It's equally curious that some of these sentences are phrased as Hezekiah's actions and some translations turn them around and make them Yahweh's actions. That may be missing the whole point of the mysterious relationship between G-d and the human whereby G-d takes on our weakness (דל) in our lattice and its portals (דלה). Here there is a direct word relationship to Psalm 91 in the use of a rare word, attach oneself to another (perhaps a metaphor related to the building of the court in Exodus 27).

I tested Psalms 90 and 91 and found more than 30% shared words with the prayer. There are several resonances with several psalms according to JB, but they seem to match some by 'concept' only. The 'word based' resonances are worth a separate post and could probably be a doctoral thesis - no time for it now. What it says is that the king was aware of the relational aspects of the psalms from their liturgical usage and it would seem he was a musician himself.

When you put a puzzle together, sometimes the colour of a piece does not match its surroundings, but you don't notice and perhaps it fits adequately for the moment. Such is the case in many places of this puzzle for me, I am sure. My mother told me that she had read the Bible through cover to cover twice. (Dear mum, more to learn.) I will count myself lucky if I get through it once in my lifetime.

We should have a fig tree.

Isaiah 38
בַּיָּמִ֣ים הָהֵ֔ם חָלָ֥ה חִזְקִיָּ֖הוּ לָמ֑וּת
וַיָּב֣וֹא אֵ֠לָיו יְשַׁעְיָ֨הוּ בֶן־אָמ֜וֹץ הַנָּבִ֗יא וַיֹּ֨אמֶר אֵלָ֜יו כֹּֽה־אָמַ֤ר יְהוָה֙ צַ֣ו לְבֵיתֶ֔ךָ כִּ֛י מֵ֥ת אַתָּ֖ה וְלֹ֥א תִֽחְיֶֽה
1 In days those Hezekiah was ill to the point of death,
and Isaiah child of Amoz the prophet came to him saying to him, Thus says Yahweh, Set in order your house for you will die and not live.
13
38
וַיַּסֵּ֧ב חִזְקִיָּ֛הוּ פָּנָ֖יו אֶל־הַקִּ֑יר
וַיִּתְפַּלֵּ֖ל אֶל־יְהוָֽה
2 And Hezekiah turned his face around to the house wall,
and he prayed to Yahweh.
12
7
וַיֹּאמַ֗ר אָנָּ֤ה יְהוָה֙ זְכָר־נָ֞א אֵ֣ת אֲשֶׁ֧ר הִתְהַלַּ֣כְתִּי לְפָנֶ֗יךָ בֶּֽאֱמֶת֙ וּבְלֵ֣ב שָׁלֵ֔ם וְהַטּ֥וֹב בְּעֵינֶ֖יךָ עָשִׂ֑יתִי
וַיֵּ֥בְךְּ חִזְקִיָּ֖הוּ בְּכִ֥י גָדֽוֹל
3 And he said, Beseeching, Yahweh, remember, if you will, that I walked in your presence in truth and with a heart at peace, and what is good in your eyes I have done.
And Hezekiah wept, great weeping.
38
11
וַֽיְהִי֙ דְּבַר־יְהוָ֔ה אֶֽל־יְשַׁעְיָ֖הוּ לֵאמֹֽר 4 And the word of Yahweh happened to Isaiah, saying, 13
הָל֞וֹךְ וְאָמַרְתָּ֣ אֶל־חִזְקִיָּ֗הוּ כֹּֽה־אָמַ֤ר יְהוָה֙ אֱלֹהֵי֙ דָּוִ֣ד אָבִ֔יךָ שָׁמַ֙עְתִּי֙ אֶת־תְּפִלָּתֶ֔ךָ רָאִ֖יתִי אֶת־דִּמְעָתֶ֑ךָ
הִנְנִי֙ יוֹסִ֣ף עַל־יָמֶ֔יךָ חֲמֵ֥שׁ עֶשְׂרֵ֖ה שָׁנָֽה
5 Go and say to Hezekiah, Thus says Yahweh, the God of David your father, I have heard your prayer. I have seen your tears.
Note me well adding to your days a fifteen year span.
41
14
וּמִכַּ֤ף מֶֽלֶךְ־אַשּׁוּר֙ אַצִּ֣ילְךָ֔ וְאֵ֖ת הָעִ֣יר הַזֹּ֑את
וְגַנּוֹתִ֖י עַל־הָעִ֥יר הַזֹּֽאת
6 And from the palm of the king of Ashur I will deliver you and this city.
I will defend this city.
16
9
וְזֶה־לְּךָ֥ הָא֖וֹת מֵאֵ֣ת יְהוָ֑ה
אֲשֶׁר֙ יַעֲשֶׂ֣ה יְהוָ֔ה אֶת־הַדָּבָ֥ר הַזֶּ֖ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר דִּבֵּֽר
7 And this to you is the sign from Yahweh,
that Yahweh will do this matter that he spoke.
10
17
הִנְנִ֣י מֵשִׁ֣יב אֶת־צֵ֣ל הַֽמַּעֲל֡וֹת אֲשֶׁ֣ר יָרְדָה֩ בְמַעֲל֨וֹת אָחָ֥ז בַּשֶּׁ֛מֶשׁ אֲחֹרַנִּ֖ית עֶ֣שֶׂר מַעֲל֑וֹת
וַתָּ֤שָׁב הַשֶּׁ֙מֶשׁ֙ עֶ֣שֶׂר מַעֲל֔וֹת בַּֽמַּעֲל֖וֹת אֲשֶׁ֥ר יָרָֽדָה
8 Note me well, reversing the shadow of the degrees that it had gone down on the degrees of Ahaz in the sun, backward ten degrees.
And the sun returned ten degrees by the degrees that it had gone down.
32
20
מִכְתָּ֖ב לְחִזְקִיָּ֣הוּ מֶֽלֶךְ־יְהוּדָ֑ה
בַּחֲלֹת֕וֹ וַיְחִ֖י מֵחָלְיֽוֹ
9 The writing of Hezekiah king of Judah,
in his illness, and he lived from his illness.
12
9
אֲנִ֣י אָמַ֗רְתִּי בִּדְמִ֥י יָמַ֛י אֵלֵ֖כָה בְּשַׁעֲרֵ֣י שְׁא֑וֹל
פֻּקַּ֖דְתִּי יֶ֥תֶר שְׁנוֹתָֽי
10 I, I said in the muting of my days, I will go to the gates of the grave,
officiating over the leftovers of my years.
18
8
אָמַ֙רְתִּי֙ לֹא־אֶרְאֶ֣ה יָ֔הּ יָ֖הּ בְּאֶ֣רֶץ הַחַיִּ֑ים
לֹא־אַבִּ֥יט אָדָ֛ם ע֖וֹד עִם־י֥וֹשְׁבֵי חָֽדֶל
11 I said, I will not see Yah, Yah in the land of the living.
I will no longer take note of humanity with the inhabitants of the finite.
14
10
דּוֹרִ֗י נִסַּ֧ע וְנִגְלָ֛ה מִנִּ֖י כְּאֹ֣הֶל רֹעִ֑י
קִפַּ֨דְתִּי כָאֹרֵ֤ג חַיַּי֙ מִדַּלָּ֣ה יְבַצְּעֵ֔נִי מִיּ֥וֹם עַד־לַ֖יְלָה תַּשְׁלִימֵֽנִי
12 My generation is pulled out and exiled from me as the tent of my tending.
I excise the warp, like the weaver of my life from her lattice. He will find my mark. From day until night will you make me whole?
14
24
שִׁוִּ֤יתִי עַד־בֹּ֙קֶר֙ כָּֽאֲרִ֔י כֵּ֥ן יְשַׁבֵּ֖ר כָּל־עַצְמוֹתָ֑י
מִיּ֥וֹם עַד־לַ֖יְלָה תַּשְׁלִימֵֽנִי
13 I conferred until morning. Like a lion indeed he breaks all my bones.
From day until night will you make me whole?
17
9
כְּס֤וּס עָגוּר֙ כֵּ֣ן אֲצַפְצֵ֔ף אֶהְגֶּ֖ה כַּיּוֹנָ֑ה
דַּלּ֤וּ עֵינַי֙ לַמָּר֔וֹם אֲדֹנָ֖י עָֽשְׁקָה־לִּ֥י עָרְבֵֽנִי
14 Like a horse? A thrush? Indeed I did twitter. I muttered like a dove.
My eyes are brought low from exaltation. My Lord, I am my oppression. Be my insurance.
13
16
מָֽה־אֲדַבֵּ֥ר וְאָֽמַר־לִ֖י וְה֣וּא עָשָׂ֑ה
אֶדַּדֶּ֥ה כָל־שְׁנוֹתַ֖י עַל־מַ֥ר נַפְשִֽׁי
15 What will I speak? And he say to me? And himself, he undertake?
I will go in solemnity all my years over the bitterness that is mine.
12
11
אֲדֹנָ֖י עֲלֵיהֶ֣ם יִֽחְי֑וּ
וּלְכָל־בָּהֶן֙ חַיֵּ֣י רוּחִ֔י וְתַחֲלִימֵ֖נִי וְהַחֲיֵֽנִי
16 My Lord, on them they will live,
and for all, in them is the life of my spirit, and you will make me dream and I will live.
8
19
הִנֵּ֥ה לְשָׁל֖וֹם מַר־לִ֣י מָ֑ר
וְאַתָּ֞ה חָשַׁ֤קְתָּ נַפְשִׁי֙ מִשַּׁ֣חַת בְּלִ֔י כִּ֥י הִשְׁלַ֛כְתָּ אַחֲרֵ֥י גֵוְךָ֖ כָּל־חֲטָאָֽי
17 Behold of peace, bitterness to me, bitterness.
But you, you have attached yourself to my being, impaired, worn out, for you have cast behind your back all my sin.
8
26
כִּ֣י לֹ֥א שְׁא֛וֹל תּוֹדֶ֖ךָּ מָ֣וֶת יְהַלְלֶ֑ךָּ
לֹֽא־יְשַׂבְּר֥וּ יֽוֹרְדֵי־ב֖וֹר אֶל־אֲמִתֶּֽךָ
18 For the grave will not thank you, death praise you,
Those going down into a pit will not inspect your truth.
13
12
חַ֥י חַ֛י ה֥וּא יוֹדֶ֖ךָ כָּמ֣וֹנִי הַיּ֑וֹם
אָ֣ב לְבָנִ֔ים יוֹדִ֖יעַ אֶל־אֲמִתֶּֽךָ
19 One who lives, one who lives, he will give you thanks, like me today.
Father to children will make known your truth.
11
12
יְהוָ֖ה לְהוֹשִׁיעֵ֑נִי
וּנְגִנוֹתַ֧י נְנַגֵּ֛ן כָּל־יְמֵ֥י חַיֵּ֖ינוּ עַל־בֵּ֥ית יְהוָֽה
20 Yahweh to save me,
and my accompaniments we will perform all the days of our life over the house of Yahweh.
7
17
וַיֹּ֣אמֶר יְשַׁעְיָ֔הוּ יִשְׂא֖וּ דְּבֶ֣לֶת תְּאֵנִ֑ים
וְיִמְרְח֥וּ עַֽל־הַשְּׁחִ֖ין וְיֶֽחִי
21 And Isaiah said, Take a pressed lump of figs,
and apply it over the ulcer and he will live.
15
10
וַיֹּ֥אמֶר חִזְקִיָּ֖הוּ מָ֣ה א֑וֹת
כִּ֥י אֶעֱלֶ֖ה בֵּ֥ית יְהוָֽה
22 And Hezekiah said, What is a sign,
that I will ascend to the house of Yahweh?
9
7

Monday, August 29, 2016

Daniel 1

Finally I chose from the bottom of my list instead of the top. I was surprised that this chapter had as much done as it did, about 20% or so. It has a feel like the historical books, but the common words with Kings and Chronicles are 1 and 2 at a time rather than larger phrases. Still this first chapter is Hebrew with a few Persian loan-words. And it's the beginning of that favorite story of Shradak, Meshak, and to-bed-you-go.

Daniel still at the bottom of my list has a middle section that is not in Hebrew (chapters 2 to 7). These still show as below 5% guessed. The other chapters are in the 10 to 30% range.

I haven't read Daniel much since the children were young 40 years ago. I never delved into it for magical predictions. The concept was kept on my periphery, (he said using the divine passive).

So here's the first chapter in my ever-so-slightly-awkward rendering. There is a multi-level chain of command here to be noted: the king, overlord, official, custodian, and Daniel has an 'in' with 'the official' that even allows him to instruct the custodian.

Prove, is not in the sense of mathematics but in the same sense as tempt (Psalms 78.18, 41, 56; 95.9, 106.14) or try out (1 Samuel 17.39). It is distinguished from test. I see I have used try also as distinguished from try out. Changed it while I still can. It is getting increasingly more difficult to comb the hair on this puzzle.

Daniel 1
בִּשְׁנַ֣ת שָׁל֔וֹשׁ לְמַלְכ֖וּת יְהוֹיָקִ֣ים מֶֽלֶךְ־יְהוּדָ֑ה
בָּ֣א נְבוּכַדְנֶאצַּ֧ר מֶֽלֶךְ־בָּבֶ֛ל יְרוּשָׁלִַ֖ם וַיָּ֥צַר עָלֶֽיהָ
1 In the year third of the reign of Jehoiachim king of Judah,
Nebuchadnezzar king of Babel came to Jerusalem and laid siege to her.
16
20
וַיִּתֵּן֩ אֲדֹנָ֨י בְּיָד֜וֹ אֶת־יְהוֹיָקִ֣ים מֶֽלֶךְ־יְהוּדָ֗ה וּמִקְצָת֙ כְּלֵ֣י בֵית־הָֽאֱלֹהִ֔ים וַיְבִיאֵ֥ם אֶֽרֶץ־שִׁנְעָ֖ר בֵּ֣ית אֱלֹהָ֑יו
וְאֶת־הַכֵּלִ֣ים הֵבִ֔יא בֵּ֖ית אוֹצַ֥ר אֱלֹהָֽיו
2 And my Lord gave into his hand Jehoiachim king of Judah and a part of the instruments of the house of God. And he brought them to the land of Shinar to the house of his God,
and the vessels he brought into the house of the treasury of his God.
40
13
וַיֹּ֣אמֶר הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ לְאַשְׁפְּנַ֖ז רַ֣ב סָרִיסָ֑יו
לְהָבִ֞יא מִבְּנֵ֧י יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל וּמִזֶּ֥רַע הַמְּלוּכָ֖ה וּמִן־הַֽפַּרְתְּמִֽים
3 And the king said to Ashpenaz, overlord of his eunuchs,
to bring from the children of Israel and from the seed of the kingdom and from the patricians,
14
21
יְלָדִ֣ים אֲשֶׁ֣ר אֵֽין־בָּהֶ֣ם כָּל־מוּם֩ וְטוֹבֵ֨י מַרְאֶ֜ה וּמַשְׂכִּילִ֣ים בְּכָל־חָכְמָ֗ה וְיֹ֤דְעֵי דַ֙עַת֙ וּמְבִינֵ֣י מַדָּ֔ע וַאֲשֶׁר֙ כֹּ֣חַ בָּהֶ֔ם לַעֲמֹ֖ד בְּהֵיכַ֣ל הַמֶּ֑לֶךְ
וּֽלֲלַמְּדָ֥ם סֵ֖פֶר וּלְשׁ֥וֹן כַּשְׂדִּֽים
4 Juveniles whom in any, there is no spot, and of a good appearance, and insightful in all wisdom, and acquainted with knowledge, and of discerning from knowledge, and who had power in them to stand in the palace of the king,
so they could teach them the record and the tongue of the Chaldeans.
49
10
וַיְמַן֩ לָהֶ֨ם הַמֶּ֜לֶךְ דְּבַר־י֣וֹם בְּיוֹמ֗וֹ מִפַּת־בַּ֤ג הַמֶּ֙לֶךְ֙ וּמִיֵּ֣ין מִשְׁתָּ֔יו וּֽלְגַדְּלָ֖ם שָׁנִ֣ים שָׁל֑וֹשׁ
וּמִ֨קְצָתָ֔ם יַֽעַמְד֖וּ לִפְנֵ֥י הַמֶּֽלֶךְ
5 And the king appointed to them the wherewithal day by day from the king's rations, and from wine which he imbibed, so rearing them three years,
that at the limit they would stand in the presence of the king.
31
12
וַיְהִ֥י בָהֶ֖ם מִבְּנֵ֣י יְהוּדָ֑ה
דָּנִיֵּ֣אל חֲנַנְיָ֔ה מִֽישָׁאֵ֖ל וַעֲזַרְיָֽה
6 And among them were of the children of Judah,
Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.
9
14
וַיָּ֧שֶׂם לָהֶ֛ם שַׂ֥ר הַסָּרִיסִ֖ים שֵׁמ֑וֹת
וַיָּ֨שֶׂם לְדָֽנִיֵּ֜אל בֵּ֣לְטְשַׁאצַּ֗ר וְלַֽחֲנַנְיָה֙ שַׁדְרַ֔ךְ וּלְמִֽישָׁאֵ֣ל מֵישַׁ֔ךְ וְלַעֲזַרְיָ֖ה עֲבֵ֥ד נְגֽוֹ
7 And the official of the eunuchs defined for them names,
and he defined for Daniel, Belteshazzar, for Hananiah, Shadrak, for Mishael, Myshak, and for Azariah, AbedNego.
12
34
וַיָּ֤שֶׂם דָּנִיֵּאל֙ עַל־לִבּ֔וֹ אֲשֶׁ֧ר לֹֽא־יִתְגָּאַ֛ל בְּפַתְבַּ֥ג הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ וּבְיֵ֣ין מִשְׁתָּ֑יו
וַיְבַקֵּשׁ֙ מִשַּׂ֣ר הַסָּרִיסִ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֖ר לֹ֥א יִתְגָּאָֽל
8 But Daniel defined in his heart that not he would be sullied by the king's rations and by the wine which he imbibed
and he sought from the official of the eunuchs that he would not be sullied.
26
15
וַיִּתֵּ֤ן הָֽאֱלֹהִים֙ אֶת־דָּ֣נִיֵּ֔אל לְחֶ֖סֶד וּֽלְרַחֲמִ֑ים
לִפְנֵ֖י שַׂ֥ר הַסָּרִיסִֽים
9 And God gave Daniel to kindness and compassions,
in the presence of the official of the eunuchs.
19
7
וַיֹּ֜אמֶר שַׂ֤ר הַסָּרִיסִים֙ לְדָ֣נִיֵּ֔אל יָרֵ֤א אֲנִי֙ אֶת־אֲדֹנִ֣י הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ אֲשֶׁ֣ר מִנָּ֔ה אֶת־מַאֲכַלְכֶ֖ם וְאֶת־מִשְׁתֵּיכֶ֑ם
אֲשֶׁ֡ר לָמָּה֩ יִרְאֶ֨ה אֶת־פְּנֵיכֶ֜ם זֹֽעֲפִ֗ים מִן־הַיְלָדִים֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר כְּגִֽילְכֶ֔ם וְחִיַּבְתֶּ֥ם אֶת־רֹאשִׁ֖י לַמֶּֽלֶךְ
10 And the official of the eunuchs said to Daniel, I am fearful of my Lord the king who appointed your food and your beverage.
For what if should he see your faces more frail than the juveniles that are of your caliber, that you might endanger my head to the king?
38
32
וַיֹּ֥אמֶר דָּנִיֵּ֖אל אֶל־הַמֶּלְצַ֑ר
אֲשֶׁ֤ר מִנָּה֙ שַׂ֣ר הַסָּֽרִיסִ֔ים עַל־דָּנִיֵּ֣אל חֲנַנְיָ֔ה מִֽישָׁאֵ֖ל וַעֲזַרְיָֽה
11 And Daniel said to the custodian,
whom the official of the eunuchs had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,
11
24
נַס־נָ֥א אֶת־עֲבָדֶ֖יךָ יָמִ֣ים עֲשָׂרָ֑ה
וְיִתְּנוּ־לָ֜נוּ מִן־הַזֵּרֹעִ֛ים וְנֹאכְלָ֖ה וּמַ֥יִם וְנִשְׁתֶּֽה
12 Prove, please, your servants ten days,
and let them give to us from the vegetables, and we will eat, and water, and we will imbibe.
12
17
וְיֵרָא֤וּ לְפָנֶ֙יךָ֙ מַרְאֵ֔ינוּ וּמַרְאֵה֙ הַיְלָדִ֔ים הָאֹ֣כְלִ֔ים אֵ֖ת פַּתְבַּ֣ג הַמֶּ֑לֶךְ
וְכַאֲשֶׁ֣ר תִּרְאֵ֔ה עֲשֵׂ֖ה עִם־עֲבָדֶֽיךָ
13 Then let our appearances be seen in your presence, and the appearance of the juveniles who are eating the rations of the king,
and as you see, deal with your servants.
26
13
וַיִּשְׁמַ֥ע לָהֶ֖ם לַדָּבָ֣ר הַזֶּ֑ה
וַיְנַסֵּ֖ם יָמִ֥ים עֲשָׂרָֽה
14 And he heard them in this matter,
and he proved them ten days.
10
8
וּמִקְצָת֙ יָמִ֣ים עֲשָׂרָ֔ה נִרְאָ֤ה מַרְאֵיהֶם֙ ט֔וֹב וּבְרִיאֵ֖י בָּשָׂ֑ר
מִן־כָּל־הַיְלָדִ֔ים הָאֹ֣כְלִ֔ים אֵ֖ת פַּתְבַּ֥ג הַמֶּֽלֶךְ
15 And at the limit of ten days their appearances were seen finer and firmer of flesh,
than all the juveniles eating the rations of the king.
19
14
וַיְהִ֣י הַמֶּלְצַ֗ר נֹשֵׂא֙ אֶת־פַּתְבָּגָ֔ם וְיֵ֖ין מִשְׁתֵּיהֶ֑ם
וְנֹתֵ֥ן לָהֶ֖ם זֵרְעֹנִֽים
16 So it was that the custodian took away their rations and the wine they were to imbibe,
and gave them vegetables.
16
8
וְהַיְלָדִ֤ים הָאֵ֙לֶּה֙ אַרְבַּעְתָּ֔ם נָתַ֨ן לָהֶ֧ם הָֽאֱלֹהִ֛ים מַדָּ֥ע וְהַשְׂכֵּ֖ל בְּכָל־סֵ֣פֶר וְחָכְמָ֑ה
וְדָנִיֵּ֣אל הֵבִ֔ין בְּכָל־חָז֖וֹן וַחֲלֹמֽוֹת
17 And these four juveniles, God gave to them knowledge and insight in all the record, and wisdom.
And Daniel had understanding in all vision and dreams.
30
15
וּלְמִקְצָת֙ הַיָּמִ֔ים אֲשֶׁר־אָמַ֥ר הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ לַהֲבִיאָ֑ם
וַיְבִיאֵם֙ שַׂ֣ר הַסָּרִיסִ֔ים לִפְנֵ֖י נְבֻכַדְנֶצַּֽר
18 And in the limit of the days, as the king had said that he would bring them in,
the official of the eunuchs brought them into the presence of Nebuchadnezzar.
17
15
וַיְדַבֵּ֣ר אִתָּם֮ הַמֶּלֶךְ֒ וְלֹ֤א נִמְצָא֙ מִכֻּלָּ֔ם כְּדָנִיֵּ֣אל חֲנַנְיָ֔ה מִֽישָׁאֵ֖ל וַעֲזַרְיָ֑ה
וַיַּֽעַמְד֖וּ לִפְנֵ֥י הַמֶּֽלֶךְ
19 And the king spoke with them, and none were found among them all like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.
And they stood in the presence of the king.
30
9
וְכֹ֗ל דְּבַר֙ חָכְמַ֣ת בִּינָ֔ה אֲשֶׁר־בִּקֵּ֥שׁ מֵהֶ֖ם הַמֶּ֑לֶךְ
וַֽיִּמְצָאֵ֞ם עֶ֣שֶׂר יָד֗וֹת עַ֤ל כָּל־הַֽחַרְטֻמִּים֙ הָֽאַשָּׁפִ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֖ר בְּכָל־מַלְכוּתֽוֹ
20 And in every matter of wisdom of discernment that the king sought from them,
he found them ten times handier over all the magicians, the astrologists who were in all his kingdom.
17
25
וַֽיְהִי֙ דָּֽנִיֵּ֔אל עַד־שְׁנַ֥ת אַחַ֖ת לְכ֥וֹרֶשׁ הַמֶּֽלֶךְ 21 And Daniel was until the first year of Cyrus the king. 17

Friday, August 26, 2016

An insight from the Raw Data of the Old Testament

What did I think I was faced with as the raw data of the writing that Christendom calls the Old Testament? I remember being told that ancient Manuscripts of the Hebrew texts were consonants only without vowels or punctuation.

I was also told that there were no spaces and no lower case letters. These are somewhat oversimplified statements. It is true that there are no lower case letters. It is true that there are no dots and dashes to show the later tradition of vowels, but there are several consonants that act like vowels in some situations.

Also I was told that there was no verb for our common 'to be'. That is a false statement. But there are many sentences in the text where the verb 'to be' is implied. This is true in other Semitic languages like Arabic. One just says for instance, My name Bob.

Here's a bit of raw data, a verse from the great Isaiah scroll from the Dead Sea Scrolls, picked at random. My first impression of this site is that it has some very creative technical work and is nicely curated. (I remember visiting the scroll in 2010 but I didn't have time for close examination.)

The Great Isaiah Scroll, Isaiah 1:28
Surprise! It is clear that there are spaces between words and also paragraphs in this manuscript.

This verse promising the shattering of transgressions and sins is between the marks I made on the ms.

I find scrolls hard to read and hard to see, but they look familiar. I wonder what happened to the divine name in this verse - must look further. (Anyone know?)

I am more familiar with the Aleppo codex (800 years later than the great Isaiah scroll) and the Unicode text (c 2010) of the Leningrad codex (itself 200 years later than the Aleppo codex).
The Aleppo Codex, Isaiah 1:28

What we see in the Aleppo codex is that the spaces have disappeared but in effect they are replaced by accents. And since part of my set of outstanding questions is 'where did the accents come from', they must have been included early in this copying tradition or the potential for confusion of words would have been severe.

The verse is in the box. Can you find it? The clue to look for is the silluq (vertical line under the syllable) showing the end of the prior verse בִּצְדָקָֽה and the end of the verse we are looking for.

Here is the Leningrad text of Isaiah 1:28:
 וְשֶׁ֧בֶר פֹּשְׁעִ֛ים וְחַטָּאִ֖ים יַחְדָּ֑ו וְעֹזְבֵ֥י יְהוָ֖ה יִכְלֽוּ׃
Here we see that the 'big colon', (red) the sof passuk, is not in use in the Aleppo Codex or the Great Isaiah Scroll, but the short vertical stroke below the last syllable of a verse, the silluq, (לֽ)is there in the Aleppo Codex to distinguish final cadences. (This mark is also used for a completely different purpose in later manuscripts where it is called a metheg. The metheg disturbs the musical line and is in no way equivalent to the silluq.)

It would seem that the accents are required much more than the vowels once the spaces are removed from the text. Here is the music for this verse.
The interpretation of the accents, Isaiah 1:28
The text is printed over each change in note showing the double use of the music for both word and sentence phrasing. The atnah (the A in the music) divides the verse.

I sketched a query against my data - not conclusive - but I think I can say that there is at least one syllable-stress marked for every 'word' in the text. Sometimes it is the same accent as on the prior word to keep the music on the same reciting note. Note some 'words' without accents are joined to another word by a hyphen (called a maqqep) effectively treating the combination as one word. The 1900 or so that have fewer accents than words each disappear when I restore the maqqep that I used to remove. Sometimes also there are multiple accents on one word. About 60% of the verses have more accents than words.

So this is my surprising insight today, accents present on every word in the text help identify words when the spaces have disappeared.

I began this post to 'explain' where I began my process of raw data management 10 years ago. I was not expecting to clarify an important point for myself. As a result, it is misleading to say that accents have a role in punctuation. The accents are not punctuation at all. They are for syllable stress and musical phrasing. Secondarily they provide information on distinguishing words in a manuscript where there are no spaces.

-----------------

What I first did 10 years ago was to code the consonants of the text, as in the Isaiah scroll, word by word in a Latin letter transcription. Given the Unicode mapping, I could easily transform the consonants both ways from Latin letters to Unicode and back again. I also experimented with automated transcription including vowels in those early days after my first full translation of the Psalms.

I first began to work with the Leningrad codex as far back as 2010. I verified my text for the Psalms from it in the period 2010-2013. Eventually I ended up with all the marks, vowels and cantillation, via the publicly available web service on that site. That gives me two approaches to the data, verse by verse in one table, and word by word (consonants only) in another. The manipulation of the data via query and cross-tab is another story. There are some additional posts in the past about the development environment I am using. This one is less than revealing, being full of code, but it is of the essence. The majority of the relevant posts would be under the label reading project status.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Job 34

Elihu continues his harangue against Job. In the days when I was reading commentaries on Job, I noted from Crenshaw and Edwin Good that scholars are generally negative about this character. (Post from 6 years ago here. I remain largely in agreement with these thoughts about Elihu. He anticipates Christ Jesus and is the means of Job's approach to the confrontation with Yahweh.) My translations are quite different from the ones I did 6 years ago mostly because of error correction with respect to concordance rules that I have developed since that first attempt at this ultimate parable.

I have a lot of questions still about this chapter.

Job 34
וַיַּ֥עַן אֱלִיה֗וּא וַיֹּאמַֽר 1 And Elihu answered and said, 9
שִׁמְע֣וּ חֲכָמִ֣ים מִלָּ֑י
וְ֝יֹדְעִ֗ים הַאֲזִ֥ינוּ לִֽי
2 Hear, you who are wise, my speech,
and you who have knowledge, lend an ear to me.
7
8
כִּי־אֹ֭זֶן מִלִּ֣ין תִּבְחָ֑ן
וְ֝חֵ֗ךְ יִטְעַ֥ם לֶאֱכֹֽל
3 For an ear tests speeches,
and a palate tastes food.
6
7
מִשְׁפָּ֥ט נִבְחֲרָה־לָּ֑נוּ
נֵדְעָ֖ה בֵינֵ֣ינוּ מַה־טּֽוֹב
4 Judgment let us choose for ourselves.
Let us know among ourselves what is good.
7
7
כִּֽי־אָ֭מַר אִיּ֣וֹב צָדַ֑קְתִּי
וְ֝אֵ֗ל הֵסִ֥יר מִשְׁפָּטִֽי
5 For Job said, "I am just,
and the One has turned aside my judgment.
7
7
עַל־מִשְׁפָּטִ֥י אֲכַזֵּ֑ב
אָנ֖וּשׁ חִצִּ֣י בְלִי־פָֽשַׁע
6 Against my judgment should I lie?
Mortal is my arrow without transgression."
7
7
מִי־גֶ֥בֶר כְּאִיּ֑וֹב
יִֽשְׁתֶּה־לַּ֥עַג כַּמָּֽיִם
7 Who is a valiant one like Job!
Let him imbibe derision like water.
5
7
וְאָרַ֣ח לְ֭חֶבְרָה עִם־פֹּ֣עֲלֵי אָ֑וֶן
וְ֝לָלֶ֗כֶת עִם־אַנְשֵׁי־רֶֽשַׁע
8 So let him take a path cobbled together with the workers of mischief,
and let him walk with mortals of wickedness.
12
8
כִּֽי־אָ֭מַר לֹ֣א יִסְכָּן־גָּ֑בֶר
בִּ֝רְצֹת֗וֹ עִם־אֱלֹהִֽים
9 For he said, One who is valiant will not be cherished,
that it find favour with God.
7
7
לָכֵ֤ן ׀ אַ֥נֲשֵׁ֥י‬ לֵבָ֗ב שִׁמְע֫וּ לִ֥י
חָלִ֖לָה לָאֵ֥ל מֵרֶ֗שַׁע וְשַׁדַּ֥י מֵעָֽוֶל
10 Therefore mortals of heart, hear me:
It is out of the question that the One is wicked, or that the Sufficient is unjust.
10
14
כִּ֤י פֹ֣עַל אָ֭דָם יְשַׁלֶּם־ל֑וֹ
וּֽכְאֹ֥רַח אִ֝֗ישׁ יַמְצִאֶֽנּוּ
11 For the work of a human he will repay to it,
and as the path of each, he will let it be found.
9
8
אַף־אָמְנָ֗ם אֵ֥ל לֹֽא־יַרְשִׁ֑יעַ
וְ֝שַׁדַּ֗י לֹֽא־יְעַוֵּ֥ת מִשְׁפָּֽט
12 Indeed truly the One does not do wickedness,
and the Sufficient does not subvert judgment.
8
9
מִֽי־פָקַ֣ד עָלָ֣יו אָ֑רְצָה
וּמִ֥י שָׂ֝֗ם תֵּבֵ֥ל כֻּלָּֽהּ
13 Who has given visitation rights to him earthward?
And who sets in place the world, all of it?
6
7
אִם־יָשִׂ֣ים אֵלָ֣יו לִבּ֑וֹ
רוּח֥וֹ וְ֝נִשְׁמָת֗וֹ אֵלָ֥יו יֶאֱסֹֽף
14 If he sets on him his heart,
his spirit and his breath to him he gathers.
7
11
יִגְוַ֣ע כָּל־בָּשָׂ֣ר יָ֑חַד
וְ֝אָדָ֗ם עַל־עָפָ֥ר יָשֽׁוּב
15 All flesh will expire as one,
and a human to dust will return.
7
8
וְאִם־בִּ֥ינָה שִׁמְעָה־זֹּ֑את
הַ֝אֲזִ֗ינָה לְק֣וֹל מִלָּֽי
16 And if discerning, you hear this,
give ear to the voice of my speech.
7
8
הַאַ֬ף שׂוֹנֵ֣א מִשְׁפָּ֣ט יַחֲב֑וֹשׁ
וְאִם־צַדִּ֖יק כַּבִּ֣יר תַּרְשִֽׁיעַ
17 Indeed will one who hates judgment bind?
and an intense righteous one, will you condemn?
9
9
הַאֲמֹ֣ר לְמֶ֣לֶךְ בְּלִיָּ֑עַל
רָ֝שָׁ֗ע אֶל־נְדִיבִֽים
18 Will it say of the king, Worthlessness?
Wickedness, to princes?
10
6
אֲשֶׁ֤ר לֹֽא־נָשָׂ֨א ׀ פְּנֵ֥י שָׂרִ֗ים וְלֹ֣א נִכַּר־שׁ֭וֹעַ‬ לִפְנֵי־דָ֑ל
כִּֽי־מַעֲשֵׂ֖ה יָדָ֣יו כֻּלָּֽם
19 One who is not partial to the presence of nobility and does not recognize special pleading in the presence of the weak,
for all of them are the deed of his hands,
17
7
רֶ֤גַע ׀ יָמֻתוּ֮ וַחֲצ֪וֹת לָ֥יְלָה יְגֹעֲשׁ֣וּ עָ֣ם וְיַעֲבֹ֑רוּ
וְיָסִ֥ירוּ אַ֝בִּ֗יר לֹ֣א בְיָֽד
20 In a moment they die, and at midnight people are shaken and they pass over,
and the mighty are turned aside without a hand.
20
9
כִּי־עֵ֭ינָיו עַל־דַּרְכֵי־אִ֑ישׁ
וְֽכָל־צְעָדָ֥יו יִרְאֶֽה
21 For his eyes are on the ways of each,
and all his paces he sees.
6
7
אֵֽין־חֹ֭שֶׁךְ‬ וְאֵ֣ין צַלְמָ֑וֶת
לְהִסָּ֥תֶר שָׁ֝֗ם פֹּ֣עֲלֵי אָֽוֶן
22 There is no darkness and there is no death-shadow,
where workers of mischief are hidden.
8
10
כִּ֤י לֹ֣א עַל־אִ֭ישׁ יָשִׂ֣ים ע֑וֹד
לַהֲלֹ֥ךְ אֶל־אֵ֝֗ל בַּמִּשְׁפָּֽט
23 For not on each will he further set,
than to walk to the One in the judgment
7
8
יָרֹ֣עַ כַּבִּירִ֣ים לֹא־חֵ֑קֶר
וַיַּעֲמֵ֖ד אֲחֵרִ֣ים תַּחְתָּֽם
24 He will do evil to the intense with no examination,
and he will install others instead of them.
8
9
לָכֵ֗ן יַ֭כִּיר מַעְבָּֽדֵיהֶ֑ם
וְהָ֥פַךְ לַ֝֗יְלָה וְיִדַּכָּֽאוּ
25 Therefore he recognizes their service,
and he overturns by night and they are crushed.
8
10
תַּֽחַת־רְשָׁעִ֥ים סְפָקָ֗ם בִּמְק֥וֹם רֹאִֽים 26 Instead of the wicked he cuffs them in the place of those who see. 11
אֲשֶׁ֣ר עַל־כֵּ֭ן סָ֣רוּ מֵֽאַחֲרָ֑יו
וְכָל־דְּ֝רָכָ֗יו לֹ֣א הִשְׂכִּֽילוּ
27 That they so turned aside from following him,
and into all his ways they did not have insight,
10
9
לְהָבִ֣יא עָ֭לָיו צַֽעֲקַת־דָּ֑ל
וְצַעֲקַ֖ת עֲנִיִּ֣ים יִשְׁמָֽע
28 to bring upon him the outcry of the weak,
and the outcry of the poor he hears.
9
9
וְה֤וּא יַשְׁקִ֨ט ׀ וּמִ֥י יַרְשִׁ֗עַ וְיַסְתֵּ֣ר פָּ֭נִים וּמִ֣י יְשׁוּרֶ֑נּוּ
וְעַל־גּ֖וֹי וְעַל־אָדָ֣ם יָֽחַד
29 And himself he is quiet, so who makes wickedness? And he hides presence, and who can scrutinize him?
And as for a nation so it is for humanity together.
20
10
מִ֭מְּלֹךְ אָדָ֥ם חָנֵ֗ף מִמֹּ֥קְשֵׁי עָֽם 30 From the reign of hypocritical humanity to the entrapment of the people. 10
כִּֽי־אֶל־אֵ֭ל הֶאָמַ֥ר נָשָׂ֗אתִי לֹ֣א אֶחְבֹּֽל 31 For to the One be it said, I have borne. I will not inflict pain. 12
בִּלְעֲדֵ֣י אֶ֭חֱזֶה אַתָּ֣ה הֹרֵ֑נִי
אִֽם־עָ֥וֶל פָּ֝עַ֗לְתִּי לֹ֣א אֹסִֽיף
32 Apart from my gazing, you yourself instruct me.
If injustice I have worked, I will not again.
11
9
הַֽמֵעִמְּךָ֬ יְשַׁלְמֶ֨נָּה כִּֽי־מָאַ֗סְתָּ כִּי־אַתָּ֣ה תִבְחַ֣ר וְלֹא־אָ֑נִי
וּֽמַה־יָדַ֥עְתָּ דַבֵּֽר
33 How is it with you? He will repay it for you refused, for yourself, you chose, and not I,
and what do you know? Speak.
18
7
אַנְשֵׁ֣י לֵ֭בָב יֹ֣אמְרוּ לִ֑י
וְגֶ֥בֶר חָ֝כָ֗ם שֹׁמֵ֥עַֽ לִֽי
34 Mortals of heart will say to me,
and one who is valiant of wisdom hears me:
7
9
אִ֭יּוֹב לֹא־בְדַ֣עַת יְדַבֵּ֑ר
וּ֝דְבָרָ֗יו לֹ֣א בְהַשְׂכֵּֽיל
35 Job without knowledge speaks,
and his words are not with insight.
9
7
אָבִ֗י יִבָּחֵ֣ן אִיּ֣וֹב עַד־נֶ֑צַח
עַל־תְּ֝שֻׁבֹ֗ת בְּאַנְשֵׁי־אָֽוֶן
36 My father, Job will be tested for ever in perpetuity
to the turnings in mortals of mischief,
10
8
כִּ֥י יֹ֘סִ֤יף עַֽל־חַטָּאת֣וֹ פֶ֭שַׁע בֵּינֵ֣ינוּ יִסְפּ֑וֹק
וְיֶ֖רֶב אֲמָרָ֣יו לָאֵֽל ס
37 For he adds to his sin transgression. Between us is his sharp practice,
and he increases his sayings for the One.
14
9

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Deuteronomy 24

What might we make of Moses' supporting his hand on Joshua? Have you ever thought of 'the laying on of hands' as supporting the elder through the younger? I was surprised to see that phrase 'laid his hands on him' at all in the traditional English of the OT.

I even wonder if this sacramental phrase (the laying on of hands) is perhaps imposed from the confirmation practices that developed over the history of Christendom. I wonder if it could mean quite the opposite of how people read it (tending towards magic).

Perhaps rather than Moses 'passing his powers' onto Joshua, it was Moses delegating tasks to the younger man and thus the lawgiver and prophet is supported by Joshua and Joshua in turn is then able to carry on the work.

The combination of סמך and יד occurs fairly frequently. E.g. Amos 5:19, [As if someone withdraws from the presence of the lion and the bear forces him, or he enters the house and supports his hand on the house wall and the snake takes interest in him.] Psalm 37:24 [For he will not fall thrown down, for Yahweh supports with his hand.] and throughout Leviticus and wherever a sacrifice is required (e.g. 1:24 [And let him support his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted for him, a cover-price on him.]). I have not done Numbers 27 yet where the other use of this phrase is for Moses and Joshua.

Deuteronomy 34
וַיַּ֨עַל מֹשֶׁ֜ה מֵֽעַרְבֹ֤ת מוֹאָב֙ אֶל־הַ֣ר נְב֔וֹ רֹ֚אשׁ הַפִּסְגָּ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֖ר עַל־פְּנֵ֣י יְרֵח֑וֹ
וַיַּרְאֵ֨הוּ יְהוָ֧ה אֶת־כָּל־הָאָ֛רֶץ אֶת־הַגִּלְעָ֖ד עַד־דָּֽן
1 And Moses ascended from the steppes of Moab to mount Nebo, the top of Pisgah that faces Jericho.
And Yahweh showed him all the land, the Gilead to Dan,
26
17
וְאֵת֙ כָּל־נַפְתָּלִ֔י וְאֶת־אֶ֥רֶץ אֶפְרַ֖יִם וּמְנַשֶּׁ֑ה
וְאֵת֙ כָּל־אֶ֣רֶץ יְהוּדָ֔ה עַ֖ד הַיָּ֥ם הָאַחֲרֽוֹן
2 and all Naphtali, and the land of Ephraim and Manasseh,
and all the land of Judah to the other sea,
15
15
וְאֶת־הַנֶּ֗גֶב וְֽאֶת־הַכִּכָּ֞ר בִּקְעַ֧ת יְרֵח֛וֹ עִ֥יר הַתְּמָרִ֖ים עַד־צֹֽעַר 3 and the Negeb and the annulus of the crevasse of Jericho, the city of palm trees, to Zoar. 22
וַיֹּ֨אמֶר יְהוָ֜ה אֵלָ֗יו זֹ֤את הָאָ֙רֶץ֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר נִ֠שְׁבַּעְתִּי לְאַבְרָהָ֨ם לְיִצְחָ֤ק וּֽלְיַעֲקֹב֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר לְזַרְעֲךָ֖ אֶתְּנֶ֑נָּה
הֶרְאִיתִ֣יךָ בְעֵינֶ֔יךָ וְשָׁ֖מָּה לֹ֥א תַעֲבֹֽר
4 And Yahweh said to him, This is the land that I swore to Abraham, to Yitschaq, and to Jacob, saying, To your seed I will give it.
I have let you see with your eyes, but thereto you will not cross over.
36
15
וַיָּ֨מָת שָׁ֜ם מֹשֶׁ֧ה עֶֽבֶד־יְהוָ֛ה בְּאֶ֥רֶץ מוֹאָ֖ב עַל־פִּ֥י יְהוָֽה 5 And there died Moses, the servant of Yahweh, in the land of Moab, at the mandate of Yahweh. 19
וַיִּקְבֹּ֨ר אֹת֤וֹ בַגַּיְ֙ בְּאֶ֣רֶץ מוֹאָ֔ב מ֖וּל בֵּ֣ית פְּע֑וֹר
וְלֹֽא־יָדַ֥ע אִישׁ֙ אֶת־קְבֻ֣רָת֔וֹ עַ֖ד הַיּ֥וֹם הַזֶּֽה
6 And he entombed him in the gorge of in the land of Moab in the forefront of Beth-Peor,
but no person knows his tomb to this day.
16
14
וּמֹשֶׁ֗ה בֶּן־מֵאָ֧ה וְעֶשְׂרִ֛ים שָׁנָ֖ה בְּמֹת֑וֹ
לֹֽא־כָהֲתָ֥ה עֵינ֖וֹ וְלֹא־נָ֥ס לֵחֹֽה
7 And Moses was a child of a hundred and twenty years at his death.
Not lessened his eye, nor withdrawn his freshness.
14
10
וַיִּבְכּוּ֩ בְנֵ֨י יִשְׂרָאֵ֧ל אֶת־מֹשֶׁ֛ה בְּעַֽרְבֹ֥ת מוֹאָ֖ב שְׁלֹשִׁ֣ים י֑וֹם
וַֽיִּתְּמ֔וּ יְמֵ֥י בְכִ֖י אֵ֥בֶל מֹשֶֽׁה
8 And the children of Israel wept for Moses in the steppes of Moab thirty days,
and the days of weeping were completed for the lament for Moses.
20
11
וִֽיהוֹשֻׁ֣עַ בִּן־נ֗וּן מָלֵא֙ ר֣וּחַ חָכְמָ֔ה כִּֽי־סָמַ֥ךְ מֹשֶׁ֛ה אֶת־יָדָ֖יו עָלָ֑יו
וַיִּשְׁמְע֨וּ אֵלָ֤יו בְּנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ וַֽיַּעֲשׂ֔וּ כַּאֲשֶׁ֛ר צִוָּ֥ה יְהוָ֖ה אֶת־מֹשֶֽׁה
9 And Joshua child of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom for Moses had supported his hands on him,
and the children of Israel heeded him and they did what Yahweh commanded Moses.
21
25
וְלֹֽא־קָ֨ם נָבִ֥יא ע֛וֹד בְּיִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל כְּמֹשֶׁ֑ה
אֲשֶׁר֙ יְדָע֣וֹ יְהוָ֔ה פָּנִ֖ים אֶל־פָּנִֽים
10 And no prophet has arisen yet in Israel like Moses,
whom Yahweh knew face to face,
13
12
לְכָל־הָ֨אֹת֜וֹת וְהַמּוֹפְתִ֗ים אֲשֶׁ֤ר שְׁלָחוֹ֙ יְהוָ֔ה לַעֲשׂ֖וֹת בְּאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרָ֑יִם
לְפַרְעֹ֥ה וּלְכָל־עֲבָדָ֖יו וּלְכָל־אַרְצֽוֹ
11 for all the signs and portents that Yahweh sent him to do in the land Egypt,
for Pharaoh and for all his servants and for all his land,
25
12
וּלְכֹל֙ הַיָּ֣ד הַחֲזָקָ֔ה וּלְכֹ֖ל הַמּוֹרָ֣א הַגָּד֑וֹל
אֲשֶׁר֙ עָשָׂ֣ה מֹשֶׁ֔ה לְעֵינֵ֖י כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵֽל
12 and for all the resolute hand and for all the great fear,
which Moses undertook in the sight of all Israel.
16
13

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Zechariah 10

Only two more chapters of this one to go! So I did the short one - only 12 verses. I was only at about 36% when I started. I still ponder why some books auto-translate and some don't. Sometimes it is new forms of words that I have not yet encountered.

Not sure what to make of this passage: what role is Ephraim playing in the prophet's mind? They almost seem to be itinerant preachers. This image of wine-soaked is odd, as is the hissing of Yahweh as if a snake. It sounds like a lot of local battles and preparations for battle.

Zechariah 10
שַׁאֲל֨וּ מֵיְהוָ֤ה מָטָר֙ בְּעֵ֣ת מַלְק֔וֹשׁ יְהוָ֖ה עֹשֶׂ֣ה חֲזִיזִ֑ים
וּמְטַר־גֶּ֙שֶׁם֙ יִתֵּ֣ן לָהֶ֔ם לְאִ֖ישׁ עֵ֥שֶׂב בַּשָּׂדֶֽה
1 Ask from Yahweh rain in the time of the maturing rain, Yahweh making thunderbolts,
and rain showers he will give to them, to each one for herbs in the field.
19
15
כִּ֧י הַתְּרָפִ֣ים דִּבְּרוּ־אָ֗וֶן וְהַקּֽוֹסְמִים֙ חָ֣זוּ שֶׁ֔קֶר וַֽחֲלֹמוֹת֙ הַשָּׁ֣וא יְדַבֵּ֔רוּ הֶ֖בֶל יְנַֽחֵמ֑וּן
עַל־כֵּן֙ נָסְע֣וּ כְמוֹ־צֹ֔אן יַעֲנ֖וּ כִּֽי־אֵ֥ין רֹעֶֽה פ
2 For the healing images speak mischief, and the soothsayers gaze on falsehood, and dreams of vanity they have spoken. Futility they comfort,
So they pulled out as if sheep. They respond for there is no shepherd.
31
15
עַל־הָֽרֹעִים֙ חָרָ֣ה אַפִּ֔י וְעַל־הָעַתּוּדִ֖ים אֶפְק֑וֹד
כִּֽי־פָקַד֩ יְהוָ֨ה צְבָא֤וֹת אֶת־עֶדְרוֹ֙ אֶת־בֵּ֣ית יְהוּדָ֔ה וְשָׂ֣ם אוֹתָ֔ם כְּס֥וּס הוֹד֖וֹ בַּמִּלְחָמָֽה
3 Concerning the shepherds, my anger burns and concerning the goats I visited,
for Yahweh of hosts had visited his troop, the house of Judah, and has set them like a horse, his splendour in the battle.
16
27
מִמֶּ֤נּוּ פִנָּה֙ מִמֶּ֣נּוּ יָתֵ֔ד מִמֶּ֖נּוּ קֶ֣שֶׁת מִלְחָמָ֑ה
מִמֶּ֛נּוּ יֵצֵ֥א כָל־נוֹגֵ֖שׂ יַחְדָּֽו
4 From him a corner, from him a tent peg, from him the bow of war,
from him came out every taskmaster as one.
18
10
וְהָי֨וּ כְגִבֹּרִ֜ים בּוֹסִ֨ים בְּטִ֤יט חוּצוֹת֙ בַּמִּלְחָמָ֔ה וְנִ֨לְחֲמ֔וּ כִּ֥י יְהוָ֖ה עִמָּ֑ם
וְהֹבִ֖ישׁוּ רֹכְבֵ֥י סוּסִֽים
5 And they will be as valiant ones who tread down in the mire of the streets in the battle, and they will fight for Yahweh is with them,
and the riders of horses will be shriveled.
26
8
וְגִבַּרְתִּ֣י ׀ אֶת־בֵּ֣ית יְהוּדָ֗ה וְאֶת־בֵּ֤ית יוֹסֵף֙ אוֹשִׁ֔יעַ וְהֽוֹשְׁבוֹתִים֙ כִּ֣י רִֽחַמְתִּ֔ים וְהָי֖וּ כַּאֲשֶׁ֣ר לֹֽא־זְנַחְתִּ֑ים
כִּ֗י אֲנִ֛י יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵיהֶ֖ם וְאֶעֱנֵֽם
6 And I will make the house of Judah prevail and the house of Joseph I will save to make them inhabitants, for I will have compassion on them and they will be as though I had not rejected them,
for I am Yahweh their God and I answer them.
35
13
וְהָי֤וּ כְגִבּוֹר֙ אֶפְרַ֔יִם וְשָׂמַ֥ח לִבָּ֖ם כְּמוֹ־יָ֑יִן
וּבְנֵיהֶם֙ יִרְא֣וּ וְשָׂמֵ֔חוּ יָגֵ֥ל לִבָּ֖ם בַּיהוָֽה
7 And they of Ephraim as one who prevails, and their heart will be glad as if wine-soaked,
and their children will see and they will be glad. Their heart will rejoice in Yahweh.
16
15
אֶשְׁרְקָ֥ה לָהֶ֛ם וַאֲקַבְּצֵ֖ם כִּ֣י פְדִיתִ֑ים
וְרָב֖וּ כְּמ֥וֹ רָבֽוּ
8 I will hiss for them and I will collect them for I have ransomed them,
and they will multiply as they have multiplied.
13
7
וְאֶזְרָעֵם֙ בָּֽעַמִּ֔ים וּבַמֶּרְחַקִּ֖ים יִזְכְּר֑וּנִי
וְחָי֥וּ אֶת־בְּנֵיהֶ֖ם וָשָֽׁבוּ
9 And I will sow them among the peoples. In distant places they will remember me,
and they will live with their children and they will return.
16
10
וַהֲשִֽׁיבוֹתִים֙ מֵאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרַ֔יִם וּמֵֽאַשּׁ֖וּר אֲקַבְּצֵ֑ם
וְאֶל־אֶ֨רֶץ גִּלְעָ֤ד וּלְבָנוֹן֙ אֲבִיאֵ֔ם וְלֹ֥א יִמָּצֵ֖א לָהֶֽם
10 And I will have them return from the land of Egypt. and from Ashur I will collect them,
and to the land of Gilead and Lebanon I will have them come, but naught will be found for them.
17
19
וְעָבַ֨ר בַּיָּ֜ם צָרָ֗ה וְהִכָּ֤ה בַיָּם֙ גַּלִּ֔ים וְהֹבִ֕ישׁוּ כֹּ֖ל מְצוּל֣וֹת יְאֹ֑ר
וְהוּרַד֙ גְּא֣וֹן אַשּׁ֔וּר וְשֵׁ֥בֶט מִצְרַ֖יִם יָסֽוּר
11 And he will pass through in the sea of trouble, and will strike waves in the sea and all the depths of the Nile will dry up,
and the pride of Ashur will be brought down, and the sceptre of Egypt will depart.
24
14
וְגִבַּרְתִּים֙ בַּֽיהוָ֔ה וּבִשְׁמ֖וֹ יִתְהַלָּ֑כוּ
נְאֻ֖ם יְהוָֽה ס
12 And I will make them prevail in Yahweh and in his name they will walk about,
an oracle of Yahweh.
13
5

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Zechariah 9, the famous chapter

Ah gentle reader, I would not want you to think the impoverished king was riding on two animals simultaneously, so I have not translated a vav. Horrors! You omitted a letter! Yes, beloved, because vav is a connector and can 'mean' just about anything the translator chooses to connect words with, even a comma or a space. Contrary to some opinions, the escape from the lunacy of riding two donkeys at once is not an appeal to Hebrew parallelism. It is simply an extra letter.

If you look at the music, you will see a pause in it on ass (חמר) and so time to determine as it passes if it is male or female, and hey, its a boy. Slow down and enjoy the poverty. Notice also the three differing words for said animal.

If I were reading this verse 9 without accents, I would have put more emphasis on the second syllable with a mahpakh, raising it to the high C earlier, but the emphasis of the verse is on the king. The rejoicing (which is a consequence of having an impoverished king) is emphasized by the pairs of parallels. So note the subtlety of these accents that expose meaning by their placement.
 
And notice where the rest is (the atnah ^). It is on simple stand-alone pronoun, he. In this verse he is saved. Note too how the atnah is in the middle of a sentence. The revia is sufficient to be a sentence closer (.) in the first 'half' of the verse.

In verse 16, it is Yahweh who is the subject of saves. Following the pronouns, I am reading 'the people' who are saved as the 'prisoners of expectation' of verse 12.

Note there is no rest in verse 11, the harrowing of hell is a single act without pause.

There are some shared words in this chapter with Psalm 144, particularly verses 12-14. There is some affinity with Psalm 72 also. The preferential option for the poor is certainly in evidence in both psalms.

Zechariah 9
מַשָּׂ֤א דְבַר־יְהוָה֙ בְּאֶ֣רֶץ חַדְרָ֔ךְ וְדַמֶּ֖שֶׂק מְנֻחָת֑וֹ
כִּ֤י לַֽיהוָה֙ עֵ֣ין אָדָ֔ם וְכֹ֖ל שִׁבְטֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל
1 A load, the matter of Yahweh in the land of Hadrak and Damascus, his resting-place,
for to Yahweh is the eye of an earthling and all the sceptres of Israel.
19
13
וְגַם־חֲמָ֖ת תִּגְבָּל־בָּ֑הּ
צֹ֣ר וְצִיד֔וֹן כִּ֥י חָֽכְמָ֖ה מְאֹֽד
2 And also Hamath borders her;
Tyre and Sidon that are very wise.
7
9
וַתִּ֥בֶן צֹ֛ר מָצ֖וֹר לָ֑הּ
וַתִּצְבָּר־כֶּ֙סֶף֙ כֶּֽעָפָ֔ר וְחָר֖וּץ כְּטִ֥יט חוּצֽוֹת
3 And Tyre built her fortification
and accumulated silver like dust and bullion as dirt of the streets.
7
15
הִנֵּ֤ה אֲדֹנָי֙ יֽוֹרִשֶׁ֔נָּה וְהִכָּ֥ה בַיָּ֖ם חֵילָ֑הּ
וְהִ֖יא בָּאֵ֥שׁ תֵּאָכֵֽל
4 Behold my Lord will possess her and will strike in the sea her wealth,
and she in fire will be devoured.
16
7
תֵּרֶ֨א אַשְׁקְל֜וֹן וְתִירָ֗א וְעַזָּה֙ וְתָחִ֣יל מְאֹ֔ד וְעֶקְר֖וֹן כִּֽי־הֹבִ֣ישׁ מֶבָּטָ֑הּ
וְאָ֤בַד מֶ֙לֶךְ֙ מֵֽעַזָּ֔ה וְאַשְׁקְל֖וֹן לֹ֥א תֵשֵֽׁב
5 Askelon will see and fear and Gaza, and will be in much turmoil, and Akron,
because dried up is her notability and perished the king from Gaza, and Ashkelon will not be inhabited.
24
15
וְיָשַׁ֥ב מַמְזֵ֖ר בְּאַשְׁדּ֑וֹד
וְהִכְרַתִּ֖י גְּא֥וֹן פְּלִשְׁתִּֽים
6 And a stranger will inhabit Ashdod,
and I will cut off the pride of the Philistines.
8
9
וַהֲסִרֹתִ֨י דָמָ֜יו מִפִּ֗יו וְשִׁקֻּצָיו֙ מִבֵּ֣ין שִׁנָּ֔יו וְנִשְׁאַ֥ר גַּם־ה֖וּא לֵֽאלֹהֵ֑ינוּ
וְהָיָה֙ כְּאַלֻּ֣ף בִּֽיהוּדָ֔ה וְעֶקְר֖וֹן כִּיבוּסִֽי
7 And I will put aside blood from its mouth, its detestable things from between its teeth, and one that is residue, even he, is for our God,
and he will be as captain in Judah and Eqron, as a Jebusite.
26
15
וְחָנִ֨יתִי לְבֵיתִ֤י מִצָּבָה֙ מֵעֹבֵ֣ר וּמִשָּׁ֔ב וְלֹֽא־יַעֲבֹ֧ר עֲלֵיהֶ֛ם ע֖וֹד נֹגֵ֑שׂ
כִּ֥י עַתָּ֖ה רָאִ֥יתִי בְעֵינָֽי ס
8 And I will encamp for my house, monitoring the passing through and returning, and none who harass will pass through over them any more,
for now I have seen with my eyes.
26
10
גִּילִ֨י מְאֹ֜ד בַּת־צִיּ֗וֹן הָרִ֙יעִי֙ בַּ֣ת יְרוּשָׁלִַ֔ם הִנֵּ֤ה מַלְכֵּךְ֙ יָ֣בוֹא לָ֔ךְ צַדִּ֥יק וְנוֹשָׁ֖ע ה֑וּא
עָנִי֙ וְרֹכֵ֣ב עַל־חֲמ֔וֹר וְעַל־עַ֖יִר בֶּן־אֲתֹנֽוֹת
9 Rejoice excessively, daughter of Zion, raise a shout, daughter of Jerusalem. Behold your king comes to you, a righteous one and saved is he,
impoverished, and riding on an ass, on a colt, the male foal of a she-donkey.
28
16
וְהִכְרַתִּי־רֶ֣כֶב מֵאֶפְרַ֗יִם וְסוּס֙ מִיר֣וּשָׁלִַ֔ם וְנִכְרְתָה֙ קֶ֣שֶׁת מִלְחָמָ֔ה וְדִבֶּ֥ר שָׁל֖וֹם לַגּוֹיִ֑ם
וּמָשְׁלוֹ֙ מִיָּ֣ם עַד־יָ֔ם וּמִנָּהָ֖ר עַד־אַפְסֵי־אָֽרֶץ
10 And I will cut off chariot from Ephraim and horse from Jerusalem, and the bow of war will be cut off, and he will speak peace to the nations.
And his governance will be sea to sea and from the river to the ends of the earth.
31
15
גַּם־אַ֣תְּ בְּדַם־בְּרִיתֵ֗ךְ שִׁלַּ֤חְתִּי אֲסִירַ֙יִךְ֙ מִבּ֔וֹר אֵ֥ין מַ֖יִם בּֽוֹ 11 Moreover in the blood of your covenant I have sent your prisoners from the pit without water in it. 19
שׁ֚וּבוּ לְבִצָּר֔וֹן אֲסִירֵ֖י הַתִּקְוָ֑ה
גַּם־הַיּ֕וֹם מַגִּ֥יד מִשְׁנֶ֖ה אָשִׁ֥יב לָֽךְ
12 Turn to the enclosure, prisoners of expectation.
Even today is evidence of the variance I will restore to you.
12
10
כִּֽי־דָרַ֨כְתִּי לִ֜י יְהוּדָ֗ה קֶ֚שֶׁת מִלֵּ֣אתִי אֶפְרַ֔יִם וְעוֹרַרְתִּ֤י בָנַ֙יִךְ֙ צִיּ֔וֹן עַל־בָּנַ֖יִךְ יָוָ֑ן
וְשַׂמְתִּ֖יךְ כְּחֶ֥רֶב גִּבּֽוֹר
13 For I direct Judah to me. The bow I have filled is Ephraim's and I will unleash your children, Zion, over your children, Greece.
And I have set you in place as the sword of one who prevails.
29
8
וַֽיהוָה֙ עֲלֵיהֶ֣ם יֵֽרָאֶ֔ה וְיָצָ֥א כַבָּרָ֖ק חִצּ֑וֹ
וַֽאדֹנָ֤י יְהֹוִה֙ בַּשּׁוֹפָ֣ר יִתְקָ֔ע וְהָלַ֖ךְ בְּסַעֲר֥וֹת תֵּימָֽן
14 And Yahweh over them will be seen and his arrow will come forth as lightning,
and my Lord Yahweh will sound with the shophar and walk with the tempests of a right hand.
16
20
יְהוָ֣ה צְבָאוֹת֮ יָגֵ֣ן עֲלֵיהֶם֒ וְאָכְל֗וּ וְכָֽבְשׁוּ֙ אַבְנֵי־קֶ֔לַע וְשָׁת֥וּ הָמ֖וּ כְּמוֹ־יָ֑יִן
וּמָֽלְאוּ֙ כַּמִּזְרָ֔ק כְּזָוִיּ֖וֹת מִזְבֵּֽחַ
15 Yahweh of hosts will defend them and they will devour and control sling stones and they will imbibe and murmur as if wine-soaked,
and they will be filled as bowls, as corner-stones of the altar.
27
13
וְֽהוֹשִׁיעָ֞ם יְהוָ֧ה אֱלֹהֵיהֶ֛ם בַּיּ֥וֹם הַה֖וּא כְּצֹ֣אן עַמּ֑וֹ
כִּ֚י אַבְנֵי־נֵ֔זֶר מִֽתְנוֹסְס֖וֹת עַל־אַדְמָתֽוֹ
16 And Yahweh their God will save them in that day as the flock of his people.
For stones of consecration, they are as standards over his ground.
18
11
כִּ֥י מַה־טּוּב֖וֹ וּמַה־יָפְי֑וֹ
דָּגָן֙ בַּֽחוּרִ֔ים וְתִיר֖וֹשׁ יְנוֹבֵ֥ב בְּתֻלֽוֹת
17 For what is his goodness and what is his beauty?
The grain of youths in their prime and new wine, the profit of maidens.
8
14