Thursday, April 25, 2013

Memorizing the Psalms - 3 (26-34)

In this series, I am considering strategies for memorizing all the psalms of the Hebrew Psalter. The first has to do with hearing the first few words of a psalm (not always unique). Along with this is the observing of a story line in the sequence of psalms.

We have seen to date the first 10, and the second 15, continuing the theme of refuge and containing a series concerning the elect from Psalm 18-24. Here are the next 9, from Psalm 26 to Psalm 34 in book 1, ending with the third acrostic.
שָׁפְטֵנִי יְהוָה כִּי אֲנִי בְּתֻמִּי הָלַכְתִּי 26:1Judge me יהוה for I myself have walked in my completeness
יְהוָה אוֹרִי וְיִשְׁעִי מִמִּי אִירָא27:1יהוה my light and my salvation whom will I fear?
אֵלֶיךָ יְהוָה אֶקְרָא 28:1To you יהוה will I call
הָבוּ לַיהוָה בְּנֵי אֵלִים29:1Ascribe to יהוה children of gods
אֲרוֹמִמְךָ יְהוָה30:2I will exalt you יהוה 
בְּךָ יְהוָה חָסִיתִי31:2In you יהוה I take refuge
אַשְׁרֵי נְשׂוּי פֶּשַׁע32:1happy transgression borne away
רַנְּנוּ צַדִּיקִים בַּיהוָה33:1Shout for joy, righteous ones, in יהוה 
אֲבָרְכָה אֶת יְהוָה בְּכָל עֵת34:2I will bless יהוה at all times
  • Psalm 26 is bold  in our ears. Who would invite judgment? Note how it recalls the central portion of Psalm 18 and the language of Psalm 1.
  • The central verse 7 of Psalm 27, Hear יהוה my voice, I will call // and be gracious to me and answer me, repeats the requests of Psalms 3 and 4.
  • 28 is a plea that יהוה not be silent.
  • 29 responds with the voice of יהוה. Voice occurs 7 times in this poem.
  • 30 is praise for healing and the poet sings and so is also not mute.
  • 31 continues the statement of refuge and trust in יהוה.
  • 32 is cited by Paul in Romans and contains instruction concerning horses and mules. 
  • 33, a poem that has no inscription, stands out among the psalms inscribed 'of David' (3 to 41). It is the first to instruct the singing of a new song. This poem is worthy of the celebratory acrostic that follows.
  • 34, recalling the madness of taste, (the inscription and verse 9, Hebrew numbering) closes this section. Its words strongly reflect those of Psalm 33.

Monday, April 15, 2013

11X Cyril, 12X Theodoret of Cyrus

This is the last of the series, (for the moment) on Brevard Childs' The Struggle to understand ISAIAH as Christian Scripture.

Of Cyril, (c 378-444), Childs comments on the literal and spiritual senses of Scripture according to Cyril, that precisely what he means by literal is not immediately obvious. Twice Childs says that Cyril has 20 different terms for the literal and 20 different terms for the spiritual - but Childs never lists them. Perhaps this is because he is reporting on the work of Kerrigan - and reporting the work of another (as I am doing) can leave much out. But he does report a few: the literal includes what is perceived by the senses, including the legal, material prosperity, ordinary things of the earth, animals, plants, food; the spiritual includes truth, value, the hidden, the spiritual (?). This is not very helpful. Self-inclusive taxonomies are always suspect. Eventually he comes to the position of Neall - that the spiritual is Christological.
The Old Testament is certainly the source of divine illumination, but it is also accompanied by shadows. Therefore it is not to be compared with the unadulterated light radiated by Christ. Its light is compared to that of the moon, while the gospel shines with the brightness of the noonday sun... The law is perfect and imperfect as one and the same... perfect if it is understood spiritually (since it speaks to us of Christ's mystery); imperfect if the mind of those who are being instructed does not go beyond the letter...
I find this summary, quite frankly, somewhat appalling. We are being blinded by a darkness of words, and there is no fire to purge the air. If indeed God is in Christ, which I believe, then the same God is in the examples that are written for us. God lives in his metaphors and makes them real in those who seek. And of course you know that whoever seeks, finds. This is how the Spirit works, hearing and learning - not by formula and mistranslation.

Childs has better luck in my opinion with a sermon of Cyril's on the rod of Isaiah 11:3.

Of Theodoret (of Cyrus) ... I will continue my study of the ancient and modern voices of Christian prejudice at a later date - hopefully.

8X - Eusebius, 9X - Jerome, 10X - Chrysostom

I have returned my books to the library for a rest. But I must give you at least a briefest of summaries continuing the series, on Brevard Childs' The Struggle to understand ISAIAH as Christian Scripture.

Eusebius of Caesarea (c 260-340) is best known for his Ecclesiastical History and his Onomasticon, but recently "an almost complete commentary on Isaiah, long thought lost," has been discovered. In the spirit of his times, Childs writes, Eusebius "focuses his attention, above all, on showing that the message of the Old Testament was consistent in its promise of God's blessing to the nations who form God's new people into a godly polity."

I guess we shouldn't be surprised at this successionist position. It was the default position up until the middle of the last century.

Eusebius appears to have relegated allegory to the periphery of his interpretive work, but also to have used it. E.g. with respect to the prophecy concerning (not against) Egypt in Isaiah 19:1, he interprets it "according to its 'historical sense' ... as the body that he received when formed through the Holy Spirit by the blessed virgin." I suppose this is more Christological rather than allegorical, but it is not literal as is his interpretation of Isaiah 19:4, where "the hand of a hard master is literally fulfilled ... when, at the end of the Ptolemaic rule, Egypt was conquered by the Romans." And this too is long-distance (400 years) after the fact attribution, hardly a historical reading, but more a shot in the dark.

Of Jerome, the part I noted on my first reading remains the highlight for me. That is his careful attention to grammar and philology. So in Isaiah 6:6, he recognizes an ambiguity "of whether the seraphim covered God's face and feet or their own with their wings". The KJV preserves the ambiguity. Most other translations switch to plural their rather than his. Ottley notes that the LXX switches to the plural. But Isaiah needs protection from the fire, so it would make sense that the angels who always behold the face of God, would cover his face on behalf of the human.

Of the honey-tongued Chrysostom, his concern with the poor and the helpless speaks well of him. With respect to allegory in relation to the Song of the Vineyard (Isaiah 5), he writes: "We ourselves are not the lords over the rules of interpretation, but must pursue scriptures' understanding of itself, and in that may make use of the allegorical method. ... This is everywhere a rule in Scripture: when it wants to allegorize, it tells the interpreters of the allegory, so that the passage will not be interpreted superficially. ... For Chrysostom, a proper use of allegory is to recognize the figurative dimension implied by the text itself."

Saturday, April 13, 2013

How does Arabic poetry behave as rhetoric compared to Hebrew poetry?

Y'all know of course that Arabic and Hebrew are cognate languages.

Many Arabic and Hebrew words are the same. The prepositions and pronouns behave similarly, and verbal forms are not too dissimilar. E.g. your house:
Modern Standard Arabic certainly contains enclitic pronouns. These are pronouns that function syntactically like independent morphemes but which are phonologically dependent upon other morphemes. Enclitics come after their host morpheme (as opposed to proclitics and mesoclitics which do what their names imply). So, in Arabic you have bayt-u-ka (house-Nominative-marker-2nd person masculine singular pronoun) = your house. [from Dr. Marcus Tomalin via email.]
Another example is seen in the first word below: bismi - in the name of bi-sm-i. prefix b, the same as Hebrew meaning 'in', root sm, similar to the Hebrew shem, suffix i, like the Hebrew construct. The text below is the first four words of the Koran. In English: In the name of Allah, compassionate, merciful. [updated]

Over the past several weeks I have had conversations with a colleague about Arabic so I have begun to experiment a little. I have organized my software to present Arabic in its tables (having learned a little about the alphabet over the last week or two) so that I can perform some rhetorical analysis on the words, somewhat like this.

Word123VsRoot
بِسْمِ
1سمو
اللَّهِ
1اله
الرَّحْمَنِ
1رحم
الرَّحِيمِ
1رحم

I haven't much data yet.  If you would like to submit some data, please leave me a comment. I need about 70 words to do a proper experiment. For each Arabic word, I need the word, and the root of the word in Arabic and in transcription (or do just the Arabic - I may be able to figure the transcription out myself - good exercise).



Friday, April 12, 2013

The God of war and violence

There is an exploration about God and violence here. In order to keep 'inspiration', the writer, Jeremy Myers, has to invoke a bit of double-think. That God inspired the error in Scripture.

I agree that this gets around the problem but what does it mean but that we have to put our brains in gear to read history. (Scripture is historical - but much of it didn't happen of course.)

Jeremy recognizes that the theological advice of Job's friends is suspect. This is the first step towards reading Job as parable. Yes, the man there was from the land of Uz is a parable, a once-upon-a-time story. The second step is to see in the opening of Job a direct confrontation with the theology of Deuteronomy 28. Ticciati (Job and the Disruption of Identity) contends that what is "at stake in the book of Job is ... the Deuteronomic Covenant itself." So this book has much in common with e.g. Psalm 89 where the promises to David are questioned. Job can even be seen as an image of Israel during its trial in exile. Just to touch on the direct allusions to the covenant, consider the successive destruction of Job's livestock and children, Deuteronomy 28:31-32 and the final straw, Job 2:7 echoes Deuteronomy 28:35. All this in the context of blessings and cursings.

The third step is to realize that the book of Job describes itself as parable. Therefore the 'history' is irrelevant. What is history about Job is that this discourse was written some 2500 or so years ago. They wrote literature in those days too. Job is a literary setup to argue a point or two of theology.  To read it as life is to make it a horror story. Such a reading completely undermines the tenderness in this text.

Part of the theological problem is a set of words which are indefinable: God, spirit, divine, inspired, etc. These rapidly become a house of cards within our thought process, because in thinking, writing, and conversation, the indefinable is poorly used.  Example: use the divine passive (safe) rather than God as subject of a sentence (unsafe).  The divine passive is safe because the actor remains indeterminate.  Theological discourse is a knife-edge.

So what do I do with my warrior King? (Exodus 15:3).
יְהוָ֖ה אִ֣ישׁ מִלְחָמָ֑ה יְהוָ֖ה שְׁמֹֽו. 
And what will I do with Amalek? (Exodus 17:16).
וַיֹּ֗אמֶר כִּֽי־יָד֙ עַל־כֵּ֣ס יָ֔הּ מִלְחָמָ֥ה לַיהוָ֖ה בַּֽעֲמָלֵ֑ק מִדֹּ֖ר דֹּֽר
This is a fascinating phrase - literally: And he said, for the hand on the throne of Yah (not the full name) is war in Amalek from generation to generation.

(Whose hand is on the throne of Yah?) I also ponder that command among many to destroy the Amalekites. Surely we have here a comment that borders on allegory directly in the Scripture itself - just as Job attacks the assumptions of Deuteronomy.  If you will have it, Egypt is the world, and Amalek the flesh. But the allegory is a rationalization (slight improvement on double-think). We must somehow find the tenderness in the warrior.

I said in a recent post,
The character of the Lord is again determined by his actions, frequently listed in the psalms, and never (outside the recitals of the canonical history and the eschatological hope) are they violent or creating the poor and the displaced. The God who promises is not a God who fulfills promises by violence.
Then I said - I had work to do to substantiate this. Well, I think I can. There is this way of putting it:

The God who becomes incarnate takes all violence into himself. (Careful, this is not a long distance cop-out).

So - who is this God who becomes incarnate? When did this God start doing this? God's violence is attributed to God by the Biblical writers. From the point of view of Israel, escape from slavery was God's work. Egypt reaped its just reward. (And God was grieved.) Once redeemed, the people rebel and spend some time reaping their own consequences. (And God was grieved. Read Psalm 78.) Their weakness is exemplified in the objectivized enemy, Amalek.

Yet God still plants the people in their land. In the land, enemies abound, troubles are plentiful, the people want a king, and the king takes full advantage of power. (And God was grieved.) The line of kings fails (Psalm 89). The people are exiled. Turning the captivity of Israel is frequent in the psalms (e.g. 14, 53, one of the doubled psalms). The destruction of the enemy is Israel's prayer but it takes time to realize how much of the enemy is in themselves.

We have this canonical history, a history of a rebellious and self-serving people with rebellious and self-serving leaders and a history of violent redemption attributed to God. Is this to be an example of redemption for the world, an example of good and evil, of love and destruction, of merciful and merciless? What else does one do with children who have to learn good and evil? What then are we to learn from this canonical example, wrenched out of a violent history?

Why should we have any hope with such an example? Perhaps it is just the wonder of the tenderness that is shown to us through others who care. Is the final hope still subject to violence because the violent and self-serving still manage to get their way in this life?  What is the consequence? The destruction of the earth as described by Isaiah 24:6 - probably reflecting an observer in war.  I noted the rhetoric of this passage here. You can ignore the funny letters - just look at the shape. 24:6 is right in the middle - and does it not describe the lust for wealth and the consequence for the earth and for us?  Do not our actions today result in injustice that will bring about a similar result?

Who will deliver us then?  The God who takes on the consequences of all violence? That is the theory of the incarnation but maybe there is no deus ex machina acting here, but rather the God of Psalm 146 - whose present action is restoration and healing and who achieves this result through the actions of a people who have learned mercy (Psalm 149). If we imitate those actions in the ongoing present tense that are attributed to God, then we too will be taking on the healing of the world rather than its destruction.

But wait - what if I don't want to, um, take on the violence of this world? It's more than a bit inconvenient. I prefer to use avoidance strategies. There is an argument for delay. Healing takes time too. Wait for the right time, but obey the command when it comes - Don't be like horse and mule (Psalm 32). In the canonical story of the new song, even Jesus slipped away from the crowds (who would have thrown him off a cliff, Luke 4:29), or let others take the heat when the moment was not right (as at the death of the innocents when Rachel was weeping for her children, Matthew 2:18).

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Memorizing the Psalms - 2 (11-25)

The Psalter is a poetic record of a story -
  • of an invitation (1-2), a king-poet-musician-beloved named David (whose psalms dominate Book 1 - 3 to 32, 34 to 41 and who has at least 1 psalm in every book), 
  • a people who are in exile but who continue in hope (42-72), 
  • a people whose monarchy failed (73-89), 
  • a people who pray in the spirit and tradition of Moses and whose Ruler is Yhwh (90-106), 
  • a people who have learned mercy and can administer it under the instruction of their covenant with this God (107-150).
Each of these groupings is bounded by a doxology. But the chunks are too big to memorize all at once. It's a month's food. Indigestion follows if one tries to eat it all at once. In my first post on this subject, I noted the coherence of the first lines for the first 10 psalms. Each of Books 1 and 5 contains four strategically placed acrostic poems.  Psalms 9-10 are the first acrostic. The next step then in Book 1 then is from Psalm 11 to 25, the second acrostic. Here are the snippets of the first verses.
בַּיהוָה חָסִיתִי11:1In יהוה I take refuge
הוֹשִׁיעָה יְהוָה כִּי גָמַר חָסִיד12:2Save יהוה for obliterated is the merciful one
עַד אָנָה יְהוָה תִּשְׁכָּחֵנִי 13:2How long please יהוה will you forget me?
אָמַר נָבָל בְּלִבּוֹ14:1Senseless said in its heart
יְהוָה מִי יָגוּר בְּאָהֳלֶךָ15:1יהוה who will guest in your tent?
שָׁמְרֵנִי אֵל כִּי חָסִיתִי בָךְ16:1Keep me O God for I take refuge in you.
שִׁמְעָה יְהוָה צֶדֶק17:1Hear יהוה righteousness
אֶרְחָמְךָ יְהוָה חִזְקִי18:2I am passionate about you יהוה my courage
הַשָּׁמַיִם מְסַפְּרִים כְּבוֹד אֵל19:2The heavens recount the glory of God
יַעַנְךָ יְהוָה בְּיוֹם צָרָה20:2יהוה answer you in the day of trouble
יְהוָה בְּעָזְּךָ יִשְׂמַח מֶלֶךְ21:2יהוה in your strength a king is glad
אֵלִי אֵלִי לָמָה עֲזַבְתָּנִי22:2My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?
יְהוָה רֹעִי23:1יהוה is my shepherd
לַיהוָה הָאָרֶץ24:1The earth is יהוה's
לְדָוִד אֵלֶיךָ יְהוָה נַפְשִׁי אֶשָּׂא אֱלֹהַי 25:1א I will lift up my self to you יהוה my God
One of the things you notice right away is that the Hebrew verses have different numbers from the English. The first text beyond the inscription is sometimes part of verse 1 and sometimes verse 2 (or even as far away as verse 3). The reason for this is that the inscription may be a complete musical phrase in itself (as in Psalm 12) or it may be just the beginning of a musical phrase (as in Psalm 14). I have not retained the whole verse as a mnemonic. Remember how short the Latin titles for the psalms are. So these 15 psalms reduce to a short list.

Which of these psalms reflect something of the first 10? See the  first post. Notice how

  • 11 and 16 recall the refuge of Psalm 7. Refuge, a desirable outcome (see the closing verses of Psalms 2 and 5), is a learned experience that we will see at the beginning of several Psalms. 
  • 12 is a plea for salvation for even the elect is obliterated. The inner frame is the children of humanity, recalling Psalm 8.
  • 13 asks how long please? 
  • 14 describes the senseless - for whom God is of no account. 
  • 15 recalls Psalm 1 as if the sequence is responding to that invitation.
  • 16 notes God's role in the act of refuge.
  • 17 reveals much of the poet's desire, the poet defines righteousness. The central verse again concerns refuge.
  • 18 has a unique passion
  • 19 is about creation (and Torah). 
  • 20 is a prayer for the king. 
  • 21 is the response. 
  • 22 is trouble but ends in worship. 
  • 23 is respite. 
  • 24 records who owns the land and a triumphant entry commanding the gates to lift up their heads. 
  • 25 is the celebratory acrostic. Notice the immediate reference to lift up in Psalm 24 and the closing reference to refuge

A question arises - why are these poems in this order? The whole sequence is framed by refuge. In addition, Psalms 18 to 24 introduce passion, teaching, prayer, response, trouble, respite, and triumph. A central component for consideration is the section from Psalm 18, verses 20 to 25. You will find it here as part of my presentation on the structure of the Psalter.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Isaiah 24:1-13 - The Apocalypse - recurrence patterns

How does one see patterns? Are they really there? Or are they an accident?

What this pattern analysis does is to see if the Hebrew has any particular shape and then to see if the Greek (or any other translation) uses the same repetition, or at least respects the rhetoric - and sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't.

So what is the shape of the Hebrew? Is it materially different from the shapes observable in the Psalms? In the psalms I look for circles, concentric or intersecting, and what they surround. I also look for verses that have very low recurrence. I observe focus - the last recurring pair (wine in this case - curious eh?), and words that recur several times.

I did a bit of the music for this passage too with a stark English translation.

First - and somewhat obvious: I notice that the earth (ארץ) is frequently used in this passage.  But is it the earth or the land?  They are both the same in Hebrew.  You can see that the Greek has not been quite consistent. But besides the earth there are the inhabitants - I will bet the music is mournful. It begins with a descending major third.
Selected recurring words (more than three times). 
Word and gloss * first usage12VsRoot
הארץ τὴν οἰκουμένην
1ארץ
ישׁביה τοὺς ἐνοικοῦντας ἐν αὐτῇ
1ישׁב
הארץ ἡ γῆ
3ארץ
הארץ ἡ γῆ
4ארץ
הארץ τῆς γῆς
4ארץ
והארץ ἡ δὲ γῆ
5ארץ
ישׁביה κατοικοῦντας αὐτήν
5ישׁב
ארץ τὴν γῆν
6ארץ
ישׁבי οἱ κατοικοῦντες
6ישׁב
ישׁבי οἱ ἐνοικοῦντες
6ישׁב
ארץ ἐν τῇ γῇ
6ארץ
הארץ τῆς γῆς
11ארץ
הארץ τῇ γῇ
13ארץ
There is a feature in verses 7 to 11. It shows the circles surrounding the key verse that the prophet is preaching or that the liturgist is singing about.
Selected recurring words (7 to 11).
Word and gloss * first usage12345VsRoot
כל πάντες
7כל
שׂמחי οἱ εὐφραινόμενοι
7שׂמח
שׁבת πέπαυται
8שׁבת
משׂושׂ εὐφροσύνη
8שׂושׂ
שׁבת πέπαυται
8שׁבת
משׂושׂ φωνὴ
8שׂושׂ
יין οἶνον
9יין
כל
10כל
היין τοῦ οἴνου
11יין
כל πᾶσα
11כל
שׂמחה εὐφροσύνη
11שׂמח
משׂושׂ --
11שׂושׂ
What verses are sparse with respect to recurrence?  Verses 9 and 10 have only one recurring word each. So the feature in verses 7 to 11 is confirmed, the central verse being verse 10. Here's the Greek of Isaiah 24:10 in Ottley's translation
Every city is made desolate; it shall shut up the house, that none come in.
This verse is surrounded by intersecting circles: all - gladness - joy - and the concentric wine.

There are several words used twice only that show a different pattern: a succession of pairs. Note that groups of verses are defined now by specific frames: Lord, mourning, left. Two of these overlap, reinforcing the therefore.
Selected recurring words (twice only)
Word and gloss * first usage123456789101VsRoot
יהוה Κύριος
1יהוה
כמלוה καὶ ὁ δανίζων
2לוה
כלוה ὡς ὁ δανιζόμενος
2לוה
והבוז καὶ προνομῇ
3בזז
תבז προνομευθήσεται ἡ γῆ
3בזז
יהוה Κυρίου
3יהוה
דבר στόμα
3דבר
הדבר ἐλάλησεν
3דבר
אבלה ἐπένθησεν
4אבל
נבלה --
4נבל
נבלה --
4נבל
כן τοῦτο
6כן
כן τοῦτο
6כן
ונשׁאר καὶ καταλειφθήσονται
6שׁאר
אבל πενθήσει
7אבל
שׂמחי οἱ εὐφραινόμενοι
7שׂמח
שׁבת πέπαυται
8שׁבת
שׁבת πέπαυται
8שׁבת
יין οἶνον
9יין
היין τοῦ οἴνου
11יין
שׂמחה εὐφροσύνη
11שׂמח
נשׁאר καὶ καταλειφθήσονται
12שׁאר

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Call and answer, appeal and response, vocal engagement in the Psalms

In English, of course, we have many synonyms for appeal: call, listen, lend an ear, bend an ear, ask, supplicate, cry out, cry for help. And lots more that one could find with an online thesaurus.  Similarly in Hebrew there are several related words. In both languages, they all may have slightly different nuances. It might not be that the same word in Hebrew should be used for the same word in English. But perhaps, the nuance of Hebrew can be mapped synonym by synonym to English, or perhaps not. Who really knows since we have no native speakers of ancient Hebrew any more, certainly none who also speak English.

For some time I have been thinking of writing on the call and answer theme in the Psalms. It is so fundamental to our thinking about engagement with another. The actual response, the actual call, and their circumstances might be different in every case. How would we think about each case? How about our own situations?

One of the earliest monographs that I read on the psalms was on the word group around refuge: Creach, Jerome F. D. (1996). Yahweh as Refuge and the Editing of the Hebrew Psalter. I remember this as a very clear introduction and I would probably get much more from it now than I did when I first read it. Refuge is not call and answer - but these two areas of interest are strongly related in the Psalms. The raw data - considering call-answer and refuge, a grouping I am now calling 'engage', is listed below. It is too much to take in all at once.

Notice though a few initial points:
  • ask and give and refuge are defined in the first two psalms, themselves the introduction to the whole Psalter. The tree gives its fruit in its time; the anointed is given the inheritance of the nations; and it is in יהוה (the LORD referred to by Name) that there is refuge.
  • If you trace ask, (do a find ctrl-f in your browser to help see the occurrences of any word) you will find that ask has a certain ambivalence. It is possible to ask in rebellion or in mockery. Ask is positive in Psalms 2, 21 and 27, negative in Psalm 78 and its reflection in 105, positive in Psalm 122 (where it is usually translated pray), and negative in 137.
  • then we have those introductory individual psalms (3 to 7) where the individual learns that refuge is both holy and necessary, the holy being unapproachable at first, but a mandatory given the invitation.
  • In Psalm 9, a new word in this semantic field appears: a crying out, (צעק) a word that is not used again till Psalm 34, then not again till the two preparatory psalms (77 for the massive redemption history in 78, and 88 for great lament of 89). This cry out anticipates the opening of Book 5, Psalm 107, where it recurs for each example of trouble and rescue. It almost matches the spelling of appeal (זעק) in Psalm 142, this one spelled with a zayin and the first with a tsade. Curiouser and curiouser, said Alice.
  • One wants to note then, given the first appeal to refuge in Psalm 7 (from the anger of Psalm 6), where else does the psalmist claim such refuge?  Several psalms (11, 16, 18, 31 [my], 46 [our], 57, 71, 91, 144) have refuge in their first verses. Refuge may be for the individual or for the people. Notice, if you know the psalms in another translation, that refuge does not appear in the psalm of Moses (90), Lord thou has been our refuge (Coverdale). אֲדנֹּי מעוֹן אַתה היִיתָ לּנוּ. Well, I would not translate ma`on habitation, as refuge, especially when it is a word game in the psalm, a play on נעַֹּם (no`am) in verse 17, pleasure.
  • the words I want to consider are the hear-answer pair, and the vocal response of the silent God (consider the voice of Psalm 29 in response to the plea of Psalm 28). It appears that hear+answer is more common in the Davidic framework for the whole Psalter and in the Psalms with David in the inscription even in the middle books of the Psalter. In fact, it is most common in Book 1 (Psalms 1-41). The claiming of an answer is stronger in the beginning of Book 1 than at the end of Book 5. But praise is dominant in Book 5 where the appeal for an answer is also strong. Curious again...
  • Psalm 138, the beginning of the final David collection, also reflects the memory of a response In the day I called and you answered me... I reflect on the last verse of Psalm 97 as a result of this all to brief set of notes: be glad in יהוה you righteous ones and give thanks for the remembrance of his holiness.
  • Psalm 139 needs no appeal, for the poet is in the presence and knows it. 
  • Psalm 145:19 claims the promise of hearing their cry
  • In the final praises (146-150), the poet calls the reader to answer יהוה with thanksgiving, sing a psalm to our God upon a harp - and that harp may be interpreted (though not the same word in this case) as our own instrument as Donne so delightfully noted in his poem that I quoted last week.
Word usage for roots assigned to engage: call, answer, etc + refuge
Word and gloss * first usage12345678910123ChRoot
יתן gives [its fruit in its time]
1.3נתן
שׁאל ask [of me]
2.8שׁאל
ואתנה and I give [you the nations]
2.8נתן
חוסי who take refuge [in him]
2.12חסה
קולי my voice
3.5קול
אקרא I call
3.5קרא
ויענני and he answers me
3.5ענה
* בקראי when I call
4.2קרא
ענני answer me
4.2ענה
חנני be gracious
4.2חנן
* ושׁמע and hear
4.2שׁמע
* ישׁמע will hear
4.4שׁמע
* בקראי when I call
4.4קרא
נתתה you have given [gladness in my heart]
4.8נתן
האזינה give ear to
5.2אזן
* לקול to the voice of
5.3קול
שׁועי my cry
5.3שׁוע
תשׁמע you will hear
5.4שׁמע
* קולי my voice
5.4קול
חוסי who take refuge
5.12חסה
* חנני be gracious to me
6.3חנן
שׁמע has heard
6.9שׁמע
קול the voice of
6.9קול
שׁמע hears
6.10שׁמע
* תחנתי my supplication
6.10חנן
חסיתי [in you] I take refuge
7.2חסה
תונה is chanted
8.2נתן
צעקת the outcry of
9.13צעק
חננני Have mercy, be gracious to me
9.14חנן
לתת to give
10.14נתן
שׁמעת you have heard
10.17שׁמע
אזנך your ear
10.17אזן
חסיתי I take refuge
11.1חסה
ענני answer me
13.4ענה
קראו they do call
14.4קרא
מחסהו is their refuge
14.6חסה
יתן will be given
14.7נתן
נתן he does loan
15.5נתן
חסיתי I take refuge
16.1חסה
תתן you will permit
16.10נתן
שׁמעה hear
17.1שׁמע
* האזינה Give ear to
17.1אזן
קראתיך I have called you
17.6קרא
תענני you answer
17.6ענה
* אזנך your ear
17.6אזן
שׁמע hear
17.6שׁמע
חוסים those who take refuge
17.7חסה
* אחסה I will take refuge
18.3חסה
אקרא I will call
18.4קרא
אקרא I call upon
18.7קרא
* אשׁוע I cry for help
18.7שׁוע
ישׁמע he hears
18.7שׁמע
קולי my voice
18.7קול
* ושׁועתי and my cry
18.7שׁוע
באזניו into his ears
18.7אזן
* יתן gives
18.14נתן
קלו his voice
18.14קול
* החסים who take refuge
18.31חסה
* ויתן and he gives
18.33נתן
* ותתן and you gave
18.36נתן
* נתתה you have given
18.41נתן
* ישׁועו they will cry for help
18.42שׁוע
ענם he did answer them
18.42ענה
לשׁמע hearing by
18.45שׁמע
אזן ear
18.45אזן
ישׁמעו they will hear
18.45שׁמע
* הנותן gives
18.48נתן
נשׁמע is heard
19.4שׁמע
קולם their voice
19.4קול
* יענך answer you
20.2ענה
יתן may he give
20.5נתן
משׁאלותיך your requests
20.6שׁאל
* יענהו he will answer
20.7ענה
* יעננו let answer us
20.10ענה
קראנו our call
20.10קרא
נתתה you have given
21.3נתן
שׁאל he asked
21.5שׁאל
נתתה you have given
21.5נתן
* שׁאגתי my roaring
22.2שׁאג
אקרא I call
22.3קרא
תענה you do answer
22.3ענה
זעקו they appealed
22.6זעק
* ושׁאג and roaring
22.14שׁאג
עניתני you have answered me
22.22ענה
ובשׁועו but when he cried
22.25שׁוע
שׁמע he heard
22.25שׁמע
וחנני and be gracious to me
25.16חנן
חסיתי I take refuge
25.20חסה
לשׁמע to proclaim
26.7שׁמע
בקול with a voice of
26.7קול
וחנני and be gracious to me
26.11חנן
שׁאלתי I have asked
27.4שׁאל
שׁמע hear
27.7שׁמע
קולי my voice
27.7קול
אקרא I will call
27.7קרא
וחנני and be gracious to me
27.7חנן
וענני and answer me
27.7ענה
תתנני do give me
27.12נתן
אקרא will I call
28.1קרא
שׁמע hear
28.2שׁמע
קול the voice of
28.2קול
תחנוני my supplication
28.2חנן
בשׁועי when I cry
28.2שׁוע
תן give
28.4נתן
תן give
28.4נתן
שׁמע he has heard
28.6שׁמע
קול the voice of
28.6קול
תחנוני my supplication
28.6חנן
קול the voice of
29.3קול
קול the voice of
29.4קול
קול the voice of
29.4קול
קול the voice of
29.5קול
קול the voice of
29.7קול
קול the voice of
29.8קול
קול the voice of
29.9קול
יתן will give
29.11נתן
שׁועתי I cried
30.3שׁוע
אקרא I will call
30.9קרא
אתחנן I continue supplication
30.9חנן
שׁמע hear
30.11שׁמע
וחנני and be gracious
30.11חנן
חסיתי I take refuge
31.2חסה
אזנך your ear
31.3אזן
חנני be gracious to me
31.10חנן
שׁמעתי I have heard
31.14שׁמע
קראתיך for I have called you
31.18קרא
לחסים for those who take
31.20חסה
שׁמעת you heard
31.23שׁמע
קול the voice of
31.23קול
תחנוני my supplication
31.23חנן
בשׁועי when I cried
31.23שׁוע
בשׁאגתי in my roaring
32.3שׁאג
נתן giving
33.7נתן
ישׁמעו will hear
34.3שׁמע
וענני and he answered me
34.5ענה
קרא calls
34.7קרא
שׁמע hears
34.7שׁמע
יחסה that takes refuge
34.9חסה
שׁמעו hear - listen
34.12שׁמע
ואזניו and his ears
34.16אזן
שׁועתם their cry for help
34.16שׁוע
צעקו tza! they cry out
34.18צעק
שׁמע hears
34.18שׁמע
החסים who take refuge
34.23חסה
לקראת the call of
35.3קרא
ישׁאלוני they inquire of me
35.11שׁאל
יחסיון take refuge
36.8חסה
ויתן and he will give
37.4נתן
משׁאלת the requests
37.4שׁאל
חונן gracious
37.21חנן
ונותן and giving
37.21נתן
חונן he is gracious
37.26חנן
חסו they take refuge
37.40חסה
שׁאגתי I have roared
38.9שׁאג
אשׁמע will hear
38.14שׁמע
שׁמע does hear
38.15שׁמע
תענה will respond
38.16ענה
נתתה you have given as
39.6נתן
שׁמעה hear
39.13שׁמע
ושׁועתי and to my cry
39.13שׁוע
האזינה give ear
39.13אזן
וישׁמע and he heard
40.2שׁמע
שׁועתי my cry
40.2שׁוע
ויתן and he gave
40.4נתן
אזנים ears
40.7אזן
שׁאלת you did require
40.7שׁאל
תתנהו you will give him
41.3נתן
חנני be gracious to me
41.5חנן
חנני be gracious to me
41.11חנן
בקול with a voice of
42.5קול
קורא calling
42.8קרא
לקול to the voice of
42.8קול
באזנינו with our ears
44.2אזן
שׁמענו we have heard
44.2שׁמע
תתננו you have given us
44.12נתן
מקול from a voice of
44.17קול
חן graciousness
45.3חנן
שׁמעי hear
45.11שׁמע
אזנך your ear
45.11אזן
מחסה refuge
46.2חסה
נתן he gives
46.7נתן
בקולו with his voice
46.7קול
בקול with a voice of
47.2קול
בקול with the voice of
47.6קול
שׁמענו we have heard
48.9שׁמע
שׁמעו hear
49.2שׁמע
האזינו lend an ear
49.2אזן
אזני my ear
49.5אזן
יתן give
49.8נתן
קראו they call
49.12קרא
ויקרא and he called
50.1קרא
יקרא he will call
50.4קרא
שׁמעה hear
50.7שׁמע
וקראני and call on me
50.15קרא
תתן you assign
50.20נתן
נתן Nathan
51.2נתן
חנני Be gracious to me
51.3חנן
תשׁמיעני make me to hear
51.10שׁמע
ואתנה or else I would give it
51.18נתן
קראו they do call
53.5קרא
יתן will be given
53.7נתן
שׁמע hear
54.4שׁמע
האזינה and give ear
54.4אזן
האזינה give ear
55.2אזן
מתחנתי from my supplication
55.2חנן
וענני and answer me
55.3ענה
מקול from the voice of
55.4קול
יתן will give
55.7נתן
אקרא I will call
55.17קרא
וישׁמע and he will hear
55.18שׁמע
קולי my voice
55.18קול
ישׁמע will hear
55.20שׁמע
ויענם and will answer them
55.20ענה
יתן he will let
55.23נתן
חנני be gracious to me
56.2חנן
אקרא I call
56.10קרא
חנני be gracious to me
57.2חנן
חנני be gracious to me
57.2חנן
חסיה is refuge for
57.2חסה
אחסה I make my refuge
57.2חסה
אקרא I will call
57.3קרא
אזנו his ear
58.5אזן
ישׁמע will hear
58.6שׁמע
לקול the voice of
58.6קול
לקראתי to my call
59.5קרא
תחן do be gracious to
59.6חנן
שׁמע is to hear
59.8שׁמע
נתתה you give
60.6נתן
וענני and answer me
60.7ענה
שׁמעה Hear
61.2שׁמע
אקרא I will call
61.3קרא
מחסה refuge
61.4חסה
אחסה I will take refuge
61.5חסה
שׁמעת have heard
61.6שׁמע
נתת you give
61.6נתן
מחסי my refuge
62.8חסה
מחסה is a refuge
62.9חסה
במאזנים in the balance
62.10אזן
שׁמעתי I heard
62.12שׁמע
שׁמע hear
64.2שׁמע
קולי my voice
64.2קול
וחסה and will take refuge
64.11חסה
שׁמע the one who hears
65.3שׁמע
תעננו you will answer us
65.6ענה
והשׁמיעו and make heard
66.8שׁמע
קול the voice of
66.8קול
נתן does let
66.9נתן
שׁמעו and hear
66.16שׁמע
קראתי called
66.17קרא
ישׁמע will hear
66.18שׁמע
שׁמע has heard
66.19שׁמע
בקול with the voice of
66.19קול
יחננו will be gracious to us
67.2חנן
נתנה has given
67.7נתן
יתן gave
68.12נתן
יתן he gives
68.34נתן
בקולו with his voice
68.34קול
קול a voice of
68.34קול
תנו give
68.35נתן
נתן he gives
68.36נתן
בקראי in my calling
69.4קרא
ואתנה and I gave myself
69.12נתן
ענני answer me
69.14ענה
ענני answer me
69.17ענה
ענני answer me
69.18ענה
ויתנו and they give
69.22נתן
תנה give
69.28נתן
שׁמע hears
69.34שׁמע
חסיתי I take refuge
71.1חסה
אזנך your ear
71.2אזן
מחסי are my refuge
71.7חסה
תן give
72.1נתן
משׁוע when he cries
72.12שׁוע
ויתן and he will give
72.15נתן
מחסי my refuge
73.28חסה
שׁאגו roar
74.4שׁאג
תתננו you gave him
74.14נתן
תתן do give
74.19נתן
קול the voice of
74.23קול
השׁמעת you made heard
76.9שׁמע
קולי my voice
77.2קול
ואצעקה and I cried out
77.2צעק
קולי my voice
77.2קול
והאזין and he listened
77.2אזן
חנות grace
77.10חנן
קול voice
77.18קול
נתנו give
77.18נתן
קול the voice of
77.19קול
האזינה listen to
78.1אזן
אזנכם your ears
78.1אזן
שׁמענו we have heard
78.3שׁמע
לשׁאל by asking
78.18שׁאל
תת give
78.20נתן
שׁמע heard
78.21שׁמע
נתן he gave
78.24נתן
ויתן and he gave
78.46נתן
שׁמע heard
78.59שׁמע
ויתן and he gave
78.61נתן
נתן he gave
78.66נתן
נתנו they have given
79.2נתן
קראו do call
79.6קרא
האזינה give ear
80.2אזן
נקרא we will call
80.19קרא
ותנו and play
81.3נתן
אשׁמע I hear
81.6שׁמע
קראת you called
81.8קרא
אענך I answered you
81.8ענה
שׁמע hear
81.9שׁמע
תשׁמע you will hear
81.9שׁמע
שׁמע did hear
81.12שׁמע
לקולי my voice
81.12קול
שׁמע heard
81.14שׁמע
וישׁמעאלים and Ishmaelites
83.7שׁמע
שׁמעה hear
84.9שׁמע
האזינה give ear
84.9אזן
חן grace
84.12חנן
יתן will give
84.12נתן
תתן give
85.8נתן
אשׁמעה I will hear
85.9שׁמע
יתן gives
85.13נתן
תתן gives
85.13נתן
אזנך your ear
86.1אזן
ענני and answer me
86.1ענה
חנני be gracious to me
86.3חנן
אקרא I call
86.3קרא
קראיך calling on you
86.5קרא
האזינה give ear
86.6אזן
בקול with the voice of
86.6קול
תחנונותי my supplication
86.6חנן
אקראך I will call on you
86.7קרא
תענני you will answer me
86.7ענה
וחנון and gracious
86.15חנן
וחנני and be gracious to me
86.16חנן
תנה give
86.16נתן
צעקתי I cry out
88.2צעק
אזנך your ear
88.3אזן
קראתיך I call you
88.10קרא
שׁועתי I cry
88.14שׁוע
יעננו will answer him
89.23ענה
יקראני will call to me
89.27קרא
אתנהו will make him
89.28נתן
מחסי my refuge
91.2חסה
תחסה you will take refuge
91.4חסה
מחסי are my refuge
91.9חסה
יקראני he will call me
91.15קרא
ואענהו and I will answer him
91.15ענה
תשׁמענה has heard
92.12שׁמע
אזני my ear
92.12אזן
קולם their voice
93.3קול
מקלות from the voices of
93.4קול
אזן the ear
94.9אזן
ישׁמע he hear
94.9שׁמע
מחסי refuge
94.22חסה
בקלו with his voice
95.7קול
תשׁמעו you hear
95.7שׁמע
שׁמעה heard
97.8שׁמע
וקול and voice
98.5קול
וקול and the voice of
98.6קול
בקראי among those calling on
99.6קרא
קראים they called
99.6קרא
יענם answered them
99.6ענה
נתן he gave
99.7נתן
עניתם answered them
99.8ענה
שׁמעה hear
102.2שׁמע
ושׁועתי and let my cry for help
102.2שׁוע
אזנך your ear
102.3אזן
אקרא I call
102.3קרא
ענני answer me
102.3ענה
מקול from the voice of
102.6קול
לחננה to be gracious to her
102.14חנן
יחננו they grace
102.15חנן
לשׁמע to hear
102.21שׁמע
וחנון and gracious is
103.8חנן
לשׁמע hearing
103.20שׁמע
בקול with the voice of
103.20קול
קול the voice of
104.7קול
יתנו it gives
104.12נתן
קול voice
104.12קול
מחסה a refuge
104.18חסה
שׁאגים roar
104.21שׁאג
לתת to give
104.27נתן
תתן you give
104.28נתן
קראו call
105.1קרא
אתן I will give
105.11נתן
ויקרא and he called
105.16קרא
נתן he gave
105.32נתן
שׁאל asked
105.40שׁאל
ויתן and he gave
105.44נתן
ישׁמיע or make be heard
106.2שׁמע
ויתן and he gave
106.15נתן
שׁאלתם their requests
106.15שׁאל
שׁמעו they did hear
106.25שׁמע
בקול with the voice of
106.25קול
ויתנם and he gave them
106.41נתן
בשׁמעו when he heard
106.44שׁמע
ויתן and he demonstrated
106.46נתן
* ויצעקו and they cry out
107.6צעק
* ויצעקו and they cry out
107.13צעק
* ויצעקו and they cry out
107.19צעק
* ויצעקו and they cry out
107.28צעק
וענני and answer me
108.6ענה
ושׁאלו and let them beg
109.10שׁאל
חונן grace
109.12חנן
חנון how gracious
111.4חנן
נתן he gives
111.5נתן
לתת letting have
111.6נתן
חנון he is gracious
112.4חנן
חונן gracious
112.5חנן
משׁמועה messages of
112.7שׁמע
נתן he gives
112.9נתן
תן give
115.1נתן
אזנים ears
115.6אזן
ישׁמעו hear
115.6שׁמע
נתן he has given
115.16נתן
ישׁמע heard
116.1שׁמע
קולי the voice of
116.1קול
תחנוני my supplication
116.1חנן
אזנו his ear
116.2אזן
אקרא I will call
116.2קרא
אקרא I will call
116.4קרא
חנון gracious is
116.5חנן
אקרא I will call
116.13קרא
אקרא I will call
116.17קרא
קראתי I called
118.5קרא
ענני answered me
118.5ענה
לחסות it is to take refuge
118.8חסה
לחסות it is to take refuge
118.9חסה
קול a voice of
118.15קול
נתנני did he give me
118.18נתן
עניתני you have answered me
118.21ענה
ותענני and you answered me
119.26ענה
חנני and grace me with
119.29חנן
ואענה with which I will answer
119.42ענה
חנני be gracious to me
119.58חנן
נתנו netted
119.110נתן
וחנני and be gracious to me
119.132חנן
קראתי queried I
119.145קרא
ענני answer me
119.145ענה
קראתיך queried I you
119.146קרא
ואשׁועה and I cried for help
119.147שׁוע
קולי quest of mine
119.149קול
שׁמעה hear
119.149שׁמע
תחנתי my supplication
119.170חנן
תען will answer
119.172ענה
קראתי I call
120.1קרא
ויענני and he answers me
120.1ענה
יתן gives
120.3נתן
יתן he will let
121.3נתן
שׁאלו ask
122.6שׁאל
שׁיחננו he will be gracious to us
123.2חנן
חננו be gracious to us
123.3חנן
חננו be gracious to us
123.3חנן
נתננו has given us
124.6נתן
יתן he gives
127.2נתן
קראתיך I call to you
130.1קרא
שׁמעה hear
130.2שׁמע
בקולי with my voice
130.2קול
אזניך your ears
130.2אזן
לקול to the voice of
130.2קול
תחנוני my supplication
130.2חנן
אתן will I let
132.4נתן
שׁמענוה we heard of it
132.6שׁמע
ונתן and gave
135.12נתן
אזנים ears
135.17אזן
יאזינו they don't listen
135.17אזן
ונתן and gave
136.21נתן
נתן giving
136.25נתן
שׁאלונו asked us
137.3שׁאל
קראתי I called
138.3קרא
ותענני and you answered me
138.3ענה
שׁמעו they have heard
138.4שׁמע
האזינה give ear to
140.7אזן
קול the voice of
140.7קול
תחנוני my supplication
140.7חנן
תתן grant
140.9נתן
קראתיך I call to you
141.1קרא
האזינה give ear to
141.1אזן
קולי my voice
141.1קול
בקראי when I call
141.1קרא
ושׁמעו then they will hear
141.6שׁמע
חסיתי I take refuge
141.8חסה
קולי my voice
142.2קול
* אזעק I will appeal
142.2זעק
קולי my voice
142.2קול
אתחנן I will supplicate
142.2חנן
* זעקתי I appealed
142.6זעק
מחסי my refuge
142.6חסה
שׁמע hear
143.1שׁמע
האזינה give ear
143.1אזן
תחנוני my supplication
143.1חנן
ענני answer me
143.1ענה
ענני answer me
143.7ענה
השׁמיעני make me hear
143.8שׁמע
חסיתי I have taken refuge
144.2חסה
הנותן giving
144.10נתן
חנון How gracious
145.8חנן
נותן give
145.15נתן
קראיו calling him
145.18קרא
יקראהו call him
145.18קרא
שׁועתם their cry
145.19שׁוע
ישׁמע he will hear
145.19שׁמע
נתן giving
146.7נתן
יקרא he calls
147.4קרא
ענו answer
147.7ענה
נותן giving
147.9נתן
יקראו call
147.9קרא
הנתן this one who gives
147.16נתן
נתן he gave
148.6נתן
שׁמע to be heard
150.5שׁמע