Monday, May 16, 2016

Micah 3 as timely as ever

Take a divisive body where the right is at odds with the left. And you have discord and destruction. Are you surprised?
Micah 3
וָאֹמַ֗ר שִׁמְעוּ־נָא֙ רָאשֵׁ֣י יַעֲקֹ֔ב וּקְצִינֵ֖י בֵּ֣ית יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל
הֲל֣וֹא לָכֶ֔ם לָדַ֖עַת אֶת־הַמִּשְׁפָּֽט
1 And I said, Hear if you will, heads of Jacob and dictators of the house of Israel,
is it not for you to know judgment?
שֹׂ֥נְאֵי ט֖וֹב וְאֹ֣הֲבֵי רָ֑ע
גֹּזְלֵ֤י עוֹרָם֙ מֵֽעֲלֵיהֶ֔ם וּשְׁאֵרָ֖ם מֵעַ֥ל עַצְמוֹתָֽם
2 You who hate good and love evil,
who ravage their skin from off themselves and their meat from off their bones.
וַאֲשֶׁ֣ר אָכְלוּ֮ שְׁאֵ֣ר עַמִּי֒ וְעוֹרָם֙ מֵעֲלֵיהֶ֣ם הִפְשִׁ֔יטוּ וְאֶת־עַצְמֹֽתֵיהֶ֖ם פִּצֵּ֑חוּ
וּפָרְשׂוּ֙ כַּאֲשֶׁ֣ר בַּסִּ֔יר וּכְבָשָׂ֖ר בְּת֥וֹךְ קַלָּֽחַת
3 And who eat the meat of my people and their skin from off them, flay,
and their bones crunch and spread as in the pot and as flesh in the midst of the cauldron.
אָ֚ז יִזְעֲק֣וּ אֶל־יְהוָ֔ה וְלֹ֥א יַעֲנֶ֖ה אוֹתָ֑ם
וְיַסְתֵּ֨ר פָּנָ֤יו מֵהֶם֙ בָּעֵ֣ת הַהִ֔יא כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר הֵרֵ֖עוּ מַעַלְלֵיהֶֽם פ
4 Then they will appeal to Yahweh, but he will not answer them.
He has hidden his face from them at that time, in that they are evil from their wantonness.
כֹּ֚ה אָמַ֣ר יְהוָ֔ה עַל־הַנְּבִיאִ֖ים הַמַּתְעִ֣ים אֶת־עַמִּ֑י
הַנֹּשְׁכִ֤ים בְּשִׁנֵּיהֶם֙ וְקָרְא֣וּ שָׁל֔וֹם וַאֲשֶׁר֙ לֹא־יִתֵּ֣ן עַל־פִּיהֶ֔ם וְקִדְּשׁ֥וּ עָלָ֖יו מִלְחָמָֽה
5 Thus says Yahweh over the prophets who make my people wander,
that chomp with their teeth and proclaim peace, but whoever does not yield to their mouthing, they sanctify war against him.
לָכֵ֞ן לַ֤יְלָה לָכֶם֙ מֵֽחָז֔וֹן וְחָשְׁכָ֥ה לָכֶ֖ם מִקְּסֹ֑ם
וּבָ֤אָה הַשֶּׁ֙מֶשׁ֙ עַל־הַנְּבִיאִ֔ים וְקָדַ֥ר עֲלֵיהֶ֖ם הַיּֽוֹם
6 Therefore night is yours from the vision, and darkness is yours for soothsaying,
and the sun will be cued to set over the prophets and day will be blackness over them.
וּבֹ֣שׁוּ הַחֹזִ֗ים וְחָֽפְרוּ֙ הַקֹּ֣סְמִ֔ים וְעָט֥וּ עַל־שָׂפָ֖ם כֻּלָּ֑ם
כִּ֛י אֵ֥ין מַעֲנֵ֖ה אֱלֹהִֽים
7 And the visionaries will be ashamed and the soothsayers disappointed and they will wrap over their lips, all of them,
for there is no answer of God.
וְאוּלָ֗ם אָנֹכִ֞י מָלֵ֤אתִי כֹ֙חַ֙ אֶת־ר֣וּחַ יְהוָ֔ה וּמִשְׁפָּ֖ט וּגְבוּרָ֑ה
לְהַגִּ֤יד לְיַֽעֲקֹב֙ פִּשְׁע֔וֹ וּלְיִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל חַטָּאתֽוֹ ס
8 However I myself, I am full of power, the spirit of Yahweh and judgment and valour,
to announce to Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin.
שִׁמְעוּ־נָ֣א זֹ֗את רָאשֵׁי֙ בֵּ֣ית יַעֲקֹ֔ב וּקְצִינֵ֖י בֵּ֣ית יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל
הַֽמֲתַעֲבִ֣ים מִשְׁפָּ֔ט וְאֵ֥ת כָּל־הַיְשָׁרָ֖ה יְעַקֵּֽשׁוּ
9 Hear, if you will, this, heads of the house of Jacob and dictators of the house of Israel,
those who abhor judgment and pervert all equity,
בֹּנֶ֥ה צִיּ֖וֹן בְּדָמִ֑ים
וִירוּשָׁלִַ֖ם בְּעַוְלָֽה
10 building up Zion with blood,
and Jerusalem with injustice.
רָאשֶׁ֣יהָ ׀ בְּשֹׁ֣חַד יִשְׁפֹּ֗טוּ וְכֹהֲנֶ֙יהָ֙ בִּמְחִ֣יר יוֹר֔וּ וּנְבִיאֶ֖יהָ בְּכֶ֣סֶף יִקְסֹ֑מוּ
וְעַל־יְהוָה֙ יִשָּׁעֵ֣נוּ לֵאמֹ֔ר הֲל֤וֹא יְהוָה֙ בְּקִרְבֵּ֔נוּ לֹֽא־תָב֥וֹא עָלֵ֖ינוּ רָעָֽה
11 Her heads judge for a bribe and her priests instruct for a price and her prophets say sooth with silver,
yet on Yahweh they lean, saying, Is it not Yahweh within us? No evil will come upon us.
לָכֵן֙ בִּגְלַלְכֶ֔ם צִיּ֖וֹן שָׂדֶ֣ה תֵֽחָרֵ֑שׁ
וִירוּשָׁלִַ֙ם֙ עִיִּ֣ין תִּֽהְיֶ֔ה וְהַ֥ר הַבַּ֖יִת לְבָמ֥וֹת יָֽעַר פ
12 Therefore, for your sake, Zion will be a ploughed field,
and Jerusalem will be a shambles, and the hill of the house, the high places of the forest.
And this is not 'poetry', just rhetoric - and true at that of course. There are uses of parallelism, but the lines are long rather than short, with the odd exception. Parallels are more than a poetic device. I think because of the nature of the accents in the 21 books though that it is good to know where the major disjunctive is in a verse. I see also the lesser disjunctives being used to parse poetry in the 21 books, but the effect is in the consistent shortness of the lines, as if to say - look at how much I can do with a few syllables in two (and occasionally 3) lines, usually between 7 and 10 syllables per line.

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