Thursday, June 30, 2016

Music in worship

The Liturgy site of Bosco Peters has raised the question of music in the Church with this provocative post.

This is such an important topic, I have taken the time to try a fuller response.

I admit my bias. My wife and I both sang in a semi-professional capacity in choirs across Canada, Montreal under Wayne Riddel, Ottawa under Brian Law and others, Toronto under John Tuttle, Calgary under various conductors, and Victoria, under John Washburn, Bruce Pullen, Matthew Larkin, and others. Two of my children teach music professionally, one in England and the other in Regina but now just having finished an 8-day workshop in Perth, Australia, so we are getting the effect of the dateline these days. One is a musician inside the Anglican tradition at its source, the other is outside the church as an orchestral leader, though he occasionally plays in a liturgical context. We have a brain-damaged fourth child whom my daughter calls the best natural musician in the family. Music is what has kept him alive and has taught him what we could not have. Our second child elected not to pursue music. We don't hold it against him.

Music develops the brain. Music develops team work and communications to produce beauty. Music 'in church' is the pulse of the drama and the voice of the body in response to the unfolding love. Music makes us aware of temporal unity in the drama when it is well chosen, practiced and performed. Music deepens active perception (religiously and non-religiously) as we learn it.

One key element of music, either overlooked or over-stressed, is the pulse. Pulse combines moments in time into a single experiential statement without words. There is neither word nor language where its voice is not felt. In a choral work, pulse (gut), sound (ear), and intellect (eye) are all unified. In a musical work without choir, no translation is required for the impact to be known.

The great tradition of Christian choral music is unmatched, and often in a single work, the entire drama of the liturgy is presented. E.g. Bach B Minor Mass, the Clavierubung 3 which can be heard as an exploration of the doctrine of the Trinity, (but is equally fine without explanation), the Beethoven Missal Solemnis, and the Brahms Requiem, just to mention a very few but from various traditions and by both believers and those whose faithfulness in their art belies any thought that they are somehow 'outside' rather than in.

Now, given that too brief background, filled with claims of benefit, I want to look specifically at Liturgical form and the response of the body to the drama of the Eucharist. This is the response that I have begun to perceive as a part of the Anglican tradition for many years (over 60 of them).

Most Anglicans are not aware of the importance of the rhythm of our response as body in the liturgy. It is more than the great Amen, though it is that Amen spread out over the length of the liturgical act from procession, introit, and greeting through Kyrie and Gloria, then the lessons: The lesson from the Hebrew Bible can be sung, but usually isn't. The Psalm is sung, the Epistle not, but Gospel acclamation with a surrounding hymn allows the music to continue its commentary. Following the sermon, the Creed is sung. Often there are sung responses to the intercessions. This is a good practice. Following the confession, the peace is sung and its response.

The choices of hymns are obviously important. Not everyone would agree with my choices, but there are plenty of hymns I would avoid. Not all hymns are musical. Not all words are poetry or edifying. I've done plenty of happy-clappy stuff and it is fortunately transient (most of it).

The Eucharist itself is a full musical expression even if the prayer is mostly said. Training the priest to sing the Sursum Corda can be a difficult job, but must be done and can 95% of the time be quite successful even for the priest with little musical training - but why should such ever be the case! No person should be raised without musical training. In Islamic tradition, the poetry has to be recited to be the word of God. They are right on this point. Music opens the ear. The Sanctus, Benedictus, and Agnus Dei punctuate and complete the prayer of consecration.  Our priests always pick their note out of the air when they switch from speaking to singing. They get really good at it, even those whose musical training is limited. The Pater Noster completes the music before communion.

Then there are the closing hymns. Many beautiful hymns are available for post-communion. Many of those I grew up with never get chosen these days. And some a little too sentimental for me so creep in. But you win some and you lose some as people learn.

You can see there is plenty of music and plenty of opportunity to respond together in beauty. Also plenty of opportunity to have a choral (proxy) response that the congregation participates in silently.

Generally, the churches I have been part of have done music out of inertia rather than the conscious impulse required for planning a dramatic presentation (which is what the Eucharist is). The leaders in the Christian community have been concerned with correct doctrine or social justice both of which have some place, but often with music as an afterthought. Liturgical training of children must include serious music or there will be no one to continue the work. But the musicians who know why music is in the liturgy are few and those who can plan and pace it all well are few. Why should we ignore what is a vital part of our development and understanding?

As for worship - yes - it is the critical aspect of what we are called to. Certainly it should not be done sloppily or without preparation. Worship is worthy of disciplined effort. It's more than a matter of dropping in for a visit.

There is no mention of entertainment in this post. And the best expression of some gifts should be left to the trained choir. By all means pay them a stipend. Keep the talent in the tradition and make it work from generation to generation. But we are so far behind, and so filled with conflict, of taste or tradition, where and how will we restart?

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Concordance

The prod of drip, drips and dropped drops.

Concordance is impossible. It is not the way language works. There are just too many exceptions. A large part of language is very fluid. Large parts of the puzzle of the corpus of the OT are a vague sea of colour. Precision is impossible. Why did it take me 10 years to figure this out?  Repeated sounds are important but in the process of translation, many compromises are required.

I have 227 distinct roots in Hebrew where I allow some overlap with English words. That doesn't seem like very many. It's about 6% of all the Hebrew roots (at present). The problem I just noticed is that this accounts for 135,471 words in the corpus. That's about 44% of the puzzle!  Even if I tighten up my concordance to take into account English roots (to reduce my manual error rate by a little - though I will probably encounter most errors by serendipity), it would hardly make a noticeable difference.

When I add the other 104,000 or so words that are proper names or grammatical words - these of course not devoid of sense, but connecting the other words in the language, then I see that over 78% of the words in the puzzle are either cloudy, connectors, or simply pointers. Perhaps that magnifies the 22% of words over which the translator thinks there is some limited control.

What raised these tests in me was that I noticed my usage of drop and drip. drip I have used for 2 distinct similar roots: רעף (Psalms 65:12-13) and דלף (Psalm 119:28). This is an allowed exception for the acrostic - so no problem with drip. And drop, a more common word, is נטף, but I noted that I used it once for אגל as drops once in Job. It should be more like collection or store - note store is also אגר. I have replaced drops with cache. I noticed this by accident when looking for a gloss for Deuteronomy 32:2 for ערף (normally the scruff of the neck). Note the simple reversal of letters, ערף and רעף. They are the same word mangled. Maybe it's a joke, deliberate scruff-talk in this song, because we know what's coming... (or do we?)

Note the onomatopoeia in both English and Hebrew: all the above words in both languages end in p (ף).

[PS - one must still try, and where a compromise is made, have a good rationale, and then minimize it as possible. Much of the oceanic haze an be seen through.]

Readings about building walls in the DSS

Some ancient advice from wall builders:

"The reader is warned against erecting a partition or wall in partnership with a divisive person, since the structure will be built with stones of wastefulness and the plaster that should serve to strengthen the construction will be weak and without substance. The wall or partition will not withstand a flow of water." from here via Paleojudaica.

This just goes to show that divisiveness is not a new phenomenon. 

Further in the above linked article:
"Elisha Qimron has shown that in fragments from three other Qumran sources, the individual who forgives monetary debts or who frees his slaves in the Jubilee year receives a promise from God that he, too, will be treated in kind, and that his debts – that is to say, his sins – will be forgiven.

"According to this approach, there is a clear connection between debt relief and atonement of sins. We still need to explain, however, how the sinners became captives, and what relationship exists between forgiving debts and sins on the one hand and freeing captives on the other. In a note that appears in his book, Anderson attempts to identify the creditor to whom the sinners are obligated, ultimately suggesting that it is Belial. According to this approach, the "owner of the debt" is none other than Belial."

As I continue to think about avarice as the controlling power for the other mortal sins of the world (and reflect that this is a folly: that the market should control greed), nonetheless money has been used for ages as a metaphor for the indebtedness of sin. So can economics trump racism? Somehow I think the power needed to effectively govern ourselves has to come from outside the powers of self-interest that generally hold sway over us.

Next question: ...
 [this is clear indication that Deuteronomy 32 is next]

Genesis 49

If I had hired the poet, I wonder if I would have paid for this song when it was finished. It is certainly blunt at times from Reuben's incest to Benjamin's violence. And in the middle (Gen 49:18), there is a three word prayer. None of the three words is repeated anywhere else in the chapter. That makes it a central message. There's no doubt that having a family requires one to wait patiently for the salvation of Yahweh. But it is poetry. So I would have coughed up. With significant recurrence, and imagery. Many of the lines are also very short as in the three poetry books (Psalms, Proverbs, Job).

The alliteration of e.g. verse 19 is striking: Gad, gdud ygudnu, vhu yagud aqav. Needless to say, comments welcome on how to imitate this in some other tongue. This is mine if it lives:
Gad, a raiding party will invade him,
and himself, he will invade the hindmost.

JB does well with:
Gad, robbers rob him,
and he, he robs and pursues them.

One has to miss the allusion to the name of his father. The last word is עקב is the root of Jacob.

JB has a lovely translation of verse 22:
Joseph is a fruitful creeper near the spring,
whose tendrils climb over the wall.

It's not even close to the Hebrew but it expresses the idea well, but the Hebrew does it with the words son and daughter, now completely lost in the English.

A fruitful son is Joseph, a fruitful son by a spring,
whose daughters march over a barrier.

I've already used climb for עלה, so I won't use it for צעד (march, pace). Joseph gets 8 out of 9 of the blessings.

Verse 23 is strange. It appears that the pause is between verb and its subject. I have never (yet) seen verb and its subject separated by the rest on the subdominant.

About proper names. Many of these are 'Anglicized' but some are spelled differently in different parts of the Bible itself. So Isaac and Yitzhaq are the same person, but here it is spelled with a tsade (צ) and elsewhere with a sin (ס). One could get distracted here. I suspect a study of Biblical names could be a lifetime's job all by itself for the person who is so inclined. My guess is that Isaac is the later version. It occurs only in the Psalms and Amos, 3 of 114 occurrences. You can tell that my not starting with Torah is a bit like going through the door back first.

Genesis 49
וַיִּקְרָ֥א יַעֲקֹ֖ב אֶל־בָּנָ֑יו
וַיֹּ֗אמֶר הֵאָֽסְפוּ֙ וְאַגִּ֣ידָה לָכֶ֔ם אֵ֛ת אֲשֶׁר־יִקְרָ֥א אֶתְכֶ֖ם בְּאַחֲרִ֥ית הַיָּמִֽים
1 And Jacob called to his children
and said, Gather yourselves, and I will tell you what will encounter you in the aftermath of the days.
9
26
הִקָּבְצ֥וּ וְשִׁמְע֖וּ בְּנֵ֣י יַעֲקֹ֑ב
וְשִׁמְע֖וּ אֶל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֥ל אֲבִיכֶֽם
2 Collect yourselves and hear children of Jacob,
and hear Israel, your father.
11
10
רְאוּבֵן֙ בְּכֹ֣רִי אַ֔תָּה כֹּחִ֖י וְרֵאשִׁ֣ית אוֹנִ֑י
יֶ֥תֶר שְׂאֵ֖ת וְיֶ֥תֶר עָֽז
3 Reuben, my firstborn you are, my power, and the first of my virility,
the surplus of what is lifted up and the surplus of strength.
15
8
פַּ֤חַז כַּמַּ֙יִם֙ אַל־תּוֹתַ֔ר כִּ֥י עָלִ֖יתָ מִשְׁכְּבֵ֣י אָבִ֑יךָ
אָ֥ז חִלַּ֖לְתָּ יְצוּעִ֥י עָלָֽה
4 Reckless like water, you will not have advantage, for you went up to where your father lies down,
then you profaned my bunk in going up.
17
9
שִׁמְע֥וֹן וְלֵוִ֖י אַחִ֑ים
כְּלֵ֥י חָמָ֖ס מְכֵרֹתֵיהֶֽם
5 Simeon and Levi, kin,
instruments of violence are in your forges.
7
9
בְּסֹדָם֙ אַל־תָּבֹ֣א נַפְשִׁ֔י בִּקְהָלָ֖ם אַל־תֵּחַ֣ד כְּבֹדִ֑י
כִּ֤י בְאַפָּם֙ הָ֣רְגוּ אִ֔ישׁ וּבִרְצֹנָ֖ם עִקְּרוּ־שֽׁוֹר
6 In their council may my being not comply. Into their congregation may my glory not be united,
for in their anger, they slew someone. In their acceptance, they rooted out a barrier.
17
14
אָר֤וּר אַפָּם֙ כִּ֣י עָ֔ז וְעֶבְרָתָ֖ם כִּ֣י קָשָׁ֑תָה
אֲחַלְּקֵ֣ם בְּיַעֲקֹ֔ב וַאֲפִיצֵ֖ם בְּיִשְׂרָאֵֽל
7 Cursed be their anger for strength and their fury for intransigence.
I will divide them in Jacob and fracture them in Israel.
14
15
יְהוּדָ֗ה אַתָּה֙ יוֹד֣וּךָ אַחֶ֔יךָ יָדְךָ֖ בְּעֹ֣רֶף אֹיְבֶ֑יךָ
יִשְׁתַּחֲוּ֥וּ לְךָ֖ בְּנֵ֥י אָבִֽיךָ
8 Judah, you are the one for whom your brothers will give thanks. Your hand will be in the nape of your enemies.
The children of your father will worship you.
19
11
גּ֤וּר אַרְיֵה֙ יְהוּדָ֔ה מִטֶּ֖רֶף בְּנִ֣י עָלִ֑יתָ
כָּרַ֨ע רָבַ֧ץ כְּאַרְיֵ֛ה וּכְלָבִ֖יא מִ֥י יְקִימֶֽנּוּ
9 Judah is a lion's whelp. From prey, my son, you have ascended.
He is bowed down. He reclines like a lion, and as an old lion, who will make him arise?
14
15
לֹֽא־יָס֥וּר שֵׁ֙בֶט֙ מִֽיהוּדָ֔ה וּמְחֹקֵ֖ק מִבֵּ֣ין רַגְלָ֑יו
עַ֚ד כִּֽי־יָבֹ֣א שִׁיל֔וֹ וְל֖וֹ יִקְּהַ֥ת עַמִּֽים
10 Sceptre will not turn aside from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet,
till Shiloh come and to him will be the obedience of the peoples.
14
11
אֹסְרִ֤י לַגֶּ֙פֶן֙ עִיר֔וֹ וְלַשֹּׂרֵקָ֖ה בְּנִ֣י אֲתֹנ֑וֹ
כִּבֵּ֤ס בַּיַּ֙יִן֙ לְבֻשׁ֔וֹ וּבְדַם־עֲנָבִ֖ים סוּתֽוֹ
11 Binding to the vine his foal, to the noble vine, the child of his she-donkey,
he scoured in wine his clothing and in the blood of grapes his vesture,
17
14
חַכְלִילִ֥י עֵינַ֖יִם מִיָּ֑יִן
וּלְבֶן־שִׁנַּ֖יִם מֵחָלָֽב
12 flushed eyes from wine,
and white teeth from milk.
8
7
זְבוּלֻ֕ן לְח֥וֹף יַמִּ֖ים יִשְׁכֹּ֑ן
וְהוּא֙ לְח֣וֹף אֳנִיּ֔וֹת וְיַרְכָת֖וֹ עַל־צִידֹֽן
13 Zebulun at the seaport will dwell,
and he will be a port for ships, his outer reaches at Tsidon.
9
14
יִשָּׂשכָ֖ר חֲמֹ֣ר גָּ֑רֶם
רֹבֵ֖ץ בֵּ֥ין הַֽמִּשְׁפְּתָֽיִם
14 Issachar is a strong-boned ass
reclining between two hearth-stones.
7
8
וַיַּ֤רְא מְנֻחָה֙ כִּ֣י ט֔וֹב וְאֶת־הָאָ֖רֶץ כִּ֣י נָעֵ֑מָה
וַיֵּ֤ט שִׁכְמוֹ֙ לִסְבֹּ֔ל וַיְהִ֖י לְמַס־עֹבֵֽד
15 And he saw rest as good and the land as pleasant,
so he bent his backside for burden and became a servant in forced service.
16
12
דָּ֖ן יָדִ֣ין עַמּ֑וֹ
כְּאַחַ֖ד שִׁבְטֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל
16 Dan makes the case for his people,
as one of the sceptres of Israel.
5
8
יְהִי־דָן֙ נָחָ֣שׁ עֲלֵי־דֶ֔רֶךְ שְׁפִיפֹ֖ן עֲלֵי־אֹ֑רַח
הַנֹּשֵׁךְ֙ עִקְּבֵי־ס֔וּס וַיִּפֹּ֥ל רֹכְב֖וֹ אָחֽוֹר
17 Dan will be a snake by the way, a horned adder by a path,
biting the heels of the horse so its rider will fall backwards.
14
13
לִֽישׁוּעָתְךָ֖ קִוִּ֥יתִי יְהוָֽה 18 For your salvation I await, Yahweh. 9
גָּ֖ד גְּד֣וּד יְגוּדֶ֑נּוּ
וְה֖וּא יָגֻ֥ד עָקֵֽב
19 Gad, a raiding party will invade him,
and himself, he will invade the hindmost.
7
6
מֵאָשֵׁ֖ר שְׁמֵנָ֣ה לַחְמ֑וֹ
וְה֥וּא יִתֵּ֖ן מַֽעֲדַנֵּי־מֶֽלֶךְ
20 From Asher, his bread will be stout,
and himself will make royal specialty foods.
8
9
נַפְתָּלִ֖י אַיָּלָ֣ה שְׁלֻחָ֑ה
הַנֹּתֵ֖ן אִמְרֵי־שָֽׁפֶר
21 Naphtali is potency set loose,
the one who gives glistening promises.
9
6
בֵּ֤ן פֹּרָת֙ יוֹסֵ֔ף בֵּ֥ן פֹּרָ֖ת עֲלֵי־עָ֑יִן
בָּנ֕וֹת צָעֲדָ֖ה עֲלֵי־שֽׁוּר
22 A fruitful child is Joseph, a fruitful child by a spring,
whose daughters march over a barrier.
11
8
וַֽיְמָרֲרֻ֖הוּ וָרֹ֑בּוּ
וַֽיִּשְׂטְמֻ֖הוּ בַּעֲלֵ֥י חִצִּֽים
23 And have embittered him,
and showered him and opposed him, the owners of the arrows.
8
10
וַתֵּ֤שֶׁב בְּאֵיתָן֙ קַשְׁתּ֔וֹ וַיָּפֹ֖זּוּ זְרֹעֵ֣י יָדָ֑יו
מִידֵי֙ אֲבִ֣יר יַעֲקֹ֔ב מִשָּׁ֥ם רֹעֶ֖ה אֶ֥בֶן יִשְׂרָאֵֽל
24 But persists perennially his bow and the arms of his hands are made nimble,
by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob. From there is the shepherd, the Stone of Israel.
17
16
מֵאֵ֨ל אָבִ֜יךָ וְיַעְזְרֶ֗ךָּ וְאֵ֤ת שַׁדַּי֙ וִיבָ֣רְכֶ֔ךָּ בִּרְכֹ֤ת שָׁמַ֙יִם֙ מֵעָ֔ל בִּרְכֹ֥ת תְּה֖וֹם רֹבֶ֣צֶת תָּ֑חַת
בִּרְכֹ֥ת שָׁדַ֖יִם וָרָֽחַם
25 From the God of your father and your helper and the Sufficient, and he will bless you: the blessings of heaven above, the blessings of the abyss reclining under,
the blessings of the breasts and the womb.
33
7
בִּרְכֹ֣ת אָבִ֗יךָ גָּֽבְרוּ֙ עַל־בִּרְכֹ֣ת הוֹרַ֔י עַֽד־תַּאֲוַ֖ת גִּבְעֹ֣ת עוֹלָ֑ם
תִּֽהְיֶ֙ין֙ לְרֹ֣אשׁ יוֹסֵ֔ף וּלְקָדְקֹ֖ד נְזִ֥יר אֶחָֽיו
26 The blessings of your father have prevailed over the blessings of my progenitors to the desire of the everlasting hillocks.
They will be as the beginning of Joseph, and on the scalp of the Nazirite of his brothers.
20
13
בִּנְיָמִין֙ זְאֵ֣ב יִטְרָ֔ף בַּבֹּ֖קֶר יֹ֣אכַל עַ֑ד
וְלָעֶ֖רֶב יְחַלֵּ֥ק שָׁלָֽל
27 Benjamin, a wolf, will tear: in the morning he will devour endlessly,
and in the evening he will divide spoil.
13
9
כָּל־אֵ֛לֶּה שִׁבְטֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל שְׁנֵ֣ים עָשָׂ֑ר
וְ֠זֹאת אֲשֶׁר־דִּבֶּ֨ר לָהֶ֤ם אֲבִיהֶם֙ וַיְבָ֣רֶךְ אוֹתָ֔ם אִ֛ישׁ אֲשֶׁ֥ר כְּבִרְכָת֖וֹ בֵּרַ֥ךְ אֹתָֽם
28 All these are the twelve sceptres of Israel
and this is what their father spoke to them and blessed them, each that was according to his blessing, he blessed them.
12
27
וַיְצַ֣ו אוֹתָ֗ם וַיֹּ֤אמֶר אֲלֵהֶם֙ אֲנִי֙ נֶאֱסָ֣ף אֶל־עַמִּ֔י קִבְר֥וּ אֹתִ֖י אֶל־אֲבֹתָ֑י
אֶל־הַ֨מְּעָרָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר בִּשְׂדֵ֖ה עֶפְר֥וֹן הַֽחִתִּֽי
29 And he commanded them and he said to them, I am to be gathered to to my people. Entomb me with my fathers,
at the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite,
26
13
בַּמְּעָרָ֞ה אֲשֶׁ֨ר בִּשְׂדֵ֧ה הַמַּכְפֵּלָ֛ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר עַל־פְּנֵי־מַמְרֵ֖א בְּאֶ֣רֶץ כְּנָ֑עַן
אֲשֶׁר֩ קָנָ֨ה אַבְרָהָ֜ם אֶת־הַשָּׂדֶ֗ה מֵאֵ֛ת עֶפְרֹ֥ן הַחִתִּ֖י לַאֲחֻזַּת־קָֽבֶר
30 in the cave that is in the field of the Makpelah that is before Mamre in the land of Canaan,
that Abraham purchased with the field, from Ephron the Hittite, to hold a tomb.
24
24
שָׁ֣מָּה קָֽבְר֞וּ אֶת־אַבְרָהָ֗ם וְאֵת֙ שָׂרָ֣ה אִשְׁתּ֔וֹ שָׁ֚מָּה קָבְר֣וּ אֶת־יִצְחָ֔ק וְאֵ֖ת רִבְקָ֣ה אִשְׁתּ֑וֹ
וְשָׁ֥מָּה קָבַ֖רְתִּי אֶת־לֵאָֽה
31 There they entombed Abraham and Sarah, his wife. There they entombed Yitshaq and Rebekah, his wife,
and there I entombed Leah.
27
9
מִקְנֵ֧ה הַשָּׂדֶ֛ה וְהַמְּעָרָ֥ה אֲשֶׁר־בּ֖וֹ מֵאֵ֥ת בְּנֵי־חֵֽת 32 The purchase of the field and the cave that is in it has from the children of Heit. 17
וַיְכַ֤ל יַעֲקֹב֙ לְצַוֺּ֣ת אֶת־בָּנָ֔יו וַיֶּאֱסֹ֥ף רַגְלָ֖יו אֶל־הַמִּטָּ֑ה
וַיִּגְוַ֖ע וַיֵּאָ֥סֶף אֶל־עַמָּֽיו
33 And Jacob finished commanding his children and he gathered his feet to the couch,
and expired and was gathered to his people.
21
10

Monday, June 27, 2016

Settings of Psalm 137

Some of these are stunning. All worth a few minutes to hear how widely received this psalm is.

The timbre of the four soloists in the second Rossi is striking. The Khazak film preview is very sad. The Chinese dance is fascinating.

Where am I going?

Where have I been? Here's my current status by subdivision of books. Torah, for instance, has 187 chapters, 5843 verses, and constitutes 25% of the Hebrew Bible by verse. Of these I have read 26 chapters and reported my reading on this blog. That's 13.9% of Torah. 4,940 verses have no draft text in my database though they may have a number of reasonable automated guesses in the word table.
Books Chapters Verses by verse Final % 'done' no draft
Torah 187 5843 25% 26 13.9% 4940
Former Prophets 147 4297 19% 16 10.9% 3731
Later Prophets 166 3923 17% 17 10.2% 3607
The 12 67 1050 5% 49 73.1% 278
Books of Truth 223 4502 19% 185 83.0% 781
Scrolls 39 745 3% 30 76.9% 135
Other 100 2791 12% 13 13.0% 2456
929 23151 100% 336 36.2% 15928

My strategy has been concentrated on the poetry first. So there's a possible continuation: find all the songs and do them. We are nearly at the song of Moses at the end of Deuteronomy. Genesis 49 is another song. There are sections of Chronicles that reflect the Psalms. Some of them are done. The Proverbs and the rest of Job beckon (after a fashion).

A second possibility is to attack one book at a time. That works for shortish books and I could concentrate on finishing the Twelve, only two books to go (Hosea and Zechariah). And the scrolls, only Esther to go. That still leaves me with massive unknowns particularly Samuel and my impression of its disjointedness, the major prophets, and Torah. Kings and Chronicles are sometimes difficult, but when you work through one, a chapter in the other almost translates itself.

And what about my pace? It has varied and it will vary again. I cannot say how much time I will be able to spend. Other responsibilities often come first. Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood are very busy at the moment. I may even have to get the iron out, not to mention the vacuum, since my cleaner is on holiday. And when my wife is out of hospital, running meal supplements, which has improved my cooking skills, will be replaced with catching up with her on all the mysteries we have missed. I simply can't watch some of them alone. It's not as much fun without a companion. Mind you, I can read and translate while watching TV I suppose, but it is distracting.

Over the period of my measurements, October 26 2015 to date, 245 days, I have averaged 9 verses a day. This varies widely. In the first quarter of this year, I was writing a book and read only selective verses based on my writing. So my reading rate was 16 chapters in the first quarter compared to 56 to date in the second quarter. The verses per day was roughly 4.5 in the first quarter, whereas in the second quarter it is at the moment roughly 14. That translates into 5 years remaining in this project, longer than I thought it might be but possibly achievable. 

So given the length of the project, I really should take my time. That number of verses per day translates into 3 hours per day in a 5 day week and a 45 week year at a rate of 4.5 verses per hour. Some days I go much faster than that rate so it might be 9 per hour at 1.5 hours per day. It really depends on how distracted I am from this goal. If I really got 3 good hours in per day, the project would be done in half the time. 

But it's not just verses, it's words and semantics and tone and guesswork and programming and data controls. These need the passage of time and repeated views of the same data. So on a word by word basis, determining the fundamental stem and clarifying the semantic domain and subdomain, I have touched well over 200 chapters this month, some only by automation, but many with deliberate individual word or punctuation changes. But the verse and chapter changes are converging so it is likely I am being more consistent.


I might make faster progress if I stopped testing my vital signs every few days. The reason I do it is twofold: 1. have a reasonable backup and restore capability, and 2. check your data and software by measurement to make sure you are not missing something. I do have these control problems. I wonder what the ancients did for project control. You can clearly see the numeric controls at the end of any book in a printed Tanach under the חזק. With the computer it is relatively easy to calculate such things, but how do you know you are not simply missing something? Some redundancy in the design of the data is needed so that you can compare and test differing patterns of control after all the manual interventions that are required. Then you find the missing bits.

Job 29

Job's summary of his case (chapters 29-31) is as touching as any constructed literature one might read. The final recurring root in this chapter, (verses 21 and 23) what I would call its focus, is hope. Certain verses are marked by recurrence. Verse 13 has no significant recurrence, (and verse 12 only the negative particle). In the music, verses 11, 14, 16, 18, 20 all begin on other than the tonic. (In traditional words, this means the first syllable has an odd accentuation.)

How do you tell your world of your hope for justice. You pursue it as your intention and in your actions. So Job describes his position in society. Perhaps we might just consider him privileged and undeserving. Did he become complacent? We should hold our fire till the end of the speech. Then we will see if Elihu has an answer that satisfies us. Last time I read this, I had a higher opinion of Elihu than others but I confess to not really remembering it anyway. I am also convinced by Yahweh's 'answer' but we are not finished with that either at this point in this second reading. I cast out the grappling hooks to some of the final chapters last year, and we will reach the end, or so I hope.

Job 29
וַיֹּ֣סֶף אִ֭יּוֹב שְׂאֵ֥ת מְשָׁל֗וֹ וַיֹּאמַֽר 1 And again Job lifted up his parable and said, 13
מִֽי־יִתְּנֵ֥נִי כְיַרְחֵי־קֶ֑דֶם
כִּ֝ימֵ֗י אֱל֣וֹהַּ יִשְׁמְרֵֽנִי
2 Who will give me the moons of old,
like the days when God sheltered me,
8
9
בְּהִלּ֣וֹ נֵ֭רוֹ עֲלֵ֣י רֹאשִׁ֑י
לְ֝אוֹרוֹ אֵ֣לֶךְ חֹֽשֶׁךְ
3 When his lamp praised over my head,
in its light I walked darkness,
9
7
כַּאֲשֶׁ֣ר הָ֭יִיתִי בִּימֵ֣י חָרְפִּ֑י
בְּס֥וֹד אֱ֝ל֗וֹהַּ עֲלֵ֣י אָהֳלִֽי
4 As I had been in the days of my autumn,
with the intimacy of God over my tent.
10
10
בְּע֣וֹד שַׁ֭דַּי עִמָּדִ֑י
סְבִ֖יבוֹתַ֣י נְעָרָֽי
5 Before the Sufficient was with me,
round about me my youngsters,
7
7
בִּרְחֹ֣ץ הֲלִיכַ֣י בְּחֵמָ֑ה
וְצ֥וּר יָצ֥וּק עִ֝מָּדִ֗י פַּלְגֵי־שָֽׁמֶן
6 When I washed my walk with clotted cream,
and rock infusing standing streams of oil,
8
10
בְּצֵ֣אתִי שַׁ֣עַר עֲלֵי־קָ֑רֶת
בָּ֝רְח֗וֹב אָכִ֥ין מוֹשָׁבִֽי
7 When I went out the gate to town,
in the piazza I prepared my seat,
8
7
רָא֣וּנִי נְעָרִ֣ים וְנֶחְבָּ֑אוּ
וִֽ֝ישִׁישִׁים קָ֣מוּ עָמָֽדוּ
8 The youngsters would see me and camouflage themselves,
and the wizened arose and stood.
10
8
שָׂ֭רִים עָצְר֣וּ בְמִלִּ֑ים
וְ֝כַ֗ף יָשִׂ֥ימוּ לְפִיהֶֽם
9 Chiefs contained their speeches,
and palm they set over their mouths.
7
8
קוֹל־נְגִידִ֥ים נֶחְבָּ֑אוּ
וּ֝לְשׁוֹנָ֗ם לְחִכָּ֥ם דָּבֵֽקָה
10 The voice of the aristocrats was camouflaged,
and their tongue to their palate clung.
7
9
כִּ֤י אֹ֣זֶן שָׁ֭מְעָה וַֽתְּאַשְּׁרֵ֑נִי
וְעַ֥יִן רָ֝אֲתָ֗ה וַתְּעִידֵֽנִי
11 When an ear heard, it thought me happy,
and an eye seeing, it testified of me.
9
9
כִּֽי־אֲ֭מַלֵּט עָנִ֣י מְשַׁוֵּ֑עַ
וְ֝יָת֗וֹם וְֽלֹא־עֹזֵ֥ר לֽוֹ
12 For I made the poor escape from crying,
and the orphan and one without help for him.
9
7
בִּרְכַּ֣ת אֹ֭בֵד עָלַ֣י תָּבֹ֑א
וְלֵ֖ב אַלְמָנָ֣ה אַרְנִֽן
13 The blessing of one perishing upon me came,
and the heart of the widow, I made to shout with joy.
8
7
צֶ֣דֶק לָ֭בַשְׁתִּי וַיִּלְבָּשֵׁ֑נִי
כִּֽמְעִ֥יל וְ֝צָנִ֗יף מִשְׁפָּטִֽי
14 Justice I clothed and it clothed me,
as a mantle and a mitre from my judge.
10
8
עֵינַ֣יִם הָ֭יִיתִי לַֽעִוֵּ֑ר
וְרַגְלַ֖יִם לַפִּסֵּ֣חַ אָֽנִי
15 Eyes I was to the blind,
and feet to the lame was I.
8
9
אָ֣ב אָ֭נֹכִֽי לָֽאֶבְיוֹנִ֑ים
וְרִ֖ב לֹא־יָדַ֣עְתִּי אֶחְקְרֵֽהוּ
16 A father myself to the needy,
and a dispute I did not know, I examined.
8
9
וָֽ֭אֲשַׁבְּרָה מְתַלְּע֣וֹת עַוָּ֑ל
וּ֝מִשִּׁנָּ֗יו אַשְׁלִ֥יךְ טָֽרֶף
17 I shattered the fangs of injustice,
and from its teeth I cast out prey.
9
8
וָ֭אֹמַר עִם־קִנִּ֣י אֶגְוָ֑ע
וְ֝כַח֗וֹל אַרְבֶּ֥ה יָמִֽים
18 And I said, With my nest I will expire,
and as the sand, I will increase my days.
8
7
שָׁרְשִׁ֣י פָת֣וּחַ אֱלֵי־מָ֑יִם
וְ֝טַ֗ל יָלִ֥ין בִּקְצִירִֽי
19 My roots opened over water,
and dew lodged in my harvest.
8
7
כְּ֭בוֹדִי חָדָ֣שׁ עִמָּדִ֑י
וְ֝קַשְׁתִּ֗י בְּיָדִ֥י תַחֲלִֽיף
20 My glory was new with me
and my bow in my hand was renewed.
8
9
לִֽי־שָׁמְע֥וּ וְיִחֵ֑לּוּ
וְ֝יִדְּמ֗וּ לְמ֣וֹ עֲצָתִֽי
21 Me they heard and they hoped,
and they were mute for my advice.
7
8
אַחֲרֵ֣י דְ֭בָרִי לֹ֣א יִשְׁנ֑וּ
וְ֝עָלֵ֗ימוֹ תִּטֹּ֥ף מִלָּתִֽי
22 After my words they made no adjustment,
and on them dropped my speech.
9
9
וְיִֽחֲל֣וּ כַמָּטָ֣ר לִ֑י
וּ֝פִיהֶ֗ם פָּעֲר֥וּ לְמַלְקֽוֹשׁ
23 And they hoped as if for rain, for me,
and their mouths gawk for ultimate maturity.
8
9
אֶשְׂחַ֣ק אֲ֭לֵהֶם לֹ֣א יַאֲמִ֑ינוּ
וְא֥וֹר פָּ֝נַ֗י לֹ֣א יַפִּילֽוּן
24 I laughed at them. They did not believe it,
and the light of my presence, they did not let fall.
10
8
אֶֽבֲחַ֣ר דַּרְכָּם֮ וְאֵשֵׁ֪ב רֹ֥אשׁ וְ֭אֶשְׁכּוֹן כְּמֶ֣לֶךְ בַּגְּד֑וּד
כַּאֲשֶׁ֖ר אֲבֵלִ֣ים יְנַחֵֽם
25 I chose their way and sat preeminent and I dwelt as royalty with collaborators,
as consoling those who lament.
17
9

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Isaiah 3

A dismal chapter, but hear in the distance the Song of Solomon and the Lamentations. Love is not lost even though we are. The whole chapter can be applied to Brexit of course - work at it. If you read closely you sill see they had outsourcing even in those days - from India (Sind).

Verses 18 to 23 are without rest. And the rest in verse 24 comes just prior to the branding.
Note the placement of the atnah on the final sackcloth in verse 24 after the long passage without the subdominant rest point.

All are under judgment for their exploitation as usual. The negative female imagery is to be applied to the daughters of Zion, i.e. the people in general. It is nonetheless negative.
I have no idea what half the words in the lists of bangles really are so I followed Delitzsch (1873) to some extent as long as I could preserve reasonable concordance. For example בָתֵּ֥י הַנֶּ֖פֶשׁ, lit house of the soul, is (according to Delitzsch), a smelling bottle, a holder of aroma. Who could argue? My imagination was limited, being a man. It is a serious error to interpret this section literally, as if Isaiah is only concerned with women.

Though after 70 years you would think I knew the difference, it is not really obvious to a man what a woman is. With my wife of 48 years in a seriously disabled condition (though day by day strengthening), I have had to find her appropriate clothes in our wardrobe. That is a difficult problem for a man. She has chosen and bought clothes for me, but rarely I for her. And though I help with laundry, it is usually to fold and sort my own. So this is new. (But there is no critique of her beautiful things and her things that are appropriate to the season, or the occasion, to which I am largely oblivious - but maybe I should not be so blind.)

I repeat: It is a serious error to interpret this section literally, as if Isaiah is only concerned with women. The condemnation is for Zion herself and the preening of her lust to power. The female is us - male and female, in the role of God's consort, the one to whom we are closer than a spouse. The chosen example for us is Zion. The men and the valiant who fall are equally neither male nor female, just the human in an untenable position, destroyed by its own internal enemies.

Of course she is ultimately acquitted - not desolate.

Isaiah 3 Fn Min Max Syll
כִּי֩ הִנֵּ֨ה הָאָד֜וֹן יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֗וֹת מֵסִ֤יר מִירוּשָׁלִַ֙ם֙ וּמִ֣יהוּדָ֔ה מַשְׁעֵ֖ן וּמַשְׁעֵנָ֑ה
כֹּ֚ל מִשְׁעַן־לֶ֔חֶם וְכֹ֖ל מִשְׁעַן־מָֽיִם
1 ~ For behold the Lord Yahweh of hosts puts aside from Jerusalem and from Judah staff and buttress,
everything to lean on, bread and the whole staff of water:
3e 4C 27
11
גִּבּ֖וֹר וְאִ֣ישׁ מִלְחָמָ֑ה
שׁוֹפֵ֥ט וְנָבִ֖יא וְקֹסֵ֥ם וְזָקֵֽן
2 g Valiant and warrior,
judge and prophet, soothsayer and elder,
3e 4B 7
11
שַׂר־חֲמִשִּׁ֖ים וּנְשׂ֣וּא פָנִ֑ים
וְיוֹעֵ֛ץ וַחֲכַ֥ם חֲרָשִׁ֖ים וּנְב֥וֹן לָֽחַשׁ
3 Chief of fifty, one who is shown partiality,
and counselor and shrewd of artifice, and discerning conjurer.
3d 4B 8
13
וְנָתַתִּ֥י נְעָרִ֖ים שָׂרֵיהֶ֑ם
וְתַעֲלוּלִ֖ים יִמְשְׁלוּ־בָֽם
4 And I will give youngsters as their nobility,
infants, and they will govern them.
3e 4A 10
9
וְנִגַּ֣שׂ הָעָ֔ם אִ֥ישׁ בְּאִ֖ישׁ וְאִ֣ישׁ בְּרֵעֵ֑הוּ
יִרְהֲב֗וּ הַנַּ֙עַר֙ בַּזָּקֵ֔ן וְהַנִּקְלֶ֖ה בַּנִּכְבָּֽד
5 And the people will harass each other and each his associate,
the youngster will defy the elder, and the disgraced the glorified.
3e 4B 14
16
כִּֽי־יִתְפֹּ֨שׂ אִ֤ישׁ בְּאָחִיו֙ בֵּ֣ית אָבִ֔יו שִׂמְלָ֣ה לְכָ֔ה קָצִ֖ין תִּֽהְיֶה־לָּ֑נוּ
וְהַמַּכְשֵׁלָ֥ה הַזֹּ֖את תַּ֥חַת יָדֶֽךָ
6 For each will arrest his kin, of the house of his father, A stole you have. Dictator you will be for us,
so this stumbling will be under your hand.
3e 4C 20
12
יִשָּׂא֩ בַיּ֨וֹם הַה֤וּא ׀ לֵאמֹר֙ לֹא־אֶהְיֶ֣ה חֹבֵ֔שׁ וּבְבֵיתִ֕י אֵ֥ין לֶ֖חֶם וְאֵ֣ין שִׂמְלָ֑ה
לֹ֥א תְשִׂימֻ֖נִי קְצִ֥ין עָֽם
7 He will forbear in that day saying, I will not be the one who binds, and in my house there is no bread, and there is no stole.
You will not set me up as dictator of the people.
3e 4C 23
8
כִּ֤י כָשְׁלָה֙ יְר֣וּשָׁלִַ֔ם וִיהוּדָ֖ה נָפָ֑ל
כִּֽי־לְשׁוֹנָ֤ם וּמַֽעַלְלֵיהֶם֙ אֶל־יְהוָ֔ה לַמְר֖וֹת עֵנֵ֥י כְבוֹדֽוֹ
8 C For Jerusalem has stumbled and Judah fallen,
for their tongues and their wantonness to Yahweh are a provocation of the eyes of his glory.
3e 4C 12
19
הַכָּרַ֤ת פְּנֵיהֶם֙ עָ֣נְתָה בָּ֔ם וְחַטָּאתָ֛ם כִּסְדֹ֥ם הִגִּ֖ידוּ לֹ֣א כִחֵ֑דוּ
א֣וֹי לְנַפְשָׁ֔ם כִּֽי־גָמְל֥וּ לָהֶ֖ם רָעָֽה
9 The expression on their faces answers in them, and their sin as Sodom they make evident. They do conceal it.
Woe to them, for they have rewarded themselves evil.
3d 4C 22
12
אִמְר֥וּ צַדִּ֖יק כִּי־ט֑וֹב
כִּֽי־פְרִ֥י מַעַלְלֵיהֶ֖ם יֹאכֵֽלוּ
10 Say to the righteous one that it will be good,
for the fruit of their wantonness they will eat.
3e 4A 6
10
א֖וֹי לְרָשָׁ֣ע רָ֑ע
כִּֽי־גְמ֥וּל יָדָ֖יו יֵעָ֥שֶׂה לּֽוֹ
11 g Woe to the wicked one, evil,
because the reward of his hands will be done for him.
3e 4B 6
9
עַמִּי֙ נֹגְשָׂ֣יו מְעוֹלֵ֔ל וְנָשִׁ֖ים מָ֣שְׁלוּ ב֑וֹ
עַמִּי֙ מְאַשְּׁרֶ֣יךָ מַתְעִ֔ים וְדֶ֥רֶךְ אֹֽרְחֹתֶ֖יךָ בִּלֵּֽעוּ ס
12 My people, its taskmasters are infants, and women govern it.
My people, those making you happy are wandering and the way of of your paths, they engulf.
3e 4B 13
19
נִצָּ֥ב לָרִ֖יב יְהוָ֑ה
וְעֹמֵ֖ד לָדִ֥ין עַמִּֽים
13 Yahweh stood firm to contend,
and he will stand to make the case for the peoples.
3e 4A 6
7
יְהוָה֙ בְּמִשְׁפָּ֣ט יָב֔וֹא עִם־זִקְנֵ֥י עַמּ֖וֹ וְשָׂרָ֑יו
וְאַתֶּם֙ בִּֽעַרְתֶּ֣ם הַכֶּ֔רֶם גְּזֵלַ֥ת הֶֽעָנִ֖י בְּבָתֵּיכֶֽם
14 Yahweh enters into judgment with the elders of his people and their nobility,
for you, you have kindled the vineyard. The ravaging of the poor is in your houses.
3e 4B 15
19
מַה־לָּכֶם֙‬ תְּדַכְּא֣וּ עַמִּ֔י וּפְנֵ֥י עֲנִיִּ֖ים תִּטְחָ֑נוּ
נְאֻם־אֲדֹנָ֥י יְהוִ֖ה צְבָאֽוֹת ס
15 Why for yourselves do you crush my people, and the faces of the poor you grind?
An oracle of my Lord Yahweh of hosts.
3e 4B 16
11
וַיֹּ֣אמֶר יְהוָ֗ה יַ֚עַן כִּ֤י גָֽבְהוּ֙ בְּנ֣וֹת צִיּ֔וֹן וַתֵּלַ֙כְנָה֙ נְטוּי֣וֹת גָּר֔וֹן וּֽמְשַׂקְּר֖וֹת עֵינָ֑יִם
הָל֤וֹךְ וְטָפֹף֙ תֵּלַ֔כְנָה וּבְרַגְלֵיהֶ֖ם תְּעַכַּֽסְנָה
16 And Yahweh said, Because high and lofty are the daughters of Zion and they walk with stretched gullets and ogling eyes,
walking mincing in their gait and with their feet tinkling,
3e 4C 29
16
וְשִׂפַּ֣ח אֲדֹנָ֔י קָדְקֹ֖ד בְּנ֣וֹת צִיּ֑וֹן
וַיהוָ֖ה פָּתְהֵ֥ן יְעָרֶֽה ס
17 So my Lord will deform the scalp of daughters of Zion,
and Yahweh their fragments will expose.
3e 4B 12
8
בַּיּ֨וֹם הַה֜וּא יָסִ֣יר אֲדֹנָ֗י אֵ֣ת תִּפְאֶ֧רֶת הָעֲכָסִ֛ים וְהַשְּׁבִיסִ֖ים וְהַשַּׂהֲרֹנִֽים 18 ~ In that day my Lord will put aside the adornment of the ankle-clasps, and their head-bands and crescents, 3c 4B 27
הַנְּטִיפ֥וֹת וְהַשֵּׁיר֖וֹת וְהָֽרְעָלֽוֹת 19 the ear-droplets, and the arm-chains, and the fluttering veils, 3e 3g 11
הַפְּאֵרִ֤ים וְהַצְּעָדוֹת֙ וְהַקִּשֻּׁרִ֔ים וּבָתֵּ֥י הַנֶּ֖פֶשׁ וְהַלְּחָשִֽׁים 20 the diadems and the stepping-chains, and the dress-girdles, and the smelling-bottles, and the amulets, 3e 4C 22
הַטַּבָּע֖וֹת וְנִזְמֵ֥י הָאָֽף 21 the finger-rings and nose-rings, 3e 3g 9
הַמַּֽחֲלָצוֹת֙ וְהַמַּ֣עֲטָפ֔וֹת וְהַמִּטְפָּח֖וֹת וְהָחֲרִיטִֽים 22 the gala-dresses and the sleeve-frocks and the cloaks and the pockets, 3e 4B 21
וְהַגִּלְיֹנִים֙ וְהַסְּדִינִ֔ים וְהַצְּנִיפ֖וֹת וְהָרְדִידִֽים 23 and the hand mirrors and the linen from Sind and the head-dresses and the wraps, 3e 3g 17
וְהָיָה֩ תַ֨חַת בֹּ֜שֶׂם מַ֣ק יִֽהְיֶ֗ה וְתַ֨חַת חֲגוֹרָ֤ה נִקְפָּה֙ וְתַ֨חַת מַעֲשֶׂ֤ה מִקְשֶׁה֙ קָרְחָ֔ה וְתַ֥חַת פְּתִיגִ֖יל מַחֲגֹ֣רֶת שָׂ֑ק
כִּי־תַ֖חַת יֹֽפִי
24 And it will be instead of spices there will be rot, and instead of the sash a tether, and instead of a hair-do, baldness, and instead of a dress-cloak, a sash with sackcloth,
a brand instead of beauty.
3e 4C 39
4
מְתַ֖יִךְ בַּחֶ֣רֶב יִפֹּ֑לוּ
וּגְבוּרָתֵ֖ךְ בַּמִּלְחָמָֽה
25 Your men by the sword will fall,
and your valiant in the battle.
3e 4B 9
8
וְאָנ֥וּ וְאָבְל֖וּ פְּתָחֶ֑יהָ
וְנִקָּ֖תָה לָאָ֥רֶץ תֵּשֵֽׁב
26 And her doors will moan and will lament,
and acquitted on the earth, she will sit.
3e 4A 10
9

Friday, June 24, 2016

Isaiah 2

Good for nothing. = idol (if you wish). I had a rat once. Not a golden one, but a white and grey one, a lovely creature. Idolatry is a modern phenomenon.

Apart from the first 5 verses, this passage is not widely quoted. To think about it, perhaps there is real theological value to reception history. If humanity is all there is that is technologically self-aware, then what we think about and talk about and write about and sing about in our art is really what our canon is.

Isaiah 2
הַדָּבָר֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר חָזָ֔ה יְשַֽׁעְיָ֖הוּ בֶּן־אָמ֑וֹץ
עַל־יְהוּדָ֖ה וִירוּשָׁלִָֽם
1 The word that Isaiah child of Amoz gazed on,
about Judah and Jerusalem.
14
8
וְהָיָ֣ה ׀ בְּאַחֲרִ֣ית הַיָּמִ֗ים נָכ֨וֹן יִֽהְיֶ֜ה הַ֤ר בֵּית־יְהוָה֙ בְּרֹ֣אשׁ הֶהָרִ֔ים וְנִשָּׂ֖א מִגְּבָע֑וֹת
וְנָהֲר֥וּ אֵלָ֖יו כָּל־הַגּוֹיִֽם
2 And it will be, in the aftermath of the days, the hill of the house of Yahweh will be established as the first of the hills and it will be lifted up among the hillocks,
and all the nations will crowd to it.
29
10
וְֽהָלְכ֞וּ עַמִּ֣ים רַבִּ֗ים וְאָמְרוּ֙ לְכ֣וּ ׀ וְנַעֲלֶ֣ה אֶל־הַר־יְהוָ֗ה אֶל־בֵּית֙ אֱלֹהֵ֣י יַעֲקֹ֔ב וְיֹרֵ֙נוּ֙ מִדְּרָכָ֔יו וְנֵלְכָ֖ה בְּאֹרְחֹתָ֑יו
כִּ֤י מִצִּיּוֹן֙ תֵּצֵ֣א תוֹרָ֔ה וּדְבַר־יְהוָ֖ה מִירוּשָׁלִָֽם
3 And many peoples will go and say, Come, let us go up to the hill of Yahweh, to the house of the God of Jacob, and he will instruct us from his ways, and we will walk in his paths,
for from Zion will go forth instruction and the word of Yahweh from Jerusalem.
42
16
וְשָׁפַט֙ בֵּ֣ין הַגּוֹיִ֔ם וְהוֹכִ֖יחַ לְעַמִּ֣ים רַבִּ֑ים
וְכִתְּת֨וּ חַרְבוֹתָ֜ם לְאִתִּ֗ים וַחֲנִיתֽוֹתֵיהֶם֙ לְמַזְמֵר֔וֹת לֹא־יִשָּׂ֨א ג֤וֹי אֶל־גּוֹי֙ חֶ֔רֶב וְלֹא־יִלְמְד֥וּ ע֖וֹד מִלְחָמָֽה
4 And he will judge between the nations and referee for many peoples.
And they will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation nor will they teach war any more.
16
37
בֵּ֖ית יַעֲקֹ֑ב
לְכ֥וּ וְנֵלְכָ֖ה בְּא֥וֹר יְהוָֽה
5 House of Jacob,
Come, and let us walk in the light of Yahweh.
4
9
כִּ֣י נָטַ֗שְׁתָּה עַמְּךָ֙ בֵּ֣ית יַעֲקֹ֔ב כִּ֤י מָלְאוּ֙ מִקֶּ֔דֶם וְעֹֽנְנִ֖ים כַּפְּלִשְׁתִּ֑ים
וּבְיַלְדֵ֥י נָכְרִ֖ים יַשְׂפִּֽיקוּ
6 For you have abandoned your people, the house of Jacob, for they are full from antiquity, and are fortunetellers like the Philistines,
and in the children of foreigners they make a compact.
22
8
וַתִּמָּלֵ֤א אַרְצוֹ֙ כֶּ֣סֶף וְזָהָ֔ב וְאֵ֥ין קֵ֖צֶה לְאֹצְרֹתָ֑יו
וַתִּמָּלֵ֤א אַרְצוֹ֙ סוּסִ֔ים וְאֵ֥ין קֵ֖צֶה לְמַרְכְּבֹתָֽיו
7 And his land is filled with silver and gold and there is no limit to his treasuries.
And his land is filled with horses and there is no limit to his chariots.
19
17
וַתִּמָּלֵ֥א אַרְצ֖וֹ אֱלִילִ֑ים
לְמַעֲשֵׂ֤ה יָדָיו֙ יִֽשְׁתַּחֲו֔וּ לַאֲשֶׁ֥ר עָשׂ֖וּ אֶצְבְּעֹתָֽיו
8 And his land is filled with good for nothings.
They worship the deeds of their hands, that their fingers have made.
9
19
וַיִּשַּׁ֥ח אָדָ֖ם וַיִּשְׁפַּל־אִ֑ישׁ
וְאַל־תִּשָּׂ֖א לָהֶֽם
9 And humanity presses down and each abases itself,
so do not assume liability for them.
9
6
בּ֣וֹא בַצּ֔וּר וְהִטָּמֵ֖ן בֶּֽעָפָ֑ר
מִפְּנֵי֙ פַּ֣חַד יְהוָ֔ה וּמֵהֲדַ֖ר גְּאֹנֽוֹ
10 Enter into the rock. Bury yourself in the dust,
in the presence of the dread of Yahweh and the honour of his pride.
10
13
עֵינֵ֞י גַּבְה֤וּת אָדָם֙ שָׁפֵ֔ל וְשַׁ֖ח ר֣וּם אֲנָשִׁ֑ים
וְנִשְׂגַּ֧ב יְהוָ֛ה לְבַדּ֖וֹ בַּיּ֥וֹם הַהֽוּא
11 The haughty eyes of humanity will be abased, and the exaltation of everyone will be pressed down,
and Yahweh will be a retreat, he alone, in that day.
14
12
כִּ֣י י֞וֹם לַיהוָ֧ה צְבָא֛וֹת עַ֥ל כָּל־גֵּאֶ֖ה וָרָ֑ם
וְעַ֖ל כָּל־נִשָּׂ֥א וְשָׁפֵֽל
12 For a day of Yahweh of hosts is over all pride and exaltation,
and over all lifting up. And he abases.
13
8
וְעַל֙ כָּל־אַרְזֵ֣י הַלְּבָנ֔וֹן הָרָמִ֖ים וְהַנִּשָּׂאִ֑ים
וְעַ֖ל כָּל־אַלּוֹנֵ֥י הַבָּשָֽׁן
13 And over all the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and that are lifted up,
and over all the oaks of Bashan.
16
9
וְעַ֖ל כָּל־הֶהָרִ֣ים הָרָמִ֑ים
וְעַ֖ל כָּל־הַגְּבָע֥וֹת הַנִּשָּׂאֽוֹת
14 And over all the hills that are high,
and over all the hillocks that are lifted up.
9
10
וְעַ֖ל כָּל־מִגְדָּ֣ל גָּבֹ֑הַ
וְעַ֖ל כָּל־חוֹמָ֥ה בְצוּרָֽה
15 And over every haughty tower,
and over every fortified wall.
8
8
וְעַ֖ל כָּל־אֳנִיּ֣וֹת תַּרְשִׁ֑ישׁ
וְעַ֖ל כָּל־שְׂכִיּ֥וֹת הַחֶמְדָּֽה
16 And over all the ships of Tarshish,
and over every attractive veneer.
8
9
וְשַׁח֙ גַּבְה֣וּת הָאָדָ֔ם וְשָׁפֵ֖ל ר֣וּם אֲנָשִׁ֑ים
וְנִשְׂגַּ֧ב יְהוָ֛ה לְבַדּ֖וֹ בַּיּ֥וֹם הַהֽוּא
17 And the haughtiness of humanity will be pressed down and he abases the exaltation of everyone,
and Yahweh will be a retreat, he alone, in that day.
14
12
וְהָאֱלִילִ֖ים כָּלִ֥יל יַחֲלֹֽף 18 And the good for nothings perfectly he will renew. 10
וּבָ֙אוּ֙ בִּמְעָר֣וֹת צֻרִ֔ים וּבִמְחִלּ֖וֹת עָפָ֑ר
מִפְּנֵ֞י פַּ֤חַד יְהוָה֙ וּמֵהֲדַ֣ר גְּאוֹנ֔וֹ בְּקוּמ֖וֹ לַעֲרֹ֥ץ הָאָֽרֶץ
19 And they will enter into rocky caves and dusty caverns,
in the presence of the dread of Yahweh and the honour of his pride, when he arises for the ruthlessness of the land.
14
22
בַּיּ֤וֹם הַהוּא֙ יַשְׁלִ֣יךְ הָאָדָ֔ם אֵ֚ת אֱלִילֵ֣י כַסְפּ֔וֹ וְאֵ֖ת אֱלִילֵ֣י זְהָב֑וֹ
אֲשֶׁ֤ר עָֽשׂוּ־לוֹ֙ לְהִֽשְׁתַּחֲוֺ֔ת לַחְפֹּ֥ר פֵּר֖וֹת וְלָעֲטַלֵּפִֽים
20 In that day the earthling will relinquish his good for nothing silver and his good for nothing gold
that they made for himself to worship, to mole rats and bats.
23
19
לָבוֹא֙ בְּנִקְר֣וֹת הַצֻּרִ֔ים וּבִסְעִפֵ֖י הַסְּלָעִ֑ים
מִפְּנֵ֞י פַּ֤חַד יְהוָה֙ וּמֵהֲדַ֣ר גְּאוֹנ֔וֹ בְּקוּמ֖וֹ לַעֲרֹ֥ץ הָאָֽרֶץ
21 To enter into the quarried rocks and onto the apex of the cliffs,
in the presence of the dread of Yahweh and the honour of his pride when he arises for the ruthlessness of the land.
15
22
חִדְל֤וּ לָכֶם֙ מִן־הָ֣אָדָ֔ם אֲשֶׁ֥ר נְשָׁמָ֖ה בְּאַפּ֑וֹ
כִּֽי־בַמֶּ֥ה נֶחְשָׁ֖ב הֽוּא
22 Give up for yourselves on the earthling whose breath is in his nose,
for with what is he to be reckoned?
16
5

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Job 27

Just prior to the hymn to wisdom, Job is said to continue 'his parable' with these words.

Please note that it is called a parable. It is not history. It is like a play that they might go to at the theatre. They were human you know, not fearful automatons like us.

From the pronouncement of futility in verse 12, there being no indication that the speaker has changed, I assume that Job presents arguments that have gone before in the conversation from his comforters. These arguments are not in support of Job's steadfast insistence, his integrity that is ultimately commended by Yahweh (in the story). So I have quotes around this list as if Job is casting off the arguments one at a time. Alternatively, one can imagine a heated exchange where the narrator can't keep up with telling us who is speaking. In any case, it is the end of the pairs of speeches among the four main speakers.

It's a story, but Yahweh is in it? Can that possibly be? Does Yahweh play? Is he a good sport? Just ask Leviathan.

The remainder of this book begins with chapter 28, the hymn to wisdom, then Job's three-chapter summary of his case, then Elihu's intervention. And finally Yahweh's speeches. We are gradually closing up all the gaps I left at the beginning of this rewrite a year or so ago.

Nose, nostril, could equally well be anger.

Job 27
וַיֹּ֣סֶף אִ֭יּוֹב שְׂאֵ֥ת מְשָׁל֗וֹ וַיֹּאמַֽר 1 And again Job lifted up his parable and said, 13
חַי־אֵ֭ל הֵסִ֣יר מִשְׁפָּטִ֑י
וְ֝שַׁדַּ֗י הֵמַ֥ר נַפְשִֽׁי
2 The Living One, he has turned aside my judgment,
and the Sufficient has embittered me.
7
7
כִּֽי־כָל־ע֣וֹד נִשְׁמָתִ֣י בִ֑י
וְר֖וּחַ אֱל֣וֹהַּ בְּאַפִּֽי
3 For all the while my breath is in me,
and the spirit of God in my nose,
7
9
אִם־תְּדַבֵּ֣רְנָה שְׂפָתַ֣י עַוְלָ֑ה
וּ֝לְשׁוֹנִ֗י אִם־יֶהְגֶּ֥ה רְמִיָּֽה
4 Have my lips spoken injustice?
Or my tongue, has it muttered deceit?
10
9
חָלִ֣ילָה לִּי֮ אִם־אַצְדִּ֪יק אֶ֫תְכֶ֥ם
עַד־אֶגְוָ֑ע
לֹא־אָסִ֖יר תֻּמָּתִ֣י מִמֶּֽנִּי
5 Far be it from me if I justify you.
Until I expire, I will not put aside my completeness from me.
9
3
8
בְּצִדְקָתִ֣י הֶ֭חֱזַקְתִּי וְלֹ֣א אַרְפֶּ֑הָ
לֹֽא־יֶחֱרַ֥ף לְ֝בָבִ֗י מִיָּמָֽי
6 In my righteousness I am resolute and I will not desist.
My heart will not reproach, on my day.
13
9
יְהִ֣י כְ֭רָשָׁע אֹ֣יְבִ֑י
וּמִתְקוֹמְמִ֥י כְעַוָּֽל
7 Let my enemy be as one who is wicked,
and one arising against me as one who is unjust.
7
7
כִּ֤י מַה־תִּקְוַ֣ת חָ֭נֵף כִּ֣י יִבְצָ֑ע
כִּ֤י יֵ֖שֶׁל אֱל֣וֹהַּ נַפְשֽׁוֹ
8 For what expectation has a hypocrite that it should gain,
when God eases out his very self?
9
8
הַֽ֭צַעֲקָתוֹ יִשְׁמַ֥ע ׀ אֵ֑ל
כִּֽי־תָב֖וֹא עָלָ֣יו צָרָֽה
9 His outcry will the One hear,
when trouble comes upon him?
8
6
אִם־עַל־שַׁדַּ֥י יִתְעַנָּ֑ג
יִקְרָ֖א אֱל֣וֹהַּ בְּכָל־עֵֽת
10 If on the Sufficient he delights exquisitely,
he would call on God all the time.
7
8
אוֹרֶ֣ה אֶתְכֶ֣ם בְּיַד־אֵ֑ל
אֲשֶׁ֥ר עִם־שַׁ֝דַּ֗י לֹ֣א אֲכַחֵֽד
11 I will instruct you into the hand of the One.
What is with the Sufficient I will not conceal.
7
9
הֵן־אַתֶּ֣ם כֻּלְּכֶ֣ם חֲזִיתֶ֑ם
וְלָמָּה־זֶּ֝֗ה הֶ֣בֶל תֶּהְבָּֽלוּ
12 Lo, you, the lot of you have vision,
so why this futility? You are futile.
8
9
זֶ֤ה ׀ חֵֽלֶק־אָדָ֖ם רָשָׁ֥ע ׀ עִם־אֵ֑ל
וְֽנַחֲלַ֥ת עָ֝רִיצִ֗ים מִשַּׁדַּ֥י יִקָּֽחוּ
13 "This is the share of the wicked earthling with the One,
and the inheritance of the ruthless from the Sufficient that they take,
9
13
אִם־יִרְבּ֣וּ בָנָ֣יו לְמוֹ־חָ֑רֶב
וְ֝צֶאֱצָאָ֗יו לֹ֣א יִשְׂבְּעוּ־לָֽחֶם
14 "If his children are increased, to them the sword,
and his offspring will not be satisfied with bread.
8
10
שְׂ֭רִידָיו בַּמָּ֣וֶת יִקָּבֵ֑רוּ
וְ֝אַלְמְנֹתָ֗יו לֹ֣א תִבְכֶּֽינָה
15 "His survivors in death will be entombed,
and his widows will not weep,
10
9
אִם־יִצְבֹּ֣ר כֶּעָפָ֣ר כָּ֑סֶף
וְ֝כַחֹ֗מֶר יָכִ֥ין מַלְבּֽוּשׁ
16 "If they accumulate silver like dust,
and like clay, prepare clothing,
8
8
יָ֭כִין וְצַדִּ֣יק יִלְבָּ֑שׁ
וְ֝כֶ֗סֶף נָקִ֥י יַחֲלֹֽק
17 "He prepares, but a righteous one will be clothed,
and silver the innocent will share,
7
8
בָּנָ֣ה כָעָ֣שׁ בֵּית֑וֹ
וּ֝כְסֻכָּ֗ה עָשָׂ֥ה נֹצֵֽר
18 "He builds like a moth his house,
and as a lair made for preservation,
6
7
עָשִׁ֣יר יִ֭שְׁכַּב וְלֹ֣א יֵאָסֵ֑ף
עֵינָ֖יו פָּקַ֣ח וְאֵינֶֽנּוּ
19 "Rich, he lies down and is not gathered,
his eyes given sight, and he is not,
9
8
תַּשִּׂיגֵ֣הוּ כַ֭מַּיִם בַּלָּה֑וֹת
לַ֝֗יְלָה גְּנָבַ֥תּוּ סוּפָֽה
20 "Wearing out overtakes him like water,
at night storm-wind steals him,
9
8
יִשָּׂאֵ֣הוּ קָדִ֣ים וְיֵלַ֑ךְ
וִֽ֝ישָׂעֲרֵ֗הוּ מִמְּקֹמֽוֹ
21 "The east lifts him up and he goes,
and he is swept from his own place,
9
8
וְיַשְׁלֵ֣ךְ עָ֭לָיו וְלֹ֣א יַחְמֹ֑ל
מִ֝יָּד֗וֹ בָּר֥וֹחַ יִבְרָֽח
22 "And it will cast him off without pity,
from its hand, by the wind he runs,
9
8
יִשְׂפֹּ֣ק עָלֵ֣ימוֹ כַפֵּ֑ימוֹ
וְיִשְׁרֹ֥ק עָ֝לָ֗יו מִמְּקֹמֽוֹ
23 "It will cuff its open palm on him,
and hiss at him from his own place."
8
8

Job 26

A brief respite, filled with very modern skepticism. There is no extreme of the human condition that is not in these records of our ancestors. While my children are in the antipodes, it is interesting to see the northern bias. Why is north up?

Job 26
וַיַּ֥עַן אִיּ֗וֹב וַיֹּאמַֽר 1 And Job answered and said, 8
מֶה־עָזַ֥רְתָּ לְלֹא־כֹ֑חַ
ה֝וֹשַׁ֗עְתָּ זְר֣וֹעַ לֹא־עֹֽז
2 How you help one of no power.
You have saved an arm of no strength.
7
8
מַה־יָּ֭עַצְתָּ לְלֹ֣א חָכְמָ֑ה
וְ֝תוּשִׁיָּ֗ה לָרֹ֥ב הוֹדָֽעְתָּ
3 How you advise one of no wisdom,
and the enterprise of of the multitude you make known.
8
9
אֶת־מִ֭י הִגַּ֣דְתָּ מִלִּ֑ין
וְנִשְׁמַת־מִ֝י יָצְאָ֥ה מִמֶּֽךָּ
4 To whom have you announced speeches?
And whose breath exits from you?
7
9
הָרְפָאִ֥ים יְחוֹלָ֑לוּ
מִתַּ֥חַת מַ֝֗יִם וְשֹׁכְנֵיהֶֽם
5 The physicians writhe,
under waters, and those dwelling with them.
7
8
עָר֣וֹם שְׁא֣וֹל נֶגְדּ֑וֹ
וְאֵ֥ין כְּ֝ס֗וּת לָֽאֲבַדּֽוֹן
6 Naked is Sheol before him,
and there is no covering to Abaddon.
6
8
נֹטֶ֣ה צָפ֣וֹן עַל־תֹּ֑הוּ
תֹּ֥לֶה אֶ֝֗רֶץ עַל־בְּלִי־מָֽה
7 He stretches out the north over disorder,
hanging earth on nothing whatever.
7
8
צֹרֵֽר־מַ֥יִם בְּעָבָ֑יו
וְלֹא־נִבְקַ֖ע עָנָ֣ן תַּחְתָּֽם
8 He troubles waters in his thick cloud,
and a cloud is not split under them.
6
8
מְאַחֵ֥ז פְּנֵי־כִסֵּ֑ה
פַּרְשֵׁ֖ז עָלָ֣יו עֲנָנֽוֹ
9 He grasps the face of a throne,
to unfurl over it his cloud,
6
7
חֹֽק־חָ֭ג עַל־פְּנֵי־מָ֑יִם
עַד־תַּכְלִ֖ית א֣וֹר עִם־חֹֽשֶׁךְ
10 A decree ambient over the face of the waters,
till the consummations of light with darkness.
6
7
עַמּוּדֵ֣י שָׁמַ֣יִם יְרוֹפָ֑פוּ
וְ֝יִתְמְה֗וּ מִגַּעֲרָתֽוֹ
11 The pillars of the heavens convulse,
and are astonished from his rebuke.
9
9
בְּ֭כֹחוֹ רָגַ֣ע הַיָּ֑ם
וּ֝בִתְבוּנָת֗וֹ מָ֣חַץ רָֽהַב
12 By his power uneasy is the sea,
and with acumen he wounds Rahab.
7
9
בְּ֭רוּחוֹ שָׁמַ֣יִם שִׁפְרָ֑ה
חֹֽלֲלָ֥ה יָ֝ד֗וֹ נָחָ֥שׁ בָּרִֽיחַ
13 In his spirit the heavens glisten.
His hand birthed the snake that runs away.
7
10
הֶן־אֵ֤לֶּה ׀ קְצ֬וֹת דְּרָכָ֗יו וּמַה־שֵּׁ֣מֶץ דָּ֭בָר נִשְׁמַע־בּ֑וֹ
וְרַ֥עַם גְּ֝בוּרוֹתָ֗יו‬ מִ֣י יִתְבּוֹנָֽן ס
14 Lo these are the extremes of his way, and how a tad of a word is heard in him,
but the thunder of his valour who understands?
17
12