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.

Isaiah 3
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:
27
11
גִּבּ֖וֹר וְאִ֣ישׁ מִלְחָמָ֑ה
שׁוֹפֵ֥ט וְנָבִ֖יא וְקֹסֵ֥ם וְזָקֵֽן
2 Valiant, and man of war,
judge, and prophet, soothsayer and elder,
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.
8
13
וְנָתַתִּ֥י נְעָרִ֖ים שָׂרֵיהֶ֑ם
וְתַעֲלוּלִ֖ים יִמְשְׁלוּ־בָֽם
4 And I will give youngsters as their nobility,
infants, and they will govern them.
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.
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.
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.
23
8
כִּ֤י כָשְׁלָה֙ יְר֣וּשָׁלִַ֔ם וִיהוּדָ֖ה נָפָ֑ל
כִּֽי־לְשׁוֹנָ֤ם וּמַֽעַלְלֵיהֶם֙ אֶל־יְהוָ֔ה לַמְר֖וֹת עֵנֵ֥י כְבוֹדֽוֹ
8 For Jerusalem has stumbled and Judah fallen,
for their tongues and their wantonness to Yahweh are a provocation of the eyes of his glory.
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.
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.
6
10
א֖וֹי לְרָשָׁ֣ע רָ֑ע
כִּֽי־גְמ֥וּל יָדָ֖יו יֵעָ֥שֶׂה לּֽוֹ
11 Woe to the wicked one, evil,
because the reward of his hands will be done for him.
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.
13
19
נִצָּ֥ב לָרִ֖יב יְהוָ֑ה
וְעֹמֵ֖ד לָדִ֥ין עַמִּֽים
13 Yahweh is stationed to contend,
and he will stand to make the case for the peoples.
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.
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.
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,
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.
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, 27
הַנְּטִיפ֥וֹת וְהַשֵּׁיר֖וֹת וְהָֽרְעָלֽוֹת 19 the ear-droplets, and the arm-chains, and the fluttering veils, 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, 22
הַטַּבָּע֖וֹת וְנִזְמֵ֥י הָאָֽף 21 the finger-rings and nose-rings, 9
הַמַּֽחֲלָצוֹת֙ וְהַמַּ֣עֲטָפ֔וֹת וְהַמִּטְפָּח֖וֹת וְהָחֲרִיטִֽים 22 the gala-dresses and the sleeve-frocks and the cloaks and the pockets, 21
וְהַגִּלְיֹנִים֙ וְהַסְּדִינִ֔ים וְהַצְּנִיפ֖וֹת וְהָרְדִידִֽים 23 and the hand mirrors and the linen from Sind and the head-dresses and the wraps, 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.
39
4
מְתַ֖יִךְ בַּחֶ֣רֶב יִפֹּ֑לוּ
וּגְבוּרָתֵ֖ךְ בַּמִּלְחָמָֽה
25 Your men by the sword will fall,
and your valiant in the battle.
9
8
וְאָנ֥וּ וְאָבְל֖וּ פְּתָחֶ֑יהָ
וְנִקָּ֖תָה לָאָ֥רֶץ תֵּשֵֽׁב
26 And her gates will moan and will lament,
and acquitted on the earth, she will sit.
10
9
Of course she is ultimately acquitted - not desolate.

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 could,
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

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Deuteronomy 31

Reading the text is probably more useful than reading commentaries. But it's almost too late. Now a little over 1/3 through this large collection of ancient texts, I am wondering why 'Moses' uses the phrase בְּאַחֲרִ֣ית הַיָּמִ֔ים, which I have traditionally rendered as 'in the latter days'? In fact I wonder why I would write such an archaic phrase myself. I don't talk like this. I don't even believe in time. It is a most elusive substance.

From my coach: "The expression אחרית הימים is indeed a very common expression in Hebrew. It means literally “the aftermath of the days”—i.e., the time after time, which is perhaps a more accurate description of the idea of the End Days."

So far I have seen the phrase 4 times, 3 in the prophets, Isaiah 2:2, (and its parallel in Micah 4:1), Hosea 3:5 and now Deuteronomy 31:29. The prophets are more hopeful than the Deuteronomist. [This is an untrue statement. I take it back after reading Isaiah 2 - next on my list. I must find a way to ground hope in something other than misreading texts.] The two stems recur in this sequence a few more times. Let's wait and see what it 'means'. It is clear from the projection of the writer of this text onto the character and person of Moses that the collator did not have a high opinion of the nation's ability to follow instruction. That takes only a little insight in any human society.

Hurry up please, it's time.

וַיֵּ֖לֶךְ מֹשֶׁ֑ה
וַיְדַבֵּ֛ר אֶת־הַדְּבָרִ֥ים הָאֵ֖לֶּה אֶל־כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵֽל
1 And Moses went,
and spoke these words to all Israel.
5
15
וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֲלֵהֶ֗ם בֶּן־מֵאָה֩ וְעֶשְׂרִ֨ים שָׁנָ֤ה אָנֹכִי֙ הַיּ֔וֹם לֹא־אוּכַ֥ל ע֖וֹד לָצֵ֣את וְלָב֑וֹא
וַֽיהוָה֙ אָמַ֣ר אֵלַ֔י לֹ֥א תַעֲבֹ֖ר אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּ֥ן הַזֶּֽה
2 And he said to them, A child of a hundred and twenty years I am today. I will not endure any more the going forth and the coming in,
and Yahweh said to me, You will not cross over this Jordan.
27
16
יְהוָ֨ה אֱלֹהֶ֜יךָ ה֣וּא ׀ עֹבֵ֣ר לְפָנֶ֗יךָ הֽוּא־יַשְׁמִ֞יד אֶת־הַגּוֹיִ֥ם הָאֵ֛לֶּה מִלְּפָנֶ֖יךָ וִֽירִשְׁתָּ֑ם
יְהוֹשֻׁ֗עַ ה֚וּא עֹבֵ֣ר לְפָנֶ֔יךָ כַּאֲשֶׁ֖ר דִּבֶּ֥ר יְהוָֽה
3 Yahweh your God himself will cross over before you. He himself will exterminate these nations from your presence and you will possess them.
Joshua himself will cross over before you as Yahweh spoke.
30
18
וְעָשָׂ֤ה יְהוָה֙ לָהֶ֔ם כַּאֲשֶׁ֣ר עָשָׂ֗ה לְסִיח֥וֹן וּלְע֛וֹג מַלְכֵ֥י הָאֱמֹרִ֖י וּלְאַרְצָ֑ם
אֲשֶׁ֥ר הִשְׁמִ֖יד אֹתָֽם
4 And Yahweh will do to them as he did to Sihon and to Og, kings of the Amorites, and to their land,
whom he exterminated.
26
6
וּנְתָנָ֥ם יְהוָ֖ה לִפְנֵיכֶ֑ם
וַעֲשִׂיתֶ֣ם לָהֶ֔ם כְּכָל־הַמִּצְוָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר צִוִּ֖יתִי אֶתְכֶֽם
5 And Yahweh will give them up in your presence,
and you will do to them according to all the commandment that I commanded you.
8
18
חִזְק֣וּ וְאִמְצ֔וּ אַל־תִּֽירְא֥וּ וְאַל־תַּעַרְצ֖וּ מִפְּנֵיהֶ֑ם
כִּ֣י ׀ יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֗יךָ ה֚וּא הַהֹלֵ֣ךְ עִמָּ֔ךְ לֹ֥א יַרְפְּךָ֖ וְלֹ֥א יַעַזְבֶֽךָּ
6 Be courageous and be assured. Do not fear and do not be ruthless before them,
for Yahweh your God himself goes with you. He does not desist and will not forsake you.
16
23
וַיִּקְרָ֨א מֹשֶׁ֜ה לִֽיהוֹשֻׁ֗עַ וַיֹּ֨אמֶר אֵלָ֜יו לְעֵינֵ֣י כָל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֘ל חֲזַ֣ק וֶאֱמָץ֒ כִּ֣י אַתָּ֗ה תָּבוֹא֙ אֶת־הָעָ֣ם הַזֶּ֔ה אֶל־הָאָ֕רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֨ר נִשְׁבַּ֧ע יְהוָ֛ה לַאֲבֹתָ֖ם לָתֵ֣ת לָהֶ֑ם
וְאַתָּ֖ה תַּנְחִילֶ֥נָּה אוֹתָֽם
7 And Moses called Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, Be encouraged and be assured because you yourself will go with this people to the land that Yahweh has sworn to their ancestors to give them,
and you will cause them to inherit it.
54
9
וַֽיהוָ֞ה ה֣וּא ׀ הַהֹלֵ֣ךְ לְפָנֶ֗יךָ ה֚וּא יִהְיֶ֣ה עִמָּ֔ךְ לֹ֥א יַרְפְּךָ֖ וְלֹ֣א יַֽעַזְבֶ֑ךָּ
לֹ֥א תִירָ֖א וְלֹ֥א תֵחָֽת
8 And Yahweh himself goes before you. He himself is with you. He does not desist and will not forsake you.
Do not fear and do not be dismayed.
25
7
וַיִּכְתֹּ֣ב מֹשֶׁה֮ אֶת־הַתּוֹרָ֣ה הַזֹּאת֒ וַֽיִּתְּנָ֗הּ אֶל־הַכֹּהֲנִים֙ בְּנֵ֣י לֵוִ֔י הַנֹּ֣שְׂאִ֔ים אֶת־אֲר֖וֹן בְּרִ֣ית יְהוָ֑ה
וְאֶל־כָּל־זִקְנֵ֖י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל
9 And Moses wrote this instruction and gave it to the priests, the children of Levi, those who bear the ark of the covenant of Yahweh,
and to all the elders of Israel.
33
8
וַיְצַ֥ו מֹשֶׁ֖ה אוֹתָ֣ם לֵאמֹ֑ר
מִקֵּ֣ץ ׀ שֶׁ֣בַע שָׁנִ֗ים בְּמֹעֵ֛ד שְׁנַ֥ת הַשְּׁמִטָּ֖ה בְּחַ֥ג הַסֻּכּֽוֹת
10 And Moses commanded them saying,
At the end of seven years, at the appointed time of the year of remittance, at the feast of tabernacles,
8
19
בְּב֣וֹא כָל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל לֵרָאוֹת֙ אֶת־פְּנֵי֙ יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ בַּמָּק֖וֹם אֲשֶׁ֣ר יִבְחָ֑ר
תִּקְרָ֞א אֶת־הַתּוֹרָ֥ה הַזֹּ֛את נֶ֥גֶד כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל בְּאָזְנֵיהֶֽם
11 When all Israel comes to appear before Yahweh your God in the place where he will choose,
you will proclaim this instruction in front of all Israel in their ears.
25
18
הַקְהֵ֣ל אֶת־הָעָ֗ם הָֽאֲנָשִׁ֤ים וְהַנָּשִׁים֙ וְהַטַּ֔ף וְגֵרְךָ֖ אֲשֶׁ֣ר בִּשְׁעָרֶ֑יךָ
לְמַ֨עַן יִשְׁמְע֜וּ וּלְמַ֣עַן יִלְמְד֗וּ וְיָֽרְאוּ֙ אֶת־יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶ֔ם וְשָֽׁמְר֣וּ לַעֲשׂ֔וֹת אֶת־כָּל־דִּבְרֵ֖י הַתּוֹרָ֥ה הַזֹּֽאת
12 Convene the people, the men and the women and the little ones, and the guest that is in your gates,
so that they may hear and so that they may learn and fear Yahweh your God and keep and do all the words of this instruction.
25
37
וּבְנֵיהֶ֞ם אֲשֶׁ֣ר לֹֽא־יָדְע֗וּ יִשְׁמְעוּ֙ וְלָ֣מְד֔וּ לְיִרְאָ֖ה אֶת־יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶ֑ם
כָּל־הַיָּמִ֗ים אֲשֶׁ֨ר אַתֶּ֤ם חַיִּים֙ עַל־הָ֣אֲדָמָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֨ר אַתֶּ֜ם עֹבְרִ֧ים אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּ֛ן שָׁ֖מָּה לְרִשְׁתָּֽהּ
13 And their children who not do know, may hear and may learn to fear Yahweh your God,
all the days that they live over the ground that you will cross over Jordan toward to possess it.
24
30
וַיֹּ֨אמֶר יְהוָ֜ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֗ה הֵ֣ן קָרְב֣וּ יָמֶיךָ֮ לָמוּת֒ קְרָ֣א אֶת־יְהוֹשֻׁ֗עַ וְהִֽתְיַצְּב֛וּ בְּאֹ֥הֶל מוֹעֵ֖ד וַאֲצַוֶּ֑נּוּ
וַיֵּ֤לֶךְ מֹשֶׁה֙ וִֽיהוֹשֻׁ֔עַ וַיִּֽתְיַצְּב֖וּ בְּאֹ֥הֶל מוֹעֵֽד
14 And Yahweh said to Moses, Lo your days approach for death. Call Joshua and present yourselves in the tent of engagement and I will command him.
And Moses and Joshua went and presented themselves in the tent of engagement.
37
18
וַיֵּרָ֧א יְהוָ֛ה בָּאֹ֖הֶל בְּעַמּ֣וּד עָנָ֑ן
וַיַּעֲמֹ֛ד עַמּ֥וּד הֶעָנָ֖ן עַל־פֶּ֥תַח הָאֹֽהֶל
15 And Yahweh appeared in the tent in the pillar of cloud,
and the pillar of cloud stood over the door of the tent.
13
15
וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהוָה֙ אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֔ה הִנְּךָ֥ שֹׁכֵ֖ב עִם־אֲבֹתֶ֑יךָ
וְקָם֩ הָעָ֨ם הַזֶּ֜ה וְזָנָ֣ה ׀ אַחֲרֵ֣י ׀ אֱלֹהֵ֣י נֵֽכַר־הָאָ֗רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֨ר ה֤וּא בָא־שָׁ֙מָּה֙ בְּקִרְבּ֔וֹ וַעֲזָבַ֕נִי וְהֵפֵר֙ אֶת־בְּרִיתִ֔י אֲשֶׁ֥ר כָּרַ֖תִּי אִתּֽוֹ
16 And Yahweh said to Moses, Behold you will lie down with your ancestors,
but this people will arise and play the harlot after the alien gods of the land where it is going toward in its nearness, and it will forsake me and thwart my covenant that I have cut with it.
17
48
וְחָרָ֣ה אַפִּ֣י ב֣וֹ בַיּוֹם־הַ֠הוּא וַעֲזַבְתִּ֞ים וְהִסְתַּרְתִּ֨י פָנַ֤י מֵהֶם֙ וְהָיָ֣ה לֶֽאֱכֹ֔ל וּמְצָאֻ֛הוּ רָע֥וֹת רַבּ֖וֹת וְצָר֑וֹת
וְאָמַר֙ בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֔וּא הֲלֹ֗א עַ֣ל כִּֽי־אֵ֤ין אֱלֹהַי֙ בְּקִרְבִּ֔י מְצָא֖וּנִי הָרָע֥וֹת הָאֵֽלֶּה
17 And my anger will burn against it in that day, and I will forsake them and I will hide my face from them and it will be to devour and they will find many evils and troubles,
and it will be said in that day, Have not these evils found me because my God is not within me?
39
28
וְאָנֹכִ֗י הַסְתֵּ֨ר אַסְתִּ֤יר פָּנַי֙ בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֔וּא עַ֥ל כָּל־הָרָעָ֖ה אֲשֶׁ֣ר עָשָׂ֑ה
כִּ֣י פָנָ֔ה אֶל־אֱלֹהִ֖ים אֲחֵרִֽים
18 But I to hide will hide my face in that day about all the evil that it did,
when they faced to other gods.
23
10
וְעַתָּ֗ה כִּתְב֤וּ לָכֶם֙ אֶת־הַשִּׁירָ֣ה הַזֹּ֔את וְלַמְּדָ֥הּ אֶת־בְּנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל שִׂימָ֣הּ בְּפִיהֶ֑ם
לְמַ֨עַן תִּהְיֶה־לִּ֜י הַשִּׁירָ֥ה הַזֹּ֛את לְעֵ֖ד בִּבְנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל
19 And now you write for yourself this song and teach it with the children of Israel. You put it in their mouths,
so that this song will be for me a witness among the children of Israel.
27
18
כִּֽי־אֲבִיאֶ֜נּוּ אֶֽל־הָאֲדָמָ֣ה ׀ אֲשֶׁר־נִשְׁבַּ֣עְתִּי לַאֲבֹתָ֗יו זָבַ֤ת חָלָב֙ וּדְבַ֔שׁ וְאָכַ֥ל וְשָׂבַ֖ע וְדָשֵׁ֑ן
וּפָנָ֞ה אֶל־אֱלֹהִ֤ים אֲחֵרִים֙ וַעֲבָד֔וּם וְנִ֣אֲצ֔וּנִי וְהֵפֵ֖ר אֶת־בְּרִיתִֽי
20 For I will bring it to the ground that I swore to its ancestors, gushing with milk and honey, and it will eat and be sated with fatness and it will face to other gods and serve them, and spurn me and thwart my covenant. 33
26
וְ֠הָיָה כִּֽי־תִמְצֶ֨אןָ אֹת֜וֹ רָע֣וֹת רַבּוֹת֮ וְצָרוֹת֒ וְ֠עָנְתָה הַשִּׁירָ֨ה הַזֹּ֤את לְפָנָיו֙ לְעֵ֔ד כִּ֛י לֹ֥א תִשָּׁכַ֖ח מִפִּ֣י זַרְע֑וֹ
כִּ֧י יָדַ֣עְתִּי אֶת־יִצְר֗וֹ אֲשֶׁ֨ר ה֤וּא עֹשֶׂה֙ הַיּ֔וֹם בְּטֶ֣רֶם אֲבִיאֶ֔נּוּ אֶל־הָאָ֖רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֥ר נִשְׁבָּֽעְתִּי
21 And it will be that when many evils and troubles find it, this song will answer in its presence as a witness, for it will not be forgotten from the mouths of its seed,
for I know its deficiency that itself it deals with today from time past, when I bring it to the land that I swore.
38
30
וַיִּכְתֹּ֥ב מֹשֶׁ֛ה אֶת־הַשִּׁירָ֥ה הַזֹּ֖את בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֑וּא
וַֽיְלַמְּדָ֖הּ אֶת־בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל
22 And Moses inscribed this song on that day,
and he taught it with the children of Israel.
15
9
וַיְצַ֞ו אֶת־יְהוֹשֻׁ֣עַ בִּן־נ֗וּן וַיֹּאמֶר֮ חֲזַ֣ק וֶֽאֱמָץ֒ כִּ֣י אַתָּ֗ה תָּבִיא֙ אֶת־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אֶל־הָאָ֖רֶץ אֲשֶׁר־נִשְׁבַּ֣עְתִּי לָהֶ֑ם
וְאָנֹכִ֖י אֶֽהְיֶ֥ה עִמָּֽךְ
23 And he commanded Joshua child of Nun and said, Be encouraged and be assured, because you, you bring the children of Israel to the land that I swore to them,
and I, I will be with you.
39
8
וַיְהִ֣י ׀ כְּכַלּ֣וֹת מֹשֶׁ֗ה לִכְתֹּ֛ב אֶת־דִּבְרֵ֥י הַתּוֹרָֽה־הַזֹּ֖את עַל־סֵ֑פֶר
עַ֖ד תֻּמָּֽם
24 And it happened that Moses finished writing the words of this instruction in the record,
until they were complete.
20
3
וַיְצַ֤ו מֹשֶׁה֙ אֶת־הַלְוִיִּ֔ם נֹ֥שְׂאֵ֛י אֲר֥וֹן בְּרִית־יְהוָ֖ה לֵאמֹֽר 25 And Moses commanded the Levites who bear the ark of the covenant of Yahweh, saying, 18
לָקֹ֗חַ אֵ֣ת סֵ֤פֶר הַתּוֹרָה֙ הַזֶּ֔ה וְשַׂמְתֶּ֣ם אֹת֔וֹ מִצַּ֛ד אֲר֥וֹן בְּרִית־יְהוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶ֑ם
וְהָֽיָה־שָׁ֥ם בְּךָ֖ לְעֵֽד
26 Take the record of this instruction and put it at the side of the ark of the covenant of Yahweh your God,
and it will be there among you for a witness.
28
8
כִּ֣י אָנֹכִ֤י יָדַ֙עְתִּי֙ אֶֽת־מֶרְיְךָ֔ וְאֶֽת־עָרְפְּךָ֖ הַקָּשֶׁ֑ה
הֵ֣ן בְּעוֹדֶנִּי֩ חַ֨י עִמָּכֶ֜ם הַיּ֗וֹם מַמְרִ֤ים הֱיִתֶם֙ עִם־יְהֹוָ֔ה וְאַ֖ף כִּי־אַחֲרֵ֥י מוֹתִֽי
27 For myself, I know your provocation and the intransigence of your scruff.
Lo, while I am yet alive with you today, you were provocative with Yahweh. How much more after my death.
19
27
הַקְהִ֧ילוּ אֵלַ֛י אֶת־כָּל־זִקְנֵ֥י שִׁבְטֵיכֶ֖ם וְשֹׁטְרֵיכֶ֑ם
וַאֲדַבְּרָ֣ה בְאָזְנֵיהֶ֗ם אֵ֚ת הַדְּבָרִ֣ים הָאֵ֔לֶּה וְאָעִ֣ידָה בָּ֔ם אֶת־הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם וְאֶת־הָאָֽרֶץ
28 Convene to me all the elders of your bands and your overseers,
and I will speak in their ears these words and I will call to witness, against them, the heavens and the earth.
16
29
כִּ֣י יָדַ֗עְתִּי אַחֲרֵ֤י מוֹתִי֙ כִּֽי־הַשְׁחֵ֣ת תַּשְׁחִת֔וּן וְסַרְתֶּ֣ם מִן־הַדֶּ֔רֶךְ אֲשֶׁ֥ר צִוִּ֖יתִי אֶתְכֶ֑ם
וְקָרָ֨את אֶתְכֶ֤ם הָֽרָעָה֙ בְּאַחֲרִ֣ית הַיָּמִ֔ים כִּֽי־תַעֲשׂ֤וּ אֶת־הָרַע֙ בְּעֵינֵ֣י יְהוָ֔ה לְהַכְעִיס֖וֹ בְּמַעֲשֵׂ֥ה יְדֵיכֶֽם
29 For I know after my death that for destruction you will destroy yourselves, and you will turn aside from the way that I commanded you,
and the evil will encounter you in the latter days, because you will do evil in the eyes of Yahweh to grieve him with the deeds of your hands.
29
37
וַיְדַבֵּ֣ר מֹשֶׁ֗ה בְּאָזְנֵי֙ כָּל־קְהַ֣ל יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אֶת־דִּבְרֵ֥י הַשִּׁירָ֖ה הַזֹּ֑את
עַ֖ד תֻּמָּֽם
30 And Moses spoke in the ears of all the congregation of Israel the words of this song,
until they were complete.
22
3

Grunts

Several words in a language are not much more than grunts. Sometimes they have residual meaning. Should one be careful with translating grunts? I haven't been. Although it is feasible to sweep up the corners a bit, it is of very limited value. One wonders, what are the parts of our language?

I am unconvinced with the 8 parts of speech. It seems to me both simpler and more complex. There are connectors, and connected bits. There is action represented and naming of things related by actions. The connectors: conjunctions, prepositions, particles, articles and other grunts, are often implied in the action words or required by them.

The actions and the named items are also in a continuum. It is quite possible to verb a noun or noun a verb. Time is represented by connectors, named items, and actions.

I was given a large tree and it unexpectedly flowered. The flower gives off a strong scent and its stem is sticky. Language is like that. Words stick to others depending on their placement in order in the expression of the tongue. We get it even when the words are out of sequence. Some tongues like Hebrew stick their bits together more than English. Last night I cut the flowers from the tree and stuck them in a dry vase in a large room. Enough smell.

Anyway, I sorted out the odd grunt. One day, maybe I will get a good book on linguistics.


Sunday, June 19, 2016

Deuteronomy 30

I find conditionals negative. They always contain threat. They are incompatible with love. Yet love is incompatible with a lack of response. For all that prelude, why is it that translators insist on translating a relative or consequential pronoun as 'if'? Language connectors are always tricky. But a conditional gift is not a gift over which someone sings for joy. Singing opens the individual to such vulnerability. It is impossible to sing joyfully under conditions of threat.

Based on this chapter, it is abundantly clear that Paul is reciting this record of faithfulness in his letter to the churches at Rome with the same continuing faith, hope, and love as Moses (or the writer of Deuteronomy if you prefer).

This chapter is nearly at the end of Deuteronomy. It shows the choice of good and evil. The reflection is part of the overall frame of the Torah, the Books of Moses, which of course began with the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Good and evil appear first as paired words in the story in Genesis 2:9, 17, 3:5, 22. Similarly Deuteronomy 30 reflects life and death, this word tied to the eating of the forbidden fruit, but the pair first occurring together in Genesis 5:5. Blessing and denial, another pair, reflects Genesis 12:3. There is a unity implied by such frames to these 5 books.

word דבר, or matter, or thing. Concrete. Happening.

Deuteronomy 30
וְהָיָה֩ כִֽי־יָבֹ֨אוּ עָלֶ֜יךָ כָּל־הַדְּבָרִ֣ים הָאֵ֗לֶּה הַבְּרָכָה֙ וְהַקְּלָלָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר נָתַ֖תִּי לְפָנֶ֑יךָ
וַהֲשֵׁבֹתָ֙ אֶל־לְבָבֶ֔ךָ בְּכָל־הַגּוֹיִ֔ם אֲשֶׁ֧ר הִדִּיחֲךָ֛ יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ שָֽׁמָּה
1 And it will be that when all these words come over you, the blessing and the denial, that I gave before you,
that you will turn to your heart among all the nations toward whom Yahweh your God had banished you,
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וְשַׁבְתָּ֞ עַד־יְהוָ֤ה אֱלֹהֶ֙יךָ֙ וְשָׁמַעְתָּ֣ בְקֹל֔וֹ כְּכֹ֛ל אֲשֶׁר־אָנֹכִ֥י מְצַוְּךָ֖ הַיּ֑וֹם
אַתָּ֣ה וּבָנֶ֔יךָ בְּכָל־לְבָבְךָ֖ וּבְכָל־נַפְשֶֽׁךָ
2 And you will turn to Yahweh your God, and you will hear with his voice according to all which I am commanding you today,
you and your children, with all your heart and with all your being.
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וְשָׁ֨ב יְהוָ֧ה אֱלֹהֶ֛יךָ אֶת־שְׁבוּתְךָ֖ וְרִחֲמֶ֑ךָ
וְשָׁ֗ב וְקִבֶּצְךָ֙ מִכָּל־הָ֣עַמִּ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֧ר הֱפִֽיצְךָ֛ יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ שָֽׁמָּה
3 And Yahweh your God will turn your captivity and will have compassion on you,
and will turn and collect you from all the peoples toward whom Yahweh your God dispersed you.
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אִם־יִהְיֶ֥ה נִֽדַּחֲךָ֖ בִּקְצֵ֣ה הַשָּׁמָ֑יִם
מִשָּׁ֗ם יְקַבֶּצְךָ֙ יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ וּמִשָּׁ֖ם יִקָּחֶֽךָ
4 If one of you is expelled at the outskirts of the heavens,
from there Yahweh your God will collect you and from there receive you.
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וֶהֱבִֽיאֲךָ֞ יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֗יךָ אֶל־הָאָ֛רֶץ אֲשֶׁר־יָרְשׁ֥וּ אֲבֹתֶ֖יךָ וִֽירִשְׁתָּ֑הּ
וְהֵיטִֽבְךָ֥ וְהִרְבְּךָ֖ מֵאֲבֹתֶֽיךָ
5 And Yahweh your God will bring you to the land that your ancestors possessed and you will possess it.
And he will do you good and increase you more than your ancestors.
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וּמָ֨ל יְהוָ֧ה אֱלֹהֶ֛יךָ אֶת־לְבָבְךָ֖ וְאֶת־לְבַ֣ב זַרְעֶ֑ךָ
לְאַהֲבָ֞ה אֶת־יְהוָ֧ה אֱלֹהֶ֛יךָ בְּכָל־לְבָבְךָ֥ וּבְכָל־נַפְשְׁךָ֖ לְמַ֥עַן חַיֶּֽיךָ
6 And Yahweh your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your seed,
to love Yahweh your God with all your heart and with all your being, so that you may live.
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וְנָתַן֙ יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ אֵ֥ת כָּל־הָאָל֖וֹת הָאֵ֑לֶּה
עַל־אֹיְבֶ֥יךָ וְעַל־שֹׂנְאֶ֖יךָ אֲשֶׁ֥ר רְדָפֽוּךָ
7 And Yahweh your God will give all these censures,
unto your enemies and unto those hating you, who persecuted you.
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וְאַתָּ֣ה תָשׁ֔וּב וְשָׁמַעְתָּ֖ בְּק֣וֹל יְהוָ֑ה
וְעָשִׂ֙יתָ֙ אֶת־כָּל־מִצְוֺתָ֔יו אֲשֶׁ֛ר אָנֹכִ֥י מְצַוְּךָ֖ הַיּֽוֹם
8 But you, you will return, and you will hear with the voice of Yahweh,
and you will do all his commandments that I am commanding you today.
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וְהוֹתִֽירְךָ֩ יְהוָ֨ה אֱלֹהֶ֜יךָ בְּכֹ֣ל ׀ מַעֲשֵׂ֣ה יָדֶ֗ךָ בִּפְרִ֨י בִטְנְךָ֜ וּבִפְרִ֧י בְהֶמְתְּךָ֛ וּבִפְרִ֥י אַדְמָתְךָ֖ לְטוֹבָ֑ה
כִּ֣י ׀ יָשׁ֣וּב יְהוָ֗ה לָשׂ֤וּשׂ עָלֶ֙יךָ֙ לְט֔וֹב כַּאֲשֶׁר־שָׂ֖שׂ עַל־אֲבֹתֶֽיךָ
9 Yahweh your God will give you surplus in all the deeds of your hand, in the fruit of your belly, and in the fruit of your cattle, and in the fruit of your ground for good,
for Yahweh will return to sing for joy over you for good, even as he sang for joy over your ancestors.
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כִּ֣י תִשְׁמַ֗ע בְּקוֹל֙ יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ לִשְׁמֹ֤ר מִצְוֺתָיו֙ וְחֻקֹּתָ֔יו הַכְּתוּבָ֕ה בְּסֵ֥פֶר הַתּוֹרָ֖ה הַזֶּ֑ה
כִּ֤י תָשׁוּב֙ אֶל־יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ בְּכָל־לְבָבְךָ֖ וּבְכָל־נַפְשֶֽׁךָ
10 For you will hear with the voice of Yahweh your God to keep his commandments and his statutes, those written in the record of this instruction,
for you return to Yahweh your God with all your heart and with all your being.
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כִּ֚י הַמִּצְוָ֣ה הַזֹּ֔את אֲשֶׁ֛ר אָנֹכִ֥י מְצַוְּךָ֖ הַיּ֑וֹם
לֹֽא־נִפְלֵ֥את הִוא֙ מִמְּךָ֔ וְלֹ֥א רְחֹקָ֖ה הִֽוא
11 For this commandment which I am commanding you today
is not set apart itself from you nor is it distant.
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לֹ֥א בַשָּׁמַ֖יִם הִ֑וא
לֵאמֹ֗ר מִ֣י יַעֲלֶה־לָּ֤נוּ הַשָּׁמַ֙יְמָה֙ וְיִקָּחֶ֣הָ לָּ֔נוּ וְיַשְׁמִעֵ֥נוּ אֹתָ֖הּ וְנַעֲשֶֽׂנָּה
12 Not in the heavens is it,
saying, Who will ascend for us heavenward and receive it for us that we may hear it and we may do it?
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וְלֹֽא־מֵעֵ֥בֶר לַיָּ֖ם הִ֑וא
לֵאמֹ֗ר מִ֣י יַעֲבָר־לָ֜נוּ אֶל־עֵ֤בֶר הַיָּם֙ וְיִקָּחֶ֣הָ לָּ֔נוּ וְיַשְׁמִעֵ֥נוּ אֹתָ֖הּ וְנַעֲשֶֽׂנָּה
13 Nor from beyond the sea is it,
saying, Who will cross over for us to cross over the sea and receive it for us that we may hear it.
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כִּֽי־קָר֥וֹב אֵלֶ֛יךָ הַדָּבָ֖ר מְאֹ֑ד
בְּפִ֥יךָ וּבִֽלְבָבְךָ֖ לַעֲשֹׂתֽוֹ
14 For near to you is the matter utterly,
in your mouth and in your heart to do it.
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רְאֵ֨ה נָתַ֤תִּי לְפָנֶ֙יךָ֙ הַיּ֔וֹם אֶת־הַֽחַיִּ֖ים וְאֶת־הַטּ֑וֹב
וְאֶת־הַמָּ֖וֶת וְאֶת־הָרָֽע
15 See, I give to your presence today the life and the good,
and the death and the evil,
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אֲשֶׁ֨ר אָנֹכִ֣י מְצַוְּךָ֮ הַיּוֹם֒ לְאַהֲבָ֞ה אֶת־יְהוָ֤ה אֱלֹהֶ֙יךָ֙ לָלֶ֣כֶת בִּדְרָכָ֔יו וְלִשְׁמֹ֛ר מִצְוֺתָ֥יו וְחֻקֹּתָ֖יו וּמִשְׁפָּטָ֑יו
וְחָיִ֣יתָ וְרָבִ֔יתָ וּבֵֽרַכְךָ֙ יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ בָּאָ֕רֶץ אֲשֶׁר־אַתָּ֥ה בָא־שָׁ֖מָּה לְרִשְׁתָּֽהּ
16 which I am commanding you today: to love
Yahweh your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments,
so you will live and multiply and Yahweh your God will bless you in the land that you are going toward to possess.
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וְאִם־יִפְנֶ֥ה לְבָבְךָ֖ וְלֹ֣א תִשְׁמָ֑ע
וְנִדַּחְתָּ֗ וְהִֽשְׁתַּחֲוִ֛יתָ לֵאלֹהִ֥ים אֲחֵרִ֖ים וַעֲבַדְתָּֽם
17 But if your heart does face away and you will not hear
but will be enticed and prostrate yourselves to other gods and serve them.
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הִגַּ֤דְתִּי לָכֶם֙ הַיּ֔וֹם כִּ֥י אָבֹ֖ד תֹּאבֵד֑וּן
לֹא־תַאֲרִיכֻ֤ן יָמִים֙ עַל־הָ֣אֲדָמָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֨ר אַתָּ֤ה עֹבֵר֙ אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּ֔ן לָבֹ֥א שָׁ֖מָּה לְרִשְׁתָּֽהּ
18 I announce to you today, that perishing, you will perish.
You will not prolong days on the ground to which you cross over Jordan, to come toward to possess it.
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הַעִידֹ֨תִי בָכֶ֣ם הַיּוֹם֮ אֶת־הַשָּׁמַ֣יִם וְאֶת־הָאָרֶץ֒ הַחַיִּ֤ים וְהַמָּ֙וֶת֙ נָתַ֣תִּי לְפָנֶ֔יךָ הַבְּרָכָ֖ה וְהַקְּלָלָ֑ה
וּבָֽחַרְתָּ֙ בַּֽחַיִּ֔ים לְמַ֥עַן תִּחְיֶ֖ה אַתָּ֥ה וְזַרְעֶֽךָ
19 I engage among you today the heavens and the earth, the life and the death I give before you, the blessing and the denial.
And you will choose among the life, so that you will live you and your seed.
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לְאַֽהֲבָה֙ אֶת־יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ לִשְׁמֹ֥עַ בְּקֹל֖וֹ וּלְדָבְקָה־ב֑וֹ
כִּ֣י ה֤וּא חַיֶּ֙יךָ֙ וְאֹ֣רֶךְ יָמֶ֔יךָ לָשֶׁ֣בֶת עַל־הָאֲדָמָ֗ה אֲשֶׁר֩ נִשְׁבַּ֨ע יְהוָ֧ה לַאֲבֹתֶ֛יךָ לְאַבְרָהָ֛ם לְיִצְחָ֥ק וּֽלְיַעֲקֹ֖ב לָתֵ֥ת לָהֶֽם
20 To love Yahweh your God, to hear with his voice, and to follow closely in him,
for he is your life and the length of your days, that you may inhabit the ground that Yahweh swore to your ancestors to Abraham to Yitschaq and to Jacob, to give them.
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