Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Song chapter 4

Chapter 4 is through the mill for the third time and to mix a metaphor, the hair, those she-goats curled up on the slopes, are gradually being combed into place.

The Song is of course a very important piece both of love poetry and of theology. Not to be warbled in taverns, as Rabbi Akiva warns. Two significant changes I have made to glosses this time. You will already have noted cherished and caress for words related to the דוד root. These were traditionally loves and beloved. The reason for this is simple, Beloved is related to love (אהב). These words are not made up of the letters of David's name, דוד. And since dvd does not sound like ahab, my rules tell me that I must choose an English gloss that allows distinction between these roots. Nothing is perfect here of course.

Speaking of perfect, secondly, I have used perfection for words related to the כלל root. This simple change avoids the sister - bride glosses that are so famous. It is true that sister/bride is fully justifiable theologically, for if the bridegroom be Christ (for example), we are the body, the bride and indeed the friends, and the kin (brother, sister) of the groom. Pardon me if I have combined and mixed several overlapping New Testament (and Old Testament) metaphors. You should note that the title, role, and presence of Christ (= Messiah, = Anointed, etc) is bigger than the historical human Jesus, though again theologically, he illustrates with perfection the acts of his kin, his bride, his body, and friends. Equally, that same Spirit that informed the Anointed Jesus, also informs our understanding and experience as it did the experience and understanding of the poets of the Tanakh. Nonetheless, my perfect one or some such other doting gloss is just fine in a love poem. Especially when the perfection is bought with such a price.

Perfection is a kind of completeness, or consummation (כלה from כלל) - and note that it can be seen as trouble also since a consuming fire (עשׁ כלה) is part of the mix. Remember the last verse of Zephaniah 1.
גַּם־כַּסְפָּ֨ם גַּם־זְהָבָ֜ם לֹֽא־יוּכַ֣ל לְהַצִּילָ֗ם בְּיוֹם֙ עֶבְרַ֣ת יְהוָ֔ה וּבְאֵשׁ֙ קִנְאָת֔וֹ תֵּאָכֵ֖ל כָּל־הָאָ֑רֶץ
כִּֽי־כָלָ֤ה אַךְ־נִבְהָלָה֙ יַֽעֲשֶׂ֔ה אֵ֥ת כָּל־יֹשְׁבֵ֖י הָאָֽרֶץ ס
1.18
Even their silver, even their gold will not be able to deliver them in the day of Yahweh's fury, but in the fire of his jealousy all the land will be devoured.
For surely, a consuming vexation he will make for all those inhabiting the land. S

The Gospel includes, of course, the destruction as well as the completeness imagery, a fullness into which all the living are invited.

The word repetition of the Song, chapter 4, shows best if you break the chapter between verses 7 and 8. Verses 1-7 are shown to be bound by beautiful and friend. The second section is dominated by Lebanon, (לבנון, lebanon) a word that is anticipated by frankincense (לבונה, lebonah) in verse 6. So Lebanon is not a distant country but a part of the body of the cherished perfection. Similarly the other geographical names are metaphor. I have shown you the tables below though they are producible by hand with a little effort if you colour the words on the screen with your markers. Don't use permanent ink and don't use the mouse for scrolling. Stickits could work.

Host in verse 5 is not in the Hebrew, but is implied by the sound of the word for gazelle (צבה) and a reminder that the Lord of Hosts (צבא), is in the mix in all of this. Hence no trifling. Let love be genuine.

הִנָּ֨ךְ יָפָ֤ה רַעְיָתִי֙ הִנָּ֣ךְ יָפָ֔ה עֵינַ֣יִךְ יוֹנִ֔ים מִבַּ֖עַד לְצַמָּתֵ֑ךְ
שַׂעְרֵךְ֙ כְּעֵ֣דֶר הָֽעִזִּ֔ים שֶׁגָּלְשׁ֖וּ מֵהַ֥ר גִּלְעָֽד
1
Just look at you, beautiful, my friend. Just look at you, beautiful, your eyes doves from within your veil,
your hair like a troop of she-goats curled up on the slopes of Gilead.
שִׁנַּ֙יִךְ֙ כְּעֵ֣דֶר הַקְּצוּב֔וֹת שֶׁעָל֖וּ מִן־הָרַחְצָ֑ה
שֶׁכֻּלָּם֙ מַתְאִימ֔וֹת וְשַׁכֻּלָ֖ה אֵ֥ין בָּהֶֽם
2
Your teeth are like a troop of shorn sheep that have ascended from the wash such that all of them are bearing twins and there is not one among them bereaved.
כְּח֤וּט הַשָּׁנִי֙ שִׂפְתֹתַ֔יִךְ וּמִדְבָּרֵ֖יךְ נָאוֶ֑ה
כְּפֶ֤לַח הָֽרִמּוֹן֙ רַקָּתֵ֔ךְ מִבַּ֖עַד לְצַמָּתֵֽךְ
3
Like the thread of scarlet are your lips and your words lovely,
like a slice of the pomegranate your temple from within your veil.
כְּמִגְדַּ֤ל דָּוִיד֙ צַוָּארֵ֔ךְ בָּנ֖וּי לְתַלְפִּיּ֑וֹת
אֶ֤לֶף הַמָּגֵן֙ תָּל֣וּי עָלָ֔יו כֹּ֖ל שִׁלְטֵ֥י הַגִּבּוֹרִֽים
4
Like the tower of David your neck, built for an arsenal,
the thousand shields hang on it, all the escutcheons of the valiant.
שְׁנֵ֥י שָׁדַ֛יִךְ כִּשְׁנֵ֥י עֳפָרִ֖ים תְּאוֹמֵ֣י צְבִיָּ֑ה
הָרוֹעִ֖ים בַּשּׁוֹשַׁנִּֽים
5
Your two breasts and like two twin faun of the gazelle host that pasture among the lilies.
עַ֤ד שֶׁיָּפ֙וּחַ֙ הַיּ֔וֹם וְנָ֖סוּ הַצְּלָלִ֑ים
אֵ֤לֶךְ לִי֙ אֶל־הַ֣ר הַמּ֔וֹר וְאֶל־גִּבְעַ֖ת הַלְּבוֹנָֽה
6
Till the day dawn and the shadows withdraw,
I will myself come to the mountain of myrrh and to the hillock of frankincense.
כֻּלָּ֤ךְ יָפָה֙ רַעְיָתִ֔י וּמ֖וּם אֵ֥ין בָּֽךְ
7
You are all beautiful, my friend, and there is no spot in you.
אִתִּ֤י מִלְּבָנוֹן֙ כַּלָּ֔ה אִתִּ֖י מִלְּבָנ֣וֹן תָּב֑וֹאִי
תָּשׁ֣וּרִי ׀ מֵרֹ֣אשׁ אֲמָנָ֗ה מֵרֹ֤אשׁ שְׂנִיר֙ וְחֶרְמ֔וֹן מִמְּעֹנ֣וֹת אֲרָי֔וֹת מֵֽהַרְרֵ֖י נְמֵרִֽים
8
With me from Lebanon, perfection, with me from Lebanon you will come.
You will scrutinize from the head of Amana, from the head of Shenir and Hermon, from lions' dens, from the mountains of leopards.
לִבַּבְתִּ֖נִי אֲחֹתִ֣י כַלָּ֑ה
לִבַּבְתִּ֙ינִי֙ באחד בְּאַחַ֣ת מֵעֵינַ֔יִךְ בְּאַחַ֥ד עֲנָ֖ק מִצַּוְּרֹנָֽיִךְ
9
You have ravished my heart, my sister, perfection.
You have ravished my heart with one glance from your eyes, with one pendant from your neck.
מַה־יָּפ֥וּ דֹדַ֖יִךְ אֲחֹתִ֣י כַלָּ֑ה
מַה־טֹּ֤בוּ דֹדַ֙יִךְ֙ מִיַּ֔יִן וְרֵ֥יחַ שְׁמָנַ֖יִךְ מִכָּל־בְּשָׂמִֽים
10
How beautiful is your caress, my sister, perfection.
How much better is your caress than wine and the fragrance of your ointments than all spices.
נֹ֛פֶת תִּטֹּ֥פְנָה שִׂפְתוֹתַ֖יִךְ כַּלָּ֑ה
דְּבַ֤שׁ וְחָלָב֙ תַּ֣חַת לְשׁוֹנֵ֔ךְ וְרֵ֥יחַ שַׂלְמֹתַ֖יִךְ כְּרֵ֥יחַ לְבָנֽוֹן
11
Your lips drop honeycomb, perfection.
Honey and milk are under your tongue, and the fragrance of your apparel like the fragrance of Lebanon.
גַּ֥ן ׀ נָע֖וּל אֲחֹתִ֣י כַלָּ֑ה
גַּ֥ל נָע֖וּל מַעְיָ֥ן חָתֽוּם
12
A garden girt my sister, perfection,
a billow girt, a spring sealed.
שְׁלָחַ֙יִךְ֙ פַּרְדֵּ֣ס רִמּוֹנִ֔ים עִ֖ם פְּרִ֣י מְגָדִ֑ים
כְּפָרִ֖ים עִם־נְרָדִֽים
13
Your shoots are a paradise of pomegranates, with quality fruits,
henna with spikenard.
נֵ֣רְדְּ ׀ וְכַרְכֹּ֗ם קָנֶה֙ וְקִנָּמ֔וֹן עִ֖ם כָּל־עֲצֵ֣י לְבוֹנָ֑ה
מֹ֚ר וַאֲהָל֔וֹת עִ֖ם כָּל־רָאשֵׁ֥י בְשָׂמִֽים
14
Spikenard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense,
myrrh and aloes, with all preeminent spices.
מַעְיַ֣ן גַּנִּ֔ים בְּאֵ֖ר מַ֣יִם חַיִּ֑ים
וְנֹזְלִ֖ים מִן־לְבָנֽוֹן
15
A spring of gardens, a well of waters, living and flowing from Lebanon.
ע֤וּרִי צָפוֹן֙ וּב֣וֹאִי תֵימָ֔ן הָפִ֥יחִי גַנִּ֖י יִזְּל֣וּ בְשָׂמָ֑יו
יָבֹ֤א דוֹדִי֙ לְגַנּ֔וֹ וְיֹאכַ֖ל פְּרִ֥י מְגָדָֽיו
16
Be roused, north wind, and come, south wind. Blow on my garden. Let its spices flow.
Let my cherished come to his garden and eat its quality fruits.
Repeating roots Verses 1-7
Word / Gloss123456789101VSSStem
הנך just look at you
1הנה
יפה beautiful
1יפה
רעיתי my friend
1רעה
הנך just look at you
1הנה
יפה beautiful
1יפה
מבעד from within
1בעד
לצמתך your veil
1צמה
כעדר like a troop of
1עדר
מהר on the slopes of
1הר
כעדר are like a troop of
2עדר
שׁכלם that all of them
2כל
מתאימות are bearing twins
2תאם
אין there is not
2אין
מבעד from within
3בעד
לצמתך your veil
3צמה
כל all
4כל
שׁני two
5שׁנה
כשׁני like two
5שׁנה
תאומי twin of
5תאם
הרועים that pasture
5רעה
הר the mountain of
6הר
כלך you all
7כל
יפה are beautiful
7יפה
רעיתי my friend
7רעה
אין there is no
7אין
Verses 8-16
Word / Gloss1234567891012345678VSSStem
מלבנון from Lebanon
8לבנון
כלה perfection
8כלל
מלבנון from Lebanon
8לבנון
תבואי you will come
8בוא
מראשׁ from the head of
8ראשׁ
מראשׁ from the head of
8ראשׁ
לבבתני you have ravished my heart
9לבב
אחתי my sister
9אח
כלה perfection
9כלל
לבבתני you have ravished my heart
9לבב
באחת with one
9אח
מעיניך glance from your eyes
9עין
מה how
10מה
דדיך is your caress
10דוד
אחתי my sister
10אח
כלה perfection
10כלל
מה how much
10מה
דדיך is your caress
10דוד
וריח the fragrance of
10ריח
מכל from all
10כל
בשׂמים spices
10בסם
כלה perfection
11כלל
וריח the fragrance of
11ריח
כריח like the fragrance of
11ריח
לבנון Lebanon
11לבנון
גן a garden
12גן
נעול girt
12נעל
אחתי my sister
12אח
כלה perfection
12כלל
נעול girt
12נעל
מעין a spring
12עין
פרי fruits
13פרי
מגדים quality
13מגד
נרדים spikenard
13נרד
נרד spikenard
14נרד
כל all
14כל
כל all
14כל
ראשׁי preeminent
14ראשׁ
בשׂמים spices
14בסם
מעין a spring of
15עין
גנים gardens
15גן
ונזלים and flowing
15נזל
לבנון Lebanon
15לבנון
ובואי and come
16בוא
גני my garden
16גן
יזלו let flow
16נזל
בשׂמיו its spices
16בסם
יבא let come
16בוא
דודי my cherished
16דוד
לגנו to his garden
16גן
פרי fruits
16פרי
מגדיו its quality
16מגד