I did not know it, but I had just been given my final exam by my teacher. And I passed - quite well actually - an A, I think. But don't press me.
I was reading Jonah chapter 3 this morning in Hebrew with no helps. I am quite slow, but I read just to the phrase וְנִינְוֵה הָיְתָה עִיר גְּדוֹלָה לֵאלֹהִים roughly put - and Nineveh was a great city לֵאלֹהִים - and I said - hey I've never noticed that word in the text before - what's God doing there? And I asked: Is this a place where אלֹהִים means gods or something? And I thought that maybe it meant that the people of Nineveh were strong or fearful etc. But then I thought about the psalm inscriptions and in a moment of light, I realized it meant that this great city belonged לֵ to אלֹהִים. Why not?
I had noticed also that the repetition of the word of יְהוָה to Jonah was rephrased the second time. Christensen notes the change of letter from ayin to alef in the preposition. I think he is right that this signifies a change from a word against her עָלֶיהָ to a word to her אֵלֶיהָ. God is not far from the enemy, his sword, or from the Gentiles. I got this one right almost by accident.
After 5 years, I don't read fluently in Hebrew, and I still need a dictionary, but less than before. Still reading slowly is good and the dictionary reveals more the more you use it. If I keep it up, I will eventually read fluently, I am sure. Anyway, Jonah, which I had not read in Hebrew before Sunday, was the final exam. I spent roughly 20 hours getting it into the database, translating, drafting, and posting. That's longer than a 3-hour exam.
Psalm 41 is available at PoC. So Book 1 draft has been put out on that blog with discipline for 4 months now. That's the longest any New Year's resolution ever lasted for me so far. I hope to continue. I am just in the process of drafting the notes on psalm 72. So Book 2 draft will be completed this week. 78 more to go before October. It's possible: 4 months - 20 per month with a 3-week break in August for a trip across the US from NY to Seattle via train including Washington DC and the Santa Fe Opera.
I have written many books and most of them have been composted, layers and layers. I wonder what will come from this soil that I just keep cultivating, digging, and weeding. Don't get me wrong - my toil has its rewards. But can it also be useful to others? עמלי יש התגמולים שלה. זה גם יכול להיות שימושי עבור אחרים? That is a Google translate - not bad eh? But it hardly has the compactness of Biblical Hebrew.