Tuesday 30 March 2010

Lamentations 2

Translating Lamentations is not as cheerful a process as translating Ruth or the Song. I sat down and read it in English before Church on Sunday - took me about 10 minutes. I don't think I can give this the 77 days it deserves. Maybe 7. The third and centre chapter - the three-fold acrostic - is entirely in the first person. And in this second chapter, one cannot but be struck that God destroys his own citadel, his own sanctuary, his own booth. Is prayer all we are left with? Again, as in Job, for the arbiter or referee, and Ruth, for a redeemer, there is a need here that cannot be fulfilled except by God. To hold faithfulness and hope in the face of this destruction and failure, as does this writer and the writer of Psalm 89, is a work of faith.

There is again an intensity of repetition of words. I suspect there are unique framing words for each poem and framing and thematic words for the whole book. I am working on diagrams but my mind has regressed in my learning as I work through this web of destruction. Do not for a moment think you can read the Bible in 10 minutes.

VerseHebrew textA translationWhat shall we say?
Alephאֵיכָה יָעִיב בְּאַפּוֹ אֲדֹנָי
אֶת בַּת צִיּוֹן
הִשְׁלִיךְ מִשָּׁמַיִם אֶרֶץ
תִּפְאֶרֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל
וְלֹא זָכַר הֲדֹם רַגְלָיו
בְּיוֹם אַפּוֹ ס
Ah how my Lord has covered in darkness
the daughter of Zion
He has cast down from heaven to earth
the adornment of Israel
and he has not remembered
his footstool
in the day of his anger
Same construction as Lam 1:1 so a similar beginning

I don't know any music from this part so here is a Colonially named flower to lighten the pain of this reading - Bougainvillea growing on volcanic waste
Betבִּלַּע אֲדֹנָי וְלֹא חָמַל

אֵת כָּל נְאוֹת יַעֲקֹב
הָרַס בְּעֶבְרָתוֹ
מִבְצְרֵי בַת-יְהוּדָה
הִגִּיעַ לָאָרֶץ
חִלֵּל מַמְלָכָה וְשָׂרֶיהָ ס
Blasted without pity, my Lord -
all the meadows of Jacob
He has thrown down in his fury
the fortress of the daughter of Judah
He has touched to the earth -
He has polluted her kingdom and her princes

From Collages
Gimelגָּדַע בָּחֳרִי אַף
כֹּל קֶרֶן יִשְׂרָאֵל
הֵשִׁיב אָחוֹר
יְמִינוֹ מִפְּנֵי אוֹיֵב
וַיִּבְעַר בְּיַעֲקֹב
כְּאֵשׁ לֶהָבָה
אָכְלָה סָבִיב ס
Glowing in anger he has cut down
every horn of Israel
He has turned back
his right hand from the face of the enemy
and he has burned Jacob
as a fiery flame
that circles and devours
Daletדָּרַךְ קַשְׁתּוֹ
כְּאוֹיֵב נִצָּב
יְמִינוֹ כְּצָר
וַיַּהֲרֹג כֹּל מַחֲמַדֵּי עָיִן
בְּאֹהֶל בַּת צִיּוֹן
שָׁפַךְ כָּאֵשׁ חֲמָתוֹ ס
Directed has he his bow
like an enemy taking his stand
his right hand as adversity
and slew all the eye's delectable goods
in the tent of the daughter of Zion
he poured out like fire his wrath
Heהָיָה אֲדֹנָי כְּאוֹיֵב
בִּלַּע יִשְׂרָאֵל
בִּלַּע כָּל אַרְמְנוֹתֶיהָ
שִׁחֵת מִבְצָרָיו
וַיֶּרֶב בְּבַת יְהוּדָה
תַּאֲנִיָּה וַאֲנִיָּה ס
He, my Lord, became as an enemy
He has engulfed Israel
He has engulfed all her citadels
he has ruined his own fortress
and has nurtured in the daughter of Judah
her lament and her groaning
Vavוַיַּחְמֹס כַּגַּן שֻׂכּוֹ
שִׁחֵת מֹעֲדוֹ
שִׁכַּח יְהוָה בְּצִיּוֹן
מוֹעֵד וְשַׁבָּת
וַיִּנְאַץ בְּזַעַם אַפּוֹ
מֶלֶךְ וְכֹהֵן ס
Violently he removed as a garden his booth
He has ruined his feast
יְהוָה has let feast and sabbath in Zion be forgotten
and he has spurned in the foaming of his anger
king and priest
Zayinזָנַח אֲדֹנָי מִזְבְּחוֹ
נִאֵר מִקְדָּשׁוֹ
הִסְגִּיר בְּיַד אוֹיֵב
חוֹמֹת אַרְמְנוֹתֶיהָ
קוֹל נָתְנוּ בְּבֵית יְהוָה
כְּיוֹם מוֹעֵד ס
Zeroed has my Lord his altar
He has made void his sanctuary
He has shut up by the hand of an enemy
the walls of her citadels
They give voice in the house of  יְהוָה
as in the day of the feast
z is difficult in English - for concordance I  should use zero in Lam 3:17, 3:31 = cast off, but I probably won't. Curious though that the mathematical image can be continued in the parallel, 'make void'
Chetחָשַׁב יְהוָה לְהַשְׁחִית
חוֹמַת בַּת צִיּוֹן
נָטָה קָו
לֹא הֵשִׁיב יָדוֹ מִבַּלֵּעַ
וַיַּאֲבֶל חֵל וְחוֹמָה
יַחְדָּו אֻמְלָלוּ ס
He had, יְהוָה, considered ruining
the wall of the daughter of Zion
He had planned the approach and had not turned his hand from engulfing
but he made rampart and wall lament
they lamented together
This insight and imputation of a cruel character of God is not made behind his back. So let us imitate if we have any complaint against the most high.
Tetטָבְעוּ בָאָרֶץ שְׁעָרֶיהָ
אִבַּד וְשִׁבַּר בְּרִיחֶיהָ
מַלְכָּהּ וְשָׂרֶיהָ בַגּוֹיִם
אֵין תּוֹרָה
גַּם נְבִיאֶיהָ לֹא
מָצְאוּ חָזוֹן מֵיְהוָה ס
To the ground are her gates sunk
He has exterminated and crushed her bars
Her king and her princes are among the nations
There is no Torah
Even her prophets
find no vision from יְהוָה
I wonder if gate (her gate - shariah) and the Muslim 'sharia' law are related in etymology?
Yodיֵשְׁבוּ לָאָרֶץ
יִדְּמוּ זִקְנֵי בַת צִיּוֹן
הֶעֱלוּ עָפָר עַל רֹאשָׁם
חָגְרוּ שַׂקִּים
הוֹרִידוּ לָאָרֶץ רֹאשָׁן
בְּתוּלֹת יְרוּשָׁלִָם ס
Yet in silence on the ground the elders of the daughter of Zion sit
They have thrown dust on their heads
They wear sackcloths
Hanging down their heads to the ground are the virgins of Jerusalem
יְהוָה would also be an acceptable start for this Yod position- not available in this verse

I suspect that virgins is used metaphorically here and elsewhere - right?
Kafכָּלוּ בַדְּמָעוֹת עֵינַי
חֳמַרְמְרוּ מֵעַי
נִשְׁפַּךְ לָאָרֶץ כְּבֵדִי
עַל שֶׁבֶר בַּת עַמִּי
בֵּעָטֵף עוֹלֵל וְיוֹנֵק
בִּרְחֹבוֹת קִרְיָה ס
Knowing tears, my eyes are exausted
My belly is in turmoil
Poured on the ground is my liver
over the destruction of the daughter of my people
for the babes and sucklings are weak
in the plazas of the town
Lamedלְאִמֹּתָם יֹאמְרוּ
אַיֵּה דָּגָן וָיָיִן
בְּהִתְעַטְּפָם כֶּחָלָל
בִּרְחֹבוֹת עִיר
בְּהִשְׁתַּפֵּךְ נַפְשָׁם
אֶל חֵיק אִמֹּתָם ס
Looking to their mothers, they say
where is corn and wine
when they are weakened as the wounded
in the plazas of the city
when their lives are poured out
into the their mother's bosom
Memמָה אֲעִידֵךְ
מָה אֲדַמֶּה לָּךְ
הַבַּת יְרוּשָׁלִַם
מָה אַשְׁוֶה לָּךְ
בְּתוּלַת בַּת צִיּוֹן

כִּי גָדוֹל כַּיָּם שִׁבְרֵךְ
מִי יִרְפָּא לָךְ ס
My testimony for you - what will it be?
To what will I compare you
O daughter of Jerusalem
To what will I liken you that I may comfort you
O virgin daughter of Zion
for great as the sea is your destruction
Who will heal you?
Who is the 'I' in this poem? Is is the 'I' who will take on all responsibility in the next part?
Nunנְבִיאַיִךְ חָזוּ לָךְ שָׁוְא וְתָפֵל
וְלֹא גִלּוּ עַל עֲו‍ֹנֵךְ
לְהָשִׁיב שְׁבוּתֵךְ
וַיֶּחֱזוּ לָךְ
מַשְׂאוֹת שָׁוְא וּמַדּוּחִים ס
Nothing worth, insipid were the visions that your prophets had
for they did not reveal your iniquity
to turn away your captivity
but their visions for you were utterances of worthlessness and enticements
Gone into exile in Lam 1: 3 seems a limited gloss - perhaps discovered or revealed as being in exile would be better - but we need the G in this verse 3. Here and in Lam 4:22 - itself a frame for the acrostics, perhaps a better rendering would highlight the 'discovery' - not that physical exile is needed, but that a state of exile already exists and will have been revealed by the subsequent history.
Samechסָפְקוּ עָלַיִךְ כַּפַּיִם
כָּל עֹבְרֵי דֶרֶךְ
שָׁרְקוּ וַיָּנִעוּ רֹאשָׁם
עַל בַּת יְרוּשָׁלִָם
הֲזֹאת הָעִיר שֶׁיֹּאמְרוּ
כְּלִילַת יֹפִי
מָשׂוֹשׂ לְכָל הָאָרֶץ ס
So they applaud you
all passing this way
they hiss and nod their heads
at the daughter of Jerusalem
Is this the city that they say is 
the perfection of beauty?
the joy of the whole earth?
'pass by' occurs 4 times once each in chapters 1, 2, 3, and 4

beauty for me recalls the Song of course as do the epithets of daughter of Zion, etc
also - of course - Psalm 48:1
Pehפָּצוּ עָלַיִךְ פִּיהֶם
כָּל אֹיְבַיִךְ
שָׁרְקוּ וַיַּחַרְקוּ שֵׁן
אָמְרוּ בִּלָּעְנוּ אַךְ זֶה
הַיּוֹם שֶׁקִּוִּינֻהוּ
מָצָאנוּ רָאִינוּ ס
Parted against you are their mouths
all your enemies
they hiss and they gnash teeth
they say - we have engulfed her
The day that we have been waiting for
we have found it - we have seen it
Any glottal can represent Aleph or Ayin - I have failed! Note that these letters are reversed and it would not have been difficult for the author to have avoided the reversal. What prompted the twist?

For a moment the enemies seem to triumph - not so fast...
Ayinעָשָׂה יְהוָה אֲשֶׁר זָמָם
בִּצַּע אֶמְרָתוֹ
אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה מִימֵי קֶדֶם
הָרַס וְלֹא חָמָל
וַיְשַׂמַּח עָלַיִךְ אוֹיֵב
הֵרִים קֶרֶן צָרָיִךְ ס
It was done as planned by יְהוָה
He has violently achieved his word
that he commanded in days of old
He has thrown down without pity
and he has made an enemy rejoice over you
exalting the horn of your adversaries
fulfill or carried out hardly does justice to the way this is put - that God has produced such defeat for Israel as an accomplishment of his word.

JB corrects horn of your adversaries to horn of יְהוָה. I don't see why. But then I am reading this for the first time. We have just read the pride of the enemy - a word that occurs 7 times in this chapter and 5 in the first.
Tsadeצָעַק לִבָּם אֶל אֲדֹנָי
חוֹמַת בַּת צִיּוֹן
הוֹרִידִי כַנַּחַל דִּמְעָה
יוֹמָם וָלַיְלָה
אַל תִּתְּנִי פוּגַת לָךְ
אַל תִּדֹּם בַּת עֵינֵךְ ס
'ts crying out to the Lord is their heart
O wall of the daughter of Zion
Let your tear run down as a torrent
day and night
give yourself no respite
no silence for your eye's pupil
The personification of the wall continues after the mockery of enemy.
These stones are encouraged to cry out.
Qofקוּמִי רֹנִּי בַלַּיְלָה
לְרֹאשׁ אַשְׁמֻרוֹת
שִׁפְכִי כַמַּיִם לִבֵּךְ
נֹכַח פְּנֵי אֲדֹנָי
שְׂאִי אֵלָיו כַּפַּיִךְ
עַל נֶפֶשׁ עוֹלָלַיִךְ
הָעֲטוּפִים בְּרָעָב
בְּרֹאשׁ כָּל חוּצוֹת ס
Quicken, cry out in the night
in the beginning of the watches
Pour out like water your heart
before the face of the Lord
Lift up your palms to him
for the life of your babes
that are weak from famine
at the head of every street
Reshרְאֵה יְהוָה וְהַבִּיטָה
לְמִי עוֹלַלְתָּ כֹּה
אִם תֹּאכַלְנָה נָשִׁים
פִּרְיָם עֹלְלֵי טִפֻּחִים
אִם יֵהָרֵג בְּמִקְדַּשׁ
אֲדֹנָי כֹּהֵן וְנָבִיא ס
Regard יְהוָה and look
On whom have you imposed here?
As if women should devour
their fruit, the children of their mothering
As if in the sanctuary of my Lord priest and prophet should be slain
Shinשָׁכְבוּ לָאָרֶץ חוּצוֹת
נַעַר וְזָקֵן
בְּתוּלֹתַי וּבַחוּרַי
נָפְלוּ בֶחָרֶב
הָרַגְתָּ בְּיוֹם אַפֶּךָ
טָבַחְתָּ לֹא חָמָלְתָּ ס
Streets and the ground covered with
youngster and aged
My virgins and and my youth
have fallen by the sword
You have slain in the day of your anger
You have butchered without pity
cf Lam 1:18
Tafתִּקְרָא כְיוֹם מוֹעֵד
מְגוּרַי מִסָּבִיב
וְלֹא הָיָה
בְּיוֹם אַף יְהוָה
פָּלִיט וְשָׂרִיד
אֲשֶׁר טִפַּחְתִּי
וְרִבִּיתִי אֹיְבִי כִלָּם פ
Terrors you have summoned circling around me as on a feast day
so there will not be
in the day of the wrath of יְהוָה
one left or one alive
of those I mothered or nurtured
My enemy has exhausted them
exhausted - one could use several possible glosses here - but for concordance on this word כָּלָה with chapter 3 and 4 I have chosen this one.

Saturday 27 March 2010

Varieties of Ginger

Chocolate, Torch, and others - comes in white too

Bird of Paradise

Hard to beat this one as an analogue of our existence


Why these thoughts. my love?

It sounds to me as if I am looking for retroactive control over a destructive action. There's no doubt he hurt others who were largely unaware of what he was doing, and he was not alone. You let generations of abuse happen. Men did it in the name of your law, law they did not know or they would not have done these deeds nor would they have allowed others to do them. And as for those who had supervisory power, if they knew you, they would not have wanted either to save face or to protect the reputation of the school. But they would want to exert pastoral protection for the sinner. I wonder if he had anyone to help him come to self-correction - you did not tell me.

It's ironic that he preached judgment and then acted as if there was no judge or condemnation for himself. Did he know nothing of your judgment? Was he, were they, working against you in your name? But now some act against their children and the heirs of the school. Surely the school has changed. The reports have been good. It is now co-ed. It knew the old was masking evil. How will we implement justice? Surely a payment for past abuse prostitutes the victim again.

Why do you let your word be abused by the ignorant - by those who do not know you?

I haven't put it that way before. What would human life be like without  --- this lust for power, this sin and ignorance, such distorted desire?

What is fundamental in our existence? We are conceived. We gestate in some hopefully non-hostile environment - but perhaps not - for so it is with many whose mothers took alcohol when they were pregnant. We are born in pain and blood. We need. We grow. We have varying degrees of opportunity and ability. We age. We die. We decompose. We are aware of these things. You will have at least seen them, and you see the destruction that people with ability can inflict on others. You have always known this. At least you must have known it if you respond to the prayer to Look - to See - to Regard the condition of your Elect.

I know you have known. I know because you have known it in me and you guide me with your eye upon me. Hopefully I am still enough to hear and feel your guidance, to wait for you.

Friday 26 March 2010

Lamentations 1

A later reading (2015) is here.
This being a first read of Lamentations for me, I will be free with colour coding so we can see the many repeated words and similar sounds in this chapter. (There were too many to colour in this technology. The repetition is intense. Later maybe I will diagram it.) I have taken some freedom with words and placement due to the restriction of the acrostic form - a demand I think I should respect as a translator of this letter game.

I wonder too, given the playful structure of this lament, whether there is some latticework in the acrostic - i.e. if aleph in each of chapters 1-4 is related etc. That will make for some interesting parallel analysis. One can get a sense of the possibility just by reading the four (or five) chapters across: Lamentations 1:1, 2:1, 3:1-3, 4:1, 5:1. You might note the connection with the Song of Songs in Lamentations 4:1 (Compare Song 5:11). The beloved, the chosen, the elect, Zion is judged. There are other possible connections with the Song.

VerseHebrew textA translationWhat shall we say?
Alephאֵיכָה יָשְׁבָה
בָדָד הָעִיר
רַבָּתִי עָם
הָיְתָה כְּאַלְמָנָה
רַבָּתִי בַגֹּויִם
שָׂרָתִי בַּמְּדִינֹות
הָיְתָה לָמַס ס
Ah how solitary
sits the city
Filled with people
she became as a widow
Filled from the nations
Princess among the provinces
she came into forced service
It is very difficult to think away from the Latin version for the number of times it has been set to music.
Music is a language of the spirit subtending time.
Bethבָּכֹו תִ בְכֶּה בַּלַּיְלָה
וְדִמְעָתָהּ עַל לֶחֱיָהּ
אֵין לָהּ מְנַחֵם
מִכָּל אֹהֲבֶיהָ
כָּל רֵעֶיהָ בָּגְדוּ בָהּ
הָיוּ לָהּ לְאֹיְבִים ס
Beside herself with weeping in the night
And her tears on her cheeks
There is for her none to comfort 
among all her lovers
All her companions have defrauded her
They have become her enemies
Comfort and See are among the most highly repeated words in this chapter
Gimelגָּלְתָה יְהוּדָה
מֵעֹנִי וּמֵרֹב עֲבֹדָה
הִיא יָשְׁבָה בַגֹּויִם
לֹא מָצְאָה מָנֹוחַ
כָּל רֹדְפֶיהָ הִשִּׂיגוּהָ
בֵּין הַמְּצָרִים ס
Gone is Judah into exile
from humiliation and great bondage
She sat among the nations
She found no rest
All her persecutors take hold on her
between her adversities
Daletדַּרְכֵי צִיֹּון אֲבֵלֹות
מִבְּלִי בָּאֵי מֹועֵד
כָּל שְׁעָרֶיהָ שֹׁומֵמִין
כֹּהֲנֶיהָ נֶאֱנָחִים
בְּתוּלֹתֶיהָ נּוּגֹות
וְהִיא מַר־לָהּ ס
Desolate are all her gates
the ways of Zion are in mourning
none come to her feasts
Her priests sigh
Her virgins are afflicted
and she is bitter
Line 3 of the Hebrew is first in the English to allow a D to begin.
Heהָיוּ צָרֶיהָ לְרֹאשׁ
אֹיְבֶיהָ שָׁלוּ
כִּי יְהוָה הוֹגָהּ
עַל רֹב פְּשָׁעֶיהָ
עוֹלָלֶיהָ הָלְכוּ שְׁבִי
לִפְנֵי צָר ס
Her adversary has taken precedence
Her enemies prosper
For יְהוָה has afflicted her
on account of her many transgressions
Her babes are taken captive
in the face of adversity
Although 'head' occurs 7 times in this scroll, I think there must be an idiom here that takes precedence over any possible concordant translation.
Vavוַיֵּצֵא מִבַּת צִיּוֹן
כָּל הֲדָרָהּ
הָיוּ שָׂרֶיהָ כְּאַיָּלִים
 לֹא מָצְאוּ מִרְעֶה
וַיֵּלְכוּ בְלֹא כֹחַ
לִפְנֵי רוֹדֵף  ס
Vanished from the daughter of Zion is all her honour
Her princes have become like hart
that find no pasture
and they walk without strength
in the face of their persecutors
I needed the V
Zayin זָכְרָה יְרוּשָׁלִַם
יְמֵי עָנְיָהּ
וּמְרוּדֶיהָ כֹּל מַחֲמֻדֶיהָ
 אֲשֶׁר הָיוּ מִימֵי קֶדֶם
בִּנְפֹל עַמָּהּ בְּיַד צָר
וְאֵין עוֹזֵר לָהּ
רָאוּהָ צָרִים
שָׂחֲקוּ עַל מִשְׁבַּתֶּהָ ס
Zion remembers
the days of her humiliation
and Jerusalem from her miseries
all her delectable goods
that she had in former days
when her people fell by the hand of adversity
and there was none to help her
Her adversaries saw her
They mocked her sabbath
Zion is added and Jerusalem displaced for the zayin. I think the ellipsis of 'remembers' works - but as in all my awkward translations, it is important to get the pause and not be in a hurry
Chetחֵטְא חָטְאָה יְרוּשָׁלִַם
עַל כֵּן לְנִידָה הָיָתָה
כָּל מְכַבְּדֶיהָ הִזִּילוּהָ
כִּי רָאוּ עֶרְוָתָהּ
גַּם הִיא נֶאֶנְחָה
וַתָּשָׁב אָחוֹר ס
How sinful Jerusalem's sin
therefore she is isolated
All who honoured her despise her
for they see her nakedness
even as she sighs and turns away
נִידָה is a unique word apparently. If there is great sin, what can be the consequence? In this context, exile can lead to repentance or to self-defense. But the immediate effect may be a quivering isolation, a moment of vulnerability that enables a real recognition of foolishness.
Tetטֻמְאָתָהּ בְּשׁוּלֶיהָ
לֹא זָכְרָה אַחֲרִיתָהּ
וַתֵּרֶד פְּלָאִים
אֵין מְנַחֵם לָהּ
רְאֵה יְהוָה אֶת עָנְיִי

כִּי הִגְדִּיל אוֹיֵב ס
Tendered in her robes is her uncleanness
She did not remember her consequences
and she fell down with wonders
there is none to comfort her
see יְהוָה my humiliation
for the enemy is magnified
A strong pervasive, interpenetrating, and intrinsic substitute beginning with 't' for the preposition 'in'.

The sentence with wonders seems to associate the exile with the passover wonders in the land of Ham - it is not easy to make a sentence with it
Yodיָדוֹ פָּרַשׂ צָר
עַל כָּל מַחֲמַדֶּיהָ
  כִּי רָאֲתָה גוֹיִם בָּאוּ מִקְדָּשָׁהּ
אֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתָה לֹא יָבֹאוּ
בַקָּהָל לָךְ ס
Yes, adversity spread its hand
on all her delectable goods
for she has seen the nations enter her holy place
whom you charged not to enter into your assembly
Kafכָּל עַמָּהּ נֶאֱנָחִים
מְבַקְּשִׁים לֶחֶם
נָתְנוּ מַחֲמַדֵּיהֶם
בְּאֹכֶל לְהָשִׁיב נָפֶשׁ
רְאֵה יְהוָה וְהַבִּיטָה
כִּי הָיִיתִי זוֹלֵלָה ס
Know that all her people sigh
seeking bread
they give their delectable goods for food
to turn life around
see יְהוָה and look
for I have become polluted

While שׁוּב has many possible glosses, I will try and include a 'turn' in it so that the many times it appears can be heard.

I usually avoid that lovely word 'soul' as a translation of נָפֶשׁ because of its false associations of bodiless - here they need real food
Lamedלוֹא אֲלֵיכֶם
כָּל עֹבְרֵי דֶרֶךְ
הַבִּיטוּ וּרְאוּ
אִם יֵשׁ מַכְאוֹב כְּמַכְאֹבִי אֲשֶׁר
עוֹלַל לִי
אֲשֶׁר הוֹגָה יְהוָה
בְּיוֹם חֲרוֹן אַפּוֹ ס
Look - not for you -
all you passing this way
and see
if there is sorrow like my sorrow
which is
imposed on me
which יְהוָה afflicted
in the day of his fierce anger
The inference of a question here ([Is it] nothing to you?) seems misleading as to other possible meanings. Such as - let it not come to you JPS or it's not about you, etc.

Fierce - also in Lam 4:11, anger - thematic - occurs 10 times but not in chapter 5
Memמִמָּרוֹם שָׁלַח אֵשׁ
בְּעַצְמֹתַי וַיִּרְדֶּנָּה
פָּרַשׂ רֶשֶׁת לְרַגְלַי
הֱשִׁיבַנִי אָחוֹר
נְתָנַנִי שֹׁמֵמָה
כָּל הַיּוֹם דָּוָה ס
Mightily from on high he has sent fire into my bones and he subjugates her
He has spread a net for my feet
He has turned me away
He has made me desolate every day - faint
fire recurs in Lam 2:3-:4, 4:11
faint Lam 5:17 only - frame?

The switch in pronoun is strange - but whether me or her, I suspect the meaning is clear with identification of the individual with the corporate affliction
Nunנִשְׂקַד עֹל פְּשָׁעַי בְּיָדוֹ
יִשְׂתָּרְגוּ עָלוּ עַל צַוָּארִי
הִכְשִׁיל כֹּחִי
נְתָנַנִי אֲדֹנָי בִּידֵי
לֹא אוּכַל קוּם ס
Now bound by his hand is the yoke of my transgressions
They are intertwined - they come up to my neck
He has made my strength fail
My Lord has given me into the hands of those against whom I cannot rise
compare Job 40:17 - Even Behemoth - I wonder if this is an argument for evolution
Samechסִלָּה כָל אַבִּירַי
אֲדֹנָי בְּקִרְבִּי
קָרָא עָלַי
מוֹעֵד לִשְׁבֹּר בַּחוּרָי
גַּת דָּרַךְ אֲדֹנָי
לִבְתוּלַת בַּת יְהוּדָה ס
Suspended has my Lord all the mighty in my midst
He has called against me
a feast to crush my youth
In a winepress my Lord has trodden
the virgin daughter of Judah
(or JB Spurned)
Ayinעַל אֵלֶּה אֲנִי בוֹכִיָּה 
עֵינִי עֵינִי יֹרְדָה מַּיִם
כִּי רָחַק מִמֶּנִּי מְנַחֵם מֵשִׁיב נַפְשִׁי
הָיוּ בָנַי שׁוֹמֵמִים
כִּי גָבַר אוֹיֵב  ס
I - I weep for these things
my eye, my eye running with water
for the comforter is too far from me to return my life
My children are desolate
for an enemy has prevailed
For yod a Y, for aleph and ayin a glottal. The Hebrew ani, ayini are as close as the English I, eye. My eye sees the Hebrew repeated I.
Pehפֵּרְשָׂה צִיּוֹן בְּיָדֶיהָ
אֵין מְנַחֵם לָהּ
צִוָּה יְהוָה לְיַעֲקֹב סְבִיבָיו צָרָיו
הָיְתָה יְרוּשָׁלִַם
לְנִדָּה בֵּינֵיהֶם ס
Pathos - Zion spreads with her hands
there is none to comfort her
יְהוָה charged  concerning Jacob that his adversaries would surround him
Jerusalem has become
impure among them
Tsadeצַדִּיק הוּא יְהוָה
כִּי פִיהוּ מָרִיתִי
שִׁמְעוּ נָא כָל הָעַמִּים
וּרְאוּ מַכְאֹבִי
בְּתוּלֹתַי וּבַחוּרַי
הָלְכוּ בַשֶּׁבִי ס
So Righteous is יְהוָה
for I disobeyed his bidding
Hear please - all peoples
and see my sorrow
My virgins and my youth
are gone into captivity
I have to find ts in a word since there is no English equivalent letter. In the psalms I was sometimes a little flippant - e.g. tza! in Psalm 34. In Psalm 119 I used S and St. Here I have followed what I did in Psalm 145 where another poet said the same thing.
Qofקָרָאתִי לַמְאַהֲבַי
הֵמָּה רִמּוּנִי
כֹּהֲנַי וּזְקֵנַי
בָּעִיר גָּוָעוּ
כִּי בִקְשׁוּ אֹכֶל לָמוֹ
וְיָשִׁיבוּ אֶת נַפְשָׁם ס
Queried I for my lovers
they misled me
My priests and my elders
expired in the city
as they sought their food
to restore their lives
Reshרְאֵה יְהוָה
כִּי צַר לִי
מֵעַי חֳמַרְמָר
וּנֶהְפַּךְ לִבִּי בְּקִרְבִּי
כִּי מָרוֹ מָרִיתִי
מִחוּץ שִׁכְּלָה חֶרֶב
בַּבַּיִת כַּמָּוֶת ס
Regard יְהוָה
for I am in adversity
My belly is in turmoil
and overturned is my heart within me
for I have wantonly disobeyed
In the streets the sword bereaves
in the house - as death
Seeing - 8 times in this chapter - 8 more in the remaining ones - 'regard' this once for the R.

Mar מָרִ as a sound is repeated as bitter, overturned, and disobeyed
Shinשָׁמְעוּ כִּי נֶאֱנָחָה אָנִי
אֵין מְנַחֵם לִי
כָּל אֹיְבַי שָׁמְע וּרָעָתִי
שָׂשׂוּכִּי אַתָּה עָשִׂיתָ
הֵבֵאתָ יוֹם קָרָאת
וְיִהְיוּ כָמֹנִי ס
Sighing, my sighing they have heard
there is none to comfort me
All my enemies hear of my evil
they rejoice that you have done it
You will bring the day you have called
and they will be as I am
The enemy has public knowledge that increases shame and stimulates a desire for equal retribution
Tafתָּבֹא כָל רָעָתָם לְפָנֶיךָ
וְעוֹלֵל לָמוֹ
כַּאֲשֶׁר עוֹלַלְתָּ לִי
עַל כָּל פְּשָׁעָי
כִּי רַבּוֹת אַנְחֹתַי
וְלִבִּי דַוָּי פ
To your face let all their evil come
and impose on them
as you have imposed on me
on account of all my transgressions
for many are my sighs
and my heart is faint
How strangely close is עלל from which we get עֹולֵל (which I have rendered impose) to עולל for babes or children

Notice the closing Peh rather than Samech- this is the only verse without a Samech

Thursday 25 March 2010


The banana grows one flower and
one crop and then dies -
it has a large flower.
New shoots come from the underground stem.


That first transcription of random thoughts on an airplane when half the paper has disappeared was not very useful... Neither is this one.

How can we read the history of statements of belief? Can we accommodate other creeds and other histories? I think I was watching Macbeth about this time. So there is a marginal note: Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow till the last syllable of time.

This is a thorny question and tends to produce schism and conflict. Is there a positive formulation of an answer? Not really. Humans seek power and words allow enforcement of power. But perhaps - this question is a positive formulation: What do the creeds address and what might they invite? On the other hand, what if we spend our analytical time stepping around things we don't "believe"? I suppose one could say this stresses or stretches our willingness to receive and live with "questions", but that sounds like a cop-out to me today.

Examples: Deuteronomy 6:4 is more of a command than creed but there are many layers in the 6 words. Cynthia Miller offers 5 different ways of translating them:
שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְהוָה אֶחָד
Which would you choose? Hear O Israel:
יְהוָה  is our God. יְהוָה is one.
As for יְהוָה our God, יְהוָה is one
יְהוָה our God is one יְהוָה
יְהוָה is our God, יְהוָה alone
Our one God is יְהוָה ,יְהוָה
Every time we sing these words with the Sunday school, I get a different sense from them.  יְהוָה our God, יְהוָה is one - is how I usually translate for the children. This has, by the way, little to do with 'monotheism'. Why we were taught monotheism as 'advanced'? Because our teachers had no idea what or who they were talking about. Holding correct doctrine while you allow your power to be abusive is not really useful.

The other extreme of examples of creed is at a site like that of Doug Chaplin and his page on the 39 articles. There is a fascinating history here and Doug raises a lot of excellent questions. Not simple though.

Anyway - I believe in that God who is one. One in the sense for me that I perceive multifarious things which will be redeemed in unity.

Ref: ed. Cynthia Miller, The Verbless Clause in Biblical Hebrew. Linguistic Approaches (good essay by Randall Buth in it.)

What is critical to the Gospel?

Written on the milk-run from Victoria to The Big Island of Hawaii. I think it is likely that I lost the first two pages or someone borrowed them for a shopping list. I believe the stimulus was the idea of developing a ס Samek program. ס is the 15th letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It occurs after k-l-m-n- but is not 'o'. It makes an s sound.

The answer to the question "What is critical to the Gospel?" is indefinable in words but pressing for definition. It can't be ignored. Is this just a human compulsion? (cf David Attenborough's Life on Earth where he characterizes humanity as the compulsive communicator.)

No, it is more than that. It is more too than just getting started (alpha) or getting finished (omega) or having some complete "confession" of which there are myriad. Start, finish, and complete are important - but strangely "incomplete". What? - is this contradictory? No, you are the piece that makes the start and end matter and the whole complete.

So this ס program - it would be presumptuous to name it תָּם tam after the Hebrew for complete - is named for חֶסֶד chesed. Samek - סָמַךְ meaning support, is the middle letter of חֶסֶד. The letter ס is a rare letter in a key word. An untranslatable word, חֶסֶד encompasses love, kindness, mercy, lovingkindness, discipline, rebuke, covenant, shelter and security. Creation needs it.

I am coming to the conclusion that trying to write simply about my personal theology is going to require something more than simple memory or transcriptions of former thoughts.

Don't miss this one from Richard Beck or this from Targuman.

The Song and commitment

I have not spun out all the implications of a comment I just made here. The comment was made after reading the Pope's address to Ireland which I referenced in my previous post. Il Papa has too many adjectives - but it is an article worth reading. He does point to the source of healing. God makes the best out of the worst. So I share with the shepherd his hope in his pointing to the wounds of Jesus. (I do have some concerns about the article.)

Is there commitment in the Song?
The Song represents for me the commitment of the Lord of Hosts and El Shaddai to me as if I was alone in the world. The commitment is represented in the shared cost of love (who is this that comes up from the desert – 2x) and in the charge at the end of parts 1 and 2 and the expectation of part 5 where the names of God are hidden in the sound of the animals.
If the priests of the church had understood this commitment there would be no scandal today.
Too bold? Too late? Too simple? Or have we no way to open ears or redeem the time? Of course I am not alone in the world or in the churches, but I do not worship by rote, nor did I come into worship by inertia or without a severe and radical break with my self through the cost of death. In all that remains to me, I must lean on my Beloved.

Theology for me today

This post from Tash McGill among several other stimuli has got me thinking that I should say something of my theology. And that I should be clear and simple. No name dropping, no labels, no controversy.

I am in the middle of and beginning some discussions with people whom I have not seen or heard from for 50 years. In the background is a school whose students in the 1950s were brought up with fear, torment, and abuse. (The Pope's recent letter - text here - invites a response also.)

Incidentally, translating Lamentations is not going to be a slam dunk. I am managing one or two verses a day at the moment - that means 22*7/2 days before I utter much. I think I had better read the whole thing before publishing anything and maybe even look at a commentary or two.

In the meanwhile, what would constitute theology? Not my creed though it might say something. Not liturgical practice, though that too might help. I did write about both years ago - lots of little essays in the beginning of my writing time since 1994 when I had that 16 part dream about the structure of Romans.

Theology would have to be an answer to the question 'what do I think about God and the big words that are used about God in my traditions'. Here is a list from John Hobbins on the Clayboy blog recently.
Redemption, ... vicarious suffering, forensic justification, election, inerrancy, infallibility (a stronger concept than inerrancy), atonement, heaven, hell, the power of the keys ...
These are big words. Redemption is from the beginning as I have noted elsewhere - there is no Creation without Redemption. And God saw the light that it was good. Faith is there in that thought.

I thought also about writing again on atonement. Then I saw two essays and poems on it from years ago. We also discussed atonement and a dozen different views of it over the centuries in our Bible study recently - so many words. Richard Beck has a relevant post from last week on George MacDonald (not related to me as far as I know)

So to simplicity - I will begin with this: "What happened to you that did not happen to me? You are a true believer and I am not."

I am coming up against this question in the churches also - how can I respond?  It turns out that I wrote some essays several weeks ago on the plane to Hawaii. They are, strange to say, directly relevant to the question above. So I will transcribe them in a later post. Before they call, I will answer, says the Lord.

Tuesday 23 March 2010

The Lamentations of Jeremiah

Before we begin, a few conclusions. The Lamentations is in five chapters and there is, unlike the Song, no argument from me as to where the parts of this poem begin and end. Chapters 1, 2, and 4 are acrostic. That is the first letter in each verse is a unique letter of the alef-bet in sequence. So there are 22 verses in each of these chapters as in chapter 5 also.

Let no one say that a study of letters is unprofitable. These acrostics are more than a game for children. Only chapter 1 is a perfect acrostic in sequence. Chapters 2 and 4 have one letter pair reversed and out of sequence.

Chapter 3 is its own story. It is 66 verses. Guess what! Each trio of verses expresses the acrostic lament. Peh פ and Ayin ע are again in reverse order.  The normal order of the letters as I teach them in Sunday School is in the header of this blog thus:

א ב ג ד ה ו ז ח ט י כ ל מ נ ס ע פ צ ק ר ש ת

The last chapter is not an acrostic. The first letter usage is as follows.
א2 ב2 ג0 ד0 ה1 ו0 ז2 ח0 ט0 י1 כ1 ל1 מ2 נ3 ס0 ע5 פ0 צ0 ק0 ר0 ש2 ת0

What does this say to us who read? I expect as always in these texts that there is more to discover.

Monday 22 March 2010

Identify me

From one of the coffee plantations on the old Kona road - a flower growing in a stump.

The Song of Songs which is of Solomon - Part V

Because I divided the Song by the charges, Part V is short. It completes several themes. The desert, a rebuke of Solomon, and the hidden imagery of the animals that was missing from the charge in parts III and IV.
VerseHebrew textA translationWhat shall we say?
המִי זֹאת עֹלָה
מִן הַמִּדְבָּר
מִתְרַפֶּקֶת עַל דּוֹדָהּ
תַּחַת הַתַּפּוּחַ עוֹרַרְתִּיךָ
שָׁמָּה חִבְּלַתְךָ אִמֶּךָ
שָׁמָּה חִבְּלָה יְלָדַתְךָ
who is this coming up
from the desert
leaning on her beloved?
Under the apricot tree I aroused you
there your mother laboured with you
there she laboured, gave you birth
In the first desert passage, it is the bridegroom who emerges. Here he emerges with the bride who has shared the cost.
ושִׂימֵנִי כַחוֹתָם
עַל לִבֶּךָ
כַּחוֹתָם עַל זְרוֹעֶךָ
  כִּי עַזָּה כַמָּוֶת אַהֲבָה
קָשָׁה כִשְׁאוֹל קִנְאָה
רְשָׁפֶיהָ רִשְׁפֵּי אֵשׁ שַׁלְהֶבֶתְיָה
Set me as a seal
upon your heart
as a seal upon your arm
for strong as death is love
jealousy as hard as Sheol
its coals are coals of the flaming fire of יָה
The flaming fire gives away the story. יָה has been in this work all along.
זמַיִם רַבִּים
לֹא יוּכְלוּ לְכַבּוֹת
אֶת הָאַהֲבָה
וּנְהָרוֹת לֹא יִשְׁטְפוּהָ
אִם יִתֵּן אִישׁ
אֶת כָּל הוֹן בֵּיתוֹ בָּאַהֲבָה
בּוֹז יָבוּזוּ לוֹ ס
many waters
are not able to quench
such love
nor will torrents drown it
if anyone would give
all the substance of his house for love
they will surely despise him
John Ireland's anthem is a favorite among many choirs (I could not find a recording online).

the target of this despising בּוֹז בּוֹז is to come. Repeating the verb, infinitive + conjugated, is common for intensifying the meaning.
חאָחוֹת לָנוּ קְטַנָּה
וְשָׁדַיִם אֵין לָהּ מַה
נַּעֲשֶׂה לַאֲחֹתֵנוּ
בַּיּוֹם שֶׁיְּדֻבַּר בָּהּ
a little sister we have
and her breasts, they are not much
What will we do for our sister
on the day that she is spoken for?

טאִם חוֹמָה הִיא
נִבְנֶה עָלֶיהָ
טִירַת כָּסֶף
וְאִם דֶּלֶת הִיא
נָצוּר עָלֶיהָ
לוּחַ אָרֶז
If she is a wall
we will build on it
a battlement of silver.
And if she is a door
we will enclose her
with boards of cedar,

יאֲנִי חוֹמָה
וְשָׁדַי כַּמִּגְדָּלוֹת
אָז הָיִיתִי בְעֵינָיו
כְּמוֹצְאֵת שָׁלוֹם
I am a wall
and my breasts as towers
Then I became in his eyes
as finding peace

יאכֶּרֶם הָיָה לִשְׁלֹמֹה
בְּבַעַל הָמוֹן
נָתַן אֶת הַכֶּרֶם לַנֹּטְרִים
אִישׁ יָבִא בְּפִרְיוֹ
אֶלֶף כָּסֶף
 a vineyard, Solomon had
at Baal Hamon
he gave the vineyard to the keepers
someone brought for its fruit
a thousand in silver
It seems to me this is a repudiation of e.g. Simony
יבכַּרְמִי שֶׁלִּי לְפָנָי
הָאֶלֶף לְךָ שְׁלֹמֹה
וּמָאתַיִם לְנֹטְרִים אֶת פִּרְיוֹ
My vineyard that is mine is before me
The thousand is for you, Solomon
and two hundred for the keepers of its fruit
There can be no abusive or even controlling power taken to control the vineyard. The phrase to you (masculine) occurs only twice. Here and in Song 2:14
יגהַיּוֹשֶׁבֶת בַּגַּנִּים
חֲבֵרִים מַקְשִׁיבִים
לְקוֹלֵךְ הַשְׁמִיעִנִי
The one sitting in the gardens
companions who pay attention
your voices let me hear 

ידבְּרַח דּוֹדִי
וּדְמֵה לְךָ לִצְבִי
אוֹ לְעֹפֶר הָאַיָּלִים
עַל הָרֵי בְשָׂמִים
O haste, my beloved
and be like yourself the hosts of roe
or the young of the goodly hart
on the mountains of spices.
Revelation 22:20. The resumption of wordplay ends the song.
This series on the Song I | 2:4 II 3:5 | III | 5:10 IV 8:4 V

The Song of Songs which is of Solomon - Part IV

In the analogy I have stumbled into, this part must correspond to the testimony of the Church. I don't mean this as if there were a sequence in time, but as a recognition of the work of the Spirit in all ages before and after the inclusion of the Gentiles in the anointing following the life of Jesus, that unique manifestation of the outpouring of God's love which is from before the beginning. 
VerseHebrew textA translationWhat shall we say?
טמַה דּוֹדֵךְ מִדּוֹד
הַיָּפָה בַּנָּשִׁים
מַה דּוֹדֵךְ מִדּוֹד
שֶׁכָּכָה הִשְׁבַּעְתָּנוּ
why is your beloved so beloved
O most beautiful among women?
What makes is your beloved so beloved
that you have charged us so?
This is a common question - why your faith? Why your tradition? Why your language? Why your religion? But the question is open with the condition: that you have charged us so. There can be no presumption, exploitation, or power taken for self in love. God does not usurp such power nor must any image of God usurp it.
ידּוֹדִי צַח וְאָדוֹם
דָּגוּל מֵרְבָבָה
My beloved is clear and ruddy,
intent among ten thousand.
Clear צַח - definitely not white. A rare word and a rarer root.
Intent - no intensity is greater than the love of God whether it manifests itself in what is perceived as good or as wrath which is another disguise of the fire of love. I am guessing at this word דָּגַל. It rhymes with the traditional translation of Song 2:4 and it links then to the use of banner in Numbers. In English we have a similar duality in the word 'standard' which may mean flag or example.
יארֹאשׁוֹ כֶּתֶם פָּז
קְוֻצּוֹתָיו תַּלְתַּלִּים
שְׁחֹרוֹת כָּעוֹרֵב
His head is purged fine gold,
his locks bushy
black as a raven
This 'refined' fine gold - כֶּתֶם is rarely used but in each case it is in texts where we might just pass over it though it might be pivotal. Why is there an adjective applied to a word that is already glossed as fine gold? It occurs twice in Job 28, the hymn to wisdom, where I missed its potential significance. The word that qualifies it is derived from an identical word with a sense of deep stain. That is a gold that includes the knowledge of good and evil רע and its relationship to us לָנוּ, to me לִי and to you לָךְ my sister bride.
יבעֵינָיו כְּיוֹנִים
עַל אֲפִיקֵי מָיִם
רֹחֲצוֹת בֶּחָלָב
יֹשְׁבוֹת עַל מִלֵּאת
his eyes as doves
by the rivers of waters
washed with milk
sitting in fullness,
יגלְחָיָו כַּעֲרוּגַת הַבֹּשֶׂם
מִגְדְּלוֹת מֶרְקָחִים
שִׂפְתוֹתָיו שׁוֹשַׁנִּים
נֹטְפוֹת מוֹר עֹבֵר
his cheeks as the terraced spices
as the sweetest of flowers.
his lips are lilies
dropping myrrh passing through.
there's that definite article again - It is as if each speaker is pointing to a specific, not simply stating a generic or abstract truth about love.
ידיָדָיו גְּלִילֵי זָהָב
מְמֻלָּאִים בַּתַּרְשִׁישׁ
מֵעָיו עֶשֶׁת שֵׁן
מְעֻלֶּפֶת סַפִּירִים
His hands are cylinders of gold
inlaid with jasper
his belly a block of ivory
encrusted with sapphires
belly, same word as in Song 5:4. There are lots of things that could be pointed out in these songs of praise for the body parts. There is no part of us that is to be despised but every part is to be consecrated in that one death for all. This unity in holiness is well shown to us in the high priestly prayer of John 17 where Jesus consecrates himself for our sakes that we might be consecrated in him. This consecration is prefigured also in the sign of male circumcision, signifying the death of all will to power for self. (Colossians 2:11)
טושׁוֹקָיו עַמּוּדֵי שֵׁשׁ
מְיֻסָּדִים עַל אַדְנֵי פָז
מַרְאֵהוּ כַּלְּבָנוֹן
בָּחוּר כָּאֲרָזִים
his legs are pillars of marble
fixed in sockets of fine gold.
his form is as Lebanon
excellent as the cedars.
'form' closes the bracket opened in Song 2:14. The prayer is answered.
טזחִכּוֹ מַמְתַקִּים
וְכֻלּוֹ מַחֲמַדִּים
זֶה דוֹדִי
וְזֶה רֵעִי
בְּנוֹת יְרוּשָׁלִָם
His palate is sweetness
and all of him is desirable.
This is my beloved
and this is my companion
O daughters of Jerusalem.
curious singular with plural adjectives
6 אאָנָה הָלַךְ דּוֹדֵךְ
  הַיָּפָה בַּנָּשִׁים
אָנָה פָּנָה דוֹדֵךְ
וּנְבַקְשֶׁנּוּ עִמָּךְ
Where has your beloved gone
O most beautiful among women?
where has he faced? Your beloved,
that we may seek him with you?
In response to this question, the bride is filled with the presence of the Beloved. She is all we should be - beautiful. That is what attracts. (I have repaired a few touches in the prior parts removing 'fair' altogether and getting the adjectives consistently translated for beauty and lovely - or so I hope.)
I avoid again the word 'turn' - I prefer face. Seeking and not finding is the theme in John 20:13 (Compare Song 3:1-3). Immediately following in John is the Noli me tangere- The Titian image from the National Gallery is at the link.
בדּוֹדִי יָרַד לְגַנּוֹ
לַעֲרֻגוֹת הַבֹּשֶׂם
לִרְעוֹת בַּגַּנִּים
וְלִלְקֹט שׁוֹשַׁנִּים
My beloved is gone down into his garden
to the terraced spices
to feed in the gardens
and to gather lilies.
God with us
גאֲנִי לְדוֹדִי וְדוֹדִי לִי
הָרֹעֶה בַּשּׁוֹשַׁנִּים ס
I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine,
the feeder among the lilies
us in him and he in us (John 17:23)
See also of course the psalms with the headings among the lilies Psalms 45, 60, 69, 80
דיָפָה אַתְּ רַעְיָתִי
  נָאוָה כִּירוּשָׁלִָם
אֲיֻמָּה כַּנִּדְגָּלוֹת
How beautiful is my companion
as the favourable
lovely as Jerusalem
terrible as those of great intensity
Zeal for thy house may not appear lovely and can lead to destruction. The one who was favoured was eaten up by such zeal. (Of course it is in the Gospel of John 2:17 too - see also Psalm 69:9)
ההָסֵבִּי עֵינַיִךְ מִנֶּגְדִּי
שֶׁהֵם הִרְהִיבֻנִי
שַׂעְרֵךְ כְּעֵדֶר הָעִזִּים
שֶׁגָּלְשׁוּ מִן־הַגִּלְעָד
Circle your eyes away from me
for they create a storm in me.
Your hair like the flock of goats
that are lying down from the Gilead.

No No you can't do this! Beloved is rolling her eyes! Staring down the God who loves her. Persisting in questioning every assumption. And loved for it. I will speak of Rahab whose name comes from this proud and defiant stance. Rahab is both defiant and faithful in her defiance - and part of that scarlet thread (Song 4:3).
ושִׁנַּיִךְ כְּעֵדֶר הָרְחֵלִים
שֶׁעָלוּ מִן הָרַחְצָה
שֶׁכֻּלָּם מַתְאִימוֹת
  וְשַׁכֻּלָה אֵין בָּהֶם
Your teeth are like the flock of ewe
that come up from the wash
where all of them are twinned
and not one of them is bereaved.
almost a double of Song 4:2
זכְּפֶלַח הָרִמּוֹן
רַקָּתֵךְ מִבַּעַד לְצַמָּתֵךְ
As the slice of pomegranate
your temples within your locks.
חשִׁשִּׁים הֵמָּה מְלָכוֹת
וּשְׁמֹנִים פִּילַגְשִׁים
וַעֲלָמוֹת אֵין מִסְפָּר
There may be sixty queens and
and eighty concubines
and maidens without number
Solomon's riches and power ridiculed by the poet? But all his wives and concubines and every other person will be drawn to her and to her beloved. But there is a positive reading of Solomon here - of some interest in the context of reading this book under Solomon's name. Maidens only elsewhere in the poem in Song 1:2.
טאַחַת הִיא יוֹנָתִי תַמָּתִי
 אַחַת הִיא לְאִמָּהּ
בָּרָה הִיא לְיוֹלַדְתָּהּ
רָאוּהָ בָנוֹת וַיְאַשְּׁרוּהָ
מְלָכוֹת וּפִילַגְשִׁים וַיְהַלְלוּהָ ס
Unique is she, my dove, my pure one
Unique is she of her mother,
Pure is she of the one bearing her.
The daughters saw her.
Queens and concubines considered her happy
and they praised her.
Whoever knows the grace of this beloved will praise her and will be like her, reflecting the same glory as is known from the face of her unique beloved

If this is the Church, and in a figure, Mary, then this prefigures the phrase from Luke that all 'generations will call me blessed'.
ימִי זֹאת הַנִּשְׁקָפָה כְּמוֹ שָׁחַר
יָפָה כַלְּבָנָה
בָּרָה כַּחַמָּה
אֲיֻמָּה כַּנִּדְגָּלוֹת ס
Who is this, looking forth as dawn,
beautiful as the moon,
pure as the sun,
terrible as those of great intensity?
Here is John again from the wedding in Cana, "Do whatever he tells you."
יאאֶל גִּנַּת אֱגוֹז יָרַדְתִּי
לִרְאוֹת בְּאִבֵּי הַנָּחַל
לִרְאוֹת הֲפָרְחָה הַגֶּפֶן
הֵנֵצוּ הָרִמֹּנִים
To a garden of nuts I went down
to see in the green shoots of the wadi,
to see if the vine has flourished
the pomegranates budded 
Who is speaking here? What a place this garden is! There is a qal perfect הֲפָרְחָה with an interrogative in the middle of the sentence! And look at the hiphil perfect of a weak verb with only one of its root letters remaining הֵנֵצוּ.
יבלֹא יָדַעְתִּי
נַפְשִׁי שָׂמַתְנִי
מַרְכְּבוֹת עַמִּי נָדִיב
I did not know
I was set  to be
from the chariots of my people, a prince.
Who again is the speaker - does the princess become prince?
7 אשׁוּבִי שׁוּבִי הַשּׁוּלַמִּית
שׁוּבִי שׁוּבִי וְנֶחֱזֶה בָּךְ
מַה תֶּחֱזוּ בַּשּׁוּלַמִּית
כִּמְחֹלַת הַמַּחֲנָיִם
Turn, turn O Shulamite
Turn, turn so we may gaze on you
What will you gaze on in the Shulamite?
a dance of two armies?
Who is this Shulamite? Abishag? The story of Abishag needs a separate post. Only here do we get the word for return or repent. It is the desire of the chorus to see the beautiful woman again.
במַה יָּפוּ פְעָמַיִךְ בַּנְּעָלִים
בַּת נָדִיב
חַמּוּקֵי יְרֵכַיִךְ כְּמוֹ חֲלָאִים מַעֲשֵׂה יְדֵי אָמָּן
how beautiful are your feet with shoes
daughter of a prince
the curves of your thighs are as jewels
the work of the hands of an artist
You see the repeated word that must stop the translation of Song 6:12 as a proper name (Amminidab)

The 'artist' is אָמָּן Amen, the same root as faithful. No art is possible without such discipline. Equally, here is the faithfulness of the artist. Would we trust him with our bodies?
גשָׁרְרֵךְ אַגַּן הַסַּהַר
אַל יֶחְסַר הַמָּזֶג
בִּטְנֵךְ עֲרֵמַת חִטִּים
סוּגָה בַּשּׁוֹשַׁנִּים
your navel is the round bowl
not lacking mixed wine
your lap a heap of wheat
and fenced with lilies
דשְׁנֵי שָׁדַיִךְ
כִּשְׁנֵי עֳפָרִים
תָּאֳמֵי צְבִיָּה
your paired breasts
are like a pair of young
twin roe.
A double of Song 4:5. Doubles are often frames - so does the description of the sister bride frame with these two doubles an important event? In this reading in five parts, it does. These doubles frame the cost of love, the striking by the watchmen, the questioning by the chorus. Note that there is no repetition of the sister bride motif on this side of the frame, nor is there a continuing of the hidden names in the charge.
הצַוָּארֵךְ כְּמִגְדַּל הַשֵּׁן
עֵינַיִךְ בְּרֵכוֹת בְּחֶשְׁבּוֹן
עַל שַׁעַר בַּת רַבִּים
אַפֵּךְ כְּמִגְדַּל הַלְּבָנוֹן
צוֹפֶה פְּנֵי דַמָּשֶׂק
your neck like the tower of ivory
your eyes the ponds in Heshbon
by the gate of Bath Rabbim
your nose like a tower of Lebanon
spying on Damascus.
Notice how the descriptions move again to country names, replaying the game of pretend travel?
ורֹאשֵׁךְ עָלַיִךְ כַּכַּרְמֶל
וְדַלַּת רֹאשֵׁךְ כָּאַרְגָּמָן
מֶלֶךְ אָסוּר בָּרְהָטִים
Your head upon you is like Carmel
and the hair of your head like purple
a king held by the locks.
זמַה יָּפִית וּמַה נָּעַמְתְּ
אַהֲבָה בַּתַּעֲנוּגִים
How beautiful and how pleasant
love in these its delights.
חזֹאת קוֹמָתֵךְ דָּמְתָה לְתָמָר
וְשָׁדַיִךְ לְאַשְׁכֹּלוֹת
This, your stature resembles a palm tree
and your breasts are like its clusters
טאָמַרְתִּי אֶעֱלֶה בְתָמָר
אֹחֲזָה בְּסַנְסִנָּיו
וְיִהְיוּ נָא שָׁדַיִךְ
כְּאֶשְׁכְּלוֹת הַגֶּפֶן
וְרֵיחַ אַפֵּךְ כַּתַּפּוּחִים
I said, I will go up to the palm tree.
I will take possession of its branches
and let them be, ah, your breasts
as clusters of the vine
and the fragrance of your nose as apricots.
יוְחִכֵּךְ כְּיֵין הַטּוֹב
הוֹלֵךְ לְדוֹדִי לְמֵישָׁרִים
דּוֹבֵב שִׂפְתֵי יְשֵׁנִים
And your palate as the best of  wine
flowing for my beloved ever so smoothly
and gliding lips asleep.
יאאֲנִי לְדוֹדִי
וְעָלַי תְּשׁוּקָתוֹ ס
For I am my beloved's
and towards me is his desire
יבלְכָה דוֹדִי
נֵצֵא הַשָּׂדֶה
נָלִינָה בַּכְּפָרִים
So come, my beloved
let us go forth into the field.
Let us spend the night under a covering.
יגנַשְׁכִּימָה לַכְּרָמִים
נִרְאֶה אִם פָּרְחָה הַגֶּפֶן
פִּתַּח הַסְּמָדַר
הֵנֵצוּ הָרִמּוֹנִים
שָׁם אֶתֵּן אֶת דֹּדַי לָךְ
We will be early to the vineyards.
We will see if the vine has budded
the blossom opened
the pomegranates flowered.
There I will give my love to you.
I think we should be prepared to be surprised by this text.
ידהַדּוּדָאִים נָתְנוּ רֵיחַ
וְעַל פְּתָחֵינוּ כָּל מְגָדִים
חֲדָשִׁים גַּם יְשָׁנִים
דּוֹדִי צָפַנְתִּי לָךְ
The mandrakes give fragrance
and at our gates is all excellence
both new and old,
my beloved, I have hidden for you.
I will give, I have hidden and it is yours. Note how mandrake sounds like beloved (duda same letters as dodi) - perhaps use its synonym 'love apple'
8 אמִי יִתֶּנְךָ כְּאָח לִי
יוֹנֵק שְׁדֵי אִמִּי
אֶמְצָאֲךָ בַחוּץ
אֶשָּׁקְךָ גַּם לֹא יָבֻזוּ לִי
Who will give you as brother to me
as one who sucked the breasts of my mother?
I would find you outside
I would kiss you and not one would despise me.
אֶל בֵּית אִמִּי תְּלַמְּדֵנִי
מִיַּיִן הָרֶקַח
מֵעֲסִיס רִמֹּנִי
I would lead you
I would bring you
into the house of my mother,
who will instruct me
I will make you drink of the wine
that is spiced with the juice of my pomegranate.
instruct here contrasts with instruction based on fear in Song 3:8
שְׂמֹאלוֹ תַּחַת לְרֹאשִׁי
וִימִינוֹ תְּחַבְּקֵנִי
His left hand is under my head, and his right hand embraces me.closes the frame opened in Song 2:6
דהִשְׁבַּעְתִּי אֶתְכֶם
בְּנוֹת יְרוּשָׁלִָם
מַה תָּעִירוּ
וּמַה תְּעֹרְרוּ אֶת הָאַהֲבָה
עַד שֶׁתֶּחְפָּץ ס
I have charged you
daughters of Jerusalem
what do you arouse or
what do you rouse of this love
till it please.
There is no play on words here and there is a significant change in the conjunction - we must ask why. In the music, I have assigned this to the direct voice of the groom.
This series on the Song I | 2:4 II 3:5 | III | 5:10 IV 8:4 V - See also the music here.

Friday 19 March 2010

A commentary

I will continue to post striking commentaries that I find - this one from Rabbi Matthew Berkowitz bears a reading.

What flower could accompany Va-yikra? A red one for sacrifice
From 2010-02-24

The Song of Songs which is of Solomon - Part III

This is a long part and there are many challenges in it with respect to how the poem works. Who am I to say?

This part ends in pain with the strike of the watchman, as Christopher Smart recalls in his long and complex Biblical poem Jubilate Agno - He was not so mad as might seem:
For I am under the same accusation as my Saviour
for they said he is besides himself
For the officers of the peace are at variance with me
and the watchman strikes me with his staff 
(fragment B part 2)

VerseHebrew textA translationWhat shall we say?
ומִי זֹאת עֹלָה
מִן הַמִּדְבָּר
כְּתִימְרוֹת עָשָׁן
מְקֻטֶּרֶתמֹר וּלְבוֹנָה
מִכֹּל אַבְקַת רוֹכֵל
Who is this arising
from the desert
like pillars of smoke
with the perfume
of myrrh and frankincense
with all the aromas of trade
This is a sudden shift. What vision is it? The word קָטַר has a connection to smell or sacrifice. Perfumed (KJV) is imaginative. Solomon was famous for his trade among other things.The image recurs in Song 8:5 and is traditionally part of a Marian liturgy. There is a setting by Healey Willan - listen here. (incomplete unfortunately - this one is complete if not at lissom as some.)
זהִנֵּה מִטָּתוֹ שֶׁלִּשְׁלֹמֹה
שִׁשִּׁים גִּבֹּרִים
סָבִיב לָהּ
מִגִּבֹּרֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל
Behold his bed, that of Solomon
with threescore valiant ones
circling it
from the valiant of Israel
We move with speed from bed to war imagery. This is not the common couch - one wonders almost if it is a bier rather than a bed. It is not a happily used word.
חכֻּלָּם אֲחֻזֵי חֶרֶב
מְלֻמְּדֵי מִלְחָמָה
אִישׁ חַרְבֹּו עַל יְרֵכוֹ
מִפַּחַד בַּלֵּילוֹת ס
all of them holding a sword
instructed in war
each his sword on his thigh from dread of the nights
לָמַד occurs twice, here and in Song 8:2
טאַפִּרְיוֹן עָשָׂה לוֹ
הַמֶּלֶךְ שְׁלֹמֹה
מֵעֲצֵי הַלְּבָנוֹן
A chariot he made for himself
the king Solomon
of the trees of Lebanon
יעַמּוּדָיו עָשָׂה כֶסֶף
רְפִידָתוֹ זָהָב
מֶרְכָּבוֹ אַרְגָּמָן
תּוֹכוֹ רָצוּף אַהֲבָה
מִבְּנוֹת יְרוּשָׁלִָם
its pillars he made silver
its litter of gold
its cover of purple
its floor paved with love
from the daughters of Jerusalem
יאצְאֶנָה וּרְאֶינָה
בְּנוֹת צִיּוֹן
בַּמֶּלֶךְ שְׁלֹמֹה
בָּעֲטָרָה שֶׁעִטְּרָה לּוֹ אִמּוֹ
בְּיוֹם חֲתֻנָּתוֹ
וּבְיוֹם שִׂמְחַת לִבּוֹ ס
Go forth and see
O daughters of Zion
in the king Solomon
in the crown his mother crowned him with
in the day of his wedding
and in the day of gladness in his heart
This is hardly complimentary - Solomon's crown was won with murder - three years of it. Bathsheba was complicit.
4 אהִנָּךְ יָפָה רַעְיָתִי
הִנָּךְ יָפָה
עֵינַיִךְ יוֹנִים מִבַּעַד לְצַמָּתֵךְ
שַׂעְרֵךְ כְּעֵדֶר הָעִזִּים
שֶׁגָּלְשׁוּ מֵהַר גִּלְעָד
Look at you, beautiful, my companion
look at you, beautiful
eyes as doves from within your veil;
your hair like the flock of goats
lying down on the slopes of Gilead
Sudden change again - a song of praise for the individual parts of the body
בשִׁנַּיִךְ כְּעֵדֶר הַקְּצוּבוֹת
שֶׁעָלוּ מִן הָרַחְצָה
שֶׁכֻּלָּם מַתְאִימוֹת
וְשַׁכֻּלָה אֵין בָּהֶם
Your teeth are like the flock of the shorn
that come up from the wash
where all of them are twinned
and not one of them is bereaved
גכְּחוּט הַשָּׁנִי שִׂפְתוֹתַיִךְ
וּמִדְבָּרֵךְ נָאוֶה
כְּפֶלַח הָרִמּוֹן
רַקָּתֵךְ מִבַּעַד לְצַמָּתֵךְ
Like the thread of scarlet are your lips
and your speech is lovely
like the slice of pomegranate
your cheek behind your veil
proleptic definite
דכְּמִגְדַּל דָּוִיד צַוָּארֵךְ בָּנוּי לְתַלְפִּיּוֹת
אֶלֶף הַמָּגֵן תָּלוּי עָלָיו
כֹּל שִׁלְטֵי הַגִּבֹּרִים
Like the tower of David your neck
and built for an armoury
A thousand shields hang there
all the equipment of the valiant
but now we are back to martial imagery
השְׁנֵי שָׁדַיִךְ
כִּשְׁנֵי עֳפָרִים תְּאוֹמֵי צְבִיָּה
הָרוֹעִים בַּשּׁוֹשַׁנִּים
Your paired breasts
are like a pair of young twin roe
the ones feeding among the lilies
One is tempted to bring the name Shaddai into the hidden names in this book (actually it is there already in the charge in the sound of  שָּׂדֶה sadeh, the field. See an earlier post that I had forgotten about!!) especially since the breasts are coupled with the roe image.
ועַד שֶׁיָּפוּחַ הַיּוֹם
וְנָסוּ הַצְּלָלִים
אֵלֶךְ לִי אֶל הַר הַמּוֹר
וְאֶל גִּבְעַת הַלְּבוֹנָה
Until the dawning day
when the shadows flee
I bring myself to the mountain of myrrh
and to the hillock of frankincense
שֶׁ shin is very common in the Song in its role as relative pronoun but often it requires no translation - while this is a common occurrence in forms between any two languages, it still raises the question why? Was this an affectation of the poet? Or is there some necessity in some grammatical function within the tongue?
זכֻּלָּךְ יָפָה רַעְיָתִי
וּמוּם אֵין בָּךְ ס
You are all beautiful, my companion
and blemish is there none in you
The joy of the lover in his beloved, the joy and pleasure of Hashem in creation = in every part of it.
חאִתִּי מִלְּבָנוֹן כַּלָּה
אִתִּי מִלְּבָנוֹן תָּבוֹאִי
תָּשׁוּרִי מֵרֹאשׁ אֲמָנָה
מֵרֹאשׁ שְׂנִיר וְחֶרְמוֹן
מִמְּעֹנוֹת אֲרָיוֹת
מֵהַרְרֵי נְמֵרִים
With me from Lebanon, O bride
with me from Lebanon you will come
you will look from the head of Amana
from the head of Shenir and Hermon
from dens of lions
from the mountains of the leopards
I have admittedly in play, imagined children with boxes making a train and imagining themselves taking journeys in strange and dangerous places. The play for me undoes the brutality of Solomon as example.
טלִבַּבְתִּנִיאֲחֹתִי כַלָּה
בְּאַחַת מֵעֵינַיִךְ
  בְּאַחַד עֲנָק מִצַּוְּרֹנָיִךְ
You have ravished my heart my sister, O bride
you have ravished my heart
with one of your eyes
with one of the pendants from your neck
The address אֲחֹתִי כַלָּה which KJV renders as my sister, [my] bride occurs 4 times here at what may be the middle of the whole Song - so it is a significant set of addresses of endearment. The KJV is a nice move, but it does not seem to match the poet's structures which are always of the form
verb my sister,
bride verb
How does one make that poetic and preserve whatever the poet was doing? (Sister and bride occur separately also, the second term never with the person pronoun.)
ימַה יָּפוּ דֹדַיִךְאֲחֹתִי כַלָּה
מַה טֹּבוּ דֹדַיִךְ מִיַּיִן
וְרֵיחַ שְׁמָנַיִךְ מִכָּל בְּשָׂמִים
How beautiful is your love
my sister O bride
how good is your love compared to wine
and the fragrance of your ointments to all spices

based on later thinking on comparatives, I am avoiding the word better where I can
יאנֹפֶת תִּטֹּפְנָה שִׂפְתוֹתַיִךְ כַּלָּה
דְּבַשׁ וְחָלָב תַּחַת לְשׁוֹנֵךְ
וְרֵיחַ שַׂלְמֹתַיִךְ
כְּרֵיחַ לְבָנוֹן ס
Your lips drip honeycomb, O bride
honey and milk under your tongue
and the fragrance of your garments
like the fragrance of Lebanon.
יבגַּן נָעוּל
אֲחֹתִי כַלָּה
גַּל נָעוּל
מַעְיָן חָתוּם
A garden enclosed
my sister O bride,
a spring enclosed
a fountain sealed
יגשְׁלָחַיִךְ פַּרְדֵּס רִמּוֹנִים
עִם פְּרִי מְגָדִים
כְּפָרִים עִם נְרָדִים
Your plants a paradise of pomegranates
with fruits of excellence
camphire, with spikenard
ידנֵרְדְּ וְכַרְכֹּם
קָנֶה וְקִנָּמוֹן
עִם כָּל עֲצֵי לְבוֹנָה
מֹר וַאֲהָלוֹת
עִם כָּל רָאשֵׁי בְשָׂמִים
spikenard and saffron
calamus with cinnamon
with all trees of frankincense
myrrh and aloes
with all the chiefest of spices
טומַעְיַן גַּנִּים
בְּאֵר מַיִם חַיִּים
וְנֹזְלִים מִן לְבָנוֹן
A fountain of gardens
a well of living waters
and flowing from Lebanon
a well (John 4:14) and other well stories
טזעוּרִי צָפוֹן
וּבוֹאִי תֵימָן
הָפִיחִי גַנִּי
יִזְּלוּ בְשָׂמָיו
יָבֹא דוֹדִי לְגַנּוֹ
וְיֹאכַל פְּרִי מְגָדָיו
Rouse yourself, north wind
and come O south
Blow upon my garden
and let its spices flow
Let my love come into his garden
and eat its choicest fruits
hidden dark, from my right, north and south combine opposites in joy
5 אבָּאתִי לְגַנִּי
אֲחֹתִי כַלָּה
מוֹרִי עִם בְּשָׂמִי
אָכַלְתִּי יַעְרִי עִם דִּבְשִׁי
שָׁתִיתִי יֵינִי עִם חֲלָבִי
אִכְלוּ רֵעִים שְׁתוּ וְשִׁכְרוּ דֹּודִים
I am come into my garden
my sister O bride
I have gathered
my myrrh with my spice
I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey
I have drunk my wine with my milk
Now eat, friends; and drink
and be intoxicated, O lovers
An argument for incarnation? I am reminded of John 6 - except ye eat my flesh and drink my blood, ye have no life in you
באֲנִי יְשֵׁנָה וְלִבִּי עֵר
קוֹל דּוֹדִי דוֹפֵק
פִּתְחִי לִי אֲחֹתִי רַעְיָתִי
יוֹנָתִי תַמָּתִי
שֶׁרֹּאשִׁי נִמְלָא טָל
קְוֻצּוֹתַי רְסִיסֵי לָיְלָה
I - I sleep, but my heart is aroused
the voice of my beloved knocking
Open to me, my sister, my companion
my dove, my undefiled
for my head is filled with dew
my locks with the drops of the night
restless...called - will we respond? Wake to the knock, do not let the cares of the world distract you.
גפָּשַׁטְתִּי אֶת כֻּתָּנְתִּי
אֵיכָכָה אֶלְבָּשֶׁנָּה
רָחַצְתִּי אֶת רַגְלַי
אֵיכָכָה אֲטַנְּפֵם
I have put off my coat
how then shall I put it on?
I have washed my feet
how then shall I soil them?
the moment is missed
דדּוֹדִי שָׁלַח יָדוֹ מִן הַחֹר
וּמֵעַי הָמוּ עָלָיו
My beloved put in his hand by the hole
and my belly moved for him.
the moment is not passed - she is known
הקַמְתִּי אֲנִי לִפְתֹּחַ לְדוֹדִי
וְיָדַי נָטְפוּ מוֹר
וְאֶצְבְּעֹתַי מוֹר
עֹבֵר עַל כַּפּוֹת הַמַּנְעוּל
I rose up - I - to open to my beloved
and my hands dropped myrrh
and my fingers myrrh
passing through upon the handles of the lock.
p 190 of the verbless clause ed Miller has a misprint - it is missing the translation of וּבֹו תִדְבָּק 'to him you will cleave' (Deuteronomy 10:20) in its example. This is the intimacy called for. I repeat the stand-alone pronoun in English to account for the unnecessary pronoun in Hebrew. It is the I of the open relationship, not the incidental I of the self taken for granted.
ופָּתַחְתִּי אֲנִי לְדוֹדִי
וְדוֹדִי חָמַק עָבָר
נַפְשִׁי יָצְאָה בְדַבְּרוֹ
בִּקַּשְׁתִּיהוּ וְלֹא מְצָאתִיהוּ
קְרָאתִיו וְלֹא עָנָנִי
I opened - I - to my beloved
and my beloved had withdrawn, passed on
my self went out to speak to him
I sought him and did not find him
I called him and he did not answer
the missed but not passed moment is sought

Are we not used to silence? and the rebuke of those who have charge of the city? How will the city be redeemed?
זמְצָאֻנִי הַשֹּׁמְרִים
הַסֹּבְבִים בָּעִיר
הִכּוּנִי פְצָעוּנִי
נָשְׂאוּ אֶת רְדִידִי מֵעָלַי
שֹׁמְרֵי הַחֹמוֹת
The keepers found me
circling about the city
they struck me, they wounded me
they took away my veil from me
the keepers of the walls
Christopher Smart alludes to this section in his Jubilate Agno.  Here is the bride's personal knowledge of the cost of his incarnation who was wounded (different word) for our transgressions.The wound in this verse may be like rape. There are violent forces ranged against love. פצע is used only 3 times in the Bible
חהִשְׁבַּעְתִּי אֶתְכֶם
בְּנוֹת יְרוּשָׁלִָם
אִם תִּמְצְאוּ אֶת דּוֹדִי
מַה תַּגִּידוּ לוֹ
שֶׁחוֹלַת אַהֲבָה אָנִי
I charge You
daughters of Jerusalem
if you will find this my beloved
you will make known to him
that I am sick, of love, am I
There is a certain closure after part III. It is like a death, our death. It was made known in Song 1:7 and closed here. There is no lack in love because of death.
This series on the Song I | 2:4 II 3:5 | III | 5:10 IV 8:4 V