Monday, April 12, 2010

Lamentations 5

Translating without the constraint of the acrostic. This is a very sad prayer. I have almost nothing to say.

VerseHebrew textA translationWhat shall we say?
1זְכֹר יְהוָה מֶה הָיָה לָנוּ
הַבִּיטָה וּרְאֵה

אֶת חֶרְפָּתֵנוּ
Remember יְהוָה how it is with us
look and see
our reproach
Lam 1:11 'see and look'
2נַחֲלָתֵנוּ נֶהֶפְכָה לְזָרִים
בָּתֵּינוּ לְנָכְרִים
Our inheritance is turned over to strangers
our houses to foreigners
10 verses of first person plural
3יְתוֹמִים הָיִינוּ וְאֵין אָב
אִמֹּתֵינוּ כְּאַלְמָנוֹת
orphans and without a father
our mothers as widows
4מֵימֵינוּ בְּכֶסֶף שָׁתִינוּ
עֵצֵינוּ בִּמְחִיר יָבֹאוּ
our water for money we drink
and our wood comes at a price
5עַל צַוָּארֵנוּ נִרְדָּפְנוּ
יָגַעְנוּ וְלֹא הוּנַח לָנוּ
on our necks persecution
we labour and there is no rest for us
6מִצְרַיִם נָתַנּוּ יָד
אַשּׁוּר לִשְׂבֹּעַ לָחֶם
Egypt - we give a hand
Assyria - to be satisfied with bread
7אֲבֹתֵינוּ חָטְאוּ וְאֵינָם
וַאֲנַחְנוּ עֲו‍ֹנֹתֵיהֶם סָבָלְנוּ
Our fathers sinned and there is no them
and we ourselves their iniquities bear
8עֲבָדִים מָשְׁלוּ בָנוּ
פֹּרֵק אֵין מִיָּדָם
Servants rule over us
there is no one to break from their hand
9בְּנַפְשֵׁנוּ נָבִיא לַחְמֵנוּ
מִפְּנֵי חֶרֶב הַמִּדְבָּר
with our lives we are come to our bread
from the edge of the sword in the desert
10עוֹרֵנוּ כְּתַנּוּר נִכְמָרוּ
מִפְּנֵי זַלְעֲפוֹת רָעָב
our skin is hot as an oven
in the face of the ferocities of famine
11נָשִׁים בְּצִיּוֹן עִנּוּ
בְּתֻלֹת בְּעָרֵי יְהוּדָה
they humiliated the women in Zion
the virgins of the cities of Judah
now a switch to third person plural
12שָׂרִים בְּיָדָם נִתְלוּ
פְּנֵי זְקֵנִים לֹא נֶהְדָּרוּ
Princes by their hand are hanged
the faces of the elders they do not honour
13בַּחוּרִים טְחוֹן נָשָׂאוּ
וּנְעָרִים בָּעֵץ כָּשָׁלוּ
they bear youth to grind
and the lads fail under the wood
elders, youth, and virgins (and fail where fall might be better) all hearken back to chapter 1 - though the links between 1 and 5 seem not as plentiful as those between 2 and 4. No diagrams to prove it yet though.
14זְקֵנִים מִשַּׁעַר שָׁבָתוּ
בַּחוּרִים מִנְּגִינָתָם
The elders from the gate have ceased
the youth from their strings

15שָׁבַת מְשׂוֹשׂ לִבֵּנוּ
נֶהְפַּךְ לְאֵבֶל מְחֹלֵנוּ
Ceased is the joy of our hearts
turned to lament is our dance
Now back to first person plural without ceasing
16נָפְלָה עֲטֶרֶת רֹאשֵׁנוּ
אוֹי נָא לָנוּ כִּי חָטָאנוּ
fallen the crown of our head
alas now for us for we have sinned
17עַל זֶה הָיָה דָוֶה לִבֵּנוּ
עַל אֵלֶּה חָשְׁכוּ עֵינֵינוּ
because of this our heart has become faint
because of  these black are our eyes
faint Lam 1:13
black Lam 4:8 - not in a framing position so perhaps a different gloss is called for
18עַל הַר צִיּוֹן שֶׁשָּׁמֵם
שׁוּעָלִים הִלְּכוּ-בוֹ פ
because the hill of Zion is desolate
foxes go about on it
an interpretation of the foxes of Song 2:15?
19אַתָּה יְהוָה לְעוֹלָם תֵּשֵׁב
כִּסְאֲךָ לְדוֹר וָדוֹר
You יְהוָה remain for ever
your throne from age to age
20לָמָּה לָנֶצַח תִּשְׁכָּחֵנוּ
תַּעַזְבֵנוּ לְאֹרֶךְ יָמִים
Why in perpetuity do you forget us
and forsake us for such a length of days
21הֲשִׁיבֵנוּ יְהוָה אֵלֶיךָ  וְנָשׁוּבָה
חַדֵּשׁ יָמֵינוּ כְּקֶדֶם
Turn us יְהוָה to you
and we will be turned
refresh our days as of old
Psalm 90 - a poem on turning, and Psalm 80:3-4
22כִּי אִם-מָאֹס מְאַסְתָּנוּ
קָצַפְתָּ עָלֵינוּ עַד-מְאֹד ש
For if to reject you reject us
you are displeased with us very severely