Tuesday 31 August 2010

What have I done to the psalms?

In these past 8 weeks I have concentrated on reading out loud in Hebrew. If you have tried with a typical TNK you know how hard it is. The letters are difficult to decipher especially gimel and nun where the print is just too small and the little notch at the base of gimel is invisible. You look at the average TNK for the psalms, and the words are completely mystifying as to the rationale for their placement on the page.

If you read as I have from the four column parallel Hebrew-RSV - NETS - LXX, your eye is constantly jumping from line to line with the conflicting psalm and verse numbers. That's just how it is. The online tools are helpful but they just don't give me what I want to see as well as hear. Mechon-Mamre makes no attempt to show recurrence or to highlight the parallels. There is nowhere that allows the prosodic foot to be seen.  Mosts texts are too concerned about the price of paper to allow visual clues of this nature. We have blocks of text that reveal their riches slowly.

This is what I have done - besides reading, I have laid out the Hebrew and the English side by side so that I can see, feel and hear the parallels and the recurrence and the insistent imperatives in these 150 chapters. And I am beginning to see, feel and hear them. George Herbert's Easter Wings are a good example of prosody gone wild. Maybe there is some of this in the psalms too and we haven't seen it yet.

I continue to work over the presentation and to read carefully and sometimes not so carefully the words and phrases. As I do - sight recognition is improving. Vocabulary retention is improving. I see words that I don't get or that I have translated without reference to possible allusion and I look them up and if necessary fix them in my source and repair them in the post. These posts are perhaps going to be revised and extended over the next year as I evolve the algorithm for finding roots and as I discover things that might be said of these poems along the way. I am now 4 years old in this ancient tongue. I have still a child's perception. But perhaps it can help others learn also how the texts are put together and therefore how the poet thought when they were first performed.

Mostly the Hebrew lines are short - 2, 3, 4 or 5 words. Sometimes I have allowed 1 word on a line to show a parallel later. Where there are 5 or more, it is likely because I have something to fix or that I could not break the English to agree with the Hebrew. I have not intentionally put English words on a line where they do not correspond to the Hebrew, though I might have had to compromise this in an acrostic.

This set of posts is therefore quite foreign to the blog environment, where things are over and done with in a wisp of time. As of this bloggy moment, I have reformatted at least once sometimes twice the emerging forms that I started with, I have reread to Psalm 30, I continue to add musical selections, and I revise and correct whatever else I notice. If there is music or colour in the text, the odds are I have revisited it. I hope it is as much joy to others as it has been to me even this far. Full list of posts here.

Sunday 29 August 2010

Music music music

I am annotating my recent spate of posts with music and colour - What a fabulous performance of Psalm 110 - Handel's Dixit Dominus I found.

You need to go and listen - and while you are listening, read the posts and help me correct my prosody and interpretations - where are you my readers?

Note - if the psalm has colours in it - then it is likely I have reviewed it closely and corrected the mistakes I find. In any case, take care.

Saturday 28 August 2010

Starting again

My reading improved during this exercise over the past 7 weeks summarized here - so I am starting again. I have repaired over 100 posts today conforming the style to what I ended with except for the first few psalms. In spite of the necessity for repairs, I don't think I need to start a new blog somewhere else under an assumed name.

I am beginning to wonder if I have enough saturation level to get a handle on what the writer of the epistle of the Hebrews was doing when he used the psalms. Notice the different framing of that question. I'm not actually as much interested in the cultic aspects of Hebrews as I am in the dialogue - the way in which a child is to learn not only from the tradition but from the source - like Samuel.  We talk a lot about the cult - it is the foreground. But I think we miss the point since we have the answer.

This class of error is more than a blunder. It's a downer.

Anyway - I will sleep on it. But I have begun a conversation here with Brian Small who was at the Hebrews conference also.

Friday 27 August 2010

One last summary from the second half of Book 5

Here is a brief summary of the remainder of Book 4 - from Psalms 125 to 150.
  • from 125 - 134 we complete the Songs of Ascent - and then we begin to close the brackets that were opened in earlier Psalms.
  • So 135 is the culmination of the prior 15 psalms where the worshipers now stand in the courts of the house of God. 
  • 136 identifies the formative event of the Sea of Reeds and the decisive parting is the new frame. This closes the Creation-Redemption themes in the Psalter. 
  • 137 closes the lament bracket begun by the early Korah psalms 42-44. 
  • 138 begins a series of Davidic Psalms expressing confidence - יְהוָה will complete his work for my sake. 
  • 139 shows the intimate completion of this work - but trouble is still evident to the psalmist. 
  • The violence of 140 is no surprise and reflects the language of early psalms 7-11. 
  • 141 closes the theme of the tongue that appears many times in Book 1. 
  • 142, David's final Maskil also closes a frame opened in Psalm 107 at the beginning of Book 5. 
  • 143 looks for an end to enemies through God's loving kindness and recognizes that no one is justified in God's sight
  • 144 is the last of the Davidic personal cluster and closes with the plea - set me free and the prayer for bounty
  • 145 is the final acrostic of praise which leads into the final Hallels
  • 149 part of the great Hallel closes the frame begun in psalm 2. I am struck by the realization that the חֲסִידִים appear to be the creation of the Psalter. I find myself wondering if this term is a coinage. If so I would be able to coin the English term 'mercied' for translation. 
This brief summary shows how Psalm 119 with its affirmative on the testimony is really the culmination of the Psalter. The rest is a consequence - worship and the closing of all the themes opened up in earlier psalms.

Along the way of the past 7 weeks, I have noticed several furrowed fields - much like those I ran over on my first marathon as a 12 year-old in the hills and fields north of my old school. I think that period c 1957 was the first time I ever noticed a plowed field. It was very hard to run through. Its tussocks were large for small feet - yet I recall the richness of the soil and places of wetness to be avoided - an image imprinted on my memory.

The theme of harvest and its necessary preparation is also in the Psalter. Curious then that my root derivation algorithm (rightly so) does not distinguish arm זְרוֹעַ from seed זרע. Their common sound would easily be heard in the poem. Also related to this theme of harvest would be the plow - the severe difficulty of being prepared for praise. So that when we get there, we do not say - take me away and put me in the lowest place - for the wrong reasons. Similarly an algorithm dependent on consonants alone as mine is will not distinguish the many meanings of חרש, plow, craft, or silence. Are we not crafted in silence as our soil is turned? Recall Psalm 28 (do not be silent) and 129 (the plowing). Harvest is not an obvious theme at the word level. I see it in 'the increase of the earth' in Psalm 67 and 85 and in the metaphor of plowing as well as in the work of the arm and the seed. The graph of words related to harvest is not particularly revealing but the theme seems to me to be there throughout. Psalm 89 focusing on the seed of Israel mixes the harvest and royal themes. The fruit of the harvest is the loving-kindness, confidence, and encouragement of those חֲסִידִים.

There are many other themes I noted on the way through the paths of this marathon and there are many touches in the psalms that I noted in my second pass and did not note here. Perhaps I will consolidate them some day.

One question to leave open. Shame is a theme as is the issue of enemy, trouble, and distress. Does the psalter avoid the objectification of the enemy? We frequently see phrases like this: Let them be ashamed and confounded who seek my hurt. What is the good of shame and distress for another? I think that overall, there is a recognition of the complicity of the individual addressing God in the troubles. The psalmist notes (after due reflection) that being afflicted was a good experience though miserable at the time. So it is possible that the prayer with respect to enemies could be translated into transformation of the enemy rather than vengeance. That would make praying  the psalms a practice of critical value in our times.

Are the fields still white and ready for harvest? If so perhaps this is a way to send labourers into them.

Thursday 26 August 2010

Things I am now getting around to reading

Doug has an article here  expressing a new way of seeing Torah - worth consideration. Here is the JTS commentary this week - a nice understanding of tensions between religion and scholarship.

Psalm 148

Psalm 148
Translation and Notes last updated on 2011.09.22-03:15

The third of the final Hallels - the praise of all creation

הַלְלוּ יָהּ
הַלְלוּ אֶת יְהוָה מִן הַשָּׁמַיִם
הַלְלוּהוּ בַּמְּרוֹמִים
1Hallelu Yah
Praise יְהוָה from the heavens
Praise him in the heights
הַלְלוּהוּ כָל מַלְאָכָיו
הַלְלוּהוּ כָּל צְבָאָו
2Praise him all his angels
Praise him all his hosts
הַלְלוּהוּ שֶׁמֶשׁ וְיָרֵחַ
הַלְלוּהוּ כָּל כּוֹכְבֵי אוֹר
3Praise him sun and moon
Praise him all stars of light
הַלְלוּהוּ שְׁמֵי הַשָּׁמָיִם
וְהַמַּיִם אֲשֶׁר מֵעַל הַשָּׁמָיִם
4Praise him the heaven of heavens
and the waters which are above the heavens

יְהַלְלוּ אֶת שֵׁם יְהוָה
כִּי הוּא צִוָּה וְנִבְרָאוּ
5Let them praise the name of יְהוָה
for he gave the commission and they were created
וַיַּעֲמִידֵם לָעַד לְעוֹלָם
חָק נָתַן וְלֹא יַעֲבוֹר
6and he makes them stand now and forever
he gave a decree and it will not pass away

הַלְלוּ אֶת יְהוָה מִן הָאָרֶץ
תַּנִּינִים וְכָל תְּהֹמוֹת
7Praise יְהוָה from the earth
dragons and all abysses
אֵשׁ וּבָרָד שֶׁלֶג וְקִיטוֹר
רוּחַ סְעָרָה עֹשָׂה דְבָרוֹ
8Fire and hail snow and vapour
tempestuous wind doing its thing
הֶהָרִים וְכָל גְּבָעוֹת
עֵץ פְּרִי וְכָל אֲרָזִים
9Mountains and all hillocks
fruit trees and all cedars

הַחַיָּה וְכָל בְּהֵמָה
רֶמֶשׂ וְצִפּוֹר כָּנָף
10the animal and all cattle
creepy-crawly and winged bird
מַלְכֵי אֶרֶץ וְכָל לְאֻמִּים
שָׂרִים וְכָל שֹׁפְטֵי אָרֶץ
11sovereigns of the earth and all tribes
nobility and all who make earthly judgements
בַּחוּרִים וְגַם בְּתוּלוֹת
זְקֵנִים עִם נְעָרִים
12youths in their prime and also maidens
the aged with youngsters

יְהַלְלוּ אֶת שֵׁם יְהוָה
כִּי נִשְׂגָּב שְׁמוֹ לְבַדּוֹ
הוֹדוֹ עַל אֶרֶץ וְשָׁמָיִם
13let them praise the name of יְהוָה
for a retreat is his name, his alone,
his splendour over earth and heaven
וַיָּרֶם קֶרֶן לְעַמּוֹ
תְּהִלָּה לְכָל חֲסִידָיו
לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל
עַם קְרֹבוֹ
הַלְלוּ יָהּ
14and he will exalt the horn of his people
a praise of all those of his mercy
of the children of Israel
a people near him
Hallelu Yah

1[Mark 11:10]

Hebrew words: 111 Percentage of Hebrew words that recur in this psalm: 49% Average keywords per verse: 3.9

Selected recurring words in relative order
Word and gloss * first usage12345678VsRoot
הללו Hallelu
יה Yah
הללו praise
השׁמים the heavens
הללוהו praise him
במרומים in the heights
הללוהו praise him
כל all
הללוהו praise him
כל all
הללוהו praise him
הללוהו praise him
כל all
הללוהו praise him
שׁמי the heaven of
השׁמים heavens
השׁמים the heavens
יהללו let them praise
שׁם the name of
הללו praise
הארץ the earth
וכל and all
וכל and all
וכל and all
וכל and all
ארץ the earth
וכל and all
וכל and all
ארץ the earth
עם with
יהללו let them praise
שׁם the name of
שׁמו his name
ארץ earth
ושׁמים and heaven
וירם and he will exalt
לעמו of his people
תהלה a praise
לכל of all
עם a people
הללו Hallelu
יה Yah
Four verses invite praise from all the created order echoing the poems to creation (103, 104) at the end of Book 4. Verses 5 and 6 give the reason: the commandment, the given commission, from יהוה and his ongoing underlying support through his decree. Verses 7 to 12 then detail in two sections the praise of all parts of the earth and all its creatures. Verse 13, repeating verse 5 gives the special local earthbound reason, that the name of יהוה is a retreat. The repetition of the verse gives a natural subdivision of the poem, 1 to 4, 5 to 14. The pivotal role of Israel is marked in verse 14.

Note that the words of verse 8 do not recur in the rest of the poem. Natural disasters are given a central position in the second half of the poem.

Every created thing and being is to praise. Every created being has a retreat.

This poem is primal: the fight or flight impulse in every created thing from dragon to creepy crawly and the merciful nature of יהוה illustrated to humanity through his dealings with Israel.

The bootstrap for sentience is not known to humanity, but the fight or flight instinct has been noted by us. Had I ever thought that even the spider gets its refuge in יהוה? I did not use the word soul in this translation, but one could write about the soul of the beast, for the gift to the animals is clear to anyone who looks closely at the marvel of their actions and brains.

Even the dragon and the abyss are invited to praise. These words draw in all the potential confusion and fear in the magnificence of creation. The abyss is a treasury (33:7) and a metaphor for the judgment (36:7). Psalm 42:8 identifies abyss as the depth of the call from the human in exile to God. Psalm 71:20 knows hope even in these depths. The water from the rock is like an abyss (78:15). The earth is clothed with the abyss (104:6). The people are led through it (106:9) and the mariners are terrified of it on the sea (107:26). It is part of God’s delight (135:6). This is the creation that we find ourselves in: the unfathomable, time, gravity, and the inscrutable human heart, animal consciousness and the power of the natural order. This is the abyss along with its fearsome creatures. The place of the dragon is where we were crushed (44:20), but its heads are broken (74:13), and over it we will trample (91:13). Leviathan splintered (74:14) is God’s companion in laughter (104:26). Rahab, the defiant (40:5) is remembered in the city of God (87:4) and was pierced through (89:11). She becomes the metaphor for our boldness (90:10 and 138:3). Here we might invoke Christopher Smart again, for the devils themselves are at peace. The psalms weave creation, redemption, and deliverance into poetry reflecting these primal and critical themes from the Torah and the Prophets. See also Rendtorff (2005 p. 418 ff).

The videos etc which I had here are no longer available. You will find several sample performances on the music page.

On not quite being finished

One cannot finish without tidying up. And I had left a mess in a few places. I think I have now replaced all the posts that were hard to read because of font sizes. I also removed the funky borders and I found some psalms where I had completely missed the prosodic lines. One was Psalm 38, always a psalm that is instructive to read.

I have left lots of problems with concordance across psalms. I think the creative synonyms of the King James version are a bad idea because they often obscure what I think is deliberate poetic framing, but total concordance would be equally bad. In one poem, large - like the epic Job, or small like a psalm, I think it is important to preserve concordance as much as possible, but in multiple poems, I have been less rigid (out of necessity). So across some poems, I will have missed concordance, but equally I will, if I catch it, try to avoid a rare English word if it will set up a false allusion to another poem.

One has to ask, of course, what is a final copy? Maybe this is a collection of Chaucer, Shakespeare, Donne, Blake, and Eliot - and one would expect differences in their word choices and language.  But one would equally expect deliberate allusion especially from later poets. So the argument for discordance on the grounds of dialect will not stand without nuance. And what about for the epic? If it was composed over 5 centuries, should the final work be considered coherent? If I can read it as coherent, am I just imposing my own will on the text (in my ignorance of all that the scholars say about it)? Perhaps. Consider this:
Over the years L. has retained a consistent view of the development of the book: first, a legend from the trans-Jordan that found a home in Israel perhaps as early as the 10-9th centuries B.C.E. (pp. 177-78) into which, in the postexilic period, the Satan was inserted (p. 69); second, the speeches, which constitute the core of the book, can reasonably be dated to the first half of the 5th century B.C.E.; about a generation later (p. 73), in the second half of that century, the Elihu speeches were added and then, by the 3rd century B.C.E. at the latest, the wisdom poem in chapter 28 (p. 80)
From Claude E. Cox on Jean Lévêque, Job ou le drame de la foi: Essais (LD 216; Paris: Cerf 2007).

In this business of communicating with an ancient poet and redactor I will never be finished.
In this business of being with the hope of all the earth, I also hope I will never finish.
But there are times when finishing is much more like a circle than a straight line.
Round and round I go till I jump out of the words and formatting and say - it is sufficient.

The courts of the Lord

I was wondering about courts. Sometimes individual words reveal a coherence in a book. I am not so sure here - Psalm 84 is the only one to have courts recur as a frame. And Book 5 does not predominate as one might expect with the movement to the sanctuary that is evident in the psalms of ascent. (Book 4 has more- but there's no guarantee they are all courts - some might be grass!)

What use are these patterns? Are they deliberate or accidental?

Wednesday 25 August 2010

Tuesday 24 August 2010

Psalm 137 - Babel, expose

Babel, expose in which remembering is expressed from many voices

עַל נַהֲרוֹת בָּבֶל שָׁם יָשַׁבְנוּ
גַּם בָּכִינוּ בְּזָכְרֵנוּ אֶת צִיּוֹן
1By the rivers of Babel - there we sat
yea we wept when we remembered Zion
עַל עֲרָבִים בְּתוֹכָהּ
תָּלִינוּ כִּנֹּרוֹתֵינוּ
2on willows in the midst of her
we hung our harps
כִּי שָׁם שְׁאֵלוּנוּ שׁוֹבֵינוּ דִּבְרֵי שִׁיר
וְתוֹלָלֵינוּ שִׂמְחָה
שִׁירוּ לָנוּ מִשִּׁיר צִיּוֹן
3for there our captors asked us the words of a song
and our tormentors mirth
Sing to us a song of Zion
אֵיךְ נָשִׁיר אֶת שִׁיר יְהוָה
עַל אַדְמַת נֵכָר
4how will we sing such a song of יְהוָה
on alien ground?

אִם אֶשְׁכָּחֵךְ יְרוּשָׁלִָם
תִּשְׁכַּח יְמִינִי
5If I forget you Jerusalem
let my right hand forget
תִּדְבַּק לְשׁוֹנִי לְחִכִּי
אִם לֹא אֶזְכְּרֵכִי
אִם לֹא אַעֲלֶה אֶת יְרוּשָׁלִַם
עַל רֹאשׁ שִׂמְחָתִי
6let my tongue cleave to my palate
if I do not remember you
if I do not offer you up Jerusalem
over my ultimate mirth

זְכֹר יְהוָה לִבְנֵי אֱדוֹם
אֵת יוֹם יְרוּשָׁלִָם
עָרוּ עַד הַיְסוֹד בָּהּ
7Remember יְהוָה of the children of Edom
in the day of Jerusalem
those saying
expose her to the foundations
בַּת בָּבֶל הַשְּׁדוּדָה
אַשְׁרֵי שֶׁיְשַׁלֶּם לָךְ
אֶת גְּמוּלֵךְ שֶׁגָּמַלְתְּ לָנוּ
8Devastating daughter of Babel
happy the one who makes peace with you
even rewards you as you rewarded us
אַשְׁרֵי שֶׁיֹּאחֵז וְנִפֵּץ
אֶת עֹלָלַיִךְ אֶל הַסָּלַע
9happy the one who grasps and smashes
your babies on the cliff
Hebrew words: 84. Percentage of Hebrew words that recur in this psalm: 55%. Average keywords per verse: 5.1.

6ultimate, ראשׁ (r'sh), or head, top, beginning, chief, ultimate etc. Note the Aramaic form of the second person singular suffix for remember.
8the one who, interpreting the relative use of the letter shin, also in v9.
rewards גמל (gml) in the sense of payback. See also Psalm 131 where the root indicates a nursing child on the mother's back.

Selected recurring words in relative order
Word and gloss * first usage1234567891012345VsRoot
* בבל Babel
שׁם there
בזכרנו in remembering
ציון Zion
שׁם there
שׁיר a song
שׂמחה mirth
שׁירו sing
לנו to us
משׁיר a song of
ציון Zion
נשׁיר will we sing
שׁיר a song of
יהוה יהוה
אם if
אשׁכחך I forget you
ירושׁלם Jerusalem
תשׁכח let forget
אם if
לא not
אזכרכי I do remember you
אם if
לא not
ירושׁלם Jerusalem
שׂמחתי my mirth
זכר remember
יהוה יהוה
ירושׁלם Jerusalem
* ערו expose
* ערו expose
* בבל Babel
אשׁרי happy
גמולך rewards you
שׁגמלת as you rewarded
לנו us
אשׁרי happy
Verses 1 to 4 are first person plural. Verse 2 sets the scene. No word of verse 2 is repeated in the rest of the poem. This first part is about song.

Verses 5 and 6 are first person singular. They are about Jerusalem, the place that is remembered when the people are in Babel.

Verses 7 to 9 are prayer and address concerning the persecutors, Edom and Babel, who itself is directly addressed in the third person singular. Recall the only other use of smash in the Psalter is in Psalm 2, in which the anointed is reminded that he will like fashioned pots, smash them.

The three sections are held together by remember with support in the second section by a repeated forget. This reading was pointed out by Magonet in his lecture at Oxford 2010. His advice for the reading of the psalms is a good part of the reason for my study, analysis, and writing on the psalms.

Psalm 137 reminds us of the exile. This is the last direct mention of the exile, closing the bracket opened in Psalms 42-44.

If one has not experienced exile, one cannot appreciate the shame, the memory, the loss of identity, home, place, and dislocation of community. While exile may be deserved or not, there are captors instrumental within it that need correction.

To have noted that quotation from Charles Williams is a curious accident. Indeed the foundations of Jerusalem are exposed. We hear no more of exile after this. We had heard nothing of it prior to Book 2. The exile is not the saving event. While we may learn from our affliction, even affliction for our own sin, salvation is effected differently and is remembered. So Passover, so the Eucharist. But God makes his presence known both in rebuke and in mercy - and both are good. As the psalmist said - of affliction Psalm 119:71, 75, and of mercy Psalm 63:3.  And I did not hesitate to translate the loving-kindness in Psalm 23 as rebuke.

The videos etc which I had here were no longer available. You will find several sample performances on the music page. And the videos etc are available here.

The psalter as a gallery

The Psalter - an outline of the floor plan
The entry and exit are marked. When you leave be sure to praise the proprietor. There is no entry fee but there is considerable cost to the viewing experience. You are free to spend as long as you wish - any time of day or night. Nights are particularly beautiful. You will notice couches, divans, and various resting places as you gaze on the beauty of holiness. The files to which the links have gone are no longer available.

George Herbert - The Pulley

Against Psalm 131, as if anticipating the frame of Psalm 132, Neale cites George Herbert's The Pulley in its entirety

When God at first made man, 
Having a glasse of blessings standing by; 
Let us (said he) poure on him all we can: 
Let the worlds riches, which dispersed lie, 
Contract into a span. 

So strength first made a way; 
Then beautie flow’d, then wisdome, honour, pleasure: 
When almost all was out, God made a stay, 
Perceiving that alone of all his treasure 
Rest in the bottome lay. 

For if I should (said he) 
Bestow this jewell also on my creature, 
He would adore my gifts in stead of me, 
And rest in Nature, not the God of Nature: 
So both should losers be. 

Yet let him keep the rest, 
But keep them with repining restlesnesse: 
Let him be rich and wearie, that at least, 
If goodnesse leade him not, yet wearinesse 
May tosse him to my breast.

Monday 23 August 2010

Theology and Religious Studies and other items under BS

BS is the library catalogue id for Biblical Studies - it has nothing to do with the bulls and goats of Psalm 50.
Is the God-given “good” meant for everybody, or is it only for a few? And how is your answer logically coherent to the faith you claim?
So asks Brooke Lester on the comment thread here.

What a great question! For me this question identifies the most basic faith - is where we find ourselves a part of good? The question emerges every time the word good or better occurs in a religious document. Better is worse than good by the way - it is the enemy of the good, as the French say. I have recently decided to avoid the word better in translation. The good is sufficient as is the evil to the day.

So why do I study? It's all about the good for me and for others. For everybody? That needs some nuance. There is no 'everybody'. There is one other body at a time. For the few? Where is the sufficiency that the few might find it? Never far away as T.S. Eliot noted in his Journey of the Magi. Available in the place where we are no longer at ease.

Is this answer coherent with the faith I claim?  Ha! why should the answer cohere? Why should it not be good to be 'no longer at ease'? Is this question implying that God must cohere to my ideas? Also what is my faith that I claim? That the good that is shown to me is sufficient. But what if it is not shown? Then complain. I can't put it in a single word apart from that good that I know through the death of Jesus and the Anointing and Anointed of the chiastic TNKNT, the one Spirit that informs my good through the circumcision that is in Christ Jesus.  I can only invite to the good - through the madness of tasting and seeing to which the slightly mad David invites us poor folk in Psalm 34.

Is that in-coherent or co-inherent?  The New Jerusalem turned upside down reveals the marvel of her garments of precious stones. (from a vague memory of Charles Williams, Shadows of Ecstasy. Faber Edition, p26)

The actual quote - vague memory right on but context right off. "She was a magnificent creature, tall and rather large and dark, and she carried them off magnificently. In fact, she was a creation in terms of jewellery, the New Jerusalem turned upside down so that the foundations showed"

Summary - midway through book 4

We are or I am on the last lap of this marathon - nearly into the stadium (empty). I don't have another diagram yet, but there are some changes in the framing and styles in Book 5. Longer phrases are repeated, and there are trios of exhortations that are inclusive of Israel and all who fear יְהוָה

So what am I doing? I am reading the Hebrew out loud to myself and with a friend every week or two. (He is fluent and we read the Greek translation as well. Europeans are a lot better at languages than North Americans.) My reading has improved with this exercise as has my word recognition. I am also deciding what is there in the text - working specifically on my rendition of the poetic structure at the word and prosodic phrase level. From this post this morning from Calvin, at the Floppy Hat, I see poetics is an in thing to do. Let me be very clear: reading the text is good - like a lot of things. It is its own witness of what is under study. It is a first hand witness. I have read a few dozen commentaries on the text of the Bible. I was always in too much of a hurry to get to 'meaning' and too desperate to be 'right'. Both of these are irrelevant beside this first witness. The translations we have, good though they may be, are a second hand witness. They are always steeped in decisions that are outside the immediate reference you or I may need. It's not that the words cannot be translated - but that there may be something personal for you or for me that the translation cannot give you. For instance the word 'keep' in Psalm 121. In your native tongue, you might skip over it. It's obvious what it means. Or the translator may have used creative synonyms and obscured the repetition. But when you are slowed down enough to hear the sound שׁמר (shamar) in its repeated variations, then you get it. Especially when the moon wakes you up in the middle of the night and smites you - and you smile.

I am also concentrating on the first time a word recurs in the psalter. This has repeatedly outlined the images in the psalms - even though I have touched only the frame unique to that poem.  And even though I am working with clues from a routine I wrote to decipher the root given the consonantal word. The clues have been adequate to the task.

Why am I doing this? To prepare myself personally to listen at the psalms conference in Oxford in September. And purely for pleasure - and for learning the language better.

In Book 5 so far we have noted:

The opening psalm 107 is generic and describe's the work of יְהוָה  throughout the world - all sorts and conditions of people.
Then 108 is a repeat with variation of parts of psalms 57 and 60. It reminds us of the miktamim and the tune Do not Destroy and the political context in which the elect live, the foxes circling about the beloved.

109 is a severe curse of one who must come to judgment.  It seems to prepare 110 which has no new frames.
The acrostics with Hallelujah follow Psalms 111 and 112 - the poet Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke provides a lovely reading of these - her book is embedded here.

The following 5 psalms culminating with the shortest precede what almost seems to be the end of the psalter - the stone that the builders rejected and the great hymn to testimonies of יְהוָה
Psalm 113 - to live with the nobility
Psalm 114 - lambkin and little hills skipping
Psalm 115 - trust and blessing - trio #2
Psalm 116 - the completion of the vows
Psalm 117 - anticipating the great hallel

Psalm 118 - the circumcision

119 feels like the end of the psalter - the psalmist for all the humility expressed, also writes with words that are new frames even this late in the book the equivalent of "I observe the testimony"

The songs of ascent - we are on the fifth step. Where will these take us? 120 and 122 have no new frames.
Psalm 120 - A song of the steps
Psalm 121 - no snoozing
Psalm 122
Psalm 123 - of contempt
Psalm 124 - unless ... then - we escape the snare

Friday 20 August 2010

Psalm 110

Psalm 110

in which the king as priest drinks from the torrent in the way
(See below for the format and text from 2018)

לְדָוִד מִזְמוֹר
נְאֻם יְהוָה לַאדֹנִי

שֵׁב לִימִינִי
עַד אָשִׁית אֹיְבֶיךָ הֲדֹם לְרַגְלֶיךָ
1Of David, a psalm
a proclamation of יְהוָה to my Lord

Sit at my right hand
till I make your enemies your footstool
מַטֵּה עֻזְּךָ יִשְׁלַח יְהוָה מִצִּיּוֹן
רְדֵה בְּקֶרֶב אֹיְבֶיךָ
2יְהוָה will send the rod of your strength out of Zion
rule within and among your enemies
עַמְּךָ נְדָבֹת בְּיוֹם חֵילֶךָ
בְּהַדְרֵי קֹדֶשׁ מֵרֶחֶם מִשְׁחָר
לְךָ טַל יַלְדֻתֶיךָ
3your people are willing in the day of your weal
in the honour of holiness from the womb of the dawn
to you the dew of your childhood

נִשְׁבַּע יְהוָה וְלֹא יִנָּחֵם
אַתָּה כֹהֵן לְעוֹלָם
עַל דִּבְרָתִי מַלְכִּי צֶדֶק
4יְהוָה has sworn and without a sigh
you are a priest forever
by the word of Melchizedek
אֲדֹנָי עַל יְמִינְךָ
מָחַץ בְּיוֹם אַפּוֹ מְלָכִים
5my Lord is at your right hand
he will wound kings in the day of his anger

יָדִין בַּגּוֹיִם
מָלֵא גְוִיּוֹת
מָחַץ רֹאשׁ עַל אֶרֶץ רַבָּה
6he will advocate among the nations
a fullness of bodies
he will wound greatly a head on earth
מִנַּחַל בַּדֶּרֶךְ יִשְׁתֶּה
עַל כֵּן יָרִים רֹאשׁ
7he will imbibe from the torrent in the way
therefore he will lift a head high
Notes by verse

1[Matthew 22:44, Acts 2:34-35, Hebrews 1:13, 10:12-13, 1 Peter 3:22]
3weal, חיל (xyl), or wealth or force, both of which I have used in other verses. The חיל of Egypt is destroyed in the sea. The parallels expressing womb and youth suggests a birthing image. The archaic weal (e.g. as in common weal) can be used to mean both wealth and hurt as in the birth process.
4[Hebrews 5:6, 7:17, 21]
Translation and Notes last updated on 2011.
Hebrew words: 65 English words: 143

Keywords in relative order
Word and gloss * first usage1234567VsStem
לאדני to my Lord
לימיני at my right hand
איביך your enemies
איביך your enemies
ביום in the day of
מלכי Melchi-
אדני my Lord
ימינך your right hand
מחץ he will wound
ביום in the day of
מלכים kings
מחץ he will wound
ראשׁ a head
ראשׁ a head

There is a superb Korean recording of the Handel Dixit Dominus - but it is too slow to load. The other performances that I 'saw' were too out of tune to begin to 'listen to'. Here is the same choir doing De torrente in via bibet, propterea exaltabit caput and the Gloria. It is superb.
This psalm is pivotal to the understanding of the Anointed (remember the oil of Psalm 109 and anticipate the dew of Psalm 133). נִשְׁבַּע יְהוָה וְלֹא יִנָּחֵם - Hashem has sworn and 'will not repent'. Imagine reading this and hearing (the ear being open you would not have to try to 'figure it out') what would satisfy the desire for good that is in the root and branch of creation. The satisfaction (of God) would be that there was one who loved as he loved, one who loves as he loves, one who gives self to that love in the magnificence of the covenant love that is from the beginning. The earthling seeing this anointed one would confirm that it was (we may say) satisfactory. The act of seeing gives life and healing and allows the giving of self to the same covenant love that is from the beginning.

Psalms 110 Fn Min Max Syll
לְדָוִ֗ד מִ֫זְמ֥וֹר
נְאֻ֤ם יְהוָ֨ה ׀ לַֽאדֹנִ֗י שֵׁ֥ב לִֽימִינִ֑י
עַד־אָשִׁ֥ית אֹ֝יְבֶ֗יךָ הֲדֹ֣ם לְרַגְלֶֽיךָ
1 Of David a psalm,
an oracle of Yahweh to my Lord. Sit at my right hand,
till I set your enemies as your footstool.
3e 4C 5
מַטֵּֽה־עֻזְּךָ֗ יִשְׁלַ֣ח יְ֭הוָה מִצִּיּ֑וֹן
רְ֝דֵ֗ה בְּקֶ֣רֶב אֹיְבֶֽיךָ
2 Yahweh will send the rod of your strength out of Zion.
Rule within and among your enemies.
3e 4B 11
עַמְּךָ֣ נְדָבֹת֮ בְּי֪וֹם חֵ֫ילֶ֥ךָ
בְּֽהַדְרֵי־קֹ֭דֶשׁ מֵרֶ֣חֶם מִשְׁחָ֑ר
לְ֝ךָ֗ טַ֣ל יַלְדֻתֶֽיךָ
3 Your people are willing in the day of your weal.
In the honour of holiness from the womb of the dawn,
yours is the dew of your childhood.

3d 4B 10
נִשְׁבַּ֤ע יְהוָ֨ה ׀ וְלֹ֥א יִנָּחֵ֗ם אַתָּֽה־כֹהֵ֥ן לְעוֹלָ֑ם
עַל־דִּ֝בְרָתִ֗י מַלְכִּי־צֶֽדֶק
4 Yahweh has sworn and without a sigh, You are a priest forever,
by the word of Melchizedek.
3e 4C 16
אֲדֹנָ֥י עַל־יְמִֽינְךָ֑
מָחַ֖ץ בְּיוֹם־אַפּ֣וֹ מְלָכִֽים
5 My Lord is at your right hand.
He will wound kings in the day of his anger.

3e 4B 7
יָדִ֣ין בַּ֭גּוֹיִם מָלֵ֣א גְוִיּ֑וֹת
מָ֥חַץ רֹ֝֗אשׁ עַל־אֶ֥רֶץ רַבָּֽה
6 He will advocate among the nations, a fullness of bodies.
He will wound exceedingly a head on earth.
3e 4B 10
מִ֭נַּחַל בַּדֶּ֣רֶךְ יִשְׁתֶּ֑ה
עַל־כֵּ֝֗ן יָרִ֥ים רֹֽאשׁ
7 g He will imbibe from the torrent in the way.
Therefore he will lift a head high.
3e 4B 8

Wednesday 18 August 2010

Summary of Book 4

Here are the new frames by psalm for Book 4. No doubt that Moses is the envelope - but what is in the package? I can't say that I have an answer. Most of these psalms have no handle - like an author or the like whereby one might put them into a 'package'.

A prayer and answer
90 - of transient growth and limited years
91 - answer to Psalm 90 - delivery from plague

92 - about flourishing. A statement of security -
I have been anointed with luxuriant oil
93 - the floods against majesty clothed. This short psalm intimates that the deck is stacked against יְהוָה

the torrents have lifted up יְהוָה
the torrents have lifted up their voice
the torrents will lift up their waves

94 - how long vengeance - will God consider? correction / cut off - this denies that there could be any contradiction in God

Is the throne of ruin in league with you?
framing toil on a statute?

95 - the teaching psalm used in Hebrews - no new frames

יְהוָה rules
96 - the first of the royal group - no new frames
97 - from within the presence - fire
98 - on the harp
99 - - the last of the royal group - no new frames
I suspect the above 4 psalms have a structure 'together'. There are several repeated phrases in the four.

100 - instruction to all to worship
101 - destruction

My eyes are on the faithful of earth
to live with me
walking in a way of completeness
Such a one will minister to me

The next five psalms are a long recapitulation of need and history of promise and failure to respond
102 - prayer - of withered herbage - Hebrews applies words to the son that are applied to יְהוָה in this psalm.
103 - nurturing compassion - as benefits the grasses' flush
104 - a recapitulation of creatures from the upper rooms
105 - of Abraham and portents - borders
106 - The reed sea, Moses in the breach - extermination, plague, and idols

Saturday 14 August 2010

Book 3 - where are we

Well I've nearly been defeated by technology. Psalm 89 disappeared twice from the blogger editor. I think I must find a better editor  - the problem is they are the only ones who have any handle on right-to-left and left-to-right mixed processing.

Anyway - since our last summary, we have 'done' 11 psalms - three of them had no new frames. And they didn't seem to be recapitulation. Poems are like that - they are what they are at the time you read or sing them.

Again I continue to see apt new frames - never used before - for the subject of each psalm. I am wondering if there is a concentration of the word Adonai - Lord in recent psalms. There is an increase in usage and a decrease to come.
The use of  אדן by book - green where it recurs, red - individual count
A quick summary of the last poems of the children of Korah:
Psalm 79 - the pouring out, Jerusalem a heap of ruins - This one hits hard like Psalm 44 and the Lamentations
Psalm 80 - the rooted vine in tears - Here was where I got tangled in bloated html - and the syndicator would not post the psalm. Nearly discombobulated I was. I even published this one twice. You reader are very important - you keep me honest. I review my work and will continue to do so.
Psalm 81 - recapitulating a determined hope
Psalm 82 - judge in favour of the weak
Psalm 83 - no no no - not silence
Psalm 84 - the courts of יְהוָה
Psalm 85 - truth springs from the earth - so no magic numerology like chiastic accidental patterns please. And if you do this, listen to the check in your spirit that says: no, no, no this is not proof - this is embarrassing. - Now here's a thought - No God, no sin - but also no human, no God? No - even the stones are sufficient but the proof is in the beauty of observation that is accurate and stands the test of scrutiny.
The use of  ארץ by book - green where it recurs, red - individual count
Psalm 86 - but you - to be magnified in Psalm 89. Is it possible for the human to overcome diminishing resources? This prayer of David - the last of the ones in Books 2 and 3 - is very beautiful.
Psalm 87 - who was born here?
Psalm 88 - jammed in a pit - entombed, a dance
Psalm 89 - of faithfulness sworn - creation and covenant not profaned - I wonder too if there is some irony in some of the verses in this psalm. 
How will his children break my law
or fail to remain in my judgment?
How will they profane my statutes
or fail to keep my commandments?
I will attend to their transgression with the scepter
and with stripes their guilt!
but my loving kindness will not be frustrated in him
and will not be proven false in my faithfulness

Psalm 89 is said to sum up the failure of the monarchy. It lists with the corporate laments and the Maskilim - the great chunk of these final poems of Book 2 is still merging together in my mind. The nested divisions by attribution are only a partial help in resolving the coherence into a few words.
The use of אתה by book - green where it recurs, red - individual count
Perhaps Books 4 and 5 will provide some help - to which we now proceed.

Do Books 1-3 tend to emphasize the individual more than the congregation? One more graph:
The use of  אני by book - green where it recurs, red - individual count

Friday 13 August 2010

Psalms that repeat

If recurrence is significant then we must consider why there are certain psalms that repeat - especially as we are in a section of psalms related to geography and tribe. And one of these repeats. There is a preliminary structural model here - it is not successful in revealing pattern but it does show that the large repetitions: 14 - 53 and 60 - 108 are spaced like four part walls in the gallery. I wonder if they surround any set of things that could be perceived with some helpful coherence.

Wednesday 11 August 2010

Christian Carnival 340

Now there's a carnival that just keeps on going. Thanks to Henry for his mention of this marathon on the psalms. Christians - please ask some tough questions. And read with joy.

Tuesday 10 August 2010

The middle of Book 3 - a brief retrospect

We are almost to the middle of book 3 - perhaps past it since psalm 78 is so big. I have been concentrating on the frames in each psalm - repeated words that outline the theme or surround the core of each poem. In particular I have been identifying the frames that are first used in each psalm. It seems we are then in the middle of a substantial art gallery.  So far in the last 5 or 6 weeks, we have seen in sequence:
  • the entrance: psalms 1 and 2 - 
  • a set of psalms of David - from 3 to 41 (only psalm 10 has no attribution but it is a continuation of the acrostic of psalm 9). Attributed to David are two psalms of special names: maskil  - of insight, and miktam - inscribed (roughly).
  • at the beginning of Book 2, we found a change in attribution (Korah) and a change in the divine name which will last to psalm 86 just before the end of Book 3.
  • In the middle of Book 2 after a series by Korah (really including psalm 43 also) we pass the first of Asaph, a foretaste of what is to come in Book 3.
  • But first there is a second set of psalms attributed to David. Five of these are miktamim, three of these and a fourth are headed with 'Do not destroy'. They are essential - not to be thrown out.
  • These in turn surround a section of three unattributed harvest psalms 65, 66, 67. These, besides psalms 1 and 2, are the first group of unattributed psalms. There will be several more in books 4 and 5.
  • Following the David group, Book 3 begins with Asaph and ends with Korah. Books 2 and 3 have a familiar sandwich pattern  Korah - Asaph - David - harvest - David - Asaph - Korah.
  • Book 3 will end with two maskilim one of Hayman and one of Ethan
  • Book 4 begins with Moses - but we get ahead of ourselves
  • Book 5 ends with David
  • and all books end with praise. Psalm 149 closes what psalms 1 and 2 began. See also this image. Easier to see than to describe.
As we read, I am concentrating on the repeated roots that are new in each psalm. These I count as frames though they may frame the whole psalm or only a part of it. Click on psalm summary for the other summaries.

So far in book 3, we have summarized each psalm using words that are new keywords in that psalm
73 - how is the heart touched
74 - foolish, the burning of the assemblies
75 - the horn
76 - wearing the residue of human heat
77 - remembering the wonderful deeds - introduces psalm 78
78 - signs commanded, guiding a provocative people - anticipates psalms 105 and 106

I won't anticipate more of where we are going, because, though I have been there, I am seeing new things in every psalm because of this concentration on which recurring words are new. There's a monster diagram of these linked from the page defining the frames - under WIP above. This process is scheduled to be completed before the middle of September. It is I admit, a bit of a marathon.

The study of the psalms is very rewarding. I have found myself confronted by many if not most. Now it is joy to read them for a third time in Hebrew - it is still slow work even after 4 years of study, so don't be discouraged. Look up every word - who cares if it takes time. This is the dialogue between Father and Son - we eavesdrop and learn. The anointing drips from these words onto us - a precious oil. (Psalm 133). Soon I will see the dew of Herman and the mountains of Zion. (September in Oxford for a conference on the Psalms - then to Israel for 3 weeks.)

Monday 9 August 2010

Summary to psalm 72

Psalm by psalm I am now trying to characterize each psalm by its new frames in the title of the post - so you can see the summary at a glance on the right panel of archive links.

61- my vow
62- of lies and vanity - and silence
63- a psalm of joy (finally)
64- three bull's eyes and a miss (shooting arrows)
65- provision for the ends of the earth
66- testing and prayer
67- the produce of the earth
68- captivity captive - riding the storm
69- sinking in overflowing floods in depth ...
70- hurry
71- the declarations of youth and age
72- Sun moon and Sheba complete Book 2

A set of Davidic poems are in this section of the gallery - and they are noted as complete with Psalm 72 - where by implication Solomon is included in the Davidic group.

Psalm 72 - the needy, the sun, moon, and Sheba complete Book 2

Updated 2021.03.29

Psalms 72 Fn Min Max Syll
לִשְׁלֹמֹ֨ה ׀ אֱ‍ֽלֹהִ֗ים מִ֭שְׁפָּטֶיךָ לְמֶ֣לֶךְ תֵּ֑ן
וְצִדְקָתְךָ֥ לְבֶן־מֶֽלֶךְ
1 Of Solomon. O God give your judgments to the king,
and your righteousness to the king's son.
3e 4B 13
יָדִ֣ין עַמְּךָ֣ בְצֶ֑דֶק
וַעֲנִיֶּ֥יךָ בְמִשְׁפָּֽט
2 He will make the case for your people with righteousness,
and your poor with judgment.
3e 4B 7
יִשְׂא֤וּ הָרִ֓ים שָׁ֘ל֥וֹם לָעָ֑ם
וּ֝גְבָע֗וֹת בִּצְדָקָֽה
3 The mountains will lift up peace to the people,
and the hillocks in righteousness.

3e 4C 8
יִשְׁפֹּ֤ט ׀ עֲ‍ֽנִיֵּי־עָ֗ם י֭וֹשִׁיעַ לִבְנֵ֣י אֶבְי֑וֹן
וִֽידַכֵּ֣א עוֹשֵֽׁק
4 He will judge the poor of the people. He will save the children of the needy,
and will crush the oppressor.
3e 4C 12
יִֽירָא֥וּךָ עִם־שָׁ֑מֶשׁ
וְלִפְנֵ֥י יָ֝רֵ֗חַ דּ֣וֹר דּוֹרִֽים
5 They will fear you with the sun,
and in the presence of the moon in all generations.
3e 4B 7
יֵ֭רֵד כְּמָטָ֣ר עַל־גֵּ֑ז
כִּ֝רְבִיבִ֗ים זַרְזִ֥יף אָֽרֶץ
6 He will come down as rain on the mowing,
as earth-soaking copious showers.

g 3e 4B 7
יִֽפְרַח־בְּיָמָ֥יו צַדִּ֑יק
וְרֹ֥ב שָׁ֝ל֗וֹם עַד־בְּלִ֥י יָרֵֽחַ
7 One who is righteous will flourish in his days,
and abundant peace till the moon fades.
3e 4A 7
וְ֭יֵרְדְּ מִיָּ֣ם עַד־יָ֑ם
וּ֝מִנָּהָ֗ר עַד־אַפְסֵי־אָֽרֶץ
8 And he will rule from sea to sea,
and from the river to the ends of the earth.
g 3e 4B 7
לְ֭פָנָיו יִכְרְע֣וּ צִיִּ֑ים
וְ֝אֹיְבָ֗יו עָפָ֥ר יְלַחֵֽכוּ
9 In his presence wild places will bow down
and his enemies will lick the dust.

g 3e 4B 8
מַלְכֵ֬י תַרְשִׁ֣ישׁ וְ֭אִיִּים מִנְחָ֣ה יָשִׁ֑יבוּ
מַלְכֵ֥י שְׁבָ֥א וּ֝סְבָ֗א אֶשְׁכָּ֥ר יַקְרִֽיבוּ
10 Kings of Tarshish and the coasts will return with a gift.
Kings of Sheba and Seba with wages will come near.
3e 4B 12
וְיִשְׁתַּחֲווּ־ל֥וֹ כָל־מְלָכִ֑ים
כָּל־גּוֹיִ֥ם יַֽעַבְדֽוּהוּ
11 And all kings will worship him.
All nations will serve him.
3e 4A 9
כִּֽי־יַ֭צִּיל אֶבְי֣וֹן מְשַׁוֵּ֑עַ
וְ֝עָנִ֗י וְֽאֵין־עֹזֵ֥ר לֽוֹ
12 For he will deliver the needy when he cries,
and the poor without a helper.

3e 4B 8
יָ֭חֹס עַל־דַּ֣ל וְאֶבְי֑וֹן
וְנַפְשׁ֖וֹת אֶבְיוֹנִ֣ים יוֹשִֽׁיעַ
13 He will spare the weak and the needy,
and the-many needy he will save.
g 3e 4B 7
מִתּ֣וֹךְ וּ֭מֵחָמָס יִגְאַ֣ל נַפְשָׁ֑ם
וְיֵיקַ֖ר דָּמָ֣ם בְּעֵינָֽיו
14 From fraud and from violence he will redeem them,
and their blood will be precious in his eyes.
3e 4B 10
וִיחִ֗י וְיִתֶּן־לוֹ֮ מִזְּהַ֪ב שְׁ֫בָ֥א
וְיִתְפַּלֵּ֣ל בַּעֲד֣וֹ תָמִ֑יד
כָּל־הַ֝יּ֗וֹם יְבָרֲכֶֽנְהֽוּ
15 And he will live, and he will give to him the gold of Sheba,
and he will intercede concerning him continually.
All the day long he will bless him.

3d 4B 10
יְהִ֤י פִסַּת־בַּ֨ר ׀ בָּאָרֶץ֮ בְּרֹ֪אשׁ הָ֫רִ֥ים
יִרְעַ֣שׁ כַּלְּבָנ֣וֹן פִּרְי֑וֹ
וְיָצִ֥יצוּ מֵ֝עִ֗יר כְּעֵ֣שֶׂב הָאָֽרֶץ
16 A minute amount of corn in the earth will become as the top of the mountains.
Its fruit will rustle like Lebanon,
and they from the city will blossom like the herbs of the earth.
3d 4C 12
יְהִ֤י שְׁמ֨וֹ לְֽעוֹלָ֗ם לִפְנֵי־שֶׁמֶשׁ֮ יִנּ֪וֹן שְׁ֫מוֹ וְיִתְבָּ֥רְכוּ ב֑וֹ
כָּל־גּוֹיִ֥ם יְאַשְּׁרֽוּהוּ
17 His name will be forever. His name will propagate in the presence of the sun, and they will bless themselves in him.
All nations will call him happy.

3d 4C 19
בָּר֤וּךְ ׀ יְהוָ֣ה אֱ֭לֹהִים אֱלֹהֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל
עֹשֵׂ֖ה נִפְלָא֣וֹת לְבַדּֽוֹ
18 Bless Yahweh God, the God of Israel,
doing wonders he alone.
3e 4C 13
וּבָר֤וּךְ ׀ שֵׁ֥ם כְּבוֹד֗וֹ לְע֫וֹלָ֥ם
וְיִמָּלֵ֣א כְ֭בוֹדוֹ אֶת־כֹּ֥ל הָאָ֗רֶץ אָ֘מֵ֥ן ׀ וְאָמֵֽן
19 And bless the name of his glory forever,
and let all the earth be full of his glory, Amen and amen.
3e 4C 10
כָּלּ֥וּ תְפִלּ֑וֹת
דָּ֝וִ֗ד בֶּן־יִשָֽׁי
20 Finished are the prayers,
David, the son of Jesse.
3e 4A 5

Selected recurring words in relative order

Word and gloss * first usage1234567891012345678920123456789301VsRoot
לשׁלמה of Solomon
משׁפטיך your judgments
למלך to the king
תן give
וצדקתך and your righteousness
לבן to the son
מלך king's
עמך your people
בצדק with righteousness
וענייך and your poor
במשׁפט with judgment
הרים the mountains
שׁלום peace
לעם to the people
בצדקה in righteousness
ישׁפט he will judge
עניי the poor of
עם the people
יושׁיע he will save
לבני the children of
* אביון the needy
עם with
* שׁמשׁ the sun
ולפני and in the presence of
* ירח the moon
דור --
דורים in all generations
ארץ the earth
בימיו in his days
שׁלום peace
עד till
* ירח the moon
מים from sea
עד to
ים sea
עד to
ארץ the earth
לפניו in his presence
מלכי kings of
מלכי kings of
* שׁבא Sheba
לו him
כל all
מלכים kings
כל all
גוים nations
* אביון the needy
ועני and the poor
לו --
* ואביון and the needy
ונפשׁות and the beings of
* אביונים the many needy
יושׁיע he will save
נפשׁם them
ויתן and he will give
לו to him
* שׁבא Sheba
ויתפלל and he will intercede
כל every
היום day
יברכנהו he will bless him
יהי will become
בארץ in the earth
הרים the mountains
הארץ the earth
יהי will be
שׁמו his name
לעולם forever
לפני in the presence of
* שׁמשׁ the sun
שׁמו his name
ויתברכו and they will bless themselves
כל all
גוים nations
ברוך bless
וברוך and bless
שׁם the name of
כבודו his glory
לעולם forever
כבודו of his glory
כל all
הארץ the earth
אמן amen
ואמן and amen
תפלות the prayers of
בן the son of

We might be a bit on the edge in Psalm 72 - I never expected sun and moon as a frame. Perhaps I am still remembering the phrasing of Genesis 1 and someone who suggested the discretion in the naming of the two great lights - a concern for idolatry. This poet was not concerned. At a subsequent time it would be good to look at the picture as well - but on this pass I am just examining the frames.

In this corner of the gallery, we have a rare piece attributed to Solomon. There is another of his in the centre of the 13 Songs of Ascent.

Here too we reach the end of the middle section of the Korah-Asaph collection that is devoted to David. There is a book to come with more portraits by Asaph and Korah - among the best. (I look forward to Psalm 84 - one I learned as a child - but scarcely appreciated.)

This prayer of Solomon is certainly a Messianic prayer, a prayer for a righteous king. He did not fit the bill. Too many horses and concubines.