Monday, November 29, 2010

CEB Psalm 3 and victory or the shopping-list Bible

I guess that some things that I consider important are not important to others. E.g. in Psalm 3, God and salvation are a pair of recurring words - verse 3(Hebrew 2) and 8(7) - and note verse 9(8) where salvation is from YHWH. It is the first time we have heard the designation God. And a first for salvation / victory / rescue also.

The CEB uses three different words: help, save, rescue for the three words related to salvation so the framing of the poem is rendered practically invisible.

What should one do here? Am I wrong to pick salvation for my gloss to rhyme with the verb to save?

At least - or so I think - the same root could be used three times. rescue, rescue, rescue. That would allow the poet's thought to be heard and seen.

Maybe my ways of seeing are less than interesting. Maybe these are not the same roots. (But they are)

Why do I bother looking for and pointing out structure? Because it often surrounds a key concept that I would otherwise miss. OK everyone knows that YHWH is God so no need to point out that the poet implies this connection here.

Here's another small point. Is there such a thing as a space between the lines? A space in which we are encouraged to hear a special word for us?

I lie down and I sleep
אֲנִי שָׁכַבְתִּי וָאִישָׁנָה
I awake for יְהוָה sustains me
הֱקִיצוֹתִי כִּי יְהוָה יִסְמְכֵנִי

I lie down, sleep, and wake up
because the LORD helps me

The second is a list of actions with the 'and' connecting the second and third in the list. The first has a pause where there is not a list. Am I at liberty to convert a non-list into a list?

Technically, the first is very close to the Hebrew. I did not note the separate personal pronoun as I often do, since it is not repeated in the poem. It might be emphatic, or it might just be there to equalize the syllable or word count on the consecutive lines. If the Hebrew is poetry, then the first follows the poet's selection of phrases.

This is a battle I will not win. But I have no intention of winning. What was it that verse 9 (Hebrew 8) reads?

Anyway, it's time to watch Mystery.