Monday, May 30, 2011

Now here is a new thing for me

I have occasionally mentioned the idea of a double underline as a 'frame'. It is now very easily seen with the new presentation scheme I have refined from my original diagrams and the challenge of Jean Magné's Répétitions de mots et exegèse dans quelques psaumes et le pater (ISSN 0006-0887) which moved me to automate my approach into tables rather than diagrams.

See what you can see.

First there are the sequential recurrences a, b, c, d, a, b, c, d - such as is so obvious in psalm 114. These create a parallel line pattern in the table.

Word and gloss * first usage1234567891012345VsStem
ישׂראל Israel
1ישׂראל
יעקב Jacob
1עקב
ישׂראל Israel
2ישׂראל
הים the sea
3ים
* וינס and fled
3נוס
* הירדן the Jordan
3ירדן
יסב was driven
3סבב
לאחור back
3אחור
ההרים the hills
4הר
* רקדו skipped
4רקד
כאילים like rams
4איל
* גבעות little hills
4גבע
כבני like -kin
4בן
צאן lamb-
4צאן
הים sea
5ים
* תנוס you fled
5נוס
* הירדן Jordan
5ירדן
תסב that you were driven
5סבב
לאחור back
5אחור
ההרים hills
6הר
* תרקדו that you skipped
6רקד
כאילים like rams
6איל
* גבעות little hills
6גבע
כבני like -kin
6בן
צאן lamb-
6צאן
מלפני from the presence of
7פנה
מלפני from the presence of
7פנה
יעקב Jacob
7עקב
מים waters
8מים
מים waters
8מים


Note also the immediate (or near immediate) repetitions that act almost like a double underline.  In the above psalm 114, these are the first recurrence surrounding the single frame of Jacob and the last recurrences. In this case, the final pair of double underlines reads - from the presence of and waters. One could read this as "no degree of trouble (waters) can stand in the way of the presence of the Lord, the God of Jacob"


Then there are the circles such as I have pointed out in psalms 22 and 51. Circles make an arrowhead > shape in the table instead of parallel lines. So Israel above circles the first occurrence of Jacob and Jacob circles most of the poem.  (Note - parallelism in Hebrew poetry is a different but complementary concept to recurrence - the parallel in the table above is produced by the same root repeated in the poem, and not by the poet's choice of synonyms or antonyms).

Psalm 16 has some circles.

Word and gloss * first usage123456789VsStem
אתה you are
2אתה
בל pales
2בל
אשׁר that are
3אשׁר
בל not
4בל
* אסיך I will offer
4נסך
* נסכיהם their offerings
4נסך
ובל and not
4בל
אתה you yourself
5אתה
* בנעמים in pleasure
6נעם
אף surely
6אף
אשׁר who
7אשׁר
אף surely
7אף
* מימיני at my right hand
8ימן
בל not
8בל
* שׂמח will joy
9שׂמח
אף surely
9אף
לא not
10לא
לא not
10לא
* שׂמחות joys
11שׂמח
* נעמות pleasures
11נעם
* בימינך at your right hand
11ימן

In psalm 16, the double underlines above read offerings - no!. In psalm 22 - here - it might read (with a little stretch for columns 41 and 42 the last two recurrences) the nations worship!  How's that for prophesy!

In my first trials, it seems possible to read almost a specific 1 phrase summary of the psalm from the closely spaced double recurrences. Perhaps in psalm 1 it says: The teaching leads to righteousness.  Perhaps in psalm 2 with only one final double underline, it would read I myself.  As we skip ahead and around over the next few months, keep an eye out for new ways of seeing these tables as insight into the poem's content.