Friday, May 20, 2011

Wanton prodigality

עֲלִילָה is a theme in the Psalter. You may remember the prodigal son - where prodigal is wanton, when it was the father who was prodigal of love where prodigal is good. See through it. It too is latticework.

There are several similar sounding words in the psalms derived from עָלַל. If God is the subject, the word is good - perhaps rendered by prodigality. If the human is the subject, it is not good and is rendered by wantonness. Possibly the five occurrences that are prefixed with mem might be glossed differently, but then we would miss a connection between psalms 77 and 78 which I think is evident from their sequence and the usage of these words.

If indeed we are to want nothing, then wantonness is a prodigality to be avoided, but the prodigality of God is a wantonness to be sought.
Hebrew
English
הַגִּידוּ בָעַמִּים עֲלִילוֹתָיו9.12make known among the peoples his prodigality
כֶּסֶף צָרוּף
בַּעֲלִיל לָאָרֶץ
מְזֻקָּק שִׁבְעָתָיִם
12.7silver refined
in a furnace of earth
purged seven times
הִשְׁחִיתוּ הִתְעִיבוּ עֲלִילָה
אֵין עֹשֵׂה טוֹב
14.1They destroy, they do abomination, wantonness
There is none doing good
תֶּן לָהֶם כְּפָעֳלָם
וּכְרֹעַ מַעַלְלֵיהֶם
28.4give them as their works
and the wickedness of their wantonness
לְכוּ וּרְאוּ מִפְעֲלוֹת אֱלֹהִים
נוֹרָא עֲלִילָה עַל בְּנֵי אָדָם
66.5Come and see the works of God
a fearful prodigality among the children of dust
אֶזְכּוֹר מַעַלְלֵי יָהּ77.12I will remember the prodigality of Yah
וּבַעֲלִילוֹתֶיךָ אָשִׂיחָה77.13and in your prodigality I ponder
וַיִּשְׁכְּחוּ עֲלִילוֹתָיו78.11and they forgot his prodigality
וְיָשִׂימוּ בֵאלֹהִים כִּסְלָם
וְלֹא יִשְׁכְּחוּ מַעַלְלֵי אֵל
78.7so they might set their hope in God
and not forget the prodigality of God
אֵל נֹשֵׂא הָיִיתָ לָהֶם
וְנֹקֵם עַל עֲלִילוֹתָם
99.8a God who lifts up you were to them
but avenging their wantonness
יוֹדִיעַ דְּרָכָיו לְמֹשֶׁה
לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל עֲלִילוֹתָיו
103.7he made known his ways to Moses
to the children of Israel his prodigality
הוֹדוּ לַיהוָה
הוֹדִיעוּ בָעַמִּים עֲלִילוֹתָיו
105.1Give thanks to יְהוָה
Make known his prodigality among the peoples
וַיַּכְעִיסוּ בְּמַעַלְלֵיהֶם
וַתִּפְרָץ בָּם מַגֵּפָה
106.29and they grieved him with their wantonness
and a plague broke out among them
וַיִּטְמְאוּ בְמַעֲשֵׂיהֶם
וַיִּזְנוּ בְּמַעַלְלֵיהֶם
106.39and they became unclean through their own deeds
and were unfaithful through their own wantonness
אַל תַּט לִבִּי לְדָבָר רָע
לְהִתְעוֹלֵל עֲלִלוֹת בְּרֶשַׁע אֶת אִישִׁים
פֹּעֲלֵי אָוֶן
וּבַל אֶלְחַם בְּמַנְעַמֵּיהֶם
141.4do not give my heart to a word of evil
wantonly wanton in wickedness with others,
workers of mischief
and let me not partake in their sweets