Thursday, June 23, 2011

Curious about psalm 110 and 109 and others

I know - nobody thinks this way. We perceive with random abandon. Stimuli are absorbed or ignored without our knowledge. When, though, the Invisible puts a hand on our shoulder, or gently prods in this direction or that, is there not a need to focus our random walk? Or perhaps the Visible discipline of the academy makes us focus.

So the prod in this case is a few of the psalms used in the NT. And also the examination of every pair of adjacent psalms to see if words used in one are picked up in the next. This is one measure of continuity and theme. I have done this somewhat randomly to date. Now I have the beginning of a tool to make it more explicit.

So below I compare psalm 110 with psalm 109 (adjacent - also both used in NT), and psalm 2 and psalm 68. To account for long vs short psalms, I take the number of shared stems over the total words in both psalms.

An additional note: what if the use of 1 word in a prior psalm becomes a frame in a subsequent psalm? Is this significant for our perception of meaning?  Psalm 68 has many frames that could be stimulated by a reading of psalm 2.

These psalms seem related to me but the stats are not convincing. Psalm 110 uses just under 8% of the words of psalm 109 of the 11 stems shared.
Words in psalm 110 (65 words) in the order of word usage in psalm 109 (233 words)
Word and gloss123456789101VsStem
לדוד of David
1דוד
מזמור a psalm
1זמר
לאדני to my Lord
1אדני
לימיני at my right hand
1ימן
בקרב in the midst of
2קרב
ביום in the day of
3יום
ולא without
4לא
אתה you are
4אתה
דברתי the word of
4דבר
אדני my Lord
5אדני
ימינך your right hand
5ימן
ביום in the day of
5יום
ראשׁ a head
6ראשׁ
ארץ earth
6ארץ
ראשׁ a head
7ראשׁ
Words in psalm 110 in the order of word usage in psalm 2 - 14 uses of 12 words (11.5% of the total words)
Word and gloss * first usage1234567891012VsStem
שׁב sit
1ישׁב
מציון out of Zion
2ציון
ביום in the day of
3יום
קדשׁ holiness
3קדשׁ
ילדתיך your youth
3ילד
אתה you are
4אתה
דברתי the word of
4דבר
מלכי Melchi-
4מלך
ביום in the day of
5יום
אפו his anger
5אף
מלכים kings
5מלך
בגוים among the nations
6גוי
ארץ earth
6ארץ
בדרך in the way
7דרך

Words in psalm 110 in the order of word usage in psalm 68
Hmmm - 23 words in common - 29 uses altogether - 44.6% of psalm 110.
Word and gloss * first usage1234567891012345678920123VsStem
לדוד of David
1דוד
מזמור a psalm
1זמר
לאדני to my Lord
1אדני
שׁב sit
1ישׁב
איביך your enemies
1איב
לרגליך your foot-
1רגל
עזך your strength
2עזז
רדה rule
2רדה
בקרב in the midst of
2קרב
איביך your enemies
2איב
עמך your people
3עם
נדבת are willing
3נדב
ביום in the day of
3יום
קדשׁ holiness
3קדשׁ
לך to you
3לך
אתה you are
4אתה
מלכי Melchi-
4מלך
אדני my Lord
5אדני
מחץ he will wound
5מחץ
ביום in the day of
5יום
אפו his anger
5אף
מלכים kings
5מלך
ידין he will advocate
6דין
מחץ he will wound
6מחץ
ראשׁ a head
6ראשׁ
ארץ earth
6ארץ
רבה greatly
6רבה
ירים he will lift up
7רום
ראשׁ a head
7ראשׁ