Thursday, October 13, 2011

Another Psalm Snippet - on how to read

Psalm 1 - verses 4 to 6 only (in bold are the recurring roots in this section)

לֹא-כֵן הָרְשָׁעִים
כִּי אִם כַּמֹּץ
אֲשֶׁר-תִּדְּפֶנּוּ רוּחַ
4Not so the-many wicked
in contrast: like chaff
that blows in the wind
עַל-כֵּן לֹא-יָקֻמוּ
רְשָׁעִים - בַּמִּשְׁפָּט
וְחַטָּאִים בַּעֲדַת צַדִּיקִים
5So it is that they will not arise
the wicked - in the judgment
nor sinners in the assembly of the-many righteous
כִּי-יוֹדֵעַ יְהוָה
דֶּרֶךְ צַדִּיקִים
וְדֶרֶךְ רְשָׁעִים תֹּאבֵד
6For יְהוָה knows
the way of those righteous
but the way of those wicked will perish

What we observe here is a pair of circular forms pivoting around the word wicked with an ultimate focus on the way. 

Word and gloss12345VsRoot
לא not
4לא
כן so
4כן
הרשׁעים the-many wicked
4רשׁע
כן so it is that
5כן
לא they will not
5לא
רשׁעים the wicked
5רשׁע
צדיקים the-many righteous
5צדיק
דרך the way of
6דרך
צדיקים those righteous
6צדיק
ודרך but the way of
6דרך
רשׁעים those wicked
6רשׁע
Parallelism is subjective and people argue over it. Prosody has its conflict with available space and lines get shortened or lengthened depending on paper size or page size.  But recurrence is relatively objective. Dig first,  (recurrence) then lay out (prosody), then look for the parallels and other features within the frame established.  And look in small segments - finding them is tricky, but once found, they don't disappear.

Now my job is to learn to see and to write what I see. Do I see here in the beginning the statement that the assembly of the righteous is the judgment? Does this anticipate the binding of the kings by the merciful in Psalm 149?

As Hooker noted - what is there necessarie for man to know which the Psalmes are not able to teach?

(quoted in Renaissance Quarterly > Vol. 55, No. 1, Spring, 2002 > Psalm Culture in the English Renaissance: Readings of Psalm 137 by Shakespeare, Spenser, Milton, and Others.)