Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Apophatic learning

There are more psalms than 1 and 15 that emphasize what not to do.  I have stopped writing at psalm 90 for the moment, and I am reviewing and reading all the psalms ahead of me and behind me. As usual I am examining every word and turn of phrase, near frames and distant ones. There are spots of colour in the psalms that must survive translation, unique words, words used only in one or two psalms. I continue to change the posts that contain my translations. Maybe I will never finish - but I will leave behind the trace of a journey through these poems.

Psalm 101 is a miniature in No. It matches in word usage Psalm 15, A sevenfold no and Psalm 26 walk in completeness.  Take time to read them bifocally - a good exercise. Do the earlier apophatic psalms prepare for psalm 101 - announcing the one who will demonstrate completeness?

Psalms 101 and 15: Total words 138, Percent shared of total: 15.2
Percent of Psalm 15: 38.2

Words in psalm 101 (83) in the order of word usage in psalm 15 (55)
Word and gloss * first usage123456789101234VsStem
לדוד of David
1דוד
מזמור a psalm
1זמר
אזמרה I will sing a psalm
1זמר
תמים completeness
2תמם
אתהלך I will walk
2הלך
בתם in the completeness of
2תמם
לבבי my heart
2לבב
בקרב within
2קרב
לא not
3לא
עיני my eyes
3עין
דבר a thing of
3דבר
עשׂה to do
3עשׂה
לא not
3לא
לבב a heart
4לבב
רע evil
4רע
לא not
4לא
מלשׁני for slandering
5לשׁון
רעהו his friend
5רעה
עינים eyes
5עין
לבב heart
5לבב
לא not
5לא
עיני my eyes
6עין
הלך walking
6הלך
תמים completeness
6תמם
לא not
7לא
בקרב within
7קרב
עשׂה the one who does
7עשׂה
דבר the telling of
7דבר
לא not
7לא
עיני my eyes
7עין
פעלי workers of
8פעל

Psalms 101 and 26: Total words 168, Percent shared of total: 12.5Percent of Psalm 26: 24.7
Words in psalm 101 (83) in the order of word usage in psalm 26 (85)
Word and gloss * first usage1234567891012345VsStem
לדוד of David
1דוד
חסד mercy
1חסד
ומשׁפט and judgment
1שׁפט
תמים completeness
2תמם
תבוא will you come
2בוא
אתהלך I will walk
2הלך
בתם in the completeness of
2תמם
ביתי my house
2בית
לא not
3לא
לנגד before
3נגד
עיני my eyes
3עין
שׂנאתי I hate
3שׂנא
לא not
3לא
לא not
4לא
עינים eyes
5עין
לא not
5לא
עיני my eyes
6עין
לשׁבת to sit
6ישׁב
עמדי with me
6עמד
הלך walking
6הלך
תמים completeness
6תמם
לא not
7לא
ישׁב will sit
7ישׁב
ביתי my house
7בית
לא not
7לא
לנגד before
7נגד
עיני my eyes
7עין
כל all
8כל
רשׁעי the wicked of
8רשׁע
כל all
8כל


Leadership

This is a nice appreciation of the leadership of Moses. I don't see psalm 106 as Moses song - but leave that aside for the insight into how difficult leadership is.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Madz Concert here in Victoria

We just came from a concert of The University of the Philippines Madrigal Singers. What a beautiful and encouraging performance. Entirely from memory and beautifully produced vocally from start to finish from the silent blend of bass and tenor in the opening plainsong Ubi Caritas, to the full sung orchestra of Rossini and even Nessun Dorma!. There are lots of unofficial items on line - Circle of Life from the Lion King shows the hilarious scope of their animal imitations. This video gives an idea of what they do - but the whole concert tonight is not reproducible with a selection from u-tube for the fun we had - and this from two ultra-critical choristers!


Update via Sallie Cabrera: The UP Madrigal Singers will be performing July 2 at 8:00pm at the River Rock Casino Resort (8811 River Road, Richmond, BC V6X, Canada)
Contact : Erly Juatco (778) 395.6785

Holiness and place

A Response to this re holiness and place.

Man's natural religion is one of domination. You do what I say in the place where I choose.  Or negatively, this my / our place is forbidden to you. כִּי אִם, in contrast, God's nature, an oxymoron, is one of righteous love, another oxymoron. I will show you the place and You do what I do. The two are incompatible - both in intent and in temporal sequence. Man therefore is in a state of rebellion. Therefore man is worthy of death. (Romans 1:32) Such is circumcision in an image.

God sees what ascends before him. I speak as as a human. What ascends before God - is unacceptable - so Jonah tells us (Jonah 1:1) their evil has come up in my face. What God demands is clear from the Akedah, the binding of Isaac (Genesis 22:2). The word ascend (for Abraham and this link see my post on psalm 47)  is the same word as offer whole offerings, and the same word rendered come up above.

The one who ascends (goes up) in the NT (Acts 1) is a man who did not follow man's natural religion. This is the upright on whom God looks (yes it is in the psalms, psalm 11, so it is not just a NT thing). It is God's elect and God's demonstration of what a human is. It is an offering that is acceptable. I had not noticed so clearly the linkages from ascension to offering, but these are explicitly drawn in Hebrews also.

In these days of the domination of capital as expressed in the post-colonial division of the world following the colonial wars of domination in the early 20th C, do we see any difference in human behaviour?  In at least one area: the recognition of woman's rights. Rights as a word is also an oxymoron. Even the great Trudeau could not formulate a perfect constitution with a Bill of Rights. What about the rights of rulers? Do rulers ruling in the name of a nation have the right to a city of refuge when they are led astray by their own will to power exercised in their dominion for the sake of what they perceived to be national and capital interest?  It appears not.

Could Nineveh repent? Could Syria or Libya repent? Has the word come to the king that he might put aside his glory and gird himself with a towel made of sackcloth? (compare Jonah 3 with John 13).  Perhaps if the ruler had exercised dominion for the people, the situation would not have developed so. But even where the government is for the people, to the south of me, there is still manipulation. Even here in the quiet Hobbited place of BC, when voting on taxes (the HST - vote no to keep it!), there is utter stupidity - these rulers, good or evil, have never read psalms 6 or 38.

It will not do to carry the message of an upright love in a box built on domination and dependent on armies. (So the Churches also and all Confessions of all stripes including the Orthodox and the Catholic and Protestant.)

What has this to do with place? Place has to do with temple. Temple is destroyed. Body is temple. The destruction of citizens, and their enculturation,  is the destruction of temple again and again. These temples, individual and corporate are built from our cultures of domination and they reinforce the domination of male and of money over the body in all aspects of government.  Female is not exempt but for the most part holds power and domination differently from male.

Behold the Man. Behold the place where they laid him.

All this seems too obvious, yet even those who look at Jesus do not follow or recognize together the nature of this taking of the kingdom without dominance.  Most are too hung up on the life of the world to come and whether or not their confession will win.  Or they waste their breath on bad science while reaping its benefits in their ignorance. These humans have not read the psalms either.

Did I draw a distinction between male and female here in order to suggest that woman could rule better than man? No. I drew attention to it because of the universal failure of the male in the domination paradigm to know anything about ruling. Such a failure is evident in the abysmal treatment of women throughout history. The problem is not solved by a domination paradigm on the other foot. Timothy Findley's Elizabeth Rex has been playing here with one of our friends in the title role. It is a clever recognition of the difficulty of our balancing the male and female in each of us.

One negative piece of advice maybe. When I am next aware of my temptation to dominate another, by might, by power, whether political, corporate, family, or social, or self-seeking, I need to ask for help instantly and retroactively. The response on the web is too slow for help and I need to wear bluetooth or carry an electronic banana for my ear. I don't need technology for the instancy of prayer and repentance. It is immediate, retroactive, and intimate - no holds barred. This too is known from the psalms.

And pragmatics? Well, I have my limits too. Suppose I had a crystal glass, carefully counted when I was pouring G&T's and it disappeared from my house. I don't usually count glasses, but after 8 drinks were poured, suppose I lost track of who had or did not have drinks, and I only have 6 such glasses. Maybe one broke and I was not informed, but the evidence is that there were 6 before the party and now there are only 5. What about my house, my family, my person? Where is the line of self-protection? I used to live with the house entirely open, never locked - for 23 years, even after one or two thefts by vagabonds. Now I have an alarm system. I live too close to downtown and it reduces my required insurance costs, and I have a troubled and disabled youngest child who is the product of colonialism and has FAS. I am stymied. Are there limits to access to my Holy Place? How is government possible?  Fortunately I do not have to answer this question. The hope of the Epistle to the Hebrews with its invitation into God's Sanctuary is remarkable, is it not.

Project status

In the last 10 days, I have modified my selection of glosses in about 200 verses. That is the rate I have been working at for the past month or so. I have not reported all my decisions, but here is an aspect of translation theory that I wrestle with.

What do you do with shades of meaning? (shake, tremble, quake, writhe)? How do you handle synonyms? How about homonyms or polyvalent words? What about rare words? If a word is used once in the whole Bible should it get a gloss or phrase that will never be used again? (I have done this with וְיַחְרְגוּ in psalm 18:46.)

What about words that cross over, like the Hebrew word עבר that means to pass over, go beyond, transgress (a Latinate word meaning pass over), and a host of other possibilities like cross over because it is that kind of word - a common word with many shades of meaning? How does a word you might not know the meaning of take its meaning from the other words in a sentence fragment?  I am wary of this one - sometimes one might think a noun can only have some verbs applied to it, whether transitive or intransitive. Sometimes one might think the poem 'does not make sense', when the poet was searching to say what could only be said with that word! (I find this with many modern translations that search for meaning, or natural language, etc.)

For instance if a word z can mean shake, then if the noun y is milk -  y-z must be a milkshake - right? (OK a shake-milk but the word order in this pretend language is reversed. It's poetic license too.) So if word y is earth and word z is חול- (xul) is it a shaking earth, a quaking earth, a moving earth, a forming earth, a trembling earth, a writhing earth or an earth in birth? Wait a minute - earth's don't birth. Well - according to Romans 8 they do and they are. And in the Psalter they do too. (Psalms 90:2, 96:9, 97:4, 114:7) They writhe - they go into labour - they give birth at the command of the Most High. And this word writhe might shade into dance or whirl also.
StemTranscriptionHebrewPsalm verseEnglish
חול XVLיָחִילוּ דְרָכָו בְּכָל עֵת
מָרוֹם מִשְׁפָּטֶיךָ מִנֶּגְדּוֹ
כָּל צוֹרְרָיו יָפִיחַ בָּהֶם
10.5His ways are twisted in all times
High is your judgment, out of his sight
All his foes, he snorts at them
חול XVLקוֹל יְהוָה יָחִיל מִדְבָּר
יָחִיל יְהוָה מִדְבַּר קָדֵשׁ
29.8The voice of יְהוָה births a wilderness
יְהוָה births the wilderness of Kadesh
חול XVLקוֹל יְהוָה יְחוֹלֵל אַיָּלוֹת
וַיֶּחֱשֹׂף יְעָרוֹת
וּבְהֵיכָלוֹ כֻּלּוֹ אֹמֵר כָּבוֹד
29.9The voice of יְהוָה causes birthing of hart
and he strips the forest
and in his temple everything says glory
חול XVLהָפַכְתָּ מִסְפְּדִי לְמָחוֹל לִי
פִּתַּחְתָּ שַׂקִּי וַתְּאַזְּרֵנִי שִׂמְחָה
30.12you have turned my wailing into my dance
you have loosed my sackcloth and girded me in gladness
חול XVLדּוֹם לַיהוָה
וְהִתְחוֹלֵל לוֹ
אַל תִּתְחַר בְּמַצְלִיחַ דַּרְכּוֹ
בְּאִישׁ עֹשֶׂה מְזִמּוֹת
37.7dumb - mute - be still in יְהוָה
endure your birth in him
do not burn over one who prospers in his way
of someone making up schemes
חול XVLרְעָדָה אֲחָזָתַם שָׁם
חִיל כַּיּוֹלֵדָה
48.7Trembling took hold of them there
as the pain of birth
חול XVLהֵן בְּעָווֹן חוֹלָלְתִּי
וּבְחֵטְא יֶחֱמַתְנִי אִמִּי
51.7Indeed in iniquity I was brought forth,
and in sin my mother conceived me.
חול XVLלִבִּי יָחִיל בְּקִרְבִּי
וְאֵימוֹת מָוֶת נָפְלוּ עָלָי
55.5my heart is in turmoil within me
and the horrors of death fall upon me
חול XVLרָאוּךָ מַּיִם אֱלֹהִים
רָאוּךָ מַּיִם יָחִילוּ
אַף יִרְגְּזוּ תְהֹמוֹת
77.17The waters saw you O God
the waters saw you and they writhed
even the abysses trembled
חול XVLוַיַּמְטֵר עֲלֵיהֶם כֶּעָפָר שְׁאֵר
וּכְחוֹל יַמִּים עוֹף כָּנָף
78.27and he rained flesh on them as dust
and feathered birds as the sand of the sea
חול XVLבְּטֶרֶם הָרִים יֻלָּדוּ
וַתְּחוֹלֵל אֶרֶץ וְתֵבֵל
וּמֵעוֹלָם עַד עוֹלָם אַתָּה אֵל
90.2from ere mountains were born
or earth and world writhed
and even from everlasting to everlasting you are God
חול XVLהִשְׁתַּחֲווּ לַיהוָה בְּהַדְרַת קֹדֶשׁ
חִילוּ מִפָּנָיו כָּל הָאָרֶץ
96.9worship יְהוָה in the beauty of holiness
let all the earth be birthed in his presence
חול XVLהֵאִירוּ בְרָקָיו תֵּבֵל
רָאֲתָה וַתָּחֵל הָאָרֶץ
97.4his lightnings light the world
and the earth saw and was in birth
חול XVLמִלִּפְנֵי אָדוֹן חוּלִי אָרֶץ
מִלִּפְנֵי אֱלוֹהַּ יַעֲקֹב
114.7from the presence of the Lord let earth be birthed
from the presence of the God of Jacob
חול XVLאֶסְפְּרֵם מֵחוֹל יִרְבּוּן
הֱקִיצֹתִי וְעוֹדִי עִמָּךְ
139.18I count them more in number than sand
I awake and still I am with you
חול XVLיְהַלְלוּ שְׁמוֹ בְמָחוֹל
בְּתֹף וְכִנּוֹר יְזַמְּרוּ לוֹ
149.3Let them praise his name in a dance
with drum and harp let them psalm him
חול XVLהַלְלוּהוּ בְּתֹף וּמָחוֹל
הַלְלוּהוּ בְּמִנִּים וְעֻגָב
150.4Praise him with timbrel and dance
Praise him on strings and pipes
For me writhe and birth would be acceptable, since both, in my glossary, refer only to this Hebrew stem - is that reasonable? We'll see. I say we'll see because the full matrix of possibilities is too large to see at once, so I look at it as I review each psalm, seeing the clarity and variety from many points of view. I am as I have noted before, trying to restrict my variety as follows:
  • Hebrew source word - may be one English word or many be many.
  • English target word or phrase must map in reverse to one Hebrew source stem.
What else?
  • I am sort of stuck (at psalms 90-91) in my writing of notes.I am concentrating more on the translation perplex than notes. My changes noted above of 100 or so of the 20,000 words per week, testify to the review over all psalms (and selected other bits of Scripture) of the translation first. 
  • I am also reading more Fishbane and von Rad on other parts of Scripture, as well as history of Christianity (MacCulloch). 
  • Structure is viewable from the tables - so I want to show but make the significant ones more obvious. I also want to explore the seams, asking the question: what poem gives rise to a thought in another poem? 
  • Two parts of the 'comments' I am writing really need to be adjacent to the text of the poem rather than in textual paragraphs themselves. And I seem to be petering out on the personal applications - which I think of as the most interesting aspect of the poems - answering the question: what is the social impact?
  • I regard social impact as important given the tendency in human society to all forms of domination - the real religion of most of us, obvious in some cases, more subtle in others.  The question here is: do the psalms lead to better or worse government among humans?
  • I have figured out how to schedule posts at PoC. May set up the next 10 for August - Oh what discipline - my New Year's resolution is still going!
  • There's always lots of mechanical issues - it may be that I can copy back all my notes into the database, extend the poem-related ones to print with the verses, find a way to highlight significant structures and seams, and produce edit-ready copy from the database rather than from the many sources I currently maintain. 
  • Help is always welcome. I don't know, of course, how many mistakes or poor decisions I am making or have made till I find them.
I have no real deadline for now. In October I begin a 3 month fellowship at UVIC and I know there is a visiting professor of Hebrew, Bill Morrow, who will be there at the same time. (News here.) So when I present my research as a Community Fellow to someone I don't yet know, I will have to be prepared for real criticism. So my work now is clarity, and fluency, as far as one lone person can do it. I have met one of his colleagues, retired NT Professor, Dan Fraiken, who sings tenor with me and who has enjoyed a few of my renderings, and who warns me against too facile a concordance - as I warn myself.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Psalm 119 compared to psalm 1

I guess you wouldn't be surprised if you heard that psalm 119 used 68% of the words of psalm 1 (28 shared stems multiply used from the 67 words of psalm 1).

It wouldn't strain credulity either to say that psalm 119 uses 61% of the words of psalm 19 (61 shared stems multiply used from the 126 words of psalm 19).

Words in psalm 119 (1064) in the order of word usage in psalm 1 (67) - showing parts 1 and 2 only

Word and gloss * first usage123456789101234567892012345678VsStem
אשׁרי all joy for
1אשׁר
דרך the way
1דרך
ההלכים who walk
1הלך
בתורת in the teaching of
1תורה
אשׁרי all joy for
2אשׁר
עדתיו his testimonies
2עדה
בכל with a whole
2כל
לא not
3לא
בדרכיו in his ways
3דרך
הלכו they walk
3הלך
דרכי my ways
5דרך
לא not
6לא
כל all
6כל
משׁפטי the judgments of
7שׁפט
בכל by all
10כל
לא not
11לא
אחטא I may sin
11חטא
כל all
13כל
משׁפטי the judgments of
13שׁפט
בדרך by the way of
14דרך
עדותיך your testimonies
14עדה
כל all
14כל
לא nor
16לא

I dared to look at glosses around joy, rejoicing, shouting, (again), and soul, life etc yesterday. I changed another 100 psalms a word here and a word there. There must be a time when I will think about the wholes within the whole... What does this collection of poetry signify as a datum of history?

One unique word I eventually rendered as revel - it occurs only in psalms 94 and 119. Your commandments testimonies etc are my revel. (Not chocolate) or I revel in them.
וְתוֹרָתְךָ שַׁעֲשֻׁעָי

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Beatitudes in the psalms

Who is the object of happiness? The answer is full of variety. The opening frame of psalms 1 and 2 approach the subject negatively and in the name of protection, certainly a need for all. The contrast in these verses is again between the singular and the plural. (As an aside, 2:12 agrees in form with 128:1. To be consistent with my overall desire for concordance, I should translate 2:12 as all. There is a conflict between my chosen style in psalms 1 and 2 and this analysis. In psalms 1 and 2, I am, at the beginning, emphasizing the one and the many. If the many be the all, so be it.)

אַשְׁרֵי הָאִישׁ
אֲשֶׁר לֹא הָלַךְ
בַּעֲצַת רְשָׁעִים
וּבְדֶרֶךְ חַטָּאִים
לֹא עָמָד
וּבְמוֹשַׁב לֵצִים
לֹא יָשָׁב
1.1Happy the one
who does not walk
in the advice of the wicked
and in the way of sinners
does not stand
and in the seat of the scornful
does not sit
נַשְּׁקוּ-בַר
פֶּן-יֶאֱנַף
וְתֹאבְדוּ דֶרֶךְ
כִּי-יִבְעַר כִּמְעַט אַפּוֹ
אַשְׁרֵי כָּל-חוֹסֵי בוֹ
2.12Kiss, aflame yourself pure
lest he face you
and you perish in your way
kindled with a touch of his anger
Happy! the many who find this protection
In the remaining psalms of Book 1, there are several benedictions including the first of three which are given to the human אָדָם, the earthling, the child of the dust.  Then in 33 we have the nation as object (distinguish this from the people - still to come).  Then we have the first of three for הַגֶּבֶר which I have translated with a root related to the valiant. This is applied equally to male and female. There are also 3 of these.
לְדָוִד
מַשְׂכִּיל
אַשְׁרֵי נְשׂוּי פֶּשַׁע
כְּסוּי חֲטָאָה
32.1Of David
an insight
happy lifted up transgression
covered sin
אַשְׁרֵי אָדָם
לֹא יַחְשֹׁב יְהוָה לוֹ עָו‍ֹן
וְאֵין בְּרוּחוֹ רְמִיָּה
32.2happy the human
to whom יְהוָה will not consider iniquity
and without deceit in his spirit
אַשְׁרֵי הַגּוֹי
אֲשֶׁר יְהוָה אֱלֹהָיו
הָעָם בָּחַר לְנַחֲלָה לוֹ
33.12happy the nation
where יְהוָה is its God
the people chosen as his inheritance
טַעֲמוּ וּרְאוּ כִּי טוֹב יְהוָה
אַשְׁרֵי הַגֶּבֶר יֶחֱסֶה בּוֹ
34.9taste and see for יְהוָה is good
happy the valiant that take refuge in him
אַשְׁרֵי הַגֶּבֶר
אֲשֶׁר שָׂם יְהוָה מִבְטַחוֹ
וְלֹא פָנָה אֶל רְהָבִים
וְשָׂטֵי כָזָב
40.5happy the valiant
who makes יְהוָה his trust
and does not turn to the proud
falling away to a lie
אַשְׁרֵי מַשְׂכִּיל אֶל דָּל
בְּיוֹם רָעָה יְמַלְּטֵהוּ יְהוָה
41.2Happy the one giving insight to the weak
in the day of evil יְהוָה will let him escape
יְהוָה יִשְׁמְרֵהוּ וִיחַיֵּהוּ
וְאֻשַּׁר בָּאָרֶץ
וְאַל תִּתְּנֵהוּ בְּנֶפֶשׁ אֹיְבָיו
41.3יְהוָה will guard him and keep him alive
and he will be considered happy in the earth
and you will not give him into the throat of his enemies
Books 2 to 4 are not so well populated with happiness. Except psalm 84, a bit of respite in the lament of Book 3.  n psalm 89 we get the first, again of three, addressed to the nation.
אַשְׁרֵי תִּבְחַר וּתְקָרֵב
יִשְׁכֹּן חֲצֵרֶיךָ
נִשְׂבְּעָה בְּטוּב בֵּיתֶךָ
קְדֹשׁ הֵיכָלֶךָ
65.5Happy the one chosen and made near
who will dwell in your courts
We will be satisfied in the good of your house
your holy temple
יְהִי שְׁמוֹ לְעוֹלָם
לִפְנֵי שֶׁמֶשׁ יִנּוֹן שְׁמוֹ
וְיִתְבָּרְכוּ בוֹ
כָּל גּוֹיִם יְאַשְּׁרוּהוּ
72.17his name will be forever
his name will continue in the presence of the sun
and they will bless themselves in him -
all nations will call him happy
יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת
אַשְׁרֵי אָדָם בֹּטֵחַ בָּךְ
84.13יְהוָה of hosts
happy the human who trusts in you
אַשְׁרֵי יוֹשְׁבֵי בֵיתֶךָ
עוֹד יְהַלְלוּךָ
סֶּלָה
84.5Happy those sitting in your house
ever they will praise you
Selah
אַשְׁרֵי אָדָם עוֹז לוֹ
בָךְ מְסִלּוֹת בִּלְבָבָם
84.6Happy the human whose strength is in you
with a highway in their heart
אַשְׁרֵי הָעָם
יֹדְעֵי תְרוּעָה יְהוָה
בְּאוֹר פָּנֶיךָ יְהַלֵּכוּן
89.16Happy the people
knowing the jubilation of יְהוָה
In the light of your face they will walk
אַשְׁרֵי הַגֶּבֶר אֲשֶׁר תְּיַסְּרֶנּוּ יָּהּ
וּמִתּוֹרָתְךָ תְלַמְּדֶנּוּ
94.12Happy the valiant whom you chastise Yah
and from your instruction you teach them
אַשְׁרֵי שֹׁמְרֵי מִשְׁפָּט
עֹשֵׂה צְדָקָה בְכָל עֵת
106.3happy those keeping judgment
doing righteousness at all times
In psalm 112, and 119, I translate to the constraint of the acrostic. Psalm 128 gives us a universal. Psalm 137 is enigmatic, as usual. Dashes uniquely matches the smashed pots of psalm 2 - so bear the tension.
הַלְלוּ יָהּ
אַשְׁרֵי אִישׁ יָרֵא אֶת יְהוָה
בְּמִצְו‍ֹתָיו חָפֵץ מְאֹד
112.1Hallelu Yah
A happy person fears יְהוָה
By his commandments he has much delight
אַשְׁרֵי תְמִימֵי דָרֶךְ
הַהֹלְכִים בְּתוֹרַת יְהוָה
119.1All joy for those who are the complete of the way
who walk in the teaching of יְהוָה
אַשְׁרֵי נֹצְרֵי עֵדֹתָיו
בְּכָל לֵב יִדְרְשׁוּהוּ
119.2All joy for those observing his testimonies
with a whole heart they seek him
אַשְׁרֵי הַגֶּבֶר
אֲשֶׁר מִלֵּא אֶת אַשְׁפָּתוֹ מֵהֶם
לֹא יֵבֹשׁוּ
כִּי יְדַבְּרוּ אֶת אוֹיְבִים בַּשָּׁעַר
127.5happy the valiant
who filled his quiver with them
he will not be ashamed
when he speaks with enemies at the gate
שִׁיר הַמַּעֲלוֹת
אַשְׁרֵי כָּל יְרֵא יְהוָה
הַהֹלֵךְ בִּדְרָכָיו
128.1A song of the steps
Happy all fearing יְהוָה
those walking in his ways
יְגִיעַ כַּפֶּיךָ כִּי תֹאכֵל
אַשְׁרֶיךָ וְטוֹב לָךְ
128.2for you will eat the labour of your hands
your happiness and good for you
בַּת בָּבֶל הַשְּׁדוּדָה
אַשְׁרֵי שֶׁיְשַׁלֶּם לָךְ
אֶת גְּמוּלֵךְ שֶׁגָּמַלְתְּ לָנוּ
137.8Devastating daughter of Babel
happy the one who makes peace with you
even weans you as you weaned us
אַשְׁרֵי שֶׁיֹּאחֵז וְנִפֵּץ
אֶת עֹלָלַיִךְ אֶל הַסָּלַע
137.9happy the one who holds and dashes
your unweaned against the cliff
אַשְׁרֵי הָעָם שֶׁכָּכָה לּוֹ
אַשְׁרֵי הָעָם שֱׁיְהוָה אֱלֹהָיו
144.15happy the people who are like this to him
happy the people who have יְהוָה as their God
אַשְׁרֵי שֶׁאֵל יַעֲקֹב בְּעֶזְרוֹ
שִׂבְרוֹ עַל יְהוָה אֱלֹהָיו
146.5Happy the one who has the God of Jacob for its help
Its hope is in יְהוָה its God
There are several of these macarisms that are action based. If we would be happy then we may do these 10 things among other thoughts. Treat them as mitzvot and be joyful.
  • fear יְהוָה
  • observe the testimonies, 
  • be complete in the way, 
  • walk in the teaching of יְהוָה, 
  • keep judgement,
  • trust in יְהוָה of hosts, 
  • sit in יְהוָה's house, 
  • have strength in יְהוָה,
  • be chosen and made near, 
  • give insight to the weak.

Where do word counts and patterns lead?

Reading Fishbane, he takes it for granted that psalm 67 is a meditation on the priestly blessing in Numbers 6. So I thought I would measure the impact.  Psalm 68 has also a strong relationship to Numbers 6 and psalm 67.  But so would any psalm with face/presence in it. Psalm 80 has such a relationship also.

Psalm 67 and Numbers 6:24-26 - Psalm 67 uses 4 of 12 words (about half with my excluded words) in the blessing. What should the criteria for allusion or reference be? Notice the verse column and how coherence might be inferred by several words in one verse all in the same order, and references to the language of the alluded-to verses at the beginning and end of the poem.
Word and gloss1234VsStem
יחננו will have mercy on us
2חנן
ויברכנו and will bless us
2ברך
יאר he will make shine on
2אור
פניו his face
2פנה
יברכנו will bless us
7ברך
יברכנו will bless us
8ברך
Psalm 68 and Numbers 6:24-26
Word and gloss123VsStem
מפניו from his presence
2פנה
מפני from the presence of
3פנה
מפני from the presence of
3פנה
לפני in the presence of
4פנה
לפניו in his presence
5פנה
לפני in the presence of
8פנה
מפני from the presence of
9פנה
מפני from the presence of
9פנה
ברוך blessed is
20ברך
ברכו bless
27ברך
לך to you
30לך
ברוך bless
36ברך

Words in psalm 68 in the order of word usage in psalm 67 - Psalm 68 uses 41.5% of the words of psalm 67.
Word and gloss12345678910123VsStem
למנצח For the leader
1נצח
מזמור a psalm
1זמר
שׁיר a song
1שׁיר
מפניו from his presence
2פנה
מפני from the presence of
3פנה
מפני from the presence of
3פנה
ישׂמחו will be glad
4שׂמח
לפני in the presence of
4פנה
בשׂמחה in gladness
4שׂמח
שׁירו sing
5שׁיר
זמרו sing a psalm to
5זמר
לפניו in his presence
5פנה
לפני in the presence of
8פנה
עמך your people
8עם
ארץ earth
9ארץ
מפני from the presence of
9פנה
מפני from the presence of
9פנה
יתן gave
12נתן
לנצח in perpetuity
17נצח
ברוך blessed is
20ברך
ישׁועתנו our salvation
20ישׁע
למושׁעות victories
21ישׁע
שׁרים singers
26שׁיר
נגנים the players
26נגן
ברכו bless
27ברך
יובילו will bring
30יבל
עמים the peoples
31עם
עמים peoples
31עם
הארץ the earth
33ארץ
שׁירו sing
33שׁיר
זמרו sing a psalm to
33זמר
יתן he gives
34נתן
תנו give
35נתן
נורא feared
36ירא
נתן he gives
36נתן
לעם the people
36עם
ברוך bless
36ברך

Words in psalm 80 in the order of word usage in psalm 67 - Psalm 80 uses 37.7% of the words of psalm 67.
Word and gloss12345678910VsStem
למנצח For the leader
1נצח
מזמור a psalm
1זמר
לפני in the presence of
3פנה
לישׁעתה salvation
3ישׁע
והאר and reveal
4אור
פניך your presence
4פנה
ונושׁעה and we will be saved
4ישׁע
עמך your people
5עם
והאר and reveal
8אור
פניך your presence
8פנה
ונושׁעה and we will be saved
8ישׁע
גוים nations
9גוי
פנית you presented
10פנה
לפניה her presence
10פנה
ארץ the land
10ארץ
כל all
13כל
דרך a way
13דרך
פניך your presence
17פנה
האר and reveal
20אור
פניך your presence
20פנה
ונושׁעה and we will be saved
20ישׁע

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