Thursday, January 26, 2012

Revisiting Jonah, The Mortals, 1:10-16

From the prior post, this is really the third section of Jonah. The first two were The Descent, and The Dice. Initially I had called this section The Sea, but we have met the sea already in verses 5 and 9 and will again in chapter 2. The sea could gather in all four of these subsections, so I ought not to name only one of them after it but rather chose a word that recurs here and is unique, and one such word is readily to hand so I have renamed it:

The Mortals

וַיִּירְאוּ הָאֲנָשִׁים יִרְאָה גְדוֹלָה וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלָיו מַה זֹּאת עָשִׂיתָ
כִּי יָדְעוּ הָאֲנָשִׁים כִּי מִלִּפְנֵי יְהוָה הוּא בֹרֵחַ
כִּי הִגִּיד לָהֶם
1.10
and the mortals feared, a great fear, and they said to him
what is this you have done?
for the mortals knew that from the face of יְהוָה he had run away
for he had made it clear to them
וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלָיו
מַה נַּעֲשֶׂה לָּךְ וְיִשְׁתֹּק הַיָּם מֵעָלֵינוּ
כִּי הַיָּם הוֹלֵךְ וְסֹעֵר
1.11
and they said to him
what will we do to you that the sea may be quieted for us
for the sea worked up a tempest
וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם
שָׂאוּנִי וַהֲטִילֻנִי אֶל הַיָּם
וְיִשְׁתֹּק הַיָּם מֵעֲלֵיכֶם
כִּי יוֹדֵעַ אָנִי
כִּי בְשֶׁלִּי הַסַּעַר הַגָּדוֹל הַזֶּה עֲלֵיכֶם
1.12
and he said to them
lift me up and hurl me onto the sea
and the sea will be quieted for you
for I, I know
that it is from me that this great tempest is upon you
וַיַּחְתְּרוּ הָאֲנָשִׁים לְהָשִׁיב אֶל הַיַּבָּשָׁה
וְלֹא יָכֹלוּ
כִּי הַיָּם הוֹלֵךְ וְסֹעֵר עֲלֵיהֶם
1.13
But the mortals dug hard to turn to the dry land
but they could not
for the sea worked up a tempest against them
וַיִּקְרְאוּ אֶל יְהוָה וַיֹּאמְרוּ
אָנָּה יְהוָה
אַל נָא נֹאבְדָה
בְּנֶפֶשׁ הָאִישׁ הַזֶּה
וְאַל תִּתֵּן עָלֵינוּ דָּם נָקִיא
כִּי אַתָּה יְהוָה כַּאֲשֶׁר חָפַצְתָּ עָשִׂיתָ
1.14
so they called out to יְהוָה and said
we beseech you יְהוָה
please, let us not perish
in the being of this man
and do not make us pay for innocent blood
for you יְהוָה have done according to what you wanted
וַיִּשְׂאוּ אֶת יוֹנָה
וַיְטִלֻהוּ אֶל הַיָּם
וַיַּעֲמֹד הַיָּם מִזַּעְפּוֹ
1.15
and they lifted up Jonah
and they hurled him onto the sea
and the sea stood back from his rage
וַיִּירְאוּ הָאֲנָשִׁים יִרְאָה גְדוֹלָה אֶת יְהוָה
וַיִּזְבְּחוּ זֶבַח לַיהוָה
וַיִּדְּרוּ נְדָרִים
1.16
and the mortals feared יְהוָה, a great fear
and they offered an offering to יְהוָה
and they vowed vows
Jonah 1:10-16
Selected recurring words in relative order (10 to 16)

Word and gloss * first usage1234567891012345678VsRoot
וייראו and feared
10ירא
האנשׁים the mortals
10אנושׁ
יראה a fear
10ירא
גדולה great
10גדל
ויאמרו and they said
10אמר
מה what
10מה
עשׂית that you have done
10עשׂה
כי for
10כי
ידעו knew
10ידע
האנשׁים the mortals
10אנושׁ
כי that
10כי
יהוה יהוה
10יהוה
כי for
10כי
ויאמרו and they said
11אמר
מה what
11מה
נעשׂה will we do
11עשׂה
וישׁתק that may be quietd
11שׁתק
הים the sea
11ים
כי for
11כי
הים the sea
11ים
הולך worked up
11הלך
וסער a tempest
11סער
ויאמר and he said
12אמר
שׂאוני lift me up
12נשׂא
והטילני and hurl me
12טול
הים the sea
12ים
וישׁתק and will be quieted
12שׁתק
הים the sea
12ים
כי for
12כי
יודע I know
12ידע
כי that
12כי
הסער that tempest
12סער
הגדול great
12גדל
הזה this
12זה
האנשׁים the mortals
13אנושׁ
כי for
13כי
הים the sea
13ים
הולך worked up
13הלך
וסער a tempest
13סער
יהוה יהוה
14יהוה
ויאמרו and said
14אמר
יהוה יהוה
14יהוה
הזה this
14זה
כי for
14כי
יהוה יהוה
14יהוה
עשׂית you have done
14עשׂה
וישׂאו and they lifted up
15נשׂא
ויטלהו and they hurled him
15תטל
הים the sea
15ים
הים the sea
15ים
וייראו and feared
16ירא
האנשׁים the mortals
16אנושׁ
יראה a fear
16ירא
גדולה great
16גדל
יהוה יהוה
16יהוה
ויזבחו and they offered
16זבח
זבח an offering
16זבח
ליהוה to יהוה
16יהוה
וידרו and they vowed
16נדר
נדרים vows
16נדר
This section is definitely framed by the repeated use of mortals, and the frame is strengthened by the surrounding fear. It is therefore one section. Note the recurrence of hurl from section 1. יהוה had hurled the wind, and the seafarers had hurled cargo. Now Jonah is to be hurled onto the sea to calm the tempest. Note also the sequence of recurring roots indicating actions of the mortals. The mortals (no longer just seafarers) take several actions, of which four are visible as recurring words that you can see in the table: they lift up and hurl Jonah into the sea as he had instructed them, then of their own accord, they offer an offering, and they vow vows

5 more posts to come - one per day till the end of the month.