Saturday, June 16, 2012

Comparing Psalms 96 and 98

I was looking at old posts, playing the role of archivist, and I noted - of course we all knew how psalms 96-99 seem to be one song, but I had forgotten how closely related psalms 96 and 98 are, sharing over 50% of their words.

If we assume that such grand repetition frames other text, then the framed text is Psalm 97. Imagine yourself observing these three pictures in a gallery. You attention would be drawn to the picture in the middle, between two such similar images. Why, you ask, would the curator have placed that picture between the other two? Surely like things should be adjacent? Maybe the one in the middle is worth a gander. So you stop for a moment and stretch your neck to stare at the words. You find you are in the midst of ascension and the words recall Psalm 47, bringing to mind the command to Abraham to offer Isaac as a whole burnt offering. It's a remarkable reach that these psalms have.


יְהוָה מָלָךְ
תָּגֵל הָאָרֶץ
יִשְׂמְחוּ אִיִּים רַבִּים
1יְהוָה reigns
let the earth rejoice
let the multitude of coasts be glad
עָנָן וַעֲרָפֶל סְבִיבָיו
צֶדֶק וּמִשְׁפָּט מְכוֹן כִּסְאוֹ
2clouds and dark turbulence surround him
righteousness and judgment are the stability of his throne
אֵשׁ לְפָנָיו תֵּלֵךְ
וּתְלַהֵט סָבִיב צָרָיו
3fire walks in his presence
and will blaze his surrounding foes

הֵאִירוּ בְרָקָיו תֵּבֵל
רָאֲתָה וַתָּחֵל הָאָרֶץ
4his lightnings light the world
the earth saw and was in birth
הָרִים כַּדּוֹנַג נָמַסּוּ
מִלִּפְנֵי יְהוָה
מִלִּפְנֵי אֲדוֹן כָּל הָאָרֶץ
5hills melted like wax
from the presence of יְהוָה
from the presence of the Lord of all the earth
הִגִּידוּ הַשָּׁמַיִם צִדְקוֹ
וְרָאוּ כָל הָעַמִּים כְּבוֹדוֹ
6the heavens make evident his righteousness
and all the peoples see his glory

יֵבֹשׁוּ כָּל עֹבְדֵי פֶסֶל
הַמִּתְהַלְלִים בָּאֱלִילִים
הִשְׁתַּחֲווּ לוֹ כָּל אֱלֹהִים
7all servants of a graven image will be ashamed
boasting in the good for nothing
worship him all gods
שָׁמְעָה וַתִּשְׂמַח צִיּוֹן
וַתָּגֵלְנָה בְּנוֹת יְהוּדָה
לְמַעַן מִשְׁפָּטֶיךָ יְהוָה
8Zion heard and was glad
and the daughters of Judah rejoiced
on account of your judgments יְהוָה

כִּי אַתָּה יְהוָה עֶלְיוֹן
עַל כָּל הָאָרֶץ
מְאֹד נַעֲלֵיתָ עַל כָּל אֱלֹהִים
9for you יְהוָה are Most High
over all the earth
you are utterly ascended over all gods
אֹהֲבֵי יְהוָה שִׂנְאוּ רָע
שֹׁמֵר נַפְשׁוֹת חֲסִידָיו
מִיַּד רְשָׁעִים יַצִּילֵם
10those loving יְהוָה hate evil
he guards the beings of those who know his mercy
he delivers them from the hand of the wicked
אוֹר זָרֻעַ לַצַּדִּיק
וּלְיִשְׁרֵי לֵב שִׂמְחָה
11light is sown for the righteous
and gladness to the upright of heart
שִׂמְחוּ צַדִּיקִים בַּיהוָה
וְהוֹדוּ לְזֵכֶר קָדְשׁוֹ
12be glad in יְהוָה you righteous ones
and give thanks for the remembrance of his holiness
Hebrew words: 95. Percentage of Hebrew words that recur in this psalm: 43%. Average keywords per verse: 3.4.

2dark turbulence ערפל (`rpl) only here and in Psalm 18, recalls the darkness of Exodus 20:21 and of the people, perhaps ironically in Isaiah 60, the Surge Illuminare.
7[Hebrews 1:6]
9Ascended, עלה (`lh) is used for offering, for going up, for ascent, even climbing. It is the word of the offering of Isaac. The ascension of Jesus written of in the NT is part of the whole offering of his life and its acceptance. It is not then a magical space journey, but a recognition that the offering is complete and accepted. In the same way, the goodness of יְהוָה is noted in his superiority to other things that might be worshiped.
Selected recurring words in relative order

Word and gloss * first usage123456789101VsRoot
תגל let rejoice
1גיל
הארץ the earth
1ארץ
ישׂמחו let be glad
1שׂמח
סביביו surround him
2סבב
צדק righteousness
2צדק
ומשׁפט and judgment
2שׁפט
לפניו in his presence
3פנה
סביב surrounding
3סבב
האירו light
4אור
ראתה saw
4ראה
הארץ the earth
4ארץ
מלפני from the presence of
5פנה
מלפני from the presence of
5פנה
כל all
5כל
הארץ the earth
5ארץ
צדקו his righteousness
6צדק
וראו and see
6ראה
כל all
6כל
כל all
7כל
כל all
7כל
ותשׂמח and was glad
8שׂמח
ותגלנה and rejoiced
8גיל
משׁפטיך your judgments
8שׁפט
כל all
9כל
הארץ the earth
9ארץ
כל all
9כל
אור light
11אור
לצדיק for the righteous
11צדיק
שׂמחה gladness
11שׂמח
שׂמחו be glad
12שׂמח
צדיקים you righteous ones
12צדיק
Psalm 97
Translation and Notes last updated on 2012.06.16-11:27

Selected words occurring in each of psalms -96,-98 - The frame for Psalm 97.

Word and gloss * first usage123456789101234567892012VsStem
שׁירו sing
-96.1שׁיר
שׁיר a song
-96.1שׁיר
חדשׁ new
-96.1חדשׁ
שׁירו sing
-96.1שׁיר
כל all
-96.1כל
הארץ the earth
-96.1ארץ
שׁירו sing
-96.2שׁיר
ישׁועתו his salvation
-96.2ישׁע
בגוים among the nations
-96.3גוי
בכל to all
-96.3כל
העמים the peoples
-96.3עם
נפלאותיו his wonders
-96.3פלא
כל all
-96.4כל
כל all
-96.5כל
העמים the peoples
-96.5עם
עשׂה made
-96.5עשׂה
לפניו are in his presence
-96.6פנה
במקדשׁו in his sanctuary
-96.6קדשׁ
עמים the peoples
-96.7עם
ובאו and come
-96.8בוא
קדשׁ holiness
-96.9קדשׁ
מפניו from his presence
-96.9פנה
כל all
-96.9כל
הארץ the earth
-96.9ארץ
בגוים to the nations
-96.10גוי
מלך reigns
-96.10מלך
* תבל the world
-96.10תבל
עמים the peoples
-96.10עם
במישׁרים with uprightness
-96.10ישׁר
הארץ the earth
-96.11ארץ
ירעם let thunder
-96.11רעם
הים the sea
-96.11ים
ומלאו and its fullness
-96.11מלא
וכל and all
-96.12כל
ירננו will shout for joy
-96.12רנן
כל all
-96.12כל
לפני in the presence of
-96.13פנה
בא he comes
-96.13בוא
בא he comes
-96.13בוא
לשׁפט to judge
-96.13שׁפט
הארץ the earth
-96.13ארץ
ישׁפט he will judge
-96.13שׁפט
* תבל the world
-96.13תבל
בצדק in righteousness
-96.13צדק
ועמים and the peoples
-96.13עם
באמונתו in his faithfulness
-96.13אמן
שׁירו sing
-98.1שׁיר
שׁיר a song
-98.1שׁיר
חדשׁ new
-98.1חדשׁ
נפלאות wonders
-98.1פלא
עשׂה he has done
-98.1עשׂה
הושׁיעה brought salvation
-98.1ישׁע
קדשׁו holy
-98.1קדשׁ
ישׁועתו his salvation
-98.2ישׁע
הגוים the nations
-98.2גוי
צדקתו his righteousness
-98.2צדק
ואמונתו and his faithfulness
-98.3אמן
כל all
-98.3כל
ארץ the earth
-98.3ארץ
ישׁועת the salvation of
-98.3ישׁע
כל all
-98.4כל
הארץ the earth
-98.4ארץ
ורננו and shout for joy
-98.4רנן
לפני in the presence of
-98.6פנה
המלך the king
-98.6מלך
ירעם let thunder
-98.7רעם
הים the sea
-98.7ים
ומלאו and its fullness
-98.7מלא
תבל the world
-98.7תבל
ירננו shout for joy
-98.8רנן
לפני in the presence of
-98.9פנה
בא he comes
-98.9בוא
לשׁפט to judge
-98.9שׁפט
הארץ the earth
-98.9ארץ
ישׁפט he will judge
-98.9שׁפט
תבל the world
-98.9תבל
בצדק in righteousness
-98.9צדק
ועמים and the peoples
-98.9עם
במישׁרים in uprightness
-98.9ישׁר