Saturday, April 6, 2013

Isaiah 24:1-13 - The Apocalypse - recurrence patterns

How does one see patterns? Are they really there? Or are they an accident?

What this pattern analysis does is to see if the Hebrew has any particular shape and then to see if the Greek (or any other translation) uses the same repetition, or at least respects the rhetoric - and sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't.

So what is the shape of the Hebrew? Is it materially different from the shapes observable in the Psalms? In the psalms I look for circles, concentric or intersecting, and what they surround. I also look for verses that have very low recurrence. I observe focus - the last recurring pair (wine in this case - curious eh?), and words that recur several times.

I did a bit of the music for this passage too with a stark English translation.

First - and somewhat obvious: I notice that the earth (ארץ) is frequently used in this passage.  But is it the earth or the land?  They are both the same in Hebrew.  You can see that the Greek has not been quite consistent. But besides the earth there are the inhabitants - I will bet the music is mournful. It begins with a descending major third.
Selected recurring words (more than three times). 
Word and gloss * first usage12VsRoot
הארץ τὴν οἰκουμένην
1ארץ
ישׁביה τοὺς ἐνοικοῦντας ἐν αὐτῇ
1ישׁב
הארץ ἡ γῆ
3ארץ
הארץ ἡ γῆ
4ארץ
הארץ τῆς γῆς
4ארץ
והארץ ἡ δὲ γῆ
5ארץ
ישׁביה κατοικοῦντας αὐτήν
5ישׁב
ארץ τὴν γῆν
6ארץ
ישׁבי οἱ κατοικοῦντες
6ישׁב
ישׁבי οἱ ἐνοικοῦντες
6ישׁב
ארץ ἐν τῇ γῇ
6ארץ
הארץ τῆς γῆς
11ארץ
הארץ τῇ γῇ
13ארץ
There is a feature in verses 7 to 11. It shows the circles surrounding the key verse that the prophet is preaching or that the liturgist is singing about.
Selected recurring words (7 to 11).
Word and gloss * first usage12345VsRoot
כל πάντες
7כל
שׂמחי οἱ εὐφραινόμενοι
7שׂמח
שׁבת πέπαυται
8שׁבת
משׂושׂ εὐφροσύνη
8שׂושׂ
שׁבת πέπαυται
8שׁבת
משׂושׂ φωνὴ
8שׂושׂ
יין οἶνον
9יין
כל
10כל
היין τοῦ οἴνου
11יין
כל πᾶσα
11כל
שׂמחה εὐφροσύνη
11שׂמח
משׂושׂ --
11שׂושׂ
What verses are sparse with respect to recurrence?  Verses 9 and 10 have only one recurring word each. So the feature in verses 7 to 11 is confirmed, the central verse being verse 10. Here's the Greek of Isaiah 24:10 in Ottley's translation
Every city is made desolate; it shall shut up the house, that none come in.
This verse is surrounded by intersecting circles: all - gladness - joy - and the concentric wine.

There are several words used twice only that show a different pattern: a succession of pairs. Note that groups of verses are defined now by specific frames: Lord, mourning, left. Two of these overlap, reinforcing the therefore.
Selected recurring words (twice only)
Word and gloss * first usage123456789101VsRoot
יהוה Κύριος
1יהוה
כמלוה καὶ ὁ δανίζων
2לוה
כלוה ὡς ὁ δανιζόμενος
2לוה
והבוז καὶ προνομῇ
3בזז
תבז προνομευθήσεται ἡ γῆ
3בזז
יהוה Κυρίου
3יהוה
דבר στόμα
3דבר
הדבר ἐλάλησεν
3דבר
אבלה ἐπένθησεν
4אבל
נבלה --
4נבל
נבלה --
4נבל
כן τοῦτο
6כן
כן τοῦτο
6כן
ונשׁאר καὶ καταλειφθήσονται
6שׁאר
אבל πενθήσει
7אבל
שׂמחי οἱ εὐφραινόμενοι
7שׂמח
שׁבת πέπαυται
8שׁבת
שׁבת πέπαυται
8שׁבת
יין οἶνον
9יין
היין τοῦ οἴνου
11יין
שׂמחה εὐφροσύνη
11שׂמח
נשׁאר καὶ καταλειφθήσονται
12שׁאר