Sunday, July 28, 2013

Today's Psalm 85

It's pretty hard to beat today's psalm for beauty. For the sake of example, I have removed several recurring words. The result shows a different poetic strategy to the circular patterns observable in other psalms. Here we have a progressive and climax seeking pattern. It may even be reinforced by some of the words I removed. But what is left shows a progression of recurrence (and there are clearly some circles as well evident from the table). The focus keeps moving forward as the poem is written from land, to people, to salvation, to kindness, to peace, to truth, to righteousness.  Verse 11 is hard to forget.
חֶסֶד וֶאֱמֶת נִפְגָּשׁוּ
צֶדֶק וְשָׁלוֹם נָשָׁקוּ
....Kindness and truth have met together
righteousness and peace have kissed each other

Selected recurring words
Word and gloss * first usage123456789VsRoot
ארצך with your land
2ארץ
שׁבת you turned
2שׁוב
עמך your people
3עם
השׁיבות you have turned
4שׁוב
שׁובנו turn us
5שׁוב
ישׁענו our salvation
5ישׁע
עמנו with us
5עם
תשׁוב you turn
7שׁוב
ועמך so your people
7עם
חסדך your kindness
8חסד
וישׁעך and your salvation
8ישׁע
תתן give
8נתן
שׁלום peace
9שׁלם
עמו his people
9עם
ישׁובו let them turn
9שׁוב
ישׁעו his salvation
10ישׁע
בארצנו in our land
10ארץ
חסד kindness
11חסד
ואמת and truth
11אמת
צדק righteousness
11צדק
ושׁלום and peace
11שׁלם
אמת truth
12אמת
מארץ from earth
12ארץ
וצדק and righteousness
12צדק
יתן gives
13נתן
וארצנו and our land
13ארץ
תתן gives
13נתן
צדק righteousness
14צדק