Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Singing the Scriptures - The Music of Jonah 3:6-10

Here we are again at this tale of Jonah - only two more posts to go after this. The role of the king here is remarkable. He calls for repentance from the whole community including the animals. Talk about being implicated in the sin of the world! He acts parallel to Jesus in the foot washing, who put aside his robes and girded himself with a towel. The king of Nineveh manages sack cloth, a word in Hebrew that sounds just like the English equivalent. And the king sits in an ash-heap. In my book on the psalms, I suggest we are all monarchs of our sovereign realms. Perhaps we too, lifted from the ash-heap, can identify with the king - and with Jesus - and maybe use our towels to wash the feet of others.

The double ornament we have been observing occurs over actions this time - the king's rising and his proclamation. You will note that word 'taste' in my translation. Taste is the name of the symbols for the music - it is also the word for a slight madness! And it is the word for testing to see (O taste and see - Psalm 34:1,9) if this God is good or not.  I translated God as 'this God' because he has a certain distance in this story (Yhwh to come will reveal a closer reality) and also Elohim always occurs here with the definite article - an odd usage that also occurs in Qoheleth.

My verification of the music here is at the draft stage only. I works pretty well in draft for this story. Not so well with Psalm 32 which I am also working of which more later, perhaps...