Thursday, January 22, 2015

Psalm 16

This translation makes some guesses as to what the psalm 'means'. The problem of who is talking to whom is magnified in this psalm. In verse 1 the poet and the reader address God, seeking refuge. In verse 2a, the poet addresses himself, so it could read I said rather than you said. Or perhaps the poet is in dialogue with another unnamed person. Verse 2b reaffirms trust and recognizes the immense difference between my good and יהוה ’s good. There is a rest on of them in verse 3. The holy ones and majesties, I have taken as the same as those of verse 4 who following, rush headlong. Verse 5 closes the first section of the poem. Verses 1 to 5 are linked by the second person pronoun. (Right hand column is syllable counts between line breaks in the Hebrew. Line breaks usually correspond to cadences and accents.)

Psalms 16 Fn Min Max Syll
מִכְתָּ֥ם לְדָוִ֑ד
שָֽׁמְרֵ֥נִי אֵ֝֗ל כִּֽי־חָסִ֥יתִי בָֽךְ
1 From gold, concerning atonement, through inscription, of David.
Keep me O God for I take refuge in you.
3e 4A 5
אָמַ֣רְתְּ לַֽ֭יהוָה אֲדֹנָ֣י אָ֑תָּה
ט֝וֹבָתִ֗י בַּל־עָלֶֽיךָ
2 You said to Yahweh, You are my Lord,
my good pales beside you.
3e 4B 10
לִ֭קְדוֹשִׁים אֲשֶׁר־בָּאָ֣רֶץ הֵ֑מָּה
וְ֝אַדִּירֵ֗י כָּל־חֶפְצִי־בָֽם
3 g About the holy ones that are in the earth, of them,
and of majesties ... Is all my delight in them?
3e 4B 10
יִרְבּ֥וּ עַצְּבוֹתָם֮ אַחֵ֪ר מָ֫הָ֥רוּ
בַּל־אַסִּ֣יךְ נִסְכֵּיהֶ֣ם מִדָּ֑ם
וּֽבַל־אֶשָּׂ֥א אֶת־שְׁ֝מוֹתָ֗ם עַל־שְׂפָתָֽי
4 Let their idols increase. Following they rush headlong.
I will not spill out their libations with blood,
neither will I bear their names on my lips.
3d 4B 10
יְֽהוָ֗ה מְנָת־חֶלְקִ֥י וְכוֹסִ֑י
אַ֝תָּ֗ה תּוֹמִ֥יךְ גּוֹרָלִֽי
5 Yahweh is the portion of my share and my cup.
You yourself maintain my lot.

3e 4A 9
חֲבָלִ֣ים נָֽפְלוּ־לִ֭י בַּנְּעִמִ֑ים
אַף־נַ֝חֲלָ֗ת שָֽׁפְרָ֥ה עָלָֽי
6 Pledges have fallen to me in pleasures.
Indeed for me there is a glistening inheritance.
3e 4B 9
אֲבָרֵ֗ךְ אֶת־יְ֭הוָה אֲשֶׁ֣ר יְעָצָ֑נִי
אַף־לֵ֝יל֗וֹת יִסְּר֥וּנִי כִלְיוֹתָֽי
7 I will bless Yahweh who advises me.
Indeed in the nights my vital centre chastens me.

3e 4B 12
שִׁוִּ֬יתִי יְהוָ֣ה לְנֶגְדִּ֣י תָמִ֑יד
כִּ֥י מִֽ֝ימִינִ֗י בַּל־אֶמּֽוֹט
8 I have agreed with Yahweh in front of me continually,
for he is at my right hand so I will not be moved.
3e 4B 10
לָכֵ֤ן ׀ שָׂמַ֣ח לִ֭בִּי וַיָּ֣גֶל כְּבוֹדִ֑י
אַף־בְּ֝שָׂרִ֗י יִשְׁכֹּ֥ן לָבֶֽטַח
9 So my heart will be glad and my glory rejoice.
Indeed my flesh will dwell in trust.

3e 4C 12
כִּ֤י ׀ לֹא־תַעֲזֹ֣ב נַפְשִׁ֣י לִשְׁא֑וֹל
לֹֽא־תִתֵּ֥ן חֲ֝סִידְךָ֗ לִרְא֥וֹת שָֽׁחַת
10 C For you will not forsake me to the grave.
You will not permit one within your mercy to see destruction.
3e 4C 8
תּֽוֹדִיעֵנִי֮ אֹ֤רַח חַ֫יִּ֥ים
שֹׂ֣בַע שְׂ֭מָחוֹת אֶת־פָּנֶ֑יךָ
נְעִמ֖וֹת בִּימִינְךָ֣ נֶֽצַח
11 You will make known to me a path of life,
satisfaction of gladness in your presence,
pleasures at your right hand always.
3e 4C 8