Sunday, February 22, 2015

Lamentations 3

word, by word, line by line - eventually you get a big pile. Hopefully not a bleak landscape. What are we to learn from a poem in the shape of a triple alphabetic acrostic?

In the music, there is no mid-verse cadence until verse 56. Even if you believe that short verses don't deserve a rest, I still think this is an odd construction. Each verse is effectively three verses since they are so broken up and there is a pause every third verse without fail. And no rest on the subdominant except once.  Note the word that it is on (it's the only verse with a line break). The music is out there in the usual place as pdf.

There are of course lots of repeating words - note 'all the day long' in verses 3, 14, and 62. It's easier to make you look. Those that repeat 3 and 4 times are below the text.

These lines come out of the experience of the destruction of the temple in 586 BCE. They can be applied to the death of Jesus also. The speaker, a singular 'I' is the voice of the whole people. Compare Psalms 42 to 44. 42-43 are singular, 44 is plural. Same voice though.

Imagine Iraq or Syria or Libya today - and wonder how something else might prevail.

Lamentations 3
אֲנִ֤י הַגֶּ֙בֶר֙ רָאָ֣ה עֳנִ֔י בְּשֵׁ֖בֶט עֶבְרָתֽוֹ
1
Am I the one who prevails? He has seen poverty through the sceptre of his fury.
אוֹתִ֥י נָהַ֛ג וַיֹּלַ֖ךְ חֹ֥שֶׁךְ וְלֹא־אֽוֹר
2
Advanced me he has, but led into darkness and not light.
אַ֣ךְ בִּ֥י יָשֻׁ֛ב יַהֲפֹ֥ךְ יָד֖וֹ כָּל־הַיּֽוֹם ס
3
Against me surely he has turned. He has changed his hand all the day long. S
בִּלָּ֤ה בְשָׂרִי֙ וְעוֹרִ֔י שִׁבַּ֖ר עַצְמוֹתָֽי
4
Broke my bones, worn out my flesh and my naked skin.
בָּנָ֥ה עָלַ֛י וַיַּקַּ֖ף רֹ֥אשׁ וּתְלָאָֽה
5
Built against me and encompassed venom and fatigue.
בְּמַחֲשַׁכִּ֥ים הוֹשִׁיבַ֖נִי כְּמֵתֵ֥י עוֹלָֽם ס
6
Bid me sit in dark places as the dead of the era. S
גָּדַ֧ר בַּעֲדִ֛י וְלֹ֥א אֵצֵ֖א הִכְבִּ֥יד נְחָשְׁתִּֽי
7
Guard-fences about me so I cannot escape, making heavy my brass chains.
גַּ֣ם כִּ֤י אֶזְעַק֙ וַאֲשַׁוֵּ֔עַ שָׂתַ֖ם תְּפִלָּתִֽי 
8
Groaning even, for I appeal and cry for help. He obstructs my prayer.
גָּדַ֤ר דְּרָכַי֙ בְּגָזִ֔ית נְתִיבֹתַ֖י עִוָּֽה ס
9
Guard-fenced my ways with cut-stones, my pathways perverse. S
דֹּ֣ב אֹרֵ֥ב הוּא֙ לִ֔י אֲרִ֖י בְּמִסְתָּרִֽים
10
Dreadful lurking bear he is to me, a lion in secret lairs.
דְּרָכַ֥י סוֹרֵ֛ר וַֽיְפַשְּׁחֵ֖נִי שָׂמַ֥נִי שֹׁמֵֽם
11
Dismembering me, departing me from my ways, rendering me desolate.
דָּרַ֤ךְ קַשְׁתוֹ֙ וַיַּצִּיבֵ֔נִי כַּמַּטָּרָ֖א לַחֵֽץ ס
12
Directing his bow, and taking his stand with me as the target for the arrow. S
הֵבִיא֙ בְּכִלְיוֹתָ֔י בְּנֵ֖י אַשְׁפָּתֽוֹ
13
He enters my vital centres with the children of his quiver.
הָיִ֤יתִי שְּׂחֹק֙ לְכָל־עַמִּ֔י נְגִינָתָ֖ם כָּל־הַיּֽוֹם
14
Hilarity I have become to all my people, their string to play all the day long.
הִשְׂבִּיעַ֥נִי בַמְּרוֹרִ֖ים הִרְוַ֥נִי לַעֲנָֽה ס
15
He has satisfied me with bitterness. He has saturated me with wormwood. S
וַיַּגְרֵ֤ס בֶּֽחָצָץ֙ שִׁנָּ֔י הִכְפִּישַׁ֖נִי בָּאֵֽפֶר
16
Violence to my teeth he has done with ground up arrowheads. He has made me cower in the ashes.
וַתִּזְנַ֧ח מִשָּׁל֛וֹם נַפְשִׁ֖י נָשִׁ֥יתִי טוֹבָֽה
17
Very far is my being rejected from peace. I am oblivious to what is good.
וָאֹמַר֙ אָבַ֣ד נִצְחִ֔י וְתוֹחַלְתִּ֖י מֵיְהוָֽה ס
18
Victory that was mine is perished, I said, also my hope from Yahweh. S
זְכָר־עָנְיִ֥י וּמְרוּדִ֖י לַעֲנָ֥ה וָרֹֽאשׁ
19
Zeroing in on my poverty and my miseries, wormwood and gall.
זָכ֣וֹר תִּזְכּ֔וֹר וְתָשׁ֥וֹחַ עָלַ֖י נַפְשִֽׁי
20
Zealous in memory but pressed onto me is my being.
זֹ֛את אָשִׁ֥יב אֶל־לִבִּ֖י עַל־כֵּ֥ן אוֹחִֽיל ס
21
Zigzags this into my heart, therefore I hope. S
חַֽסְדֵ֤י יְהוָה֙ כִּ֣י לֹא־תָ֔מְנוּ כִּ֥י לֹא־כָל֖וּ רַחֲמָֽיו
22
How by the mercies of Yahweh we are not completed, for his compassions are not consumed.
חֲדָשִׁים֙ לַבְּקָרִ֔ים רַבָּ֖ה אֱמוּנָתֶֽךָ
23
He makes them new every morning. Great is your faithfulness.
חֶלְקִ֤י יְהוָה֙ אָמְרָ֣ה נַפְשִׁ֔י עַל־כֵּ֖ן אוֹחִ֥יל לֽוֹ ס
24
He Yahweh is my share, says my being. Therefore I hope in him. S
ט֤וֹב יְהוָה֙ לְקוָֹ֔ו לְנֶ֖פֶשׁ תִּדְרְשֶֽׁנּוּ
25
To those who wait for him Yahweh is good, to the being that searches for him.
ט֤וֹב וְיָחִיל֙ וְדוּמָ֔ם לִתְשׁוּעַ֖ת יְהוָֽה
26
That one should hope is good, mute for the salvation of Yahweh.
ט֣וֹב לַגֶּ֔בֶר כִּֽי־יִשָּׂ֥א עֹ֖ל בִּנְעוּרָֽיו ס
27
To bear a shackle is good for the valiant in its youth. S
יֵשֵׁ֤ב בָּדָד֙ וְיִדֹּ֔ם כִּ֥י נָטַ֖ל עָלָֽיו
28
Yonder seated in solitude and mute, for it tolerates it.
יִתֵּ֤ן בֶּֽעָפָר֙ פִּ֔יהוּ אוּלַ֖י יֵ֥שׁ תִּקְוָֽה
29
Yielding in the dust its mouth, as if there is expectation.
יִתֵּ֧ן לְמַכֵּ֛הוּ לֶ֖חִי יִשְׂבַּ֥ע בְּחֶרְפָּֽה ס
30
Yielding cheek to the striker, sated with reproach. S
כִּ֣י לֹ֥א יִזְנַ֛ח לְעוֹלָ֖ם אֲדֹנָֽי
31
'Cause my Lord will not reject for ever.
כִּ֣י אִם־הוֹגָ֔ה וְרִחַ֖ם כְּרֹ֥ב חֲסָדָֽיו
32
Kindness from him is manifold. If he give sadness, he will also be compassionate.
כִּ֣י לֹ֤א עִנָּה֙ מִלִּבּ֔וֹ וַיַּגֶּ֖ה בְנֵי־אִֽישׁ ס
33
Kids he does not afflict from his heart nor make a person sad. S
לְדַכֵּא֙ תַּ֣חַת רַגְלָ֔יו כֹּ֖ל אֲסִ֥ירֵי אָֽרֶץ
34
Look at the crushing under foot of all the prisoners of the earth.
לְהַטּוֹת֙ מִשְׁפַּט־גָּ֔בֶר נֶ֖גֶד פְּנֵ֥י עֶלְיֽוֹן
35
Look at the bend of the judgment of the valiant in front of the face of the Highest.
לְעַוֵּ֤ת אָדָם֙ בְּרִיב֔וֹ אֲדֹנָ֖י לֹ֥א רָאָֽה ס
36
Look at the perversion of a human's cause. Does not my Lord see? S
מִ֣י זֶ֤ה אָמַר֙ וַתֶּ֔הִי אֲדֹנָ֖י לֹ֥א צִוָּֽה
37
My Lord does not command it. Who is it who says and it happens?
מִפִּ֤י עֶלְיוֹן֙ לֹ֣א תֵצֵ֔א הָרָע֖וֹת וְהַטּֽוֹב
38
May it not be that from the mouth of the Highest emerges the evils and the good? 
מַה־יִּתְאוֹנֵן֙ אָדָ֣ם חָ֔י גֶּ֖בֶר עַל־חטאו חֲטָאָֽיו ס
39
May living humus cavil? a valiant one about its sin? S
נַחְפְּשָׂ֤ה דְרָכֵ֙ינוּ֙ וְֽנַחְקֹ֔רָה וְנָשׁ֖וּבָה עַד־יְהוָֽה
40
Now let us plan our ways and examine and return to Yahweh.
נִשָּׂ֤א לְבָבֵ֙נוּ֙ אֶל־כַּפָּ֔יִם אֶל־אֵ֖ל בַּשָּׁמָֽיִם
41
Now let us lift up our heart with open palms to the One in the heavens.
נַ֤חְנוּ פָשַׁ֙עְנוּ֙ וּמָרִ֔ינוּ אַתָּ֖ה לֹ֥א סָלָֽחְתָּ ס
42
Note that it is we who have transgressed and have been provocative. You yourself have not forgiven. S
סַכֹּ֤תָה בָאַף֙ וַֽתִּרְדְּפֵ֔נוּ הָרַ֖גְתָּ לֹ֥א חָמָֽלְתָּ
43
Such anger with which you have overshadowed and hunted us. You have slain. You have not pitied.
סַכּ֤וֹתָה בֶֽעָנָן֙ לָ֔ךְ מֵעֲב֖וֹר תְּפִלָּֽה
44
Shadowed in your cloud from furious prayer,
סְחִ֧י וּמָא֛וֹס תְּשִׂימֵ֖נוּ בְּקֶ֥רֶב הָעַמִּֽים ס
45
scrapings and refuse you have labeled us in the minds of the peoples. S
פָּצ֥וּ עָלֵ֛ינוּ פִּיהֶ֖ם כָּל־אֹיְבֵֽינוּ
46
Parted open against us are the mouths of all our enemies.
פַּ֧חַד וָפַ֛חַת הָ֥יָה לָ֖נוּ הַשֵּׁ֥את וְהַשָּֽׁבֶר
47
Panic and dread have become ours, ruin and brokenness.
פַּלְגֵי־מַ֙יִם֙ תֵּרַ֣ד עֵינִ֔י עַל־שֶׁ֖בֶר בַּת־עַמִּֽי ס
48
Plunging waters flood my eyes at the brokenness of the daughter of my people. S
עֵינִ֧י נִגְּרָ֛ה וְלֹ֥א תִדְמֶ֖ה מֵאֵ֥ין הֲפֻגֽוֹת
49
Undone is my eye, wrung out without ceasing, numbed without intermission,
עַד־יַשְׁקִ֣יף וְיֵ֔רֶא יְהוָ֖ה מִשָּׁמָֽיִם
50
until Yahweh leans over to look down and see from heaven.
עֵינִי֙ עֽוֹלְלָ֣ה לְנַפְשִׁ֔י מִכֹּ֖ל בְּנ֥וֹת עִירִֽי ס
51
Under my eye is wantonness that is mine from all the daughters of my city. S
צ֥וֹד צָד֛וּנִי כַּצִּפּ֖וֹר אֹיְבַ֥י חִנָּֽם
52
Chased as a bird, my enemies chased me for nothing.
צָֽמְת֤וּ בַבּוֹר֙ חַיָּ֔י וַיַּדּוּ־אֶ֖בֶן בִּֽי
53
Clipped off they have, in the pit, my life, and they throw a stone on me.
צָֽפוּ־מַ֥יִם עַל־רֹאשִׁ֖י אָמַ֥רְתִּי נִגְזָֽרְתִּי ס
54
Cascading waters are over my head. I said, I am parted. S
קָרָ֤אתִי שִׁמְךָ֙ יְהוָ֔ה מִבּ֖וֹר תַּחְתִּיּֽוֹת
55
Queried I the name of Yahweh from the pit's lowest parts.
קוֹלִ֖י שָׁמָ֑עְתָּ
אַל־תַּעְלֵ֧ם אָזְנְךָ֛ לְרַוְחָתִ֖י לְשַׁוְעָתִֽי
56
Quest of mine you heard.
Do not obscure your ear to my spirit in my crying.
קָרַ֙בְתָּ֙ בְּי֣וֹם אֶקְרָאֶ֔ךָּ אָמַ֖רְתָּ אַל־תִּירָֽא ס
57
Quite near you were in the day I called to you. You said, You will not fear. S
רַ֧בְתָּ אֲדֹנָ֛י רִיבֵ֥י נַפְשִׁ֖י גָּאַ֥לְתָּ חַיָּֽי
58
Redeemed my life you have. You have contended, my Lord, my own contentions.
רָאִ֤יתָה יְהוָה֙ עַוָּ֣תָתִ֔י שָׁפְטָ֖ה מִשְׁפָּטִֽי
59
Regarded you have, Yahweh, my distortion. Judge my judgment.
רָאִ֙יתָה֙ כָּל־נִקְמָתָ֔ם כָּל־מַחְשְׁבֹתָ֖ם לִֽי ס
60
Regarded you have all their vengeance,
all their devisings about me. S
שָׁמַ֤עְתָּ חֶרְפָּתָם֙ יְהוָ֔ה כָּל־מַחְשְׁבֹתָ֖ם עָלָֽי
61
So hear their reproach Yahweh, all their devisings against me.
שִׂפְתֵ֤י קָמַי֙ וְהֶגְיוֹנָ֔ם עָלַ֖י כָּל־הַיּֽוֹם
62
Sneering lips and their chanting against me all the day long.
שִׁבְתָּ֤ם וְקִֽימָתָם֙ הַבִּ֔יטָה אֲנִ֖י מַנְגִּינָתָֽם ס
63
See and take note! their sitting and their arising. I am their music. S
תָּשִׁ֨יב לָהֶ֥ם גְּמ֛וּל יְהוָ֖ה כְּמַעֲשֵׂ֥ה יְדֵיהֶֽם
64
To them return a reward, Yahweh, according to the deeds of their hands.
תִּתֵּ֤ן לָהֶם֙ מְגִנַּת־לֵ֔ב תַּאֲלָֽתְךָ֖ לָהֶֽם
65
To them give a heart's shield, your avowal to them.
תִּרְדֹּ֤ף בְּאַף֙ וְתַשְׁמִידֵ֔ם מִתַּ֖חַת שְׁמֵ֥י יְהוָֽה פ
66
To them be your pursuit in anger and exterminate them from under the name of Yahweh. P

Selected words repeating between 3 and 4 times - just a selection...
Word / Gloss123456789101234567892012VSSStem
הגבר the one who prevails
1גבר
ישׁב he has turned
3שׁוב
היום the day long
3יום
שׁבר broke
4שׁבר
ראשׁ venom
5ראשׁ
עולם the age
6עלם
דרכי my ways
9דרך
דרכי my ways
11דרך
דרך directing
12דרך
הייתי I have become
14היה
עמי my people
14עם
היום the day long
14יום
ותוחלתי also my hope
18יחל
זכר zeroing in on
19זכר
וראשׁ and gall
19ראשׁ
זכור zealous
20זכר
תזכור in memory
20זכר
אשׁיב zigzags
21שׁוב
לבי my heart
21לב
אוחיל I hope
21יחל
אוחיל I wait expectantly
24יחל
ויחיל that one should hope
26יחל
ודומם mute
26דמה
לגבר for the valiant
27גבר
וידם and mute
28דמה
יתן yielding
29נתן
פיהו its mouth
29פה
יתן yielding
30נתן
לעולם forever
31עלם
אדני my lord
31אדון
מלבו from his heart
33לב
תחת under
34תחת
משׁפט the judgment of
35שׁפט
גבר the valiant
35גבר
בריבו cause
36ריב
אדני my lord
36אדון
ותהי and it happens
37היה
אדני my lord
37אדון
מפי from the mouth of
38פה
חי living
39חיה
גבר a valiant one
39גבר
דרכינו
40דרך
ונשׁובה -
40שׁוב
העמים the peoples
45עם
פיהם the mouths of
46פה
היה have become
47היה
והשׁבר brokenness
47שׁבר
עיני my eyes
48עין
שׁבר the brokenness of
48שׁבר
עמי my people
48עם
עיני is my eye
49עין
תדמה undone
49דמה
עיני under my eye is
51עין
חיי my life
53חיה
ראשׁי my head
54ראשׁ
תחתיות lowest parts
55תחת
תעלם do obscure
56עלם
ביום in the day
57יום
רבת you have contended
58ריב
אדני my Lord
58אדון
ריבי my contentions
58ריב
חיי my life
58חיה
שׁפטה judge
59שׁפט
משׁפטי my judgment
59שׁפט
היום the day long
62יום
תשׁיב return
64שׁוב
להם to them
64הם
תתן give
65נתן
להם to them
65הם
לב heart's
65לב
להם to them
65הם
מתחת from under
66תחת




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