Friday 13 March 2015

Job - the beginning of the poetic song

Chapter 3 begins the poetry of Job. The music reverts to the accents that are used in the Psalms. It is a syllabic rhythm rather than a word pulse as in the prologue.

Job 3 is strongly related to Genesis chapter 1 as are also the speeches of Yahweh in chapters 38-41 that respond to Job's complaint (quite directly, I think). I was struck by the repetition of a relatively rare three-letter root, נקב, a word that the King James version renders as 'curse'. I had chosen a coined word, degender, but it is now gone. Pierce works just fine. I wonder if it can stand its verbal birth. There is also another coinage. You'll note it I am sure.

I have put a pdf of the cantillation according to Vantoura here.

Here is my English reading. I've even included letter counts since I noted that there were many lines in some poems that have between 12 and 15 letters and I was curious. I have taken my usual care with repeating roots and of course, all my readings are soulless.

Not surprisingly, the focus in this chapter, the final repeated word, is dread, and perhaps there are frames: day for verses 1-8. light for verses 9-16, and shudder for the remainder of the poem. Lots of words in the domain of creation of course, at least 24%.

Job 3 Fn Min Max Syll
אַחֲרֵי־כֵ֗ן פָּתַ֤ח אִיּוֹב֙ אֶת־פִּ֔יהוּ וַיְקַלֵּ֖ל אֶת־יוֹמֽוֹ 1 So after this Job opened his mouth and slighted his day. 3e 4C 17
וַיַּ֥עַן אִיּ֗וֹב וַיֹּאמַֽר 2 And Job answered and said, 3e 3f 8
יֹ֣אבַד י֭וֹם‬ אִוָּ֣לֶד בּ֑וֹ
וְהַלַּ֥יְלָה אָ֝מַ֗ר הֹ֣רָה גָֽבֶר
3 B Perish! day when I was born,
and the night promising pregnancy of a valiant child.
3e 4B 7
הַיּ֥וֹם הַה֗וּא יְֽהִ֫י חֹ֥שֶׁךְ
אַֽל־יִדְרְשֵׁ֣הוּ אֱל֣וֹהַּ מִמָּ֑עַל
וְאַל־תּוֹפַ֖ע עָלָ֣יו נְהָרָֽה
4 f That day - let it be darkness.
Let God not search for it from above,
nor let a sunbeam on it shine.
3e 4B 8
יִגְאָלֻ֡הוּ חֹ֣שֶׁךְ וְ֭צַלְמָוֶת תִּשְׁכָּן־עָלָ֣יו עֲנָנָ֑ה
יְ֝בַעֲתֻ֗הוּ כִּֽמְרִ֥ירֵי יֽוֹם
5 Let darkness and shadows redeem it. Let a cloud dwell on it.
Let eclipses of the day alarm it.
3e 4B 17
הַלַּ֥יְלָה הַהוּא֮ יִקָּחֵ֪ה֫וּ אֹ֥פֶל
אַל־יִ֭חַדְּ בִּימֵ֣י שָׁנָ֑ה
בְּמִסְפַּ֥ר יְ֝רָחִ֗ים אַל־יָבֹֽא
6 The night, that very one, let gloom take it.
Let it not be cheered with the days of the year.
Into the count of moons let it not come.
3d 4B 11
הִנֵּ֤ה הַלַּ֣יְלָה הַ֭הוּא יְהִ֣י גַלְמ֑וּד
אַל־תָּבֹ֖א רְנָנָ֣ה בֽוֹ
7 Behold that night, let it be bleak.
Let come to it no shout.
3e 4C 11
יִקְּבֻ֥הוּ אֹרְרֵי־י֑וֹם
הָ֝עֲתִידִ֗ים עֹרֵ֥ר לִוְיָתָֽן
8 Let them pierce it that curse the day,
those eager to unleash Leviathan.
3e 4A 6
יֶחְשְׁכוּ֮ כּוֹכְבֵ֪י נִ֫שְׁפּ֥וֹ
יְקַו־לְא֥וֹר וָאַ֑יִן
וְאַל־יִ֝רְאֶ֗ה בְּעַפְעַפֵּי־שָֽׁחַר
9 Let the stars of its twilight be dark.
Let it expect light but have none.
Neither let it see the eyelids of dawn.
3d 4A 7
כִּ֤י לֹ֣א סָ֭גַר דַּלְתֵ֣י בִטְנִ֑י
וַיַּסְתֵּ֥ר עָ֝מָ֗ל מֵעֵינָֽי
10 C For it did not latch the portal to my belly-home,
and hide misery from my eyes.
3e 4C 8
לָ֤מָּה לֹּ֣א מֵרֶ֣חֶם אָמ֑וּת
מִבֶּ֖טֶן יָצָ֣אתִי וְאֶגְוָֽע
11 C Why did I not from the womb die,
from the belly exit and expire?
3e 4C 8
מַ֭דּוּעַ קִדְּמ֣וּנִי בִרְכָּ֑יִם
וּמַה־שָּׁ֝דַ֗יִם כִּ֣י אִינָֽק
12 g For what purpose did knees confront me,
and breasts that I should suckle?
3e 4B 9
כִּֽי־עַ֭תָּה שָׁכַ֣בְתִּי וְאֶשְׁק֑וֹט
יָ֝שַׁ֗נְתִּי אָ֤ז ׀ יָנ֬וּחַֽ לִֽי
13 For now I would be lying down and quiet.
I would be asleep then. It would be my rest,
3e 4C 8
עִם־מְ֭לָכִים וְיֹ֣עֲצֵי אָ֑רֶץ
הַבֹּנִ֖ים חֳרָב֣וֹת לָֽמוֹ
14 with kings and counselors of earth,
who built their deserts,
3e 4B 10
א֣וֹ עִם־שָׂ֭רִים זָהָ֣ב לָהֶ֑ם
הַֽמְמַלְאִ֖ים בָּתֵּיהֶ֣ם כָּֽסֶף
15 B or with nobility, their gold,
their houses filled with silver,
3e 4B 8
א֤וֹ‬ כְנֵ֣פֶל טָ֭מוּן לֹ֣א אֶהְיֶ֑ה
כְּ֝עֹלְלִ֗ים לֹא־רָ֥אוּ אֽוֹר
16 C or as a miscarriage buried I had not been,
as infants who did not see light.
3e 4C 9
שָׁ֣ם רְ֭שָׁעִים חָ֣דְלוּ רֹ֑גֶז
וְשָׁ֥ם יָ֝נ֗וּחוּ יְגִ֣יעֵי כֹֽחַ
17 B There the wicked set aside shuddering,
and there rest those who are weary of power.
3e 4B 8
יַ֭חַד אֲסִירִ֣ים שַׁאֲנָ֑נוּ
לֹ֥א שָׁ֝מְע֗וּ ק֣וֹל נֹגֵֽשׂ
18 g Together prisoners are tranquil.
They do not hear an exacting voice.
3e 4B 9
קָטֹ֣ן וְ֭גָדוֹל שָׁ֣ם ה֑וּא
וְ֝עֶ֗בֶד חָפְשִׁ֥י מֵאֲדֹנָֽיו
19 Unimportant or great, there it is.
And a servant is free from its lords.
3e 4B 7
לָ֤מָּה יִתֵּ֣ן לְעָמֵ֣ל א֑וֹר
וְ֝חַיִּ֗ים לְמָ֣רֵי נָֽפֶשׁ
20 C Why give to the miserable light,
and life to the bitter self?
3e 4C 8
הַֽמְחַכִּ֣ים לַמָּ֣וֶת וְאֵינֶ֑נּוּ
וַֽ֝יַּחְפְּרֻ֗הוּ מִמַּטְמוֹנִֽים
21 Those tarrying for death and it is not,
and who excavate for it more than buried treasure,
3e 4B 10
הַשְּׂמֵחִ֥ים אֱלֵי־גִ֑יל
יָ֝שִׂ֗ישׂוּ כִּ֣י יִמְצְאוּ־קָֽבֶר
22 who are glad even to being overjoyed,
rejoicing that they find a tomb.
3e 4B 6
לְ֭גֶבֶר אֲשֶׁר־דַּרְכּ֣וֹ נִסְתָּ֑רָה
וַיָּ֖סֶךְ אֱל֣וֹהַּ בַּעֲדֽוֹ
23 g ... to the valiant whose way is hidden,
from whom God has screened himself.
3e 4B 10
כִּֽי־לִפְנֵ֣י לַ֭חְמִי אַנְחָתִ֣י תָבֹ֑א
וַֽיִּתְּכ֥וּ כַ֝מַּ֗יִם שַׁאֲגֹתָֽי
24 For in the face of my bread, my sighing comes,
and poured forth like waters are my roarings.
3e 4B 10
כִּ֤י פַ֣חַד פָּ֭חַדְתִּי וַיֶּאֱתָיֵ֑נִי
וַאֲשֶׁ֥ר יָ֝גֹ֗רְתִּי יָ֣בֹא לִֽי
25 C For the dread I dreaded has arrived,
and what I was afraid of is come to me.
3e 4C 12
לֹ֤א שָׁלַ֨וְתִּי ׀ וְלֹ֖א שָׁקַ֥טְתִּי וְֽלֹא־נָ֗חְתִּי וַיָּ֥בֹא רֹֽגֶז פ 26 C I have no ease nor am I quiet nor am I at rest and shuddering has come. P 3e 4C 19

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