Monday, August 24, 2015

Job 9 - recurrence, music, and text

This is the first half of Job's reply to Bildad. In it he prepares himself to speak to God directly. Only in Job and the Psalms do we have these poems of direct speech. My reading differs from traditional readings at several points. Some verses seemed impossible to read traditionally with what almost seemed the invention of a homonym to conform to a guessed meaning. I should explore these verses in more detail (e.g. verse 26 which I have read as irony rather than a parallel - REB is not bad for once but I did not follow it today.) Also verse 24 to me seems quite transparent. (REB leaves out the last 4 words).

Bear in mind that it is always possible I will change my mind on a reading. (Who would not with this difficult book?)

Five words occur more than 4 times in the chapter, they are if, not, say, answer and the interrogative who/where. This reveals a dense mental pattern of personal questioning. These are the only words that recur in the last 11 verses (25-35). If I were dividing the poem in sections, I might chose 1-10, 11-23, and 24-35.

ויעןּ and answered
1ענּה
ויאמּר and said
1אמּר
אםּ if
3אםּ
לא not
3לא
יענּנּו one can answer him
3ענּה
מּי who
4מּי
ולא and not
5לא
האמּר saying
7אמּר
ולא and not
7לא
ולא and not
11לא
ולא and not
11לא
מּי who
12מּי
מּי who
12מּי
יאמּר will say
12אמּר
לא not
13לא
אענּנּו I answer him
14ענּה
אםּ if
15אםּ
לא not
15לא
אענּה I would answer
15ענּה
אםּ if
16אםּ
ויענּנּי and he answers me
16ענּה
לא not
16לא
לא not
18לא
אםּ if
19אםּ
ואםּ and if
19אםּ
מּי where
19מּי
אםּ if
20אםּ
לא not
21לא
אמּרתּי I said
22אמּר
אםּ if
23אםּ
אםּ if
24אםּ
לא not
24לא
מּי where
24מּי
לא no
25לא
אםּ if
27אםּ
אמּרי I say
27אמּר
לא not
28לא
אםּ if
30אםּ
לא not
32לא
אענּנּו I answer him
32ענּה
לא not
33לא
ולא and not
35לא
לא not
35לא
Three verses 1, 9, 21 stand out as undivided in the music. Verse 11 begins on a high C and perhaps this suggests a new section, a bit of an outburst.

I am tempted to try to analyse musical sequences, but a cursory glance is difficult to remember. Music requires the aural memory and that is experiential and requires extensive real time. Verses 3, 20, 23, and 27 have the same simple approach to the atenach: a triad up and a note down. These verses also have similarly shaped lower tessitura second verse-halves. This does not appear at first glance to be significant. They are, however, all conditional sentences and they seem to surround phases of the internal argument - so maybe there is some rationale for the musician's choice. Here is a PDF.

And here's my text. 
וַיַּ֥עַן אִיּ֗וֹב וַיֹּאמַֽר1And Job answered and said,813
אָ֭מְנָם יָדַ֣עְתִּי כִי־כֵ֑ן
וּמַה־יִּצְדַּ֖ק אֱנ֣וֹשׁ עִם־אֵֽל
2Truly I know that is so.
And how is a mortal righteous with the One!
7
8
13
15
אִם־יַ֭חְפֹּץ לָרִ֣יב עִמּ֑וֹ
לֹֽא־יַ֝עֲנֶ֗נּוּ אַחַ֥ת מִנִּי־אָֽלֶף
3If one delighted to contend with him,
one cannot answer him once in a thousand.
7
10
13
16
חֲכַ֣ם לֵ֭בָב וְאַמִּ֣יץ כֹּ֑חַ
מִֽי־הִקְשָׁ֥ה אֵ֝לָ֗יו וַיִּשְׁלָֽם
4Shrewd of heart or assured of power
who hardens against him and remains whole?
9
8
13
15
הַמַּעְתִּ֣יק הָ֭רִים וְלֹ֣א יָדָ֑עוּ
אֲשֶׁ֖ר הֲפָכָ֣ם בְּאַפּֽוֹ
5He shifts mountains and they don't know
what hit them in his anger.
10
8
17
11
הַמַּרְגִּ֣יז אֶ֭רֶץ מִמְּקוֹמָ֑הּ
וְ֝עַמּוּדֶ֗יהָ יִתְפַלָּצֽוּן
6He shudders earth from her place
and her pillars tremor.
8
9
15
14
הָאֹמֵ֣ר לַ֭חֶרֶס וְלֹ֣א יִזְרָ֑ח
וּבְעַ֖ד כּוֹכָבִ֣ים יַחְתֹּֽם
7Saying to sunburn, and it does not rise
and about stars, he seals them.
10
7
15
14
נֹטֶ֣ה שָׁמַ֣יִם לְבַדּ֑וֹ
וְ֝דוֹרֵ֗ךְ עַל־בָּ֥מֳתֵי יָֽם
8Stretching out the heavens? he alone,
and making his way over the high places of the sea.
7
8
11
13
עֹֽשֶׂה־עָ֭שׁ כְּסִ֥יל וְכִימָ֗ה וְחַדְרֵ֥י תֵמָֽן9Making the Great Bear, Orion, and Pleiades and the rooms of the South.1322
עֹשֶׂ֣ה גְ֭דֹלוֹת עַד־אֵ֣ין חֵ֑קֶר
וְנִפְלָא֗וֹת עַד־אֵ֥ין מִסְפָּֽר
10"Who does great things such that there is no examining,
and wonderful things such that there is no count!"
9
8
16
16
הֵ֤ן יַעֲבֹ֣ר עָ֭לַי וְלֹ֣א אֶרְאֶ֑ה
וְ֝יַחֲלֹ֗ף וְֽלֹא־אָבִ֥ין לֽוֹ
11Lo - he passes over me and I don't see him.
He renews and I don't discern him
10
9
16
14
הֵ֣ן יַ֭חְתֹּף מִ֣י יְשִׁיבֶ֑נּוּ
מִֽי־יֹאמַ֥ר אֵ֝לָ֗יו מַֽה־תַּעֲשֶֽׂה
12Lo - he seizes, who will make him return?
Who will say to him - what are you doing?
8
9
14
16
אֱ֭לוֹהַּ לֹא־יָשִׁ֣יב אַפּ֑וֹ
תחתו תַּחְתָּ֥יו שָׁ֝חֲח֗וּ עֹ֣זְרֵי רָֽהַב
13God does not turn his anger
under him the helpers of defiance are pressed down.
8
11
13
20
אַ֭ף כִּֽי־אָנֹכִ֣י אֶֽעֱנֶ֑נּוּ
אֶבְחֲרָ֖ה דְבָרַ֣י עִמּֽוֹ
14Indeed for myself, I answer him?
and choose my words with him?
8
8
13
12
אֲשֶׁ֣ר אִם־צָ֭דַקְתִּי לֹ֣א אֶעֱנֶ֑ה
לִ֝מְשֹׁפְטִ֗י אֶתְחַנָּֽן
15who, if I were just, I would not answer.
To my judge, would I make supplication?
10
6
16
11
אִם־קָרָ֥אתִי וַֽיַּעֲנֵ֑נִי
לֹֽא־אַ֝אֲמִ֗ין כִּֽי־יַאֲזִ֥ין קוֹלִֽי
16If I called and he answered me,
I would not believe that he had listened to my voice,
9
9
13
18
אֲשֶׁר־בִּשְׂעָרָ֥ה יְשׁוּפֵ֑נִי
וְהִרְבָּ֖ה פְצָעַ֣י חִנָּֽם
17who in sweeping tempest bruises me,
and multiplies my inflicted wounds for nothing.
9
8
14
12
לֹֽא־יִ֭תְּנֵנִי הָשֵׁ֣ב רוּחִ֑י
כִּ֥י יַ֝שְׂבִּעַ֗נִי מַמְּרֹרִֽים
18He will not give me a turn for me to breathe,
for he sates me with bitterness.
8
8
14
14
אִם־לְכֹ֣חַ אַמִּ֣יץ הִנֵּ֑ה
וְאִם־לְ֝מִשְׁפָּ֗ט מִ֣י יוֹעִידֵֽנִי
19If of power - assurance behold.
And if of judgment - where is my appointment?
8
10
12
17
אִם־אֶ֭צְדָּק פִּ֣י יַרְשִׁיעֵ֑נִי
תָּֽם־אָ֝֗נִי וַֽיַּעְקְשֵֽׁנִי
20If I justify myself, my mouth condemns me.
Complete - me? And I make myself devious.
8
8
15
12
תָּֽם־אָ֭נִי לֹֽא־אֵדַ֥ע נַפְשִׁ֗י אֶמְאַ֥ס חַיָּֽי21Complete - me? I do not know my being. I refuse my life.1221
אַחַ֗ת הִ֥יא עַל־כֵּ֥ן אָמַ֑רְתִּי
תָּ֥ם וְ֝רָשָׁ֗ע ה֣וּא מְכַלֶּֽה
22One thing it is, therefore I said,
Complete or wicked, he, he consumes.
8
8
15
13
אִם־שׁ֭וֹט יָמִ֣ית פִּתְאֹ֑ם
לְמַסַּ֖ת נְקִיִּ֣ם יִלְעָֽג
23If a scourge makes death sudden,
the temptation of the innocent he derides.
6
8
13
12
אֶ֤רֶץ ׀ נִתְּנָ֬ה בְֽיַד־רָשָׁ֗ע פְּנֵֽי־שֹׁפְטֶ֥יהָ יְכַסֶּ֑ה
אִם־לֹ֖א אֵפ֣וֹא מִי־הֽוּא
24Earth is given into the hand of the wicked. The faces of her judges he blindfolds.
If not here, where is it?
16
5
25
13
וְיָמַ֣י קַ֭לּוּ מִנִּי־רָ֑ץ
בָּֽ֝רְח֗וּ לֹא־רָא֥וּ טוֹבָֽה
25So my days are slighter than a race.
They run away. They see no good.
8
7
12
13
חָ֭לְפוּ עִם־אֳנִיּ֣וֹת אֵבֶ֑ה
כְּ֝נֶ֗שֶׁר יָט֥וּשׂ עֲלֵי־אֹֽכֶל
26They are renewed (if ships are papyrus),
like an eagle, swooping over me to eat.
8
8
14
14
אִם־אָ֭מְרִי אֶשְׁכְּחָ֣ה שִׂיחִ֑י
אֶעֶזְבָ֖ה פָנַ֣י וְאַבְלִֽיגָה
27If I say, I will forget my blathering,
I will forsake my face, and I will smile,
8
9
15
15
יָגֹ֥רְתִּי כָל־עַצְּבֹתָ֑י
יָ֝דַ֗עְתִּי כִּי־לֹ֥א תְנַקֵּֽנִי
28I am afraid of all my tortures.
I know that you will not acquit me.
7
8
12
14
אָנֹכִ֥י אֶרְשָׁ֑ע
לָמָּה־זֶּ֝֗ה הֶ֣בֶל אִיגָֽע
29And I - shall I be wicked?
Why? this is a futile labour.
5
7
8
12
אִם־הִתְרָחַ֥צְתִּי בְמֵי־שָׁ֑לֶג
וַ֝הֲזִכּ֗וֹתִי בְּבֹ֣ר כַּפָּֽי
30If I wash myself in waters of snow,
and clear in purity my palms,
8
9
15
13
אָ֭ז בַּשַּׁ֣חַת תִּטְבְּלֵ֑נִי
וְ֝תִֽעֲב֗וּנִי שַׂלְמוֹתָֽי
31then into the destruction you will dip me
and my apparel will abhor me
8
8
12
13
כִּי־לֹא־אִ֣ישׁ כָּמֹ֣נִי אֶֽעֱנֶ֑נּוּ
נָב֥וֹא יַ֝חְדָּ֗ו בַּמִּשְׁפָּֽט
32For not a man like me, I answer him.
We are come together in the judgment.
10
7
16
13
לֹ֣א יֵשׁ־בֵּינֵ֣ינוּ מוֹכִ֑יחַ
יָשֵׁ֖ת יָד֣וֹ עַל־שְׁנֵֽינוּ
33There is not between us a referee
to set his hand on the two of us.
8
8
15
13
יָסֵ֣ר מֵעָלַ֣י שִׁבְט֑וֹ
וְ֝אֵמָת֗וֹ אַֽל־תְּבַעֲתַֽנִּי
34Let him put aside from me his sceptre,
and let not his horror alarm me.
7
10
11
13
אַֽ֭דַבְּרָה וְלֹ֣א אִירָאֶ֑נּוּ
כִּ֥י לֹא־כֵ֥ן אָ֝נֹכִ֗י עִמָּדִֽי
35I will speak and I will not fear him
for not so am I with myself.
9
9
14
14


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