Friday, August 21, 2015

Proverbs 2 - does the music support the grammar?

Here we have a very complex sentence structure in the whole chapter. The teacher outlines the consequences of holding on to good instruction.

If you want to read the Bible you really ought to learn to read music. I personally assure you that without the music, the accents would have remained thoroughly opaque to me. I would have avoided them and the contorted explanations they are given like the plague. With the music, they are transparent and they need no explanation (nor are the explanations right - the data do not support them).

Here is the music

The first unusual note in the music is verse 1 which begins on the third rather than on the tonic. This instruction does not start from 0. Then verse 3 highlights the ki-im conditional by beginning with a high C. Verse 4 is extremely simple E-F#-A rest A-F#-E return. Verse 5 highlights the consequence with an ornament on then. Note also the recurrence of then in verse 9, highlighted with a similar ornament.

Verses 1-10 are the first section of the chapter. Note the clear circular structures, verse 5-7 reflect discern, shrewdness, treasure in reverse order and knowledge is a focus, then verses 7 to 10 reflect then, discern, shrewdness-heart with a circular focus in verses 6 to 10 of : knowledge, upright, judgment and its reversal.

Notice the instruction I have hidden in the parentheses. Rather than smoothing out the poetry with English conjunctions, I have chosen to reveal the thought of the parent instructing the child. Imagine these as unspoken.
אםּ if
1אםּ
תּצפּןּ you treasure
1צפּןּ
לחכּמּה in shrewdness
2חכּםּ
לבּךּ your heart
2לבּ
לתּבּונּה to discernment
2בּיןּ
אםּ if
3אםּ
לבּינּה to discernment
3בּיןּ
לתּבּונּה to discernment
3בּיןּ
תּתּןּ give
3נּתּןּ
אםּ if
4אםּ
אז then
5אז
תּבּיןּ you will discern
5בּיןּ
ודּעתּ and knowledge of
5ידּע
יתּןּ gives
6נּתּןּ
חכּמּה shrewdness
6חכּםּ
דּעתּ is knowledge
6ידּע
ותּבּונּה and discernment
6בּיןּ
יצפּןּ he treasures
7צפּןּ
לישׁריםּ for the upright
7ישׁר
מּשׁפּט judgment
8שׁפּט
אז then
9אז
תּבּיןּ you will discern
9בּיןּ
ומּשׁפּט and judgment
9שׁפּט
ומּישׁריםּ and uprightness
9ישׁר
חכּמּה shrewdness
10חכּםּ
בּלבּךּ from your heart
10לבּ
ודּעתּ and knowledge
10ידּע
The text of the first 10 verses.
בְּ֭נִי אִם־תִּקַּ֣ח אֲמָרָ֑י
וּ֝מִצְוֺתַ֗י תִּצְפֹּ֥ן אִתָּֽךְ
1My child, if you take my promises
and my commandments you treasure with you,
8
8
12
13
לְהַקְשִׁ֣יב לַֽחָכְמָ֣ה אָזְנֶ֑ךָ
תַּטֶּ֥ה לִ֝בְּךָ֗ לַתְּבוּנָֽה
2to pay attention in shrewdness with your ear,
(stretch out your heart to discernment!)
9
7
15
12
כִּ֤י אִ֣ם לַבִּינָ֣ה תִקְרָ֑א
לַ֝תְּבוּנָ֗ה תִּתֵּ֥ן קוֹלֶֽךָ
3for if to discernment you call
(to discernment give your voice!)
7
8
13
13
אִם־תְּבַקְשֶׁ֥נָּה כַכָּ֑סֶף
וְֽכַמַּטְמוֹנִ֥ים תַּחְפְּשֶֽׂנָּה
4if you seek her as silver,
and as if buried, you investigate her,
8
9
12
15
אָ֗ז תָּ֭בִין יִרְאַ֣ת יְהוָ֑ה
וְדַ֖עַת אֱלֹהִ֣ים תִּמְצָֽא
5then you will discern the fear of Yahweh
and knowledge of God, you will find.
7
8
14
13
כִּֽי־יְ֭הוָה יִתֵּ֣ן חָכְמָ֑ה
מִ֝פִּ֗יו דַּ֣עַת וּתְבוּנָֽה
6For Yahweh gives shrewdness.
From his mouth is knowledge and discernment.
8
7
13
13
יִצְפֹּ֣ן לַ֭יְשָׁרִים תּוּשִׁיָּ֑ה
מָ֝גֵ֗ן לְהֹ֣לְכֵי תֹֽם
7He treasures for the upright, enterprise,
a shield to those who walk complete.
8
6
15
10
לִ֭נְצֹר אָרְח֣וֹת מִשְׁפָּ֑ט
וְדֶ֖רֶךְ חֲסִידָ֣יו יִשְׁמֹֽר
8The paths of judgment to preserve,
and the way of those who are under his mercy he will keep.
6
8
13
14
אָ֗ז תָּ֭בִין צֶ֣דֶק וּמִשְׁפָּ֑ט
וּ֝מֵישָׁרִ֗ים כָּל־מַעְגַּל־טֽוֹב
9Then you will discern righteousness and judgment,
and uprightness, all from a good trench.
8
8
14
16
כִּֽי־תָב֣וֹא חָכְמָ֣ה בְלִבֶּ֑ךָ
וְ֝דַ֗עַת לְֽנַפְשְׁךָ֥ יִנְעָֽם
10For shrewdness comes from your heart
and knowledge to your being is a pleasure.
8
9
14
13

Verse 11 to 15 are the first half of a long sentence stretching to the end of the chapter and begun by verse 11, which has two hopes: to deliver from evil (12-15) and to deliver from the strange woman (16-19).

Verse 11 shows its uniqueness in the set as the only verse without a mid-verse rest. Verses 11, 12, and 13, and 14 all begin on the third, showing the continuing first part of the sentence. Finally verse 15 begins and ends on the tonic. Then verses 16 and 17 begin on the third and verse 18 again highlights the ki with the high C. Verse 19 closes this second hope with a verse beginning and ending on the tonic, and the final two verses reflect the ultimate consequence of the long conditional of the chapter, repeating the ornament that was on then (אז) on the 'in order that' (לְמַ֗עַן) that begins verse 20.

This chapter shows that the music supports the grammar of the whole chapter, not just of each individual verse. (I will add the remaining translation when I finish reading.)

Here it is a few hours later... Note verse 11 has plenty of scope to have a mid point rest. It is a typical parallel but because it heads a super-long pair of purposes each beginning with 'to deliver', it has not been assigned an atenach. No rule here, just a thoughtful musician.
מְ֭זִמָּה תִּשְׁמֹ֥ר עָלֶ֗יךָ תְּבוּנָ֥ה תִנְצְרֶֽכָּה11Intention will guard beside you and discernment will preserve you1523
לְ֭הַצִּ֣ילְךָ מִדֶּ֣רֶךְ רָ֑ע
מֵ֝אִ֗ישׁ מְדַבֵּ֥ר תַּהְפֻּכֽוֹת
12to deliver you from the way of evil,
from a person speaking changeable things.
8
8
12
14
הַ֭עֹ֣זְבִים אָרְח֣וֹת יֹ֑שֶׁר
לָ֝לֶ֗כֶת בְּדַרְכֵי־חֹֽשֶׁךְ
13Those who forsake the paths of the upright
to walk in the ways of darkness,
7
7
14
12
הַ֭שְּׂמֵחִים לַעֲשׂ֥וֹת רָ֑ע
יָ֝גִ֗ילוּ בְּֽתַהְפֻּכ֥וֹת רָֽע
14who are glad to do evil,
(they rejoice in the waywardness of evil)
7
8
13
14
אֲשֶׁ֣ר אָרְחֹתֵיהֶ֣ם עִקְּשִׁ֑ים
וּ֝נְלוֹזִ֗ים בְּמַעְגְּלוֹתָֽם
15whose paths are devious
and who are refractory in their trenches,
8
8
15
15
לְ֭הַצִּ֣ילְךָ מֵאִשָּׁ֣ה זָרָ֑ה
מִ֝נָּכְרִיָּ֗ה אֲמָרֶ֥יהָ הֶחֱלִֽיקָה
16to deliver you from a sifting woman,
from the unrecognizable, her promises smooth,
9
12
13
17
הַ֭עֹזֶבֶת אַלּ֣וּף נְעוּרֶ֑יהָ
וְאֶת־בְּרִ֖ית אֱלֹהֶ֣יהָ שָׁכֵֽחָה
17one who forsakes the training of her youth
and the covenant with her God forgets.
10
11
15
16
כִּ֤י שָׁ֣חָה אֶל־מָ֣וֶת בֵּיתָ֑הּ
וְאֶל־רְ֝פָאִ֗ים מַעְגְּלֹתֶֽיהָ
18for prostrated to death is her house
and to the shades her trenches.
8
10
14
15
כָּל־בָּ֭אֶיהָ לֹ֣א יְשׁוּב֑וּן
וְלֹֽא־יַ֝שִּׂ֗יגוּ אָרְח֥וֹת חַיִּֽים
19All who come to her do not return,
and they do not overtake the paths of life.
8
9
14
17
לְמַ֗עַן תֵּ֭לֵךְ בְּדֶ֣רֶךְ טוֹבִ֑ים
וְאָרְח֖וֹת צַדִּיקִ֣ים תִּשְׁמֹֽר
20in order that you may walk in the way of goodness
and the paths of the righteous you keep.
10
8
16
16
כִּֽי־יְשָׁרִ֥ים יִשְׁכְּנוּ אָ֑רֶץ
וּ֝תְמִימִ֗ים יִוָּ֥תְרוּ בָֽהּ
21for the upright will dwell on earth
and the complete will remain in her.
9
7
15
14
וּ֭רְשָׁעִים מֵאֶ֣רֶץ יִכָּרֵ֑תוּ
וּ֝בוֹגְדִ֗ים יִסְּח֥וּ מִמֶּֽנָּה פ
22but the wicked from earth will be cut off
and the treacherous will be plucked from her.
10
9
15
16


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