Friday 26 February 2016

The Psalms of Ascent

I have mentioned Dr David Mitchell's book, The Psalms of Ascent, before on this blog. It has been rare till now that we would get a scholarly book on the Psalms written by a musician. He also knows how to put the skeptical scholars in their place.

His contents in brief are:
Chapters 1 to 7. The Songs of Ascents were composed as the liturgy for the ark of the covenant’s entry to Solomon’s temple at dawn on 15 Ethanim, 959 BC.
Chapters 8 to 10. How the Songs of Ascents were sung at the temple’s dedication.
Chapters 11 to 13. Restoring the lost music of the Songs of Ascents.
Chapters 14 to 15. Implications and conclusions.

The Psalms of Ascent are in every chorister's repertoire. And they are well worth the detailed study that this book affords. Readers will be captivated from the first pages to read on. It is a novel way to approach these psalms, and at times the book reads like a novel. One can hardly put it down. It is, however, scholarly, and the novice in scholarship will get a good introduction to the centuries that have given us these songs, and many comments on them in Rabbinic and Christian tradition.

Chapter 1 gives us a clear history of interpretation of the Psalms of Ascent with a structural analysis based on their vocabulary and story line. This is a very helpful section grasping the unity of these psalms. I find more signs of trouble in them than is inferred from the serene language that he points out.

Chapter 2 explores the interpretation of the Psalms with respect to their numerological structure. I am a little skeptical of this, but it does work. Mitchell is definitely persuasive in his demonstration of the structural unity achieved by the gematria. He also considers the problem that is my concern, that the letters of many words will add to the same number. His resolution is plausible but not entirely convincing to me. This is partly because I am highly mistrustful of Solomon. Beloved he may have been (Psalm 127), but someone with that much power (a bit like the emperors of China) is not to be adulated when he begins his reign not with peace but with assassinations and then uses power to amass wealth and even more power and pleasure.

Chapter 3 puts these psalms within the tradition of the feast of Tabernacles of ancient Israel during the period of Solomon when the tribes were not yet divided between Israel in the north and Judah in the south.  Here as in other chapters he grounds his inferences in Jewish tradition. Most of us who sing in choirs are blithely unaware of the history of the tribes in the promised land and of the Mishnah and Talmud. It is delightful to be so well-introduced to both the history of the temple and the traditions following the destruction of the second temple by the Romans.

Chapter 4 places the psalms in the period of Solomon. Then chapter 5, my favorite, traces the history of the ark. He begins with a description of the cherubim, hardly cherubic:
The keruv or cherub is a being whose general type is known to us from ancient eastern iconography. It was not a winged man; much less a little flying putto or baby boy. Rather it was a being combining human characteristics with those of fierce animals and birds, and representing a solar or stellar deity. 
This is the novella within the book and it is fascinating.

Chapters 6 and 7 explore the occasion for the writing of these psalms and who wrote them. Again a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Beginning with chapter 8, he begins to explore the musical environment. While I thoroughly enjoy the clarity of the preceding chapters, it is these that I find the most important in the book. Readers of this blog will know that I have produced all the music for the entire Old Testament in a public place where anyone can get it and read it with a music program and therefore do the arrangements needed to restore the ancient music and hear the text as it was meant to be heard. I am neither a scholar nor an arranger, just a herald. Chapters 9 and 10 are a fascinating set of possibilities for instruments and voice combinations.

Beginning in chapter 11 he searches for traces of the Temple Song. In chapter 12, his introduction to Haïk-Vantoura's work is second to none. In chapter 13 is the music for all the 15 Psalms of Ascents. This is the ultimate subject of the book. Chapters 15 and 16 close the book with additional commentary on why the psalms were collected so underlying the importance of the Psalms to generations to come. Also included is an essay on the power of music not to be missed if you had any doubts about the good.

Mitchell's work is very clear here. I strongly encourage musicians to buy this book and use the ideas with the music on this blog as a starting point to reinvigorate our reading of lessons. People will hear both the foreignness and the relevance of the text to us and preachers will have to learn more music too. This is not a small matter but it goes way beyond the confines of academic study of the Bible.


I met Dr Mitchell in Oxford in 2010 where he was presenting the musical reconstruction of several psalms based on the work of Suzanne Haïk-Vantoura. The impact of that music stayed with me and I worked to be able to read the Hebrew accents myself and in fact to learn to sight-sing the text based on the accents. This is a freely given review of work that has been very important to me in both my recent projects.

Tuesday 23 February 2016

Draft done

At least I think so.  I have drafted an introduction to the music of the accents in the Hebrew Bible. Everything else has been on hold these past 6 weeks.

There are over 165 musical examples. It has a tough technical skin (Introduction and the appendices) and a soft internal core, Creation, Escape, Home, Exile, Restoration.

It is just over 100 pages. Maybe more depending on what final format it takes. And it needs proofing and a critical reading.

Monday 8 February 2016

2 Chronicles 16

A semi-parallel to 1 Kings 15, so this one was more than 59% automated when I started. Lot's of things came up though and I have resolved a few dozen concordance problems in the process. It's interesting how the less appealing pieces of the puzzle contribute to the overall patterns of language.

2 Chronicles 16 Fn Min Max Syll
בִּשְׁנַ֨ת שְׁלֹשִׁ֤ים וָשֵׁשׁ֙ לְמַלְכ֣וּת אָסָ֔א עָלָ֞ה בַּעְשָׁ֤א מֶֽלֶךְ־יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ עַל־יְהוּדָ֔ה וַיִּ֖בֶן אֶת־הָרָמָ֑ה
לְבִלְתִּ֗י תֵּ֚ת יוֹצֵ֣א וָבָ֔א לְאָסָ֖א מֶ֥לֶךְ יְהוּדָֽה
1 In the thirty sixth year of the reign of Asa, Baasha king of Israel came up to Judah and built Ramah,
so as to prevent going out or coming in to Asa king of Judah.
3e 4C 32
וַיֹּצֵ֨א אָסָ֜א כֶּ֣סֶף וְזָהָ֗ב מֵאֹֽצְר֛וֹת בֵּ֥ית יְהוָ֖ה וּבֵ֣ית הַמֶּ֑לֶךְ
וַיִּשְׁלַ֗ח אֶל־בֶּן־הֲדַד֙ מֶ֣לֶךְ אֲרָ֔ם הַיּוֹשֵׁ֥ב בְּדַרְמֶ֖שֶׂק לֵאמֹֽר
2 So Asa brought out silver and gold from the treasuries of the house of Yahweh and the house of the king,
and he sent to Benhadad king of Aram who sat in Damascus, saying,
3d 4B 21
בְּרִית֙ בֵּינִ֣י וּבֵינֶ֔ךָ וּבֵ֥ין אָבִ֖י וּבֵ֣ין אָבִ֑יךָ
הִנֵּ֨ה שָׁלַ֤חְתִּֽי לְךָ֙ כֶּ֣סֶף וְזָהָ֔ב לֵ֞ךְ הָפֵ֣ר בְּרִֽיתְךָ֗ אֶת־בַּעְשָׁא֙ מֶ֣לֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וְיַעֲלֶ֖ה מֵעָלָֽי
3 A covenant between me and you and my father and your father:
behold I send to you silver and gold. Go, annul your covenant with Baasha king of Israel, and he will go up away from me.
3e 4C 17
וַיִּשְׁמַ֨ע בֶּן הֲדַ֜ד אֶל־הַמֶּ֣לֶךְ אָסָ֗א וַ֠יִּשְׁלַח אֶת־שָׂרֵ֨י הַחֲיָלִ֤ים אֲשֶׁר־לוֹ֙ אֶל־עָרֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וַיַּכּוּ֙ אֶת־עִיּ֣וֹן וְאֶת־דָּ֔ן וְאֵ֖ת אָבֵ֣ל מָ֑יִם
וְאֵ֥ת כָּֽל־מִסְכְּנ֖וֹת עָרֵ֥י נַפְתָּלִֽי
4 And Benhadad heeded king Asa and he sent the chiefs of the forces that were his to the cities of Israel and they struck Ijon and Dan and Lament of Water,
and all the storerooms of the cities of Naphtali.
3e 4C 46
וַיְהִי֙ כִּשְׁמֹ֣עַ בַּעְשָׁ֔א וַיֶּחְדַּ֕ל מִבְּנ֖וֹת אֶת־הָרָמָ֑ה
וַיַּשְׁבֵּ֖ת אֶת־מְלַאכְתּֽוֹ
5 And it happened as Baasha heard so he refrained from building Ramah,
and he ceased his affairs.
3e 4B 16
וְאָסָ֣א הַמֶּ֗לֶךְ לָקַח֙ אֶת־כָּל־יְהוּדָ֔ה וַיִּשְׂא֞וּ אֶת־אַבְנֵ֤י הָֽרָמָה֙ וְאֶת־עֵצֶ֔יהָ אֲשֶׁ֥ר בָּנָ֖ה בַּעְשָׁ֑א
וַיִּ֣בֶן בָּהֶ֔ם אֶת־גֶּ֖בַע וְאֶת־הַמִּצְפָּֽה
6 Then Asa the king took all Judah and they lifted up the stones of Ramah and its timber that Baasha had built with,
and built with them Geba and Mizpah.
3e 4C 33
וּבָעֵ֣ת הַהִ֗יא בָּ֚א חֲנָ֣נִי הָרֹאֶ֔ה אֶל־אָסָ֖א מֶ֣לֶךְ יְהוּדָ֑ה
וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֵלָ֗יו בְּהִשָּׁ֨עֶנְךָ֜ עַל־מֶ֤לֶךְ אֲרָם֙ וְלֹ֤א נִשְׁעַ֙נְתָּ֙ עַל־יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ עַל־כֵּ֗ן נִמְלַ֛ט חֵ֥יל מֶֽלֶךְ־אֲרָ֖ם מִיָּדֶֽךָ
7 And at time that Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah,
and said to him, In that you leaned on the king of Aram and you did not lean on Yahweh your God, therefore the force of the king of Aram escaped from your hand.
3d 4C 20
הֲלֹ֧א הַכּוּשִׁ֣ים וְהַלּוּבִ֗ים הָי֨וּ לְחַ֧יִל ׀ לָרֹ֛ב לְרֶ֥כֶב וּלְפָרָשִׁ֖ים לְהַרְבֵּ֣ה מְאֹ֑ד
וּבְהִשָּֽׁעֶנְךָ֥ עַל־יְהוָ֖ה נְתָנָ֥ם בְּיָדֶֽךָ
8 Are not the Ethiopians and the Lubites abundant forces of chariot and very many cavalry?
But you let yourself lean on Yahweh, and he gave them into your hands.
3c 4B 28
כִּ֣י יְהוָ֗ה עֵינָ֞יו מְשֹׁטְט֤וֹת בְּכָל־הָאָ֙רֶץ֙ לְ֠הִתְחַזֵּק עִם־לְבָבָ֥ם שָׁלֵ֛ם אֵלָ֖יו נִסְכַּ֣לְתָּ עַל־זֹ֑את
כִּ֣י מֵעַ֔תָּה יֵ֥שׁ עִמְּךָ֖ מִלְחָמֽוֹת
9 B For Yahweh, his eyes are roving throughout all the earth to show himself resolute with those whose heart is at peace with him. You have been silly about this,
for from now on there will be wars with you.
3d 4C 30
וַיִּכְעַ֨ס אָסָ֜א אֶל־הָרֹאֶ֗ה וַֽיִּתְּנֵ֙הוּ֙ בֵּ֣ית הַמַּהְפֶּ֔כֶת כִּֽי־בְזַ֥עַף עִמּ֖וֹ עַל־זֹ֑את
וַיְרַצֵּ֥ץ אָסָ֛א מִן־הָעָ֖ם בָּעֵ֥ת הַהִֽיא
10 And Asa was grieved with the seer and he assigned him to a house for delinquents for he was outraged with him over this.
And Asa damaged the people at that time.
3d 4B 26
וְהִנֵּה֙ דִּבְרֵ֣י אָסָ֔א הָרִאשׁוֹנִ֖ים וְהָאַחֲרוֹנִ֑ים
הִנָּ֤ם כְּתוּבִים֙ עַל־סֵ֣פֶר הַמְּלָכִ֔ים לִיהוּדָ֖ה וְיִשְׂרָאֵֽל
11 And behold, the words of Asa, the former and the latter,
behold they are written in the record of the kings of Judah and Israel.
3e 4C 17
וַיֶּחֱלֶ֣א אָסָ֡א בִּשְׁנַת֩ שְׁלוֹשִׁ֨ים וָתֵ֤שַׁע לְמַלְכוּתוֹ֙ בְּרַגְלָ֔יו עַד־לְמַ֖עְלָה חָלְי֑וֹ
וְגַם־בְּחָלְיוֹ֙ לֹא־דָרַ֣שׁ אֶת־יְהוָ֔ה כִּ֖י בָּרֹפְאִֽים
12 And Asa was diseased in the thirty ninth year of his reign in his feet until the ascendancy of his illness.
And moreover, in his illness, he did not search out Yahweh for healing.
3e 4C 27
וַיִּשְׁכַּ֥ב אָסָ֖א עִם־אֲבֹתָ֑יו
וַיָּ֕מָת בִּשְׁנַ֛ת אַרְבָּעִ֥ים וְאַחַ֖ת לְמָלְכֽוֹ
13 And Asa was laid out with his ancestors,
and he died in the forty first year of his reign.
3d 4A 9
וַיִּקְבְּרֻ֣הוּ בְקִבְרֹתָ֗יו אֲשֶׁ֣ר כָּֽרָה־לוֹ֮ בְּעִ֣יר דָּוִיד֒ וַיַּשְׁכִּיבֻ֗הוּ בַּמִּשְׁכָּב֙ אֲשֶׁ֤ר מִלֵּא֙ בְּשָׂמִ֣ים וּזְנִ֔ים מְרֻקָּחִ֖ים בְּמִרְקַ֣חַת מַעֲשֶׂ֑ה
וַיִּשְׂרְפוּ־ל֥וֹ שְׂרֵפָ֖ה גְּדוֹלָ֥ה עַד־לִמְאֹֽד
14 And they entombed him in his own tombs that he dug for himself in the city of David and they laid him out in the litter which was filled with spices and kinds of perfumes constructed by apothecaries.
And they cremated him, a very great incineration.
3e 4C 46

Friday 5 February 2016

Deuteronomy 5

I imagine you knew this wouldn't be far behind Exodus 20. The whole law is really quite wonderful. Christians should learn to read it. Notice the present tense emphasis in verse 3. Not with them, but with us. The presence of the past. If all would pay attention, then the disasters we see today would be eliminated. (verse 33).

Obedience is a requirement, all you antinomial folks. God has respect for the poor and so should all the rich in the world, and the governments, and the church and state alike. The visible church and the pretend believers (who are very mixed up - been there done that) need to fix our responses to caring for others. I am looking at the music and of course so can you here.

Add the rather depressing 'return to your tents', sounds like good intentions alone won't make it easily.

There are a number of samechs (ס) scattered in the text. Tradition on reading the 10 words varies widely (see e.g. Morrow, An Introduction to Biblical Law.) I have left one in that divides commandment 10 into 2 (v 21). It is very close to Exodus, but in this case the word covet is not repeated.

Deuteronomy 5 Fn Min Max Syll
וַיִּקְרָ֣א מֹשֶׁה֮ אֶל כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל֒ וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֲלֵהֶ֗ם שְׁמַ֤ע יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ אֶת הַחֻקִּ֣ים וְאֶת הַמִּשְׁפָּטִ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֧ר אָנֹכִ֛י דֹּבֵ֥ר בְּאָזְנֵיכֶ֖ם הַיּ֑וֹם
וּלְמַדְתֶּ֣ם אֹתָ֔ם וּשְׁמַרְתֶּ֖ם לַעֲשֹׂתָֽם
1 And Moses called to all Israel and he said to them, Hear, O Israel, the statutes and the judgments that I speak in your ears today,
that you may learn them and keep watch to do them.
3c 4C 44
יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֵ֗ינוּ כָּרַ֥ת עִמָּ֛נוּ בְּרִ֖ית בְּחֹרֵֽב 2 Yahweh our God cut with us a covenant in Horeb. 3d 4B 16
לֹ֣א אֶת אֲבֹתֵ֔ינוּ כָּרַ֥ת יְהוָ֖ה אֶת הַבְּרִ֣ית הַזֹּ֑את
כִּ֣י אִתָּ֗נוּ אֲנַ֨חְנוּ אֵ֥לֶּה פֹ֛ה הַיּ֖וֹם כֻּלָּ֥נוּ חַיִּֽים
3 B Not with our ancestors did Yahweh cut this covenant,
that is with us. We are the ones, here, today, all we, the living.
3d 4B 15
פָּנִ֣ים בְּפָנִ֗ים דִּבֶּ֨ר יְהוָ֧ה עִמָּכֶ֛ם בָּהָ֖ר מִתּ֥וֹךְ הָאֵֽשׁ 4 Face to face Yahweh speaks with you on the hill from the midst of the fire. 3c 4B 18
אָ֠נֹכִי עֹמֵ֨ד בֵּין יְהוָ֤ה וּבֵֽינֵיכֶם֙ בָּעֵ֣ת הַהִ֔וא לְהַגִּ֥יד לָכֶ֖ם אֶת דְּבַ֣ר יְהוָ֑ה
כִּ֤י יְרֵאתֶם֙ מִפְּנֵ֣י הָאֵ֔שׁ וְלֹֽא עֲלִיתֶ֥ם בָּהָ֖ר לֵאמֹֽר
5 ~ I stood between Yahweh and you at that time to announce to you the word of Yahweh,
(for you were fearful from the presence of the fire and you did not ascend the hill) and he said.
3e 4C 26
אָֽנֹכִי֙ יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ אֲשֶׁ֧ר הוֹצֵאתִ֛יךָ מֵאֶ֥רֶץ מִצְרַ֖יִם מִבֵּ֣֥ית עֲבָדִֽ֑ים 6 I am Yahweh your God who brought you forth from the land of Egypt, from the house of servitude. 3c 4B 25
לֹ֣א יִהְיֶ֥ה לְךָ֛֩ אֱלֹהִ֥֨ים אֲחֵרִ֖֜ים עַל פָּנָֽ֗יַ 7 B Not it is for you: other gods over my presence. 3d 4B 15
לֹֽ֣א תַעֲשֶׂ֥ה לְךָ֥֣ פֶ֣֙סֶל֙ כָּל תְּמוּנָ֔֡ה אֲשֶׁ֤֣ר בַּשָּׁמַ֣֙יִם֙ מִמַּ֔֡עַל וַאֲשֶׁ֥ר֩ בָּאָ֖֨רֶץ מִתָּ֑֜חַת
וַאֲשֶׁ֥ר בַּמַּ֖֣יִם מִתַּ֥֣חַת לָאָֽ֗רֶץ
8 B You will not make for yourself a graven image, any similitude that is in the heavens above or that is in the earth beneath,
or that is in the waters beneath the earth.
3e 4C 29
לֹא תִשְׁתַּחֲוֶ֥֣ה לָהֶ֖ם֮ וְלֹ֣א תָעָבְדֵ֑ם֒
כִּ֣י אָנֹכִ֞י יְהוָ֤ה אֱלֹהֶ֙יךָ֙ אֵ֣ל קַנָּ֔א פֹּ֠קֵד עֲוֺ֨ן אָב֧וֹת עַל בָּנִ֛ים וְעַל שִׁלֵּשִׁ֥ים וְעַל רִבֵּעִ֖ים לְשֹׂנְאָֽ֑י
9 f You will not worship them and you will not serve them,
for I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous god, visiting the iniquity of forebears on children over three and over four generations to those who hate me.
3c 4C 12
וְעֹ֤֥שֶׂה חֶ֖֙סֶד֙ לַֽאֲלָפִ֑֔ים
לְאֹהֲבַ֖י וּלְשֹׁמְרֵ֥י מִצְוֺתָֽי
10 And doing mercy for thousands,
who love me and who keep my commandments.
3e 4C 9
לֹ֥א תִשָּׂ֛א אֶת שֵֽׁם יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ לַשָּׁ֑וְא
כִּ֣י לֹ֤א יְנַקֶּה֙ יְהוָ֔ה אֵ֛ת אֲשֶׁר יִשָּׂ֥א אֶת שְׁמ֖וֹ לַשָּֽׁוְא
11 f You will not lift up the name of Yahweh your God to vanity,
for Yahweh not will hold innocent who lifts up his name to vanity.
3d 4C 13
שָׁמ֣֛וֹר אֶת י֥וֹם֩ הַשַׁבָּ֖֨ת לְקַדְּשׁ֑֜וֹ
כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר צִוְּךָ֖֣ יְהוָ֥֣ה אֱלֹהֶֽ֗יךָ
12 Keep the day of the Sabbath to sanctify it,
as Yahweh your God is commanding you.
3d 4B 10
שֵׁ֤֣שֶׁת יָמִ֣ים֙ תַּֽעֲבֹ֔ד֮ וְעָשִׂ֖֣יתָ כָּֿל מְלַאכְתֶּֽךָ֒ 13 C Six days you will serve and do all your affairs, 3e 4C 18
וְי֙וֹם֙ הַשְּׁבִיעִ֜֔י שַׁבָּ֖֣ת לַיהוָ֖֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֑֗יךָ
לֹ֣א תַעֲשֶׂ֣ה כָל מְלָאכָ֡ה אַתָּ֣ה וּבִנְךָֽ וּבִתֶּ֣ךָ וְעַבְדְּךָֽ וַ֠אֲמָתֶךָ וְשׁוֹרְךָ֨ וַחֲמֹֽרְךָ֜ וְכָל בְּהֶמְתֶּ֗ךָ וְגֵֽרְךָ֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר בִּשְׁעָרֶ֔יךָ לְמַ֗עַן יָנ֛וּחַ עַבְדְּךָ֥ וַאֲמָתְךָ֖ כָּמֽ֑וֹךָ
14 ~ But the seventh day is the Sabbath of Yahweh your God.
You will not do any trade, you and your son and your daughter and your manservant and your maidservant, and your bull, and your ass, and all your cattle, and the guest that is in your gates, so that your manservant and your maidservant will rest as you do.
3d 4B 13
וְזָכַרְתָּ֞֗ כִּ֣י עֶ֤֥בֶד הָיִ֣֙יתָ֙ בְּאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרַ֔֗יִם וַיֹּצִ֨אֲךָ֜֩ יְהוָ֤֨ה אֱלֹהֶ֤֙יךָ֙ מִשָּׁ֔ם֙ בְּיָ֤֥ד חֲזָקָ֖ה֙ וּבִזְרֹ֣עַ נְטוּיָ֑֔ה
עַל כֵּ֗ן צִוְּךָ֙ יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ לַעֲשׂ֖וֹת אֶת י֥וֹם הַשַׁבָּֽת
15 And remember that you were a servant in the land of Egypt and Yahweh your God brought you out from there with a courageous hand and by an arm stretched out.
Therefore Yahweh your God is commanding you to undertake the day of the Sabbath.
3e 4C 40
כַּבֵּ֤ד אֶת אָבִ֙יךָ֙ וְאֶת אִמֶּ֔ךָ כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר צִוְּךָ֖ יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֑יךָ
לְמַ֣עַן יַאֲרִיכֻ֣ן יָמֶ֗יךָ וּלְמַ֙עַן֙ יִ֣יטַב לָ֔ךְ עַ֚ל הָֽאֲדָמָ֔ה אֲשֶׁר יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ נֹתֵ֥ן לָֽךְ
16 Glorify your father and your mother as Yahweh your God is commanding you,
so that prolonged are your days, and so that it may be good for you over the ground that Yahweh your God is giving to you.
3e 4C 22
לֹ֥֖א תִּֿרְצָֽח 17 f You will not murder. 3e 3g 4
וְלֹ֖֣א תִּֿנְאָֽ֑ף 18 And you will not commit adultery. 3e 4B 5
וְלֹ֖֣א תִּֿגְנֹֽ֔ב 19 And you will not steal. 3e 4B 5
וְלֹֽא תַעֲנֶ֥ה בְרֵֽעֲךָ֖ עֵ֥ד שָֽׁוְא 20 And you will not inflict vain witness against your associate. 3e 3g 11
וְלֹ֥א תַחְמֹ֖ד אֵ֣שֶׁת רֵעֶ֑ךָ ס
וְלֹ֨א תִתְאַוֶּ֜ה בֵּ֣ית רֵעֶ֗ךָ שָׂדֵ֜הוּ וְעַבְדּ֤וֹ וַאֲמָתוֹ֙ שׁוֹר֣וֹ וַחֲמֹר֔וֹ וְכֹ֖ל אֲשֶׁ֥ר לְרֵעֶֽךָ
21 And you will not covet the wife of your associate. S
And you will not desire the house of your associate, his field or his manservant or his maidservant, his bull or his ass, or anything that is your associate's.
3e 4C 9
אֶֽת הַדְּבָרִ֣ים הָאֵ֡לֶּה דִּבֶּר֩ יְהוָ֨ה אֶל כָּל קְהַלְכֶ֜ם בָּהָ֗ר מִתּ֤וֹךְ הָאֵשׁ֙ הֶֽעָנָ֣ן וְהָֽעֲרָפֶ֔ל ק֥וֹל גָּד֖וֹל וְלֹ֣א יָסָ֑ף
וַֽיִּכְתְּבֵ֗ם עַל שְׁנֵי֙ לֻחֹ֣ת אֲבָנִ֔ים וַֽיִּתְּנֵ֖ם אֵלָֽי
22 These words Yahweh spoke to all your congregation on the hill from the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and the dark turbulence. A great voice and he did not add more.
And he wrote them on both tablets of stone and he gave them to me.
3e 4C 37
וַיְהִ֗י כְּשָׁמְעֲכֶ֤ם אֶת הַקּוֹל֙ מִתּ֣וֹךְ הַחֹ֔שֶׁךְ וְהָהָ֖ר בֹּעֵ֣ר בָּאֵ֑שׁ
וַתִּקְרְב֣וּן אֵלַ֔י כָּל רָאשֵׁ֥י שִׁבְטֵיכֶ֖ם וְזִקְנֵיכֶֽם
23 And it happened when you heard the voice from the midst of darkness and the hill was kindled in the fire,
that you came near to me, all the heads of your bands and your elders,
3e 4C 21
וַתֹּאמְר֗וּ הֵ֣ן הֶרְאָ֜נוּ יְהוָ֤ה אֱלֹהֵ֙ינוּ֙ אֶת כְּבֹד֣וֹ וְאֶת גָּדְל֔וֹ וְאֶת קֹל֥וֹ שָׁמַ֖עְנוּ מִתּ֣וֹךְ הָאֵ֑שׁ
הַיּ֤וֹם הַזֶּה֙ רָאִ֔ינוּ כִּֽי יְדַבֵּ֧ר אֱלֹהִ֛ים אֶת הָֽאָדָ֖ם וָחָֽי
24 And you said, Lo, Yahweh our God has shown us his glory and his greatness and his voice we have heard from the midst of the fire.
This day we have seen that God will speak with the human and live.
3c 4C 32
וְעַתָּה֙ לָ֣מָּה נָמ֔וּת כִּ֣י תֹֽאכְלֵ֔נוּ הָאֵ֥שׁ הַגְּדֹלָ֖ה הַזֹּ֑את
אִם יֹסְפִ֣ים אֲנַ֗חְנוּ לִ֠שְׁמֹעַ אֶת ק֨וֹל יְהוָ֧ה אֱלֹהֵ֛ינוּ ע֖וֹד וָמָֽתְנוּ
25 And now why should we die, for this great fire will devour us.
If again we hear the voice of Yahweh our God any more, then we will die.
3c 4B 18
כִּ֣י מִ֣י כָל בָּשָׂ֡ר אֲשֶׁ֣ר שָׁמַ֣ע קוֹל֩ אֱלֹהִ֨ים חַיִּ֜ים מְדַבֵּ֧ר מִתּוֹךְ הָאֵ֛שׁ כָּמֹ֖נוּ וַיֶּֽחִי 26 B For who of all flesh that has heard the voice of the living God speaking from the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived? 3c 4B 28
קְרַ֤ב אַתָּה֙ וּֽשֲׁמָ֔ע אֵ֛ת כָּל אֲשֶׁ֥ר יֹאמַ֖ר יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֵ֑ינוּ
וְאַ֣תְּ תְּדַבֵּ֣ר אֵלֵ֗ינוּ אֵת֩ כָּל אֲשֶׁ֨ר יְדַבֵּ֜ר יְהוָ֧ה אֱלֹהֵ֛ינוּ אֵלֶ֖יךָ וְשָׁמַ֥עְנוּ וְעָשִֽׂינוּ
27 You approach and hear all that Yahweh our God says,
and speak to us all that Yahweh our God speaks to you and we will hear and we will do.
3c 4C 19
וַיִּשְׁמַ֤ע יְהוָה֙ אֶת ק֣וֹל דִּבְרֵיכֶ֔ם בְּדַבֶּרְכֶ֖ם אֵלָ֑י
וַיֹּ֨אמֶר יְהוָ֜ה אֵלַ֗י שָׁ֠מַעְתִּי אֶת ק֨וֹל דִּבְרֵ֜י הָעָ֤ם הַזֶּה֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר דִּבְּר֣וּ אֵלֶ֔יךָ הֵיטִ֖יבוּ כָּל אֲשֶׁ֥ר דִּבֵּֽרוּ
28 And Yahweh heard the voice of your words when you spoke to me and Yahweh said to me,
I have heard the voice of the words of this people that they have spoken to you. They have done well in all that they have spoken.
3e 4C 16
מִֽי יִתֵּ֡ן וְהָיָה֩ לְבָבָ֨ם זֶ֜ה לָהֶ֗ם לְיִרְאָ֥ה אֹתִ֛י וְלִשְׁמֹ֥ר אֶת כָּל מִצְוֺתַ֖י כָּל הַיָּמִ֑ים
לְמַ֨עַן יִיטַ֥ב לָהֶ֛ם וְלִבְנֵיהֶ֖ם לְעֹלָֽם
29 Who will yield that this their heart may be for them, to fear me and to keep all my commandments every day,
so that it may be good for them and their children forever.
3d 4A 29
לֵ֖ךְ אֱמֹ֣ר לָהֶ֑ם
שׁ֥וּבוּ לָכֶ֖ם לְאָהֳלֵיכֶֽם
30 g Go, say to them,
Return yourselves to your tents.
3e 4B 5
וְאַתָּ֗ה פֹּה֮ עֲמֹ֣ד עִמָּדִי֒ וַאֲדַבְּרָ֣ה אֵלֶ֗יךָ אֵ֧ת כָּל הַמִּצְוָ֛ה וְהַחֻקִּ֥ים וְהַמִּשְׁפָּטִ֖ים אֲשֶׁ֣ר תְּלַמְּדֵ֑ם
וְעָשׂ֣וּ בָאָ֔רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֧ר אָנֹכִ֛י נֹתֵ֥ן לָהֶ֖ם לְרִשְׁתָּֽהּ
31 But you here stand with me and I will speak with you all the commandment and the statutes and the judgments that you will teach them,
and they will do in the land that I am giving to them to possess.
3c 4B 35
וּשְׁמַרְתֶּ֣ם לַעֲשׂ֔וֹת כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר צִוָּ֛ה יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶ֖ם אֶתְכֶ֑ם
לֹ֥א תָסֻ֖רוּ יָמִ֥ין וּשְׂמֹֽאל
32 And you will keep watch to do as Yahweh your God commanded you.
You will not turn aside right or left.
3d 4B 19
בְּכָל הַדֶּ֗רֶךְ אֲשֶׁ֨ר צִוָּ֜ה יְהוָ֧ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶ֛ם אֶתְכֶ֖ם תֵּלֵ֑כוּ
לְמַ֤עַן תִּֽחְיוּן֙ וְט֣וֹב לָכֶ֔ם וְהַאֲרַכְתֶּ֣ם יָמִ֔ים בָּאָ֖רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֥ר תִּֽירָשֽׁוּן
33 In all the way which Yahweh your God commanded, you will walk,
so that you will live and it will be good for you, and you will prolong days in the land that you will possess.
3c 4C 20

Wednesday 3 February 2016

Exodus 20

Finally - another chapter done. I have made only incremental progress this past month. But I am getting more exercise - going to the University every day and discussing all sorts of things with others. Probably healthier. Also writing a short book on the music.

So here's the first statement of the Decalogue. The music is quite complex. Wickes writes concerning the Decalogue: The two sets of te'amim reflect two reading modes, one to be used in synagogue, and one for study. The reading in synagogue splits the Decalogue more obviously into 10 distinct utterances, and so necessitates a different set of te'amim of accommodate the different lexical parsing.

That is one explanation – but the interpretation proposed by Haïk-Vantoura has no difficulty in accepting multiple notes per syllable. There are some aspects of traditional cantillation, as if a memory of a distant time, the slurred descending fourths and fifths that are similar to what we hear with the multiple reciting notes on a single syllable.

Here too I have demonstrated the music in a different mode. The Lydian, effectively E+ mode makes this passage easier to sing. The E- is also easier than the default.
Exodus 20 Verse 2 Mixolydian
See below for the Hypodorian version.

So which music would you recommend?

Exodus 20 Fn Min Max Syll
וַיְדַבֵּ֣ר אֱלֹהִ֔ים אֵ֛ת כָּל־הַדְּבָרִ֥ים הָאֵ֖לֶּה לֵאמֹֽר 1 And God spoke all these words, saying, 3d 4B 16
אָֽנֹכִ֖י֙ יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֑֔יךָ
אֲשֶׁ֧ר הוֹצֵאתִ֛יךָ מֵאֶ֥רֶץ מִצְרַ֖יִם מִבֵּ֣֥ית עֲבָדִֽ֑ים
2 I am Yahweh your God,
who brought you forth from the land of Egypt, from the house of servitude.
3c 4B 9
לֹֽ֣א יִהְיֶֽה־לְךָ֛֩ אֱלֹהִ֥֨ים אֲחֵרִ֖֜ים עַל־פָּנָֽ֗יַ 3 B Not it is for you: other gods over my presence. 3d 4B 15
לֹֽ֣א תַֽעֲשֶׂ֨ה־לְךָ֥֣ פֶ֣֙סֶל֙ ׀ וְכָל־תְּמוּנָ֡֔ה אֲשֶׁ֤֣ר בַּשָּׁמַ֣֙יִם֙ ׀ מִמַּ֡֔עַל וַֽאֲשֶׁ֥ר֩ בָּאָ֖֨רֶץ מִתַָּ֑֜חַת
וַאֲשֶׁ֥֣ר בַּמַּ֖֣יִם ׀ מִתַּ֥֣חַת לָאָֽ֗רֶץ
4 B You will not make for yourself a graven image or any similitude that is in the heavens above or that is in the earth beneath,
or that is in the waters beneath the earth.
3e 4C 30
לֹֽא־תִשְׁתַּחְוֶ֥֣ה לָהֶ֖ם֮ וְלֹ֣א תָעָבְדֵ֑ם֒
כִּ֣י אָֽנֹכִ֞י יְהוָ֤ה אֱלֹהֶ֙יךָ֙ אֵ֣ל קַנָּ֔א פֹּ֠קֵד עֲוֺ֨ן אָבֹ֧ת עַל־בָּנִ֛ים עַל־שִׁלֵּשִׁ֥ים וְעַל־רִבֵּעִ֖ים לְשֹׂנְאָֽ֑י
5 You will not worship them and you will not serve them,
for I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous god, visiting the iniquity of forebears on children over three and over four generations to those who hate me.
3c 4C 11
וְעֹ֥֤שֶׂה חֶ֖֙סֶד֙ לַאֲלָפִ֑֔ים
לְאֹהֲבַ֖י וּלְשֹׁמְרֵ֥י מִצְוֺתָֽי
6 And doing mercy for thousands,
who love me and who keep my commandments.
3e 4C 9
לֹ֥א תִשָּׂ֛א אֶת־שֵֽׁם־יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ לַשָּׁ֑וְא
כִּ֣י לֹ֤א יְנַקֶּה֙ יְהוָ֔ה אֵ֛ת אֲשֶׁר־יִשָּׂ֥א אֶת־שְׁמ֖וֹ לַשָּֽׁוְא
7 f You will not lift up the name of Yahweh your God to vanity,
for Yahweh not will hold innocent who lifts up his name to vanity.
3d 4C 13
זָכ֛וֹר֩ אֶת־י֥֨וֹם הַשַּׁבָּ֖֜ת לְקַדְּשֽׁ֗וֹ 8 d Remember the day of the Sabbath to sanctify it. 3d 3g 10
שֵׁ֤֣שֶׁת יָמִ֣ים֙ תַּֽעֲבֹ֔ד֮ וְעָשִׂ֖֣יתָ כָּל־מְלַאכְתֶּֽךָ֒ 9 C Six days you will serve and do all your affairs, 3e 4C 17
וְי֙וֹם֙ הַשְּׁבִיעִ֔֜י שַׁבָּ֖֣ת ׀ לַיהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֑֗יךָ
לֹֽ֣א־תַעֲשֶׂ֣֨ה כָל־מְלָאכָ֡֜ה אַתָּ֣ה ׀ וּבִנְךָֽ֣־וּ֠בִתֶּ֗ךָ עַבְדְּךָ֤֨ וַאֲמָֽתְךָ֜֙ וּבְהֶמְתֶּ֔֗ךָ וְגֵרְךָ֖֙ אֲשֶׁ֥֣ר בִּשְׁעָרֶֽ֔יךָ
10 ~ But the seventh day is the Sabbath of Yahweh your God.
You will not do any trade, you and your son and your daughter, your manservant and your maidservant, and your cattle and the guest that is in your gates.
3e 4C 13
כִּ֣י שֵֽׁשֶׁת־יָמִים֩ עָשָׂ֨ה יְהוָ֜ה אֶת־הַשָּׁמַ֣יִם וְאֶת־הָאָ֗רֶץ אֶת־הַיָּם֙ וְאֶת־כָּל־אֲשֶׁר־בָּ֔ם וַיָּ֖נַח בַּיּ֣וֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִ֑י
עַל־כֵּ֗ן בֵּרַ֧ךְ יְהוָ֛ה אֶת־י֥וֹם הַשַּׁבָּ֖ת וַֽיְקַדְּשֵֽׁהוּ
11 B For six days Yahweh constructed the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and he rested on the seventh day.
Therefore Yahweh blessed the Sabbath day and sanctified it.
3c 4B 35
כַּבֵּ֥ד אֶת־אָבִ֖יךָ וְאֶת־אִמֶּ֑ךָ
לְמַ֙עַן֙ יַאֲרִכ֣וּן יָמֶ֔יךָ עַ֚ל הָאֲדָמָ֔ה אֲשֶׁר־יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ נֹתֵ֥ן לָֽךְ
12 Glorify your father and your mother,
so that prolonged are your days on the ground that Yahweh your God gives to you.
3e 4C 11
לֹ֥֖א תִּֿרְצָֽ֖ח 13 f You will not murder. 3e 3g 4
לֹ֣֖א תִּֿנְאָֽ֑ף 14 B You will not commit adultery. 3e 4B 4
לֹ֣֖א תִּֿגְנֹֽ֔ב 15 B You will not steal. 3e 4B 4
לֹֽא־תַעֲנֶ֥ה בְרֵעֲךָ֖ עֵ֥ד שָֽׁקֶר 16 You will not inflict false witness against your associate. 3e 3g 10
לֹ֥א תַחְמֹ֖ד בֵּ֣ית רֵעֶ֑ךָ
לֹֽא־תַחְמֹ֞ד אֵ֣שֶׁת רֵעֶ֗ךָ וְעַבְדּ֤וֹ וַאֲמָתוֹ֙ וְשׁוֹר֣וֹ וַחֲמֹר֔וֹ וְכֹ֖ל אֲשֶׁ֥ר לְרֵעֶֽךָ
17 f You will not covet the house of your friend,
nor will you covet the wife of your friend or manservant or maidservant or bull or ass or anything that is your friend's.
3e 4C 7
וְכָל־הָעָם֩ רֹאִ֨ים אֶת־הַקּוֹלֹ֜ת וְאֶת־הַלַּפִּידִ֗ם וְאֵת֙ ק֣וֹל הַשֹּׁפָ֔ר וְאֶת־הָהָ֖ר עָשֵׁ֑ן
וַיַּ֤רְא הָעָם֙ וַיָּנֻ֔עוּ וַיַּֽעַמְד֖וּ מֵֽרָחֹֽק
18 And all the people saw the rumblings and the torches and the voice of the shophar and the mountain smoking,
and the people saw and wavered to and fro and they stood distant.
3e 4C 27
וַיֹּֽאמְרוּ֙ אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֔ה דַּבֵּר־אַתָּ֥ה עִמָּ֖נוּ וְנִשְׁמָ֑עָה
וְאַל־יְדַבֵּ֥ר עִמָּ֛נוּ אֱלֹהִ֖ים פֶּן־נָמֽוּת
19 And they said to Moses, You speak with us and we will hear,
but let not God speak with us lest we die.
3d 4A 17
וַיֹּ֨אמֶר מֹשֶׁ֣ה אֶל־הָעָם֮ אַל־תִּירָאוּ֒ כִּ֗י לְבַֽעֲבוּר֙ נַסּ֣וֹת אֶתְכֶ֔ם בָּ֖א הָאֱלֹהִ֑ים
וּבַעֲב֗וּר תִּהְיֶ֧ה יִרְאָת֛וֹ עַל־פְּנֵיכֶ֖ם לְבִלְתִּ֥י תֶחֱטָֽאוּ
20 And Moses said to the people, Do not fear. It is to prove you this God has come,
and that his fear be over your presence that you not sin.
3c 4B 26
וַיַּעֲמֹ֥ד הָעָ֖ם מֵרָחֹ֑ק
וּמֹשֶׁה֙ נִגַּ֣שׁ אֶל־הָֽעֲרָפֶ֔ל אֲשֶׁר־שָׁ֖ם הָאֱלֹהִֽים
21 And the people stood distant,
and Moses came close to the dark turbulence where there was this God.
3e 4B 9
וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהוָה֙ אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֔ה כֹּ֥ה תֹאמַ֖ר אֶל־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל
אַתֶּ֣ם רְאִיתֶ֔ם כִּ֚י מִן־הַשָּׁמַ֔יִם דִּבַּ֖רְתִּי עִמָּכֶֽם
22 And Yahweh said to Moses, Thus you say to the children of Israel,
Yourselves you have seen that from the heavens I spoke with you.
3e 4C 17
לֹ֥א תַעֲשׂ֖וּן אִתִּ֑י
אֱלֹ֤הֵי כֶ֙סֶף֙ וֵאלֹהֵ֣י זָהָ֔ב לֹ֥א תַעֲשׂ֖וּ לָכֶֽם
23 f You will not construct with me gods of money,
nor gods of gold will you construct for you.
3e 4C 6
מִזְבַּ֣ח אֲדָמָה֮ תַּעֲשֶׂה־לִּי֒ וְזָבַחְתָּ֣ עָלָ֗יו אֶת־עֹלֹתֶ֙יךָ֙ וְאֶת־שְׁלָמֶ֔יךָ אֶת־צֹֽאנְךָ֖ וְאֶת־בְּקָרֶ֑ךָ
בְּכָל־הַמָּקוֹם֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר אַזְכִּ֣יר אֶת־שְׁמִ֔י אָב֥וֹא אֵלֶ֖יךָ וּבֵרַכְתִּֽיךָ
24 An altar of the ground you will construct for me and will offer on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your oxen.
In every place where I will have my name remembered, I will come to you and bless you.
3e 4B 35
וְאִם־מִזְבַּ֤ח אֲבָנִים֙ תַּֽעֲשֶׂה־לִּ֔י לֹֽא־תִבְנֶ֥ה אֶתְהֶ֖ן גָּזִ֑ית
כִּ֧י חַרְבְּךָ֛ הֵנַ֥פְתָּ עָלֶ֖יהָ וַתְּחַֽלְלֶֽהָ
25 And if an altar of stones you will construct for me, you will not build them of cut-stones,
for you elevate your sword on it and you will profane it.
3c 4C 18
וְלֹֽא־תַעֲלֶ֥ה בְמַעֲלֹ֖ת עַֽל־מִזְבְּחִ֑י
אֲשֶׁ֛ר לֹֽא־תִגָּלֶ֥ה עֶרְוָתְךָ֖ עָלָֽיו
26 And you will not ascend by stairs to my altar,
that your nakedness not be uncovered upon it.
3d 4A 12