Thursday, May 5, 2016

Numbers 9:1-14

This is new ground for me. I wrote a little program to clean up some old ground and it cleaned up quite a bit more than I anticipated! Like removing about 15,000 glosses that I maybe should not have removed, almost complete verses. But after a partial recovery, I realized that many of these were old decisions that would have to be reviewed in any case. So I only lost a mere 1%. Less than a down day on the stock market.

But Numbers 9 is new ground in any case. A cantor and friend suggested I needed to learn a bit more in this area. It nearly unseated me due to an error in my data that tied my mind in knots until I saw it. It was confusion around the forms of אישׁ and אנושׁ. Very close words but I had kept their glosses separated and they threatened like unruly characters in a novel to have their way with the author and make him break his rules. These are both words like חיל and חסד and אדם and נפשׁ that require multiple different glosses in English - and sometimes there are homonyms in Hebrew too, like נבל which can be lute or senseless or even corpse. And it overlaps with those other words because this chapter requires a synonym for corpse attached to the impossible word נפשׁ.

Now nephesh is not really impossible. It is the word for soul. But much as I love that word - I don't ever use it as a gloss. It has been destroyed by the GREEKS. Or was it the Moabites?

I use being, self, me, you, him, throat, integrity, vitality. But in Numbers 9 I need a cadaver. Can you believe it? This was the problem I had with the dead body uncleanness rule. I should get serious about this because my own body is wearing out. But can you have a dead body when neither dead nor body occurs in the Hebrew? Apparently you can. But I would not confuse the glosses so I need another synonym for this context. Anyway - if I go into any more detail at the moment, I will lose you and me. The full analysis of the tangled hair will emerge gradually over many years.

For simplicity I will divide Numbers 9 into two posts. Verses 1-14 are new. And the rest of the chapter is new to me too - about the movements of the tabernacle (which I will gloss as the dwelling).

Here is the dead body passage without dead body. There is no rest in the first verse. It's a long one for no rest. And no rest in verse 2 or 4. One does/makes/constructs or undertakes (עשה) a Passover. One does not 'keep' it (שׁמר). It would be fair to say that such a rite is work that needs doing. Statutes (חק) seems to me a fine gloss and has one variation in my work (statute/decree). Maybe not a necessary one, but so far I have not required a change. (I exercise a little freedom occasionally - and I need a verb for most nouns and in English we don't verb nouns as much as Hebrew does).

The first 14 verses have very dense recurrence. Every verse participates even when I ask for recurrence > 4. 12 stems draw in every verse. משׁה אמר עשׂה בן ישׂראל פסח יום היה אישׁ לא הוא קרב

The dead body is the human cadaver in verse 6. bring near and oblation are the same root קרב
I am perplexed by the repetition of אישׁ and have rendered this root as someone or person in the section. The parentheses are my attempt to show what may be an afterthought in the mind of Yahweh while speaking. My repetition of the gloss cadaver in verse 13 is provocative. As if to say that living soul might as well be a cadaver, indeed must be so it can learn to live in a different way. The obligation of Passover is not a heavy burden. All this talk about testimony / decree / statute reminds me of Psalm 119. That poem is a lot better than the average reader thinks it is.

I really am trying to read without religious baggage. I don't need to do this, but it is my vocation - so woe to me if I don't. So I am religious. But I make no assumptions that a verse applies to Christ for instance like Gesenius does in his comment on Psalm 8. (Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon c 1850 Baker edition p 63 under אנושׁ "This latter passage applies to Christ solely;" emphasis original.) It's not that I reject the authority of Hebrews 2:6. It's that I am not reading this passage through those eyes at the moment. But those eyes are never far from my thoughts. If indeed Christ is our Passover, we had better learn what those two words Christ and Passover really signify. 
Numbers 9
וַיְדַבֵּ֣ר יְהוָ֣ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֣ה בְמִדְבַּר־סִ֠ינַי בַּשָּׁנָ֨ה הַשֵּׁנִ֜ית לְצֵאתָ֨ם מֵאֶ֧רֶץ מִצְרַ֛יִם בַּחֹ֥דֶשׁ הָרִאשׁ֖וֹן לֵאמֹֽר 1 And Yahweh spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai in the second year of their emergence from the land of Egypt, in the first new moon saying, 35
וְיַעֲשׂ֧וּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל אֶת־הַפָּ֖סַח בְּמוֹעֲדֽוֹ 2 And let the children of Israel undertake the Passover in its appointed time. 17
בְּאַרְבָּעָ֣ה עָשָֽׂר־י֠וֹם בַּחֹ֨דֶשׁ הַזֶּ֜ה בֵּ֧ין הָֽעֲרְבַּ֛יִם תַּעֲשׂ֥וּ אֹת֖וֹ בְּמוֹעֲד֑וֹ
כְּכָל־חֻקֹּתָ֥יו וּכְכָל־מִשְׁפָּטָ֖יו תַּעֲשׂ֥וּ אֹתֽוֹ
3 On the fourteenth day in this new moon between the evenings you will undertake it in its appointed time,
according to all the statutes and according to all its judgments, you will undertake it.
25
15
וַיְדַבֵּ֥ר מֹשֶׁ֛ה אֶל־בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל לַעֲשֹׂ֥ת הַפָּֽסַח 4 And Moses spoke to the children of Israel to undertake the Passover. 17
וַיַּעֲשׂ֣וּ אֶת־הַפֶּ֡סַח בָּרִאשׁ֡וֹן בְּאַרְבָּעָה֩ עָשָׂ֨ר י֥וֹם לַחֹ֛דֶשׁ בֵּ֥ין הָעַרְבַּ֖יִם בְּמִדְבַּ֣ר סִינָ֑י
כְּ֠כֹל אֲשֶׁ֨ר צִוָּ֤ה יְהוָה֙ אֶת־מֹשֶׁ֔ה כֵּ֥ן עָשׂ֖וּ בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל
5 And they undertook the Passover from the beginning on the fourteenth day of the first month between the evenings in the wilderness of Sinai,
according to everything that Yahweh commanded Moses, so undertook the children of Israel.
30
19
וַיְהִ֣י אֲנָשִׁ֗ים אֲשֶׁ֨ר הָי֤וּ טְמֵאִים֙ לְנֶ֣פֶשׁ אָדָ֔ם וְלֹא־יָכְל֥וּ לַעֲשֹׂת־הַפֶּ֖סַח בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֑וּא
וַֽיִּקְרְב֞וּ לִפְנֵ֥י מֹשֶׁ֛ה וְלִפְנֵ֥י אַהֲרֹ֖ן בַּיּ֥וֹם הַהֽוּא
6 And there were persons who were unclean from a human cadaver and they were not able to undertake the Passover in that day,
and they approached before Moses and before Aaron in that day.
31
18
וַ֠יֹּאמְרוּ הָאֲנָשִׁ֤ים הָהֵ֙מָּה֙ אֵלָ֔יו אֲנַ֥חְנוּ טְמֵאִ֖ים לְנֶ֣פֶשׁ אָדָ֑ם
לָ֣מָּה נִגָּרַ֗ע לְבִלְתִּ֨י הַקְרִ֜ב אֶת־קָרְבַּ֤ן יְהוָה֙ בְּמֹ֣עֲד֔וֹ בְּת֖וֹךְ בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל
7 And those persons said to him, We are unclean from a human cadaver.
Why are we disadvantaged that we may not bring near the oblation of Yahweh in its appointed time among the children of Israel?
23
26
וַיֹּ֥אמֶר אֲלֵהֶ֖ם מֹשֶׁ֑ה
עִמְד֣וּ וְאֶשְׁמְעָ֔ה מַה־יְצַוֶּ֥ה יְהוָ֖ה לָכֶֽם
8 And Moses said to them,
Stand, and I will hear what Yahweh will command for you.
8
14
וַיְדַבֵּ֥ר יְהוָ֖ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֥ה לֵּאמֹֽר 9 And Yahweh spoke to Moses saying, 10
דַּבֵּ֛ר אֶל־בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל לֵאמֹ֑ר
אִ֣ישׁ אִ֣ישׁ כִּי־יִהְיֶֽה־טָמֵ֣א ׀ לָנֶ֡פֶשׁ אוֹ֩ בְדֶ֨רֶךְ רְחֹקָ֜הׄ לָכֶ֗ם א֚וֹ לְדֹרֹ֣תֵיכֶ֔ם וְעָ֥שָׂה פֶ֖סַח לַיהוָֽה
10 Speak to the children of Israel saying,
Someone, (someone) that becomes unclean from a cadaver or is on a journey distant from you, (or of your generations) and will undertake the Passover of Yahweh,
10
32
בַּחֹ֨דֶשׁ הַשֵּׁנִ֜י בְּאַרְבָּעָ֨ה עָשָׂ֥ר י֛וֹם בֵּ֥ין הָעַרְבַּ֖יִם יַעֲשׂ֣וּ אֹת֑וֹ
עַל־מַצּ֥וֹת וּמְרֹרִ֖ים יֹאכְלֻֽהוּ
11 In the second new moon on the fourteenth day between the evenings they will undertake it.
With unleavened bread and bitterness they will eat it.
22
9
לֹֽא־יַשְׁאִ֤ירוּ מִמֶּ֙נּוּ֙ עַד־בֹּ֔קֶר וְעֶ֖צֶם לֹ֣א יִשְׁבְּרוּ־ב֑וֹ
כְּכָל־חֻקַּ֥ת הַפֶּ֖סַח יַעֲשׂ֥וּ אֹתֽוֹ
12 They will not leave a residue from it until morning and they will break no bone in it.
According to all the statutes of the Passover they will undertake it.
17
12
וְהָאִישׁ֩ אֲשֶׁר־ה֨וּא טָה֜וֹר וּבְדֶ֣רֶךְ לֹא־הָיָ֗ה וְחָדַל֙ לַעֲשׂ֣וֹת הַפֶּ֔סַח וְנִכְרְתָ֛ה הַנֶּ֥פֶשׁ הַהִ֖וא מֵֽעַמֶּ֑יהָ
כִּ֣י ׀ קָרְבַּ֣ן יְהוָ֗ה לֹ֤א הִקְרִיב֙ בְּמֹ֣עֲד֔וֹ חֶטְא֥וֹ יִשָּׂ֖א הָאִ֥ישׁ הַהֽוּא
13 But a person who is clean and is not on a journey and sets aside the undertaking of the Passover, this cadaver will be cut off from its people,
for the oblation of Yahweh did not come near at the appointed time. Its sin this very person will bear.
35
20
וְכִֽי־יָג֨וּר אִתְּכֶ֜ם גֵּ֗ר וְעָ֤שָֽׂה פֶ֙סַח֙ לַֽיהוָ֔ה כְּחֻקַּ֥ת הַפֶּ֛סַח וּכְמִשְׁפָּט֖וֹ כֵּ֣ן יַעֲשֶׂ֑ה
חֻקָּ֤ה אַחַת֙ יִהְיֶ֣ה לָכֶ֔ם וְלַגֵּ֖ר וּלְאֶזְרַ֥ח הָאָֽרֶץ
14 And when a guest will guest with you and will undertake the Passover of Yahweh according to the statutes of the Passover and according to its judgments so he will undertake.
One statute there will be for you, both for the guest and for the native of the land.
27
17


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