Thursday, June 2, 2016

Zechariah 2

You know, friends, if such you are, this skim-boarding is both tiring and difficult. There are so many decisions made for us who read in translation, I can see why the process might never complete. Anyone could easily spend a lifetime with any one of the myriad of questions that occur to me as I slide by the dunes on the smooth waves after they have broken. There are rocks, but I avoid them by turning the skim-board around and finding another direction. It's easy to jump on and jump off again and balance for a few seconds an inch above the sand. And if the wave is too big, I ride it in and it shrinks. It always returns to the sea smaller in any case. But I don't ride them out for fear of being caught in the undertow.

Now to Zechariah, should I interpret the ב as with? I could, but then you wouldn't have to do any reading. Who are these angelsmessengers anyway? Is the prophet suffering a schizophrenic reaction to the stress of life? What voices are within that come and go and how do we hear them? Who is the angel speaking in the prophet? This is one strange encounter for me. It sounds like possession. I ask, who is speaking, whose voice in whose body, and to whom. And the suggestions within me are legion.

I am hushed into silence by the openness of the last verse.
Zechariah 2
וָאֶשָּׂ֥א אֶת־עֵינַ֖י וָאֵ֑רֶא
וְהִנֵּ֖ה אַרְבַּ֥ע קְרָנֽוֹת
1 And I lifted up my eyes and I saw.
And behold, four horns.
9
8
וָאֹמַ֗ר אֶל־הַמַּלְאָ֛ךְ הַדֹּבֵ֥ר בִּ֖י מָה־אֵ֑לֶּה
וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֵלַ֔י אֵ֤לֶּה הַקְּרָנוֹת֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר זֵר֣וּ אֶת־יְהוּדָ֔ה אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל וִירוּשָׁלָֽם ס
2 And I said to the angel of the one speaking in me, What are these?
And he said to me, These are the horns that estranged Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.
14
27
וַיַּרְאֵ֣נִי יְהוָ֔ה אַרְבָּעָ֖ה חָרָשִֽׁים 3 And Yahweh showed me four smiths. 12
וָאֹמַ֕ר מָ֛ה אֵ֥לֶּה בָאִ֖ים לַֽעֲשׂ֑וֹת
וַיֹּ֣אמֶר לֵאמֹ֗ר אֵ֣לֶּה הַקְּרָנ֞וֹת אֲשֶׁר־זֵ֣רוּ אֶת־יְהוּדָ֗ה כְּפִי־אִישׁ֙ לֹא־נָשָׂ֣א רֹאשׁ֔וֹ וַיָּבֹ֤אוּ אֵ֙לֶּה֙ לְהַחֲרִ֣יד אֹתָ֔ם לְיַדּ֞וֹת אֶת־קַרְנ֣וֹת הַגּוֹיִ֗ם הַנֹּשְׂאִ֥ים קֶ֛רֶן אֶל־אֶ֥רֶץ יְהוּדָ֖ה לְזָרוֹתָֽהּ
4 And I said, What have these come to do?
And he said, saying, These are the horns that estranged Judah such that no person could lift up his head and these have come to apprehend them, to thank the horns of the nations lifting up horn to the land of Judah to estrange it.
11
60
וָאֶשָּׂ֥א עֵינַ֛י וָאֵ֖רֶא וְהִנֵּה־אִ֑ישׁ
וּבְיָד֖וֹ חֶ֥בֶל מִדָּֽה
5 And I lifted up my eyes and I saw, and behold someone,
and in his hand a measuring rope.
12
7
וָאֹמַ֕ר אָ֖נָה אַתָּ֣ה הֹלֵ֑ךְ
וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֵלַ֗י לָמֹד֙ אֶת־יְר֣וּשָׁלִַ֔ם לִרְא֥וֹת כַּמָּֽה־רָחְבָּ֖הּ וְכַמָּ֥ה אָרְכָּֽהּ
6 And I said, Where you are going?
And he said to me, To measure Jerusalem to see what is her breadth and what is her length.
9
23
וְהִנֵּ֗ה הַמַּלְאָ֛ךְ הַדֹּבֵ֥ר בִּ֖י יֹצֵ֑א
וּמַלְאָ֣ךְ אַחֵ֔ר יֹצֵ֖א לִקְרָאתֽוֹ
7 And behold, the angel of the one speaking in me went out,
and another angel went out to encounter him.
12
10
וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֵלָ֔ו רֻ֗ץ דַּבֵּ֛ר אֶל־הַנַּ֥עַר הַלָּ֖ז לֵאמֹ֑ר
פְּרָזוֹת֙ תֵּשֵׁ֣ב יְרוּשָׁלִַ֔ם מֵרֹ֥ב אָדָ֛ם וּבְהֵמָ֖ה בְּתוֹכָֽהּ
8 And he said to him, Race. Speak to this lad saying,
Hamlets are the habitable shape of Jerusalem, given the multitude of human and beast in her midst.
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19
וַאֲנִ֤י אֶֽהְיֶה־לָּהּ֙ נְאֻם־יְהוָ֔ה ח֥וֹמַת אֵ֖שׁ סָבִ֑יב
וּלְכָב֖וֹד אֶֽהְיֶ֥ה בְתוֹכָֽהּ פ
9 And myself, I will become for her, an oracle of Yahweh, a wall of fire surrounding,
and for glory, I will be in the midst of her.
15
9
ה֣וֹי ה֗וֹי וְנֻ֛סוּ מֵאֶ֥רֶץ צָפ֖וֹן נְאֻם־יְהוָ֑ה
כִּ֠י כְּאַרְבַּ֞ע רוּח֧וֹת הַשָּׁמַ֛יִם פֵּרַ֥שְׂתִּי אֶתְכֶ֖ם נְאֻם־יְהוָֽה
10 Ho! ho! and withdraw from the land of the north, an oracle of Yahweh,
for as the four spirits of the heavens, I have spread you, an oracle of Yahweh.
16
18
ה֥וֹי צִיּ֖וֹן הִמָּלְטִ֑י
יוֹשֶׁ֖בֶת בַּת־בָּבֶֽל ס
11 Ho! Zion, escape,
you who sit with the daughter of Babel.
7
7
כִּ֣י כֹ֣ה אָמַר֮ יְהוָ֣ה צְבָאוֹת֒ אַחַ֣ר כָּב֔וֹד שְׁלָחַ֕נִי אֶל־הַגּוֹיִ֖ם הַשֹּׁלְלִ֣ים אֶתְכֶ֑ם
כִּ֚י הַנֹּגֵ֣עַ בָּכֶ֔ם נֹגֵ֖עַ בְּבָבַ֥ת עֵינֽוֹ
12 Because thus says Yahweh of hosts, Following glory, he sent me to the nations spoiling you,
for who touches among you, touches the apple of his eye.
26
15
כִּ֠י הִנְנִ֨י מֵנִ֤יף אֶת־יָדִי֙ עֲלֵיהֶ֔ם וְהָי֥וּ שָׁלָ֖ל לְעַבְדֵיהֶ֑ם
וִֽידַעְתֶּ֕ם כִּֽי־יְהוָ֥ה צְבָא֖וֹת שְׁלָחָֽנִי ס
13 For note me well, I will elevate my hand over them and they will be spoil to their servants,
and you will know that Yahweh of hosts sent me.
20
15
רָנִּ֥י וְשִׂמְחִ֖י בַּת־צִיּ֑וֹן
כִּ֧י הִנְנִי־בָ֛א וְשָׁכַנְתִּ֥י בְתוֹכֵ֖ךְ נְאֻם־יְהוָֽה
14 Shout for joy and be glad, daughter of Zion,
for note me well, I come, and I will dwell in your midst, an oracle of Yahweh.
8
14
וְנִלְווּ֩ גוֹיִ֨ם רַבִּ֤ים אֶל־יְהוָה֙ בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֔וּא וְהָ֥יוּ לִ֖י לְעָ֑ם
וְשָׁכַנְתִּ֣י בְתוֹכֵ֔ךְ וְיָדַ֕עַתְּ כִּי־יְהוָ֥ה צְבָא֖וֹת שְׁלָחַ֥נִי אֵלָֽיִךְ
15 And many nations will be allied to Yahweh in that day and they will be to me for a people,
and I will dwell in your midst, and you will know that Yahweh of hosts sent me to you.
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25
וְנָחַ֨ל יְהוָ֤ה אֶת־יְהוּדָה֙ חֶלְק֔וֹ עַ֖ל אַדְמַ֣ת הַקֹּ֑דֶשׁ
וּבָחַ֥ר ע֖וֹד בִּירוּשָׁלִָֽם
16 And Yahweh will inherit Judah, his share, on the holy ground,
and he chose still against Jerusalem.
17
8
הַ֥ס כָּל־בָּשָׂ֖ר מִפְּנֵ֣י יְהוָ֑ה
כִּ֥י נֵע֖וֹר מִמְּע֥וֹן קָדְשֽׁוֹ ס
17 Hush, all flesh, from the presence of Yahweh,
for he is aroused from his holy habitation.
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8


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