Thursday, August 11, 2016

Isaiah 39

I can't believe that many are really reading these renderings of mine. I left an entire verse in ungrammatical word order and no one of the 100+ hits mentioned it. I don't think the hit rate means much either. Occasionally, there are comments. I am happy to be challenged. I seldom let on what I believe. I hope the text speaks for itself. Some of it is positively not nice. All of it must be interpreted and none of it is authoritative in itself. Every translation is interpretation. Every translation is culturally biased by both the translator and the reader. (So blithely read on.)

But there is great stuff to come. Isaiah is awesome! Jeremiah will be my new Job (when I finally finish Job). And we'll get through the nasty bits of Joshua and Judges. And we'll stumble with the stumbling text of Samuel. And Kings and Chronicles will translate themselves. And we'll finish the 12. And we'll eventually get to the Hebrew Esther and finish the remaining 20% of the five scrolls. No Greek this time round.

What for? What do you trust in?

I get by with a little help from my friends...

Here's a short chapter. It's summer and I just have so little time at the moment. This chapter at the pivot between first and second Isaiah is not without its crux. Hezekiah's 'fortune' (נכת). That word is a hapax (only here and in the parallel passage in 2 Kings 20). It is close to the common word for the very common root for strike (נכה). But it cannot be strike in this context. Or any of the suggestions in my Latin concordance: percutere, ferire, caedere, castigare, complodere, palpitare, contundere, confringere, transfodere, perfodere, evertere, occidere fugare, proelio vincere, expugnare

Here's what the Latin translator does with these words: to strike, to hit, to strike, to punish, to clap, and gasps, crush, break up, transfodere(?), to dig, to overthrow, to banish, to kill, the battle to win, fight against.

Perhaps the hapax is related to a word traditionally glossed as spice (נכות). Pulvis aromaticus. Whatever it is, it is Hezekiah's 'pride' and I have glossed it as 'fortune'. He is exposing all that was treasured by the tradition that he has inherited. A curious crux for him. And he thinks there will be 'peace and truth' in his time.

Sometimes I add forms of the verb 'to be' where they are implied in verbless clauses in Hebrew, and sometimes the conversation is choppy and does not require full sentences. Like normal speech.

Isaiah 39
בָּעֵ֣ת הַהִ֡וא שָׁלַ֡ח מְרֹדַ֣ךְ בַּ֠לְאֲדָן בֶּֽן־בַּלְאֲדָ֧ן מֶֽלֶךְ־בָּבֶ֛ל סְפָרִ֥ים וּמִנְחָ֖ה אֶל־חִזְקִיָּ֑הוּ
וַיִּשְׁמַ֕ע כִּ֥י חָלָ֖ה וַֽיֶּחֱזָֽק
1 At that time Merodok-Baladan child of Baladan king of Babel sent correspondence and a gift to Hezekiah,
for he had heard that he was ill but was resolute.
31
10
וַיִּשְׂמַ֣ח עֲלֵיהֶם֮ חִזְקִיָּהוּ֒ וַיַּרְאֵ֣ם אֶת־בֵּ֣ית נְכֹת֡וֹ אֶת־הַכֶּסֶף֩ וְאֶת־הַזָּהָ֨ב וְאֶת־הַבְּשָׂמִ֜ים וְאֵ֣ת ׀ הַשֶּׁ֣מֶן הַטּ֗וֹב וְאֵת֙ כָּל־בֵּ֣ית כֵּלָ֔יו וְאֵ֛ת כָּל־אֲשֶׁ֥ר נִמְצָ֖א בְּאֹֽצְרֹתָ֑יו
לֹֽא־הָיָ֣ה דָבָ֗ר אֲ֠שֶׁר לֹֽא־הֶרְאָ֧ם חִזְקִיָּ֛הוּ בְּבֵית֖וֹ וּבְכָל־מֶמְשַׁלְתּֽוֹ
2 And Hezekiah was glad about them, and he showed them the house of his fortune, the silver and the gold, and the spices and the finest oil, and all the house of his equipment, and all that was found in his treasuries.
There was no thing that Hezekiah did not show them in his house or in all his governance.
56
21
וַיָּבֹא֙ יְשַׁעְיָ֣הוּ הַנָּבִ֔יא אֶל־הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ חִזְקִיָּ֑הוּ
וַיֹּ֨אמֶר אֵלָ֜יו מָ֥ה אָמְר֣וּ ׀ הָאֲנָשִׁ֣ים הָאֵ֗לֶּה וּמֵאַ֙יִן֙ יָבֹ֣אוּ אֵלֶ֔יךָ וַיֹּ֙אמֶר֙ חִזְקִיָּ֔הוּ מֵאֶ֧רֶץ רְחוֹקָ֛ה בָּ֥אוּ אֵלַ֖י מִבָּבֶֽל
3 And Isaiah the prophet came to king Hezekiah,
and said to him, What did these persons say and from where did they come to you? And Hezekiah said, From a land far off they came to me, from Babel.
18
43
וַיֹּ֕אמֶר מָ֥ה רָא֖וּ בְּבֵיתֶ֑ךָ
וַיֹּ֣אמֶר חִזְקִיָּ֗הוּ אֵ֣ת כָּל־אֲשֶׁ֤ר בְּבֵיתִי֙ רָא֔וּ לֹֽא־הָיָ֥ה דָבָ֛ר אֲשֶׁ֥ר לֹֽא־הִרְאִיתִ֖ים בְּאוֹצְרֹתָֽי
4 And he said, What did they see in your house?
And Hezekiah said, All that is in my house they saw. There was no thing that I did not show them in my treasuries.
10
30
וַיֹּ֥אמֶר יְשַׁעְיָ֖הוּ אֶל־חִזְקִיָּ֑הוּ
שְׁמַ֖ע דְּבַר־יְהוָ֥ה צְבָאֽוֹת
5 And Isaiah said to Hezekiah,
Hear the word of Yahweh of hosts.
12
9
הִנֵּה֮ יָמִ֣ים בָּאִים֒ וְנִשָּׂ֣א ׀ כָּל־אֲשֶׁ֣ר בְּבֵיתֶ֗ךָ וַאֲשֶׁ֨ר אָצְר֧וּ אֲבֹתֶ֛יךָ עַד־הַיּ֥וֹם הַזֶּ֖ה בָּבֶ֑ל
לֹֽא־יִוָּתֵ֥ר דָּבָ֖ר אָמַ֥ר יְהוָֽה
6 Behold days are coming and all that is in your house and that which your fathers had in the treasury until this day will be lifted up [to] Babel.
No thing will remain, says Yahweh.
32
9
וּמִבָּנֶ֜יךָ אֲשֶׁ֨ר יֵצְא֧וּ מִמְּךָ֛ אֲשֶׁ֥ר תּוֹלִ֖יד יִקָּ֑חוּ
וְהָיוּ֙ סָרִיסִ֔ים בְּהֵיכַ֖ל מֶ֥לֶךְ בָּבֶֽל
7 And of your children who emerge from you, which you will beget, they will be taken away.
And they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babel.
18
13
וַיֹּ֤אמֶר חִזְקִיָּ֙הוּ֙ אֶֽל־יְשַׁעְיָ֔הוּ ט֥וֹב דְּבַר־יְהוָ֖ה אֲשֶׁ֣ר דִּבַּ֑רְתָּ
וַיֹּ֕אמֶר כִּ֥י יִהְיֶ֛ה שָׁל֥וֹם וֶאֱמֶ֖ת בְּיָמָֽי
8 And Hezekiah said to Isaiah, Good. The word of Yahweh that you have spoken.
And he said, For there may be peace and truth in my days.
22
14


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