Saturday, August 20, 2016

Zechariah 9, the famous chapter

Ah gentle reader, I would not want you to think the impoverished king was riding on two animals simultaneously, so I have not translated a vav. Horrors! You omitted a letter! Yes, beloved, because vav is a connector and can 'mean' just about anything the translator chooses to connect words with, even a comma or a space. Contrary to some opinions, the escape from the lunacy of riding two donkeys at once is not an appeal to Hebrew parallelism. It is simply an extra letter.

If you look at the music, you will see a pause in it on ass (חמר) and so time to determine as it passes if it is male or female, and hey, its a boy. Slow down and enjoy the poverty. Notice also the three differing words for said animal.

If I were reading this verse 9 without accents, I would have put more emphasis on the second syllable with a mahpakh, raising it to the high C earlier, but the emphasis of the verse is on the king. The rejoicing (which is a consequence of having an impoverished king) is emphasized by the pairs of parallels. So note the subtlety of these accents that expose meaning by their placement.
 
And notice where the rest is (the atnah ^). It is on simple stand-alone pronoun, he. In this verse he is saved. Note too how the atnah is in the middle of a sentence. The revia is sufficient to be a sentence closer (.) in the first 'half' of the verse.

In verse 16, it is Yahweh who is the subject of saves. Following the pronouns, I am reading 'the people' who are saved as the 'prisoners of expectation' of verse 12.

Note there is no rest in verse 11, the harrowing of hell is a single act without pause.

There are some shared words in this chapter with Psalm 144, particularly verses 12-14. There is some affinity with Psalm 72 also. The preferential option for the poor is certainly in evidence in both psalms.

Zechariah 9
מַשָּׂ֤א דְבַר־יְהוָה֙ בְּאֶ֣רֶץ חַדְרָ֔ךְ וְדַמֶּ֖שֶׂק מְנֻחָת֑וֹ
כִּ֤י לַֽיהוָה֙ עֵ֣ין אָדָ֔ם וְכֹ֖ל שִׁבְטֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל
1 A load, the matter of Yahweh in the land of Hadrak and Damascus, his resting-place,
for to Yahweh is the eye of an earthling and all the sceptres of Israel.
19
13
וְגַם־חֲמָ֖ת תִּגְבָּל־בָּ֑הּ
צֹ֣ר וְצִיד֔וֹן כִּ֥י חָֽכְמָ֖ה מְאֹֽד
2 And also Hamath borders her;
Tyre and Sidon that are very wise.
7
9
וַתִּ֥בֶן צֹ֛ר מָצ֖וֹר לָ֑הּ
וַתִּצְבָּר־כֶּ֙סֶף֙ כֶּֽעָפָ֔ר וְחָר֖וּץ כְּטִ֥יט חוּצֽוֹת
3 And Tyre built her fortification
and accumulated silver like dust and bullion as dirt of the streets.
7
15
הִנֵּ֤ה אֲדֹנָי֙ יֽוֹרִשֶׁ֔נָּה וְהִכָּ֥ה בַיָּ֖ם חֵילָ֑הּ
וְהִ֖יא בָּאֵ֥שׁ תֵּאָכֵֽל
4 Behold my Lord will possess her and will strike in the sea her wealth,
and she in fire will be devoured.
16
7
תֵּרֶ֨א אַשְׁקְל֜וֹן וְתִירָ֗א וְעַזָּה֙ וְתָחִ֣יל מְאֹ֔ד וְעֶקְר֖וֹן כִּֽי־הֹבִ֣ישׁ מֶבָּטָ֑הּ
וְאָ֤בַד מֶ֙לֶךְ֙ מֵֽעַזָּ֔ה וְאַשְׁקְל֖וֹן לֹ֥א תֵשֵֽׁב
5 Askelon will see and fear and Gaza, and will be in much turmoil, and Akron,
because dried up is her notability and perished the king from Gaza, and Ashkelon will not be inhabited.
24
15
וְיָשַׁ֥ב מַמְזֵ֖ר בְּאַשְׁדּ֑וֹד
וְהִכְרַתִּ֖י גְּא֥וֹן פְּלִשְׁתִּֽים
6 And a stranger will inhabit Ashdod,
and I will cut off the pride of the Philistines.
8
9
וַהֲסִרֹתִ֨י דָמָ֜יו מִפִּ֗יו וְשִׁקֻּצָיו֙ מִבֵּ֣ין שִׁנָּ֔יו וְנִשְׁאַ֥ר גַּם־ה֖וּא לֵֽאלֹהֵ֑ינוּ
וְהָיָה֙ כְּאַלֻּ֣ף בִּֽיהוּדָ֔ה וְעֶקְר֖וֹן כִּיבוּסִֽי
7 And I will put aside blood from its mouth, its detestable things from between its teeth, and one that is residue, even he, is for our God,
and he will be as captain in Judah and Eqron, as a Jebusite.
26
15
וְחָנִ֨יתִי לְבֵיתִ֤י מִצָּבָה֙ מֵעֹבֵ֣ר וּמִשָּׁ֔ב וְלֹֽא־יַעֲבֹ֧ר עֲלֵיהֶ֛ם ע֖וֹד נֹגֵ֑שׂ
כִּ֥י עַתָּ֖ה רָאִ֥יתִי בְעֵינָֽי ס
8 And I will encamp for my house, monitoring the passing through and returning, and none who harass will pass through over them any more,
for now I have seen with my eyes.
26
10
גִּילִ֨י מְאֹ֜ד בַּת־צִיּ֗וֹן הָרִ֙יעִי֙ בַּ֣ת יְרוּשָׁלִַ֔ם הִנֵּ֤ה מַלְכֵּךְ֙ יָ֣בוֹא לָ֔ךְ צַדִּ֥יק וְנוֹשָׁ֖ע ה֑וּא
עָנִי֙ וְרֹכֵ֣ב עַל־חֲמ֔וֹר וְעַל־עַ֖יִר בֶּן־אֲתֹנֽוֹת
9 Rejoice excessively, daughter of Zion, raise a shout, daughter of Jerusalem. Behold your king comes to you, a righteous one and saved is he,
impoverished, and riding on an ass, on a colt, the male foal of a she-donkey.
28
16
וְהִכְרַתִּי־רֶ֣כֶב מֵאֶפְרַ֗יִם וְסוּס֙ מִיר֣וּשָׁלִַ֔ם וְנִכְרְתָה֙ קֶ֣שֶׁת מִלְחָמָ֔ה וְדִבֶּ֥ר שָׁל֖וֹם לַגּוֹיִ֑ם
וּמָשְׁלוֹ֙ מִיָּ֣ם עַד־יָ֔ם וּמִנָּהָ֖ר עַד־אַפְסֵי־אָֽרֶץ
10 And I will cut off chariot from Ephraim and horse from Jerusalem, and the bow of war will be cut off, and he will speak peace to the nations.
And his governance will be sea to sea and from the river to the ends of the earth.
31
15
גַּם־אַ֣תְּ בְּדַם־בְּרִיתֵ֗ךְ שִׁלַּ֤חְתִּי אֲסִירַ֙יִךְ֙ מִבּ֔וֹר אֵ֥ין מַ֖יִם בּֽוֹ 11 Moreover in the blood of your covenant I have sent your prisoners from the pit without water in it. 19
שׁ֚וּבוּ לְבִצָּר֔וֹן אֲסִירֵ֖י הַתִּקְוָ֑ה
גַּם־הַיּ֕וֹם מַגִּ֥יד מִשְׁנֶ֖ה אָשִׁ֥יב לָֽךְ
12 Turn to the enclosure, prisoners of expectation.
Even today is evidence of the variance I will restore to you.
12
10
כִּֽי־דָרַ֨כְתִּי לִ֜י יְהוּדָ֗ה קֶ֚שֶׁת מִלֵּ֣אתִי אֶפְרַ֔יִם וְעוֹרַרְתִּ֤י בָנַ֙יִךְ֙ צִיּ֔וֹן עַל־בָּנַ֖יִךְ יָוָ֑ן
וְשַׂמְתִּ֖יךְ כְּחֶ֥רֶב גִּבּֽוֹר
13 For I direct Judah to me. The bow I have filled is Ephraim's and I will unleash your children, Zion, over your children, Greece.
And I have set you in place as the sword of one who prevails.
29
8
וַֽיהוָה֙ עֲלֵיהֶ֣ם יֵֽרָאֶ֔ה וְיָצָ֥א כַבָּרָ֖ק חִצּ֑וֹ
וַֽאדֹנָ֤י יְהֹוִה֙ בַּשּׁוֹפָ֣ר יִתְקָ֔ע וְהָלַ֖ךְ בְּסַעֲר֥וֹת תֵּימָֽן
14 And Yahweh over them will be seen and his arrow will come forth as lightning,
and my Lord Yahweh will sound with the shophar and walk with the tempests of a right hand.
16
20
יְהוָ֣ה צְבָאוֹת֮ יָגֵ֣ן עֲלֵיהֶם֒ וְאָכְל֗וּ וְכָֽבְשׁוּ֙ אַבְנֵי־קֶ֔לַע וְשָׁת֥וּ הָמ֖וּ כְּמוֹ־יָ֑יִן
וּמָֽלְאוּ֙ כַּמִּזְרָ֔ק כְּזָוִיּ֖וֹת מִזְבֵּֽחַ
15 Yahweh of hosts will defend them and they will devour and control sling stones and they will imbibe and murmur as if wine-soaked,
and they will be filled as bowls, as corner-stones of the altar.
27
13
וְֽהוֹשִׁיעָ֞ם יְהוָ֧ה אֱלֹהֵיהֶ֛ם בַּיּ֥וֹם הַה֖וּא כְּצֹ֣אן עַמּ֑וֹ
כִּ֚י אַבְנֵי־נֵ֔זֶר מִֽתְנוֹסְס֖וֹת עַל־אַדְמָתֽוֹ
16 And Yahweh their God will save them in that day as the flock of his people.
For stones of consecration, they are as standards over his ground.
18
11
כִּ֥י מַה־טּוּב֖וֹ וּמַה־יָפְי֑וֹ
דָּגָן֙ בַּֽחוּרִ֔ים וְתִיר֖וֹשׁ יְנוֹבֵ֥ב בְּתֻלֽוֹת
17 For what is his goodness and what is his beauty?
The grain of youths in their prime and new wine, the profit of maidens.
8
14


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