O, the food for blame that this story could engender. Take care, Bob, that you don't let the self-serving of the priests convince you of anything. I was not raised by the obvious bully, but by some who had been bullied and abused, and their problems were suffocating them. I loved a comment in The light from two oceans, a wonderful book recently made into a film, reviewed Friday morning (the 2nd of September) on CBC's On the Island. The comment in the book (p 323) was this: You only need to forgive once. To resent, you have to do it all day, every day. You have to keep remembering all the bad things.
In verse 16, I see again how wide a sense a given word can have in Hebrew. I think of חזק as good courage or resolution, but here it seems to mean idiomatically with self-serving forceful intent. Not so good. I don't know if I will change the gloss but I think not. It could have a touch of sarcasm using the positive as an intentional warning.
Similarly I have kept the usual gloss for משׁפּט, and I have made no attempt to create a full sentence out of verse 13. For fun I have put the priest's lad in the continuous present tense rather than a bland conditional reportage. The trouble with evil is its very presence.
I wonder about fork. Maybe it should be fork-lift!
Generally I try to avoid the implications of excluding language. Really it is impossible in Hebrew or English where the tongue itself lacks a personal human specific pronoun (though I have been sometimes using 'it' for this lack). But here in verse 25 I am stuck with man. Can't use person, anyone, one or other, since the contrast is specifically the generic human vs God, and can't use human since human is my gloss for אדם. So אישׁ לאישׁ, in contrast to ליהוה I am forced into man to man and man to Yahweh. In fact, I probably should not have gone down this path since it is just one of many distractions in reading the text.
Verses 32-33 are perplexing. JB and REB are quite different from the traditional.
JB One of you I will keep at my altar for his eyes to wither and his soul to perish, but the bulk of your house shall perish by the sword of men.
REB If I allow any to survive to serve my altar, his eyes will grow dim, his appetite fail, and his issue will be weaklings and die off.
JPS 1917 Yet will I not cut off every man of thine from Mine altar, to make thine eyes to fail, and thy heart to languish; and all the increase of thy house shall die young men.
KJV And the man of thine, whom I shall not cut off from mine altar, shall be to consume thine eyes, and to grieve thine heart: and all the increase of thine house shall die in the flower of their age.
Everyone searches for meaning or coherence of some sort. Some with more invention than others. Some with obvious moral lessons. I suspect the word I have glossed as mortals is an idiom of some sort that implies 'they will die in their prime' as the KJV has. You can see how the JB and REB have changed the pronouns from second to third person.
It may be that Samuel has several anomalous verses like this and discontinuities. Hopefully we can just take them as they come. I haven't got time for too much detailed comparison of other translations. That's not my purpose.
One can also read into the final prophecy in this chapter, both the trinity and the Eucharist. Be my guest. I have called up a word from Mr. Charles Williams to help. Co-inhere could also be rendered as pour me out, or lesion me, or even deform me.
This is a long chapter and I have said too much. I will never finish at this rate!
|1 Samuel 2|
|וַתִּתְפַּלֵּ֤ל חַנָּה֙ וַתֹּאמַ֔ר עָלַ֤ץ לִבִּי֙ בַּֽיהוָ֔ה רָ֥מָה קַרְנִ֖י בַּֽיהוָ֑ה |
רָ֤חַב פִּי֙ עַל־א֣וֹיְבַ֔י כִּ֥י שָׂמַ֖חְתִּי בִּישׁוּעָתֶֽךָ
|1||And Hannah prayed and she said, My heart is elated in Yahweh. My horn is exalted in Yahweh. |
Wide open is my mouth over my enemies for I am glad in your salvation.
|אֵין קָד֥וֹשׁ כַּיהוָ֖ה כִּ֣י אֵ֣ין בִּלְתֶּ֑ךָ |
וְאֵ֥ין צ֖וּר כֵּאלֹהֵֽינוּ
|2||There is none holy like Yahweh, for there is nothing without you, |
and none a rock like our God.
|אַל תַּרְבּ֤וּ תְדַבְּרוּ֙ גְּבֹהָ֣ה גְבֹהָ֔ה יֵצֵ֥א עָתָ֖ק מִפִּיכֶ֑ם |
כִּ֣י אֵ֤ל דֵּעוֹת֙ יְהוָ֔ה וְל֥וֹ נִתְכְּנ֖וּ עֲלִלֽוֹת
|3||Not with excess speak with the haughtiness of the haughty to let arrogance come out from your mouth, |
for a God of knowledge is Yahweh and of him, prodigality is balanced.
|קֶ֥שֶׁת גִּבֹּרִ֖ים חַתִּ֑ים |
וְנִכְשָׁלִ֖ים אָ֥זְרוּ חָֽיִל
|4||The bow of the valiant ones are dismayed, |
and they that stumble are girded with ability.
|שְׂבֵעִ֤ים בַּלֶּ֙חֶם֙ נִשְׂכָּ֔רוּ וּרְעֵבִ֖ים חָדֵ֑לּוּ |
עַד עֲקָרָה֙ יָלְדָ֣ה שִׁבְעָ֔ה וְרַבַּ֥ת בָּנִ֖ים אֻמְלָֽלָה
|5||Those sated find themselves earning bread and the famished are given relief, |
until the barren has given birth to seven, and of many children is enfeebled.
|יְהוָ֖ה מֵמִ֣ית וּמְחַיֶּ֑ה |
מוֹרִ֥יד שְׁא֖וֹל וַיָּֽעַל
|6||Yahweh puts to death and gives life, |
descends to Sheol and ascends.
|יְהוָ֖ה מוֹרִ֣ישׁ וּמַעֲשִׁ֑יר |
|7||Yahweh dispossesses and enriches, |
abases, also, celebrates,
|מֵקִ֨ים מֵעָפָ֜ר דָּ֗ל מֵֽאַשְׁפֹּת֙ יָרִ֣ים אֶבְי֔וֹן לְהוֹשִׁיב֙ עִם נְדִיבִ֔ים וְכִסֵּ֥א כָב֖וֹד יַנְחִלֵ֑ם |
כִּ֤י לַֽיהוָה֙ מְצֻ֣קֵי אֶ֔רֶץ וַיָּ֥שֶׁת עֲלֵיהֶ֖ם תֵּבֵֽל
|8||raises from dust the weak, from the dump, exalts the needy to sit with princes and the throne of glory to inherit, |
for to Yahweh are the distresses of the earth and he has set on them the world.
|רַגְלֵ֤י חֲסִידָיו֙ יִשְׁמֹ֔ר וּרְשָׁעִ֖ים בַּחֹ֣שֶׁךְ יִדָּ֑מּוּ |
כִּֽי לֹ֥א בְכֹ֖חַ יִגְבַּר אִֽישׁ
|9||The feet of those who are under his mercy he will keep and the wicked in the darkness are mute, |
for not in power does anyone prevail.
|יְהוָ֞ה יֵחַ֣תּוּ מריבו מְרִיבָ֗יו עלו עָלָיו֙ בַּשָּׁמַ֣יִם יַרְעֵ֔ם יְהוָ֖ה יָדִ֣ין אַפְסֵי־אָ֑רֶץ |
וְיִתֶּן־עֹ֣ז לְמַלְכּ֔וֹ וְיָרֵ֖ם קֶ֥רֶן מְשִׁיחֽוֹ
|10||Yahweh will dismay those who strive over him. In the heavens he thunders. Yahweh makes the case for the ends of the earth, |
and he gives strength to his king and he will exalt the horn of his anointed.
|וַיֵּ֧לֶךְ אֶלְקָנָ֛ה הָרָמָ֖תָה עַל־בֵּית֑וֹ |
וְהַנַּ֗עַר הָיָ֤ה מְשָׁרֵת֙ אֶת־יְהוָ֔ה אֶת־פְּנֵ֖י עֵלִ֥י הַכֹּהֵֽן
|11||And Elkanah went towards Ramah to his house. |
And the lad became minister of Yahweh in the presence of Eli the priest.
|וּבְנֵ֥י עֵלִ֖י בְּנֵ֣י בְלִיָּ֑עַל |
לֹ֥א יָדְע֖וּ אֶת־יְהוָֽה
|12||And the children of Eli were children of worthlessness. They did not know Yahweh.||10|
|וּמִשְׁפַּ֥ט הַכֹּהֲנִ֖ים אֶת־הָעָ֑ם |
כָּל־אִ֞ישׁ זֹבֵ֣חַ זֶ֗בַח וּבָ֨א נַ֤עַר הַכֹּהֵן֙ כְּבַשֵּׁ֣ל הַבָּשָׂ֔ר וְהַמַּזְלֵ֛ג שְׁלֹ֥שׁ־הַשִּׁנַּ֖יִם בְּיָדֽוֹ
|13||And the judgment of the priests is with the people. |
Everyone offers an offering and the priest's lad comes as the flesh is seething and the three pronged fork is in his hand.
|וְהִכָּ֨ה בַכִּיּ֜וֹר א֣וֹ בַדּ֗וּד א֤וֹ בַקַּלַּ֙חַת֙ א֣וֹ בַפָּר֔וּר כֹּ֚ל אֲשֶׁ֣ר יַעֲלֶ֣ה הַמַּזְלֵ֔ג יִקַּ֥ח הַכֹּהֵ֖ן בּ֑וֹ |
כָּ֚כָה יַעֲשׂ֣וּ לְכָל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל הַבָּאִ֥ים שָׁ֖ם בְּשִׁלֹֽה
|14||And he strikes into the chafing pan or into the pannier or into the cauldron or into the kettle. All that he brings up in the fork the priest takes for himself. |
Thus they did for all Israel when they came there into Shiloh.
|גַּם֮ בְּטֶרֶם֮ יַקְטִר֣וּן אֶת־הַחֵלֶב֒ וּבָ֣א ׀ נַ֣עַר הַכֹּהֵ֗ן וְאָמַר֙ לָאִ֣ישׁ הַזֹּבֵ֔חַ תְּנָ֣ה בָשָׂ֔ר לִצְל֖וֹת לַכֹּהֵ֑ן |
וְלֹֽא־יִקַּ֧ח מִמְּךָ֛ בָּשָׂ֥ר מְבֻשָּׁ֖ל כִּ֥י אִם־חָֽי
|15||Also before they make the choicest piece to smoke, and the priest's lad comes and says to each sacrificing, Give the flesh for the priest to roast, |
for he will not receive from you flesh that is boiled but rather alive.
|וַיֹּ֨אמֶר אֵלָ֜יו הָאִ֗ישׁ קַטֵּ֨ר יַקְטִיר֤וּן כַּיּוֹם֙ הַחֵ֔לֶב וְקַ֨ח־לְךָ֔ כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר תְּאַוֶּ֖ה נַפְשֶׁ֑ךָ |
וְאָמַ֥ר ׀ לֹא֙ כִּ֚י עַתָּ֣ה תִתֵּ֔ן וְאִם־לֹ֖א לָקַ֥חְתִּי בְחָזְקָֽה
|16||And anyone who says to him, They will make the choicest piece smoke as the day requires, then take for yourself as you desire, |
then he says, No, for now you will give. And if not, I will take, resolutely.
|וַתְּהִ֨י חַטַּ֧את הַנְּעָרִ֛ים גְּדוֹלָ֥ה מְאֹ֖ד אֶת־פְּנֵ֣י יְהוָ֑ה |
כִּ֤י נִֽאֲצוּ֙ הָֽאֲנָשִׁ֔ים אֵ֖ת מִנְחַ֥ת יְהוָֽה
|17||So it was that the sin of the lads was excessively great before Yahweh, |
for the mortals spurned the gift of Yahweh.
|וּשְׁמוּאֵ֕ל מְשָׁרֵ֖ת אֶת־פְּנֵ֣י יְהוָ֑ה |
נַ֕עַר חָג֖וּר אֵפ֥וֹד בָּֽד
|18||And Samuel ministered before Yahweh, |
a lad wearing a linen ephod.
|וּמְעִ֤יל קָטֹן֙ תַּעֲשֶׂה־לּ֣וֹ אִמּ֔וֹ וְהַעַלְתָ֥ה ל֖וֹ מִיָּמִ֣ים ׀ יָמִ֑ימָה |
בַּֽעֲלוֹתָהּ֙ אֶת־אִישָׁ֔הּ לִזְבֹּ֖חַ אֶת־זֶ֥בַח הַיָּמִֽים
|19||And a wee mantle his mother made him and brought it up to him, regularly, |
when she went up with her man to offer the regular offering.
|וּבֵרַ֨ךְ עֵלִ֜י אֶת־אֶלְקָנָ֣ה וְאֶת־אִשְׁתּ֗וֹ וְאָמַר֙ יָשֵׂם֩ יְהוָ֨ה לְךָ֥ זֶ֙רַע֙ מִן־הָאִשָּׁ֣ה הַזֹּ֔את תַּ֚חַת הַשְּׁאֵלָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר שָׁאַ֖ל לַֽיהוָ֑ה |
|20||And Eli blessed Elkanah and his wife and said, Yahweh render to you seed from this woman instead of the loan that is loaned to Yahweh. |
And they went to their place.
|כִּֽי־פָקַ֤ד יְהוָה֙ אֶת־חַנָּ֔ה וַתַּ֛הַר וַתֵּ֥לֶד שְׁלֹשָֽׁה־בָנִ֖ים וּשְׁתֵּ֣י בָנ֑וֹת |
וַיִּגְדַּ֛ל הַנַּ֥עַר שְׁמוּאֵ֖ל עִם־יְהוָֽה ס
|21||For Yahweh visited Hannah and she became pregnant and she gave birth to three sons and two daughters. |
And the lad Samuel grew with Yahweh.
|וְעֵלִ֖י זָקֵ֣ן מְאֹ֑ד |
וְשָׁמַ֗ע אֵת֩ כָּל־אֲשֶׁ֨ר יַעֲשׂ֤וּן בָּנָיו֙ לְכָל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וְאֵ֤ת אֲשֶֽׁר־יִשְׁכְּבוּן֙ אֶת־הַנָּשִׁ֔ים הַצֹּ֣בְא֔וֹת פֶּ֖תַח אֹ֥הֶל מוֹעֵֽד
|22||And Eli was very old. |
And he heard all that his sons were doing to all Israel and that they lay down with the women, the hosts at the door of the tent of engagement.
|וַיֹּ֣אמֶר לָהֶ֔ם לָ֥מָּה תַעֲשׂ֖וּן כַּדְּבָרִ֣ים הָאֵ֑לֶּה |
אֲשֶׁ֨ר אָנֹכִ֤י שֹׁמֵ֙עַ֙ אֶת־דִּבְרֵיכֶ֣ם רָעִ֔ים מֵאֵ֖ת כָּל־הָעָ֥ם אֵֽלֶּה
|23||And he said to them, Why do you do according to these things: |
your evil matters which I am hearing from all these people.
|אַ֖ל בָּנָ֑י |
כִּ֠י לֽוֹא־טוֹבָ֤ה הַשְּׁמֻעָה֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר אָנֹכִ֣י שֹׁמֵ֔עַ מַעֲבִרִ֖ים עַם־יְהוָֽה
|24||No my sons, |
for it is no good message that I hear from those passing by of the people of Yahweh.
|אִם־יֶחֱטָ֨א אִ֤ישׁ לְאִישׁ֙ וּפִֽלְל֣וֹ אֱלֹהִ֔ים וְאִ֤ם לַֽיהוָה֙ יֶֽחֱטָא־אִ֔ישׁ מִ֖י יִתְפַּלֶּל־ל֑וֹ |
וְלֹ֤א יִשְׁמְעוּ֙ לְק֣וֹל אֲבִיהֶ֔ם כִּֽי־חָפֵ֥ץ יְהוָ֖ה לַהֲמִיתָֽם
|25||If man sins against man then God intercedes for him but if against Yahweh man sins, who will intercede for him? |
But they heard not the voice of their father, for Yahweh delighted to have them die.
|וְהַנַּ֣עַר שְׁמוּאֵ֔ל הֹלֵ֥ךְ וְגָדֵ֖ל וָט֑וֹב |
גַּ֚ם עִם־יְהוָ֔ה וְגַ֖ם עִם־אֲנָשִֽׁים
|26||And the lad Samuel walked and grew and was good, |
both with Yahweh and with mortals.
|וַיָּבֹ֥א אִישׁ־אֱלֹהִ֖ים אֶל־עֵלִ֑י |
וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֵלָ֗יו כֹּ֚ה אָמַ֣ר יְהוָ֔ה הֲנִגְלֹ֤ה נִגְלֵ֙יתִי֙ אֶל־בֵּ֣ית אָבִ֔יךָ בִּֽהְיוֹתָ֥ם בְּמִצְרַ֖יִם לְבֵ֥ית פַּרְעֹֽה
|27||And a man of God came to Eli, |
and he said to him, Thus says Yahweh, To be disclosed, was I disclosed to the house of your ancestor when they themselves were in Egypt of the house of Pharaoh?
|וּבָחֹ֣ר אֹ֠תוֹ מִכָּל־שִׁבְטֵ֨י יִשְׂרָאֵ֥ל לִי֙ לְכֹהֵ֔ן לַעֲל֣וֹת עַֽל־מִזְבְּחִ֗י לְהַקְטִ֥יר קְטֹ֛רֶת לָשֵׂ֥את אֵפ֖וֹד לְפָנָ֑י |
וָֽאֶתְּנָה֙ לְבֵ֣ית אָבִ֔יךָ אֶת־כָּל־אִשֵּׁ֖י בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל
|28||And I chose him from all the sceptres of Israel for me, for priest, to ascend to my altar to burn incense with smoke, to bear an ephod in my presence, |
and I gave to your father's house all the offerings by fire of the children of Israel.
|לָ֣מָּה תִבְעֲט֗וּ בְּזִבְחִי֙ וּבְמִנְחָתִ֔י אֲשֶׁ֥ר צִוִּ֖יתִי מָע֑וֹן |
וַתְּכַבֵּ֤ד אֶת־בָּנֶ֙יךָ֙ מִמֶּ֔נִּי לְהַבְרִֽיאֲכֶ֗ם מֵרֵאשִׁ֛ית כָּל־מִנְחַ֥ת יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל לְעַמִּֽי
|29||Why do you kick at my altar and at my gifts which I commanded a habitation? |
And you glorify your sons over me, with plenty for you from the first of every gift of Israel my people.
|לָכֵ֗ן נְאֻם־יְהוָה֮ אֱלֹהֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵל֒ אָמ֣וֹר אָמַ֔רְתִּי בֵּֽיתְךָ֙ וּבֵ֣ית אָבִ֔יךָ יִתְהַלְּכ֥וּ לְפָנַ֖י עַד־עוֹלָ֑ם |
וְעַתָּ֤ה נְאֻם־יְהוָה֙ חָלִ֣ילָה לִּ֔י כִּֽי־מְכַבְּדַ֥י אֲכַבֵּ֖ד וּבֹזַ֥י יֵקָֽלּוּ
|30||Therefore, an oracle of Yahweh the God of Israel, saying, I said, Your house and your father's house should walk in my presence for evermore, |
but now, an oracle of Yahweh, Far be it of me. For who glorifies me I will glorify, and who despises me will be denied.
|הִנֵּה֙ יָמִ֣ים בָּאִ֔ים וְגָֽדַעְתִּי֙ אֶת־זְרֹ֣עֲךָ֔ וְאֶת־זְרֹ֖עַ בֵּ֣ית אָבִ֑יךָ |
מִֽהְי֥וֹת זָקֵ֖ן בְּבֵיתֶֽךָ
|31||Behold, days are coming when I will truncate your seed and the seed of your father's house, |
from becoming old in your house.
|וְהִבַּטְתָּ֙ צַ֣ר מָע֔וֹן בְּכֹ֥ל אֲשֶׁר־יֵיטִ֖יב אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל |
וְלֹֽא־יִהְיֶ֥ה זָקֵ֛ן בְּבֵיתְךָ֖ כָּל־הַיָּמִֽים
|32||And you will notice a troubled habitation in all that is good for Israel, |
and there will not be old age in your house every day.
|וְאִ֗ישׁ לֹֽא־אַכְרִ֤ית לְךָ֙ מֵעִ֣ם מִזְבְּחִ֔י לְכַלּ֥וֹת אֶת־עֵינֶ֖יךָ וְלַאֲדִ֣יב אֶת־נַפְשֶׁ֑ךָ |
וְכָל־מַרְבִּ֥ית בֵּיתְךָ֖ יָמ֥וּתוּ אֲנָשִֽׁים
|33||And a man I will not cut off of yours from my altar is to consume your eyes and to make you brood, |
but all the excess of your house will die mortals.
|וְזֶה־לְּךָ֣ הָא֗וֹת אֲשֶׁ֤ר יָבֹא֙ אֶל־שְׁנֵ֣י בָנֶ֔יךָ אֶל־חָפְנִ֖י וּפִֽינְחָ֑ס |
בְּי֥וֹם אֶחָ֖ד יָמ֥וּתוּ שְׁנֵיהֶֽם
|34||And this is the sign to you, that will come to your two sons, to Hophni and Phineas. |
In one day the two of them will die.
|וַהֲקִימֹתִ֥י לִי֙ כֹּהֵ֣ן נֶאֱמָ֔ן כַּאֲשֶׁ֛ר בִּלְבָבִ֥י וּבְנַפְשִׁ֖י יַעֲשֶׂ֑ה |
וּבָנִ֤יתִי לוֹ֙ בַּ֣יִת נֶאֱמָ֔ן וְהִתְהַלֵּ֥ךְ לִפְנֵֽי־מְשִׁיחִ֖י כָּל־הַיָּמִֽים
|35||And I will raise up for me a faithful priest. According to what is in my heart and in my being he will do. |
And I will build up for him a faithful house, and he will walk in the presence of my anointing every day.
|וְהָיָ֗ה כָּל־הַנּוֹתָר֙ בְּבֵ֣יתְךָ֔ יָבוֹא֙ לְהִשְׁתַּחֲוֺ֣ת ל֔וֹ לַאֲג֥וֹרַת כֶּ֖סֶף וְכִכַּר־לָ֑חֶם |
וְאָמַ֗ר סְפָחֵ֥נִי נָ֛א אֶל־אַחַ֥ת הַכְּהֻנּ֖וֹת לֶאֱכֹ֥ל פַּת־לָֽחֶם ס
|36||And it will happen that anyone remaining in your house will come to worship him for a piece of silver and a round loaf of bread. |
And he will say, Co-inhere me please to one of the priesthood to eat a fragment of bread.