Monday 31 October 2016

Biblical Studies Carnival 128 - October 2016

Let Bear, house of Bear rejoice with Gelotophyllis
an herb which drank in wine and myrrh causes excess of laughter
Christopher Smart, Jubilate Agno, Fragment D
Old Testament Tent
Torah corner
Claude Mariottini continues the discussion on Genesis 3:16.
Matt Lynch develops his conclusions on style, grammar, and literary aspects of this passage here.
Kurk Gayle at BLT suggests why Craig's translation is among Marg's best.

Aliens in Ur? Both Jim Davila and Jim West on two independent articles that might suggest it. Anticipating Halloween - over by the time this is published.

Jim West points out an upcoming conference on the crisis in JEDP.
Livius Drusus has a special on a 10 commandments inscription.

Claude writes on the prayer of Moses for rebellious Israel.
Let Moses, the Man of God, bless with a Lizard,
in the sweet majesty of good-nature,
and the magnanimity of meekness.
Smart, op. cit. Fragment A
Jeremy Smoak writes on the use of the priestly blessing in iron age inscriptions.
Julia Blum muses on the season of Sukkot.
Jim Davila points us to an article on abortion via Exodus and Numbers.

Prophets corner
Matt Lynch finds application of the aftermath of 2 Samuel 11 to current events.
Let Samuel, the Minister from a child,
without ceasing praise with the Porcupine.

Smart, Fragment A
Your host continues his read of Hosea, the prophet of burned pancakes.
James McGrath posts some music for the Amos hymn fragments.
The Pleiades are not seven stars but hundreds
Their light tinted by interstellar dust
To meet our eyes after their 444-year journey
James McGrath, Song of the Celestial Seasons
There's a touch of Amos in Claude Mariottini's post on the law of pledges.
There's a touch of Ezekiel in Cassandra Gill's note on women in ancient Israel.

Writings corner
David Koyzis brings us Nat Turner singing the Psalms. More on Nat Turner turned up here.
James McGrath posts a setting of Psalm 53 in Syriac.
Roland Maynet's book on the 8 acrostic poems of the Psalter is reviewed here.
Brooke Lester writes on Psalms of Lament.
Your host asks for a language to describe musical structure using Psalm 96 as an example.
For the ACCENTS are the invention of the Moabites,
who learning the GREEK tongue marked the words
after their own vicious pronuntiation. Smart, Fragment B2
Scott McKnight on reading Job as literature.
And there is a touch of the subtlety of the book of Job in Phillip Long's series on Romans.
Gard Granerød gives some background on the temple at Elephantine.
Doug Ingram reviews Time in the book of Ecclesiastes.
Rhiannon Graybill reviews Jouissance, A Cixousian encounter with the Song of Songs.
Judith Gärtner reviews Denk an deinen Schöpfer (And remember your creator).

New Testament Tent
Gospels corner
Ruth Friederike Kunath introduces her new book Die Präexistenz Jesu im Johannesevangelium. Struktur und Theologie eines johanneischen Motivs. Wayne Coppins analyses selected passages in German and English.
Spoke to the dust, the fishes and the twelve
As if they understood him equally,
And told them nothing that they wished to know.
James McAuley, Jesus 15-17

Matthew Malcolm, recently relocated to Indonesia from western Australia, comments on a geographic 'mistake' in Mark.
There's a touch of Luke in a meditation on Sukkot here.
Jim Gordon considers reception history of Christ in the house of Martha and Mary.

Jim Davila points to an article on Lazarus.
Chris Keith discusses the common intertext.
Airton José da Silva presents Horbury's Messianism among Jews and Christians.
Brian Bunnell reflects on convention in language and the Kingdom of God.

Acts corner
CSCO team announces Characters and Characterization in Luke-Acts
Jay posts a summary on Prisca and Aquila.
Wayne Coppins examines differing doubts over the authorship of Luke-Acts.

Pauline corner
Jim Davila comments on the series on Romans by Phil Long. Phil continues his series on Romans here and here and so on. Your host has even dared to ponder again this letter. Sarah Agnew writes on the impact of performance for understanding Romans. Jim West reviews a release from Gerd Thiesen and Petra von Gemünden on Romans. Rafael asks whether Paul would approve that Jews be Jews? Larry Hurtado has a similar question. Phil Long reviews Paul Behaving Badly.
In order to arrive at what you do not know
You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance.
T. S. Eliot, East Coker III, 138-139
Wayne Coppins comments on speech ethics in Ephesians.
Marg Mowczko highlights hierarchy and its subversion in Paul.
Andrew Perriman writes on the first-fruits and eschatology.
Marg Mowczko asks about Apphia of Colossae.

Hebrews corner
Brian Small's Hebrews Highlights here.

Apocalypse corner
Ian Paul writes on the clouds. And continues his consideration of the Essentials of Biblical Interpretation here and here.

Post-Apostolic Corner
Jacob Prahlow continues his series on Scripture in 1 Clement concluding with a bibliography. Thomas Harmon posts on History and Historicism, Lubac's reading of Origen of Alexandria.
Dylan Burns reviews Marcion and the Making of a Heretic.
Archaeological Tent
Ancient tech three-ring circus
Livius Drusus reveals mosaic floor in Jericho.
Jim Davila points out new evidence for a Roman breach of the third wall of Jerusalem, fake DSS fragments, and the excavation of the burial place in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

He also has links and update on an early papyrus fragment containing the word Jerusalem. Christopher Rollston is more than cautious - Caveat Eruditus. These stories and links get around and come to suspected conclusions and denials quickly.

James McGrath points out an inscription on the appointment of Gallio for the revitalization of Corinth.
National Geographic posts on the tomb of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Modern Tech Corner
Tim Bulkeley reviews the Android interface of the Zondervan NIV cultural backgrounds study bible.
Theological/Christological Tent
Trying to learn to use words, and every attempt
Is a wholly new start, and a different kind of failure
Eliot, East Coker, V 173-4
Jim Davila brings up the
billionaire's desire to
escape from the matrix.
DET's Scott Jackson ponders the exponential multiplication of the gods.
Samuel Loncar on evincing invincible ignorance.
Pete Enns interviews Le Donne on Near Christianity.
Larry Hurtado clarifies a pod-cast of a conversation with Chris Tilling on early christology. His article in Catalyst on the distinctiveness of early Christianity is available here. More on early christology from Kirk and Buzzard via Michael Kok here, and from Bauckham here as well as some questions for the high Christology club.

Helen Bond on Bultmann, and social memory, and a touch of form criticism. James McGrath and Miller misreading Bultmann.

Jim West links to the Journal of the Jesus Movement in its Jewish Setting which begins with a 30-page essay by Terrence Donaldson on Supersessionism in Early Christian Self-Definition. Michael Kok's essay on Mark and Early High Christology begins on page 102.
James McGrath caps this discussion with a collection of October links on Christology.
Jacob summarizes later Christological disputes here and here.
For One is perfect and good
being at unity in himself.
Smart, Fragment C
Écrire la magie dans l'antiquité, an alternate view of the use of texts.
Rob Bradshaw has all the European Journal of Theology articles available. TOC here.
James Pate reviews Daniel Kirk's A Man Attested by God. Kirk discusses his book here with Dale Tuggy.

Frederick Mulder argues for non-historical Jesuses.
Jim West points out an article on the subversion of subversive Jesuses.
Implications for Governance Tent
The captains, merchant bankers, eminent men of letters,...
Industrial lords and petty contractors, all go into the dark,
Eliot, East Coker, III 103, 106
Ian Paul offers some thoughts on the inner and outer life in Matthew 5.
Scot McKnight on the Bible and governance (almost).
Zwingli's representative reports on the Bible and the current issues.
Larry Hoffman treats heaven and earth with a prod from Ibn Ezra.
Christopher Page on censorship.
Stefania Ermidoro gives a taste of the politics of banqueting.
Jim Davila on politics and archaeology here.
Andrew Perriman has a consumer classification of trousers and the kingdom here.
Airton José notes a decision from O Conselho Permanente da Conferência Nacional dos Bispos do Brasil-CNBB (supported by a quote from Chrysostom) re government policy on debt.
Lawrence Hoffman on humanity with a dove in mind.
Jim West quotes (who else) Zwingli on the proper relationship between church and state with a nod to Paul and Jeremiah.
Translation Tent
For last year's words belong to last year's language.
Eliot, Little Gidding II.118
Christoph Heilig notes the availability of the English translation of Wolter's commentary on Luke.
William Ross introduces the Cambridge Greek Lexicon.
James Pate reviews Discovering the Septuagint. Jim West also, and he interviews Karen Jobe here.
Robert Holmstedt posts his conclusion about הבל. James McGrath offered a gloss here, but perhaps it was half empty. ִInadvertent suggestion from Phil Long's Romans series here.
Ayana has an introduction to colour in Biblical Hebrew here.
Kris Lyle interviews Christian Locatell on his hopes for the application of linguistics to Bible translation.
Jordan Scheetz reviews A Biblical Aramaic Reader.
For I have translated in the charity, which makes things better
and I shall be translated myself at the last.
Smart, Fragment B1
In Memoriam

Jacob Neusner, noted by several bloggers. Four talks from 1976 in Montreal are available here.
Airton José acknowledges his debt to Gerhard von Rad.

Back Office Trailer
I do not compete with the Zwinglian Halloween carnival, but if you need respite, have a look at the Asterisk production of Hell, A Survivor's Guide or OUP's Why is the Bible so much like a horror movie? And as a footnote, Cassandra Farrin posts on necropolitics and hauntology.

The next three carnivals will be hosted by:
Volunteer to host a carnival. Please email Phil Long ( or direct message on Twitter (@plong42). Phil needs hosts for all months following January 2017. Carnival hosting is a good way of growing your knowledge of the BS community via blogs and through other social media portals, and of encouraging readers to come over to your site for a gelotophyllis party at month end. Pine nuts, peppercorns, and honey with palm wine are the antidote.

For the mind of man cannot bear a tedious accumulation of nothings without effect
Christopher Smart, Jubilate Agno, Fragment C

Leaving one still with the intolerable wrestle
With words and meanings
Eliot, East Coker II, 70
November pending...

Get ready for Carnival 128

A fine number - two to the seventh power.

or find out how the Muppets meet Christopher Smart in East Coker.

coming in only a few hours....

last minute suggestions welcome

Esther 9

This is a story of the ultimate victory of the needy. When I was meditating on this chapter I could not see past the vengeance and I had not yet translated the first two verses. Yesterday the lectionary Psalm was 149. The Psalms have a bracket encompassing the whole book from 2 to 149. It is a bracket of vengeance. In the Psalter taken as a whole, however, it is clear that violent vengeance is not the solution to anything.

I found this one of the more difficult chapters this year.
Esther 9 Fn Min Max Syll
וּבִשְׁנֵים֩ עָשָׂ֨ר חֹ֜דֶשׁ הוּא־חֹ֣דֶשׁ אֲדָ֗ר בִּשְׁלוֹשָׁ֨ה עָשָׂ֥ר יוֹם֙ בּ֔וֹ אֲשֶׁ֨ר הִגִּ֧יעַ דְּבַר־הַמֶּ֛לֶךְ וְדָת֖וֹ לְהֵעָשׂ֑וֹת
בַּיּ֗וֹם אֲשֶׁ֨ר שִׂבְּר֜וּ אֹיְבֵ֤י הַיְּהוּדִים֙ לִשְׁל֣וֹט בָּהֶ֔ם וְנַהֲפ֣וֹךְ ה֔וּא אֲשֶׁ֨ר יִשְׁלְט֧וּ הַיְּהוּדִ֛ים הֵ֖מָּה בְּשֹׂנְאֵיהֶֽם
1 And in the twelfth new moon (this is the month of Adar) on its thirteenth day, that the word of the king and the dictate touched that it should be done,
in the day that the enemies of the Judeans relied on having authority among them, (but it was overturned such that the Judeans had authority among those hating them),
3c 4C 36
נִקְהֲל֨וּ הַיְּהוּדִ֜ים בְּעָרֵיהֶ֗ם בְּכָל־מְדִינוֹת֙ הַמֶּ֣לֶךְ אֳחַשְׁוֵר֔וֹשׁ לִשְׁלֹ֣חַ יָ֔ד בִּמְבַקְשֵׁ֖י רָֽעָתָ֑ם
וְאִישׁ֙ לֹא־עָמַ֣ד לִפְנֵיהֶ֔ם כִּֽי־נָפַ֥ל פַּחְדָּ֖ם עַל־כָּל־הָעַמִּֽים
2 The Judeans convened in their cities in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus to extend a hand among those who sought their hurt,
and no-one stood before them for their dread fell over all the peoples.
3e 4B 32
וְכָל־שָׂרֵ֨י הַמְּדִינ֜וֹת וְהָאֲחַשְׁדַּרְפְּנִ֣ים וְהַפַּח֗וֹת וְעֹשֵׂ֤י הַמְּלָאכָה֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר לַמֶּ֔לֶךְ מְנַשְּׂאִ֖ים אֶת־הַיְּהוּדִ֑ים
כִּֽי־נָפַ֥ל פַּֽחַד־מָרְדֳּכַ֖י עֲלֵיהֶֽם
3 And all the nobles of the provinces, the satraps and the viceroys, and those plying the lines of work that belonged to the king, bore with the Judeans,
for the dread of Mordecai fell on them.
3e 4C 36
כִּֽי־גָ֤דוֹל מָרְדֳּכַי֙ בְּבֵ֣ית הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ וְשָׁמְע֖וֹ הוֹלֵ֣ךְ בְּכָל־הַמְּדִינ֑וֹת כִּֽי־הָאִ֥ישׁ מָרְדֳּכַ֖י הוֹלֵ֥ךְ וְגָדֽוֹל פ 4 For great was Mordecai in the house of the king and his fame had gone into all provinces,
for the man Mordecai traveled and was great.
3e 4C 31
וַיַּכּ֤וּ הַיְּהוּדִים֙ בְּכָל־אֹ֣יְבֵיהֶ֔ם מַכַּת־חֶ֥רֶב וְהֶ֖רֶג וְאַבְדָ֑ן
וַיַּֽעֲשׂ֥וּ בְשֹׂנְאֵיהֶ֖ם כִּרְצוֹנָֽם
5 And the Judeans struck against all their enemies with the strike of sword, and slaying and perishing.
And they did against those hating them according as they found acceptance with them.
3e 4C 21
וּבְשׁוּשַׁ֣ן הַבִּירָ֗ה הָרְג֤וּ הַיְּהוּדִים֙ וְאַבֵּ֔ד חֲמֵ֥שׁ מֵא֖וֹת אִֽישׁ 6 And in Shushan the temple precincts, the Judeans slew and eliminated five hundred such. 3e 4C 19
וְאֵ֧ת ׀ פַּרְשַׁנְדָּ֛תָא וְאֵ֥ת ׀ דַּֽלְפ֖וֹן וְאֵ֥ת ׀ אַסְפָּֽתָא 7 including Parshandatha, and Dalphon, and Aspatha, 3c 3g 15
וְאֵ֧ת ׀ פּוֹרָ֛תָא וְאֵ֥ת ׀ אֲדַלְיָ֖א וְאֵ֥ת ׀ אֲרִידָֽתָא 8 And Poratha, and Adalia, and Aridatha, 3c 3g 16
וְאֵ֤ת ׀ פַּרְמַ֙שְׁתָּא֙ וְאֵ֣ת ׀ אֲרִיסַ֔י וְאֵ֥ת ׀ אֲרִדַ֖י וְאֵ֥ת ׀ וַיְזָֽתָא 9 And Parmashta, and Arisai, and Aridai, and Vajezatha, 3e 4C 20
עֲ֠שֶׂרֶת בְּנֵ֨י הָמָ֧ן בֶּֽן־הַמְּדָ֛תָא צֹרֵ֥ר הַיְּהוּדִ֖ים הָרָ֑גוּ
וּבַ֨בִּזָּ֔ה לֹ֥א שָׁלְח֖וּ אֶת־יָדָֽם
10 ~ Ten children of Haman, child of Hammedatha the adversary of the Judeans, they slew.
But in the looting they did not extend their hands.
3c 4A 19
בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֗וּא בָּ֣א מִסְפַּ֧ר הַֽהֲרוּגִ֛ים בְּשׁוּשַׁ֥ן הַבִּירָ֖ה לִפְנֵ֥י הַמֶּֽלֶךְ 11 B In that day the count of the slain in Shushan the temple precincts came before the king. 3c 4B 22
וַיֹּ֨אמֶר הַמֶּ֜לֶךְ לְאֶסְתֵּ֣ר הַמַּלְכָּ֗ה בְּשׁוּשַׁ֣ן הַבִּירָ֡ה הָרְגוּ֩ הַיְּהוּדִ֨ים וְאַבֵּ֜ד חֲמֵ֧שׁ מֵא֣וֹת אִ֗ישׁ וְאֵת֙ עֲשֶׂ֣רֶת בְּנֵֽי־הָמָ֔ן בִּשְׁאָ֛ר מְדִינ֥וֹת הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ מֶ֣ה עָשׂ֑וּ
וּמַה־שְּׁאֵֽלָתֵךְ֙ וְיִנָּ֣תֵֽן לָ֔ךְ וּמַה־בַּקָּשָׁתֵ֥ךְ ע֖וֹד וְתֵעָֽשׂ
12 And the king said to Esther the queen, In Shushan the temple precincts, the Judeans slew and eliminated five hundred such, and ten children of Haman.
In the residue of the provinces of the king, what have they done, or what is your request, and it will be given to you, or what is your further demand and it will be done?
3c 4B 50
וַתֹּ֤אמֶר אֶסְתֵּר֙ אִם־עַל־הַמֶּ֣לֶךְ ט֔וֹב יִנָּתֵ֣ן גַּם־מָחָ֗ר לַיְּהוּדִים֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר בְּשׁוּשָׁ֔ן לַעֲשׂ֖וֹת כְּדָ֣ת הַיּ֑וֹם
וְאֵ֛ת עֲשֶׂ֥רֶת בְּנֵֽי־הָמָ֖ן יִתְל֥וּ עַל־הָעֵֽץ
13 And Esther said, If to the king it is good, let be given even tomorrow for Judeans that are in Shushan to do according to dictate today,
and let ten children of Haman be hung on the tree.
3d 4C 32
וַיֹּ֤אמֶר הַמֶּ֙לֶךְ֙ לְהֵֽעָשׂ֣וֹת כֵּ֔ן וַתִּנָּתֵ֥ן דָּ֖ת בְּשׁוּשָׁ֑ן
וְאֵ֛ת עֲשֶׂ֥רֶת בְּנֵֽי־הָמָ֖ן תָּלֽוּ
14 And the king said that it should be so done. And a dictate was given in Shushan.
And ten children of Haman they hanged.
3d 4C 19
וַיִּֽקָּהֲל֞וּ הַיְּהוּדִ֣ים אֲשֶׁר־בְּשׁוּשָׁ֗ן גַּ֠ם בְּי֣וֹם אַרְבָּעָ֤ה עָשָׂר֙ לְחֹ֣דֶשׁ אֲדָ֔ר וַיַּֽהַרְג֣וּ בְשׁוּשָׁ֔ן שְׁלֹ֥שׁ מֵא֖וֹת אִ֑ישׁ
וּבַ֨בִּזָּ֔ה לֹ֥א שָׁלְח֖וּ אֶת־יָדָֽם
15 And the Judeans that were in Shushan convened also on the fourteenth day of the month of Adar and they slew in Shushan three hundred such,
but in the looting they did not extend their hands.
3e 4C 38
וּשְׁאָ֣ר הַיְּהוּדִ֡ים אֲשֶׁר֩ בִּמְדִינ֨וֹת הַמֶּ֜לֶךְ נִקְהֲל֣וּ ׀ וְעָמֹ֣ד עַל־נַפְשָׁ֗ם וְנ֙וֹחַ֙ מֵאֹ֣יְבֵיהֶ֔ם וְהָרֹג֙ בְּשֹׂ֣נְאֵיהֶ֔ם חֲמִשָּׁ֥ה וְשִׁבְעִ֖ים אָ֑לֶף
וּבַ֨בִּזָּ֔ה לֹ֥א שָֽׁלְח֖וּ אֶת־יָדָֽם
16 And the residue of the Judeans who were in the provinces of the king convened and stood for their very selves and had rest from their enemies, and slew among those hating them, seventy five thousand,
but in the looting they did not extend their hands,
3e 4B 44
בְּיוֹם־שְׁלֹשָׁ֥ה עָשָׂ֖ר לְחֹ֣דֶשׁ אֲדָ֑ר
וְנ֗וֹחַ בְּאַרְבָּעָ֤ה עָשָׂר֙ בּ֔וֹ וְעָשֹׂ֣ה אֹת֔וֹ י֖וֹם מִשְׁתֶּ֥ה וְשִׂמְחָֽה
17 on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar,
and had rest on the fourteenth, and made it a day of partying and gladness.
3e 4C 12
וְהַיְּהוּדִ֣ים אֲשֶׁר־בְּשׁוּשָׁ֗ן נִקְהֲלוּ֙ בִּשְׁלֹשָׁ֤ה עָשָׂר֙ בּ֔וֹ וּבְאַרְבָּעָ֥ה עָשָׂ֖ר בּ֑וֹ
וְנ֗וֹחַ בַּחֲמִשָּׁ֤ה עָשָׂר֙ בּ֔וֹ וְעָשֹׂ֣ה אֹת֔וֹ י֖וֹם מִשְׁתֶּ֥ה וְשִׂמְחָֽה
18 And the Judeans that were in Shushan convened on the thirteenth and on the fourteenth,
and had rest on the fifteenth and made it a day of partying and gladness.
3e 4C 25
עַל־כֵּ֞ן הַיְּהוּדִ֣ים הַפְּרָזִ֗ים הַיֹּשְׁבִים֮ בְּעָרֵ֣י הַפְּרָזוֹת֒ עֹשִׂ֗ים אֵ֠ת י֣וֹם אַרְבָּעָ֤ה עָשָׂר֙ לְחֹ֣דֶשׁ אֲדָ֔ר שִׂמְחָ֥ה וּמִשְׁתֶּ֖ה וְי֣וֹם ט֑וֹב וּמִשְׁל֥וֹחַ מָנ֖וֹת אִ֥ישׁ לְרֵעֵֽהוּ פ 19 So the Judeans of the hamlets, those inhabiting in cities of the hamlets, made the fourteenth day of the month of Adar one of gladness and partying, and a good day,
and one of sending portions each to his associate.
3e 4C 51
וַיִּכְתֹּ֣ב מָרְדֳּכַ֔י אֶת־הַדְּבָרִ֖ים הָאֵ֑לֶּה
וַיִּשְׁלַ֨ח סְפָרִ֜ים אֶל־כָּל־הַיְּהוּדִ֗ים אֲשֶׁר֙ בְּכָל־מְדִינוֹת֙ הַמֶּ֣לֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵר֔וֹשׁ הַקְּרוֹבִ֖ים וְהָרְחוֹקִֽים
20 So Mordecai wrote these words,
and he had correspondence sent to all the Judeans that are in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus those near and those who were far,
3e 4B 13
לְקַיֵּם֮ עֲלֵיהֶם֒ לִהְי֣וֹת עֹשִׂ֗ים אֵ֠ת י֣וֹם אַרְבָּעָ֤ה עָשָׂר֙ לְחֹ֣דֶשׁ אֲדָ֔ר וְאֵ֛ת יוֹם־חֲמִשָּׁ֥ה עָשָׂ֖ר בּ֑וֹ
בְּכָל־שָׁנָ֖ה וְשָׁנָֽה
21 To place on them that they should do the fourteenth day of the month of Adar and the fifteenth day,
for every year by year,
3d 4C 31
כַּיָּמִ֗ים אֲשֶׁר־נָ֨חוּ בָהֶ֤ם הַיְּהוּדִים֙ מֵא֣וֹיְבֵיהֶ֔ם וְהַחֹ֗דֶשׁ אֲשֶׁר֩ נֶהְפַּ֨ךְ לָהֶ֤ם מִיָּגוֹן֙ לְשִׂמְחָ֔ה וּמֵאֵ֖בֶל לְי֣וֹם ט֑וֹב
לַעֲשׂ֣וֹת אוֹתָ֗ם יְמֵי֙ מִשְׁתֶּ֣ה וְשִׂמְחָ֔ה וּמִשְׁל֤וֹחַ מָנוֹת֙ אִ֣ישׁ לְרֵעֵ֔הוּ וּמַתָּנ֖וֹת לָֽאֶבְיוֹנִֽים
22 As the days in which the Judeans had rest among them from their enemies, and the month which was changed for them from sadness to gladness, and from lament to a good day,
for them to make days of partying and gladness, and of sending portions each to his associate and endowments to the needy.
3e 4C 39
וְקִבֵּל֙ הַיְּהוּדִ֔ים אֵ֥ת אֲשֶׁר־הֵחֵ֖לּוּ לַעֲשׂ֑וֹת
וְאֵ֛ת אֲשֶׁר־כָּתַ֥ב מָרְדֳּכַ֖י אֲלֵיהֶֽם
23 And the Judeans underwent what they had commenced to do,
and that Mordecai had written to them.
3d 4A 15
כִּי֩ הָמָ֨ן בֶּֽן־הַמְּדָ֜תָא הָֽאֲגָגִ֗י צֹרֵר֙ כָּל־הַיְּהוּדִ֔ים חָשַׁ֥ב עַל־הַיְּהוּדִ֖ים לְאַבְּדָ֑ם
וְהִפִּ֥יל פּוּר֙ ה֣וּא הַגּוֹרָ֔ל לְהֻמָּ֖ם וּֽלְאַבְּדָֽם
24 ~ For Haman child of Hammedatha the Agagite the adversary of all the Judeans, he had devised against the Judeans that they be eliminated,
and he had made Pur fall, (this is the dice) to confuse them and to eliminate them.
3e 4B 26
וּבְבֹאָהּ֮ לִפְנֵ֣י הַמֶּלֶךְ֒ אָמַ֣ר עִם־הַסֵּ֔פֶר יָשׁ֞וּב מַחֲשַׁבְתּ֧וֹ הָרָעָ֛ה אֲשֶׁר־חָשַׁ֥ב עַל־הַיְּהוּדִ֖ים עַל־רֹאשׁ֑וֹ
וְתָל֥וּ אֹת֛וֹ וְאֶת־בָּנָ֖יו עַל־הָעֵֽץ
25 And when she came before the king, he said with correspondence, his device, the evil that he had devised against the Judeans, will turn on his head,
and hanged him and his children on the tree.
3c 4B 34
עַל־כֵּ֡ן קָֽרְאוּ֩ לַיָּמִ֨ים הָאֵ֤לֶּה פוּרִים֙ עַל־שֵׁ֣ם הַפּ֔וּר עַל־כֵּ֕ן עַל־כָּל־דִּבְרֵ֖י הָאִגֶּ֣רֶת הַזֹּ֑את
וּמָֽה־רָא֣וּ עַל־כָּ֔כָה וּמָ֥ה הִגִּ֖יעַ אֲלֵיהֶֽם
26 Therefore they call these days Purim, from the name of Pur. Therefore over all the words of this letter,
or what they had seen thus, or what had touched them,
3e 4C 28
קִיְּמ֣וּ וְקִבְּל֣וּ הַיְּהוּדִים֩ ׀ עֲלֵיהֶ֨ם ׀ וְעַל־זַרְעָ֜ם וְעַ֨ל כָּל־הַנִּלְוִ֤ים עֲלֵיהֶם֙ וְלֹ֣א יַעֲב֔וֹר לִהְי֣וֹת עֹשִׂ֗ים אֵ֣ת שְׁנֵ֤י הַיָּמִים֙ הָאֵ֔לֶּה כִּכְתָבָ֖ם וְכִזְמַנָּ֑ם
בְּכָל־שָׁנָ֖ה וְשָׁנָֽה
27 the Judeans upheld and underwent themselves, and their seed, and all their allies that it should not pass away, that it should be made these two days according to their writing and according to their season,
in every year, by year.
3e 4C 49
וְהַיָּמִ֣ים הָ֠אֵלֶּה נִזְכָּרִ֨ים וְנַעֲשִׂ֜ים בְּכָל־דּ֣וֹר וָד֗וֹר מִשְׁפָּחָה֙ וּמִשְׁפָּחָ֔ה מְדִינָ֥ה וּמְדִינָ֖ה וְעִ֣יר וָעִ֑יר
וִימֵ֞י הַפּוּרִ֣ים הָאֵ֗לֶּה לֹ֤א יַֽעַבְרוּ֙ מִתּ֣וֹךְ הַיְּהוּדִ֔ים וְזִכְרָ֖ם לֹא־יָס֥וּף מִזַּרְעָֽם ס
28 And these days should be remembered and undertaken in every generation, by generation, family by family, province by province, and city by city,
so these days of Purim should not pass from the midst of the Judeans and the memorial not be concluded among their seed.
3e 4C 36
וַ֠תִּכְתֹּב אֶסְתֵּ֨ר הַמַּלְכָּ֧ה בַת־אֲבִיחַ֛יִל וּמָרְדֳּכַ֥י הַיְּהוּדִ֖י אֶת־כָּל־תֹּ֑קֶף
לְקַיֵּ֗ם אֵ֣ת אִגֶּ֧רֶת הַפּוּרִ֛ים הַזֹּ֖את הַשֵּׁנִֽית
29 ~ And Esther the queen, daughter of Abixail, wrote and Mordecai the Judean, with all energy,
to uphold this second letter of Purim.
3c 4B 24
וַיִּשְׁלַ֨ח סְפָרִ֜ים אֶל־כָּל־הַיְּהוּדִ֗ים אֶל־שֶׁ֨בַע וְעֶשְׂרִ֤ים וּמֵאָה֙ מְדִינָ֔ה מַלְכ֖וּת אֲחַשְׁוֵר֑וֹשׁ
דִּבְרֵ֥י שָׁל֖וֹם וֶאֱמֶֽת
30 And he had correspondence sent to all the Judeans, to seven hundred and twenty one provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus,
speaking peace and truth.
3e 4C 29
לְקַיֵּ֡ם אֵת־יְמֵי֩ הַפֻּרִ֨ים הָאֵ֜לֶּה בִּזְמַנֵּיהֶ֗ם כַּאֲשֶׁר֩ קִיַּ֨ם עֲלֵיהֶ֜ם מָרְדֳּכַ֤י הַיְּהוּדִי֙ וְאֶסְתֵּ֣ר הַמַּלְכָּ֔ה וְכַאֲשֶׁ֛ר קִיְּמ֥וּ עַל־נַפְשָׁ֖ם וְעַל־זַרְעָ֑ם
דִּבְרֵ֥י הַצֹּמ֖וֹת וְזַעֲקָתָֽם
31 To place these days of Purim in their season as Mordecai the Judean and Esther the queen had placed on them, and as they had placed on their very selves and on their seed,
the matters of their fastings and their appeal.
3d 4C 49
וּמַאֲמַ֣ר אֶסְתֵּ֔ר קִיַּ֕ם דִּבְרֵ֥י הַפֻּרִ֖ים הָאֵ֑לֶּה
וְנִכְתָּ֖ב בַּסֵּֽפֶר
32 And the saying of Esther upholds these matters of Purim,
and it is written in the book.
3e 4B 16

When one is given a design document, if one is going to take it seriously, one must press at its weak points. So also with one's own reading. What do you dislike? What makes you really uncomfortable? Here is where you stand to learn something if you can step back from the obvious distaste of the piece.

I have done it. But I have not learned here to live with my discomfort. This apparent replay of deadly force and admittedly necessary self-defense leaves me cold. The farce in the first chapter and the vengeance read into this chapter are distinctly distasteful.

Lord, your story here is not good. What is my problem with it? Simple: there is no redemption. There is no recognition of complicity.

But don't you then blame the victim? 

I have no desire to do that. But perhaps it is that I am so dependent on the deadly force of others that I fail to see other possibilities. I see daily the impact of deadly force. I hear lies everywhere. I see no solution. Though I believe in the sacrifice that is for the sins of the whole world, I do not see its impact where it is needed, in the halls of violence, power, and money.

I am empty here. Though I would show mercy to all, even to myself, I find this resolution in this story without social or moral merit.

Did I not empty myself?

Yes. And I see this story is about human dictates under your seal and you have left the resolution to the humans, Haman and Mordecai through the intercession of Esther. The threat, and the repayment seem to allow self-defense, but this does not represent your resolution. I have to question your character as it seems to be revealed here in the cypher of the king. It seems an ultimate almost irresponsible delegation of authority. But you were smitten by Esther as you loved her ancestors. Unfathomable. You did not abdicate but you allowed first one then the other precedence. What makes them different?

Who do you want to win? the gladness that respects life or the pleasure that seeks death?

Where then did that seeking of death come from? From your abdication in the heart?

There you have it. Evil has full access to me. So uphole the good which likewise has full access through its own preferential option for the needy. The king is biased, and a jealous rival, as you know. And you might remember what you have learned about Saul's failure with Agag and not forget fasting and appeal.

Saturday 29 October 2016

Project status after 2 years

The intent of this project is to find a rendering in English of the Old Testament text that could be set to the music that is embedded in the Hebrew text. Hearing the text with music is like hearing someone speak with vocal intention, tone of voice, rather than either hearing a monotone or projecting our own tone onto the text.

Recurring sounds
As I read, I find problems with traditional translations that are like mine, word for word. I imagine that a word is a word, though I do expect words to shift in usage over time. But within the same passage, I expect a word to have the same or a related gloss if it is repeated. In music, it is a matter of sound. Biblical Hebrew has patterns of repetition, sometimes even repeating the same root twice in a row, perhaps for emphasis, perhaps not. English composition, as I was taught it, had a rule that repeating the same word too close to another occurrence was bad form. And this rule is followed in translations from the 16th century on.

If your guest language has a rule that says 'repetition is important' and your host language says 'it is bad form', this is a conflict. A translation that fails to repeat the same sound when it recurs in a passage would be positively misleading the intent of the original language. It is a failure of hospitality in the translation. The KJV fails here repeatedly. It follows a literary rule that does not apply. And some of what it is translating in any case is not 'literary' in a 17th century sense. Sometimes also there are ambiguities, things the teacher would send back to the pupil saying, correct this. But it is not possible to correct. In fact its very ambiguity may be intentional. It is the reader's responsibility to recognize when a sentence is ambiguous and accept the fact that it is unresolved.

I have a rule that tries to avoid using the same English gloss for two separate Hebrew roots. I have 239 exceptions of this rule in nouns and verbs and modifiers, but my exceptions are uncountable in prepositions and other particles. It is the nature of the translation problem. I also try to reduce the number of synonyms I use in English for the same Hebrew root. Sometimes this is easy, even 1:1 is possible. But sometimes it is impossible. Either there is a Hebrew homonym, or a set of glosses is required in English for the same Hebrew root in different circumstances.

Computer Assistance
I have implemented my rules in computer algorithms. These help me to translate consistently across the whole of the Hebrew Scripture. But every rule requires judgment. Sometimes, for example when restrained by a word-game like an acrostic, I must allow the rules to fail. 22, about 10% of my exceptions come from this constraint.

Personal Bias
I am probably not even aware of my bias. I think the earlier translators may have been aware that they should not offend the king, and therefore should write things like 'God save the king', into their translation. It is a false reading.  Psalm 20 is close, but it reads: Yahweh save, let the king answer us in the day of our call. It does not read: The Lord save the king, answer us in the day of our call. The music makes this an impossible reading.

I have in any case, no need to defend the divine right of kings. But I may err inadvertently in defending feminism, liberalism, literalism, or even love. My rose-coloured glasses blind me.

I have to date read 389 out of 929 chapters completely. They are still subject to change, but I have read and decided on every gloss in 41.9% of the chapters. These chapters comprise 33.8% of the verses and 28.3% of the words.

I have touched 87% of the verses 20184/23151. That is at least one word in 87% of the verses has a guessed gloss. Some of these are reasonably certain, some not. Some are based on phrases up to 6 Hebrew words in length, some on only one. The formation of an English sentence is done for 35% of the verses, some of these in incomplete chapters. The English sentence in my latest technique is formed automatically and then arranged in acceptable word sequence.

I have a reasonably good guess based on algorithms for 57% of the words. 131011/304727.

Rate of work
Chapters get touched by automation in various ways. Unfortunately, I have a semantic domain experiment running in parallel with reading. And I think it distorts the number of actual gloss changes that are made after completion of a chapter. Those are relatively few but not insignificant. Blog frequency is the easiest to measure. I 'completed' the Psalms first in 2013, and I started the reading of 'the rest of the Bible' beginning November 2014. Since then, I have read 241 chapters and published on the blog 3 chapters in November, none in December, and in the next 22 months, 238 chapters, or about 11 per month average. There have been large variations.
In the last 12 months with the project in full swing, 168 chapters, 14 per month average, 3091 verses, and 66,918 words (drafted with automation). The pattern matching only began about a year ago. It promises to speed up translation considerably as it learns more words. I do not at this point, however, plan any further programming tasks around grammar. 

(But you never can tell if I will get distracted. I do have an implemented algorithm that analyses each word, and if I turned it on with pattern matching, I might speed things up even more. But my feeling is that the time used to try to go faster would be lost in the programming effort. Someone else can do this for their fun.)

As I complete each major section, say 100 to 150 pages, I hope to write some of the text into the libretto of selected parts of the section, and publish the work. People have asked for the psalms alone without all the analytical charts of Seeing the Psalter. So I expect to have a Psalter by June 2017. It is fully drafted with musical examples. But it is mostly simply a readable Psalter. I would welcome readers. Almost every Psalm has had some change. Job is next, and it is drafted. Thereafter, the Five Scrolls, only one chapter left before I review them against the music, and thereafter or concurrently, The Book of the Twelve, only a few chapters left there to read.

This promises to keep me occupied at least 2 full time days a week for the foreseeable future.

It is fun for me. I hope it is somewhat useful for any who read. The major thesis of the work, the music of the Old Testament, is in my new book, The Song in the Night, due out next month.

I do not think I can attempt to underlay in translation the whole 6000+ pages of music. It is quite astonishing to think that it was done at all in Hebrew and with such consistency. I am an explorer and puzzler in a large space. Many others will discover things there too.

I may be able to finish reading the whole Bible, but I probably don't need to worry whether I do or not.

And I add, I am limited by my sin, But there is forgiveness with thee, therefore shalt thou be feared.

If you love this work, then learn the original tongues. But do it as you read if you want to cover the whole body of the text. There is a lot of ground to cover. Don't be discouraged. Just start. Do 15 minutes a day, and keep going.

Esther 8

... and he had correspondence sent by the hand of the racers on the horses the riders of the steeds the mules and the foal of the mares. And they carried the message by email, Facebook, and twitter. Not to mention hard copy.

When the lies are dealt with, their consequences have to be undone. It takes 1000 years and more to undo lies. This is why it is better to know the revealed email and trust the transparent character. The character that tweets hatred is to be refused and destroyed and its devices with it.

If there is no God, and no instruction (Torah) and no monarch who incorporates a desirable character, then everyone will do what is right in their own eyes - a random selection of self-interest.

Better I think to have a monarch, where, even if invisible, a desirable character is modeled that is worth following.

The racers, the riders of the steeds, the mules, came forth, vexed but unrelenting by the word of the king.
And the dictate was given in Shushan [the place of the lily, the place of love], the temple precincts.

Esther 8 Fn Min Max Syll
בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֗וּא נָתַ֞ן הַמֶּ֤לֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ֙ לְאֶסְתֵּ֣ר הַמַּלְכָּ֔ה אֶת־בֵּ֥ית הָמָ֖ן צֹרֵ֣ר הַיְּהוּדִ֑ים
וּמָרְדֳּכַ֗י בָּ֚א לִפְנֵ֣י הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ כִּֽי־הִגִּ֥ידָה אֶסְתֵּ֖ר מַ֥ה הוּא־לָֽהּ
1 B In that day the king Ahasuerus gave to Esther the queen, the house of Haman, the adversary of the Judeans.
And Mordecai came in the presence of the king, for Esther had made clear who he was to her.
3e 4C 28
וַיָּ֨סַר הַמֶּ֜לֶךְ אֶת־טַבַּעְתּ֗וֹ אֲשֶׁ֤ר הֶֽעֱבִיר֙ מֵֽהָמָ֔ן וַֽיִּתְּנָ֖הּ לְמָרְדֳּכָ֑י וַתָּ֧שֶׂם אֶסְתֵּ֛ר אֶֽת־מָרְדֳּכַ֖י עַל־בֵּ֥ית הָמָֽן פ 2 And the king put aside his ring that he had transferred from Haman and gave it to Mordecai.
And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman.
3c 4C 39
וַתּ֣וֹסֶף אֶסְתֵּ֗ר וַתְּדַבֵּר֙ לִפְנֵ֣י הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ וַתִּפֹּ֖ל לִפְנֵ֣י רַגְלָ֑יו
וַתֵּ֣בְךְּ וַתִּתְחַנֶּן־ל֗וֹ לְהַֽעֲבִיר֙ אֶת־רָעַת֙ הָמָ֣ן הָֽאֲגָגִ֔י וְאֵת֙ מַֽחֲשַׁבְתּ֔וֹ אֲשֶׁ֥ר חָשַׁ֖ב עַל־הַיְּהוּדִֽים
3 B And again Esther spoke in the presence of the king and fell before his feet,
and weeping, made supplication to him to transfer the evil of Haman the Agagite and his device that he had devised against the Judeans.
3e 4B 20
וַיּ֤וֹשֶׁט הַמֶּ֙לֶךְ֙ לְאֶסְתֵּ֔ר אֵ֖ת שַׁרְבִ֣ט הַזָּהָ֑ב
וַתָּ֣קָם אֶסְתֵּ֔ר וַֽתַּעֲמֹ֖ד לִפְנֵ֥י הַמֶּֽלֶךְ
4 C And the king held out to Esther the golden mace,
and Esther arose and she stood in the presence of the king.
3e 4C 15
וַ֠תֹּאמֶר אִם־עַל־הַמֶּ֨לֶךְ ט֜וֹב וְאִם־מָצָ֧אתִי חֵ֣ן לְפָנָ֗יו וְכָשֵׁ֤ר הַדָּבָר֙ לִפְנֵ֣י הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ וְטוֹבָ֥ה אֲנִ֖י בְּעֵינָ֑יו
יִכָּתֵ֞ב לְהָשִׁ֣יב אֶת־הַסְּפָרִ֗ים מַחֲשֶׁ֜בֶת הָמָ֤ן בֶּֽן־הַמְּדָ֙תָא֙ הָאֲגָגִ֔י אֲשֶׁ֣ר כָּתַ֗ב לְאַבֵּד֙ אֶת־הַיְּהוּדִ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֖ר בְּכָל־מְדִינ֥וֹת הַמֶּֽלֶךְ
5 ~ And said, If to the king it is good, and if I find grace in his presence, and the matter succeed in the presence of the king, and I am good in his eyes,
let it be written to turn back the correspondence devised by Haman child of Hammedatha the Agagite that he wrote to eliminate the Judeans that are in all the provinces of the king.
3c 4C 37
כִּ֠י אֵיכָכָ֤ה אוּכַל֙ וְֽרָאִ֔יתִי בָּרָעָ֖ה אֲשֶׁר־יִמְצָ֣א אֶת־עַמִּ֑י
וְאֵֽיכָכָ֤ה אוּכַל֙ וְֽרָאִ֔יתִי בְּאָבְדַ֖ן מוֹלַדְתִּֽי
6 ~ For how will I be able to see the evil that will find my people,
and how will I be able to see the elimination of my kindred.
3e 4C 20
וַיֹּ֨אמֶר הַמֶּ֤לֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵרֹשׁ֙ לְאֶסְתֵּ֣ר הַמַּלְכָּ֔ה וּֽלְמָרְדֳּכַ֖י הַיְּהוּדִ֑י
הִנֵּ֨ה בֵית־הָמָ֜ן נָתַ֣תִּי לְאֶסְתֵּ֗ר וְאֹתוֹ֙ תָּל֣וּ עַל־הָעֵ֔ץ עַ֛ל אֲשֶׁר־שָׁלַ֥ח יָד֖וֹ בַּיְּהוּדִֽים
7 And the king Ahasuerus said to Esther the queen and to Mordecai the Judean,
Behold the house of Haman I have given to Esther, and him they hanged on the tree in that he extended his hand against the Judeans.
3d 4C 23
וְ֠אַתֶּם כִּתְב֨וּ עַל־הַיְּהוּדִ֜ים כַּטּ֤וֹב בְּעֵֽינֵיכֶם֙ בְּשֵׁ֣ם הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ וְחִתְמ֖וּ בְּטַבַּ֣עַת הַמֶּ֑לֶךְ
כִּֽי־כְתָ֞ב אֲשֶׁר־נִכְתָּ֣ב בְּשֵׁם־הַמֶּ֗לֶךְ וְנַחְתּ֛וֹם בְּטַבַּ֥עַת הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ אֵ֥ין לְהָשִֽׁיב
8 ~ But you, you write on the Judeans as is good in your sight in the name of the king, and seal it with the ring of the king,
for the writing that is written in the name of the king and sealed with the ring of king is not to be reversed.
3d 4C 30
וַיִּקָּרְא֣וּ סֹפְרֵֽי־הַמֶּ֣לֶךְ בָּֽעֵת־הַ֠הִיא בַּחֹ֨דֶשׁ הַשְּׁלִישִׁ֜י הוּא־חֹ֣דֶשׁ סִיוָ֗ן בִּשְׁלוֹשָׁ֣ה וְעֶשְׂרִים֮ בּוֹ֒ וַיִּכָּתֵ֣ב כְּֽכָל־אֲשֶׁר־צִוָּ֣ה מָרְדֳּכַ֣י אֶל־הַיְּהוּדִ֡ים וְאֶ֣ל הָאֲחַשְׁדַּרְפְּנִֽים־וְהַפַּחוֹת֩ וְשָׂרֵ֨י הַמְּדִינ֜וֹת אֲשֶׁ֣ר ׀ מֵהֹ֣דּוּ וְעַד־כּ֗וּשׁ שֶׁ֣בַע וְעֶשְׂרִ֤ים וּמֵאָה֙ מְדִינָ֔ה מְדִינָ֤ה וּמְדִינָה֙ כִּכְתָבָ֔הּ וְעַ֥ם וָעָ֖ם כִּלְשֹׁנ֑וֹ
וְאֶ֨ל־הַיְּהוּדִ֔ים כִּכְתָבָ֖ם וְכִלְשׁוֹנָֽם
9 So the secretaries of the king were called out at that time in the third month (this is the month of Sivan) on its twenty third and they wrote everything that Mordecai commanded, to the Judeans and to the satraps and the viceroys and the chiefs of the provinces that are from India to Cush, seven hundred and twenty one provinces, province by province, according to its writing, people by people according to its tongue,
and to the Judeans according to their writing and according to their tongue.
3e 4C 100
וַיִּכְתֹּ֗ב בְּשֵׁם֙ הַמֶּ֣לֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵרֹ֔שׁ וַיַּחְתֹּ֖ם בְּטַבַּ֣עַת הַמֶּ֑לֶךְ
וַיִּשְׁלַ֣ח סְפָרִ֡ים בְּיַד֩ הָרָצִ֨ים בַּסּוּסִ֜ים רֹכְבֵ֤י הָרֶ֙כֶשׁ֙ הָֽאֲחַשְׁתְּרָנִ֔ים בְּנֵ֖י הָֽרַמָּכִֽים
10 And he wrote in the name of the king Ahasuerus and sealed with the ring of the king,
and he had correspondence sent by the hand of the racers on the horses, the riders of the steeds,  the Ahasuerian male foals of the broodmares.
3e 4C 22
אֲשֶׁר֩ נָתַ֨ן הַמֶּ֜לֶךְ לַיְּהוּדִ֣ים ׀ אֲשֶׁ֣ר בְּכָל־עִיר־וָעִ֗יר לְהִקָּהֵל֮ וְלַעֲמֹ֣ד עַל־נַפְשָׁם֒ לְהַשְׁמִיד֩ וְלַהֲרֹ֨ג וּלְאַבֵּ֜ד אֶת־כָּל־חֵ֨יל עַ֧ם וּמְדִינָ֛ה הַצָּרִ֥ים אֹתָ֖ם טַ֣ף וְנָשִׁ֑ים
וּשְׁלָלָ֖ם לָבֽוֹז
11 In which the king granted for Judeans that were in every city, by city to convene and to stand for their very selves, to exterminate, and to slay, and to eliminate all the force of people or province, those besieging them, little ones and women,
and to take spoil of them, to loot.
3c 4B 54
בְּי֣וֹם אֶחָ֔ד בְּכָל־מְדִינ֖וֹת הַמֶּ֣לֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵר֑וֹשׁ
בִּשְׁלוֹשָׁ֥ה עָשָׂ֛ר לְחֹ֥דֶשׁ שְׁנֵים־עָשָׂ֖ר הוּא־חֹ֥דֶשׁ אֲדָֽר
12 B On the first day in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus,
on the thirteenth of month twelve (this is the month of Adar),
3d 4B 16
פַּתְשֶׁ֣גֶן הַכְּתָ֗ב לְהִנָּ֤תֵֽן דָּת֙ בְּכָל־מְדִינָ֣ה וּמְדִינָ֔ה גָּל֖וּי לְכָל־הָעַמִּ֑ים
וְלִהְי֨וֹת הַיְּהוּדִ֤ים עֲתִידִים֙ לַיּ֣וֹם הַזֶּ֔ה לְהִנָּקֵ֖ם מֵאֹיְבֵיהֶֽם
13 The copy of the writing to be given as dictate in every province, by province, was disclosed to all the peoples,
and the Judeans to be eager for this day to avenge themselves from their enemies.
3e 4C 25
הָרָצִ֞ים רֹכְבֵ֤י הָרֶ֙כֶשׁ֙ הָֽאֲחַשְׁתְּרָנִ֔ים יָֽצְא֛וּ מְבֹהָלִ֥ים וּדְחוּפִ֖ים בִּדְבַ֣ר הַמֶּ֑לֶךְ
וְהַדָּ֥ת נִתְּנָ֖ה בְּשׁוּשַׁ֥ן הַבִּירָֽה
14 The racers, the riders of the steeds, the Ahasuerians, came forth, vexed but unrelenting by the word of the king.
And the dictate was given in Shushan, the temple precincts.
3d 4C 28
וּמָרְדֳּכַ֞י יָצָ֣א ׀ מִלִּפְנֵ֣י הַמֶּ֗לֶךְ בִּלְב֤וּשׁ מַלְכוּת֙ תְּכֵ֣לֶת וָח֔וּר וַעֲטֶ֤רֶת זָהָב֙ גְּדוֹלָ֔ה וְתַכְרִ֥יךְ בּ֖וּץ וְאַרְגָּמָ֑ן
וְהָעִ֣יר שׁוּשָׁ֔ן צָהֲלָ֖ה וְשָׂמֵֽחָה
15 And Mordecai went forth from the presence of the king in royal clothing, amethyst and cream-white and a great crown of gold and regalia of sea silk and purple,
and the city of Shushan was bright and was glad.
3e 4C 38
לַיְּהוּדִ֕ים הָֽיְתָ֥ה אוֹרָ֖ה וְשִׂמְחָ֑ה
וְשָׂשֹׂ֖ן וִיקָֽר
16 For Judeans there was light and gladness,
and joy and esteem.
3e 4A 10
וּבְכָל־מְדִינָ֨ה וּמְדִינָ֜ה וּבְכָל־עִ֣יר וָעִ֗יר מְקוֹם֙ אֲשֶׁ֨ר דְּבַר־הַמֶּ֤לֶךְ וְדָתוֹ֙ מַגִּ֔יעַ שִׂמְחָ֤ה וְשָׂשׂוֹן֙ לַיְּהוּדִ֔ים מִשְׁתֶּ֖ה וְי֣וֹם ט֑וֹב
וְרַבִּ֞ים מֵֽעַמֵּ֤י הָאָ֙רֶץ֙ מִֽתְיַהֲדִ֔ים כִּֽי־נָפַ֥ל פַּֽחַד־הַיְּהוּדִ֖ים עֲלֵיהֶֽם
17 And in every province, by province, and in every city, by city, the place that the word of the king and the dictate touched, gladness and joy for Judeans, a party and a good day,
and many from the people of the earth modeled on the Judeans, for dread of the Judeans fell on them.
3e 4C 41

I was tempted to use Judaized - Judean as a verb in verse 17. To use the Judeans, or the Jews as a model for behaviour is consistent with the teaching of the New Testament, but you wouldn't know that from Christians. Judaize has become a bad word of course, but that too is generally misunderstood even by sensible people. So I introduced the workaround, modeled on the Judeans, because we need good examples. But of course we must be able to distinguish good from evil - in ourselves and those who are other to us.

four letter words

The world can be known in four letter words. Evil and love will do for a beginning. Evil, even spoken or written under the seal of the king is still evil. We cannot learn love alone. It is not good that the human should be alone. Ergo, redoubts are evil. Even when they are associated with the name of Christ. The good-evil axis is evident throughout Esther. If the book leads to self-protection and isolation, then even those who call on the name of God for such, are calling in evil. If the book leads one to love the other in our midst, then it has been read for love. Take your choice. And take the consequences.

Good for the Philippine president. God speaks. Those four letter words express his reality but not with love. Be angry but do not sin. Yet how true it is that nationalism by itself is evil. Esther again points this out in the image of the human empire of Ahasuerus. It is analogy, a close and multifaceted analogy, hidden.

Esther has some keys I cannot yet put in the lock. One of them is an obscure use of the word עבר, traverse, cross over, pass through, transfer. The consequences of the sin against the people of Judea in this book are transferred. Why this word?

Can't be more specific at the moment, too early in the morning. Probably will read the Globe and Mail and have breakfast. Perhaps these waking thoughts will pass. This is a blog after all.

Friday 28 October 2016

Esther 5

Esther is politically and emotionally shrewd to draw in her enemy by his own desires. It strikes me that the enemy is covering his insecurity with hatred. But perhaps that is too easy an excuse for jealousy. The enemy in this case is highly favored by the king. One has to ask if the king is himself shrewd. Then one remembers how this story started with the refusal of the earlier queen, Vashti, and Ahasuerus does not come out as an attractive character there either. He is moved by if not his own insecurity, at least the opinions and fears of his nobility. If we are to apply any of this story metaphorically, the pitfalls are many. Like the absentee landlord in the New Testament, the powers of this world do not care for those who are of lesser power. So it is for good and evil in this case governed by the male powers over the female powers. (How apropos Genesis 1 to 3 is in its choices of fundamental sticking points for humanity.)

The music is very elaborately ornamented. This could bear detailed study. The nature of the matching ornaments will note interpretive moves by the composer.

Esther 5 Fn Min Max Syll
וַיְהִ֣י ׀ בַּיּ֣וֹם הַשְּׁלִישִׁ֗י וַתִּלְבַּ֤שׁ אֶסְתֵּר֙ מַלְכ֔וּת וַֽתַּעֲמֹ֞ד בַּחֲצַ֤ר בֵּית־הַמֶּ֙לֶךְ֙ הַפְּנִימִ֔ית נֹ֖כַח בֵּ֣ית הַמֶּ֑לֶךְ
וְ֠הַמֶּלֶךְ יוֹשֵׁ֞ב עַל־כִּסֵּ֤א מַלְכוּתוֹ֙ בְּבֵ֣ית הַמַּלְכ֔וּת נֹ֖כַח פֶּ֥תַח הַבָּֽיִת
1 And it was on the third day and Esther clothed herself with royalty, and she stood in the court of the house of the king, the presence opposite the house of the king.
And the king sat on the throne of his kingdom in the house of the royal estates opposite the door of the house.
3e 4C 34
וַיְהִי֩ כִרְא֨וֹת הַמֶּ֜לֶךְ אֶת־אֶסְתֵּ֣ר הַמַּלְכָּ֗ה עֹמֶ֙דֶת֙ בֶּֽחָצֵ֔ר נָשְׂאָ֥ה חֵ֖ן בְּעֵינָ֑יו
וַיּ֨וֹשֶׁט הַמֶּ֜לֶךְ לְאֶסְתֵּ֗ר אֶת־שַׁרְבִ֤יט הַזָּהָב֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר בְּיָד֔וֹ וַתִּקְרַ֣ב אֶסְתֵּ֔ר וַתִּגַּ֖ע בְּרֹ֥אשׁ הַשַּׁרְבִֽיט
2 And it happened that when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, she bore grace in his eyes,
and the king held out to Esther the golden mace that was in his hand and Esther approached and touched the top of the mace.
3e 4C 25
וַיֹּ֤אמֶר לָהּ֙ הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ מַה־לָּ֖ךְ אֶסְתֵּ֣ר הַמַּלְכָּ֑ה
וּמַה־בַּקָּשָׁתֵ֛ךְ עַד־חֲצִ֥י הַמַּלְכ֖וּת וְיִנָּ֥תֵֽן לָֽךְ
3 And the king said to her, What is it to you, Esther, O queen?
Or what is your demand? To half of the royal estates? And it will be given to you.
3d 4C 14
וַתֹּ֣אמֶר אֶסְתֵּ֔ר אִם־עַל־הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ ט֑וֹב
יָב֨וֹא הַמֶּ֤לֶךְ וְהָמָן֙ הַיּ֔וֹם אֶל־הַמִּשְׁתֶּ֖ה אֲשֶׁר־עָשִׂ֥יתִי לֽוֹ
4 And Esther said, If to the king it is good,
let the king and Haman come today to the party that I have made for him.
3e 4C 11
וַיֹּ֣אמֶר הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ מַהֲרוּ֙ אֶת־הָמָ֔ן לַעֲשׂ֖וֹת אֶת־דְּבַ֣ר אֶסְתֵּ֑ר
וַיָּבֹ֤א הַמֶּ֙לֶךְ֙ וְהָמָ֔ן אֶל־הַמִּשְׁתֶּ֖ה אֲשֶׁר־עָשְׂתָ֥ה אֶסְתֵּֽר
5 And the king said, Have Haman move swiftly to undertake the word of Esther,
and let the king and Haman come to the party that Esther has made.
3e 4C 20
וַיֹּ֨אמֶר הַמֶּ֤לֶךְ לְאֶסְתֵּר֙ בְּמִשְׁתֵּ֣ה הַיַּ֔יִן מַה־שְּׁאֵלָתֵ֖ךְ וְיִנָּ֣תֵֽן לָ֑ךְ
וּמַה־בַּקָּשָׁתֵ֛ךְ עַד־חֲצִ֥י הַמַּלְכ֖וּת וְתֵעָֽשׂ
6 And the king said to Esther in the imbibing of the wine, What is your request? And it will be given to you.
Or what is your demand? to half of the royal estates? And it will be done.
3d 4C 24
וַתַּ֥עַן אֶסְתֵּ֖ר וַתֹּאמַ֑ר
שְׁאֵלָתִ֖י וּבַקָּשָׁתִֽי
7 And Esther answered and said,
My request and my demand:
3e 4A 8
אִם־מָצָ֨אתִי חֵ֜ן בְּעֵינֵ֣י הַמֶּ֗לֶךְ וְאִם־עַל־הַמֶּ֙לֶךְ֙ ט֔וֹב לָתֵת֙ אֶת־שְׁאֵ֣לָתִ֔י וְלַעֲשׂ֖וֹת אֶת־בַּקָּשָׁתִ֑י
יָב֧וֹא הַמֶּ֣לֶךְ וְהָמָ֗ן אֶל־הַמִּשְׁתֶּה֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר אֶֽעֱשֶׂ֣ה לָהֶ֔ם וּמָחָ֥ר אֶֽעֱשֶׂ֖ה כִּדְבַ֥ר הַמֶּֽלֶךְ
8 If I have found grace in the eyes of the king, and if to the king it is good to grant my request, and to do my demand,
let the king and Haman come to the party that I will make for them. And tomorrow I will do according to the word of the king.
3c 4B 34
וַיֵּצֵ֤א הָמָן֙ בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֔וּא שָׂמֵ֖חַ וְט֣וֹב לֵ֑ב
וְכִרְאוֹת֩ הָמָ֨ן אֶֽת־מָרְדֳּכַ֜י בְּשַׁ֣עַר הַמֶּ֗לֶךְ וְלֹא־קָם֙ וְלֹא־זָ֣ע מִמֶּ֔נּוּ וַיִּמָּלֵ֥א הָמָ֛ן עַֽל־מָרְדֳּכַ֖י חֵמָֽה
9 And Haman came forth in that day, glad and well of heart,
but as Haman saw Mordecai at the gate of the king and he did not arise and was not unnerved because of him, then Haman was full, concerning Mordecai, of heat.
3d 4C 15
וַיִּתְאַפַּ֣ק הָמָ֔ן וַיָּב֖וֹא אֶל־בֵּית֑וֹ
וַיִּשְׁלַ֛ח וַיָּבֵ֥א אֶת־אֹהֲבָ֖יו וְאֶת־זֶ֥רֶשׁ אִשְׁתּֽוֹ
10 But Haman repressed himself, and he came in to his house,
and he sent for and he made those who loved him come and Zeresh his wife.
3d 4B 12
וַיְסַפֵּ֨ר לָהֶ֥ם הָמָ֛ן אֶת־כְּב֥וֹד עָשְׁר֖וֹ וְרֹ֣ב בָּנָ֑יו
וְאֵת֩ כָּל־אֲשֶׁ֨ר גִּדְּל֤וֹ הַמֶּ֙לֶךְ֙ וְאֵ֣ת אֲשֶׁ֣ר נִשְּׂא֔וֹ עַל־הַשָּׂרִ֖ים וְעַבְדֵ֥י הַמֶּֽלֶךְ
11 And Haman recounted to them the glory of his riches, and the abundance of his children,
and all that the king promoted for him, and that he was lifted up over the nobility and the servants of the king.
3d 4C 16
וַיֹּאמֶר֮ הָמָן֒ אַ֣ף לֹא־הֵבִיאָה֩ אֶסְתֵּ֨ר הַמַּלְכָּ֧ה עִם־הַמֶּ֛לֶךְ אֶל־הַמִּשְׁתֶּ֥ה אֲשֶׁר־עָשָׂ֖תָה כִּ֣י אִם־אוֹתִ֑י
וְגַם־לְמָחָ֛ר אֲנִ֥י קָֽרוּא־לָ֖הּ עִם־הַמֶּֽלֶךְ
12 And Haman said, Indeed Esther the queen with the king did not let anyone come to the party that she had made except me.
And even tomorrow I am called to her with the king.
3c 4B 31
וְכָל־זֶ֕ה אֵינֶ֥נּוּ שֹׁוֶ֖ה לִ֑י
בְּכָל־עֵ֗ת אֲשֶׁ֨ר אֲנִ֤י רֹאֶה֙ אֶת־מָרְדֳּכַ֣י הַיְּהוּדִ֔י יוֹשֵׁ֖ב בְּשַׁ֥עַר הַמֶּֽלֶךְ
13 But all this is considered equal to nothing to me.
For all of the time that I, I see Mordecai the Judean sitting at the gate of the king.
3e 4C 9
וַתֹּ֣אמֶר לוֹ֩ זֶ֨רֶשׁ אִשְׁתּ֜וֹ וְכָל־אֹֽהֲבָ֗יו יַֽעֲשׂוּ־עֵץ֮ גָּבֹ֣הַּ חֲמִשִּׁ֣ים אַמָּה֒ וּבַבֹּ֣קֶר ׀ אֱמֹ֣ר לַמֶּ֗לֶךְ וְיִתְל֤וּ אֶֽת־מָרְדֳּכַי֙ עָלָ֔יו וּבֹֽא־עִם־הַמֶּ֥לֶךְ אֶל‬ הַמִּשְׁתֶּ֖ה שָׂמֵ֑חַ
וַיִּיטַ֧ב הַדָּבָ֛ר לִפְנֵ֥י הָמָ֖ן וַיַּ֥עַשׂ הָעֵֽץ פ
14 Then said to him Zeresh his wife, and all who loved him, Make a tree of stature fifty cubits, and in the morning say to the king that Mordecai be hanged on it, and go with the king to the party gladly.
And the word seemed good in Haman's face, and he made the tree.
3c 4C 55