Saturday, June 3, 2017

Proverbs 30

Following up from the post on statistics and line length, here is the chapter of Proverbs with the largest standard deviation (5) from its median value of  8. The obvious exception to the terse lines in this chapter is verse 4 with a line length of 30! (The median is the middle value, not the average.) These are the values for the three possible cola in the chapter:
first colon, median 8, std deviation, 5.1. Second colon of a verse 8, 1.4, Third (if there) 7, 0.5

Verse 4 is clearly divisible syntactically. But it is also a rhetorical barrage of loaded questions. As the first verse says, a burden. As far as its use of the major disjunctive accents is concerned, it stands out like a sore thumb. But it does use ornamentation, (pazer and revia), as noted.
Dividing the line in Proverbs 1:4
The verses of this chapter are more like meditations than maxims, perhaps they are the monarch's tweets. You can be sure that if I don't like the tone of some saying or other, I will spin its traditional pointing within my concordant constraints (which are severe). So take care with your reading. Let me assure you also, that traditional translations have had their spins and talking points, every last one of them. No-one and no committee translates without spin. They have even done this consciously and deliberately, the King James to support the divine right of kings and to maintain social order on behalf of the privileged, and all translations that stem from this tradition, and more fluid translations, like the Jerusalem, to be in accord with orthodox Catholic doctrine (perhaps not quite so bad a thing), and others like the REB, to paraphrase, or the NRSV, to avoid the defect of male-dominance. (I try this too, but it is often a failure, particularly the technique of pluralizing something that is singular. I hope to make it and its into gender inclusive pronouns. I may not succeed.)

Even within my own constraints, I could have retained the feeble folk for the conies. Or even JB's The rock rabbits, a race very cute. (Say that one Elmer Fudd!) Too bad.

Verse 1 is traditionally something like this:
The words of Agur child of Jaqeh, the load,
an oracle of the valiant to Ithiel,
to Ithiel and Ucal.
What if, like the Septuagint, we translate the first verse as names? You could get some mileage from this. 

The music supports the reading, since verses 2 and 3 begin on a high C. So the names of writer/speaker and the to children are significant to the content of what is to come. Notice how the other non-default first notes group verses as you would expect.

Verse 3 is ambiguous as to whether the negative carries over into the second colon. So I have phrased it as a question.

Proverbs 30 Fn Min Max Syll
דִּבְרֵ֤י ׀ אָג֥וּר בִּן־יָקֶ֗ה הַמַּ֫שָּׂ֥א
נְאֻ֣ם הַ֭גֶּבֶר לְאִֽיתִיאֵ֑ל
לְאִ֖יתִיאֵ֣ל וְאֻכָֽל
1 The words of I-Am-in-Awe, child of Obedience, the load,
an oracle of the valiant to God-is-With-Me,
to God-is-With-Me and Food.
3e 4C 10
כִּ֤י בַ֣עַר אָנֹכִ֣י מֵאִ֑ישׁ
וְלֹֽא־בִינַ֖ת אָדָ֣ם לִֽי
2 C For a brute I am, more than a person,
and the understanding of an earthling is not mine.
3e 4C 8
וְלֹֽא־לָמַ֥דְתִּי חָכְמָ֑ה
וְדַ֖עַת קְדֹשִׁ֣ים אֵדָֽע
3 For I have not learned shrewdness,
and knowledge of holy things, do I know?
3e 4B 6
מִ֤י עָלָֽה־שָׁמַ֨יִם ׀ וַיֵּרַ֡ד מִ֤י אָֽסַף־ר֨וּחַ ׀ בְּחָפְנָ֡יו מִ֤י צָֽרַר־מַ֨יִם ׀ בַּשִּׂמְלָ֗ה מִ֭י הֵקִ֣ים כָּל־אַפְסֵי־אָ֑רֶץ
מַה־שְּׁמ֥וֹ וּמַֽה־שֶּׁם־בְּ֝נ֗וֹ כִּ֣י תֵדָֽע
4 C Who ascended to heaven or descended? Who has gathered wind in two handfuls? Who has straitened waters in a shawl? Who has placed all the ends of the earth?
What is his name, and what is the name of his son that you know?
3e 4C 30
כָּל־אִמְרַ֣ת אֱל֣וֹהַּ צְרוּפָ֑ה
מָגֵ֥ן ה֝֗וּא לַֽחֹסִ֥ים בּֽוֹ
5 All the promise of God is refined.
A shield he is for those who take refuge in him.
3e 4B 9
אַל־תּ֥וֹסְףְּ עַל־דְּבָרָ֑יו
פֶּן־יוֹכִ֖יחַ בְּךָ֣ וְנִכְזָֽבְתָּ
6 Do not add to his words,
lest he correct you and you be in a lie.
3e 4B 7
שְׁ֭תַּיִם שָׁאַ֣לְתִּי מֵאִתָּ֑ךְ
אַל־תִּמְנַ֥ע מִ֝מֶּ֗נִּי בְּטֶ֣רֶם אָמֽוּת
7 g Two things I ask from you.
Do not withhold from me before I die.
3e 4B 8
שָׁ֤וְא ׀ וּֽדְבַר־כָּזָ֡ב הַרְחֵ֬ק מִמֶּ֗נִּי רֵ֣אשׁ וָ֭עֹשֶׁר אַל־תִּֽתֶּן־לִ֑י
הַ֝טְרִיפֵ֗נִי לֶ֣חֶם חֻקִּֽי
8 C Vanity and the word of a lie, put at a distance from me. Want and riches, do not give to me.
Tear for me the bread prescribed.
3e 4C 19
פֶּ֥ן אֶשְׂבַּ֨ע ׀ וְכִחַשְׁתִּי֮ וְאָמַ֗רְתִּי מִ֥י יְה֫וָ֥ה
וּפֶֽן־אִוָּרֵ֥שׁ וְגָנַ֑בְתִּי
וְ֝תָפַ֗שְׂתִּי שֵׁ֣ם אֱלֹהָֽי
9 f Lest I be satisfied, and I disown, then I say, Who is Yahweh?
And lest I be dispossessed, and I steal,
and I occupy the name of my God.
3e 4B 14
אַל־תַּלְשֵׁ֣ן עֶ֭בֶד אֶל־אֲדֹנָ֑יו
פֶּֽן־יְקַלֶּלְךָ֥ וְאָשָֽׁמְתָּ
10 Do not slander a servant to its master,
lest it slight you and you be declared guilty.
3e 4B 9
דּ֭וֹר אָבִ֣יו יְקַלֵּ֑ל
וְאֶת־אִ֝מּ֗וֹ לֹ֣א יְבָרֵֽךְ
11 g A generation, its father slights,
and does not bless its mother.
3e 4B 6
דּ֭וֹר טָה֣וֹר בְּעֵינָ֑יו
וּ֝מִצֹּאָת֗וֹ לֹ֣א רֻחָֽץ
12 g A generation, clean in its own eyes,
but from its filth, it is not washed.
3e 4B 6
דּ֭וֹר מָה־רָמ֣וּ עֵינָ֑יו
וְ֝עַפְעַפָּ֗יו יִנָּשֵֽׂאוּ
13 g A generation, how exalted its eyes,
and its eyelids are lifted up.
3e 4B 6
דּ֤וֹר ׀ חֲרָב֣וֹת שִׁנָּיו֮ וּֽמַאֲכָל֪וֹת מְֽתַלְּעֹ֫תָ֥יו
לֶאֱכֹ֣ל עֲנִיִּ֣ים מֵאֶ֑רֶץ
וְ֝אֶבְיוֹנִ֗ים מֵאָדָֽם
14 C A generation, swords its teeth, and knives its fangs,
to devour the poor from earth,
and the needy from humanity.
3d 4C 15
לַֽעֲלוּקָ֨ה ׀ שְׁתֵּ֥י בָנוֹת֮ הַ֤ב ׀ הַ֥ב שָׁל֣וֹשׁ הֵ֭נָּה לֹ֣א תִשְׂבַּ֑עְנָה
אַ֝רְבַּ֗ע לֹא־אָ֥מְרוּ הֽוֹן
15 Of the leech are two daughters, Provide, Provide. Three they are that are not satisfied.
Four do not say, Value.
3e 4C 18
שְׁאוֹל֮ וְעֹ֪צֶ֫ר רָ֥חַם
אֶ֭רֶץ לֹא־שָׂ֣בְעָה מַּ֑יִם
וְ֝אֵ֗שׁ לֹא־אָ֥מְרָה הֽוֹן
16 The grave, and contained compassion,
earth not satisfied with water,
and fire, she does not say, Value.
3d 4B 7
עַ֤יִן ׀ תִּֽלְעַ֣ג לְאָב֮ וְתָב֪וּז לִֽיקֲּהַ֫ת־אֵ֥ם
יִקְּר֥וּהָ עֹרְבֵי־נַ֑חַל
וְֽיֹאכְל֥וּהָ בְנֵי־נָֽשֶׁר
17 C An eye derides a father and is contemptuous to obey a mother.
The ravens of the wadi will pick it out, and the eaglets will eat it.
3d 4C 12
שְׁלֹשָׁ֣ה הֵ֭מָּה נִפְלְא֣וּ מִמֶּ֑נִּי
וְ֝אַרְבָּעָ֗ה לֹ֣א יְדַעְתִּֽים
18 Three they are that are too wonderful for me,
and a fourth. I do not know them.
3e 4B 11
דֶּ֤רֶךְ הַנֶּ֨שֶׁר ׀ בַּשָּׁמַיִם֮ דֶּ֥רֶךְ נָחָ֗שׁ עֲלֵ֫י צ֥וּר
דֶּֽרֶךְ־אֳנִיָּ֥ה בְלֶב־יָ֑ם
וְדֶ֖רֶךְ גֶּ֣בֶר בְּעַלְמָֽה
19 C The way of the eagle in the heavens, the way of a snake over a rock,
the way of a ship into the heart of the sea,
and the way of valour with a young woman.
3e 4C 15
כֵּ֤ן ׀ דֶּ֥רֶךְ אִשָּׁ֗ה מְנָ֫אָ֥פֶת
אָ֭כְלָה וּמָ֣חֲתָה פִ֑יהָ
וְ֝אָמְרָ֗ה לֹֽא־פָעַ֥לְתִּי אָֽוֶן
20 C Such is the way of a woman of adultery:
she eats and wipes her mouth,
and she says, I have not worked mischief.
3e 4C 9
תַּ֣חַת שָׁ֭לוֹשׁ רָ֣גְזָה אֶ֑רֶץ
וְתַ֥חַת אַ֝רְבַּ֗ע לֹא־תוּכַ֥ל שְׂאֵֽת
21 B Under three, earth shudders,
and under four, it cannot bear up.
3e 4B 8
תַּֽחַת־עֶ֭בֶד כִּ֣י יִמְל֑וֹךְ
וְ֝נָבָ֗ל כִּ֣י יִֽשְׂבַּֽע־לָֽחֶם
22 Under servitude, when it is sovereign,
and senselessness, when it is satisfied with bread,
3e 4B 7
תַּ֣חַת שְׂ֭נוּאָה כִּ֣י תִבָּעֵ֑ל
וְ֝שִׁפְחָ֗ה כִּֽי־תִירַ֥שׁ גְּבִרְתָּֽהּ
23 B Under hatred, when it is married,
and slavery, when it dispossesses its valour.
3e 4B 9
אַרְבָּ֣עָה הֵ֭ם קְטַנֵּי־אָ֑רֶץ
וְ֝הֵ֗מָּה חֲכָמִ֥ים מְחֻכָּמִֽים
24 Four they are, least of earth,
but they are the wisest of the wisest.
3e 4B 8
הַ֭נְּמָלִים עַ֣ם לֹא־עָ֑ז
וַיָּכִ֖ינוּ בַקַּ֣יִץ לַחְמָֽם
25 g The ants, a people not strong,
but they prepare in summer their bread.
3e 4B 6
שְׁ֭פַנִּים עַ֣ם לֹא־עָצ֑וּם
וַיָּשִׂ֖ימוּ בַסֶּ֣לַע בֵּיתָֽם
26 g The conies, a people not staunch,
but they set up on the cliff their house.
3e 4B 6
מֶ֭לֶךְ אֵ֣ין לָאַרְבֶּ֑ה
וַיֵּצֵ֖א חֹצֵ֣ץ כֻּלּֽוֹ
27 g Monarch? there is none for the locusts,
but they emerge in platoons all of them.
3e 4B 6
שְׂ֭מָמִית בְּיָדַ֣יִם תְּתַפֵּ֑שׂ
וְ֝הִ֗יא בְּהֵ֣יכְלֵי מֶֽלֶךְ
28 g An arachnid by its hands occupies,
and it is in the palaces of the monarch.
3e 4B 9
שְׁלֹשָׁ֣ה הֵ֭מָּה מֵיטִ֣יבֵי צָ֑עַד
וְ֝אַרְבָּעָ֗ה מֵיטִ֥בֵי לָֽכֶת
29 Three they are for a good march,
and a fourth for good walks.
3e 4B 10
לַ֭יִשׁ גִּבּ֣וֹר בַּבְּהֵמָ֑ה
וְלֹא־יָ֝שׁ֗וּב מִפְּנֵי־כֹֽל
30 g The codger cat, one who prevails among beasts,
and it does not turn in the face of anything,
3e 4B 7
זַרְזִ֣יר מָתְנַ֣יִם אוֹ־תָ֑יִשׁ
וּ֝מֶ֗לֶךְ אַלְק֥וּם עִמּֽוֹ
31 One girt with endowments, or billy-goat,
or monarch. No arising against such.
3e 4B 6
אִם־נָבַ֥לְתָּ בְהִתְנַשֵּׂ֑א
וְאִם־זַ֝מּ֗וֹתָ יָ֣ד לְפֶֽה
32 If you have been senseless in lifting yourself up,
or if you have schemed, hand on mouth.
3e 4B 8
כִּ֤י מִ֪יץ חָלָ֡ב י֘וֹצִ֤יא חֶמְאָ֗ה וּֽמִיץ־אַ֭ף י֣וֹצִיא דָ֑ם
וּמִ֥יץ אַ֝פַּ֗יִם י֣וֹצִיא רִֽיב
33 C For squeezing milk will bring forth clotted cream, squeezing nose will bring forth blood,
and squeezing anger will bring forth strife.
3d 4C 14

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