Monday, October 16, 2017

Isaiah 33

Yesterday I started working on Isaiah 33, the chapter at the bottom of my list - one that had the fewest guesses. (There are several chapters of Isaiah further down my list than chapters of Daniel!) Why is this, I thought? Isaiah should be 'normal' ancient Hebrew. And it is. But the usage is different in a way I have not yet fathomed (and may never without another lifetime). There were lots of single guesses and spaces where there were known stems but in a form peculiar to this prophet. But there were few multiple guesses in sequences longer than 2 words. And hardly any even of 2 words, and they mostly wrong. Perhaps there will be more as I do more of Isaiah, seeding the prophet with his own language.

I came across נשגב (set on high), a word very close to משגב, from the same root, שגב. I used retreat for משגב in the Psalms. Retreat has negative connotations in some contexts and positive ones in others. I imagine the lighthearted Mr. Bennet of Jane Austen in his library, a retreat from the hurly-burly of the family. But it is not an impregnable retreat or so set on high that it is unapproachable. Nor is it an ignominious withdrawal. Perhaps it is 'stopping for a moment to reconsider'. This is my wife's first impression of the word, also positive. (She is not Mrs Bennet.)

I see that tradition in the KJV does not use retreat at all. It uses refuge. KJV has several different stems (חסה, קלט, נוס, שגב, מעונ) mapped to refuge. This is too important a concept to cross link different stems, I think. Here are my glosses so far for these separate concepts: מעון den, habitation, נוס withdraw, haven, קלט asylum, שׂגב retreat, set on high.

Retreat is a major theme for me in the Psalms (20 uses of the stem, 16 times retreat, 4 times set on high). And so it raises the question for me as to what the major themes are for Isaiah (9 uses) and does it share this theme with the Psalms?
Psalms 9 Fn Min Max Syll
וִ֘יהִ֤י יְהוָ֣ה מִשְׂגָּ֣ב לַדָּ֑ךְ
מִ֝שְׂגָּ֗ב לְעִתּ֥וֹת בַּצָּרָֽה
10 ~ And Yahweh will be a retreat for the crushed,
a retreat in times of trouble.
3e 4C 8
Psalms 18 Fn Min Max Syll
יְהוָ֤ה ׀ סַֽלְעִ֥י וּמְצוּדָתִ֗י וּמְפַ֫לְטִ֥י
אֵלִ֣י צ֭וּרִי אֶֽחֱסֶה־בּ֑וֹ
מָֽגִנִּ֥י וְקֶֽרֶן־יִ֝שְׁעִ֗י מִשְׂגַּבִּֽי
3 Yahweh my cliff, and my fortress and my security,
my God my rock. I will take refuge in him.
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my retreat.
3e 4C 11
Psalms 20 Fn Min Max Syll
יַֽעַנְךָ֣ יְ֭הוָה בְּי֣וֹם צָרָ֑ה
יְ֝שַׂגֶּבְךָ֗ שֵׁ֤ם ׀ אֱלֹהֵ֬י יַעֲקֹֽב
2 Yahweh answer you in the day of trouble,
the name of the God of Jacob be your retreat,
3e 4C 9
Psalms 46 Fn Min Max Syll
יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֣וֹת עִמָּ֑נוּ
מִשְׂגָּֽב־לָ֝נוּ אֱלֹהֵ֖י יַעֲקֹ֣ב סֶֽלָה
8 Yahweh of hosts is with us,
our retreat the God of Jacob. Selah.
3e 4B 8
יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֣וֹת עִמָּ֑נוּ
מִשְׂגָּֽב־לָ֝נוּ אֱלֹהֵ֖י יַעֲקֹ֣ב סֶֽלָה
12 Yahweh of hosts is with us,
our retreat the God of Jacob. Selah.
3e 4B 8
Psalms 48 Fn Min Max Syll
אֱלֹהִ֥ים בְּאַרְמְנוֹתֶ֗יהָ נוֹדַ֥ע לְמִשְׂגָּֽב 4 God in her citadels, is made known for a retreat.

3e 3f 14
Psalms 59 Fn Min Max Syll
הַצִּילֵ֖נִי מֵאֹיְבַ֥י ׀ אֱלֹהָ֑י
מִּמִתְקוֹמְמַ֥י תְּשַׂגְּבֵֽנִי
2 Deliver me from my enemies, O my God,
from those arising over me, be my retreat.
3e 4A 10
עֻ֭זּוֹ אֵלֶ֣יךָ אֶשְׁמֹ֑רָה
כִּֽי־אֱ֝לֹהִ֗ים מִשְׂגַּבִּֽי
10 g His strength for you. I keep watch,
for God is my retreat.
3e 4B 8
וַאֲנִ֤י ׀ אָשִׁ֣יר עֻזֶּךָ֮ וַאֲרַנֵּ֥ן לַבֹּ֗קֶר חַ֫סְדֶּ֥ךָ
כִּֽי־הָיִ֣יתָ מִשְׂגָּ֣ב לִ֑י
וּ֝מָנ֗וֹס בְּי֣וֹם צַר־לִֽי
17 But I, I will sing your strength and I will shout for joy to the morning of your kindness,
for you have been a retreat to me,
and a haven in the day of my straits.
3e 4C 18
עֻ֭זִּי אֵלֶ֣יךָ אֲזַמֵּ֑רָה
כִּֽי־אֱלֹהִ֥ים מִ֝שְׂגַּבִּ֗י אֱלֹהֵ֥י חַסְדִּֽי
18 g I in my strength, will sing psalms to you,
for God is my retreat, the God of my kindness.
3e 4B 9
Psalms 62 Fn Min Max Syll
אַךְ־ה֣וּא צ֭וּרִי וִֽישׁוּעָתִ֑י
מִ֝שְׂגַּבִּ֗י לֹא־אֶמּ֥וֹט רַבָּֽה
3 Surely he is my rock and my salvation,
my retreat. I will not be exceedingly moved.
3e 4B 8
אַךְ־ה֣וּא צ֭וּרִי וִֽישׁוּעָתִ֑י
מִ֝שְׂגַּבִּ֗י לֹ֣א אֶמּֽוֹט
7 Surely he is my rock and my salvation,
my retreat. I will not be moved.
3e 4B 8
Psalms 69 Fn Min Max Syll
וַ֭אֲנִי עָנִ֣י וְכוֹאֵ֑ב
יְשׁוּעָתְךָ֖ אֱלֹהִ֣ים תְּשַׂגְּבֵֽנִי
30 g But I poor and in sorrow.
Let your salvation, O God, be my retreat.
3e 4B 8
Psalms 94 Fn Min Max Syll
וַיְהִ֬י יְהוָ֣ה לִ֣י לְמִשְׂגָּ֑ב
וֵ֝אלֹהַ֗י לְצ֣וּר מַחְסִֽי
22 But Yahweh will be for me for a retreat,
and my God a rock of refuge.
3e 4B 8
Psalms 144 Fn Min Max Syll
חַסְדִּ֥י וּמְצוּדָתִי֮ מִשְׂגַּבִּ֪י וּֽמְפַלְטִ֫י לִ֥י
מָ֭גִנִּי וּב֣וֹ חָסִ֑יתִי
הָרוֹדֵ֖ד עַמִּ֣י תַחְתָּֽי
2 My kindness and my fortress, my retreat and my security, mine, my shield, and in him I have taken refuge,
subduing my people under me.

3d 4B 13

Where does this word occur in Isaiah? Of the 9 times the stem is used, only 2 require retreat.
Isaiah 25 Fn Min Max
וּמִבְצַ֞ר מִשְׂגַּ֣ב חוֹמֹתֶ֗יךָ הֵשַׁ֥ח הִשְׁפִּ֛יל הִגִּ֥יעַ לָאָ֖רֶץ עַד־עָפָֽר 12 And from the enclosure of the retreat of your ramparts, he will press down, he will abase, he will touch to the earth, even dust. 3d 4B
Isaiah 33 Fn Min Max
ה֚וּא מְרוֹמִ֣ים יִשְׁכֹּ֔ן מְצָד֥וֹת סְלָעִ֖ים מִשְׂגַּבּ֑וֹ
לַחְמ֣וֹ נִתָּ֔ן מֵימָ֖יו נֶאֱמָנִֽים
16 C He from the high ground will dwell, from the fortress of cliffs is his retreat,
his bread given, his waters faithful.
3e 4C

What I think is happening to me as I continue this project is that I am being forced to conform by my rules to my emerging glossary. But at the same time, anomalies in the glossary make their appearance, saying, You cannot use this gloss here. You need it there! Or, This gloss can't possibly be with the right stem. Or, Why did you ignore this word form?

What impact will the glossary exert as I near the end of the puzzle? As I turn over a new piece, the colour of pieces already placed seems to change. I note with appreciation how the algorithms selected a quote from T.S.Eliot for a gloss in this chapter. And it is apt - right at the chapter's focal point. (But it doesn't obey my rules. I left it in as a literary exception.)

Who can tell me of a good book on linguistics so I can see how tongues work to become what they are? 

Here is the next chapter. Some of what is forced on me reveals decisions made by tradition that may need to be questioned. One is always asking, After 3000 years, where has our interpretation got us to?

Isaiah 33 Fn Min Max Syll
ה֣וֹי שׁוֹדֵ֗ד וְאַתָּה֙ לֹ֣א שָׁד֔וּד וּבוֹגֵ֖ד וְלֹא־בָ֣גְדוּ ב֑וֹ
כַּהֲתִֽמְךָ֤ שׁוֹדֵד֙ תּוּשַּׁ֔ד כַּנְּלֹתְךָ֥ לִבְגֹּ֖ד יִבְגְּדוּ־בָֽךְ
1 B Ah devastator, and you not were devastated, and treacherous, and they were not treacherous in it.
As you complete devastation, you will be devastated. As you finish with treachery, they will be treacherous with you.
3e 4C 18
יְהוָ֥ה חָנֵּ֖נוּ לְךָ֣ קִוִּ֑ינוּ
הֱיֵ֤ה זְרֹעָם֙ לַבְּקָרִ֔ים אַף־יְשׁוּעָתֵ֖נוּ בְּעֵ֥ת צָרָֽה
2 Yahweh be gracious to us. For you we have waited.
Be their arm in the morning, indeed our salvation in a time of trouble.
3e 4C 10
מִקּ֣וֹל הָמ֔וֹן נָדְד֖וּ עַמִּ֑ים
מֵר֣וֹמְמֻתֶ֔ךָ נָפְצ֖וּ גּוֹיִֽם
3 From the voice of tumult, peoples fled.
From your exaltation, nations were smashed.
3e 4B 8
וְאֻסַּ֣ף שְׁלַלְכֶ֔ם אֹ֖סֶף הֶֽחָסִ֑יל
כְּמַשַּׁ֥ק גֵּבִ֖ים שׁוֹקֵ֥ק בּֽוֹ
4 And your spoil will be gathered, the gathering of the caterpillar,
as shiftless as great grubs shifting about in it.
3e 4B 11
נִשְׂגָּ֣ב יְהוָ֔ה כִּ֥י שֹׁכֵ֖ן מָר֑וֹם
מִלֵּ֣א צִיּ֔וֹן מִשְׁפָּ֖ט וּצְדָקָֽה
5 Set on high is Yahweh because he dwells on high.
Full is Zion of judgment and righteousness.
3e 4B 9
וְהָיָה֙ אֱמוּנַ֣ת עִתֶּ֔יךָ חֹ֥סֶן יְשׁוּעֹ֖ת חָכְמַ֣ת וָדָ֑עַת
יִרְאַ֥ת יְהוָ֖ה הִ֥יא אוֹצָרֽוֹ
6 And shrewdness and knowledge will be the faithfulness of your time, the invincibility of victories.
The fear of Yahweh, it is its fund.
3e 4B 19
הֵ֚ן אֶרְאֶלָּ֔ם צָעֲק֖וּ חֻ֑צָה
מַלְאֲכֵ֣י שָׁל֔וֹם מַ֖ר יִבְכָּיֽוּן
7 C Lo their lion-hearted will cry out outside.
Messengers of peace bitterly will weep.
3e 4C 9
נָשַׁ֣מּוּ מְסִלּ֔וֹת שָׁבַ֖ת עֹבֵ֣ר אֹ֑רַח
הֵפֵ֤ר בְּרִית֙ מָאַ֣ס עָרִ֔ים לֹ֥א חָשַׁ֖ב אֱנֽוֹשׁ
8 Highways desolated, itinerant ceased,
covenant thwarted, cities refused, he not does consider a mortal.
3e 4C 12
אָבַ֤ל אֻמְלְלָה֙ אָ֔רֶץ הֶחְפִּ֥יר לְבָנ֖וֹן קָמַ֑ל
הָיָ֤ה הַשָּׁרוֹן֙ כָּֽעֲרָבָ֔ה וְנֹעֵ֥ר בָּשָׁ֖ן וְכַרְמֶֽל
9 Earth enfeebled laments, Lebanon festering, is confounded,
the plain becomes as steppe, and tossed are Bashan and Carmel.
3e 4C 14
עַתָּ֥ה אָק֖וּם יֹאמַ֣ר יְהוָ֑ה
עַתָּה֙ אֵֽרוֹמָ֔ם עַתָּ֖ה אֶנָּשֵֽׂא
10 Now I will arise, says Yahweh.
Now I will be exalted. Now I will be lifted up.
3e 4B 8
תַּהֲר֥וּ חֲשַׁ֖שׁ תֵּ֣לְדוּ קַ֑שׁ
רוּחֲכֶ֕ם אֵ֖שׁ תֹּאכַלְכֶֽם
11 You will be pregnant with hay. You will give birth to stubble.
Your wind will devour you with fire.
3e 4B 8
וְהָי֥וּ עַמִּ֖ים מִשְׂרְפ֣וֹת שִׂ֑יד
קוֹצִ֥ים כְּסוּחִ֖ים בָּאֵ֥שׁ יִצַּֽתּוּ
12 And peoples will become as incinerations of lime.
Brambles cut up in the fire, they will be charred.
3e 4B 9
שִׁמְע֥וּ רְחוֹקִ֖ים אֲשֶׁ֣ר עָשִׂ֑יתִי
וּדְע֥וּ קְרוֹבִ֖ים גְּבֻרָתִֽי
13 Hear, you who are distant, what I have done.
Now set down this, you who are near, I will prevail.
3e 4B 10
פָּחֲד֤וּ בְצִיּוֹן֙ חַטָּאִ֔ים אָחֲזָ֥ה רְעָדָ֖ה חֲנֵפִ֑ים
מִ֣י ׀ יָג֣וּר לָ֗נוּ אֵ֚שׁ אוֹכֵלָ֔ה מִי־יָג֥וּר לָ֖נוּ מוֹקְדֵ֥י עוֹלָֽם
14 Sinners in Zion were in dread. Trembling grasps hypocrites.
Who will guest for us with a consuming fire? Who will guest for us with an everlasting burning mass.
3e 4C 18
הֹלֵ֣ךְ צְדָק֔וֹת וְדֹבֵ֖ר מֵֽישָׁרִ֑ים
מֹאֵ֞ס בְּבֶ֣צַע מַעֲשַׁקּ֗וֹת נֹעֵ֤ר כַּפָּיו֙ מִתְּמֹ֣ךְ בַּשֹּׁ֔חַד אֹטֵ֤ם אָזְנוֹ֙ מִשְּׁמֹ֣עַ דָּמִ֔ים וְעֹצֵ֥ם עֵינָ֖יו מֵרְא֥וֹת בְּרָֽע
15 One walking in righteousness, and who speaks uprightness,
who has refused the extortion of oppression, tossing its palms, retaining a bribe, who plugs its own ear from hearing of blood, and staunches its eyes from seeing evil.
3e 4C 11
ה֚וּא מְרוֹמִ֣ים יִשְׁכֹּ֔ן מְצָד֥וֹת סְלָעִ֖ים מִשְׂגַּבּ֑וֹ
לַחְמ֣וֹ נִתָּ֔ן מֵימָ֖יו נֶאֱמָנִֽים
16 C He from the high ground will dwell, from the fortress of cliffs is his retreat,
his bread given, his waters faithful.
3e 4C 15
מֶ֥לֶךְ בְּיָפְי֖וֹ תֶּחֱזֶ֣ינָה עֵינֶ֑יךָ
תִּרְאֶ֖ינָה אֶ֥רֶץ מַרְחַקִּֽים
17 f A king in his beauty your eyes will gaze on.
They will see the land of those who are far off.
3e 4B 12
לִבְּךָ֖ יֶהְגֶּ֣ה אֵימָ֑ה
אַיֵּ֤ה סֹפֵר֙ אַיֵּ֣ה שֹׁקֵ֔ל אַיֵּ֖ה סֹפֵ֥ר אֶת־הַמִּגְדָּלִֽים
18 Your heart will meditate on horror.
Where is the secretary? Where is the appraiser? Where is the one who counts the great things?
3e 4C 6
אֶת־עַ֥ם נוֹעָ֖ז לֹ֣א תִרְאֶ֑ה
עַ֣ם עִמְקֵ֤י שָׂפָה֙ מִשְּׁמ֔וֹעַ נִלְעַ֥ג לָשׁ֖וֹן אֵ֥ין בִּינָֽה
19 A barbarous people you do not see,
a people of more inscrutable language than you can hear, a derisive indiscernible tongue.
3e 4C 7
חֲזֵ֣ה צִיּ֔וֹן קִרְיַ֖ת מֽוֹעֲדֵ֑נוּ
עֵינֶיךָ֩ תִרְאֶ֨ינָה יְרוּשָׁלִַ֜ם נָוֶ֣ה שַׁאֲנָ֗ן אֹ֤הֶל בַּל־יִצְעָן֙ בַּל־יִסַּ֤ע יְתֵֽדֹתָיו֙ לָנֶ֔צַח וְכָל־חֲבָלָ֖יו בַּל־יִנָּתֵֽקוּ
20 Gaze on Zion, the town of our engagement.
Your eyes will see Jerusalem, home of one without a care, a tent not to be dismantled. Its tent pegs will not be pulled out in perpetuity, and none of its ropes will be snapped.
3e 4C 10
כִּ֣י אִם־שָׁ֞ם אַדִּ֤יר יְהוָה֙ לָ֔נוּ מְקוֹם־נְהָרִ֥ים יְאֹרִ֖ים רַחֲבֵ֣י יָדָ֑יִם
בַּל־תֵּ֤לֶךְ בּוֹ֙ אֳנִי־שַׁ֔יִט וְצִ֥י אַדִּ֖יר לֹ֥א יַעַבְרֶֽנּוּ
21 B In contrast, there, the majesty of Yahweh is for us, a place of rivers, canals, broad of hand.
No ship with oars will go in it, nor majestic galley pass through it.
3e 4C 23
כִּ֤י יְהוָה֙ שֹׁפְטֵ֔נוּ יְהוָ֖ה מְחֹקְקֵ֑נוּ
יְהוָ֥ה מַלְכֵּ֖נוּ ה֥וּא יוֹשִׁיעֵֽנוּ
22 C For Yahweh is our judge. Yahweh is our lawgiver.
Yahweh our king, he will save us.
3e 4C 12
נִטְּשׁ֖וּ חֲבָלָ֑יִךְ
בַּל־יְחַזְּק֤וּ כֵן־תָּרְנָם֙ בַּל־פָּ֣רְשׂוּ נֵ֔ס אָ֣ז חֻלַּ֤ק עַֽד־שָׁלָל֙ מַרְבֶּ֔ה פִּסְחִ֖ים בָּ֥זְזוּ בַֽז
23 Abandoned are your ropes.
They do not make resolute as such their mast. They have not spread a spinnaker. Then increased spoil is divided further. The lame will despoil the loot.
3e 4C 6
וּבַל־יֹאמַ֥ר שָׁכֵ֖ן חָלִ֑יתִי
הָעָ֛ם הַיֹּשֵׁ֥ב בָּ֖הּ נְשֻׂ֥א עָוֺֽן
24 Nor will a neighbour say, I am ill.
O people who settle in her, lifted up is iniquity.
3d 4A 9

No comments:

Post a Comment