Thursday, December 14, 2017

Isaiah 50

The chiaasm of verse 1 is clear:
Word / Gloss
1
2
3
4
Stem
אמכם your mother
אם
אשׁר whom
אשׁר
שׁלחתיה I have dismissed
שׁלח
אשׁר --
אשׁר
מכרתי have I sold
מכר
נמכרתם you sold yourselves
מכר
שׁלחה was dismissed
שׁלח
אמכם your mother
אם

Bill of divorce (KJV) writ (JB) is a nice interpretation, but I have used divorce in Leviticus for גרשׁ. Admittedly, I break these rules for several very common words. But this word divorce is not common. I could avoid using it altogether. In Leviticus it is already an interpretation of expel, but Milgrom uses it here. I am in trouble with these rules at every turn. But I stick with them to force me to read what is there and to make such decisions as all translators, no matter what their fluency or competence, must make. In this case, my decision is to point out the use of cut off, a very common understanding of כרת, as the consequence of breaking a covenant as well as inaugurating one, i.e. cutting a covenant. Even then I have had to use prepositions to distinguish different types of cutting in English, cut away (כסח), cut off (כרת), cut down (מול), cut (חטב trees).

Verse 11 has a parallel in two words which I have previously rendered as fire and chains. Chains? There must be, it would seem, a homonym here. The word seems to be linked to the potential energy of compressed legs and leaping. All language is metaphorical even before we can spell metaphor. Perhaps the translation problem is choosing equivalent imagery.

Isaiah 50 Fn Min Max Syll
כֹּ֣ה ׀ אָמַ֣ר יְהוָ֗ה אֵ֣י זֶ֠ה סֵ֣פֶר כְּרִית֤וּת אִמְּכֶם֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר שִׁלַּחְתִּ֔יהָ א֚וֹ מִ֣י מִנּוֹשַׁ֔י אֲשֶׁר־מָכַ֥רְתִּי אֶתְכֶ֖ם ל֑וֹ
הֵ֤ן בַּעֲוֺנֹֽתֵיכֶם֙ נִמְכַּרְתֶּ֔ם וּבְפִשְׁעֵיכֶ֖ם שֻׁלְּחָ֥ה אִמְּכֶֽם
1 B Thus says Yahweh, Where is the record of the cutting off of your mother, whom I have dismissed? or to whom among my creditors have I sold you?
Lo, in your iniquities you sold yourselves, and in your transgressions your mother was dismissed.
3e 4C 33
18
מַדּ֨וּעַ בָּ֜אתִי וְאֵ֣ין אִ֗ישׁ קָרָֽאתִי֮ וְאֵ֣ין עוֹנֶה֒ הֲקָצ֨וֹר קָצְרָ֤ה יָדִי֙ מִפְּד֔וּת וְאִם־אֵֽין־בִּ֥י כֹ֖חַ לְהַצִּ֑יל
הֵ֣ן בְּגַעֲרָתִ֞י אַחֲרִ֣יב יָ֗ם אָשִׂ֤ים נְהָרוֹת֙ מִדְבָּ֔ר תִּבְאַ֤שׁ דְּגָתָם֙ מֵאֵ֣ין מַ֔יִם וְתָמֹ֖ת בַּצָּמָֽא
2 Why when I came was there no person? I call and there is none to answer? Is my hand shortened from ransoming? Or is there no power in me to deliver?
Lo, at my rebuke, I make desert of sea. I set rivers as wilderness. Their fish stink without water and die of thirst.
3e 4C 33
31
אַלְבִּ֥ישׁ שָׁמַ֖יִם קַדְר֑וּת
וְשַׂ֖ק אָשִׂ֥ים כְּסוּתָֽם
3 I clothe heaven with blackness,
and sackcloth, I set to cover them.
3e 4A 6
7
אֲדֹנָ֣י יְהֹוִ֗ה נָ֤תַן לִי֙ לְשׁ֣וֹן לִמּוּדִ֔ים לָדַ֛עַת לָע֥וּת אֶת־יָעֵ֖ף דָּבָ֑ר
יָעִ֣יר ׀ בַּבֹּ֣קֶר בַּבֹּ֗קֶר יָעִ֥יר לִי֙ אֹ֔זֶן לִשְׁמֹ֖עַ כַּלִּמּוּדִֽים
4 My Lord Yahweh has given me the tongue of those who learn, that I should know to subvert a word with one who is tired.
He arouses from morning to morning. He arouses for me an ear to hear as those who learn.
3d 4C 24
20
אֲדֹנָ֤י יְהוִה֙ פָּתַֽח־לִ֣י אֹ֔זֶן וְאָנֹכִ֖י לֹ֣א מָרִ֑יתִי
אָח֖וֹר לֹ֥א נְסוּגֹֽתִי
5 My Lord Yahweh has opened for me an ear, and I, I have not been provocative.
From behind I have not been repulsed.
3e 4C 18
7
גֵּוִי֙ נָתַ֣תִּי לְמַכִּ֔ים וּלְחָיַ֖י לְמֹֽרְטִ֑ים
פָּנַי֙ לֹ֣א הִסְתַּ֔רְתִּי מִכְּלִמּ֖וֹת וָרֹֽק
6 My body I have given to those who strike, and my cheeks to those who pare.
My face I did not hide from humiliation and spitting.
3e 4B 14
11
וַאדֹנָ֤י יְהוִה֙ יַֽעֲזָר־לִ֔י עַל־כֵּ֖ן לֹ֣א נִכְלָ֑מְתִּי
עַל־כֵּ֞ן שַׂ֤מְתִּי פָנַי֙ כַּֽחַלָּמִ֔ישׁ וָאֵדַ֖ע כִּי־לֹ֥א אֵבֽוֹשׁ
7 And my Lord Yahweh will help me, so I will not be humiliated,
so I have set my face like a flint and I know that I will not be ashamed.
3e 4C 15
16
קָרוֹב֙ מַצְדִּיקִ֔י מִֽי־יָרִ֥יב אִתִּ֖י נַ֣עַמְדָה יָּ֑חַד
מִֽי־בַ֥עַל מִשְׁפָּטִ֖י יִגַּ֥שׁ אֵלָֽי
8 Near is one who justifies me. Who will contend with me? Let us stand as one.
Who is the husband of my judgment? Let him make overture to me.
3e 4B 14
9
הֵ֣ן אֲדֹנָ֤י יְהוִה֙ יַֽעֲזָר־לִ֔י מִי־ה֖וּא יַרְשִׁיעֵ֑נִי
הֵ֤ן כֻּלָּם֙ כַּבֶּ֣גֶד יִבְל֔וּ עָ֖שׁ יֹאכְלֵֽם
9 B Lo, my Lord Yahweh will help me. Who is he who will condemn me?
Lo, all of them like a garment will fade. A moth will eat them up.
3e 4C 15
11
מִ֤י בָכֶם֙ יְרֵ֣א יְהוָ֔ה שֹׁמֵ֖עַ בְּק֣וֹל עַבְדּ֑וֹ
אֲשֶׁ֣ר ׀ הָלַ֣ךְ חֲשֵׁכִ֗ים וְאֵ֥ין נֹ֙גַהּ֙ ל֔וֹ יִבְטַח֙ בְּשֵׁ֣ם יְהוָ֔ה וְיִשָּׁעֵ֖ן בֵּאלֹהָֽיו
10 C Who is among you who fear Yahweh?
Hear with the voice of his servant who walks dark places and without illumination for him. Let him trust in the name of Yahweh and lean on his God.
3e 4C 14
25
הֵ֧ן כֻּלְּכֶ֛ם קֹ֥דְחֵי אֵ֖שׁ מְאַזְּרֵ֣י זִיק֑וֹת
לְכ֣וּ ׀ בְּא֣וּר אֶשְׁכֶ֗ם וּבְזִיקוֹת֙ בִּֽעַרְתֶּ֔ם מִיָּדִי֙ הָיְתָה־זֹּ֣את לָכֶ֔ם לְמַעֲצֵבָ֖ה תִּשְׁכָּבֽוּן
11 c Lo, all of you, incandescent with fire, girded with flares.
Walk in the light of your fire and in the flares kindled from my hands. This is for you. To hardship you will lie down.
3c 4B 11
28
Domain of fire (so far, omitting other possible glosses outside that domain for the same stems).
אוד incendiary (3) אפר ash (17) אשׁ fiery (3) fire (313) offering fire (33) offerings fire (8) through fire (2) גחל burning coal (3) coal (11) גפר pitch (6) דנג yang fire (1) זק flare (2) חרר parch (3) scorch (3) יצת char (11) יקד burning mass (3) להב flame (18) להט blaze (13) נצץ spark (1) sparkle (3) עשׁן fume (2) fume anger (1) smoke (23) פוח soot (2) צרב sear (1) קדח incandescent קטר burn incense (20) burn smoke (27) burned incense (11) burned smoke (2) burning incense (7) burning smoke (10) burnt incense (13) incense (58) רשׁף fire-brand (7) שׁפת ash-heap (1) hearth-stone (2) שׂרף ... incineration (1) cremate (3) incinerate (89) incineration (12) incinerator (2) seraphim (2)