Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Ezra 9

Ezra is noticeably upset at whatever it is that is happening in the brief moment of security noted in verse 8.

Do not misread my gloss segregation as indicative of a justification of racism. The word is used in my rendering only of a woman in the time of her period. So we see the connection in the ancient thought between social policy, sexuality, and worship of other gods. Nonetheless, one can certainly read this section as a justification of offensive inter-human policy. And it is clear from the context that the chosen people are equally conscious of their own desires.

What balance can there be for us with self-criticism? Are we as rabid in some circles as the re-education processes of the cultural revolution in China? Are we going to allow the criticism of the other to be based on race? God forbid. Where is our self-giving? Where is the life, the good, and the peace that is spoken of for all? (Romans 12:18, Hebrews 12:14).

So just what is a holy seed or the seed of the holy? Where does this 'idea' come from? Twice in the canon this pair of stems is rendered holy arm, Isaiah 52:10, Psalms 98:1. The seed of the holy occurs twice also, Isaiah 6:13 and Ezra 9:2. Isaiah 6 is in this same context of return:
But yet in her is a tenth, and it will return, and she will be for kindling,
as a turpentine tree and as an oak that in being cast down have a monument in them. The seed of the holy is from her monument.
There is plenty of fodder here to associate the seed with the promise of the seed of David as might have been read by late followers of Jesus searching for clues. The wood of the trees can be seen as an image of the cross. The oak is for strength and beauty, the turpentine for flammable incandescence.

Ezra 9 Fn Min Max Syll
וּכְכַלּ֣וֹת אֵ֗לֶּה נִגְּשׁ֨וּ אֵלַ֤י הַשָּׂרִים֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר לֹֽא־נִבְדְּל֞וּ הָעָ֤ם יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ וְהַכֹּהֲנִ֣ים וְהַלְוִיִּ֔ם מֵעַמֵּ֖י הָאֲרָצ֑וֹת
כְּ֠תוֹעֲבֹֽתֵיהֶם לַכְּנַעֲנִ֨י הַחִתִּ֜י הַפְּרִזִּ֣י הַיְבוּסִ֗י הָֽעַמֹּנִי֙ הַמֹּ֣אָבִ֔י הַמִּצְרִ֖י וְהָאֱמֹרִֽי
1 And as these were finished, the nobility came close to me, saying, The people of Israel and the priests and the Levites have not differentiated themselves from the people of the lands,
according to their abominations, of the Canaanites the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites.
3e 4C 39
כִּֽי־נָשְׂא֣וּ מִבְּנֹֽתֵיהֶ֗ם לָהֶם֙ וְלִבְנֵיהֶ֔ם וְהִתְעָֽרְבוּ֙ זֶ֣רַע הַקֹּ֔דֶשׁ בְּעַמֵּ֖י הָאֲרָצ֑וֹת
וְיַ֧ד הַשָּׂרִ֣ים וְהַסְּגָנִ֗ים הָֽיְתָ֛ה בַּמַּ֥עַל הַזֶּ֖ה רִאשׁוֹנָֽה
2 For they take up from their daughters for themselves and for their sons, and the seed of the holy has intermingled in the people of the lands,
and the hand of the nobility and the prefects have been first in this trespass.
3c 4B 29
וּכְשָׁמְעִי֙ אֶת־הַדָּבָ֣ר הַזֶּ֔ה קָרַ֥עְתִּי אֶת־בִּגְדִ֖י וּמְעִילִ֑י
וָאֶמְרְטָ֞ה מִשְּׂעַ֤ר רֹאשִׁי֙ וּזְקָנִ֔י וָאֵשְׁבָ֖ה מְשׁוֹמֵֽם
3 And when I heard this word, I ripped my garment and my mantle,
and pared the hair of my head and my beard, and sat down appalled.
3e 4C 18
וְאֵלַ֣י יֵאָסְפ֗וּ כֹּ֤ל חָרֵד֙ בְּדִבְרֵ֣י אֱלֹהֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל עַ֖ל מַ֣עַל הַגּוֹלָ֑ה
וַאֲנִי֙ יֹשֵׁ֣ב מְשׁוֹמֵ֔ם עַ֖ד לְמִנְחַ֥ת הָעָֽרֶב
4 And to me were gathered all who were apprehensive with the words of the God of Israel concerning the trespass of the exiled,
and myself, I sat appalled until the gift of the evening.
3e 4C 24
וּבְמִנְחַ֣ת הָעֶ֗רֶב קַ֚מְתִּי מִתַּֽעֲנִיתִ֔י וּבְקָרְעִ֥י בִגְדִ֖י וּמְעִילִ֑י
וָֽאֶכְרְעָה֙ עַל־בִּרְכַּ֔י וָאֶפְרְשָׂ֥ה כַפַּ֖י אֶל־יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהָֽי
5 And at the gift of the evening, I arose from my affliction, and having ripped my garment and my mantle,
I bowed down on my knees, and spread my palm to Yahweh my God.
3e 4C 21
וָאֹמְרָ֗ה אֱלֹהַי֙ בֹּ֣שְׁתִּי וְנִכְלַ֔מְתִּי לְהָרִ֧ים אֱלֹהַ֛י פָּנַ֖י אֵלֶ֑יךָ
כִּ֣י עֲוֺנֹתֵ֤ינוּ רָבוּ֙ לְמַ֣עְלָה רֹּ֔אשׁ וְאַשְׁמָתֵ֥נוּ גָדְלָ֖ה עַ֥ד לַשָּׁמָֽיִם
6 And I was saying, My God, I am ashamed and I am humiliated to exalt, my God, my face to you,
because our iniquities are multiplied to come up over a head. Our offence is great to the heavens.
3c 4C 23
מִימֵ֣י אֲבֹתֵ֗ינוּ אֲנַ֙חְנוּ֙ בְּאַשְׁמָ֣ה גְדֹלָ֔ה עַ֖ד הַיּ֣וֹם הַזֶּ֑ה
וּבַעֲוֺנֹתֵ֡ינוּ נִתַּ֡נּוּ אֲנַחְנוּ֩ מְלָכֵ֨ינוּ כֹהֲנֵ֜ינוּ בְּיַ֣ד ׀ מַלְכֵ֣י הָאֲרָצ֗וֹת בַּחֶ֜רֶב בַּשְּׁבִ֧י וּבַבִּזָּ֛ה וּבְבֹ֥שֶׁת פָּנִ֖ים כְּהַיּ֥וֹם הַזֶּֽה
7 From the days of our ancestors, we have been a great offence to this day,
and in our iniquities we have been given, ourselves, our kings, our priests, into the hand of the sovereigns of the lands, by the sword, into captivity, and to be looted, and in shame of face, as at this day.
3c 4B 20
וְעַתָּ֡ה כִּמְעַט־רֶגַע֩ הָיְתָ֨ה תְחִנָּ֜ה מֵאֵ֣ת ׀ יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֵ֗ינוּ לְהַשְׁאִ֥יר לָ֙נוּ֙ פְּלֵיטָ֔ה וְלָתֶת־לָ֥נוּ יָתֵ֖ד בִּמְק֣וֹם קָדְשׁ֑וֹ
לְהָאִ֤יר עֵינֵ֙ינוּ֙ אֱלֹהֵ֔ינוּ וּלְתִתֵּ֛נוּ מִֽחְיָ֥ה מְעַ֖ט בְּעַבְדֻתֵֽנוּ
8 And now, for a brief moment, there has been grace from Yahweh our God, to a residue, to us, security, and to give to us a tent peg in his holy place,
for our God to light our eyes, and give us a little life in our servitude.
3d 4C 39
כִּֽי־עֲבָדִ֣ים אֲנַ֔חְנוּ וּבְעַבְדֻ֔תֵנוּ לֹ֥א עֲזָבָ֖נוּ אֱלֹהֵ֑ינוּ
וַֽיַּט־עָלֵ֣ינוּ חֶ֡סֶד לִפְנֵי֩ מַלְכֵ֨י פָרַ֜ס לָֽתֶת־לָ֣נוּ מִֽחְיָ֗ה לְרוֹמֵ֞ם אֶת־בֵּ֤ית אֱלֹהֵ֙ינוּ֙ וּלְהַעֲמִ֣יד אֶת־חָרְבֹתָ֔יו וְלָֽתֶת־לָ֣נוּ גָדֵ֔ר בִּֽיהוּדָ֖ה וּבִירוּשָׁלִָֽם
9 For we have been servants, but in our servitude, our God has not forsaken us.
And he has stretched out kindness over us before the sovereigns of Persia, to give to us life, to lift high the house of our God, and to give standing to its desert, and to give to us a fence in Judah and in Jerusalem.
3e 4C 20
וְעַתָּ֛ה מַה־נֹּאמַ֥ר אֱלֹהֵ֖ינוּ אַֽחֲרֵי־זֹ֑את
כִּ֥י עָזַ֖בְנוּ מִצְוֺתֶֽיךָ
10 And now, what we will say, O our God, after this?
for we have forsaken your commandments,
3d 4A 14
אֲשֶׁ֣ר צִוִּ֗יתָ בְּיַ֨ד עֲבָדֶ֣יךָ הַנְּבִיאִים֮ לֵאמֹר֒ הָאָ֗רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֨ר אַתֶּ֤ם בָּאִים֙ לְרִשְׁתָּ֔הּ אֶ֤רֶץ נִדָּה֙ הִ֔יא בְּנִדַּ֖ת עַמֵּ֣י הָאֲרָצ֑וֹת
בְּתוֹעֲבֹֽתֵיהֶ֗ם אֲשֶׁ֥ר מִלְא֛וּהָ מִפֶּ֥ה אֶל־פֶּ֖ה בְּטֻמְאָתָֽם
11 That you commanded by the hand of your servants the prophets, saying, The land that you are coming to possess, this is a segregated land, in the segregation of the peoples of the lands,
in their abominations, who have filled her from edge to edge in their uncleanness.
3d 4C 42
וְ֠עַתָּה בְּֽנוֹתֵיכֶ֞ם אַל־תִּתְּנ֣וּ לִבְנֵיהֶ֗ם וּבְנֹֽתֵיהֶם֙ אַל־תִּשְׂא֣וּ לִבְנֵיכֶ֔ם וְלֹֽא־תִדְרְשׁ֧וּ שְׁלֹמָ֛ם וְטוֹבָתָ֖ם עַד־עוֹלָ֑ם
לְמַ֣עַן תֶּחֶזְק֗וּ וַאֲכַלְתֶּם֙ אֶת־ט֣וּב הָאָ֔רֶץ וְהוֹרַשְׁתֶּ֥ם לִבְנֵיכֶ֖ם עַד־עוֹלָֽם
12 ~ And now your daughters, you will not give to their sons, and their daughters, you will not take up for your sons, and you will not search out their peace or their good for evermore,
so that you may be resolute, and you will eat the good of the land that you will possess for your children for evermore.
3c 4B 38
וְאַֽחֲרֵי֙ כָּל־הַבָּ֣א עָלֵ֔ינוּ בְּמַעֲשֵׂ֙ינוּ֙ הָרָעִ֔ים וּבְאַשְׁמָתֵ֖נוּ הַגְּדֹלָ֑ה
כִּ֣י ׀ אַתָּ֣ה אֱלֹהֵ֗ינוּ חָשַׂ֤כְתָּֽ לְמַ֙טָּה֙ מֵֽעֲוֺנֵ֔נוּ וְנָתַ֥תָּה לָּ֛נוּ פְּלֵיטָ֖ה כָּזֹֽאת
13 And after all that has come over us from our evil deeds and in our great offense,
(for you, our God, you kept back for less than our iniquities and have given to us security such as this),
3d 4C 26
הֲנָשׁוּב֙ לְהָפֵ֣ר מִצְוֺתֶ֔יךָ וּ֨לְהִתְחַתֵּ֔ן בְּעַמֵּ֥י הַתֹּעֵב֖וֹת הָאֵ֑לֶּה
הֲל֤וֹא תֶֽאֱנַף־בָּ֙נוּ֙ עַד־כַּלֵּ֔ה לְאֵ֥ין שְׁאֵרִ֖ית וּפְלֵיטָֽה
14 Should we return to thwart your commandments and intermarry with the people of these abominations?
Would you not be angry among us till the finish, to be without a residue or security?
3e 4C 24
יְהוָ֞ה אֱלֹהֵ֤י יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ צַדִּ֣יק אַ֔תָּה כִּֽי־נִשְׁאַ֥רְנוּ פְלֵיטָ֖ה כְּהַיּ֣וֹם הַזֶּ֑ה
הִנְנ֤וּ לְפָנֶ֙יךָ֙ בְּאַשְׁמָתֵ֔ינוּ כִּ֣י אֵ֥ין לַעֲמ֛וֹד לְפָנֶ֖יךָ עַל־זֹֽאת
15 Yahweh, O God of Israel, a righteous one you are, for we are still here secure as at this day.
Behold us in your presence in our offenses, but there is no standing in your presence over this.
3d 4C 24

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