Thursday, August 16, 2018

Ezekiel 21

At the moment I might be on a different planet. Ezekiel 21:2 bears no relation to the text  in front of me by that name. Ah - there are yet 5 verses not part of the prior chapter that appear at the front of this chapter.

This is definitely a different planet. Probably the hardest bit of deciphering of poetry I have yet encountered.

Should we make up the translation if the Hebrew is unintelligible? How difficult is truth and the ethics of translating? We read for ourselves and we read for others, (because we are not writing in isolation from others). We cannot exist in isolation. JB has notes that verses 15 and 19 are unintelligible. This poem is an image of the sceptre of the child of humanity. Every tree refuses to take part in violence except the tree that bears the child of humanity. It is not unintelligible. So what if we must read או as if rather than or. They are both logic gates.

A few verses later we see the verb מאס again, a word repeated in chapters 20 and 21 5 times. Here JB has "text is corrupt, translation doubtful". But it is on a passage with word recurrence. What for? Three times in chapter 20, Israel refuses judgments and statutes. Twice here the trees refuse to lead the sword the way I have read it, and yet there is one tree that will not refuse leadership.

OK - my bias is displayed. I can make sense of the end of violence through the cross. It is not an easy end. We have children of humanity today who are on this tree, on the streets, in poverty, in illness, lifted up and ignored by those with the power to lift up, and if they would renounce their economic and military violence, also the power to heal and remove the barriers to participation in the economy. The judgement against us extends to our most private spaces - as verse 19 puts it, our inner rooms.

At BDB's suggestion I am reading טבח (slaughter) for אבח (hapax of unknown sense). It is as good an emendation as I can see. However I read, the atenach leaves me with a following אח, which I have to read as an interjection, as I did in 6:11, the only other place where this word also appears to occur. I am not convinced. The Latin concordance does not appear to list these two under אח or אהה in the Hebrew or Aramaic sections.

The final judgment in verse 37 below is without knowledge. They will not be remembered and the purpose of the display of power is not that they should know that I am Yahweh. This is a surprise. There are 69 other occurrences of an equivalent phrase in Ezekiel and their intent is to reveal Yahweh, not to obliterate the memory of the other. There are a few additional instances  of the positive phrase in other writers, but the phrase is very common in Ezekiel and this last verse is the only exception. (The exception of not remembering Ammon is repeated in 25:10. Ammon is mentioned in over 100 verses. So something is remembered!)

Ezekiel 21 Fn Min Max Syll
וַיְהִ֥י דְבַר־יְהוָ֖ה אֵלַ֥י לֵאמֹֽר 1 And the word of Yahweh happened to me, saying, 3e 3g 10
בֶּן־אָדָ֗ם שִׂ֤ים פָּנֶ֙יךָ֙ דֶּ֣רֶךְ תֵּימָ֔נָה וְהַטֵּ֖ף אֶל־דָּר֑וֹם
וְהִנָּבֵ֛א אֶל־יַ֥עַר הַשָּׂדֶ֖ה נֶֽגֶב
2 Child of humanity, set your face the way of the south, and stutter to the southern region,
and prophesy on the forest of the southern field.
3d 4C 18
וְאָֽמַרְתָּ֙ לְיַ֣עַר הַנֶּ֔גֶב שְׁמַ֖ע דְּבַר־יְהוָ֑ה
כֹּֽה־אָמַ֣ר אֲדֹנָ֣י יְהוִ֡ה הִנְנִ֣י מַֽצִּית־בְּךָ֣ ׀ אֵ֡שׁ וְאָכְלָ֣ה בְךָ֣ כָל־עֵֽץ־לַח֩ וְכָל־עֵ֨ץ יָבֵ֤שׁ לֹֽא־תִכְבֶּה֙ לַהֶ֣בֶת שַׁלְהֶ֔בֶת וְנִצְרְבוּ־בָ֥הּ כָּל־פָּנִ֖ים מִנֶּ֥גֶב צָפֽוֹנָה
3 And say to the forest of the Negev, Hear the word of Yahweh,
Thus says my Lord Yahweh, Behold me, I will char fire in you, and it will devour in you every fresh tree and every dried up tree. The flaming flame will not be quenched. In it all faces will be seared from the south northward.
3e 4C 16
וְרָאוּ֙ כָּל־בָּשָׂ֔ר כִּ֛י אֲנִ֥י יְהוָ֖ה בִּֽעַרְתִּ֑יהָ
לֹ֖א תִּכְבֶּֽה
4 And all flesh will see that I, Yahweh, have kindled it.
It will not be quenched.
3d 4A 15
וָאֹמַ֕ר אֲהָ֖הּ אֲדֹנָ֣י יְהוִ֑ה
הֵ֚מָּה אֹמְרִ֣ים לִ֔י הֲלֹ֛א מְמַשֵּׁ֥ל מְשָׁלִ֖ים הֽוּא
5 And I said, Aye yai yai, my Lord Yahweh,
They say to me, Does he not cite parables.
3d 4C 10
וַיְהִ֥י דְבַר־יְהוָ֖ה אֵלַ֥י לֵאמֹֽר 6 And the word of Yahweh happened to me, saying, 3e 3g 10
בֶּן־אָדָ֗ם שִׂ֤ים פָּנֶ֙יךָ֙ אֶל־יְר֣וּשָׁלִַ֔ם וְהַטֵּ֖ף אֶל־מִקְדָּשִׁ֑ים
וְהִנָּבֵ֖א אֶל־אַדְמַ֥ת יִשְׂרָאֵֽל
7 Child of humanity, set your face to Jerusalem, and drop on the holy ones,
and prophesy to the ground of Israel.
3e 4C 19
וְאָמַרְתָּ֞ לְאַדְמַ֣ת יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל כֹּ֚ה אָמַ֣ר יְהוָ֔ה הִנְנִ֣י אֵלַ֔יִךְ וְהוֹצֵאתִ֥י חַרְבִּ֖י מִתַּעְרָ֑הּ
וְהִכְרַתִּ֥י מִמֵּ֖ךְ צַדִּ֥יק וְרָשָֽׁע
8 Then you will say to the ground of Israel, Thus says Yahweh, Note me well against you, and I will bring forth my sword from its sheath,
and I will cut off from you a righteous one and a wicked one.
3e 4C 29
יַ֛עַן אֲשֶׁר־הִכְרַ֥תִּי מִמֵּ֖ךְ צַדִּ֣יק וְרָשָׁ֑ע
לָ֠כֵן תֵּצֵ֨א חַרְבִּ֧י מִתַּעְרָ֛הּ אֶל־כָּל־בָּשָׂ֖ר מִנֶּ֥גֶב צָפֽוֹן
9 d In that I have cut off from you a righteous one and a wicked one,
therefore my sword will go forth from its sheath to all flesh from the south to the north.
3c 4B 14
וְיָֽדְעוּ֙ כָּל־בָּשָׂ֔ר כִּ֚י אֲנִ֣י יְהוָ֔ה הוֹצֵ֥אתִי חַרְבִּ֖י מִתַּעְרָ֑הּ
לֹ֥א תָשׁ֖וּב עֽוֹד
10 And all flesh will know that I, Yahweh, have brought out my sword from its sheath.
It will not return back any more.
3e 4C 19
וְאַתָּ֥ה בֶן־אָדָ֖ם הֵֽאָנַ֑ח
בְּשִׁבְר֤וֹן מָתְנַ֙יִם֙ וּבִמְרִיר֔וּת תֵּֽאָנַ֖ח לְעֵינֵיהֶֽם
11 And you child of humanity,
sigh in the breaking of loins. And with bitterness, sigh for their eyes.
3e 4C 9
וְהָיָה֙ כִּֽי־יֹאמְר֣וּ אֵלֶ֔יךָ עַל־מָ֖ה אַתָּ֣ה נֶאֱנָ֑ח
וְאָמַרְתָּ֡ אֶל־שְׁמוּעָ֣ה כִֽי־בָאָ֡ה וְנָמֵ֣ס כָּל־לֵב֩ וְרָפ֨וּ כָל־יָדַ֜יִם וְכִהֲתָ֣ה כָל־ר֗וּחַ וְכָל־בִּרְכַּ֙יִם֙ תֵּלַ֣כְנָה מַּ֔יִם הִנֵּ֤ה בָאָה֙ וְנִֽהְיָ֔תָה נְאֻ֖ם אֲדֹנָ֥י יְהוִֽה
12 And it will be that when they say to you, Why are you sighing?
Then you will say, On hearing that it comes, and it will melt every heart, and will slacken all hands, and will dim every spirit, and all knees walking watery. Behold it is coming and it is. An oracle of my Lord Yahweh.
3e 4C 16
וַיְהִ֥י דְבַר־יְהוָ֖ה אֵלַ֥י לֵאמֹֽר 13 And the word of Yahweh happened to me, saying, 3e 3g 10
בֶּן־אָדָ֕ם הִנָּבֵא֙ וְאָ֣מַרְתָּ֔ כֹּ֖ה אָמַ֣ר אֲדֹנָ֑י
אֱמֹ֕ר חֶ֥רֶב חֶ֛רֶב הוּחַ֖דָּה וְגַם־מְרוּטָֽה
14 Child of humanity, prophesy and say, Thus says my Lord,
Say, A sword, a sword is keen, and even polished.
3d 4B 16
לְמַ֨עַן טְבֹ֤חַ טֶ֙בַח֙ הוּחַ֔דָּה לְמַעַן־הֱיֵה־לָ֥הּ בָּ֖רָק מֹרָ֑טָּה
א֣וֹ נָשִׂ֔ישׂ שֵׁ֥בֶט בְּנִ֖י מֹאֶ֥סֶת כָּל־עֵֽץ
15 So that slaughter may be slaughter, it is keen. So that it will glitter, it is polished.
If we sing for joy, every tree will refuse the sceptre of my child.
3e 4C 22
וַיִּתֵּ֥ן אֹתָ֛הּ לְמָרְטָ֖ה לִתְפֹּ֣שׂ בַּכָּ֑ף
הִֽיא־הוּחַ֤דָּה חֶ֙רֶב֙ וְהִ֣יא מֹרָ֔טָּה לָתֵ֥ת אוֹתָ֖הּ בְּיַד־הוֹרֵֽג
16 And he gave it to be polished, to be taken up by a palm.
It is keen, the sword, and it is polished, to give it into the hand of a slayer.
3d 4C 12
זְעַ֤ק וְהֵילֵל֙ בֶּן־אָדָ֔ם כִּי־הִיא֙ הָיתָ֣ה בְעַמִּ֔י הִ֖יא בְּכָל־נְשִׂיאֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל
מְגוּרֵ֤י אֶל־חֶ֙רֶב֙ הָי֣וּ אֶת־עַמִּ֔י לָכֵ֖ן סְפֹ֥ק אֶל־יָרֵֽךְ
17 Appeal and howl, child of humanity, for it will be in my people. It will be in all the principals of Israel.
Terrors of sword will be with my people. Therefore cuff on a thigh.
3e 4C 23
כִּ֣י בֹ֔חַן וּמָ֕ה אִם־גַּם־שֵׁ֥בֶט מֹאֶ֖סֶת לֹ֣א יִֽהְיֶ֑ה
נְאֻ֖ם אֲדֹנָ֥י יְהוִֽה
18 B For a test? And what if even a sceptre refuse? It will not be.
An oracle of my Lord Yahweh.
3e 4B 14
וְאַתָּ֣ה בֶן־אָדָ֔ם הִנָּבֵ֕א וְהַ֖ךְ כַּ֣ף אֶל־כָּ֑ף
וְתִכָּפֵ֞ל חֶ֤רֶב שְׁלִישִׁ֙תָה֙ חֶ֣רֶב חֲלָלִ֔ים הִ֗יא חֶ֚רֶב חָלָ֣ל הַגָּד֔וֹל הַחֹדֶ֖רֶת לָהֶֽם
19 And you, child of humanity, prophesy, and strike palm on palm.
Let sword be doubled, let the sword of the profaned be tripled. It is a sword of the great profaned, their inner rooms.
3e 4C 14
לְמַ֣עַן ׀ לָמ֣וּג לֵ֗ב וְהַרְבֵּה֙ הַמִּכְשֹׁלִ֔ים עַ֚ל כָּל־שַׁ֣עֲרֵיהֶ֔ם נָתַ֖תִּי אִבְחַת־חָ֑רֶב
אָ֛ח עֲשׂוּיָ֥ה לְבָרָ֖ק מְעֻטָּ֥ה לְטָֽבַח
20 So that heart may soften, and to increase their stumbling over all their gates, I have made a slaughtering sword.
Ach, it is made glittering, a wrapping for the slaughter.
3d 4C 26
הִתְאַחֲדִ֥י הֵימִ֖נִי הָשִׂ֣ימִי הַשְׂמִ֑ילִי
אָ֖נָה פָּנַ֥יִךְ מֻעָדֽוֹת
21 Single yourself out to the right hand. Place yourself on the left hand,
How is your face engaged?
3e 4B 13
וְגַם־אֲנִ֗י אַכֶּ֤ה כַפִּי֙ אֶל־כַּפִּ֔י וַהֲנִחֹתִ֖י חֲמָתִ֑י
אֲנִ֥י יְהוָ֖ה דִּבַּֽרְתִּי
22 And even I, I will strike my palm to my palm, and I will give rest to my heat.
I am Yahweh. I have spoken.
3e 4C 19
וַיְהִ֥י דְבַר־יְהוָ֖ה אֵלַ֥י לֵאמֹֽר 23 And the word of Yahweh happened to me, saying, 3e 3g 10
וְאַתָּ֨ה בֶן־אָדָ֜ם שִׂים־לְךָ֣ ׀ שְׁנַ֣יִם דְּרָכִ֗ים לָבוֹא֙ חֶ֣רֶב מֶֽלֶךְ־בָּבֶ֔ל מֵאֶ֥רֶץ אֶחָ֖ד יֵצְא֣וּ שְׁנֵיהֶ֑ם
וְיָ֣ד בָּרֵ֔א בְּרֹ֥אשׁ דֶּֽרֶךְ־עִ֖יר בָּרֵֽא
24 And you, child of humanity, set for yourself two ways that the sword of the king of Babel may come. From one land they will both emerge.
And create a pointer, at the head of the way to a city, create.
3e 4B 32
דֶּ֣רֶךְ תָּשִׂ֔ים לָב֣וֹא חֶ֔רֶב אֵ֖ת רַבַּ֣ת בְּנֵֽי־עַמּ֑וֹן
וְאֶת־יְהוּדָ֥ה בִירוּשָׁלִַ֖ם בְּצוּרָֽה
25 B A way you will set, that sword may enter Rabbah of the children of Ammon,
and Judah, into Jerusalem the fortified.
3e 4B 14
כִּֽי־עָמַ֨ד מֶלֶךְ־בָּבֶ֜ל אֶל־אֵ֣ם הַדֶּ֗רֶךְ בְּרֹ֛אשׁ שְׁנֵ֥י הַדְּרָכִ֖ים לִקְסָם־קָ֑סֶם
קִלְקַ֤ל בַּֽחִצִּים֙ שָׁאַ֣ל בַּתְּרָפִ֔ים רָאָ֖ה בַּכָּבֵֽד
26 For the king of Babel stands at the mother of the way, at the head of both the ways, to say sooth.
He has trifled with arrows. He inquires with household gods. He has stared into a liver.
3d 4C 22
בִּֽימִינ֞וֹ הָיָ֣ה ׀ הַקֶּ֣סֶם יְרוּשָׁלִַ֗ם לָשׂ֤וּם כָּרִים֙ לִפְתֹּ֤חַ פֶּה֙ בְּרֶ֔צַח לְהָרִ֥ים ק֖וֹל בִּתְרוּעָ֑ה
לָשׂ֤וּם כָּרִים֙ עַל־שְׁעָרִ֔ים לִשְׁפֹּ֥ךְ סֹלְלָ֖ה לִבְנ֥וֹת דָּיֵֽק
27 By his right hand is the soothsaying of Jerusalem, to set up battering-rams, to open mouth with an instrument of violence, to lift high a voice with jubilation,
to set up battering-rams over gates, to pour out a ramp to build a siege-wall.
3e 4C 30
וְהָיָ֨ה לָהֶ֤ם כִּקְסָם־שָׁוְא֙ בְּעֵ֣ינֵיהֶ֔ם שְׁבֻעֵ֥י שְׁבֻע֖וֹת לָהֶ֑ם
וְהֽוּא־מַזְכִּ֥יר עָוֺ֖ן לְהִתָּפֵֽשׂ
28 And it will be for them as vain soothsaying in their eyes, to those who have sworn oaths for them,
but he will be reminded of iniquity to be taken up.
3e 4C 20
לָכֵ֗ן כֹּֽה־אָמַר֮ אֲדֹנָ֣י יְהוִה֒ יַ֗עַן הַזְכַּרְכֶם֙ עֲוֺ֣נְכֶ֔ם בְּהִגָּל֣וֹת פִּשְׁעֵיכֶ֗ם לְהֵֽרָאוֹת֙ חַטֹּ֣אותֵיכֶ֔ם בְּכֹ֖ל עֲלִילֽוֹתֵיכֶ֑ם
יַ֚עַן הִזָּ֣כֶרְכֶ֔ם בַּכַּ֖ף תִּתָּפֵֽשׂוּ
29 Therefore thus says my Lord Yahweh, Because you have made your iniquity to be remembered in the disclosure of your transgressions, to make your sins appear in all your wantonness,
because you have made them memorable, with a palm you will be taken up.
3e 4C 40
וְאַתָּה֙ חָלָ֣ל רָשָׁ֔ע נְשִׂ֖יא יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל
אֲשֶׁר־בָּ֣א יוֹמ֔וֹ בְּעֵ֖ת עֲוֺ֥ן קֵֽץ
30 And you, profane, wicked principal of Israel,
whose day has come in the time iniquity will be at an end,
3e 4B 12
כֹּ֤ה אָמַר֙ אֲדֹנָ֣י יְהוִ֔ה הָסִיר֙ הַמִּצְנֶ֔פֶת וְהָרִ֖ים הָֽעֲטָרָ֑ה
זֹ֣את לֹא־זֹ֔את הַשָּׁפָ֣לָה הַגְבֵּ֔הַ וְהַגָּבֹ֖הַ הַשְׁפִּֽיל
31 C Thus says my Lord Yahweh, Put aside the head-dress, and lift high the crown.
This, not this. To the humble give stature, and the haughty abase.
3e 4C 21
עַוָּ֥ה עַוָּ֖ה עַוָּ֣ה אֲשִׂימֶ֑נָּה
גַּם־זֹאת֙ לֹ֣א הָיָ֔ה עַד־בֹּ֛א אֲשֶׁר־ל֥וֹ הַמִּשְׁפָּ֖ט וּנְתַתִּֽיו
32 Perverse, perverse, perverse, I will set her.
Even this is not there, until he comes whose it is to judge, that I will give him.
3d 4B 10
וְאַתָּ֣ה בֶן־אָדָ֗ם הִנָּבֵ֤א וְאָֽמַרְתָּ֙ כֹּ֤ה אָמַר֙ אֲדֹנָ֣י יְהֹוִ֔ה אֶל־בְּנֵ֥י עַמּ֖וֹן וְאֶל־חֶרְפָּתָ֑ם
וְאָמַרְתָּ֗ חֶ֣רֶב חֶ֤רֶב פְּתוּחָה֙ לְטֶ֣בַח מְרוּטָ֔ה לְהָכִ֖יל לְמַ֥עַן בָּרָֽק
33 And you, child of humanity, prophesy and say, Thus says my Lord Yahweh to the children of Ammon and to their reproach.
Then you will say, A sword, a sword open to the slaughter, polished to devour, for the sake of glitter.
3e 4C 32
בַּחֲז֥וֹת לָךְ֙ שָׁ֔וְא בִּקְסָם־לָ֖ךְ כָּזָ֑ב
לָתֵ֣ת אוֹתָ֗ךְ אֶֽל־צַוְּארֵי֙ חַֽלְלֵ֣י רְשָׁעִ֔ים אֲשֶׁר־בָּ֣א יוֹמָ֔ם בְּעֵ֖ת עֲוֺ֥ן קֵֽץ
34 In your vain gazing, in your lying soothsaying,
to give you the necks of those profaned, by the wicked whose day has come in the time iniquity was at an end,
3e 4B 10
הָשַׁ֖ב אֶל־תַּעְרָ֑הּ
בִּמְק֧וֹם אֲשֶׁר־נִבְרֵ֛את בְּאֶ֥רֶץ מְכֻרוֹתַ֖יִךְ אֶשְׁפֹּ֥ט אֹתָֽךְ
35 (Will I make it return into its sheath?)
In the place where you were created, in the land where you were forged, I will judge you.
3c 4A 5
וְשָׁפַכְתִּ֤י עָלַ֙יִךְ֙ זַעְמִ֔י בְּאֵ֥שׁ עֶבְרָתִ֖י אָפִ֣יחַ עָלָ֑יִךְ
וּנְתַתִּ֗יךְ בְּיַד֙ אֲנָשִׁ֣ים בֹּֽעֲרִ֔ים חָרָשֵׁ֖י מַשְׁחִֽית
36 And I will pour out against you my indignation in the fire of my fury.
I will blow against you, and I will consign you into the hand of brutish men, artificers of destruction.
3e 4C 20
לָאֵ֤שׁ תִּֽהְיֶה֙ לְאָכְלָ֔ה דָּמֵ֥ךְ יִהְיֶ֖ה בְּת֣וֹךְ הָאָ֑רֶץ
לֹ֣א תִזָּכֵ֔רִי כִּ֛י אֲנִ֥י יְהוָ֖ה דִּבַּֽרְתִּי
37 For the fire you will be as fuel. Your blood will be in the midst of the land.
You will not be remembered, for I am Yahweh. I have spoken.
3d 4C 16

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