Monday, March 16, 2020

Psalms 18

Several isolated fragments of Psalm 18 have occurred to me as the pandemic makes its wolf-like way across the world. So I thought I should read it again though none of my thoughts is particularly coherent.

This Psalm appears with some variations in 2 Samuel 22.
Psalms 18 Fn Min Max Syll Avg S/N
לַמְנַצֵּ֤חַ ׀ לְעֶ֥בֶד יְהוָ֗ה לְדָ֫וִ֥ד
אֲשֶׁ֤ר דִּבֶּ֨ר ׀ לַיהוָ֗ה אֶת־דִּ֭בְרֵי הַשִּׁירָ֣ה הַזֹּ֑את
בְּי֤וֹם הִֽצִּיל־יְהוָ֘ה אוֹת֥וֹ מִכַּ֥ף כָּל־אֹ֝יְבָ֗יו וּמִיַּ֥ד שָׁאֽוּל
1 For the leader. Of a servant of Yahweh. Of David,
who spoke to Yahweh the words of this particular song,
in the day Yahweh delivered him from the slap of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul.
3e 4C 12
14
18
4
וַיֹּאמַ֡ר אֶרְחָמְךָ֖ יְהוָ֣ה חִזְקִֽי 2 and he said, I am passionate about you, Yahweh, my courage. 3e 4B 10 2.5
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
8
11
2.73
מְ֭הֻלָּל אֶקְרָ֣א יְהוָ֑ה
וּמִן־אֹ֝יְבַ֗י אִוָּשֵֽׁעַ
4 g Praising I will call Yahweh,
and from my enemies I will be saved.

3e 4B 7
8
3.75
אֲפָפ֥וּנִי חֶבְלֵי־מָ֑וֶת
וְֽנַחֲלֵ֖י בְלִיַּ֣עַל יְבַֽעֲתֽוּנִי
5 Enveloping me were death pangs,
and torrents of worthlessness alarmed me.
3e 4B 7
13
2.86
חֶבְלֵ֣י שְׁא֣וֹל סְבָב֑וּנִי
קִ֝דְּמ֗וּנִי מ֣וֹקְשֵׁי מָֽוֶת
6 The pangs of the grave surrounded me.
Confronting me were death traps.
3e 4B 8
7
3
בַּצַּר־לִ֤י ׀ אֶֽקְרָ֣א יְהוָה֮ וְאֶל־אֱלֹהַ֪י אֲשַׁ֫וֵּ֥עַ
יִשְׁמַ֣ע מֵהֵיכָל֣וֹ קוֹלִ֑י
וְ֝שַׁוְעָתִ֗י לְפָנָ֤יו ׀ תָּב֬וֹא בְאָזְנָֽיו
7 In my straits I call upon Yahweh and to my God I cry for help.
He hears from his temple my voice,
and my cry to his face comes into his ears.

3d 4C 16
8
12
3.6
וַתִּגְעַ֬שׁ וַתִּרְעַ֨שׁ ׀ הָאָ֗רֶץ וּמוֹסְדֵ֣י הָרִ֣ים יִרְגָּ֑זוּ
וַ֝יִּתְגָּֽעֲשׁ֗וּ כִּי־חָ֥רָה לֽוֹ
8 And the earth shakes and quakes, and the foundations of the hills shudder,
and are shaken for he was burning with anger.
3e 4B 17
8
4.17
עָ֘לָ֤ה עָשָׁ֨ן ׀ בְּאַפּ֗וֹ וְאֵשׁ־מִפִּ֥יו תֹּאכֵ֑ל
גֶּ֝חָלִ֗ים בָּעֲר֥וּ מִמֶּֽנּוּ
9 ~ A smoke ascends in his nostrils and fire from his mouth devours.
Coals were kindled from it.
3e 4C 13
9
4.4
וַיֵּ֣ט שָׁ֭מַיִם וַיֵּרַ֑ד
וַ֝עֲרָפֶ֗ל תַּ֣חַת רַגְלָֽיו
10 And he bends heavens and descends,
with dark turbulence under his feet.
3e 4B 7
8
2.5
וַיִּרְכַּ֣ב עַל־כְּ֭רוּב וַיָּעֹ֑ף
וַ֝יֵּ֗דֶא עַל־כַּנְפֵי־רֽוּחַ
11 And he rides on a cherub and he flies.
And he darts on the wings of the wind.
3e 4B 9
7
3.2
יָ֤שֶׁת חֹ֨שֶׁךְ ׀ סִתְר֗וֹ סְבִֽיבוֹתָ֥יו סֻכָּת֑וֹ
חֶשְׁכַת־מַ֝֗יִם עָבֵ֥י שְׁחָקִֽים
12 C He sets darkness his hiding place, round about him his booth,
dark waters, thick clouds of the skies.

3e 4C 13
8
3.5
מִנֹּ֗גַהּ נֶ֫גְדּ֥וֹ עָבָ֥יו עָבְר֑וּ
בָּ֝רָ֗ד וְגַֽחֲלֵי־אֵֽשׁ
13 From the luminous before him his thick clouds passed by,
hail and coals of fire.
3e 4A 9
7
4
וַיַּרְעֵ֬ם בַּשָּׁמַ֨יִם ׀ יְֽהוָ֗ה וְ֭עֶלְיוֹן יִתֵּ֣ן קֹל֑וֹ
בָּ֝רָ֗ד וְגַֽחֲלֵי־אֵֽשׁ
14 And Yahweh thunders in the heavens, and the Most High gives his voice,
hail and coals of fire.
3e 4B 15
7
4.4
וַיִּשְׁלַ֣ח חִ֭צָּיו וַיְפִיצֵ֑ם
וּבְרָקִ֥ים רָ֝ב וַיְהֻמֵּֽם
15 And he sends his arrows and disperses them.
And lightnings he multiplies and confuses them.
3e 4B 8
7
2.5
וַיֵּ֤רָא֨וּ ׀ אֲפִ֥יקֵי מַ֗יִם וַֽיִּגָּלוּ֮ מוֹסְד֪וֹת תֵּ֫בֵ֥ל
מִגַּעֲרָ֣תְךָ֣ יְהוָ֑ה
מִ֝נִּשְׁמַ֗ת ר֣וּחַ אַפֶּֽךָ
16 Then seen are channels of waters, and discovered are the foundations of the world,
at your rebuke Yahweh,
at the breath of the wind of your nostrils.

3d 4C 16
7
8
3.1
יִשְׁלַ֣ח מִ֭מָּרוֹם יִקָּחֵ֑נִי
יַֽ֝מְשֵׁ֗נִי מִמַּ֥יִם רַבִּֽים
17 He will send from on high. He will take me.
He will draw me out from many waters.
3e 4B 9
7
2.29
יַצִּילֵ֗נִי מֵאֹיְבִ֥י עָ֑ז
וּ֝מִשֹּׂנְאַ֗י כִּֽי־אָמְצ֥וּ מִמֶּֽנִּי
18 He will deliver me from my strong enemy,
and from those hating me, for they are more assured than I.
3e 4A 8
10
3
יְקַדְּמ֥וּנִי בְיוֹם־אֵידִ֑י
וַֽיְהִי־יְהוָ֖ה לְמִשְׁעָ֣ן לִֽי
19 They will confront me in the day of my misfortune,
but Yahweh becomes my staff.

3e 4B 8
9
2.43
וַיּוֹצִיאֵ֥נִי לַמֶּרְחָ֑ב
יְ֝חַלְּצֵ֗נִי כִּ֘י חָ֥פֵֽץ בִּֽי
20 He has brought me out into a spacious room.
He will rescue me for he delighted in me.
3e 4A 8
8
3.2
יִגְמְלֵ֣נִי יְהוָ֣ה כְּצִדְקִ֑י
כְּבֹ֥ר יָ֝דַ֗י יָשִׁ֥יב לִֽי
21 Yahweh will reward me for my righteousness,
for the purity of my hands he will turn to me.
3e 4B 9
7
3.2
כִּֽי־שָׁ֭מַרְתִּי דַּרְכֵ֣י יְהוָ֑ה
וְלֹֽא־רָ֝שַׁ֗עְתִּי מֵאֱלֹהָֽי
22 For I have kept the ways of Yahweh,
and I have not been wicked with my God.
3e 4B 7
8
3
כִּ֣י כָל־מִשְׁפָּטָ֣יו לְנֶגְדִּ֑י
וְ֝חֻקֹּתָ֗יו לֹא־אָסִ֥יר מֶֽנִּי
23 B For all his judgments are before me,
and his statutes I will not put aside from me.
3e 4B 8
8
4
וָאֱהִ֣י תָמִ֣ים עִמּ֑וֹ
וָ֝אֶשְׁתַּמֵּ֗ר מֵעֲוֺנִֽי
24 And I am complete with him,
and I have kept myself from my iniquity.
3e 4B 7
8
3.75
וַיָּֽשֶׁב־יְהוָ֣ה לִ֣י כְצִדְקִ֑י
כְּבֹ֥ר יָ֝דַ֗י לְנֶ֣גֶד עֵינָֽיו
25 And Yahweh turned to me for my righteousness,
for the purity of my hands before his eyes.

3e 4B 9
9
3
עִם־חָסִ֥יד תִּתְחַסָּ֑ד
עִם־גְּבַ֥ר תָּ֝מִ֗ים תִּתַּמָּֽם
26 With one who is kind you show yourself kind.
With one who prevails complete you show yourself complete.
3e 4A 6
8
2.8
עִם־נָבָ֥ר תִּתְבָּרָ֑ר
וְעִם־עִ֝קֵּ֗שׁ תִּתְפַּתָּֽל
27 With the pure you show yourself pure,
and with the devious you show yourself tortuous.

3e 4A 6
7
3.25
כִּֽי־אַ֭תָּה עַם־עָנִ֣י תוֹשִׁ֑יעַ
וְעֵינַ֖יִם רָמ֣וֹת תַּשְׁפִּֽיל
28 For you yourself an impoverished people will save,
and eyes exalted you will humble.
3e 4B 8
7
2.14
כִּֽי־אַ֭תָּה תָּאִ֣יר נֵרִ֑י
יְהוָ֥ה אֱ֝לֹהַ֗י יַגִּ֥יהַּ חָשְׁכִּֽי
29 For you yourself will light my lamp.
Yahweh my God will illuminate my darkness.
3e 4B 6
10
2.67
כִּֽי־בְ֭ךָ אָרֻ֣ץ גְּד֑וּד
וּ֝בֵֽאלֹהַ֗י אֲדַלֶּג־שֽׁוּר
30 For in you I have raced a raiding party,
and in my God I have leapt a barrier.

3e 4B 7
8
3
הָאֵל֮ תָּמִ֪ים דַּ֫רְכּ֥וֹ
אִמְרַֽת־יְהוָ֥ה צְרוּפָ֑ה
מָגֵ֥ן ה֝֗וּא לְכֹ֤ל ׀ הַחֹסִ֬ים בּֽוֹ
31 This God, his way is complete,
the promise of Yahweh refined.
He is a shield to all who take refuge in him.
3d 4C 6
7
9
2.44
כִּ֤י מִ֣י אֱ֭לוֹהַּ מִבַּלְעֲדֵ֣י יְהוָ֑ה
וּמִ֥י צ֝֗וּר זוּלָתִ֥י אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ
32 C For who is God apart from Yahweh?
And who a rock except our God?
3e 4C 11
10
3
הָ֭אֵל הַמְאַזְּרֵ֣נִי חָ֑יִל
וַיִּתֵּ֖ן תָּמִ֣ים דַּרְכִּֽי
33 g This God girds me in force,
and he gives the completeness of my way,

3e 4B 8
7
2.5
מְשַׁוֶּ֣ה רַ֭גְלַי כָּאַיָּל֑וֹת
וְעַ֥ל בָּ֝מֹתַ֗י יַעֲמִידֵֽנִי
34 making my feet resemble the hart,
and on my high places he stands me,
3e 4B 9
10
3.17
מְלַמֵּ֣ד יָ֭דַי לַמִּלְחָמָ֑ה
וְֽנִחֲתָ֥ה קֶֽשֶׁת־נְ֝חוּשָׁ֗ה זְרוֹעֹתָֽי
35 in teaching my hands to war,
and he has pinned brazen bow by my arms.
3e 4B 9
13
3.14
וַתִּתֶּן־לִי֮ מָגֵ֪ן יִ֫שְׁעֶ֥ךָ
וִֽימִינְךָ֥ תִסְעָדֵ֑נִי
וְֽעַנְוַתְךָ֥ תַרְבֵּֽנִי
36 And you gave me the shield of your salvation,
and your right hand confirms me,
and your gentleness gives me increase.
3d 4A 9
7
7
2.56
תַּרְחִ֣יב צַעֲדִ֣י תַחְתָּ֑י
וְלֹ֥א מָ֝עֲד֗וּ קַרְסֻלָּֽי
37 You will broaden my paces under me,
lest my ankles be unstable.

3e 4B 7
8
3
אֶרְדּ֣וֹף א֭וֹיְבַי וְאַשִּׂיגֵ֑ם
וְלֹֽא־אָ֝שׁוּב עַד־כַּלּוֹתָֽם
38 I will pursue my enemies and will overtake them,
and I will not turn back until they are finished.
3e 4B 8
7
3
אֶ֭מְחָצֵם וְלֹא־יֻ֣כְלוּ ק֑וּם
יִ֝פְּל֗וּ תַּ֣חַת רַגְלָֽי
39 g I will wound them and they will not be able to arise.
They will fall under my feet.
3e 4B 8
6
2.8
וַתְּאַזְּרֵ֣נִי חַ֭יִל לַמִּלְחָמָ֑ה
תַּכְרִ֖יעַ קָמַ֣י תַּחְתָּֽי
40 And you will gird me with force for the war.
Those arising against me, you will bow down under me.

3e 4B 10
7
2.43
וְֽאֹיְבַ֗י נָתַ֣תָּה לִּ֣י עֹ֑רֶף
וּ֝מְשַׂנְאַ֗י אַצְמִיתֵֽם
41 And the nape of my enemies you have given to me.
And those hating me, I will annihilate them.
3e 4B 9
6
3.75
יְשַׁוְּע֥וּ וְאֵין־מוֹשִׁ֑יעַ
עַל־יְ֝הוָ֗ה וְלֹ֣א עָנָֽם
42 They will cry for help and there is no salvation,
to Yahweh and he did not answer them.
3e 4B 8
7
3
וְֽאֶשְׁחָקֵ֗ם כְּעָפָ֥ר עַל־פְּנֵי־ר֑וּחַ
כְּטִ֖יט חוּצ֣וֹת אֲרִיקֵֽם
43 And I pulverized them like dust in the face of a wind,
as dirt of the streets I did away with them.

3e 4B 11
7
3
תְּפַלְּטֵנִי֮ מֵרִ֪יבֵ֫י עָ֥ם
תְּ֭שִׂימֵנִי לְרֹ֣אשׁ גּוֹיִ֑ם
עַ֖ם לֹא־יָדַ֣עְתִּי יַֽעַבְדֽוּנִי
44 You will secure me in the disputes of the people.
You will set me up as the beginning of nations.
A people I did not know will serve me.
3d 4B 8
8
8
2.67
לְשֵׁ֣מַֽע אֹ֭זֶן יִשָּׁ֣מְעוּ לִ֑י
בְּנֵֽי־נֵ֝כָ֗ר יְכַחֲשׁוּ־לִֽי
45 Hearing by ear they will hear of me.
The children of the alien cringe to me.
3e 4B 9
8
2.43
בְּנֵי־נֵכָ֥ר יִבֹּ֑לוּ
וְ֝יַחְרְג֗וּ מִֽמִּסְגְּרֽוֹתֵיהֶֽם
46 The children of the alien will wither,
no longer at ease from within their prisons.

3e 4A 6
10
4
חַי־יְ֭הוָה וּבָר֣וּךְ צוּרִ֑י
וְ֝יָר֗וּם אֱלוֹהֵ֥י יִשְׁעִֽי
47 Yahweh lives and blessed is my rock.
The God of my salvation will be exalted.
3e 4B 9
8
2.83
הָאֵ֗ל הַנּוֹתֵ֣ן נְקָמ֣וֹת לִ֑י
וַיַּדְבֵּ֖ר עַמִּ֣ים תַּחְתָּֽי
48 This God gives my vengeance,
and he subjugates peoples under me.
3e 4B 9
7
2.67
מְפַלְּטִ֗י מֵאֹ֫יְבָ֥י
אַ֣ף מִן־קָ֭מַי תְּרוֹמְמֵ֑נִי
מֵאִ֥ישׁ חָ֝מָ֗ס תַּצִּילֵֽנִי
49 He secures me from my enemies.
Indeed from those arising against me you will exalt me.
From a violent person you will deliver me.

3e 4B 6
8
8
3.14
עַל־כֵּ֤ן ׀ אוֹדְךָ֖ בַגּוֹיִ֥ם ׀ יְהוָ֑ה
וּלְשִׁמְךָ֥ אֲזַמֵּֽרָה
50 Therefore I will give you thanks among the nations Yahweh,
and to your name I will sing a psalm,
3e 4C 9
7
2.29
מַגְדִּיל֮ יְשׁוּע֪וֹת מַ֫לְכּ֥וֹ
וְעֹ֤שֶׂה חֶ֨סֶד ׀ לִמְשִׁיח֗וֹ לְדָוִ֥ד וּלְזַרְע֗וֹ עַד־עוֹלָֽם
51 for the one who magnifies the victories of his king,
and does kindness for his anointed, for David and his seed for evermore.
3d 4C 7
17
4

We watched the World War 2 escape from Slovenia last night. It changed my attitude towards that beautiful country. But it also reminded me of all that is false in our own culture. The me-first mentality, the enforced labour, fiefdoms. Slogans were particularly obvious - Make Yugoslavia German Again.

As the virus, like a wild wolf, emerges in its randomness around us, let us have confidence that gentleness will prevail over robbery and hoarding, mutual confidence over the fear of systemic breakdowns. Even our isolation is not survivalist, but rather the protection of us all by reducing the chance that we will become a vector for the disease.

It has emerged in my mind over many years that all our systems and supply chains make us one body - regardless of what we think we 'believe'. How else could I set before you a Psalm if I did not have computer, internet, or music XML, none of which was created by sectarians or for them? We are not alone. We create, we work, and we serve each other. In this mutual service we embody a mystery that none of us can describe or understand.



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