Saturday 31 October 2020

Finding the psalms in the Aleppo codex

Here are a couple of images that illustrate the psalms and their music. It is difficult to search the codex because you really have to read it. I find my place using a technique of two consecutive words. If I can read those words and note their stems I can do a search for these two stems in sequence and that narrows the field considerably. Then I can look at a readable Hebrew text and verify that I am in the right place. My skills may improve, but right now at age about 14 that's where my reading is.

By the way, my search now uses SimHebrew - It really works as a left to right abbreviation of the square text. It works on more levels than I could have seen when I began 8 or so months ago.

So Psalm 96 and 1 Chronicles 16 were found by deciphering mlpni ihvh - but it narrowed down more easily with az irnnv. The next one was harder to find since I wasn't even sure that 145 was in the manuscript, but the Psalms are spaced in a way that makes them recognizable with a brief scan of the images so I was able to see that they preceded Chronicles and narrow them down accordingly. I am grateful to Ardon Bar-Hama for providing a link to the images of the Aleppo Codex that he has taken.

Psalm 96 in 1 Chronicles 16:33

The second image is the music we are currently working on. The manuscript is actually missing the verse for n. Verse 8 is for the eighth letter chet (k). You can read the letters vertically ה ט י כ ל מ [נ] ס ע

In the music I have illustrated the letters with a little polyphony. The text itself is chanted without elaboration. The 'illustrations' are of course in the text if one can read the accents. Haïk-Vantoura's key makes for very straightforward sight reading once you get used to it. I also restored the n verse from the DSS and from the Greek and applied accents to it so it had some music. (All the raw music is available on this site.)

Psalm 145 8-15


Friday 30 October 2020

Daniel in SimHebrew

 Surprise - Daniel does not behave like the Hebrew chapters. I have introduced an Aramaic switch to help govern the verses in Aramaic. When adding a Hebrew chapter to my test data I have been approaching an error rate less than 0.8% since most of the word forms are now in the data. But for Daniel, the rate was approaching 20%. Still the rules can be coded with the same strategy.

My compile now takes about 5 seconds for the 2000+ lines of code. I think it would be more efficient if I put all the tests into a database and searched them by condition, but it is a big change and I am nearly finished. In a database, assuming I got it to work, the rules would be selectable by stem and by prefix and suffix and special vowel forms. So it would be subject to some potentially easier analysis.

I will probably continue with my algorithm since changing to a data driven approach would likely occupy some time. The process is slightly addictive so I hope it's done soon. Short holiday next week and must go get some sunshine in the garden now.

Wednesday 28 October 2020


Here are the rules for transforming the stem טהר, 'thr from the WLC traditional pointed text to Hebrew with full spelling, the text called maleh

These are the rules with just over 255,000 words in my test data.

'thr is excluded from the standard rule

  • that hireq is suppressed after a double prefix. (below under Lv 14:17)
  • that the i is doubled for a (non-proper-name) word containing the sequence patah-yod-dagesh-hireq. (below 2K 5:14)
  • that the hireq is ignored for a closed syllable. (Except for word forms t/!\i, t/!\u, where ! represents the stem or what is left of it.) E.g. below Lv 14:7 et seq.

    'thr is included in these rules

    • hireq is rendered if there is a suffix, or for prefix h, l, and v.
    • qamats is rendered for a closed syllable including some with possessive object affixes, e.g. Lv 14:23 below.
    • qamats is rendered after the first letter for words with no affixes and after a first syllable closed with a hatef-qamats.
    • qamats is rendered after the second letter for words of the form c/!\t, l/!\to, b/!\to.

    These rules are hard to transcribe into natural language from the innards of the fish. There will be simpler explanations emerge over the next several months but I don't know them quite yet. 

    I think a reference book could be generated from the data at some point. This would contain in SimHebrew word order every word in the Hebrew canon (at least all the ones I have in my data). It would be searchable in ascii characters but would still show the square letters with their diacritics which are notoriously difficult to use in search engines. And it can include my glosses for the English reader.

    The table below took several tries for me to see that it was clear enough. The grouping by SimHebrew word gives the clearest view. It is even clearer without the hyphens, so that all the same forms regardless of the music sort together. (The maqaf is not itself a musical signal from a note point of view but it is from a stress point of view, i.e. for the musical line.)

    'thr is in the domain of Joy. This is a full list of all the instances so far. I lack only Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezra-Nehemiah where the stem occurs another 12 times. The table could be compacted by eliminating the music from the word form. I can do this by invoking a function that is part of my music program, but I am reluctant to reduce this tongue to its unmusical abstractions. Where the word (column 2) is identical to the SimHebrew (column 3) then the transformation from pointed to unpointed uses only a consonant by consonant transcription. (See below beginning at Ek 39:12.)

    Domain Word SimHebrew Count Gloss Hebrew References [Bk ch:vs(word#)]
    Joy 'thr 'thor 33 טְהָר clean Pr 22:11(2)
    טָה֑וֹר lustrous 1C 28:17(5)
    טָה֣וֹר clean Pr 30:12(2)
    טָה֥וֹר clean Lv 13:13(15),Lv 13:17(11),Lv 13:39(13),Lv 13:40(7),Lv 13:41(8)
    טָה֥וֹר lustrous Ex 30:35(8)
    טָהֽוֹר a clean Lv 6:4(15)
    טָהֽוֹר lustrous Ex 25:36(9),Ex 25:38(4),Ex 28:22(9),Ex 37:16(19),Ex 37:22(9),Ex 37:23(8),Ex 39:15(9)
    טָהֽוֹר lustrous 2C 3:4(18),2C 9:17(8)
    טָהֽוֹר he is clean 1S 20:26(16)
    טָ֝ה֗וֹר lustrous Jb 28:19(6)
    ־טָה֥וֹר who are clean Nu 18:11(17),Nu 18:13(11)
    ־טָה֖וֹר who are clean Lv 7:19(12)
    טָהוֹר֙ a clean Lv 4:12(10)
    טְה֤וֹר too clean of Hb 1:13(1)
    טָ֭הוֹר clean Ps 51:12(2)
    טָ֭הוֹר cleanness Jb 14:4(3)
    טָה֑וֹר clean Ex 37:29(9)
    טָה֑וֹר clean Lv 11:36(7)
    טָה֑וֹר a clean Nu 19:9(11)
    טָה֑וֹר lustrous Ex 25:17(4),Ex 25:24(4),Ex 25:31(4),Ex 28:36(4),Ex 37:11(4),Ex 37:17(5),Ex 37:6(4),Ex 39:25(4),Ex 39:30(7)
    טָהוֹר֒ clean Nu 19:18(6)
    טָה֔וֹר clean 2C 30:17(13)
    טָה֔וֹר a clean Lv 10:14(9)
    טָה֔וֹר lustrous Ex 25:11(4),Ex 28:14(4)
    טָה֖וֹר clean Lv 11:37(10)
    טָה֖וֹר clean Dt 14:20(3),Dt 23:11(8)
    טָה֣וֹר clean Lv 13:37(11)
    טָה֜וֹר clean Nu 9:13(4)
    טָה֛וֹר is clean 1S 20:26(12)
    טָה֗וֹר lustrous Ex 30:3(4),Ex 37:26(4)
    טָה֗וֹר clean Nu 19:9(3)
    טָה֖וֹר lustrous Ex 25:29(10),Ex 25:39(3),Ex 37:2(3),Ex 37:24(3)
    טָה֖וֹר clean Zc 3:5(4)
    'thvrh 'thorh 5 טְהוֹרָ֑ה clean Ma 1:11(15)
    טְהוֹרָה֮ is clean Ps 19:10(3)
    טְהֹרָ֥ה clean Gn 7:2(14)
    טְהֹרָ֖ה clean Dt 14:11(3)
    טְהֹרָ֑ה clean Gn 7:8(8)
    'thvrim 'thorim 1 טְהוֹרִ֖ים clean Ek 36:25(4)
    'thrvt 'thorot 2 טְהֹ֫ר֥וֹת clean Ps 12:7(4)
    טְהֹר֑וֹת clean Lv 14:4(8)
    'thr 'thr 1 טַהֵ֣ר clean Ek 39:12(5)
    'thrh 'thrh 1 ־טָהֲרָ֖ה she is clean Lv 15:28(2)
    'thri 'thri 1 טַהֲרִ֣י I have cleansed Ek 36:33(6)
    'thrni 'thrni 1 טַהֲרֵֽנִי cleanse me Ps 51:4(5)
    'thrt 'thrt 1 טָהַ֔רְתְּ you were cleansed Ek 24:13(6)
    'thrti 'thrti 1 טָ֝הַ֗רְתִּי I am clean Pr 20:9(5)
    'thrnv 'tihrnu 1 טִהַ֖רְנוּ we have cleansed 2C 29:18(7)
    'thrtic 'tihrtiç 1 טִֽהַרְתִּיךְ֙ I have cleansed you Ek 24:13(4)
    'thrh 'tohrh 4 טָהֳרָֽהּ her cleansing Lv 12:4(19)
    טָהֳרָ֑ה her cleansing Lv 12:4(7)
    טָהֳרָֽה her cleansing Lv 12:5(14)
    טָהֳרָ֗הּ her cleansing Lv 12:6(3)
    'thrt 'tohrt 1 ־טָהֳרַ֖ת the cleansing 1C 23:28(14)
    'thrtv 'tohrto 4 טָהֳרָת֑וֹ his cleansing Lv 14:2(6)
    טָֽהֳרָת֑וֹ his cleansing Ek 44:26(2)
    טָהֳרָתֽוֹ his cleansing Lv 13:35(7)
    טָהֳרָת֔וֹ its cleansing Nu 6:9(13)
    a'thr a'thr 1 אֲטַהֵ֥ר I will cleanse Ek 36:25(10)
    b'thvr b'thor 1 בַּטָּה֑וֹר on one that is clean Lv 15:8(4)
    b'thrtv b'tohrto 1 בְּטָהֳרָתֽוֹ his cleansing Lv 14:32(11)
    c'thrt c'tohrt 1 כְּטָהֳרַ֥ת according to the cleansing of 2C 30:19(10)
    h'thr h'thor 7 הַטָּהֹ֑ר the clean Lv 11:47(5),Lv 14:57(5)
    הַטָּהֽוֹר the clean Lv 10:10(9)
    הַטָּה֜וֹר clean Zc 3:5(9)
    הַטָּה֗וֹר clean 2C 13:11(14)
    הַטָּהֹר֙ the one who is clean Nu 19:19(2)
    הַטָּהֹ֔ר clean Gn 8:20(11)
    הַטָּהֹ֖ר clean Lv 24:6(9)
    h'thrh h'thorh 6 הַטְּהֹרָ֜ה lustrous Ex 39:37(3)
    הַטְּהֹרָה֙ clean Lv 20:25(4)
    הַטְּהוֹרָ֔ה that is clean Gn 7:8(3)
    הַטְּהֹרָ֔ה lustrous Lv 24:4(3)
    הַטְּהֹרָ֖ה lustrous Ex 31:8(7)
    הַטְּהוֹרָ֗ה clean Gn 7:2(3),Gn 8:20(8)
    h'thrnv hi'thrnu 1 ־הִטַּהַ֙רְנוּ֙ we are cleansed Ja 22:17(8)
    h'thrv hi'thru 1 הִטֶּהָ֔רוּ had cleansed themselves 2C 30:18(10)
    hm'thr hm'thr 1 הַֽמְטַהֵ֗ר cleansing Lv 14:11(3)
    hm'thr hmi'thr 8 הַמִּטַּהֵר֙ the one that is being cleansed Lv 14:17(11),Lv 14:28(11)
    הַמִּטַּהֵ֖ר the one who is being cleansed Lv 14:31(16)
    הַמִּטַּהֵ֑ר the one that is being cleansed Lv 14:18(10),Lv 14:29(11)
    ־הַמִּטַּהֵ֖ר the one that is being cleansed Lv 14:19(7),Lv 14:25(13)
    הַמִּטַּהֵ֨ר the one to be cleansed Lv 14:8(2)
    הַמִּטַּהֵ֖ר the one to be cleansed Lv 14:14(10)
    הַמִּטַּהֵ֛ר the one to be cleansed Lv 14:7(3)
    הַמִּטַּהֵ֖ר that is to be cleansed Lv 14:11(6)
    i'thr i'thr 5 יִטְהַר clean Jb 4:17(6)
    ־יִטְהַ֤ר is clean Lv 15:13(2)
    יִטְהָֽר he will be clean Nu 19:12(17)
    יִטְהָ֑ר he is clean Lv 22:4(14)
    יִטְהָ֑ר he will be clean Nu 19:12(8)
    l'thvr l'thor 3 לְטָה֖וֹר and the clean Ek 22:26(13)
    לַטָּהֹ֑ר to clean Lv 20:25(9)
    לְטָה֖וֹר and clean Ek 44:23(9)
    l'thr l'thr 5 לְטַהֵ֥ר to cleanse 2C 34:8(5)
    לְטַהֵ֔ר to cleanse 2C 34:3(16)
    לְטַהֵ֖ר to cleanse 2C 29:15(10)
    לְטַהֵ֣ר to cleanse Lv 16:30(6)
    לְטַהֵר֒ to cleanse 2C 29:16(6)
    l'thrh l'thrh 1 לְטַֽהֲרָ֑הּ to clean her Ek 39:14(14)
    l'thrm l'thrm 2 לְטַֽהֲרָ֔ם to clean them Nu 8:7(4)
    לְטַהֲרָֽם to clean them Nu 8:21(14)
    l'thrv l'thro 1 לְטַהֲר֖וֹ to clean it Lv 13:59(17)
    l'thr l'tohr 1 לָטֹֽהַר for lustre Ex 24:10(12)
    l'thrtv l'tohrto 2 לְטָהֳרָת֖וֹ for his cleansing Lv 14:23(5),Lv 15:13(9)
    לְטָהֳרָת֑וֹ for its cleansing Lv 13:7(10)
    lm'thr lmi'thr 1 לַמִּטַּהֵ֛ר for the cleansing Lv 14:4(4)
    m'thrv m'thro 1 מִטְּהָר֑וֹ his lustre Ps 89:45(2)
    m'thrh m'tohrh 1 מְטֹהָרָ֖ה cleansed Ek 22:24(8)
    t'thr t'thr 1 תִּטְהָֽר she will be clean Lv 15:28(9)
    t'thri t'thri 1 תִטְהֲרִי you will be cleansed Ek 24:13(9)
    t'thrv t'thru 1 תִּטְהָֽרוּ you will be clean Lv 16:30(12)
    v'thr u'thor 1 וּֽטֳהָר and the clean of Jb 17:9(4)
    v'thrh u'thorh 1 וּטְהֹרָ֖ה but is clean Nu 5:28(5)
    v'thrim u'thorim 1 וּ֝טְהֹרִ֗ים but clean Pr 15:26(5)
    v'thr u'thr 1 וּטְהָֽר and be clean 2K 5:10(14),2K 5:13(19)
    v'thrtm u'thrtm 2 וּטְהַרְתֶּ֑ם and you will be clean Ek 36:25(5)
    וּטְהַרְתֶּ֑ם and you will be clean Nu 31:24(5)
    vm'thr um'thr 1 וּמְטַהֵר֙ and cleaner of Ma 3:3(3)
    v'thr v'thr 8 וְטָהֵֽר and it will be clean Lv 13:58(17),Lv 14:53(14)
    וְטָהֵֽר and he will be clean Lv 14:20(11),Lv 14:9(26),Lv 15:13(16),Lv 17:15(16)
    וְטָהֵֽר then it will be clean Lv 11:32(28)
    וְטָהֵ֥ר and will be clean Nu 19:19(16)
    וְטָהֵ֔ר and it will be clean Nu 31:23(8)
    וְטָהֵ֔ר and will be clean Lv 14:8(11)
    וְטָהֵ֑ר then it will be clean Lv 22:7(3)
    וְטָהֵֽר and will be clean Lv 13:34(22),Lv 13:6(20)
    v'thrh v'thrh 2 וְטָהֲרָ֖ה and she will be cleansed Lv 12:7(6)
    וְטָהֵֽרָה and she will be clean Lv 12:8(21)
    v'thrti v'thrti 1 וְטָהָ֑רְתִּי and get clean 2K 5:12(13)
    v'thr v'tihr 4 וְטִהַ֧ר then will pronounce clean Lv 13:17(7)
    וְטִהַ֤ר and he will clean Ma 3:3(5)
    וְטִהַ֤ר then will pronounce clean Lv 13:34(17),Lv 14:48(15)
    וְטִהַ֖ר and he will pronounce clean Lv 13:13(9)
    v'thrv v'tihro 6 וְטִ֣הֲר֔וֹ and cleanse it Lv 14:7(8)
    וְטִֽהֲרוֹ֙ then will pronounce it clean Lv 13:28(13)
    וְטִהֲר֤וֹ then will pronounce it clean Lv 13:6(14)
    וְטִהֲר֣וֹ and cleanse it Lv 16:19(8)
    וְטִהֲר֖וֹ then will pronounce it clean Lv 13:23(10)
    וְטִהֲר֖וֹ so will pronounce it clean Lv 13:37(13)
    v'thrt v'tihrt 2 וְטִֽהַרְתָּ֣ when you will have cleaned Nu 8:15(9)
    וְטִהַרְתָּ֖ and clean Nu 8:6(7)
    v'thrti v'tihrti 1 וְטִהַרְתִּ֤י and I will cleanse Ek 37:23(15)
    v'thrv v'tihru 2 וְטִֽהֲר֖וּ and cleanse Ek 43:26(6)
    וְטִהֲר֥וּ and they will cleanse Ek 39:16(5)
    va'thr va'thr 1 וְאֶטְהָ֑ר and I will be clean Ps 51:9(3)
    vh'thvr vh'thor 2 וְהַטָּהוֹר֙ and the clean Dt 12:15(17),Dt 15:22(4)
    וְהַטָּה֔וֹר and the clean Dt 12:22(11)
    vh'thrv vhi'thru 2 וְהִטֶּהָֽרוּ and they will make themselves clean Nu 8:7(16)
    וְהִֽטַּהֲר֔וּ and be clean Gn 35:2(15)
    vi'thr vi'thr 2 וַיִּטְהָֽר and he was clean 2K 5:14(14)
    וַיְטַהֵ֥ר and cleansed 2C 34:5(6)
    vl'thvr vl'thor 1 וְלַטָּה֣וֹר and to the clean Qo 9:2(9)
    vt'thrm vt'thrm 1 וַֽתְּטַהֲרֵֽם and makes them clean Jb 37:21(10)

    Tuesday 27 October 2020

    Pending things

     Look forward to the next bit of music from my work with the cantillation scheme of Suzanne Haïk-Vantoura. It is a setting of Psalm 145 - in final production at the moment. I hope to hear it soon.

    I have also in my other pandemic project found over 350 individual word errors that my routines had been masking. I will be updating my interim SimHebrew forms soon. Let me know if you are interested in looking at them.

    Friday 23 October 2020

    By the sweat of your brow

    If one wants to learn Hebrew late in life, it seems one has to invent ways to learn that are not what children would use. It's good solid hard work. And I have no guarantees of success.

    So I now have in my test data over 75% of the Bible. I stumbled for a weekend, but I am back on track. I am working a book at a time, and I have streamlined the appending of the test data so I don't have so much wait time between tests. To load a book takes about 10 seconds. (But it may take an hour or more to prepare since the formatting is sometimes arbitrary.) To refresh the list of anomalies in one book takes maybe 5 seconds. When I correct the routine for a particular requirement, a compile takes 3 to 4 seconds.  Individual focus tests are instantaneous. But as you can see from my post on Sisyphus, there is plenty of room for confusion.

    What should be my design for presentation of my results? I would like to exploit SimHebrew into a teachable set of patterns about the transformation of pointed Hebrew into full spelling without vowel points. The database can express this but some shrewdness is called for. You can see from this post how a single stem and all its examples could be produced. 

    But this is clearly open to a more compact form. Each stem may or may not fall into some specific rules. Some stems will fall into generic rules. Many may fall through the code being transcribed character by character without any special rules at all.

    Discovering which rules govern each particular stem is not that easy. I have to actually read the code! And for generic endings, I only know about exceptions. A few rules have some overlap. Two different rules may yield the same result. This is anomalous and may point to places where I could simplify things. The rules do not need to be there to show the results, but summarizing them at their simplest form may be useful for teaching word forms and pronunciation defaults.

    Suggest a design? It can go much further than a concordance. I have left the accents in also. This increases the number of lines but shows the variety of settings of the same word.

    So for instance below are all the forms in my test data for the word wcr, from the domain of Eating and Drinking and also from the domain of Economy, and also the name of a Person. Domains are useful. Some decisions as to which rule to apply may depend on the domain if a stem falls into two domains. I have referenced the domain 17 times so far in the 220,000 words. I don't know how many words are governed but the effect is rare. Generally speaking proper names can be exceptional. 

    I have seen no completed set of domains from the scholars. What I have seen are some partial solutions and what seem like very large projects. I suspect the criteria for assigning domains are complex so the job can occupy hapless graduates for centuries. Mine are far from perfect, but what I have done is a useful complete draft.

    wcr is שׂכר. In unpointed Hebrew the distinction between shin and sin is also lost but I have shown it here - because in this case there is a difference. When I switched from my earlier coding that distinguished shin ($) from sin (W), I didn't notice that the SimHebrew lowercase letter /w/ was used for both. How do we know when to put the tongue between the teeth! (This is one of many questions about pronunciation.) Yet in this list there is one example of how the sin is written as a shin. It sorts to the top of the break between Eating - in this case intoxication, and Economy. Have a look. I was going to use the lemma form of the glosses instead of my glosses themselves, but this loses information.

    But what are the rules for this stem, wcr? The explicit rules are as follows: 

    • hireq becomes i when there is no affix, when there is a suffix, and when the prefix is c or l. These are exceptions to the default rule.
    • Generally, wcr is an exception to the rule that a qamats becomes 'o' in a closed syllable.
    • tsere is rendered as i following the w 
      • when there is no affix 
      • or the prefix is v and no suffix (v/!) and there is a qamats in the word.
      • when the prefix is vl or vb and there is no suffix (vl/!, vb/!).
    • qamats is rendered as 'o' when the word form is l/!\h.
    Of the default rules, 
    • hireq in a closed syllable is suppressed (e.g. Na 3:11(3) below). 
    • holem is not suppressed.
    • there are no instances of qamats in a closed syllable without a pronoun suffix.
    I don't find this rule summary very revealing but the table itself would be useful if you need to reference the usage of a specific stem in the text. (These are from the test data, 75% of the canon. 36  more instances outside the test data. So the rules I have used may change if other instances use them.)

    So if you looked at these examples, what rules would you draw about this stem? How can one express such an abstraction?

    Domain Word form SimHebrew Gloss Hebrew Word Occurs Here
    Bk ch:vs(word)
    Eat awcir awcir I will make drunk אַשְׁכִּ֤יר Dt 32:42(1)
    awcrc awcrç to intoxicate you אֶשְׁכָּרֵֽךְ Ek 27:15(12)
    cwcvr cwicor as if intoxicated כַּשִּׁכּ֑וֹר Ps 107:27(3)
    כַּשִּׁכּֽוֹר Jb 12:25(6)
    lwcrh -lwocrh intoxication ־לְשָׁכְרָ֔ה Hg 1:6(10)
    לְשִׁכֹּרָֽה 1S 1:13(14)
    lwcrvn lwicron to intoxication לְשִׁכָּר֑וֹן Ek 39:19(6)
    mwcrt mwcrt intoxicating מְשַׁכֶּ֖רֶת Je 51:7(6)
    twcri twcri drunken תִּשְׁכְּרִ֔י Na 3:11(3)
    תִּשְׁכְּרִ֖י La 4:21(12)
    twtcrin twtcrin will you be intoxicated תִּשְׁתַּכָּרִ֑ין 1S 1:14(6)
    vbwcr ubwicr or for strong drink וּבַשֵּׁכָ֔ר Dt 14:26(10)
    vhwcrti vhwcrti and I will make drunk וְ֠הִשְׁכַּרְתִּי Je 51:57(1)
    vhwcrtim vhwcrtim and I will make them drunk וְהִשְׁכַּרְתִּים֙ Je 51:39(5)
    viwcr viwcr and became intoxicated וַיִּשְׁכָּ֑ר Gn 9:21(4)
    viwcrv viwcru and they were intoxicated וַֽיִּשְׁכְּר֖וּ Gn 43:34(14)
    vlwcr vlwicr and strong drink וְלַשֵּׁכָ֑ר Mi 2:11(10)
    vwcr vwicr and strong drink וְשֵׁכָ֞ר Lv 10:9(2)
    וְשֵׁכָ֖ר 1S 1:15(11)
    וְשֵׁכָ֗ר Jg 13:7(11)
    וְשֵׁכָ֖ר Dt 29:5(5)
    וְשֵׁכָ֑ר Jg 13:4(7)
    וְשֵׁכָר֙ Jg 13:14(9)
    וְשֵׁכָר֙ Nu 6:3(2)
    vwcrv vwcru and be intoxicated וְשִׁכְר֖וּ Sn 5:1(20)
    wcr wicor was intoxicated שִׁכֹּ֖ר 1S 25:36(16)
    ־שֵׁכָ֣ר Pr 31:6(2)
    שֵׁכָֽר Pr 31:4(10)
    שַׁכֵּ֑ר Hb 2:15(7)
    שֵׁכָ֑ר Pr 20:1(4)
    שֵׁכָ֖ר Nu 28:7(9), 6:3(7)
    שֵׁכָֽר Ps 69:13(7)
    wcrvn wicron drunkenness שִׁכָּר֥וֹן Ek 23:33(1)
    wcvr wicor drunk שִׁכּ֜וֹר 1K 20:16(6)
    שִׁכּ֔וֹר 1K 16:9(11)
    ־שִׁכּ֑וֹר Pr 26:9(4)
    wcvrim wicorim boozers שִׁכּוֹרִים֙ Jl 1:5(2)
    Economy awcr awcr with wages אֶשְׁכָּ֥ר Ps 72:10(9)
    bwcrv bwcro with its wage בִּשְׂכָרֽוֹ Ex 22:14(10)
    cwcir cwcir as a mercenary כְּשָׂכִ֥יר Lv 25:40(1)
    כִּשְׂכִ֥יר Lv 25:53(1)
    כְּשָׂכִ֥יר Jb 14:6(6)
    lwcr lwcor to hire לִשְׂכֹּ֣ר 1C 19:6(15)
    mwcrtc mwcurtç your wages מַשְׂכֻּרְתֵּ֜ךְ Ru 2:12(5)
    ־מַּשְׂכֻּרְתֶּֽךָ Gn 29:15(12)
    mwcrti -mwcurti my wages ־מַשְׂכֻּרְתִּ֖י Gn 31:41(17), 31:7(6)
    mwtcr mwtcr earns a wage מִשְׂתַּכֵּ֖ר Hg 1:6(16)
    vcwcir ucwcir and like a mercenary וּ֝כְשָׂכִ֗יר Jb 7:2(4)
    vhmwtcr vhmwtcr and the one who earns a wage וְהַ֨מִּשְׂתַּכֵּ֔ר Hg 1:6(15)
    viwcr viwcor and contracted וַיִּשְׂכֹּ֨ר Jg 9:4(8)
    וַיִּשְׂכֹּ֣ר 2C 25:6(1)
    viwcrni viwcrni and he has hired me וַיִּשְׂכְּרֵ֕נִי Jg 18:4(8)
    viwcrv viwcru and they hired וַיִּשְׂכְּר֣וּ 1C 19:7(1)
    vlwcirc vlwcirç and to your wage-earner וְלִשְׂכִֽירְךָ֙ Lv 25:6(9)
    vwcir vwcir or a mercenary וְשָׂכִ֖יר Lv 22:10(8)
    וְשָׂכִ֖יר Ex 12:45(2)
    vwcr vwcr but wage וְ֠שָׂכָר Ek 29:18(19)
    וְשֹׂכֵ֥ר Pr 26:10(4), 26:10(6)
    וּשְׂכַ֤ר 1K 5:20(12)
    וּשְׂכַ֥ר Zc 8:10(9)
    wcir -wcir the wage-earner ־שָׂ֠כִיר Ma 3:5(13)
    שָׂכִ֔יר Dt 15:18(11)
    שָׂכִ֛יר Lv 19:13(10)
    שָׂכִ֖יר Lv 25:50(16)
    שָׂכִ֖יר Dt 24:14(3)
    ־שָׂכִ֣יר Ex 22:14(7)
    שָׂכִ֣יר Jb 7:1(7)
    wcr wcr a wage שָׂכָ֖ר 2C 15:7(8)
    שָׂכֹ֣ר Gn 30:16(13)
    שָׂכָ֥ר Qo 4:9(8)
    שְׂכַר Ma 3:5(12)
    שְׂכַ֤ר Zc 8:10(5)
    שְׂכַ֣ר Dt 15:18(10)
    ־שָׂכָ֥ר Nu 18:31(8)
    שָׂכַ֨ר Dt 23:5(13)
    שָׂכָ֖ר Ek 29:19(21)
    שָׂכָ֔ר Qo 9:5(12)
    שָֽׂכַר 2K 7:6(18)
    שָׂ֝כָ֗ר Ps 127:3(5)
    שֶׂ֣כֶר Pr 11:18(7)
    wcrc wcrç your wage שְׂכָרְךָ֖ Gn 15:1(17)
    שְׂכָרְךָ֛ Gn 30:28(3)
    ־שְׂכָרֵ֑ךְ Ex 2:9(14)
    שְׂכָרֶ֔ךָ Gn 31:8(16), 31:8(6)
    wcrh wcrh her fare שְׂכָרָ֜הּ Jh 1:3(14)
    wcri wcri my wage שְׂכָרִֽי Gn 30:32(19)
    שְׂכָרִ֖י Zc 11:12(7)
    שְׂכָרִ֔י Gn 30:18(5)
    ־שְׂכָרִ֖י Gn 30:33(9)
    ־שְׂכָרִ֖י Zc 11:12(13)
    wcrim wocrim hiring שֹׂכְרִים֙ 2C 24:12(11)
    wcrtic wcrtiç I have hired you for שְׂכַרְתִּ֔יךָ Gn 30:16(14)
    wcrv wcro his wages שְׂכָר֜וֹ Dt 24:15(3)
    Person vwcr vwcr and Wage וְשָׂכָ֣ר 1C 26:4(10)
    wcr -wcr Wage ־שָׂכָ֛ר 1C 11:35(3)

    Sunday 18 October 2020


     I have often said that programmers should have a company called BugsRus.

    I have been stymied by my own these past few days. And just now I found a bug in Notepad!

    The oldest text editor in the world has an infinite loop if you have only one instance of an item to be replaced and the item is implicitly recursive.

    Because of the issues of alphabets, I have to prepare an escape for tet - I change 't to ''t. I should have avoided this, it is a limit in the display choices by the creator of SimHebrew, it's achilles heel.

    Control-H (multi-instance replace) will loop if you try to change 't to ''t and there is only one instance in the file. It loops forever. It depends on end-of-file to stop its loop and end of file never comes.

    I have had to do this because loading my test data is also taking 'forever'.

    I have multiplied the test data by 4 and must add half again to get the full 300,000 words into the database from the base translation of square text into Latin text. So a better mechanism is required, selective insert rather than delete and recreate from scratch. Ad hoc test data creation is always a bit of a problem.

    While doing this I broke a few other things too, so I am holding myself up with my own bugs as well.

    News: a test chapter made it through my new load in seconds instead of minutes. Why did I not do this ages ago!

    Plodding along.

    Saturday 17 October 2020

    A somewhat selective personal history

    How do our tongues work their magic? That's too big a question. What magic we have in the complexities of language: truth and satire, symbols and sibilance, stems and gadgets, and memory formation that baffles everyone, how we remember and how we forget. 

    Words act and they stimulate action. They form us and we form others, or wish we could. They have power and they show weakness. The words of the Bible particularly have power within the thoughts of the Western world. But what kind of power and whose is it? We favor some passages and not others. Just as we use our words to cajole or to complain, to love or to hate, we use passages of Scripture to clobber and we use passages to console! Can you get sweet and bitter water from the same stream? 

    Perhaps if the stream is poisoned then let's fix it. 

    When I was young, I was read the lessons morning and evening from age 8 to 16. Both Old and New Testament. We were all given Gideon Bibles containing the NT and Psalms. I think my copy is in the basement somewhere along with a few other bibles collected over the years. 

    It was a school situation. Such a good idea and no particular pressure to believe, just a requirement to attend assembly twice a day - i.e. some enforced conformity. In those days the world map was pink. We believed in its pinkness, displaying the wonder of the grand British Empire. Colonialism was more important than Religion. Remember the hymn 'O'er heathen lands afar'? Britain was not, of course, heathen. We were run by expat Brits, some a blessing, some a disaster. All of them trained in violence and passing on their training. This is a poisoned stream.

    Aged 10 perhaps, I won the school reading prize for reading from the King James Version. I don't remember much about it, just a vague image of the third story where the classrooms and library were located. What did I know? What should I have known or would I have known if I had never gone to that school? This is unfathomable. I am sure it would have been a full set of other prejudices.

    I was at such a school because home was not a suitable place for me. Reasons not supplied, and boarding school not my decision. I was neither for nor against except I was briefly homesick a few days after my eighth birthday. And who has a choice at that age?

    Awareness grows (slowly) of past experience, the realities of the world wars, the emptiness of the religious teaching, the negative consequences of colonialism. The images of the Shoa on the News of the World stands out. The news of the world was shown at movie theatres. We had no TV. At school, we had perhaps one Jew, one or two Roman Catholics, no non-whites. 

    When I left school at age 16 going on 17 and was at university, there was a certain momentum. I continued singing in the tradition. I came from 9 years in a decent school chapel choir, but the music had been nurtured in a violently abusive environment. It is astonishing that I continued in the choral tradition, but all my singing and conducting and composing was preparation for discovering the music embedded in the Hebrew text 50 years later.

    Yet within the churches, I reacted first with atheism. It was a gradual process. Then some years later, I rebounded with a fearful fundamentalism. My zeal is part of my character, not always wisely applied.

    I am still zealous. It is still a danger. There is a razor's edge, perhaps belonging to Occam, that I walk along. I believe but I have highly sceptical of absolutist claims of all types. Language just doesn't work the way fundamentalists want it to, in a literal fashion as invented by the first translators of the Bible. Fortunately, my zeal was attenuated by the need to work and support my growing family. The family has prevailed in spite of the many common forces that could have torn us to shreds.

    What kept us as one? There was a commitment to each other in spite of the difficulties of human relations. Love requires such commitment. This act of will can survive unfaithfulness, fears, compulsions, addictions, and even pragmatism, that suitable response to the insoluble enigmas we all face. We are too mysterious to be known within a limited contract.

    So the long and short of it is that I was read the Bible in my ignorance, I revolted with zeal in two conflicting directions, then I studied the Bible for the wrong reasons, a hidden desire to let my fear rule over others and not to face my real demons, then maybe I began to study for some of the right reasons and actually begin to see the shrewdness of the Scriptural message to humanity. 

    I think I would date the beginning of this limited maturing to about age 40 c 1985. My self-administered scholarship thereafter was to the Pauline corpus first, then after some near precipitous cliffs, to the Gospels, and then in the last 15 years to the Hebrew canon. 

    All this time I remained an amateur musician. Two of my children went into this profession as performers and teachers. 

    My two pandemic projects are arranging the music embedded in the Bible, and through the back doors of word forms, analysing the differences between the pointed and unpointed versions of the text. A side trip occurs occasionally when I apply changes to my translation of the Tanakh. 

    Sometimes it's a side effect of setting the English text to the music, and sometimes it's a word form that comes up as an anomalous change from the pointed to the unpointed text. I noticed 5 errors in my Leviticus translation yesterday. The principle behind the error recurred another 70 times in my texts. Having seen the error, I realized I might have made similar omissions in other contexts. So I wrote a routine to check and uncovered a bunch more. They are all fixed and will find their way into the next editions. 

    That brings me back to the sweet and bitter water. Why continue in this direction? Would I set the Levitical legal passages to music? The section on gleaning could be a comment on the book of Ruth. That is on the back burner as a performance project at the moment.

    Does one set bitter water to music?

    Leviticus 19:9
    And when you reap the harvest of your land, ...

    I am about to get into more detail on the state of my programming project to uncover the abstractions in the word forms of the Hebrew language. Somehow a detailed idea of how to organize a language turned into a short personal history, selecting from my canon only those verses I wanted to highlight in preparation for this exercise. Before I continue I should get the SimHebrew concordance working. It might be revealing. I am about 2/3 of the way through - so hopefully will be finished by year end.

    Wednesday 14 October 2020

    Eve's children

     Fran Snyder here suggests that the story is not about Cain and Abel, but the voice of Eve's grief. 

    She makes something of the inclusio so I have shown the relevant recurring words below. (There's a bug in my table refusing columns to some rows! but the result is clear anyway.)

    Word / Gloss123456789101VsStem
    והאדם and the one from the humus
    ידע knew
    את --1את
    אשתו his wife
    ותלד and she gave birth to
    את --1את
    קין Cain
    את with1את
    יהוה Yahweh1יהוה
    ללדת gave birth to
    את --2את
    את to2את
    הבל Abel
    ויהי and was
    הבל Abel
    וקין but Cain
    היה was
    אדמה the ground
    וידע and knew
    אדם Adam
    את --25את
    אשתו his wife
    ותלד and she gave birth to
    בן a son
    ותקרא and she called
    את --25את
    שמו his name
    שת Seth
    כי for25כי
    שת imposed
    הבל Abel
    כי for25כי
    קין Cain
    ולשת and to Seth
    ילד was born
    בן a son
    ויקרא and he called
    את --26את
    שמו his name
    לקרא to call
    בשם in the name of
    יהוה Yahweh26יהוה