Sunday, January 10, 2021

Psalms 144

 Apparently there is a reference to Psalms 144:1 in the melee from the Epiphany assault on the US capitol. I see the shirt being used by militant groups. This is a misuse of the poem.

What does war signify - and is it of God or of the human? You have only to read this psalm to realize that war is not its subject, but rather music and kindness. 

This Psalm encompasses the whole of the Psalter. It is part of the grand chiasm defined by the 9 acrostic poems and those 7 poems that precede them. It is one of the two psalms that mention fingers, Psalms 8 and 144. And they don't mean trigger-fingers. Psalms 8 refers to the fingers of God that make the heavens where Psalms 144 abhors violence under the human fingers. Their right hand is a right hand of falsehood.

The close-combat and war of this psalm does not lead to the destruction of an enemy through the futility of human vengeance. What is left open is the answer to the question: what does Yahweh teach? Yahweh teaches to set even David his servant free from a sword of evil. This psalm uses the phrase mh-adm... bn-anow in contrast to Psalm 8 which uses mh-anow ... ubn-adm. And the contrast in the results couldn't be more obvious - I added Psalm 8:5-6 to the poem below so you can compare them. Take note also of the use of hand throughout the psalm. (Search for it to make it easy to see.)

spr thlim

Book of Psalms



aldvid bruç ihvh xuri hmlmd idii lqrb,
axbyotii lmlkmh.
1Of David. Blessed is Yahweh my rock, the teacher of my hands to close combat,
my fingers to war.
bksdi umxudti mwgbi umpl'ti-li,
mgini ubo ksiti,
hrodd ymi tktii.
2My kindness and my fortress, my retreat and my security, mine,
my shield, and in him I have taken refuge,
wrapping my people under me.
qmd gihvh mh-adm vtdyhu,
bn-anow vtkwbhu?
144 3Yahweh, what is this humanity that you know it,
a mortal child that you devised it?
dadm lhbl dmh,
imiv cxl yobr.
4Humanity is like futility,
its days as a shadow passing away.
h hmh-anow ci-tzcrnu.
ubn-adm ci tpqdnu,
8 5What is a mortal? for you remember it.
And a child of humanity? for you visit it,
vvtksrhu my't malohim,
vcbod vhdr ty'trhu.
6And you make it a little less than God,
and with glory and honour you crown it.
qmd hihvh h't-wmiç vtrd.
gy bhrim viywnu.
144 5Yahweh, bend your heavens and come down.
Touch hills and they will smoke.
vbroq brq utpixm.
wlk kixiç uthumm.
6A lightning bolt and you will disperse them.
Send out your arrows and you will confuse them.
zwlk idiç mmrom.
pxni vhxilni mmim rbim,
mid bni ncr,
7Send out your hands from on high.
Set me free and deliver me from abundant waters,
from the hand of the children of the alien,
kawr pihm dibr-wva,
viminm imin wqr.
8whose mouths speak vanity,
and their right hand a right hand of falsehood.
'talohim wir kdw awirh lç.
bnbl ywor azmrh-lç.
9O God, a new song I will sing to you.
On a ten-stringed lute I will sing a psalm to you.
ihnotn twuyh lmlcim,
hpoxh at-dvid ybdo mkrb ryh.
10Giving salvation to kings,
setting even David his servant free from a sword of evil.
iapxni vhxilni mid bni-ncr,
awr pihm dibr-wva,
viminm imin wqr,
11Set me free and deliver me from the hand of the children of the alien,
whose mouths speak vanity,
and their right hand a right hand of falsehood,
ibawr bninu cn'tiyim mgudlim bnyurihm,
bnotinu czoviiot,
mku'tbot tbnit hicl,
12that our sons may be as plants developed in their youth,
with our daughters as corner-stones,
dressed in the manner of a temple,
igmzvvinu mlaim mpiqim mzn al-zn,
xannu malipot mrubbot bkuxotinu,
13so our granaries are full furnished from kind to kind,
our sheep by thousands, to ten thousands in our streets,
idalupinu msublim,
ain-prx vain ioxat,
vain xvvkh brkobotinu.
14our droves bearing burdens,
without breach without sally,
without complaint in our piazzas.
'tvawri hym wcch lo.
awri hym wihvh alohiv.
15Happy the people who are such to him.
Happy the people who have Yahweh as their God.
And just for completing the problem of the question what is this mortal, I give you the third instance of the question in Job's context. I contrast the music for these three passages in a trio in the document at the end of the post. The trio begins on page 11.

spr aivb

Book of Job



ahloa-xba lanow yli-arx,
vcimi wcir imiv?
1Is it not the press-gang for a mortal on earth,
like the days of a mercenary, its days?
bcybd iwaf-xl,
ucwcir iqvvh poylo.
2Like a slave, it sighs heavily for shade,
and like a mercenary, it expects its work.
gcn honklti li irki-wva,
vlilot yml minu-li.
3So for me, the torrent of vain moons,
and nights of misery from him, for me.
dam-wcbti vamrti mtii aqum umidd-yrb?
vwbyti ndudim ydi-nwf.
4If I lie down, then I say, When will I arise and gloaming be fled?
And I am sated with fleeing beyond twilight.
hlbw bwri rimh vguw ypr,
yori rgy viimas.
5Clothed is my flesh, maggot and grimy lump,
my naked skin uneasy and repugnant.
vimii qlu mni-arg,
viclu baps tqvvh.
6My days are fleeter than a weaver's shuttle,
and they are consumed at the termination of a wait.
zzcor ci-ruk kii.
la-twub yini lraot 'tob.
7Remember that but a wisp is my life.
My eye will not return back to see good.
kla-twurni yin roai.
yiniç bi vainni.
8The eye of my watcher will not see me.
Your eyes to me and there is no me.
'tclh ynn vilç,
cn iord waol la iylh.
9A cloud consumes and he walks away,
so one descending to Sheol will not ascend.
ila-iwub yod lbito,
vla-icirnu yod mqomo.
10He will no longer return to his house,
and his place will no longer recognize him.
iagm-ani la akwoç pi.
adbrh bxr ruki.
awikh bmr npwi.
11Also I myself will not resist my mouth.
I speak in the straits of my spirit.
I ponder in the bitterness of my being.
ibhim-ani am-tnin,
ci-twim ylii mwmr?
12Am I the sea or a dragon,
that you put a guard over me?
igci-amrti tnkmni yrwi.
iiwa bwiki mwcbi.
13For I said, My bed will comfort me.
My lying down will take away my pondering.
idvkittni bklomot,
umkzionot tbytni.
14Then you dismay me with dreams,
and with visions you alarm me.
'tvvtbkr mknq npwi,
mvvt myxmotii.
15Then my throat would choose strangling,
death over my bones.
'tzmasti la-lyolm akih.
kdl mmni ci-hbl imii.
16I refuse. I will not live forever.
Leave me alone, for my days are futility.
izmh-anow ci tgdlnu,
vci-twit aliv libç?
17What is a mortal that you make him great,
and that you impose on him your heart?
ikvtpqdnu lbqrim.
lrgyim tbknnu.
18And you visit him in the mornings.
At every moment you test him.
i'tcmh la-twyh mmni,
la-trpni yd-blyi ruqi?
19How long till you not look at me,
or desist from me, even as I swallow my spit?
ck'tati mh apyl lç noxr hadm?
lmh wmtni lmpgy lç,
vahih ylii lmwa?
20I have sinned. How will I work for you, observer of the human?
Why have you set me as your butt,
so that I am a liability to myself?
caumh la-tiwa pwyi vtybir at-yvoni?
ci-yth lypr awcbn
vwikrtni vainni. {p}
21And why do you not assume liability for my transgression and go beyond my iniquity?
For now in the dust I will lie down
and early you will seek me and there is no me. P

Unleashing Leviathan, Day 6.

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