Saturday, March 20, 2021

Psalms 89

Here's another long rehearsal of the promises to David (20-38) and one of the great laments (39-52). And it is the end of Book 3 of the Psalms, so verse 53 is a doxology. (And it was, even with all my tools, difficult to write, and so is also difficult to read. A book on the prosody of the Psalms without the benefit of good performances would be painful! No performance available for these versions of Psalms 89 or 78.) No comments on recurrence here, but it is still a factor. Kindness occurs 7 times. You can search for the others. There is no substitute for the work of reading. Note the sandwich structure of the pronouns (you/your, I/my, you/your).

thlim p't Psalms 89 Fn Min Max Syll
a mwcil laitn hazrki 1 An insight. Of Ethan the Ezrahite.

g 3e 3f 9
b ksdi ihvh yolm awirh
ldor vdor aodiy amuntç bpi
2 Of the kindness of Yahweh forever I will sing.
From generation to generation I will make known your faithfulness with my mouth.
3e 4B 9
g ci-amrti yolm ksd iibnh
wmiim tcin amuntç bhm
3 for I said, Kindness ever builds.
Heavens you will establish. Your faithfulness is in them.
3e 4B 10
d crti brit lbkiri
nwbyti ldvid ybdi
4 I have cut a covenant with my chosen.
I have sworn to David my servant.
3e 4B 8
h yd-yolm acin zryç
ubniti ldor-vdor cisaç slh
5 For evermore I will establish your seed,
and I will build up your throne from generation to generation. Selah.

3e 4B 8
v viodu wmiim plaç ihvh
af-amuntç bqhl qdowim
6 Let the heavens give thanks for your wonders, Yahweh,
also your faithfulness in the congregation of holy ones.
3e 4C 10
z ci mi bwkq iyroç lihvh
idmh lihvh bbni alim
7 For who in the sky will compare with Yahweh?
Who has the likeness of Yahweh among the children of God?
C 3f 4C 10
k al nyrx bsod-qdowim rbh
vnora yl-cl-sbibiv
8 God is ruthless in the plenary council of the holy ones,
and feared above all around him.
B 3e 4B 11
't ihvh alohi xbaot mi-cmoç ksin ih
vamuntç sbibotiç
9 Yahweh God of hosts, who is like you, Yah invincible,
and your faithfulness all around you?

3e 4C 14
i ath mowl bgaut him
bwoa gliv ath twbkm
10 You yourself govern over the pride of the sea.
When its waves gloat, you yourself soothe them.
3e 4B 9
ia ath dicit ckll rhb
bzroy yuzç pizrt aoibiç
11 You yourself crushed Rahab to contrition as one who is profaned.
With the arm of your strength you have scattered your enemies.
3e 4C 10
ib lç wmiim af-lç arx
tbl umloah ath isdtm
12 Yours heavens, yours also is earth.
World and its fullness, you yourself founded them.
3e 4B 9
ig xpon vimin ath bratm
tbor vkrmon bwmç irnnu
13 North and south, you yourself created them.
Tabor and Hermon in your name will shout for joy.
3e 4B 10
id lç zroy ym-gburh
tyoz idç trum iminç
14 Yours is an arm with valour.
Strong is your hand, exalted your right hand.
3e 4B 9
'tv xdq umwp't mcon cisaç
ksd vamt iqdmu pniç
15 Righteousness and judgment are the stability of your throne.
Kindness and truth go before your face.

B 3e 4B 10
'tz awri hym iodyi truyh
ihvh baor-pniç ihlcun
16 Happy the people knowing jubilation.
Yahweh, in the light of your face they will walk.
3e 4B 9
iz bwmç igilun cl-hiom
ubxdqtç irumu
17 In your name they will rejoice all the day long,
and in your righteousness they will be exalted.
g 3e 4B 9
ik ci-tpart yuzmo ath
ubrxonç trum qrninu
18 For the adornment of their strength is you yourself,
and in your acceptance our horn will be exalted.
3e 4B 9
i't ci lihvh mginnu
vlqdow iwral mlcnu
19 For of Yahweh is our shield,
and the Holy One of Israel our king.

B 3e 4B 7
c az dibrt bkzon lksidiç vtamr wivviti yzr yl-gibor
hrimoti bkur mym
20 Then you spoke in a vision to one under your mercy and said, I have agreed to help with one who prevails.
I have exalted a chosen from the people.
C 3e 4C 23
ca mxati dvid ybdi
bwmn qodwi mwktiv
21 I have found David my servant.
With the oil of my holiness I have anointed him.

g 3e 4B 7
cb awr idi ticon yimo
af-zroyi tamxnu
22 That my hand will be established with him,
also my arm will assure him.
3e 4B 8
cg la-iwia aoib bo
ubn-yvvlh la iynnu
23 An enemy will not have a claim on him.
And a child of injustice will not answer him.
3e 4B 5
cd vctoti mpniv xriv
umwnaiv agof
24 And I have beaten his foes before his face,
and those hating him I will plague.

3e 4B 9
ch vamunti vksdi yimo
ubwmi trum qrno
25 And my faithfulness and my kindness are with him,
and in my name his horn will be exalted.
3e 4B 10
cv vwmti bim ido
ubnhrot imino
26 And I have set up his hand in the sea,
and in the rivers his right hand.

3e 4B 7
cz hua iqrani abi ath
ali vxur iwuyti
27 He will call to me, You are my father,
my God and the rock of my salvation.
B 3e 4B 9
ck af-ani bcor atnhu
ylion lmlci-arx
28 I myself will also make him firstborn,
on high to the kings of earth.

3e 4B 8
c't lyolm awmor-lo ksdi
ubriti namnt lo
29 Forever I will keep my kindness with him,
and my covenant will be his amen.
g 3e 4B 8
l vwmti lyd zryo
vcisao cimi wmiim
30 And I have set up his seed for ever,
and his throne as the days of heaven.

3e 4B 7
la am-iyzbu bniv torti
ubmwp'tii la ilcun
31 If his children forsake my instruction,
or fail to walk in my judgment,
3e 4B 9
lb am-kuqotii ikllu
umxvotii la iwmoru
32 If they profane my statutes,
or fail to keep my commandments,
3e 4B 8
lg upqdti bwb't pwym
ubngyim yvonm
33 then I will visit their transgression with the sceptre,
and with touches their iniquity.

3e 4B 9
ld vksdi la-apir myimo
vla-awqr bamunti
34 But my kindness will not be frustrated in him,
and will not be proven false in my faithfulness.
g 3e 4B 8
lh la-akll briti
umoxa wptii la awnh
35 I will not profane my covenant,
and what emerges from my lips I will not feign.

3e 4B 6
lv akt nwbyti bqodwi
am-ldvid aczb
36 Once I have sworn in my holiness,
would I lie to David?
g 3e 4B 8
lz zryo lyolm ihih
vcisao cwmw ngdi
37 His seed will be forever,
and his throne as the sun before me.
g 3e 4B 7
lk cirk iicon yolm
vyd bwkq namn slh
38 As the moon it will be established forever,
a witness as faithful as the sky. Selah.

g 3e 4B 8
l't vath znkt vtmas
htybrt ym-mwikç
39 But you yourself have rejected and refused.
You have passed through with your anointed.
3e 4B 9
m niart brit ybdç
killt larx nzro
40 You have nullified the covenant of your servant.
You have profaned his consecration to the earth.
g 3e 4B 8
ma prxt cl-gdrotiv
wmt mbxriv mkith
41 You have breached all his fences.
You have set up his enclosures in disarray.

3e 4B 8
mb wsuhu cl-yobri drç
hih krph lwcniv
42 All passing by his way plunder him.
He becomes a reproach to his neighbours.
g 3e 4B 8
mg hrimot imin xriv
hwmkt cl-aoibiv
43 You have exalted the right hand of his foes.
You make glad all his enemies.
g 3e 4B 8
md af-twib xur krbo
vla hqmoto bmlkmh
44 You will also turn the point of his sword,
and not let him arise in the battle.

3e 4B 6
mh hwbt m'thro
vcisao larx migrt
45 You have made his lustre cease,
and his throne to earth you have heaved.
3e 4A 6
mv hqxrt imi ylumiv
hy'tit yliv buwh slh
46 You have harvested the days of his youthful vigour,
You have wrapped him in shame. Selah.

g 3e 4B 8
mz yd-mh ihvh tistr lnxk
tbyr cmo-aw kmtç
47 How long, Yahweh, will you hide? in perpetuity?
will you kindle like fire your heat?
3e 4B 10
mk zcor-ani mh-kld
yl-mh-wva brat cl-bni-adm
48 Remember how transient I am,
to what vanity you created all the children of humanity.
3e 4A 7
m't mi gbr ikih vla irah-mvvt
iml't npwo mid-waol slh
49 How will valour live and not see death?
Will he escape from the hand of the grave? Selah.

C 3e 4C 11
n aih ksdiç hrawonim adonii
nwbyt ldvid bamuntç
50 Where are your former kindnesses, my Lord,
the ones that you swore to David in your faithfulness?
3e 4C 13
na zcor adonii krpt ybdiç
wati bkiqi cl-rbim ymim
51 Remember, my Lord, the reproach of your servants,
that I bear in my embrace all of a multitude of peoples,
3e 4B 11
nb awr kirpu aoibiç ihvh
awr kirpu yiqbot mwikç
52 that your enemies Yahweh have reproached,
that they have reproached the footsteps of your anointed.

3e 4C 9
ng bruç ihvh lyolm amn vamn 53 Bless Yahweh forever amen and amen. 3e 3g 12

Tate has strophic boundaries 1-8, 9-15, 16-19, 20-38, 39-46, 47-49, 50-52.
My boundaries in my first cut were 1-9 (to include the first 4 of 7 repetitions of faithfulness), 10-19, 20-38, 39-53. Verse 53 naturally stands alone, but it is to be noted that amen is the same root as faithfulness, clearly a theme in this psalm. Verse 19 also stands somewhat by itself, shield, Holy One and Yahweh as king are unique to that verse in this psalm.

If you scan the psalm, you may note some similar shapes in the musical lines. The opening sequence e B g is frequent: verses 2, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, 31, 39, 47, 51. e B A is the shape of verses 18, 23, 24, 25, 26, 30, 33. g B A is the shape of verses 17, 21, 29, 36, 37, 38, 40, 42, 43, 46. I find it curious that there are several contiguous verses in these lists. There may be a certain insistence in the tone of voice.

Four verses begin with B. Three with C, 11 with g, and verse 1 with f, showing a connection with the prior psalm 88. These are all listed with the text above. I have noted frequently that Psalms 96, the psalm appointed in the RCL for Christmas Day, has a strophe structure that is very clear when it is heard (or seen as in this PDF). Would these repeated shapes in Psalms 89 also be heard in a longer psalm and would there be performers who would by training be able to put these shapes across?

Verses 1 and 53 the incipit and the doxology for the entire book 3 are the only verses that are a single colon. All other verses are bicola with a rest on the subdominant, A.

In the Cathedrals today, one might have a change in the chant part way through to indicate a new set of strophes or a new tone. This could be done (as was demonstrated in Psalms 4) with mode variations even within the fixed nature of the deciphering key. 

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