Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Psalms 9-10

Psalms 9 and 10 are one psalm, and are treated as such by the Septuagint. So all Greek and Hebrew Bible psalm numbering is off by one for several psalms. (Here's a reconciliation of Psalms numbering by a fellow Biblical Studies blogger and carnival host.)

This psalm is a broken alphabetic game. Whether it is broken because it is old and has been left in a disordered room and pieces were lost under the bed or under the dresser, or whether it is deliberately broken as if the child does not want to play, we don't know. What we do know is that an editor or an author can decide to drop a verse, as the Masoretes dropped the Nun verse of Psalms 145,  or deliberately reverse the normal sequence of letters as Lamentations reverses peh and ayin.

This is the longest analysis of the music we have yet undertaken. Psalms 9 begins on the third of the scale, tifcha, g, the mediant. According to my thesis, this shows its connection to the prior psalm. The first acrostics of book 5 (111, 112) also begin on a note other than the tonic. The remaining acrostic poems all begin on the tonic.

thlim 't Psalms 9 Fn Min Max Syll
a lmnxk yl-mut lbn mzmor ldvid 1 For the leader on death of the son. A psalm of David.

g 3e 3g 13
b aodh ihvh bcl-libi
asprh cl-nplaotiç
2 I will thank Yahweh with all my heart.
I will recount all your wonders.
3e 4B 8
g awmkh vaylxh bç
azmrh wmç ylion
3 I will be glad and I will be elated in you.
I will sing a psalm to your name Most High.
3e 4B 8
d bwub-aoibii akor
iicwlu viabdu mpniç
4 But when my enemies turn back,
let them stumble and perish from your presence.
3e 4A 6
h ci-ywit mwp'ti vdini
iwbt lcisa wop't xdq
5 For you have made my judgment and my case.
You sit enthroned judging right.
3e 4B 9
v gyrt goiim aibdt rwy
wmm mkit lyolm vyd
6 God, you rebuked the nations. You made wickedness perish.
You have erased their name forever and ever.

3e 4B 10
z haoib tmu korbot lnxk
vyrim ntwt
abd zcrm hmh
7 Here O enemy, completed are ruins in perpetuity,
and cities you have blotted out.
Perished is their memory of them.
3e 4B 11
k vihvh lyolm iiwb
conn lmwp't cisao
8 Verily, Yahweh forever sits.
He has established his throne for judgment.
g 3e 4B 7
't vhua iwpo't-tbl bxdq
idin laumim bmiwrim
9 And he himself will judge the world in righteousness.
He will make the case for the tribes in uprightness.
3e 4A 9
i vihi ihvh mwgb ldç
mwgb lyitot bxrh
10 And Yahweh will be a retreat for the crushed,
a retreat in times of trouble.
~ 3e 4C 8
ia vib'tku bç iodyi wmç
ci la-yzbt dorwiç ihvh
11 And they will trust in you knowing your name,
for you Yahweh do not forsake those searching for you.
3e 4C 11
ib zmru lihvh iowb xion
hgidu bymim ylilotiv
12 Zion in Zion where Yahweh sits, let all sing a psalm.
Evident among the peoples is his prodigality.
3e 4B 8
ig ci-dorw dmim aotm zcr
la-wck xyqt ynvvim
13 Because searching out blood, he remembers them.
He does not forget the outcry of the afflicted.

3e 4B 8
id konnni ihvh rah yonii mwonaii
mrommi mwyri mvvt
14 Have mercy, be gracious to me Yahweh.
See my impoverishment from those hating me,
you who lift me high from the gates of death,
3e 4B 12
'tv lmyn asprh cl-thiltç
bwyri bt-xion
agilh biwuytç
15 so that I will recount all your praises
in the gates of the daughter of Zion.
I will rejoice in your salvation.
3e 4A 12
'tz 'tbyu goiim bwkt ywu
brwt-zu 'tmnu nlcdh rglm
16 The nations sink in the destruction they made.
In this net that they buried, their foot is caught.
3e 4B 9
iz nody ihvh mwp't ywh
bpoyl cpiv noqw rwy
higion slh
17 Yahweh is known, Judgment he makes.
In the work of his palms he lays a trap for the wicked.
Meditation. Selah.
C 3d 4C 8
ik iwubu rwyim lwaolh
cl-goiim wcki alohim
18 Into their grave the wicked will turn,
all nations that forget God.
3e 4B 9
i't ci la lnxk iiwck abion
tqvvt yniim tabd lyd
19 Causes of the needy will not always be forgotten.
The expectation of the poor will not perish for ever.

C 3e 4C 10
c qumh ihvh al-iyoz anow
iiwp'tu goiim yl-pniç
20 arise Yahweh, let a mortal not be strong.
Let the nations be judged in your presence.
3e 4B 9
ca with ihvh morh lhm
iidyu goiim
anow hmh slh
21 Impose, Yahweh. Fear to them.
let the nations know
their mortality. Selah.

~ 3e 4C 8
thlim i Psalms 10 Fn Min Max Syll
a lmh ihvh tymod brkoq
tylim lyitot bxrh
1 LORD why do you stand in the distance,
obscure in times of trouble?
3e 4B 10
b bgavvt rwy idlq yni
iitpwu bmzimot zu kwbu
2 In pride criminal hotly pursues poor.
Let them be arrested in those schemes they have devised.
3e 4B 10
g ci-hill rwy yl-tavvt npwo
uboxy birç niax ihvh
3 For criminal boasted over its own desire,
and blessed extortion, spurning Yahweh.
3e 4B 10
d rwy cgobh apo bl-idrow
ain alohim cl-mzimotiv
4 Criminal looks down its un-searching nose.
There is no God in all its multifarious schemes.
3e 4B 10
h ikilu drciv bcl-yt mrom mwp'tiç mngdo
cl-xorriv ipik bhm
5 Its ways are twisted. In all times, high is your judgment, out of its sight.
All its troubles, It snorts at them.

~ 3e 4C 18
v amr blibo bl-amo't
ldor vdor awr la-bry
6 It said in its heart, I will not be moved,
from generation to generation, in which there is no evil.
3e 4B 8
z alh pihu mla umrmot vtoç
tkt lwono yml vavvn
7 Pucker full of imprecation and deceit and fraud,
under its tongue toil and mischief,
3e 4C 11
k iiwb bmarb kxrim bmstrim ihrog nqi
yiniv lklch ixponu
8 it sits in the lurking places of the villages. In hidden places it slays the innocent,
its eyes treasuring the hapless.
3e 4C 17
't iarob bmstr carih bsuco iarob lk'tof yni
ik'tof yni bmowco brwto
9 It lies in wait in its hiding place like lion in lair. It lies in wait to seize the poor.
It seizes the poor. It draws him away in Its net.
3e 4B 20
i idch iwok
vnpl byxumiv kil caim
10 It crushes. It presses down,
and hapless falls by its sheer numbers.
3e 4B 5
ia amr blibo wck al
hstir pniv bl-rah lnxk
11 It said in its heart, God has forgotten.
He hides his face. He will never see.

3e 4B 8
ib qumh ihvh al nwa idç
al-twck ynvvim
12 Quickly arise! Yahweh God. Lift up your hand.
Do not forget the afflicted.
3e 4C 10
ig yl-mh niax rwy alohim
amr blibo la tdrow
13 Since when does criminal spurn God?
It said in its heart, He will not search.
3e 4C 9
id rait ci-ath yml vcys tbi't ltt bidç
yliç iyzob klch
itom ath hiit yozr
14 Regard you will, for you yourself take note of toil and grief to give by your hand.
To you the hapless defer.
The orphan you yourself will help.
3d 4C 18
'tv wbor zroy rwy
vry tdrow-rwyo bl-tmxa
15 Shatter the arm of criminal,
and for an evil one, search out its crimes till none is found.
g 3e 4B 7
'tz ihvh mlç yolm vyd
abdu goiim marxo
16 Yahweh is king now and for ever.
Perished are the nations from his land.
3e 4B 8
iz tavvt ynvvim wmyt ihvh
tcin libm tqwib aoznç
17 The desire of the afflicted you have heard Yahweh.
Establish their heart. You will make your ear attend,
3e 4B 11
ik lwpo't itom vdç
bl-iosif yod
lyrox anow mn-harx
18 to judge orphan and crushed.
Adding no longer,
to ruthlessness is mortal from the earth.
3e 4A 6

I have bolded the acrostic letters and a few selected recurring words to see if they help define strophes. I have generally considered acrostics to be less amenable than other poems to structural analysis. 

Here's the music.

What if we abstract the musical shapes by verse. We could substitute the accent names, but the letters are briefer. The three-character abbreviations below are for ornaments (supra-lineal signs). This is easier than talking about accent sequences, but much harder than reading and hearing the music. There are no available performances.

incipit g f# rev,f# e - no higher than an f#

2 e B g ^A ger-rev,e - first half matches 10:6, second half revia mugrash occurs 30 times, 9 times on ^A - this is an extended recit on the rest note, can be significant in word / mood painting.
3 e B B ^A g B e - first half matches 18
4 e f# ^A f# ger-rev,e - first half matches 10:6 and final approach of 9 and 16, second half ger-rev occurs 19 times on an f# - 7 full matches for this return to the tonic
5 e g B ^A f# ger-rev,f# e unique approach to ^A - 21 return to the tonic via f#, 8 full matches for v5
6 e B g B ^A f# ger-rev,f# e - first half, nine matches, 6, 11, 13, 16, 20 and 10:1-3 and 16

7 e pas,f# rev,ole,f# f# ^A g B e - tricolon - note 6 occurrences of pashta (=qadma)
8 g B ^A g B e - first half matches 10:15 + 18 final approach partial matches
9 e rev,e f# ^A f# ger-rev,e - 13 return to the tonic directly after the common ornament.
10 zar,C B B ^A ger-rev,f# e The first of three verses to begin with a zarqa
11 e B g B ^A C e g B e - middle verse music is unique both in approach and return
12 e rev,g B ^A f# ger-rev,e
13 e B g B ^A e ger-rev,f# e - ger-rev on the tonic

14 e ill,rev,B g ^A ger-rev,f# e - seven illuy, 6 in the next psalm
15 e f# rev,e ole,f# e f# ^A ger-rev,e - tricolon
16 e B g B ^A e f# ger-rev,f# e
17 C pas,zar,d ole,f# B g B ^A f# e - tricolon
18 e B B ^A ger-rev,f# e
19 C B g B ^A f# ger-rev,f# e

20 e B g B ^A f# ger-rev,e
21 zar,C pas,rev,ole,f# f# ^A g B e- tricolon

1 e B g B ^A ger-rev,f# e
2 e B g B ^A shl,g B e - unique shalshelet in this verse.
3 e B g B ^A f# ger-rev,zar,f# e
4 e rev,B g ^A f# ger-rev,e
5 zar,C pas,rev,B g ^A ger-rev,f# e

6 e B g ^A f# ger-rev,B e return to the tonic matches 10 and 13 following
7 e C B g B ^A f# ger-rev,f# e
8 e C ill,rev,g B ^A ger-rev,e f# e
9 e ill,pas,ill,rev,g B ^A f# ger-rev,f# e
10 e f# ^A f# ger-rev,B e
11 e B g B e ^A f# ger-rev,f# e

12 e C rev,g B ^A f# e
13 e C g f# ^A f# ger-rev,B e
14 e paz,e C zar,C pas,zar,d ole,f# g B ^A ger-rev,C ill,e - tricolon
15 g B ^A ger-rev,e f# e
16 e B g B ^A f# ger-rev,e
17 e ill,B B ^A f# ger-rev,f# e
18 e f# rev,ole,f# f# ^A f# ger-rev,e - tricolon

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