Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Psalms 12

When was the last time I wrote about Psalms 12? I cannot find a single post on it (on this blog). The last post was on Bob's Log in 2008 when I was just barely a toddler.

This is continuing from the post on Psalms 11, starting a new 'folio' in Book 1 of the Psalms from a few days ago - to the next acrostic, Psalms 25. In the meanwhile I have posted on Psalms 82 and 83, and a return to Psalms 3 and some comments on 110-112, part of the first folio in Book 5. It's a big book, the Psalms. It will take some work to get into it. Translation is not a slam dunk. 

Take verse 2 below. What is the ksid? (chasid - the strong aspirate is the first letter.) Does it deserve a definite article or an indefinite article in English? Articles behave differently in different languages. The ksid is singular and its parallel, amunim ('amen' in the plural) the faithful - collective plural. The stem for obliterate (gmr) occurs 5 times in the Psalms - and that's it (the other occurrences are a name and an Aramaic root). Vanished (pss) is equally rare. (You see how valuable the concordance is!)

thlim ib Psalms 12 Fn Min Max Syll
a lmnxk yl-hwminit mzmor ldvid

1 For the leader over octaves. A psalm of David. 3e 3f 13
b howiyh ihvh ci-gmr ksid
ci-psu amunim mbni adm
2 Save Yahweh, for obliterated is the merciful one,
for vanished are the faithful among the children of humanity.
3e 4B 9
9
g wva idbru aiw at-riyhu wpt klqot
blb vlb idbru

3 Vanity they speak, each to his friend, lip divided,
and heart from heart they speak.
C 3e 4C 14
8
d icrt ihvh cl-wpti klqot
lwon mdbrt gdolot
4 Yahweh will cut off all lips divided ...
tongue speaking greatness,
3e 4B 10
9
h awr amru llwonnu ngbir wptinu aitnu
mi adon lnu
5 who said, With our tongue we will prevail, our lips are ours.
Who is Lord to us!

3e 4C 17
5
v mwod yniim manqt abionim
yth aqum iamr ihvh
awit biwy ipik lo
6 From the devastation of the poor, from the groaning of the needy,
Now I will arise, says Yahweh,
I will impose in safety. He snorts at him.
3d 4B 11
8
9
z amrot ihvh amrot 'thorot
csf xruf bylil larx
mzuqq wbytiim
7 The sayings of Yahweh are clean sayings,
silver refined in a furnace of earth,
purged seven times.

3d 4B 11
10
7
k ath-ihvh twmrm
tixrnu mn-hdor zu lyolm
8 You Yahweh you keep them.
You will preserve us from this generation forever.
3e 4B 7
10
't sbib rwyim ithlcun
crum zulut lbni adm
9 On every side the wicked are walking,
so exalted is the vileness of the children of humanity.
3e 4A 9
8
This is depressing content. Vanished are the faithful, vileness is exalted. There is pattern in the music. Easier to hear than to describe. The inscription is low-key, a single colon sung with a slight pause at the revia, but otherwise without a significant rest. The verses arrange themselves two by two. Verses 6 and 7 are both tricola. They are the substance of the hope. Both 'them' and 'us' are preserved. 


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