Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Psalms 16

This post replaces a draft of Psalm 16 from 2011.09.13-09:48. How curious it is to review posts from 10 years ago. The first published post I came across was a freeform translation I did in 2014 and then another post in 2015. Here's the style from 2011. I had not yet figured out what I would do with the name i-h-v-h. I knew for sure I would not substitute the title Lord in any form or special typeset. Now I think just the letters will do and a realization that it has something to do with being and becoming, yet, I hasten to add, ihvh is not time-dependent.

The pleasures and the right handin which the elect reveals the tension inherent in the world and chooses the refuge, the portion, and the secure place of trust in which he or she will not be moved and where there is satisfaction of joys in the presence of יְהוָה

Verse 1 calls this psalm a mictam. It is the first of 6, the other 5 being psalms 56-60, three of which are to the tune 'do not destroy'. 

Here's another paragraph essentially from 2011 (with the language slightly updated to use the SimHebrew Latin letter mapping):

There are three words suggested for the root mictam: inscription related to כתם ctb (to write), golden related to ctm and atonement related to Akkadian ctm to cover (not the Hebrew cpr which almost sounds like English cover). Being uncertain, I used all three suggestions. Each of them has its attractions. It has to be gold because it speaks (if silently) of ultimate satisfaction at God's right hand. Silent because such things cannot be spoken. Of atonement since it is about being at one, not being abandoned, not being subject to chance, not being without hope, yet it knows of such abandonment, chance, and despair. But it is only one word. Some translations leave it as Miktam. Craigie suggests reference to Jeremiah 2:22 translating your iniquity is inscribed before me

Note the recurrence of ks in the Psalm. Mercy and refuge are closely related in the family of roots beginning with ks. This psalm is referenced in Acts 2:25-28, 2:31, 13:35.

At the time, I was also asking whether the psalter is a book the plot and theme and purpose of which can be discerned. 

This was my third time reading the psalter in Hebrew. My second reading began after my first. My first began in 2006 after the conference on The epistle to the Hebrews and theology at St Andrews, where I realized for the first time that the psalms are dialogue between father and son and therefore between 'the Father' and 'the elect of all ages'. Seeing this, one realizes eventually how great is the depth of gratitude the elect of a later age owe to the writers and copiers of the canon - with a dose of shrewdness of course. (And that theme appears in this psalm in what is perhaps an idiomatic phrase - in the earth = gone before. Maybe there are other uses - like 2 Samuel 7:9).

Here's what's in the database today. There is a performance of the music here. And a pdf here. This is the only place in my translation where I used that (13th century?) coinage, atonement.

thlim 'tz Psalms 16 Fn Min Max Syll
a mctm ldvid
womrni al ci-ksiti bç
1 From gold, concerning atonement, through inscription, of David.
Keep me O God for I take refuge in you.
3e 4A 5
8
b amrt lihvh adonii ath
'tobti bl-yliç
2 You said to Yahweh, You are my Lord,
my good pales beside you.
3e 4B 10
7
g lqdowim awr-barx hmh
vadiri cl-kpxi-bm
3 About the holy ones that are in the earth, of them,
and of majesties ... Is all my delight in them?
g 3e 4B 10
8
d irbu yxbotm akr mhru
bl-asiç nscihm mdm
ubl-awa at-wmotm yl-wptii
4 Let their idols increase. Following they rush headlong.
I will not spill out their libations with blood,
neither will I bear their names on my lips.
3d 4B 10
8
12
h ihvh mnt-klqi vcosi
ath tomiç gorli
5 Yahweh is the portion of my share and my cup.
You yourself maintain my lot.

3e 4A 9
7
v kblim nplu-li bnyimim
af-nklt wprh ylii
6 Pledges have fallen to me in pleasures.
Indeed for me there is a glistening inheritance.
3e 4B 9
8
z abrç at-ihvh awr iyxni
af-lilot iisruni cliotii
7 I will bless Yahweh who advises me.
Indeed in the nights my vital centre chastens me.

3e 4B 12
9
k wivviti ihvh lngdi tmid
ci mimini bl-amo't
8 I have agreed with Yahweh in front of me continually,
for he is at my right hand. I will not be moved.
3e 4B 10
7
't lcn wmk libi vigl cbodi
af-bwri iwcon lb'tk
9 So my heart will be glad and my glory rejoice.
Indeed my flesh will dwell in trust.

3e 4C 12
9
i ci la-tyzob npwi lwaol
la-titn ksidç lraot wkt
10 For you will not forsake me to the grave.
You will not permit one within your mercy to see destruction.
C 3e 4C 8
9
ia todiyni aork kiim
woby wmkot at-pniç
nyimot biminç nxk
11 You will make known to me a path of life,
satisfaction of gladness in your presence,
pleasures at your right hand always.
3e 4C 8
9
8


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