Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Psalms 1-10 - reading and experience

I have been reading the first 10 psalms in three places this year: First on my own. Second with a group in Cambridge (and they haven't got past Psalms 6 yet). And third with Christopher Page, second hand via comments, these past 10 weeks. Christopher Page has been leading a group from his parish, St Phillip, Oak Bay, not far from where I live. His father was the priest at St Barnabas many years ago. That's even closer to where I live. I don't know if I will meet any of the folks in these groups in person. All discussions have been virtual.

My zeal is troubling to me. I could not stop after 10 weeks, nor could I get bogged down in so much detail that I would never finish. It's a rule of thumb. It comes from having built so many systems and written so many programs, posts, and even books. Have a target and a plan. Get through the content and over the bumps, then review it, then dig in more depth, but keep the overall perspective. It's a multi-pass project.

Here's perhaps the nub of the matter from Psalms 85:11-14. I posted these words a few days ago, but just let them pass without comment or translation. They are a good target for us all.

ksd-vamt npgwu.
xdq vwlom nwqu.
amt marx txmk,
vxdq mwmiim nwqf.
gm-ihvh iitn h'tob,
varxnu titn ibulh.
xdq lpniv ihlç,
viwm ldrç pymiv.

Here are the concordance links for the 20 roots in this section and the lemmas used for them. What alternatives might the poet have considered for this poem? Could we rewrite the poem in Hebrew to express a similar hope? (I've never asked that sort of question before.)
arxearth, landarx(2)
nwqkissed othernwq(1)
pgwmet togetherpgw(1)
pnhbefore his facepnh(1)
wqpleans lookwqp(1)

Here's the music for just this section (begin at bar 48). You can see that nothing is lost in the automated transformation of the text into music XML to create the score.
Psalms 85:11-14 beginning in bar 48

I counted the letters by hand. 12, 12, 11, 13, 14, 15, 12, 12. 101.
If you allow the hyphen to keep a word together which it does musically, then there are exactly 3 words per line in these 8 verses, 11-14. 
Syllables are below: 8 8 7 8 7 9 8 9 - 64 total.
These two verses are paired 11-12, 13-14. The even numbered verses attach themselves to the odd numbered verses in that they begin on a note other than the default tonic..

Here is the rest of the Psalm.

a lmnxk lbni-qork mzmor 1 For the leader. Of the children of Korah. A psalm. 3e 3e 9
b rxit ihvh arxç
wbt wbit iyqob
2 You were favorable Yahweh with your land.
You turned the captivity of Jacob.
3e 4B 8
g nwat yvon ymç
cisit cl-k'tatm slh
3 You bore the iniquity of your people.
You covered all their sin. Selah.
g 3e 4B 8
d aspt cl-ybrtç
hwibot mkron apç
4 You gathered in all your fury.
You have turned from your fierce anger.

3e 4A 8
h wubnu alohi iwynu
vhpr cysç yimnu
5 Turn us O God of our salvation,
and thwart your grief with us.
g 3e 4B 9
v hlyolm tanf-bnu
tmwoç apç ldor vdor
6 Will you forever be angry among us?
Will you draw out your anger from generation to generation?
3e 4B 8
z hloa-ath twub tkiinu
vymç iwmku-bç
7 Will you yourself not turn and revive us,
so your people will be glad in you?
3e 4B 9
k hranu ihvh ksdç
viwyç titn-lnu
8 Show us Yahweh your kindness,
and give us your salvation.

3e 4B 8
't awmyh mh-idbr hal ihvh
ci idbr wlom al-ymo val-ksidiv
val-iwubu lcslh
9 I will hear what the God Yahweh will speak,
for he will speak peace to his people and to those under his mercy,
but let them not turn to folly.
3d 4C 11
i aç qrob liraiv iwyo
lwcon cbod barxnu
10 Surely to those who fear him his salvation is near,
that glory may dwell in our land.

C 3e 4C 8
ia ksd-vamt npgwu
xdq vwlom nwqu
11 Kindness and truth have met together.
Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
3e 4B 8
ib amt marx txmk
vxdq mwmiim nwqf
12 Truth grows from earth,
g 3e 4B 7
ig gm-ihvh iitn h'tob
varxnu titn ibulh
13 Yea Yahweh gives the good,
and our land gives her produce.
3e 4B 7
id xdq lpniv ihlç
viwm ldrç pymiv
14 Righteousness walks before his face,
and defines to the way his footfalls.
g 3e 4B 8

I am critical of my word order in verse 12. It could easily be and righteousness from heaven leans over to look. Verse 14, however, is not so easy to say in English with the Hebrew word order. If you are setting the music, feel free to re-order the words.

Here is the music. Some composer somewhere might try an arrangement some day. Recall that this psalm has one of the characteristic shapes of the cantillation in the inscription. See the post on Psalms 69 here.

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