Sunday 31 December 2023

#Psalmtweet #Psalter 122:1

 You may notice how first notes connect these psalms to each other.

For the sake of kin and friends, may I speak peace in you

שִׁ֥יר הַֽמַּעֲל֗וֹת לְדָ֫וִ֥ד
שָׂ֭מַחְתִּי בְּאֹמְרִ֣ים לִ֑י
בֵּ֖ית יְהוָ֣ה נֵלֵֽךְ
1 ♪f A song of the ascents, Of David.
I was glad when they said to me,
Up to the house of Yahweh we will walk.
a wir hmylot ldvid
wmkti baomrim li
bit ihvh nlç
wir hm/yl\vt l/dvd
wmk\ti b/amr\im l\i
bit ihvh n/lc

Saturday 30 December 2023

#Psalmtweet #Psalter 121:1


To the ascents? This is the only instance of lmylot. (l rather than h as the first letter)

שִׁ֗יר לַֽמַּ֫עֲל֥וֹת
אֶשָּׂ֣א עֵ֭ינַי אֶל־הֶהָרִ֑ים
מֵ֝אַ֗יִן יָבֹ֥א עֶזְרִֽי
1 ♪~ A song to the ascents.
I will lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where comes my help?
a wir lmylot
awa yinii al-hhrim
maiin iboa yzri
wir lm/yl\vt
a/wa yin\i al h/hr\im
m/ain i/ba yzr\i

Friday 29 December 2023

#Psalmtweet #Psalter 120:5


The first of 15 Songs of the Ascents

אֽוֹיָה־לִ֭י כִּי־גַ֣רְתִּי מֶ֑שֶׁךְ
שָׁ֝כַ֗נְתִּי עִֽם־אָהֳלֵ֥י קֵדָֽר
5 Woe to me for I am guest in a charade.
I dwell in tents of blackness.
h aoih-li ci-grti mwç
wcnti ym-aohli qdr
avi\h l\i ci gr\ti mwc
wcn\ti ym ahl\i qdr

Thursday 28 December 2023

#Psalmtweet #Psalter Psalm 119:1-8


The aleph of the acrostic celebrating Psalm 118. 

אַשְׁרֵ֥י תְמִֽימֵי־דָ֑רֶךְ
הַֽ֝הֹלְכִ֗ים בְּתוֹרַ֥ת יְהוָֽה
1 All joy for the complete of the way,
who walk in the instruction of Yahweh.
a awri tmimi-drç
hholcim btort ihvh
awr\i tmm\i drc
h/hlc\im b/tvr\t ihvh
אַ֭שְׁרֵי נֹצְרֵ֥י עֵדֹתָ֗יו בְּכָל־לֵ֥ב יִדְרְשֽׁוּהוּ 2 ♪g All joy for those observing his testimonies. With a whole heart they search him out.
b awri noxri ydotiv bcl-lb idrwuhu 14
awr\i nxr\i yd\tiv b/cl lb i/drw\vhv
אַ֭ף לֹֽא־פָעֲל֣וּ עַוְלָ֑ה
בִּדְרָכָ֥יו הָלָֽכוּ
3 ♪g Also they do not work injustice,
in his ways they walk.
g af la-pylu yvvlh
bdrciv hlcu
ap la pyl\v yvl\h
b/drc\iv hlc\v
אַ֭תָּה צִוִּ֥יתָה פִקֻּדֶ֗יךָ לִשְׁמֹ֥ר מְאֹֽד 4 ♪g And you commanded your precepts to keep in full.
d ath xivvit piqudiç lwmor maod 13
ath xv\ith pqd\ic l/wmr mad
אַ֭חֲלַי יִכֹּ֥נוּ דְרָכָ֗י לִשְׁמֹ֥ר חֻקֶּֽיךָ 5 ♪g Ah that established were my ways to keep your statutes.
h aklii iiconu drcii lwmor kuqiç 14
akli i/cn\v drc\i l/wmr kq\ic
אָ֥ז לֹא־אֵב֑וֹשׁ
בְּ֝הַבִּיטִ֗י אֶל־כָּל־מִצְוֺתֶֽיךָ
6 ♪f And then I would not be ashamed,
to take note of all your commandments.
v az la-abow
bhbi'ti al-cl-mxvotiç
az la a/bvw
bh/b't\i al cl m/xv\tic
א֭וֹדְךָ בְּיֹ֣שֶׁר לֵבָ֑ב
בְּ֝לָמְדִ֗י מִשְׁפְּטֵ֥י צִדְקֶֽךָ
7 ♪g And I will thank you with an upright heart,
when I learn the judgments of your righteousness.
z aodç biowr lbb
blomdi mwp'ti xdqç
av/d\c b/iwr lbb
b/lmd\i m/wp't\i xdq\c
אֶת־חֻקֶּ֥יךָ אֶשְׁמֹ֑ר
אַֽל־תַּעַזְבֵ֥נִי עַד־מְאֹֽד
8 And your statutes I will keep.
Do not forsake me in full for ever.
k at-kuqiç awmor
al-tyzbni yd-maod
at kq\ic a/wmr
al t/yzb\ni yd mad

Wednesday 27 December 2023

#Psalmtweet #Psalter 118:24


There is but one ... (This easy to sing accent sequence occurs 62 times)

זֶה־הַ֭יּוֹם עָשָׂ֣ה יְהוָ֑ה
נָגִ֖ילָה וְנִשְׂמְחָ֣ה בֽוֹ
24 This is the day Yahweh made.
We will rejoice and be glad in it.

cd zh-hiom ywh ihvh
ngilh vnwmkh bo
zh h/ivm ywh ihvh
n/gil\h vn/wmk\h b\v

Tuesday 26 December 2023

#Psalmtweet #Psalter 117


The shortest psalm
See also here

הַֽלְל֣וּ אֶת־יְ֭הוָה כָּל־גּוֹיִ֑ם
שַׁ֝בְּח֗וּהוּ כָּל־הָאֻמִּֽים
1 Praise Yahweh, all nations.
Commend him, all the clans.
a hllu at-ihvh cl-goiim
wbkuhu cl-haumim
hll\v at ihvh cl gvi\m
wbk\vhv cl h/am\im
כִּ֥י גָ֘בַ֤ר עָלֵ֨ינוּ ׀ חַסְדּ֗וֹ וֶֽאֱמֶת־יְהוָ֥ה לְעוֹלָ֗ם הַֽלְלוּ־יָֽהּ 2 ♪f For his mercy has prevailed over us, and the truth of Yahweh is forever. Praise Yah.
b ci gbr ylinu ksdo vamt-ihvh lyolm hllu-ih 19
ci gbr yl\inv ksd\v v/amt ihvh l/yvlm hll\v ih

Monday 25 December 2023

#Moses, #Psalmtweet Deuteronomy 32:40-43

Merry Christmas. It is suitable for the Song of Moses to be confirmed by the celebration of the Incarnation. Jesus did not take vengeance but gave his life for the life of the world. It is not a matter of believing some theological or cosmological framework, it's a matter of how we act - whether in defense or in deliberate provocation, that we act for the good of the other. We have this present moment and as the prophet reminds us, God is with us. 'With' implies temporal continuity and presence.
Deuteronomy 32:40-43

The last verses of the song of Moses. I could sometimes retain more of the Hebrew word order. How would you underlay English lyrics to Hebrew pulse and word order? The dramatic force of the Hebrew is often reduced in translation. 

כִּֽי־אֶשָּׂ֥א אֶל־שָׁמַ֖יִם יָדִ֑י
וְאָמַ֕רְתִּי חַ֥י אָנֹכִ֖י לְעֹלָֽם ר
40 For I lift up to the heavens my hand,
then I say, I am life forever.
m ci-awa al-wmiim idi
vamrti ki anoci lyolm r
ci a/wa al wmim id\i
v/amr\ti ki anci l/ylm
אִם־שַׁנּוֹתִי֙ בְּרַ֣ק חַרְבִּ֔י וְתֹאחֵ֥ז בְּמִשְׁפָּ֖ט יָדִ֑י
אָשִׁ֤יב נָקָם֙ לְצָרָ֔י וְלִמְשַׂנְאַ֖י אֲשַׁלֵּֽם ר
41 If I whet my glittering sword and my hand hold fast in the judgment,
I will return vengeance to my foes, and those that hate me I will repay.
ma am-wnoti brq krbi vtakz bmwp't idi
awib nqm lxrii vlmwnaii awlm r
am wn\vti brq krb\i vt/akz bm/wp't id\i
a/wb nqm l/xr\i vlm/wna\i a/wlm
אַשְׁכִּ֤יר חִצַּי֙ מִדָּ֔ם וְחַרְבִּ֖י תֹּאכַ֣ל בָּשָׂ֑ר
מִדַּ֤ם חָלָל֙ וְשִׁבְיָ֔ה מֵרֹ֖אשׁ פַּרְע֥וֹת אוֹיֵֽב ר
42 I will make my arrows drunk with blood and my sword will devour flesh,
from the blood of one who is profaned, and captives from the head of the premiers of the enemy.
mb awcir kixii mdm vkrbi tacl bwr
mdm kll vwbih mraw pryot aoib r
a/wcr kx\i m/dm v/krb\i t/acl bwr
m/dm kll v/wbh m/raw pry\vt ab
הַרְנִ֤ינוּ גוֹיִם֙ עַמּ֔וֹ כִּ֥י דַם־עֲבָדָ֖יו יִקּ֑וֹם
וְנָקָם֙ יָשִׁ֣יב לְצָרָ֔יו וְכִפֶּ֥ר אַדְמָת֖וֹ עַמּֽוֹ ש
43 Shout for joy, nations, his people, for the blood of his servants he will avenge,
and vengeance he will return to his foes, but he will cover over his own ground, his people.
mg hrninu goiim ymo ci dm-ybdiv iiqom
vnqm iwib lxriv vcipr admto ymo w
h/rnn\v gvi\m ym\v ci dm ybd\iv i/qvm
v/nqm i/wb l/xr\iv v/cpr adm\tv ym\v

The theme of vengeance is complete. I asked ChatGPT to comment - the answer is very clear.


Here's another question. In the Song of Moses, God definitively allows himself to take vengeance. Where else in the Hebrew Scripture and the New Testament does this recur? Does this say to the human. It is my prerogative to take vengeance, so you must not.


The Song of Moses in Deuteronomy 32 indeed contains verses where God asserts His right to take vengeance. This concept of divine vengeance appears in various other passages in both the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament. Throughout these texts, there's often an underlying message that humans should leave vengeance to God rather than seeking it themselves.

Hebrew Scriptures:

Proverbs 20:22: "Do not say, 'I will repay evil'; wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you." This verse encourages individuals not to seek personal revenge but rather to trust in God's justice.

Proverbs 24:29: "Do not say, 'I will do to him as he has done to me; I will pay the man back for what he has done.'" This verse advises against repaying evil for evil.

Psalm 94:1: The psalmist calls upon God as the avenger of the righteous: "O Lord, God of vengeance, O God of vengeance, shine forth!"

New Testament:

Romans 12:19: The Apostle Paul, writing to the Romans, quotes from the Hebrew Scriptures, stating, "Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, 'Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.'" This echoes the idea that seeking personal vengeance is not the responsibility of humans but is reserved for God.

Hebrews 10:30: In this passage, the author refers to God as the one who will judge and avenge: "For we know him who said, 'Vengeance is mine; I will repay.' And again, 'The Lord will judge his people.'"

In both the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament, there's a recurring theme that vengeance ultimately belongs to God. Human beings are encouraged to refrain from seeking retribution and to trust in God's justice and timing for judgment. This aligns with the notion that God's judgments are righteous and just, and humans should avoid taking matters of vengeance into their own hands.

#Psalmtweet #Psalter 116:1

 Lessons in translation.

Joined to the praise from the Exodus (Ps 114-115) is this individual love song

Don't make it say what it doesn't say or what you think it ought to say. Listen to what it does say. Psalm 116 is an aria.

אָ֭הַבְתִּי כִּֽי־יִשְׁמַ֥ע ׀ יְהוָ֑ה
אֶת־ק֝וֹלִ֗י תַּחֲנוּנָֽי
1 ♪g I love, for Yahweh heard,
the voice of my supplication.
a ahbti ci-iwmy ihvh
at-qoli tknunii
ahb\ti ci i/wmy ihvh
at qvl\i t/knvn\i

Sunday 24 December 2023

#Moses, #Psalmtweet Deuteronomy 32:37-39

Deuteronomy 32:37-39
Impossible, I suppose for the human to apply this irony to a political situation. Face-saving and excessive defensiveness are somehow precluded - but we have to die to them to live. By what shrewdness can we keep ourselves alive?

The shoe can be on anyone's foot. Here God is asking where is their rock. Psalm 42 asks repeatedly of those in exile - Where is your God? Similarly Psalm 79 and 115.

Does God really eat sacrifices? Psalm 50 denies this superstition and matches the common usage of eat and imbibe. Again, there is irony in the passage.

A different approach to violence is seen in Psalm 109:25-28 preparing for the wound that we will note in Psalm 110. 

וַאֲנִ֤י ׀ הָיִ֣יתִי חֶרְפָּ֣ה לָהֶ֑ם
יִ֝רְא֗וּנִי יְנִיע֥וּן רֹאשָֽׁם
25 And I, I have become a reproach to them.
They stare at me. They wag their heads.

ch vani hiiti krph lhm
irauni iniyun rawm
v/ani h/i\iti krp\h l/hm
i/ra\vni i/niy\vn raw\m
עָ֭זְרֵנִי יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהָ֑י
ה֭וֹשִׁיעֵ֣נִי כְחַסְדֶּֽךָ
26 ♪g Help me Yahweh my God.
Save me according to your mercy.
cv yozrni ihvh alohii
howiyni cksdç
yzr\ni ihvh alh\i
hv/w\iyni c/ksd\c
וְֽ֭יֵדְעוּ כִּי־יָ֣דְךָ זֹּ֑את
אַתָּ֖ה יְהוָ֣ה עֲשִׂיתָֽהּ
27 ♪g And they will know that this is your hand.
You, Yahweh, have done it.
cz viidyu ci-idç zat
ath ihvh ywith
v/idy\v ci id\c zat
ath ihvh yw\ith
יְקַֽלְלוּ־הֵמָּה֮ וְאַתָּ֪ה תְבָ֫רֵ֥ךְ
קָ֤מוּ ׀ וַיֵּבֹ֗שׁוּ וְֽעַבְדְּךָ֥ יִשְׂמָֽח
28 Let them deny but you, you will bless.
They will arise. Let them be ashamed, but let your servant be glad.
ck iqllu-hmh vath tbrç
qmu vibowu vybdç iwmk
i/qll\v hm\h v/ath t/brc
qm\v vi/bw\v v/ybd\c i/wmk

This passage uses several words from Deuteronomy 38-39 (below). For Deuteronomy 32:39 and the psalms, check out the answer that ChatGPT suggested. The bot works conceptually as well as word by word.

וְאָמַ֖ר אֵ֣י אֱלֹהֵ֑ימוֹ
צ֖וּר חָסָ֥יוּ בֽוֹ ס
37 And he said, Where are their gods,
the rock in which they take refuge,
lz vamr ai alohimo
xur ksiiu bo s
v/amr ai alh\imv
xvr ks\iv b\v
אֲשֶׁ֨ר חֵ֤לֶב זְבָחֵ֙ימוֹ֙ יֹאכֵ֔לוּ יִשְׁתּ֖וּ יֵ֣ין נְסִיכָ֑ם
יָק֙וּמוּ֙ וְיַעְזְרֻכֶ֔ם יְהִ֥י עֲלֵיכֶ֖ם סִתְרָֽה ס
38 that the milk of their offerings ate and imbibed the wine of their libations?
Let them arise and help you and be to you a hiding place.
lk awr klb zbkimo iaclu iwtu iin nsicm
iqumu viyzrucm ihi ylicm strh s
awr klb zbk\imv i/acl\v i/wt\v iin nsc\m
i/qvm\v vi/yzr\cm i/hi yl\icm str\h
רְא֣וּ ׀ עַתָּ֗ה כִּ֣י אֲנִ֤י אֲנִי֙ ה֔וּא וְאֵ֥ין אֱלֹהִ֖ים עִמָּדִ֑י
אֲנִ֧י אָמִ֣ית וַאֲחַיֶּ֗ה מָחַ֙צְתִּי֙ וַאֲנִ֣י אֶרְפָּ֔א וְאֵ֥ין מִיָּדִ֖י מַצִּֽיל ר
39 See now that I, I am he, and there is no god with me.
I, I put to death, and I make alive. I wound and I, I heal. and there is none to deliver out of my hand.
l't rau yth ci ani ani hua vain alohim yimdi
ani amit vakiih mkxti vani arpa vain midi mxil r
ra\v yth ci ani ani hva v/ain alh\im ym\di
ani a/mit va/kih mkx\ti v/ani a/rpa v/ain m/id\i m/xl

#Psalmtweet #Psalter 115:1


Attacca - Non nobis Domine

לֹ֤א לָ֥נוּ יְהוָ֗ה לֹ֫א־לָ֥נוּ
כִּֽי־לְ֭שִׁמְךָ תֵּ֣ן כָּב֑וֹד
עַל־חַ֝סְדְּךָ֗ עַל־אֲמִתֶּֽךָ
1 ♪C Not to us Yahweh not to us,
but to your name give glory,
over your kindness, over your truth.
a la lnu ihvh la-lnu
ci-lwmç tn cbod
yl-ksdç yl-amitç
la l\nv ihvh la l\nv
ci l/wm\c t\n cbd
yl ksd\c yl amt\c

Saturday 23 December 2023

#Moses, #Psalmtweet Deuteronomy 32:34-36

Deuteronomy 32:34-36
Take the first pronoun as proleptic rather than requiring an antecedent in verse 34, anticipating the noun(s) of verse 35. The third person plural then refers to Jacob, his people. And the speaker is Yahweh. But must switch again in verse 36, unless Yahweh speaks of himself in the third person. Such unannounced switches of point of view are common in Hebrew poetry, particularly in the Psalms as here in Deuteronomy. Psalms 7:9, 9:9, 50:4 reflect the words in verse 36.

הֲלֹא־ה֖וּא כָּמֻ֣ס עִמָּדִ֑י
חָתֻ֖ם בְּאוֹצְרֹתָֽי ס
34 Is not it stocked with me?
sealed in my treasuries?
ld hloa-hua cmus yimdi
ktum baoxrotii s
h/la hva cms ym\di
ktm b/avxr\ti
לִ֤י נָקָם֙ וְשִׁלֵּ֔ם לְעֵ֖ת תָּמ֣וּט רַגְלָ֑ם
כִּ֤י קָרוֹב֙ י֣וֹם אֵידָ֔ם וְחָ֖שׁ עֲתִדֹ֥ת לָֽמוֹ ס
35 ♪C Of me is vengeance and repayment. In due time their foot will be moved,
for near is the day of their misfortune, and what is impending for them hurries.
lh li nqm vwilm lyt tmu't rglm
ci qrob iom aidm vkw ytidot lmo s
l\i nqm v/wlm l/yt t/mv't rgl\m
ci qrb ivm aid\m v/kw ytd\t l\mv
כִּֽי־יָדִ֤ין יְהוָה֙ עַמּ֔וֹ וְעַל־עֲבָדָ֖יו יִתְנֶחָ֑ם
כִּ֤י יִרְאֶה֙ כִּי־אָ֣זְלַת יָ֔ד וְאֶ֖פֶס עָצ֥וּר וְעָזֽוּב ס
36 For Yahweh will make the case for his people and his servants he will comfort,
because he sees that depleted is the means, and terminated, what is coerced and forsaken.
lv ci-idin ihvh ymo vyl-ybdiv itnkm
ci irah ci-azlt id vaps yxur vyzub s
ci i/din ihvh ym\v v/yl ybd\iv it/nkm
ci i/rah ci azl\t id v/aps yxr v/yzb

Vengeance occurs 9 times in the Psalms. It too is part of the character of God. As Moses says in this chapter, he will sing of the name (character, reputation) of Yahweh. Look back and count the characteristics mentioned. Try 94:1.

אֵל־נְקָמ֥וֹת יְהוָ֑ה
אֵ֖ל נְקָמ֣וֹת הוֹפִֽיַע
God of vengeance, Yahweh,
God of vengeance, shine.
a al-nqmot ihvh
al nqmot hopiy
al nqm\vt ihvh
al nqm\vt hv/py

If vengeance is Yahweh's then it is not ours.

#Psalmtweet #Psalter 114:1-2


In exitu Israel - tonus peregrinus - the last vestige of the old chant preserved from the original music

בְּצֵ֣את יִ֭שְׂרָאֵל מִמִּצְרָ֑יִם
בֵּ֥ית יַ֝עֲקֹ֗ב מֵעַ֥ם לֹעֵֽז
1 When Israel came out from Egypt,
the house of Jacob from an exotic people,
a bxat iwral mmxriim
bit iyqob mym loyz
b/xa\t iwral mm/xr\im
bit iyqb m/ym lyz

See also this post on the two psalms 114-115.

Friday 22 December 2023

#Moses, #Psalmtweet Deuteronomy 32:31-33

Warning, the remaining verses of this song are ferocious. How is vengeance to be dealt with? The speaker is unclear in verse 31. Perhaps Moses or a copyist interjects a word.

Deuteronomy 32:31-33

Verse 31 is perplexing. Why did I choose intercessors for plilim? The root is a masculine plural of pll. Three times the form appears in the canon and is traditionally rendered judges. That gloss is off the table for me. I am an intercessor. Who cannot be in these days of enemies everywhere. Again, it is unclear who the speaker is. Who is the our and who the their? Psalm 91 is an antidote.

A common word occurs 22 times in Psalm 78. The word is la, (pronounced lo) a negative. 

כִּ֛י לֹ֥א כְצוּרֵ֖נוּ צוּרָ֑ם
וְאֹיְבֵ֖ינוּ פְּלִילִֽים ס
31 ♪d For not as our Rock is their rock,
and our enemies are intercessors.
la ci la cxurnu xurm
vaoibinu plilim s
ci la c/xvr\nv xvr\m
v/aib\inv pll\im
כִּֽי־מִגֶּ֤פֶן סְדֹם֙ גַּפְנָ֔ם וּמִשַּׁדְמֹ֖ת עֲמֹרָ֑ה
עֲנָבֵ֙מוֹ֙ עִנְּבֵי־ר֔וֹשׁ אַשְׁכְּלֹ֥ת מְרֹרֹ֖ת לָֽמוֹ ס
32 For from the vine of Sodom are their vines and from the fields of Gomorrah,
their grapes are grapes of want, clusters of bitterness to them.
lb ci-mgpn sdom gpnm umwdmot ymorh
ynbimo yinbi-raw awclot mrorot lmo s
ci m/gpn sdm gpn\m vm/wd\mt ymrh
ynb\mv ynb\i rvw awcl\t mrr\t l\mv
חֲמַ֥ת תַּנִּינִ֖ם יֵינָ֑ם
וְרֹ֥אשׁ פְּתָנִ֖ים אַכְזָֽר ס
33 The poison of dragons their wine,
and the venom of vicious adders.
lg kmt tninim iinm
vraw ptnim aczr s
km\t tnin\m iin\m
v/raw ptn\im aczr

To whom does the pronoun their apply?

#Psalmtweet #Psalter 113:1

 We count 300 but we misse, there is but one, and that one ever.

George Herbert knew about time. (re Halleluiah, My algorithm gets a syllable wrong every now and then. But it is faster than doing the music by hand. If you are arranging - just fix it.)

Book 4 is full of praise - a perpetual Easter season

הַ֥לְלוּ־יָ֨הּ ׀ הַ֭לְלוּ עַבְדֵ֣י יְהוָ֑ה
הַֽ֝לְלוּ אֶת־שֵׁ֥ם יְהוָֽה
1 ♪f Hallelu Yah. Praise servants of Yahweh.
Praise the name of Yahweh.
a hllu-ih hllu ybdi ihvh
hllu at-wm ihvh
hll\v ih hll\v ybd\i ihvh
hll\v at wm ihvh

For more on this psalm, see this post.

Thursday 21 December 2023

#Moses, #Psalmtweet Deuteronomy 32:28-30

Deuteronomy 32:28-30

כִּי־ג֛וֹי אֹבַ֥ד עֵצ֖וֹת הֵ֑מָּה
וְאֵ֥ין בָּהֶ֖ם תְּבוּנָֽה ס
28 For a nation, perishing of advice, are they,
and there is no understanding among them.
ck ci-goi aobd yxot hmh
vain bhm tbunh s
ci gvi abd yx\vt hm\h
v/ain b/hm t/bvn\h
ל֥וּ חָכְמ֖וּ יַשְׂכִּ֣ילוּ זֹ֑את
יָבִ֖ינוּ לְאַחֲרִיתָֽם ס
29 ♪f If only they were wise, they had this insight,
they would discern their aftermath.
c't lu kcmu iwcilu zat
ibinu lakritm s
lv kcm\v i/wcl\v zat
i/bin\v l/akr\itm
אֵיכָ֞ה יִרְדֹּ֤ף אֶחָד֙ אֶ֔לֶף וּשְׁנַ֖יִם יָנִ֣יסוּ רְבָבָ֑ה
אִם־לֹא֙ כִּי־צוּרָ֣ם מְכָרָ֔ם וַֽיהוָ֖ה הִסְגִּירָֽם ס
30 How does one pursue a thousand and two cause tens of thousands to withdraw,
if not because their Rock had sold them and Yahweh had imprisoned them.
l aich irdof akd alf uwniim inisu rbbh
am-la ci-xurm mcrm vihvh hsgirm s
aic\h i/rdp akd alp v/wn\im i/nis\v rbb\h
am la ci xvr\m mcr\m v/ihvh h/sgr\m

Aftermath (akr) is one of those words that you will find a long essay on in a lexicon. It is a very common word encompassing the preposition after, the verb to follow and the idea of consequence. It represents the bars of time in which we all are singers and players. Hence the need for music to free us from their imprisonment.

We must ask - Is it Yahweh who is still speaking and about whom? The text is not obvious. All need insight, whether Israel or its enemies. 

Understanding and insight and discernment have their places also in the poetry of the psalms. Several psalms (a baker's dozen) are inscribed as maskil. My gloss for this is insight. Psalm 2 asks the rulers to have insight, and Psalm 1 warns about advice (counsel) from errant sources.

#Psalmtweet #Psalter 112:5

  The second of two acrostics to celebrate Psalm 110.

טֽוֹב־אִ֭ישׁ חוֹנֵ֣ן וּמַלְוֶ֑ה
יְכַלְכֵּ֖ל דְּבָרָ֣יו בְּמִשְׁפָּֽט
5 This is a good person, gracious and lending.
Yea, he will rein in his words with judgment.
h 'tob-aiw konn umlvvh
iclcl dbriv bmwp't
'tvb aiw kvnn vm/lvh
icl/cl dbr\iv bm/wp't

Wednesday 20 December 2023

#Moses, #Psalmtweet Deuteronomy 32:25-27

Deuteronomy 32:25-27

This reads too like our reality. Psalm 148:12 shares many words with verse 25. Youths in their prime is the same stem as the word for chosen (bkr). There seems to be some escape from the negative since Psalm 148 is part of the final doxology of the Psalter. (Grey-haired is not in the psalm, but rather zqn, the aged.)
Shared words in Psalm 148:12 and Deuteronomy 32:25
I cannot think of a place where the sentiment of verses 26 occurs in the Psalter. Perhaps 106:23 - but the word used is not eradicate, (wbt) but exterminate (wmd). The word for eradicate occurs only 5 times in the Psalms, and in each case it is over and done with. E.g. Psalm 8 - that you might cease enemy and vengeance. It is the same word as Sabbath! Exterminate is used 6 times in the Psalms. It is to destroy rather than cease. 

מִחוּץ֙ תְּשַׁכֶּל־חֶ֔רֶב וּמֵחֲדָרִ֖ים אֵימָ֑ה
גַּם־בָּחוּר֙ גַּם־בְּתוּלָ֔ה יוֹנֵ֖ק עִם־אִ֥ישׁ שֵׂיבָֽה ס
25 From the streets, the bereavement of the sword, and from rooms within, horror,
both youths in their prime and virgins suckling with the grey-haired.
ch mkux twcl-krb umkdrim aimh
gm-bkur gm-btulh ionq ym-aiw wibh s
m/kvx t/wcl krb vm/kdr\im aim\h
gm bkr gm btvlh iv/nq ym aiw wib\h
אָמַ֖רְתִּי אַפְאֵיהֶ֑ם
אַשְׁבִּ֥יתָה מֵאֱנ֖וֹשׁ זִכְרָֽם ס
26 I said, I will quarter them.
I will eradicate from among mortals their remembrance,
cv amrti apaihm
awbith manow zcrm s
amr\ti a/pah\m
a/wbt\h m/anvw zcr\m
לוּלֵ֗י כַּ֤עַס אוֹיֵב֙ אָג֔וּר פֶּֽן־יְנַכְּר֖וּ צָרֵ֑ימוֹ
פֶּן־יֹֽאמְרוּ֙ יָדֵ֣ינוּ רָ֔מָה וְלֹ֥א יְהוָ֖ה פָּעַ֥ל כָּל־זֹֽאת ס
27 Were it not the grief of the enemy, that I stood in awe of,
lest their foes recognize, lest they say, Our hand is high, and Yahweh has not worked all this.
cz luli cys aoib agur pn-incru xrimo
pn-iamru idinu rmh vla ihvh pyl cl-zat s
lvl\i cys ab a/gvr pn i/ncr\v xr\imv
pn i/amr\v id\inv rm\h v/la ihvh pyl cl zat

#Psalmtweet #Psalter 111:5

 Psalm 111 is the first of a pair of acrostics to celebrate Psalm 110. 


טֶ֭רֶף נָתַ֣ן לִֽירֵאָ֑יו
יִזְכֹּ֖ר לְעוֹלָ֣ם בְּרִיתֽוֹ
5 ♪g To those who fear him he gives prey,
Yea, he remembers forever his covenant.
h 'trf ntn liraiv
izcor lyolm brito
'trp ntn l/ira\iv
i/zcr l/yvlm brit\v

The poet requires a first letter tet, that oddball second 't' in the Hebrew script, the only SimHebrew letter that requires an escape character.

English translations incorrectly search for meaning. That is such a mean thing to do. It reduces everything to a minimal shape and sound. 

For the role of this psalm see further here.

Tuesday 19 December 2023

#Moses, #Psalmtweet Deuteronomy 32:22-24

Deuteronomy 32:22-24

כִּי־אֵשׁ֙ קָדְחָ֣ה בְאַפִּ֔י וַתִּיקַ֖ד עַד־שְׁא֣וֹל תַּחְתִּ֑ית
וַתֹּ֤אכַל אֶ֙רֶץ֙ וִֽיבֻלָ֔הּ וַתְּלַהֵ֖ט מוֹסְדֵ֥י הָרִֽים ס
22 For fire is incandescent in my anger and is a burning mass to the lowest grave,
and it devours earth and her produce and will blaze the foundations of the hills.
cb ci-aw qdkh bapi vtiqd yd-waol tktit
vtacl arx vibulh vtlh't mosdi hrim s
ci aw qdk\h b/ap\i vt/iqd yd wavl tkt\it
vt/acl arx v/ibl\h vt/lh't mv/sd\i hr\im
אַסְפֶּ֥ה עָלֵ֖ימוֹ רָע֑וֹת
חִצַּ֖י אֲכַלֶּה־בָּֽם ס
23 I will snatch away over them, evils.
My arrows I will consume in them.
cg asph ylimo ryot
kixii aclh-bm s
a/sph yl\imv ry\vt
kx\i a/clh b\m
מְזֵ֥י רָעָ֛ב וּלְחֻ֥מֵי רֶ֖שֶׁף וְקֶ֣טֶב מְרִירִ֑י
וְשֶׁן־בְּהֵמוֹת֙ אֲשַׁלַּח־בָּ֔ם עִם־חֲמַ֖ת זֹחֲלֵ֥י עָפָֽר ס
24 Gaunt of famine and battling fire-brands and bitter canker,
and the tooth of the beasts I will send among them with the poison of perturbing dust.
cd mzi ryb ulkumi rwf vq'tb mriri
vwn-bhmot awlk-bm ym-kmt zokli ypr s
mz\i ryb v/lkm\i rwp v/q'tb mrr\i
v/wn bhm\vt a/wlk b\m ym km\t zkl\i ypr

This is a grieving song. I think the fossil fuel industry should take note. Fire is frequent in the psalms, e.g. Psalm 80. Psalm 91:6 mentions the canker, a rare word. Psalms and Deuteronomy account for 2 of the 4 instances. And of course, the story psalm, 78, follows every step of Deuteronomy 32.

Psalm 50 reflects a similar thought to this passage:
יָ֤בֹ֥א אֱלֹהֵ֗ינוּ וְֽאַל־יֶ֫חֱרַ֥שׁ
אֵשׁ־לְפָנָ֥יו תֹּאכֵ֑ל
וּ֝סְבִיבָ֗יו נִשְׂעֲרָ֥ה מְאֹֽד
3 ♪C Our God comes and will not keep silence.
Fire from his presence will devour,
and surrounding him much sweeping.
g iboa alohinu val-ikrw
aw-lpniv tacl
usbibiv nwyrh maod
i/ba alh\inv v/al i/krw
aw l/pn\iv t/acl
v/sbb\iv n/wyr\h mad

#Psalmtweet #Psalter 110:1

 This is the first of eight consecutive psalms that support my oratorio, Unleashing Leviathan. Score is here.

Remember the only other oracle in the Psalter: Psalm 36

לְדָוִ֗ד מִ֫זְמ֥וֹר
נְאֻ֤ם יְהוָ֨ה ׀ לַֽאדֹנִ֗י שֵׁ֥ב לִֽימִינִ֑י
עַד־אָשִׁ֥ית אֹ֝יְבֶ֗יךָ הֲדֹ֣ם לְרַגְלֶֽיךָ
1 Of David a psalm,
an oracle of Yahweh to my Lord. Sit at my right hand,
till I set your enemies as your footstool.
a ldvid mzmor
naum ihvh ladoni wb limini
yd-awit aoibiç hdom lrgliç
l/dvd m/zmr
nam ihvh l/adn\i wb l/imn\i
yd a/wit aib\ic hdm l/rgl\ic

This is the psalm that closes Day one of Unleashing Leviathan.
The lines lend themselves to a chorale treatment.
For further description of this psalm, see here.

Monday 18 December 2023

#Moses, #Psalmtweet Deuteronomy 32:19-21

Deuteronomy 32:19-21
Notice the pathos -- grief and jealousy. It is the principle of consequences. Humans are ultimately responsible for their acts. The chosen is a blunt example, not a paragon. There are exceptions also in the characters in Scripture from all tribes and peoples and nations.

Generation is used in the psalms 60 times, more often than all of Torah combined. The breakdown is 8 times in book 1, 9 in book 2, 18 times in book 3, 13 times in book 4, and 12 in book 5.  Note particularly Psalm 90:1, the Prayer of Moses, Yahweh as a habitation, and Psalm 95:10 on the straying of the people, 100:5 on the faithfulness of Yahweh. How is it that Yahweh is a faithful habitation yet spurns from grief his children?

וַיַּ֥רְא יְהוָ֖ה וַיִּנְאָ֑ץ
מִכַּ֥עַס בָּנָ֖יו וּבְנֹתָֽיו ס
19 And Yahweh saw, and he is spurning,
from grief his sons and his daughters.
i't vira ihvh vinax
mcys bniv ubnotiv s
vi/ra ihvh vi/nax
m/cys bn\iv v/bn\tiv
וַיֹּ֗אמֶר אַסְתִּ֤ירָה פָנַי֙ מֵהֶ֔ם אֶרְאֶ֖ה מָ֣ה אַחֲרִיתָ֑ם
כִּ֣י ד֤וֹר תַּהְפֻּכֹת֙ הֵ֔מָּה בָּנִ֖ים לֹא־אֵמֻ֥ן בָּֽם ס
20 And he said, I will hide my face from them. I see what their aftermath will be,
for a wayward generation they are, children without faithfulness in them.
c viamr astirh pnii mhm arah mh akritm
ci dor thpucot hmh bnim la-amun bm s
vi/amr a/str\h pn\i m/hm a/rah mh akr\itm
ci dvr t/hpc\t hm\h bn\im la amn b\m
הֵ֚ם קִנְא֣וּנִי בְלֹא־אֵ֔ל כִּעֲס֖וּנִי בְּהַבְלֵיהֶ֑ם
וַאֲנִי֙ אַקְנִיאֵ֣ם בְּלֹא־עָ֔ם בְּג֥וֹי נָבָ֖ל אַכְעִיסֵֽם ס
21 ♪C They have made me jealous with not god. They have grieved me in their futility.
And I, I will make them jealous with not a people, with a senseless nation I will grieve them.
ca hm qinauni bla-al ciysuni bhblihm
vani aqniam bla-ym bgoi nbl acyism s
hm qna\vni bl\a al cys\vni b/hbl\ihm
v/ani a/qn\iam bl\a ym b/gvi nbl a/cys\m

ChatGPT and the Hebrew Scriptures

 As you may know, I have been working on Deuteronomy 32 and its relationship to the psalms. I thought you might enjoy my question on verse 39. I have been using my own software and will verify the following, but the bot has answered well at first sight.

You (I.e. me)
I am impressed by the statement in Deuteronomy 32:39. Where else do we find this idea in the Hebrew Scriptures?


The concept expressed in Deuteronomy 32:39 can indeed be found in various other passages throughout the Hebrew Scriptures that emphasize the sovereignty and unique power of God. This verse in Deuteronomy 32 is part of the Song of Moses, which highlights God's control over life and death, emphasizing His authority as the only true God. The verse states:

"See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand." (Deuteronomy 32:39 ESV)

Similar themes emphasizing God's sole authority over life and death and His unrivaled power are present in several other passages in the Hebrew Scriptures:

Isaiah 45:5-7: In this passage, God declares His supremacy, stating that He is the only God, and there is none besides Him. He affirms His role as the Creator and declares that He forms light and creates darkness, makes peace, and creates calamity.

1 Samuel 2:6-7: Hannah's prayer acknowledges God's authority over life and death, emphasizing that the Lord kills and brings to life, brings down to Sheol and raises up. It echoes the sentiment found in Deuteronomy 32:39.

Job 1:21: Job's famous words after experiencing significant loss affirm God's sovereignty over life and death, saying, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord."

Psalm 68:20: [WLC 21] The psalmist praises God, acknowledging that God is the God of salvation and that to the Lord belong deliverances from death.

Psalm 139:16: This psalm emphasizes God's intimate knowledge of individuals and their destinies, stating that all the days ordained for a person were written in God's book before one of them came to be.

These passages, among others, reiterate the central theme found in Deuteronomy 32:39, emphasizing God's supreme authority over life and death, His power to bring judgment and deliverance, and His unrivaled sovereignty as the one true God.

#Psalmtweet #Psalter 109:4

 This psalm begins a sequence that does not end until psalm 119.

Very subdued music - no mid verse rest either

תַּֽחַת־אַהֲבָתִ֥י יִשְׂטְנ֗וּנִי וַאֲנִ֥י תְפִלָּֽה 4 Under the guise of my love they are my accusers. But I, I am a prayer.
d tkt-ahbti iw'tnuni vani tpilh 16
tkt ahb\ti i/w'tn\vni v/ani t/pl\h

Do you dare to read this psalm? Throughout the psalter, we read of the triumph of Yahweh, of Yahweh as king. Do we imagine Yahweh rules as an oligarch? As one who demands protection money and has a mafia-like network of friends?

Psalm 109:1-6 A prayer for justice against evil

לַ֭מְנַצֵּחַ לְדָוִ֣ד מִזְמ֑וֹר
אֱלֹהֵ֥י תְ֝הִלָּתִ֗י אַֽל־תֶּחֱרַֽשׁ
1 ♪g For the leader, of David a psalm.

God of my praise do not be silent.
a lmnxk ldvid mzmor
alohi thilti al-tkrw
lm/nxk l/dvd m/zmr
alh\i t/hl\ti al t/krw
כִּ֤י פִ֪י רָשָׁ֡ע וּֽפִי־מִ֭רְמָה עָלַ֣י פָּתָ֑חוּ
דִּבְּר֥וּ אִ֝תִּ֗י לְשׁ֣וֹן שָֽׁקֶר
2 ♪C For the mouth of a criminal and the mouth of deceit are open over me.
They speak to me with a false tongue.
b ci pi rwy upi-mrmh ylii ptku
dibru aiti lwon wqr
ci p\i rwy v/p\i m/rmh yl\i ptk\v
dbr\v at\i lwvn wqr
וְדִבְרֵ֣י שִׂנְאָ֣ה סְבָב֑וּנִי
וַיִּֽלָּחֲמ֥וּנִי חִנָּֽם
3 With hate-speech they surround me,
and they battle me for nothing.

g vdbri wnah sbbuni
viilkmuni kinm
v/dbr\i wna\h sbb\vni
vi/lkm\vni knm
תַּֽחַת־אַהֲבָתִ֥י יִשְׂטְנ֗וּנִי וַאֲנִ֥י תְפִלָּֽה 4 Under the guise of my love they are my accusers. But I, I am a prayer.
d tkt-ahbti iw'tnuni vani tpilh 16
tkt ahb\ti i/w'tn\vni v/ani t/pl\h
וַיָּ֘שִׂ֤ימוּ עָלַ֣י רָ֭עָה תַּ֣חַת טוֹבָ֑ה
וְ֝שִׂנְאָ֗ה תַּ֣חַת אַהֲבָתִֽי
5 And they set up evil for me under the guise of good,
and hatred under the guise of my love.

h viwimu ylii ryh tkt 'tobh
vwnah tkt ahbti
vi/wim\v yl\i ry\h tkt 'tvb\h
v/wna\h tkt ahb\ti
הַפְקֵ֣ד עָלָ֣יו רָשָׁ֑ע
וְ֝שָׂטָ֗ן יַעֲמֹ֥ד עַל־יְמִינֽוֹ
6 Make a criminal officiate over him,
and let the accuser stand at his right hand.
v hpqd yliv rwy
vw'tn iymod yl-imino
h/pqd yl\iv rwy
v/w'tn i/ymd yl imn\v

May the collective conscience of humanity, through the international criminal court, realize the difference between good and evil, between life and death, and choose the good, for the sake of the oppressed and the victim, and the people impoverished by those who seek power. 

Sunday 17 December 2023

#Moses, #Psalmtweet Deuteronomy 32:16-18

It would have been much easier not to have done the English underlay - but it is the best way of proving the usability of the translation for the music.
Deuteronomy 32:16-18
Sweep is an odd gloss. I wonder where I got that one from. O for the time to annotate every translation decision! The word is rare, used twice in the psalms 50:3 and 58:10(9). There was much overlap of English synonyms in the domain of storminess in English translations, making it impossible to discern the soundscape of the Hebrew. This was part of my combing of the hair of traditional translations, a root glossed as stormy, whirlwind, in the domain of Destroy (see under wyr). These are words I refused to use for more than one Hebrew stem. Perhaps we should capitalize it as a unique name of God -- the Sweeper.

Again in this passage we see jealous, a word used 7 times in the Psalms, reflecting the grief of God. Notice how the music of verse 18 begins on the second note of the scale. This signals that the verse is connected to the previous one. Abomination (tyb) is a favorite word in this fifth of the books of Moses. It is also one that occurs 7 times in the Psalms. 

Reading the psalms helps one to read Torah -- that is why they are called both a key to Torah, and also the Torah of David (though it is clear that they tell a story that goes well beyond David's authorship).

The phrase new coming from within seems remarkably psychological. Maybe that's my 20th century bias coming out. I should add some syllables there - perhaps new things.

יַקְנִאֻ֖הוּ בְּזָרִ֑ים
בְּתוֹעֵבֹ֖ת יַכְעִיסֻֽהוּ ס
16 They made him jealous with strangers,
with abominations they grieved him.
'tz iqniauhu bzrim
btoybot icyisuhu s
i/qna\hv b/zr\im
b/tvyb\t i/cys\hv
יִזְבְּח֗וּ לַשֵּׁדִים֙ לֹ֣א אֱלֹ֔הַ אֱלֹהִ֖ים לֹ֣א יְדָע֑וּם
חֲדָשִׁים֙ מִקָּרֹ֣ב בָּ֔אוּ לֹ֥א שְׂעָר֖וּם אֲבֹתֵיכֶֽם ס
17 They offered to demons, not God, gods they did not know,
new coming from within, not the sweep of your ancestors.
iz izbku lwdim la aloh alohim la idyum
kdwim mqrob bau la wyrum aboticm s
i/zbk\v l/wd\im la alh alh\im la idy\vm
kdw\im m/qrb ba\v la wyr\vm ab\ticm
צ֥וּר יְלָדְךָ֖ תֶּ֑שִׁי
וַתִּשְׁכַּ֖ח אֵ֥ל מְחֹלְלֶֽךָ ס
18 ♪f Of the Rock that begot you, you were unmindful,
and you forgot God who birthed you.
ik xur ildç twi
vtwck al mkollç s
xvr ild\c t/wi
vt/wck al m/kl\lc

#Psalmtweet #Psalter 108:3 57:9

 Wake up call

This psalm repeats two earlier psalms: 57 and 60
ע֭וּרָֽה הַנֵּ֥בֶל וְכִנּ֗וֹר אָעִ֥ירָה שָּֽׁחַר 3 ♪g Be roused O lute and harp. I will rouse the dawn.
g yurh hnbl vcinor ayirh wkr 13
yvr\h h/nbl v/cnr a/yir\h wkr

Comparing the music is instructive. Here is 57:9

More words, but the second statement is identical music to the first

Comparisons of accent sequences were never this easy. Once you have the music, the ear and the eye can manage the comparison.

ע֤וּרָה כְבוֹדִ֗י ע֭וּרָֽה הַנֵּ֥בֶל וְכִנּ֗וֹר אָעִ֥ירָה שָּֽׁחַר 9 ♪C Be roused my glory. Be roused O lute and harp. I will rouse the dawn.

't yurh cbodi yurh hnbl vcinor ayirh wkr 18
yvr\h cbvd\i yvr\h h/nbl v/cnr a/yir\h wkr