Saturday, August 25, 2007

Psalm 19 and the works of the Lord

John has written a translation of Psalm 19 which with the wisdom of his general rule of prosodic structure I hope to reveal further.

The Psalm has an obvious relationship to Psalms 1 and 119 but it also has a surprising relationship to Galatians (for me) in view of the two phrases of Paul that we traditionally interpret negatively and a third that is revealed by Psalm 19. The negatives have been slightly reframed by my reviews of Frymer-Kensky in which I note how Rav Simlai's interpretation of Habbakuk 2:4

perhaps sheds light on some of the polemics of Paul that should be seen as positive towards Jewish tradition: e.g. that if a Gentile is circumcised, he is obligated to keep all the Torah (Galatians 5:3). Also the issue of completing in the flesh what was begun in the spirit (Galatians 3:3).
Psalm 19 has a surprising relationship with Galatians 3:10-14. Bear with the chasm that my motorcycle has just jumped - I think it will become clearer that there is a bridge. I could not have picked a more contentious phrase to associate with Psalm 19. Let the thinking begin. After a full exploration of both prosodic structure and internal structure set up between the glory of God, the works of his hands, and the love of Torah in the second part of the Psalm, we will be able to better consider the potential for reframing the polemics of Paul - not that they are not contentious - but let's get the real contention out on the table - and in this case it is both an operating table and an altar of sacrifice.

The following image shows why prosodic structure alone is not sufficient as a means to the end of translation.

Catching the centre point of the Hebrew will be difficult in English because of word order - subject verb predicate - but it must be done.

How about

The heavens declare the glory of God,
the work of his hands, revealed by the firmament.

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