Wednesday, September 05, 2007

More on Psalm 68

I have attempted to massage the psalm according to the prosodic general rule. You can see it here. I hope you will agree that the stress-units, versets, lines and strophes are viewable. By painting the Hebrew and English differently instead of as a mirror, I think I have allowed some viewing of both internal and external structures together.

I have altered some parts of the translation from the raw word for word which the draft represented. I have sometimes used normal English word order and I have allowed the jussive to replace the indicative as suggested by John and most of the translations I have seen. I have no compunction about praying in this fashion - let your requests be made known.... Equally, I am always aware that salvation must be the result for the enemies I have created if it is to be for me as rebellious (I fit verse 22 - you cannot escape these psalms). Our salvation requires that we be conformed to the scattering of our pretensions by the exaltation of Christ on the cross and at the right hand of the Holy. There is nothing better that I can desire for my enemies.

My results:
section 1: 1-11, 3 stanzas, 3, 3, and 2 strophes, 11 lines.

section 2: 12-26, 3 stanzas 2, 2, and 3 strophes, 15 lines.

section 3: 27 to 36, 2 stanzas, 3 and 2 strophes, 12 lines - the last very short, only one verset.

John counted 52 lines - so I must have put some 2's into 3's. He also did not split the sections where I did.

(The computer counted a total of 310 words including the inscription. My section word counts appear to be 88, 124, and 90. Section 1 and 3 are equal in length apart from the 2 word final verset.)

God's chariot is in the centre of each section. Emphasis in section 1 is on presence (faces). Section 2 has the rare language of wounding - מחץ - (machats). The same rare word for wound is twice in Psalm 110 (5,6). (Deuteronomy 32:39 is particularly instructive - approaching as it does the for us central issue of theodicy. I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither [is there any] that can deliver out of my hand.) Section 3 is bound by the word bless, and has an emphasis on strength.

I searched out a number of commentaries last night and will report a few of them later. If I were looking for unity, which some of the commentaries deny, I would want to be convinced based on the inclusios and emphases in the text. The prosodic structure might also provide confirmation.

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