Thursday, June 19, 2008

Psalm 1 / 2 (again)

Minor updates - to agree with the matching sounds in Psalms 3,4,5.
To live in hope - this I am doing. That I might translate psalm 1, 2 and 149 - actually - not so much 'translate' as suggest one of many templates for such a set of acts...

See what you think - first psalm 1.

Happy is the one who has not walked
in the advice of the wicked
and in the way of sinners
has not stood
and in the seat of the scornful
has not sat

in this case: such delight in the teaching of יְהוָה
and in this teaching meditating day and night
So that one will be like a tree transplanted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its time
and its leaf does not wither
and in all that it does, it prospers

Not so the-many wicked
in this case: like chaff that blows in the wind

Therefore they will not arise - the wicked
in the judgment
nor sinners in the congregation of the-equally-many righteous
For יְהוָה knows the way of those righteous
but the way of those wicked will perish

Closely followed by Psalm 2

What is this turmoil in the-many nations?
and the-many tribes meditating on empty?
They set themselves - these kinglets of earth
these rule-makers reasoning as one
against יְהוָה and against his anointed

Let us break their monopoly
and kiss good-bye to their cartel

The one sitting in the heavens - he laughs
The anointed Lord shares in the ridicule
Then he will speak to them too - confrontation
and trouble them face to face

I myself have set that one - my own king in Zion, my holy hill
I will show you the determination of יְהוָה
saying to me - you are my son
This day I gave birth to you
Ask me and I give - those many nations as your legacy
and the extremities of the earth as yours to keep
you will injure them - with durable strength
smashed pots, O Potter, is their preservation

So kinglets all, be wise
be warned you many who make earthly judgments
pay attention to יְהוָה - tremble in joy
kiss hello to purity
for he will face you and you will perish
completed in a moment his act of destruction

Happy! the many who find this protection

This opening bracket cannot stand without its close in Psalm 149

Praise יְהוָה
Sing to יְהוָה a new song
Praise among the many under protection
Let Israel be glad in that one who made him
the children of Zion joy in their king
Let them praise his name in a dance
with drum and harp let them hymn him

for pleased is יְהוָה with that people
beautifying the poor with victory
Joy for the many under protection in glory
singing on their beds
exaltations of God in their voice
a sword of many mouths in their hand

taking vengeance on the many nations
and corrections for the peoples
a monopoly on binding kinglets
these glorious ones with durable cartel
to make for them judgment inscribed
honour for all
under such protection

Praise יְהוָה

Here is the model of the verbal relations I have sought to preserve. There is a deliberate abstraction in the one, and the many of both types - wicked and righteous. It appears to me that the one announced in Psalm 1 is the model for the many who come into the covenant (here rendered protection). I am not sure if I can get away with my singular plural game - their hand, their voice, their beds. [Note this further comment here on structural bias.]

update: I must have been on something when I first translated Psalm 2:9!


J. K. Gayle said...

This is masterful, Bob! Especially compelling is the model of the verbal relations. How is it that there are the connections in Psalms with Joshua 1? Some of this starts to look like the tag clouds of some bloggers, and I think now is doing this with certain books. But the connections you make, the patterns you show, are really masterful! Do the NT writers get these in their quotations of the Psalms? Do the LXX translators?

Bob MacDonald said...

Thank you for the encouragement. I am finding it gets more and more difficult. But I will work slowly and I think some things will emerge that I cannot see clearly yet.