Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Psalm 22

Here is the ultimate positive and negative in one song to the hart of the dawn. Psalm 22 presents a different challenge from the acrostics. The traditional is so familiar one can scarcely avoid it. So I looked at the Greek - it is right away so different!
My God, my God, attend me; why did you forsake me?
The words of my trespasses keep me far from my salvation(!)
And in verse 30, the Greek is again very different.
καὶ ἡ ψυχή μου αὐτῷ ζῇ - and my soul lives for him (NETS).
וְנַפְשׁוֹ לֹא חִיָּה - even he that cannot keep his soul alive (JPS 1917).
I offer a different translation below based on identifying the 'his' with the 'my' of verse 1. What do you think?

Also to note verse 17 (a crux - I have followed John Hobbins note - see here) and 30 (see this text critical note again from JH here). This verse is equivalent but odd in both Greek and Hebrew:
All the fat ones of the earth will eat and worship (JPS)
To him shall all the proud of the earth bow down (RSV)
(Masoretic )אָכְלוּ וַיִּשְׁתַּחֲווּ כָּל-דִּשְׁנֵי-אֶרֶץ
(Amended )אַך לוֹ יִשְׁתַּחֲוּוּ כָּל-יְשֵׁנֵי-אֶרֶץ
All who sleep in the earth will worship in his presence
For the leader to the hart of the dawn, A Psalm of David
My God, My God, why have you abandoned me?
so distant from my salvation are the words of my groaning
My God, I call by day and you do not answer
and by night and there is no rest for me

But you are holy
seated on the praises of Israel
In you our fathers trusted
They trusted and you delivered them
To you they cried and you rescued them
In you they trusted and were not ashamed

But I am a worm and no man
a reproach of humanity and despised of the people
All who look will deride me
They purse their lips
They toss their head
Roll with  יְהוָה
He will deliver him
Let him snatch him away
for he delights in him

For you took me from a belly
giving me trust on the breasts of my mother
On you I was cast from a womb
From my mother's belly you are my God
Do not be distant from me for trouble is near
for there is no help

Many bulls circled me
The valiant of Bashan surrounded me
They gape at me
their mouths a lion tearing and roaring
Like water I am poured out
and all my bones are separated
My heart is like wax melted in the midst of my loins
My strength is dried up like a potsherd
and my tongue cleaves to my jaws
and you will bring me into the dust of death

For dogs circled me
An assembly of evildoers enclosed me
They gouge my hands and my feet
I will tell all my bones
They gape and stare at me
They part my clothing among them
and for my garment they cast lots

But you, יְהוָה, be not distant
Hurry, my hart, to my help
Snatch my being away from the sword
my uniqueness away from the dog's power
Save me from the lion's mouth

from the horns of wild bulls you have answered me
I will declare your name to my kin
In the midst of the congregation I will praise you
You who fear יְהוָה praise him
All the seed of Jacob glorify him
and stand in awe of him all the seed of Israel
For he has not despised nor detested the affliction of the afflicted
and he has not concealed his presence from him
but when he cried for help to him he heard him

From you is my praise in the great congregation
My vows I will pay before those who fear him
The poor will eat and be satisfied
Those who seek יְהוָה will praise him
May your heart live for ever

All the ends of the earth will remember and will turn to יְהוָה
All the tribes of the nations will worship in your presence
for to יְהוָה is the kingdom and he governs in the nations
All who sleep in the earth will worship in his presence
All who go down to the dust will bow
for his being he could not keep alive

A seed will serve him
It will be recounted of the Lord for a generation
They will come and will tell his righteousness to a people to be born
for he has done it

(Note v30 for his being he could not keep alive - i.e. no one else but God could have restored his life. The antecedent of his is the singular man of verse 1.)

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