Thursday, September 04, 2008

Miscellany, gears stuck or slipping

I have not found my lists very revealing yet. If I laid them out and coloured a bit, maybe - but I am still looking for a better algorithm and better search strategies.

I experimented with a few lexemes that I can see that are low-usage forms in the first and last psalms in the Psalter. What I see is that the low usage forms are high usage roots so this approach will not bear fruit on a word by word level. Again occurrence frequency in the Psalter is in parentheses.

אבד - perish is used about 27 times in the psalter - 4 in these groups of psalms 1-2, 3-6, 140-143, 149.
Psalm --1: תאבד - T)BD shall perish(5)
Psalm --5: תאבד - T)BD You will destroy(5)
Psalm 142: אבד - )BD failed(4)
Psalm 143: והאבדת - VH)BDT destroy(1)

בוא - enter, come, go is used about 30 times - twice here
Psalm --5: אבוא - )BV) will enter(6)
Psalm 143: תבוא - TBV) and do not go(9)

אבין and עני - poor or needy - about 50 occurrences - only one here
Psalm 140: אבינים - )BYNYM the poor(1)
Psalm 140: עני - `NY the plea of the afflicted(21)

So much for this approach for the time being.

Thanks to Richard I am reading a bit of von Rad. What do you think of this:
The statement, "The land belongs to me; you are guests and sojourners with me" is extremely ancient, and underlies the whole law of land tenure in the Old Testament. Nevertheless it does not depend upon the doctrine of creation, but rests on belief in a historical act of grace on God's part. Nor does it lead to a doctrine of creation, since so far as one can see it is quite unrelated to it.
What does extremely mean in this context? But adjectives aside, that last sentence adds nothing to his reasoning. The sense that the land is unrelated to a doctrine (the doctrine?) of creation is not one that I would have raised but having raised it, why wouldn't God say - I made this, it is mine, and you are guests? Seems fair to me.

Now look at Leviticus 25:23 כִּי-לִי הָאָרֶץ: כִּי-גֵרִים וְתוֹשָׁבִים אַתֶּם עִמָּדִי - for to me is the land / the earth - for strangers and settlers are you-all - with me. We are surrounded by God's self reference and God's prepositions - nice!

Do the psalms have a doctrine of creation? If 226 references to heaven or earth count. Not to mention the 5 psalms in book 5 that specifically name the one who made heaven and earth (115, 121, 124, 134, 146). Of course I am not following the documentary hypothesis in these thoughts - but is it logical? Von Rad writes God as I did but these passages are all about יְהוָה for there in Leviticus is written: כִּי אֲנִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם for I am the Lord your God. So I would say that one could derive a doctrine of creation from the psalms as well as a doctrine of redemption or grace and election.

I will read the essay again... Maybe I will grasp more of the reasoning.

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