Saturday, September 27, 2008

Psalm 87 - Rahab

Of the children of Korah
A Psalm, A song
His foundation is on the holy hills
יְהוָה loves the gates of Zion
among all the dwellings of Jacob
Glorious things are spoken in you, the city of God
I will remember monster and confusion
to those who know me
and here is the stranger and the hard-nosed with the children of Ham
This one was born there

And of Zion it will be said
This one and that one were born here
And the Most High will establish her
יְהוָה counts when he records the peoples
This one was born there
So it is for the singers and the profane alike
All my springs are in you

Notes: since in the last verse, the verb XLL is not piel, I have translated the verb as profane rather than player. I have played the psalm as a riddle - so monster (Rahab), confusion (Babel) and the stranger (Philistia), the hard-nosed (Tyre=rock) and the children of Ham (Cush/Ethiopia) - are chosen for their contrast - as if such Gentiles could ever penetrate the mystery of the Holy Hills of Zion.

1 comment:

J. K. Gayle said...

Surrounded by the Holy, by the hills: the profane, the Gentiles. You get us "seeing" this in the arrangement not only of the last line but in the three sets of lines before it. Terrifyingly terrific. (What a way to become an "insider"--to find and to be found within awesome, Zion). Bravo.