Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Post # 500 - trying to remember...

I took away with me to Alaska and on the south-bound cruise to Vancouver two 'work'-like things -
  1. the Summer edition of JBL in which I read several articles. I very much enjoyed 'The Tale of an Unrighteous Slave' by Fabian Udoh  - a striking review of the parable of the unjust steward, and 'The Jewish Messiahs, the Pauline Christ, and the Gentile Question', by Matthew Novenson. This article was an almost direct anwser to some of my meandering questions on the meaning of Anointed. 
  2. my old diagram of Psalm 1, 2 and 149 - just to keep in practice for reading and translation. Without any props or reference grammars, I found my three-year old brain confused over the pronomial suffixes of Psalm 2. Why is the translation not like this?
Let us break his bonds asunder and cast away his cords from us.
ננתקה את־מוסרותימו ונשליכה ממנו עבתימו

The suffix is a vav - meaning his. It is not a 'hem' meaning theirs. My grammar would not go with me in my head - so now I am back and searching Lambdin - and nowhere can I find a 'them' or 'their' where the word ends in a vav. Similarly in Putnam - a final vav (except for 1st person plural final nun-vav) is always his - never their. What am I failing to remember and failing to see?

Psalm 2 was an early psalm for me - and even a second time through, my familiarity with traditional translations and carefree nature as regards grammar prevented me from seeing this funny problem.


parkersmood said...

Hello Bob,

This is sort of a random piece of grammar. According to GKC §58.g, §91.l,מוֹ is a 3mp suffix, rarely attested (but present is later poetic books).
Hope that helps!

Bob MacDonald said...

Thanks very much Adam - I thought it might be a rare poetic usage. So my question can raise the 'why' of poetry as an excuse for exceptions.

parkersmood said...

Glad that helped! I guess the diagnostic to look for is the mem before the vav as a suffix.

Poetry is always a good excuse!

I did a quick search and it only shows up about 30 or so times.

Kris said...

Hey Bob,

I agree with Adam, only I would also cite the following: Angel Sáenz-Badillos, A History of the Hebrew Language, translated by John Elwolde (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 57.

It is an archaic pronominal 3mp suffix.

This is my first time on your blog. I LOVE the psalms (and am working on ps 103 right now).

I'm interested in the way you "translate." What's up with that? Can you explain a bit?


Bob MacDonald said...

Hi Kris - thanks for the comments. The Psalms was my first attempt to read Hebrew. It was diving in at the deep end. That was 2006- Dec 2007 - a first primitive word based structural reading. Then I did a second pass in English without correcting the diagrams. I knew nothing of translation theory. My work is largely word-for-word - trying to begin to hear. My reading says for study and correction - it really means correction by whatever means - and not just correction of my translations but of me. That's how the Psalms work (for me).

Now to translation - it is to hear and to shape so that both dialogue and correction is enabled, whatever one's mother tongue. I am quite impatient with watering down the impact of poetry. I like the creative move that prepositions deliver. I like the compactness of Hebrew. I was not careful with concordance in the Psalms. I made the attempt to translate the epic mashal of Job concordantly. It is very difficult. You will find my results on the sidebar at my companion blog sufficiency. Interestingly to me, Job is the only one of the characters who has a real psalm-like prayer-dialogue with Eloah.

Late... I will respond to the other questions in place ...