Thursday, January 28, 2010

Psalm 119 - Part 11 Grammar

Kaf - reading the word backwards, I chose F for my first letter. OK? When the ancients copied the text, they were ever so careful. I copy and paste in so many ways words, letters, paragraphs, tables, and in various technologies some of which pretend to be able to distinguish their left from their right hands, and I am careful - but I sometimes misplace whole words. They slip between the splices of the html tags. If you see a missing word, it is probably not there :-)

Faints my being in your salvation
I have hoped in your word
כָּלְתָה לִתְשׁוּעָתְךָ נַפְשִׁי
 לִדְבָרְךָ יִחָלְתִּי
Faint my eyes for your promise
saying continually when will you comfort me
כָּלוּ עֵינַי לְאִמְרָתֶךָ
לֵאמֹר מָתַי תְּנַחֲמֵנִי
For I have become like a bottle holding vapor
I have not forgotten your statutes
כִּי הָיִיתִי כְּנֹאד בְּקִיטוֹר
חֻקֶּיךָ לֹא שָׁכָחְתִּי
For how are the days of your servant
when will you do judgment against my persecutors
כַּמָּה יְמֵי עַבְדֶּךָ
מָתַי תַּעֲשֶׂה בְרֹדְפַי מִשְׁפָּט
For me those proud ones dig pits
that are not like your teaching
כָּרוּ לִי זֵדִים שִׁיחוֹת
אֲשֶׁר לֹא כְתוֹרָתֶךָ
Faithful are all your commandments
falsehood! they persecute me - help me
כָּל מִצְו‍ֹתֶיךָ אֱמוּנָה
שֶׁקֶר רְדָפוּנִי עָזְרֵנִי
For nearly they make me faint on the earth
but I myself do not forsake your precepts
כִּמְעַט כִּלּוּנִי בָאָרֶץ
וַאֲנִי לֹא עָזַבְתִּי פִקֻּדֶיךָ
For your loving kindness let me live
and I will keep the testimony of your mouth for ever
כְּחַסְדְּךָ חַיֵּנִי
וְאֶשְׁמְרָה עֵדוּת פִּיךָ
My details are less mechanical this time and more thoughtful - even defensive of my strange translation style. But I must keep up the grammatical grind - it is still surprising and it is possible to slip up!
kaltahכָּלְתָהFaintsAnticipating the role of taf in forming a bridge between awkward words and enclitics, the taf here introduces the third person feminine ending (agreeing with the subject 'my being/soul'). The ה is not part of the root כלה in this case but the third person feminine suffix.
litshvu`atkaלִתְשׁוּעָתְךָfor/in? your salvationin rather than for - prepositions are weird, stretchable, flexible and often ignored. What am I fainting for? Is the לִ to, of, in, on account of, or what? Is it possessed or desired? Do we know that? (to might work here and below)
nàpshyנַפְשִׁיmy beingsoul is a lovely word but it is not immaterial - it is the full bodily life of the poet/reader/you/me
lidbarkaלִדְבָרְךָIn your wordLook at that - there's that לִ and I seem to have made it ='in' again! Well = is too strong. Belonging might be better - which is why I like 'in' in these cases
yixaltyיִחָלְתִּיI have hoped
kalvuכָּלוּFaintthey faint - subject to follow
`éynàyעֵינַיmy eyesPlural? could you tell the difference between plural and singular when there is a first person possessive pronoun?
l)imratekaלְאִמְרָתֶךָfor your promisethe active taf again forming an easy to say link with the suffix
lé)morלֵאמֹרsaying continuallynot sure why I added continually! (true enough though - pestering is part of prayer)
matàyמָתַיwhenwhere does this word comprised all of grammatical letters come from? BDB says this is always of future time.
tnàxaményתְּנַחֲמֵנִיwill you comfort meintense prayer if one sometimes wonders if there is a future...
ky hayytyכִּי הָיִיתִיfor I have become likeso the situation of the poet is revealed
kno)dכְּנֹאדa bottlehere is a lovely use of the prefixed kaf as a maker of similes
bqy+vorבְּקִיטוֹרholding vapourit's hard to get away from the bottle in the smoke of the AV!
xuqeykaחֻקֶּיךָyour statutes
shakaxtyשָׁכָחְתִּיhave I forgottennot forgetting is an adequate defense
kàmahכַּמָּהfor how areI guess it is not surprising that our playful poet would use the prefix for some of these verses (three of eight)
yméy `àbdekaיְמֵי עַבְדֶּךָthe days of your servant
tà`asehתַּעֲשֶׂהwill you dodo is awkward but ...
brodpàyבְרֹדְפַיfor my persecutorsHere is a preposition that does not mean 'for' - usually 'in' - which might be good. For if judgment has been done 'in' the poet, then this would be praying for the same benefit (learned with difficulty) for the persecutor
karvu lyכָּרוּ לִיfor me they digfor? in the sense of the depression belongs to the poet
zédymזֵדִיםthose proud ones
shyxvotשִׁיחוֹתpitsIs it too much to think that the poet gets depressed in these thoughts
)asher lo)אֲשֶׁר לֹאthat are not
ktvoratekaכְתוֹרָתֶךָlike your instruction'like' is better than the English common 'of'
kal micvoteykaכָּל מִצְו‍ֹתֶיךָall your commandments
)emvunahאֱמוּנָהfaithful arelisted as a noun, used as an adjective
sheqrשֶׁקֶרfalsehoodthere is no 'in' here - in English I find prepositions creep in almost unconsciously
rdapvunyרְדָפוּנִיthey persecute methird person plural perfect with first person pronoun as direct object
`azrényעָזְרֵנִיhelp meimperative with first person pronoun as direct object
kim`à+כִּמְעַטfor scarcely
kilvunyכִּלּוּנִיthey make me faintthird person plural piel perfect with first person pronoun as direct object
ba)arecבָאָרֶץon the earththis could be in the earth
và)any lo) `azàbtyוַאֲנִי לֹא עָזַבְתִּיbut I, I do not leaveas in the prior part, the stand-alone pronoun is used
piqudeykaפִקֻּדֶיךָyour precepts
kxàsdkaכְּחַסְדְּךָfor your loving kindness
xàyényחַיֵּנִיlet me livemany uses of the pronoun as direct object
v)eshmrahוְאֶשְׁמְרָהand I will keep
`édvutעֵדוּתthe testimony oflooks like a plural but it's the real word itself
pykaפִּיךָyour mouth
l`volamלְעוֹלָםfor ever

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Psalm 119 - Part 10 Grammar

With this post I have caught up with my letter by letter reading of Ruth.  (You will find them here  א ב ג ד ה ו ז ח ט י ) So I will return to that effort and keep the blogs in sync as far as possible.
Your hands have made me and established me
give me understanding and I will teach your commandments
יָדֶיךָ עָשׂוּנִי וַיְכוֹנְנוּנִי
הֲבִינֵנִי וְאֶלְמְדָה מִצְו‍ֹתֶיךָ

Yes - those fearing you will see me and will be glad
for I have hoped in your word
יְרֵאֶיךָ יִרְאוּנִי וְיִשְׂמָחוּ
כִּי לִדְבָרְךָ יִחָלְתִּי

Yet I know יְהוָה that your judgments are righteous
and faithfully you afflicted me
יָדַעְתִּי יְהוָה כִּי צֶדֶק מִשְׁפָּטֶיךָ
וֶאֱמוּנָה עִנִּיתָנִי

You will let, I pray, your steadfast mercy comfort me
by your promise to your servant
יְהִי נָא חַסְדְּךָ לְנַחֲמֵנִי
כְּאִמְרָתְךָ לְעַבְדֶּךָ
You will let them come to me in your tender love and I will live
for your teaching is my delight
יְבֹאוּנִי רַחֲמֶיךָ וְאֶחְיֶה
כִּי תוֹרָתְךָ שַׁעֲשֻׁעָי
Yon proud will be shamed for the deceit they dealt me
for myself, I will meditate on your precepts
יֵבֹשׁוּ זֵדִים כִּי שֶׁקֶר עִוְּתוּנִי
אֲנִי אָשִׂיחַ בְּפִקּוּדֶיךָ
You will let those who fear you turn to me
and those knowing your testimonies
יָשׁוּבוּ לִי יְרֵאֶיךָ
וְיֹדְעֵי עֵדֹתֶיךָ
Yea - let my heart be complete in your statutes
so I will not be ashamed
יְהִי לִבִּי תָמִים בְּחֻקֶּיךָ
לְמַעַן לֹא אֵבוֹשׁ
John Donne takes the opening of one of his holy sonnets from this part. I have revised all the prior parts to rework the line structure. I am thinking that all this manipulation of the cloth must teach me something but I have not yet expressed it. One thing I already knew - that I make lots of mistakes! I have corrected a few of them in this pass.

Your hands
plural noun with second person singular possessive pronoun
have made me
perfect third person plural with first person singular pronoun object
and established me
conjunction+perfect third person plural with first person singular pronoun object
give me understanding
hiphil imperative with first person singular pronoun object
and I will teach
conjunction+first person singular imperfect
your commandments
plural noun with second person singular possessive pronoun
Yes - those fearing you
it's not a participle but it feels like one with second person singular possessive pronoun
will see me
imperfect third person plural with first person singular pronoun object
and will be glad
conjunction + imperfect third person plural with first person singular pronoun object
in your word
preposition+singular noun+singular second person possessive pronoun
I have hoped
perfect first person
Yet I knew
perfect first person
yy ky cedeq
יְהוָה כִּי צֶדֶק
O LORD that righteous
proper name + conjunction (not acting as causative) introducing clause with elided copula
are your judgments
plural noun with second person singular possessive pronoun
and in faithfulness
conjunction with noun
you afflicted me
perfect second person singular with first person singular pronoun object
yhy na)
יְהִי נָא
You will let I pray
your steadfast mercy
singular noun with possessive second person pronoun
strengthen me
preposition+infinitive+singular first person pronoun as object
by your promise
preposition+singular noun+singular second person possessive pronoun
to your servant
preposition+singular noun+singular second person possessive pronoun
you will let them come to me in
jussive - third person plural imperative with singular first person pronoun as object - that's me
your tender love
singular noun+singular second person possessive pronoun
and I will live
conjunction + first person imperative
ky tvoratka
כִּי תוֹרָתְךָ
for your instruction
conjunction + singular noun+singular second person possessive pronoun
is my delight
singular noun with singular first person pronoun
let them be shamed
zédym ky sheqr
זֵדִים כִּי שֶׁקֶר
the proud for the deceit
plural noun subject of prior verb + reason!
they dealt me
third person perfect with singular first person pronoun as object
stand-alone pronoun
will meditate
first person imperfect
your precepts
plural noun with second person singular possessive pronoun
You will let turn
jussive - again third person plural imperative - equivalent form to imperfect
to me
preposition+singular first person pronoun
those who fear you
envelope with above
and knowing
preposition and this is a participle
your testimonies
plural noun with second person singular possessive pronoun
yhy liby
יְהִי לִבִּי
let my heart be
jussive+singular noun+singular first person possessive pronoun
in your statutes
preposition+plural noun with second person singular possessive pronoun
lo) )ébvosh
לֹא אֵבוֹשׁ
I will not be ashamed
negative particle + first person imperfect

Monday, January 25, 2010

Psalm 119 - Part 9 Grammar

Too well you have dealt with your servant
יְהוָה through your word
Teach me good taste and discernment
for I have believed in your commandments
Time it was I was afflicted going astray
but now I have kept your promise
Too good are you and doing good
teach me your statutes
Those proud ones smear a lie against me
with a whole heart I will observe your precepts
Their heart is gross as fat
I will delight in your teaching
`Tis good for me that I was afflicted
so I would learn your statutes
The law of your mouth is better to me
than thousands of gold and silver
טוֹב עָשִׂיתָ עִם עַבְדְּךָ
  יְהוָה כִּדְבָרֶךָ
טוּב טַעַם וָדַעַת לַמְּדֵנִי
  כִּי בְמִצְו‍ֹתֶיךָ הֶאֱמָנְתִּי
טֶרֶם אֶעֱנֶה אֲנִי שֹׁגֵג
וְעַתָּה אִמְרָתְךָ שָׁמָרְתִּי
טוֹב אַתָּה וּמֵטִיב
  לַמְּדֵנִי חֻקֶּיךָ
טָפְלוּ עָלַי שֶׁקֶר זֵדִים
  אֲנִי בְּכָל לֵב אֶצֹּר פִּקּוּדֶיךָ
טָפַשׁ כַּחֵלֶב לִבָּם
  אֲנִי תּוֹרָתְךָ שִׁעֲשָׁעְתִּי
טוֹב לִי כִי עֻנֵּיתִי
  לְמַעַן אֶלְמַד חֻקֶּיךָ
טוֹב לִי תוֹרַת פִּיךָ
  מֵאַלְפֵי זָהָב וָכָסֶף
What do you think about writing poetry like this in Hebrew? Could you improve on words beginning with ט and not use the same word in five of eight lines? But the sense of redemption is particularly strong in these verses. The poet knows personally how affliction produced unexpected positive results. One wonders, however, if good intentions and promises will have their follow-through. The acrostic seems child-like.

+vobטוֹבToo wellWell, I had to have T to begin. Tov as adverb
`asytaעָשִׂיתָyou have dealtSecond person singular perfect (if it's qal or piel I won't always mention it.)
`im `àbdkaעִם עַבְדְּךָwith your servantpreposition + singular noun with possessive pronoun
yy יְהוָהO LORDnow this is vocative but the O is not needed with a name
kidbareka כִּדְבָרֶךָthrough your wordpreposition + singular noun with possessive pronoun
+vubטוּבgoodTov as adjective
vadà`àtוָדַעַתand discernmentconjunction + noun
làmdényלַמְּדֵנִיTeach meimperative with object
bmicvoteykaבְמִצְו‍ֹתֶיךָin your commandmentspreposition + plural noun + possessive pronoun
he)emantyהֶאֱמָנְתִּיhave I believedHiphil perfect
+eremטֶרֶםtime it wastemporal adverb
)e`nehאֶעֱנֶהafflicted wasfirst person imperfect
)anyאֲנִיIfirst person stand-alone  pronoun
shogégשֹׁגֵגgoing astrayparticiple
v`àtahוְעַתָּהbut nowconjunction + time marker
)imratkaאִמְרָתְךָyour promisenoun + possessive pronoun - more to say here
shamartyשָׁמָרְתִּיI have keptfirst person perfect - corrected from an earlier error in this post
+vob )àtahטוֹב אַתָּהToo good are youTov as adjective + second person singular stand alone pronoun
vumé+ybוּמֵטִיבand doing goodTov as verb
làmdényלַמְּדֵנִיteach meimperative with first person object pronoun
xuqeykaחֻקֶּיךָyour statutesplural noun with possessive pronoun
+aplvuטָפְלוּthey smearthird person perfect
`alàyעָלַיagainst mepreposition + object pronoun
sheqrשֶׁקֶרa lienoun
zédymזֵדִיםthose proud onesplural subject of preceding verb
)anyאֲנִיIstand-alone pronoun
bkal lébבְּכָל לֵבwith full heartpreposition with adjective and noun
)ecorאֶצֹּרwill observefirst person imperfect
piqvudeykaפִּקּוּדֶיךָyour preceptsplural noun and possessive pronoun
+apàshטָפַשׁtoo grossI don't need the t here - this is a verb reflecting the state of their heart - likely not a compliment. Note the singular heart but plural pronoun.
kàxélebכַּחֵלֶבas fatcomparative preposition + adjective
libamלִבָּםtheir heartsingular noun with possessive
)anyאֲנִיIstand-alone pronoun
tvoratkaתּוֹרָתְךָin your instructionthe 'in' in English does not represent a Hebrew preposition but perhaps should be seen as part of the gloss for the verb that follows
shi`asha`tyשִׁעֲשָׁעְתִּיwill delightpilpel ? perfect with root letters slipping around and doubling! If I find a reference for this, I will post it.
+vob lyטוֹב לִי`tis good for meTov as state in verbless clause
ky `unéytyכִי עֻנֵּיתִיthat I was afflictedthe conjunction is perhaps stronger than a relative - read 'that' perhaps as 'because' - but that's why I needed the contraction for the T.
lmà`ànלְמַעַןsocoordinating conjunction - therefore / in order that. I wonder if the long conjunction instead of a vav is for scansion?
)elmàdאֶלְמַדI will learnfirst person imperfect - could be translated as modal
xuqeykaחֻקֶּיךָyour statutesplural noun with possessive pronoun
+vob lyטוֹב לִיto me better isTov as comparative in verbless clause - see the mem below
tvoràt pykaתוֹרַת פִּיךָthe law of your mouthconstruct chain
mé)àlpéyמֵאַלְפֵיthan thousands ofsignal of comparative with plural noun beginning construct chain
zahabזָהָבgoldend of another construct chain
vakasephוָכָסֶףand silverwell - not quite the end of it since both these nouns are involved as a unit in English.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Psalm 119 - Part 8 Grammar

Chosen portion, mine you are יְהוָה
I have vowed to keep your word
Craved have I your presence with all my heart
have mercy on me remembering your promise
Considered have I my ways
and I will turn my feet to your testimonies
Came quickly I did
and I would not delay to keep your commandments
Companies of the wicked robbed me
I have not ignored your teaching
Come midnight I arise to give thanks to you
for the judgments of your righteousness
Companion am I to all who fear you
and are keepers of your precepts
Covenant mercy yours, יְהוָה, has filled the earth
you will teach me your statutes
 חֶלְקִי יְהוָה
אָמַרְתִּי לִשְׁמֹר דְּבָרֶיךָ
חִלִּיתִי פָנֶיךָ בְכָל לֵב
חָנֵּנִי כְּאִמְרָתֶךָ
חִשַּׁבְתִּי דְרָכָי 
וָאָשִׁיבָה רַגְלַי אֶל עֵדֹתֶיךָ
חַשְׁתִּי וְלֹא הִתְמַהְמָהְתִּי
  לִשְׁמֹר מִצְו‍ֹתֶיךָ
חֶבְלֵי רְשָׁעִים עִוְּדֻנִי 
תּוֹרָתְךָ לֹא שָׁכָחְתִּי
חֲצוֹת לַיְלָה אָקוּם לְהוֹדוֹת לָךְ 
עַל מִשְׁפְּטֵי צִדְקֶךָ
חָבֵר אָנִי לְכָל אֲשֶׁר יְרֵאוּךָ
  וּלְשֹׁמְרֵי פִּקּוּדֶיךָ
חַסְדְּךָ יְהוָה מָלְאָה הָאָרֶץ
חֻקֶּיךָ לַמְּדֵנִי

Details - I have not filled them in with parts of speech this time - though it remains a surprising exercise.
xlqyחֶלְקִיchosen portion mineIs the poet a Levite? This first line continues the thought of the last line of zayin. I need the chosen for the first letter - it seems to fit the idea of portion whether it is I who chose or Hashem or the poet.
yyיְהוָהO LORD
)amàrtyאָמַרְתִּיI have vowedIs vow too strong?
lishmorלִשְׁמֹרto keepWhat word do I keep
dbareykaדְּבָרֶיךָyour word
xilytyחִלִּיתִיCraved I haveCraving and longing I understand and that it must be longing for an adequate object
paneykaפָנֶיךָyour presenceUsually I like face for this word - but here presence
bkal lébבְכָל לֵבwith all my heartThe longing is powerful
xanényחָנֵּנִיhave mercy on meand raises my need
k)imratekaכְּאִמְרָתֶךָremembering your promisebut promise - equivalent to the word of the zayin section - is sufficient to calm me
xishàbtyחִשַּׁבְתִּיConsidered I have
drakayדְרָכָיmy waysHow shall I a youth, according to the Bet section, consider my ways (that are by aleph - not so direct)?
va)ashybahוָאָשִׁיבָהand (will) turn(ed)should this be perfect or imperfect. I can't see this as a story line but the following perfect verb makes me pause.
ràglày )el `édoteykaרַגְלַי אֶל עֵדֹתֶיךָmy feet to your testimoniesmy feet - your testimonies
xàshtyחַשְׁתִּיcame quickly I didso quickly I nearly had an accident
vlo)וְלֹאand not
hitmàhmahtyהִתְמַהְמָהְתִּיwould I delay - this will take some explanation! It is supposedly an instance of Hithpalpel Perfect of מהה. I have read that word a few times but have not found a seconder for it in a modern grammar. (But see BDB page 554b.)

lishmorלִשְׁמֹרto keep
micvoteykaמִצְו‍ֹתֶיךָyour commandments
xbléyחֶבְלֵיCompanies ofmust be a plural construct
rsha`ymרְשָׁעִיםthe wicked
`ivudunyעִוְּדֻנִיrobbed me
tvoratkaתּוֹרָתְךָYour instruction
lo)לֹאI have not
shakaxtyשָׁכָחְתִּיignoredbut sometimes I ignore stop signs and red lights when bicycling!
xacvot làylah )aqvumחֲצוֹת לַיְלָה אָקוּםCome midnight I ariseso I sleepless work at midnight on grammar exercises
lhvodvotלְהוֹדוֹתto give thanksthankfully - psalms still happen to me!
lak `àlלָךְ עַלto you for
mishp+éyמִשְׁפְּטֵיthe judgments ofremember the righteousness in the circles of Psalm 51 - that's what the poet means
cidqkaצִדְקֶךָyour righteousness
xabérחָבֵרCompanionCompanions - where are you?
)any lkal )asherאָנִי לְכָל אֲשֶׁרam I to all who
yré)vukaיְרֵאוּךָfear you
vulshomréyוּלְשֹׁמְרֵיand are keepers of
piqvudeykaפִּקּוּדֶיךָyour precepts
xàsdkaחַסְדְּךָCovenant mercyof this there is no shortage for all my companions
yyיְהוָהyours O LORD
mal)ahמָלְאָהhas filledxsd must be feminine
ha)arecהָאָרֶץthe earth
xuqeykaחֻקֶּיךָyour statutes
làmdényלַמְּדֵנִיyou will teach meand I will learn them with such a teacher

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Psalm 119 - Part 7 Grammar

You remember a word to your servant
by which you give me hope
Yes - this my comfortable word in my trouble
for your promise gives me life
Yet the presumptuous hold me in great derision
but from your teaching I have not fallen away
Your judgments I remember
from of old יְהוָה and I comfort myself
Yang of fire grasps me
from the wicked forsaking your teaching
Yin of songs your statutes have become to me
in the house of my lifetime
Your name I have remembered in the night יְהוָה
I have kept your teaching
You are mine
because I have observed your precepts
זְכֹר דָּבָר לְעַבְדֶּךָ
  עַל אֲשֶׁר יִחַלְתָּנִי
זֹאת נֶחָמָתִי בְעָנְיִי 
כִּי אִמְרָתְךָ חִיָּתְנִי
זֵדִים הֱלִיצֻנִי עַד מְאֹד
מִתּוֹרָתְךָ לֹא נָטִיתִי
זָכַרְתִּי מִשְׁפָּטֶיךָ 
מֵעוֹלָם יְהוָה וָאֶתְנֶחָם
זַלְעָפָה אֲחָזַתְנִי 
מֵרְשָׁעִים עֹזְבֵי תּוֹרָתֶךָ
זְמִרוֹת הָיוּ לִי חֻקֶּיךָ 
בְּבֵית מְגוּרָי
זָכַרְתִּי בַלַּיְלָה שִׁמְךָ יְהוָה
וָאֶשְׁמְרָה תּוֹרָתֶךָ
זֹאת הָיְתָה לִּי 
כִּי פִקֻּדֶיךָ נָצָרְתִּי

For zayin, I chose 'Y' - that makes both parts 7 and 10 have their verses begin with Y. Not very satisfactory, but Z would be quite unpoetic for 8 verses in English. This octet focuses on teaching / instruction, traditionally rendered law, but that word is usually misunderstood in this age.

zkor dabar
זְכֹר דָּבָר
You remember a word
Imperative - the repetition of the pronoun is forced on me - but how does the poet command remembrance of a word. The noun is singular anarthrous - should it be an implied definite?
to your servant
preposition + noun + pronoun
relative pronoun
you give me hope
Catching the conjugation with the implied subject and the added object pronoun as well can be really misleading when first learning this language. This is piel second person singular + the first person pronoun as object.
Yes - this word
Yes for Y is no worse than zot for z. I repeated 'word' as the source of comfort
of my comfort
Humans need this word and its ownership - it becomes more definite as the poem proceeds
in my trouble
preposition + singular noun + possessive pronoun
your promise
noun + possessive pronoun
gives me life
The object pronoun suffix needs a bunch of grammatical letters to attach itself to the verb
Yet the presumptuous
plural noun

hold me in derision
When the object is added to the verb, sometimes the pronomial subject is obscured. This must be a third person plural with object first person pronoun. hiphil - the vowel is acting as the missing vav that would normally signal the third person!
`àd m)od
עַד מְאֹד
so great
we had this adverb - to the max - in part 6 also
from your instruction
preposition + singular noun + possessive pronoun
negative particle
I have not fallen away
qal perfect - first person
I remember
qal perfect - first person
Your judgments
plural noun + possessive pronoun
from of old
adverb with preposition
and I comfort myself
reflexive hithpael imperfect first person singular
Yang of fire
Well - it's from a root meaning fret or vex. It's a noun and fiery.
grasps me
third person qal perfect with object pronoun
from the wicked
preposition + plural noun
your instruction
noun with possessive pronoun
Yin of songs
Plural noun
hayvu ly
הָיוּ לִי
have become to me
qal perfect with preposition and attached personal pronoun
your statutes
plural noun with possessive pronoun
in the house of
preposition + noun
my lifetime
noun with possessive pronoun
I have remembered
first person qal perfect
in the night
preposition, definite, and noun
your name
noun with possessive pronoun
I have kept
is this a story line in a poem? preterite? or should it be I will keep?
your instruction
noun with possessive pronoun
demonstrative pronoun
haytah ly
הָיְתָה לִּי
I have to me
qal perfect - What is the antecedent of zot? Perhaps I go beyond it in phrasing this verse similar to the Song
your precepts
plural noun with possessive pronoun
I have observed
first person qal perfect

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Psalms 90 and 91

Next week I will be presenting psalms 90-91 as prayer and answer to prayer at a local bible study. Ideas welcome. Where does Psalm 90 fit in the psalter? Why of Moses? What does the structure tell us? Is 91 an answer to 90? Why does the accuser quote 91 to the anointed Jesus in the temptations?

Psalm 90
Psalm 91
Psalm 90 begins Book V. Moses begins and ends Book IV and is mentioned only once outside of Book IV (psalm 77). relation to psalm 40
תְּפִלָּה לְמֹשֶׁה אִישׁ הָאֱלֹהִים
The prayer of Moses the man of God

Psalm 91 has no inscription
Adonai - is not the tetragrammeton here. Does the poet emphasize 'attah' 'you' through the word order (lanu being so far away from ma`on)?1 אֲדֹנָי מָעוֹן
אַתָּה הָיִיתָ לָּנוּ בְּדֹר וָדֹר

You O Lord,  have become our habitation from generation to generation
יֹשֵׁב בְּסֵתֶר עֶלְיוֹן
בְּצֵל שַׁדַּי יִתְלוֹנָן

One dwelling in the secret of the Most High
in the shadow of the Sufficient will remain

Verse 1 and 2 are a unit bound by Lord-you-gen-to-gen and age-to-age-you-God. What is in the middle? It is important. Our habitation + the birth of creation.2בְּטֶרֶם הָרִים יֻלָּדוּ
וַתְּחוֹלֵל אֶרֶץ וְתֵבֵל

וּמֵעוֹלָם עַד עוֹלָם אַתָּה אֵל

from ere the mountains were born
or earth and the world writhed
even from age to age you are God

אֹמַר לַיהוָה
אֶבְטַח בּוֹ

I will say to יְהוָה
my refuge and my fortress
my God
I will trust in him
Note how many uses of first person imperfect there are in  psalm 91 and not in psalm 90
Dust as a translation is misleading - it is not parallel to 'adam' nor is it 'aphar' but 'that which is crushed' - so poetry for contrition. Turn = repent.3תָּשֵׁב אֱנוֹשׁ עַד דַּכָּא וַתֹּאמֶר שׁוּבוּ בְנֵי אָדָם
you turn a human to contrition and you say
Turn children of humus

כִּי הוּא יַצִּילְךָ מִפַּח יָקוּשׁ מִדֶּבֶר הַוּוֹת
For he will deliver you from a trapper's snare
from a plague of desires

The crushing of the elect is represented by the lament of Psalm 89 - rehearsing 'recent days' of the promises4כִּי אֶלֶף שָׁנִים בְּעֵינֶיךָ כְּיוֹם אֶתְמוֹל
כִּי יַעֲבֹר וְאַשְׁמוּרָה בַלָּיְלָה

for a thousand years in your eyes is like a recent day
for it is over as a watch in the night

בְּאֶבְרָתוֹ יָסֶךְ לָךְ וְתַחַת כְּנָפָיו תֶּחְסֶה
צִנָּה וְסֹחֵרָה אֲמִתּוֹ

With his feathers he will cover you and beneath his wings you will take refuge
a grappling hook and shield his truth
feathers sounds like fury

5 זְרַמְתָּם שֵׁנָה יִהְיוּ
בַּבֹּקֶר כֶּחָצִיר יַחֲלֹף

you inundate them, sleep they become
in the morning like grass they grow up

לֹא תִירָא מִפַּחַד לָיְלָה מֵחֵץ יָעוּף יוֹמָם
You will not fear for dread by night
for an arrow that flies by day
day and night appear in both psalms

6בַּבֹּקֶר יָצִיץ וְחָלָף
לָעֶרֶב יְמוֹלֵל וְיָבֵשׁ

in the morning it flourishes and grows up
in the evening it is cut down and withers

מִדֶּבֶר בָּאֹפֶל יַהֲלֹךְ
מִקֶּטֶב יָשׁוּד צָהֳרָיִם

for the plague that walks in gloom
for destruction that wastes at noon
noon sounds like mountains

7כִּי כָלִינוּ בְאַפֶּךָ וּבַחֲמָתְךָ נִבְהָלְנוּ
for we are consumed in your anger
and in your wrath we are troubled

יִפֹּל מִצִּדְּךָ אֶלֶף וּרְבָבָה מִימִינֶךָ אֵלֶיךָ לֹא יִגָּשׁ
A thousand will fall at your side
and ten thousand at your right hand
to you it will not come near

8שַׁתָּה עֲו‍ֹנֹתֵינוּ לְנֶגְדֶּךָ עֲלֻמֵנוּ לִמְאוֹר פָּנֶיךָ

you put our iniquities in front of you
our secret in the light of your face

רַק בְּעֵינֶיךָ תַבִּיט וְשִׁלֻּמַת רְשָׁעִים תִּרְאֶה
but with your eyes you will be attentive
and the reward of the wicked you will see

three different words for anger - I will try to be concordant9כִּי כָל יָמֵינוּ פָּנוּ בְעֶבְרָתֶךָ
כִּלִּינוּ שָׁנֵינוּ כְמוֹ הֶגֶה

for all our days face away from your fury
we complete our years as a groan

כִּי אַתָּה יְהוָה מַחְסִי
עֶלְיוֹן שַׂמְתָּ מְעוֹנֶךָ

For you יְהוָה are my refuge
You have made the Most High your habitation

year is singular irregular in Hebrew - always considered plural - note the plural feminine construct10יְמֵי שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה
וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה
וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן כִּי גָז חִישׁ וַנָּעֻפָה

the days of our years, in them seventy years
and if in strength eighty years
but their pride is labor and mischief for it is cut off soon
and we flutter away

לֹא  תְאֻנֶּה אֵלֶיךָ רָעָה
וְנֶגַע לֹא קְרַב בְּאָהֳלֶךָ

evil is not allowed to come to you
and illness will not come into your tent

11 מִי יוֹדֵעַ עֹז אַפֶּךָ
וּכְיִרְאָתְךָ עֶבְרָתֶךָ

Who knows the power of your anger
and for your fear your fury

כִּי מַלְאָכָיו יְצַוֶּה לָּךְ לִשְׁמָרְךָ בְּכָל  דְּרָכֶיךָ

for he will instruct his messengers about you
to keep you in all your ways

12לִמְנוֹת יָמֵינוּ כֵּן הוֹדַע
וְנָבִא לְבַב חָכְמָה

To number our days so make known
that we may come to the heart of wisdom

עַל כַּפַּיִם יִשָּׂאוּנְךָ פֶּן תִּגֹּף בָּאֶבֶן רַגְלֶךָ
in their hands they will lift you up
in case you strike your foot with a stone

13שׁוּבָה יְהוָה עַד  מָתָי
וְהִנָּחֵם עַל עֲבָדֶיךָ

Turn יְהוָה , how long? And sigh over your servants
עַל שַׁחַל וָפֶתֶן תִּדְרֹךְ תִּרְמֹס כְּפִיר וְתַנִּין
over lion and adder you will make your way
you will trample young lion and dragon

14שַׂבְּעֵנוּ בַבֹּקֶר חַסְדֶּךָ
וּנְרַנְּנָה וְנִשְׂמְחָה בְּכָל יָמֵינוּ

sustain us in the morning of your loving kindness
and we will rejoice
and be glad all our days

כִּי בִי חָשַׁק וַאֲפַלְּטֵהוּ אֲשַׂגְּבֵהוּ כִּי יָדַע שְׁמִי
Because he loved me so I will deliver him
I will set him on high for he has known my name
chashak - an interesting word - used of the building of the tabernacle and translated as desire and longing in various places

15שַׂמְּחֵנוּ כִּימוֹת עִנִּיתָנוּ
שְׁנוֹת רָאִינוּ רָעָה

Make us glad for days you afflicted us years we have seen evil
יִקְרָאֵנִי וְאֶעֱנֵהוּ עִמּוֹ אָנֹכִי  בְצָרָה אֲחַלְּצֵהוּ וַאֲכַבְּדֵהוּ
he will call me and I will answer him
I am with him in trouble
I will rescue him and I will glorify him

16יֵרָאֶה אֶל עֲבָדֶיךָ פָעֳלֶךָ
הֲדָרְךָ עַל  בְּנֵיהֶם

Let your work appear to your servants
and your honor to their children

אֹרֶךְ יָמִים אַשְׂבִּיעֵהוּ וְאַרְאֵהוּ בִּישׁוּעָתִי

With length of days I will satisfy him
and I will show him in my salvation

Notice the palindrome with verse 1 - find an English word that might do this?17וִיהִי נֹעַם אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ עָלֵינוּ וּמַעֲשֵׂה
יָדֵינוּ כּוֹנְנָה עָלֵינוּ
וּמַעֲשֵׂה יָדֵינוּ כּוֹנְנֵהוּ

And let be the beauty of the Lord our God be on us
and the work of our hands establish on us
and the work of our hands establish

Friday, January 15, 2010

Psalm 119 - Part 6 Grammar

O vav, you that begin all words and belong as first of one only
you that inhabit many words named as consonant and act as vowel
what shall I do with you - how shall I read you!
Now there's a vocative for you.
Here's my translation with W (touched up a bit)
Well come to me your steadfast love יְהוָה
your salvation like your promise
וִיבֹאֻנִי חֲסָדֶךָ יְהוָה
תְּשׁוּעָתְךָ כְּאִמְרָתֶךָ
Wherewith I will answer a word to one reproaching me
for I trust in your word
וְאֶעֱנֶה חֹרְפִי דָבָר
כִּי בָטַחְתִּי בִּדְבָרֶךָ
Word of truth do not remove from my mouth utterly
for I have hoped in your judgments
וְאַל תַּצֵּל מִפִּי דְבַר אֱמֶת עַד מְאֹד
כִּי לְמִשְׁפָּטֶךָ יִחָלְתִּי
Watch over your teaching I will continually
to the age and for ever
וְאֶשְׁמְרָה תוֹרָתְךָ תָמִיד
לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד
Walk in maturity I will
for your precepts I have sought
וְאֶתְהַלְּכָה בָרְחָבָה 
כִּי פִקֻּדֶיךָ דָרָשְׁתִּי
Words of your testimonies before kings I will have
and I will not be ashamed
וַאֲדַבְּרָה בְעֵדֹתֶיךָ נֶגֶד מְלָכִים 
וְלֹא אֵבוֹשׁ
Wherefore my delight will be in your commandments
which I have loved
וְאֶשְׁתַּעֲשַׁע בְּמִצְו‍ֹתֶיךָ
  אֲשֶׁר אָהָבְתִּי
Wave my hands I will to your commandments which I have loved
and I will meditate on your statutes
וְאֶשָּׂא כַפַּי אֶל מִצְו‍ֹתֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר אָהָבְתִּי
וְאָשִׂיחָה בְחֻקֶּיךָ
What about trying a translation with U or V as the first letter? I thought about it and figured it would be too hard for me. Rather than reading the Hebrew dictionary, I would have to read an English dictionary letter by letter. Much as Christian Bok did with his book of poems Eunoia - a book by Bok - where each chapter uses only one vowel. Examples here. If you haven't seen this book do read some excerpts - they are "enfettered yet free. He lets cleverness exceed decent levels." After all, "awkward grammar appalls a craftsman!" and "Writing is inhibiting" and blogs "form cocoons of comfort ... to hold bookworms" "such hubbub, such rumpus, thump, thump, thrum, thrum, " thud.

This poem divides into 4 and 4 - 1 a thesis, 2 a use thereof, 3 a negative command, 4 a promise and then 4 similarly structured outcomes perhaps conditioned on the fulfillment of the negative command and promise. See below for the somewhat similar structures in the last 4 lines.

Details - there are more questions occurring to me as I write what at first seems obvious - I am reading a fascinating set of essays on the verbless clause in Hebrew. I am thinking nothing of English grammar should be taken for granted in my analysis - subject predicate might turn out to be more like concept and comment. In fact even the retroactive nature of construct I am reconsidering. What if they were all comment like redefinitions - a word, of the truth, each subsequent phoneme redefining but not changing those that are already uttered.
Read this well come as two words not one - though 'well' is not in the Hebrew. As qal imperfect it can be read as future or as jussive - a third person 'imperative'. The verb is singular. Is the noun plural as AV translates? If so we must reconsider the whole for then perhaps it is Hashem, the nearest singular noun who comes and the noun phrases are appositional commentary.
Well come to me
your steadfast love
noun (plural?) + second person possessive pronoun
forced English vocative if the proper name is not used in translation - that's why Adonai - my Lord or Hashem is preferable
your salvation
This is one of many verbs forming a noun - as in English Save to salvation of course with the personal pronoun also attached. Is תשועה the equivalent of a gerund? I have not found a rule yet that would let me noun a verb. BDB lists this form with יָשַׁע the verb and יֵשַׁע the noun - deliverance. (You can see that without the pointing, you can't tell the difference between these words) In my Hebrew Latin concordance, the word is listed as a form of the noun - we will find it frequently in this psalm.
as your promise
preposition+noun+'construct' ending+pronoun - it seems to me that the nun and taf make the language 'smoother'. There were information processors and designers in those days - and if there weren't grammarians, there was still a sophisticated intuited grammar and linguistics.
Wherewith I will answer
conjunction+ first person qal imperfect - note the sequence of gutturals aleph+ayin - this is not smoothed out!
one reproaching me
Participle + first person pronoun as object (reproach joins this part with part 5)
a word
noun - perhaps in construct with the prior word?
ky ba+àxty
כִּי בָטַחְתִּי
for I trust
preposition + first person qal perfect
in your word
preposition + noun + possessive pronoun
v)àl tàcél
וְאַל תַּצֵּל
Wherefore do not remove
conjunction+negative particle+hiphil imperative - why hiphil? where's the 'he' - the verb is a I-nun and the nun does strange things to the 'he' in the hiphil!
from my mouth
preposition + noun + possessive pronoun
dbàr )emet
דְבַר אֱמֶת
the?a word of truth
Is 'truth' a sufficient end to the construct chain to produce a definite article at the beginning?
`àd m)od
עַד מְאֹד
adverb - to the max
in your judgments
preposition + plural noun + possessive pronoun
I have hoped
first person qal perfect
Watch over I will
conjunction and first person imperfect
your instruction
noun singular + possessive pronoun
to the age
preposition + noun used adverbial modifier
and for ever
conjunction + adverb
walk I will
conjunction and first person imperfect
in maturity
preposition + adverb
your precepts
noun + possessive pronoun
I have sought
first person qal perfect
Words I will have
conjunction and first person imperfect
of your testimonies
preposition + noun + possessive pronoun
plural noun
and I will not
conjunction with negative particle
be ashamed
first person imperfect (breaks the pattern)
Will my delight so be
conjunction and first person imperfect
in your commandments
preposition + noun + possessive pronoun
relative pronoun
I have loved
first person qal perfect
v)esa) kàpày
וְאֶשָּׂא כַפַּי
Wave my hands I will
conjunction and first person imperfect + noun + pronoun - plural
)el micvoteyka
אֶל מִצְו‍ֹתֶיךָ
to your commandments
separate preposition noun + possessive pronoun
relative pronoun
I have loved
first person qal perfect
and I will meditate
conjunction and first person imperfect
on your statutes
preposition + noun + possessive pronoun