Thursday, March 04, 2010

Psalm 119 - Part 17 Grammar

פְּלָאוֹת עֵדְו‍ֹתֶיךָ
עַל כֵּן נְצָרָתַם נַפְשִׁי
Plenty of wonders are your testimonies
therefore my being will observe them
פֵּתַח דְּבָרֶיךָ יָאִיר
מֵבִין פְּתָיִים
Penetration of your words gives light
making wise the peon
פִּי פָעַרְתִּי וָאֶשְׁאָפָה
כִּי לְמִצְו‍ֹתֶיךָ יָאָבְתִּי
Part I my mouth and sigh heavily
for to your commandments is my desire
פְּנֵה אֵלַי וְחָנֵּנִי
כְּמִשְׁפָּט לְאֹהֲבֵי שְׁמֶךָ
Put your face to me and have mercy on me
according to the judgment of those loving your name
פְּעָמַי הָכֵן בְּאִמְרָתֶךָ
וְאַל תַּשְׁלֶט בִּי כָל אָוֶן
Place my steps in your promise
and do not let any mischief have grasp over me
פְּדֵנִי מֵעֹשֶׁק אָדָם
וְאֶשְׁמְרָה פִּקּוּדֶיךָ
Preserve me from the oppression of a human
and I will keep your precepts
פָּנֶיךָ הָאֵר בְּעַבְדֶּךָ
וְלַמְּדֵנִי אֶת חֻקֶּיךָ
Pyre your face on your servant
and teach me Oh! your statutes
פַּלְגֵי מַיִם יָרְדוּ עֵינָי
עַל לֹא שָׁמְרוּ תוֹרָתֶךָ
Pouring streams run down from my eyes
that they do not keep your teaching

Details - in line with my reading of the Verbless Cause in Biblical Hebrew book, I am going to begin to identify the subject / predicate in each of the cola. Some results that I see in narrative verses from the subject book I find quite unexpected - like places where the adjective is postponed till the end of the sentence. E.g. Numbers 32:1 - where's the subject? Where's the predicate? I think there is a mistranslation when the translator collects all the bits of the subject together and makes it sound like 'natural' English. If you are translating a story, then don't mess up the original story-teller's drama. How would you phrase this opening of the chapter?
and livestock many there were to the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad - substantial - lots
וּמִקְנֶה רַב הָיָה לִבְנֵי רְאוּבֵן וְלִבְנֵי־גָד עָצוּם מְאֹד
Here's my suggestion
And there were many livestock belonging to the children of Reuben and the children of Gad,
a substantial amount.

pla)votפְּלָאוֹתPlenty of wondersplural adjective feminine form - predicate
`édvoteykaעֵדְו‍ֹתֶיךָare your testimoniesplural noun with second person personal possessive pronoun - subject
`àl kénעַל כֵּןthereforeconjunction
ncaratàmנְצָרָתַםwill observe themthird person singular with pronoun object - predicate
nàpshyנַפְשִׁיmy beingsoul, life, me, singular noun with possessive first person pronoun - subject
pétàxפֵּתַחPenetration ofOpening construct subject
dbareykaדְּבָרֶיךָyour wordscompleting the construct plural possessive - subject
ya)yrיָאִירgives lightpredicate (hiphil?) singular third person imperfect
mébynמֵבִיןmaking wisehiphil participle
ptayymפְּתָיִיםthe simplepeon and penetrate match the sound game in the Hebrew - the phrase is consequential, the word is plural masculine form
py pa`àrtyפִּי פָעַרְתִּיPart I my mouthobject-verb (perfect)
va)esh)apahוָאֶשְׁאָפָהand sigh heavilyconnector + preterite both verbs first person
lmicvoteykaלְמִצְו‍ֹתֶיךָin your commandmentspredicate plural feminine possessive singular second person - this needs some longing for an effective translation
ya)abtyיָאָבְתִּיI have longedperfect first person
pnéh )élàyפְּנֵה אֵלַיPut your face to meqal imperative with preposition and first person pronoun as object
vxanényוְחָנֵּנִיand have mercy on meqal imperative with first person object
kmishpa+כְּמִשְׁפָּטfor judgmentthe kaf preposition makes me want to get across the 'like' aspect rather than a 'causative' aspect - that forces me into construct thinking
l)ohabéyלְאֹהֲבֵיto those lovingthe lamed preposition makes me wonder if I have missed the point - what kind of vindication does the poet have in mind?
shmekaשְׁמֶךָyour namepredicate noun with possessive second person singular pronoun
p`amàyפְּעָמַיmy stepsThis is a tall order - plural noun object with first person possessive pronoun thus truncating the usual plural ending
b)imratekaבְּאִמְרָתֶךָin your promisewhat a secure place
v)àl tàshle+וְאַל תַּשְׁלֶטand let not have graspconjunction + negative particle + imperfect jussive
byבִּיover mepreposition + pronoun
kal )avenכָל אָוֶןany mischiefsubject of the prior verb
pdényפְּדֵנִיpreserve meimperative
mé`osheqמֵעֹשֶׁקfrom the oppressionpreposition + construct as object
)adamאָדָםof a humanrest of the construct
v)eshmrahוְאֶשְׁמְרָהand I will keepqal imperfect first person
piqvudeykaפִּקּוּדֶיךָyour preceptsplural possessed noun
paneykaפָּנֶיךָyour facesingular possessed noun
ha)érהָאֵרpyrehiphil - from the fire of creation - let there be light
b`àbdekaבְּעַבְדֶּךָon your servantyou can do this one
vlàmdényוְלַמְּדֵנִיand teach meand this one
)et xuqeykaאֶת חֻקֶּיךָOh your statutesthe 'Oh' is not needed!
pàlgéy màyimפַּלְגֵי מַיִםpouring streamsthese flowing waters remind us of Psalms 1, 42, 46
yardvuיָרְדוּdescend fromdescending - flowing - running down like the dew of Hermon in Psalm 133
`éynayעֵינָיmy eyesclear grammar, right?
`àl lo) shamrvuעַל לֹא שָׁמְרוּthat they do not keepthere is no because here - the preposition is simpler
tvoratekaתוֹרָתֶךָyour instructionteaching or instruction is preferable to law

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