[b-hebrew] Psalms - some questions - Psalm 89:39
bobmacdonald at shaw.ca
Fri Dec 8 03:22:35 EST 2006
Karl - did you translate it as "And you, you have pushed away (as an act of
spurning) and rejected the transgressions of the people of your Anointed
Nowhere do I see anything about transgressions in Psalm 89:39 ff to the end.
Well, they really must have sinned eh? Some sages in Spain according to Ibn
Ezra, refused to hear this blasphemous Psalm - (cited in Rozenberg and
It would be easy to misread this word and confuse it with similar sounding
ones. Nonetheless, the implication is that God has broken his promise. The
move to the doxology of the last verse closes book 3 of the Psalms. i.e.
that verse is not part of the poem.
I left the off-list (accidentally on my part) conversation below in case
other opinions on this need the background.
From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of K Randolph
Sent: Thursday, December 07, 2006 11:42 PM
To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Psalms - some questions
Almost all that I know of the Tanakh, I read in Hebrew. I read the KJV
once, many years ago, but I don't remember what I read, it was so long
One of the things that you have run into is that the dictionaries that
you use are not that accurate. For example, XTH mean to rake, such as
to rake coals together to keep a fire going. It is used only five
times in Tanakh, not once for to snatch up.
On 12/7/06, Bob MacDonald <bobmacdonald at shaw.ca> wrote:
> Thanks for the responses
> Re 'once' in psalm 89:35 (36), I had a good response from Pere Porta off
> list explaining the possible translations - "Yes, theoretically this word
> could be the first person singular imperfect Qal and/or Hiph'il of XTH,
> snatch up. The same thing, for instance, as (wa)a'al (Deu 10:3) is the
> person singular imperfect Qal of 'alah (Jos 8:20) --- I will go up; and
> (wa)a'al (Num 23:4) is the 1st. person singular imperfect Hiph'il of the
> same verb --- I will cause to go up."
> I am happy with 'once' - it has a once for all sense to it.
> Re subject of the sentences in Psalm 7 - my Hebrew teacher, a leader of
> synagogue here, did not deny that the subject is ambiguous; and other
> translations I have read by Hebrew speakers agree that the Hebrew of these
> verses is uncertain.
Going back to my favorite word, context. When these verses are taken
in the context of the verses that both precede them and follow them,
as well as the context of other writings, both other psalms as well as
in the prophets, then there is very little in these verses that is
ambiguous. I don't know what other translations say, all I know is
what the Hebrew says.
> I hope by context, you do not mean that you must read assumptions into the
> text. That is what I think the KJV has done.
By context I mean that I also expect to find consistency within the
text. Therefore, if I read a text where the context makes it clear
that it has a certain meaning, subject and so forth, then read a very
similar phrase elsewhere, I expect that, absent any immediate context
saying otherwise, that it should carry the same or similar meaning,
subject and so forth. But most of the time, the immediate context is
sufficient for understanding.
> Re the difficulty in accusation in the turning point in Psalm 89:38, I
> finished a first draft of this using the words 'you have been unfaithful'
> not as stark as the raw meaning of this word, but an adequate accusation
> against the LORD - no punches pulled finally. Note how this section
> verses 10 and 11. Israel, the anointed, has become the enemy. It is
> to read Psalm 7 this way also - that the anointed falls into the trap
> the enemy has laid - and pays vicariously for the sin of the enemy.
In Psalm 89:38, there is no word or phrase that means "you have been
unfaithful" or anything close to that.
"And you, you have pushed away (as an act of spurning) and rejected
the transgressions of the people of your Anointed one." Throughout the
psalm, the people have been unfaithful, not God. The people have
become the enemy through their disobedience.
> As to mistakes - too true - but there is no 'right' answer.
There is a right answer, but sometimes you really have to work to find
it. And part of that work is finding the meanings of the vocabulary.
When you have the wrong definitions, you often end up with gibberish.
Also when you have the wrong definitions, it is impossible to
recognize irony, sarcasm, and other literary devises.
Having said that, there are some verses that are closed to us, either
through copyist errors, or because the meanings for words have been
> Bob MacDonald
> Victoria BC
Karl W. Randolph.
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