[b-hebrew] Psalms - some questions - Psalm 89:39
bobmacdonald at shaw.ca
Fri Dec 8 23:25:09 EST 2006
You note: "And you, you have pushed away (as an act of spurning) and
rejected..." Those are verbs asking for an object, what is it?
Thanks for your explanation - when I get good enough at grammar and stuff I
will see what I can make of it. I could not find T(BRT in my concordance. I
found abomination TV(BH - close. But I am not very good at lexicons,
dictionaries etc (let alone grammar).
As to my method - well, it's different. I am focusing on structure.
I have looked at a dozen other translations - none of them interpret the
word following the 'verbs asking for an object' as a noun. All of them
translate HT`BRT as a verb - one of 14 in succession defining the poet's
It is a serious complaint. No doubt the poet is aware of his own sin and
that of the peoples, nevertheless, the poet does not mention it - and as a
result the poetry stands as a lament.
The last verse is the doxology for the third part - It fits, but it is not a
part of the poem.
The poem's structure begins with a concentric first stanza around the pair
of verbs: establish and build up - several words contribute further
(coloured in green) http://bmd.gx.ca/psalms/261.htm. I have drawn lines to
show the structure as well as marking it with colour.
The second stanza - if indeed it is a stanza, is marked by 'the
congregation' as opening and closing brackets. The rhetorical question - who
is like the LORD is in the centre of that circle with a coda following.
The third section recalls Psalm 46. In the centre, Sabbath is allowed for
the waves of the seas (bless Christopher Smart - Jubilate Agno).
The fourth section has 'lifted up' and 'righteousness' marking the inclusio.
This motif is carried into the third column where the 'lifted up' verb is
repeated three times, reinforced by the additional word - horn. Note also
the refer-back to the sea and how even the seas are subject to the anointed.
The next long column is bound with the words 'forever', 'seed', and 'throne'
- the section spilled over into column 5 ending with the Selah just before
the change in mood - so I moved the verses into a single column to see
better the concentric structures.
Column 5 balances the power of the verbs at the top of column 2 and the
power implied by the covenant promises - as noted in the white on black
colours. Here there is no need to 'explain' God's displeasure. Job's
comforters were not commended for their explanations, though their poetry is
as good as any. As I noted, the 14-fold repetition of the complaint is
sufficient grounds to translate the word as a verb.
Re the final column, where is the concept of 'the anointed bearing on his
breast the multitude of peoples' coming from in the poet's mind?
You asked 'what is my method?' - it is not grammatical or theological but
structural and poetic. Still, though I say again there is not a right
answer, there can be many that are inadequate - and my propensity for
misreading those lexicons is becoming famous at least in my mind :)
I would welcome additional input to this structural analysis from others -
sorry the jpg is large - but 50 plus verses is 740 separate nodes and 3000
properties! A large diagram.
From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of K Randolph
Sent: Friday, December 08, 2006 7:31 AM
To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Psalms - some questions - Psalm 89:39
Yes, I translated the verse.
Looking at the context, we find that the author recounts all the
promises given to David for the good. However, in verse 31 (all verse
numbers according to Hebrew) we find a change, namely if the sons of
David (his descendants) do not follow God, then what? Verse 33 gives
an answer, namely there will be negative results because verses 34-36
God will be faithful to his promises. In verses 37-38 the psalmist
again recounts what he understood was the promise given to David.
But now in verse 39-46 he points to the destruction of Israel, that
there is no longer a king on the throne, the land is desolate. Verses
47-49 the psalmist recognizes that God is angry, and asks for how
long? For a man lives for only a short time. Verses 50-52 he asks
where are the good promises, for the enemies reproach the "crooked
dealings of your anointed". Then verse 53 ends in a praise to God.
With this as the context, back to verse 39. There is no question about
the first part of the verse, "And you, you have pushed away (as an act
of spurning) and rejected..." Those are verbs asking for an object,
what is it? HT(BRT can either be a hitpael of (BR, used when God has
become exasperated, or a noun T(BRH with a prefixed H- from the
meaning of going over the line, i.e. transgression. As a hitpael verb,
the object is denoted by a prefixed B-, e.g. Deuteronomy 3:26. (M can
either mean "with" or "people". "Your anointed" has no questions. It
was these thoughts that I considered when making my translation.
How did you come to your translation?
Karl W. Randolph.
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