Grammatical stuff in Psalm 95

Dave Washburn dwashbur at
Wed Aug 30 12:31:40 EDT 2000

There are a couple of particles in Psalm 95 that have me wondering 
about some things.  The first is )IM in v.7.  On the surface it makes 
sense, sort of: "Today if you will listen to his voice..."  However, the 
next several clauses are a direct oracle in first person, obviously 
from YHWH, so we end up with a rather harsh anacoluthon 
between v.7 and 8ff.  So I'm thinking, could we legitimately render it 
as an emphatic, i.e. "Today you will surely hear his voice: begin 
oracle here" so to speak?  The problem is that )IM seems to be 
used in this sense later on in v.11, but there it has its "normal" 
(whatever that means) emphatic use as a negative, "no way will 
this happen."  If that is the only emphatic use it has, then I would 
have to render v.7 "Today you will not listen to his voice."  That 
doesn't make sense.  If it were the common emphatic positive use, 
I would expect )IM LO) "you will surely hear his voice."  So I have a 
bit of a dilemma here.  Anybody have thoughts on this?

The other problem word I have is the ):A$ER at the beginning of 
v.11.  On the surface it appears to mean "therefore," but I'm not 
sure this is really an attested meaning of the word.  The LXX 
apparently read KA):A$ER, something along the lines of "they did 
not know my way, when I swore in my anger etc."  I have trouble 
making sense of that, too.  Any thoughts on this word would be 
very welcome, as well.

Dave Washburn
"Éist le glór Dé."

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