Grammatical stuff in Psalm 95
ben.crick at argonet.co.uk
Fri Sep 1 16:16:08 EDT 2000
On Wed 30 Aug 2000 (09:31:40), dwashbur at nyx.net wrote:
> 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.
What very interesting questions. I think it was Mowinckel who pointed out the
Liturgical structure here:
Verses 1 and 2 are the Call to Worship from the worship leader; verses 3-5 are
the Response of the congregation, giving their strong reasons for thus singing
joyfully unto the LORD.
Verse 6 is a repeat call to worship; verse 7a is another shorter Response from
Verse 7b is the Prophet getting up to begin the Sermon: "Today, *if* you want
to hear the voice of YHWH...." Here is not an anacoluthon, but an *ellipsis*.
The apodosis is left unstated at this point. YHWH Himself then speaks through
the mouth of his Prophet (verses 8-11). So translate 'iM in its usual meaning
as the protasis "If...". The Sermon is an application of a pericope from the
Wilderness Wandering story, from YHWH Himself.
> 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.
IMHO the word 'a:$eR is a relative pronoun referring back to the twice
repeated HeM W:HeM of verse 10, the nearest antecedent. Translate 'a:$eR here
"To whom...". Maybe it should be 'a:$eR LaHeM, but the LaHeM has dropped out?
This final oracle is likely the missing apodosis in the ellipsis ending verse
Revd Ben Crick, BA CF
<ben.crick at argonet.co.uk>
232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)
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