Grammatical stuff in Psalm 95
dwashbur at nyx.net
Fri Sep 1 17:39:59 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.
> Dear Dave,
> What very interesting questions. I think it was Mowinckel who pointed out the
> Liturgical structure here:
I don't know who first pointed it out, but I've noticed it in the past
myself. The easy-to-read layout you've put here, though, is a
> 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
> the congregation.
> 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.
Interesting! And it makes good sense, definitely worth exploring
> > 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:$eR LaHeM, but the LaHeM has dropped out?
> This final oracle is likely the missing apodosis in the ellipsis ending verse
I was wondering if we shouldn't have expected LA)A$ER, but again,
poetry does these things. Re the last sentence, let me see if I
follow: the prophet says "Today, if you will hearken to his voice, do
not harden your hearts" - YHWH takes over "As they did at
Meribah etc." Or perhaps YHWH's speech begins at "do not
harden." Do you have a preference, and if so, I'd be interested to
hear why. Good stuff! Again, thanks.
"Éist le glór Dé."
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