[b-hebrew] Isaiah 29:11-12

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Thu Jul 8 15:47:37 EDT 2004

Dear Vincent,

>I have been working on the verse-structure of Isaiah 29:11-12. As you
>know, most translations-JPS, NIV, NRSV, typeset these verses as prose.

HH: So does BHS.

>However, despite a rather high prose-particle count, it looks like
>poetry to me. My big problem has been versification. I have tried a
>number of approaches including, dividing 11 into three bicola (12 always
>comes out as a tricolon in my reckoning), or dividing it into an
>introductory bicolon followed by a quatrain. Unfortunately, I have not
>been satisfied with either of those schemes. Today I came up with an
>alternative which I think might be the answer, but which is also
>problematic since it treats vv. 11-12 as an introductory colon
>(monocolon?) followed by an octacolon-yikes! I am a little nervous about
>this because octacola are rare. Nevertheless, here is what it looks like
>with a rough English translation. Would you mind telling me what you
>v. 11a           Intro.    And every vision has become to you
>v. 11b           A         Like the words of the sealed book
>v. 11c           B         Which they give it to one who knows writing
>v. 11d           C         Saying, read this please
>v. 11e           D         But he says, I cannot
>v. 11f           A         For it is sealed
>v. 12a           B         And they give the book to someone who does not
>know writing
>v. 12b           C         Saying read this please
>v. 12c           D         But he says I do not know writing.

HH: It looks all right to me. Perhaps the repetitive elements make it 
seem more like poetry.

				Harold Holmyard

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