[b-hebrew] Ps 40:6
JBarach at aol.com
JBarach at aol.com
Tue Oct 16 19:03:10 EDT 2007
Any suggestions on how to understand (and translate) the phrase at the end
of the second line of Ps. 40:6?
I've seen that line rendered "Your thoughts toward us cannot be recounted to
you in order" (NKJV) or "reckoned up in order" (KJV), presumably taking ערך,
which has the root sense of laying something out or stacking something up,
as having to do with setting things out in order in words. It's possible that
that's how the phrase is used in Job 32:14.
Others take this phrase to refer to *comparison*: "There is no comparison
with you!" The context does suggest occasion for such a comment, given that
the previous verse speaks of those who are turning aside to "a lie" (i.e., a f
alse god). But is this phrase ever used elsewhere for comparison? The verse
that is often cited as proof of this possibility is Isaiah 40:18, but that
isn't exactly this phrase!
With the addition of אל, however, it seems that the phrase often has to do
with setting an army in order, arraying an army, against someone. Even in
Job 32:14, where it is words that are being laid out (in order), the sense of
opposition is still present.
Would it be correct, then, to understand the last half of this line as
saying something like "There is no one arrayed against you" -- perhaps in the
sense "No one can be arrayed against you (and succeed)?" The whole line would
then be understood this way: "As for your thoughts toward us -- no one can be
arrayed against you (successfully)."
Any help you could provide would be appreciated. In particular, it would
help if any of you have the technology that allows you to list all the passages
where this verb is used with אל. That's something I can't search for on my
computer and I'd like to be able to study those passages.
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