[b-hebrew] Psalm 23

R. Lehmann lehmann at uni-mainz.de
Sat Feb 16 14:00:36 EST 2013


Dear Bryant, and list,

ad 1: tacet
ad 2: naphshi in 23:3 is "my life" (or life-energy, if you want), of course.
ad 3: yeshovev in connection weith naphshi is of course "restore" - "to make my nephesh return" means: to bring back my energy to live, and this because:
ad 4: whoever wrote Psalm 23, it consists of two pieces: first, there was a "liturgic piece" (vv 4-6), which originally belonged to the application area of asylum / shelter in the sanctuary (cities of refuge), see Numbers 35:22ss and the book by Lienhard Delekat, Asylie und Schutzorakel am Zionheiligtum, 1967. This explains fully the meaning od yeshovev naphshi and the following, including the double-meaning of W$BTY, which first was we-$ibti (Y$B inf+sff), see LXX kai to katoikein me: "I will stay in the temple / sanctuary ..." (as a refugee).
Later, when there were no more cities of refuge after exile, this changed into we-$abti ($WB perf 1sg.qal): "I will come back..."  Here, the Psalm has turned into a pilgrimage song. Praise to those who had done this and re-read the psalm this way! Without their work, it would have been lost like lots of other Ancient Hebrew texts.
I think the vv. 1-3 (maybe also 4) were added as a song of confidence and reliance to make it better fitting the pilgrimage situation.

Of course, all this is not my idea, but Delekat's. But it has been forgotten a little bit in the last decades, and in my opinion it is the best you can get to explain the philological AND theological profundity of this Psalm. I explain this every term to my students in the Hebrew beginner's class, and they are grateful to learn how theologically important it is to learn Hebrew. 


¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨
Dr. Reinhard G. Lehmann, Academic Director
Research Unit on Ancient Hebrew & Epigraphy
FB 01/ Faculty of Protestant Theology
Johannes Gutenberg-University of Mainz
D-55099 Mainz
Germany
lehmann at uni-mainz.de
http://www.hebraistik.uni-mainz.de/eng
11th Mainz International Colloquium on Ancient Hebrew (MICAH) 2013:
http://www.micah.hebraistik.uni-mainz.de/204.php




> Message: 2
> Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2013 19:23:43 -0800
> From: "Rev. Bryant J. Williams III" <bjwvmw at com-pair.net>
> Subject: [b-hebrew] Psalm 23
> To: "B-Hebrew" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Message-ID: <6ABD59E8097841778D2D049FD45BE5E5 at williamspc>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
> 
> Dear List,
> 
> I have been reviewing the Messianic Psalms 22, 23, 24 very recently. Since these three Psalms are a triad, it puzzles me that while Psalms 22 and 24 prophecy the death and glory of the Messiah Psalm 23 is silent.
> 
> I have several questions:
> 
> 1.    How does Psalm 23 fit with the prophetic Messianic Pss. 22 & 24?
> 
> 2.    Does "nephesh" in 23:3 (MT) mean "soul" or "life" or ?
> 
> 3.    Does "YeShUBeB" (Polel Impf) mean "restore" as traditionally translated or is it closer t o the idea of "to turn, return?"
> 
> 4.    How would David have understood them when he wrote them NOT how they have been understood by the Christian exegetical tradition?
> 
> Thank you,
> 
> Rev. Bryant J. Williams III
> 



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