KTU 2.12

To my lady the queen,
speak the message of Talmiyan to my lady:

At the feet of my lady I bow seven times and seven [more] times from a distance. With my lady is everything well? May she send word back to her servant.

Posted by at 20:02


Psalm 23

1A song of David;
Yahweh is my shepherd, I shall not lack.
2He lies me down in a pasture of fresh grass,
To a resting place with waters, he leads me.
3My life, he restores;
He leads me along righteous paths,
Because of his reputation.
4Even though I walk in a valley of darkness,
May I not fear evil;
For you are my company,
Your staff and your cane
They console me.
5May you set before me a table opposite my enemies;
May you accept oil on my forehead,
My cup is overflowing.
6Only good and unconditional love will persecute me,
All the days of my life;
May I rest in the house of Yahweh,
For the length of my days.

Again, this is a little rough and literal.

I was provoked into looking into this because my mom asked me a question from the superquiz in the paper a few weeks ago.

Q: What are the first five words of psalm 23?
A1: The Lord is my shepherd
A2: Mizmor l'David Adonai ro'i lo' (A-psalm of-David the/our-Lord my-shepherd not)

Posted by at 17:16

The Vision of a Slave of Yah (i.e. Obadiah)

1The Vision of Obadiah;
Thus said our lord Yahweh to Edom: we have heard a report from Yahweh and a messenger of the nations was sent,
Arise! Let us rise against her for battle.
2Here I have made you small among the nations;
You are greatly despised.
3The pride of your heart lifted you,
My Dweller in hiding places of rock, high [is] your inactivity,
Saying in his heart,
Who brought my down [to the] land?
4If you soar as an eagle,
And if between the start he sets your nest,
From there I shall bring you down—declares Yahweh.
5If thieves come to you, if vandals of night,
How silent will they be? Will they not rob you?
If grape harvesters come to you, will they not leave gleanings?
6How were they sought out, Esau, his hidden treasures ransacked.
7To the boarders they sent you, all the men of your covenant,
They deceived you, they overcame you, the men of your peace;
Your eaters set a boil under you,
There is no intelligence with him.
8In that day—declares Yahweh—
shall I not destroy the wise [men] of Edom,
and the intelligent [woman] from the mountain of Esau?
9May your warriors be shattered, Teman;
so that each will be cut off from the mountain of Esau by murder.
10Because of violence [to] your brother Ya’akov;
May shame cover you, and may you be cut off forever.
11On a day of your standing far away,
On a day foreigners carried off his potence;
And strangers entered his gate, and upon Yerushalaim they cast lots,
You too, [were] as one of them.
12You should not look on a day of your brother, on a day of his misfortune,
Nor should you not rejoice for the sons of Yuda on a day of their destruction;
Nor should you open your mouth on a day of distress.
13You should not enter my people’s gate, on a day of their disaster,
Nor should you look, even you, on his harm, on a day of his disaster;
Nor should you send out against his potence, on a day of his disaster.
14Nor should you stand on the crossroad, to cut off his path;
Nor should you close off a survivor on a day of distress.
15For near [is] the day of Yahweh, to all the nations;
That which you have done, will be done to you, your lots may return on your head.
16That which they have drunk on my holy mountain, may all the nations drink continually;
May they drink and may they slurp, and may they be as they were not.
17On Mount Siyon, you will be a fugitive, while he will be holy;
18And the house of Ya’akove will be fire, and the house of Yosef the sword, and the house of Esau stubble,
And they will burn on them and their eater, and there will be no survivor of the house of Esau,
For Yahweh has spoken.
19They will inherit the south with Mt. Easu, she will sink the philistines;
They will inherit the field of Efraim,
And the field of Shomron;
And Benyamin the Gil’ad.
20Then the exile of this wall of the sons of Yisra’el, which [are with] Ca’anites, [are] to Sarfath,
And the exiles of Yrushalaim, which [are] in Sfarad, will inherit the cities of the south.
21And victors will ascend Mt. Siyon,
To judge Mt. Esau;
and kingship will be Yahweh’s.

This is a little rough.

I feel like I need to revisit my translational goals, this is just a rather plain and literal translation.

Posted by at 17:07


Qohelet 1:1-11 (i.e. Ecclesiastes 1:1-11)

1The words of Qohelet son of David king in Jerusalem. 2 “Utter emptiness,? said Qohelet, “Utter emptiness! Everything is empty. 3What is the use to the man in all his works which he works under the sun? 4A generation [is] going and a generation [is] coming, but the earth to eternity [is] standing. 5The sun rises and the sun sets [lit. the sun shines and the sun enters] and of its place a panter, a shiner [is] he there. 6Going to the south and circling to the north; circling around the wind [is] going, on its circuit the wind returns. 7All the torrents [are] running to the sea, but the sea is never full; to a place which the rivers [are] running there they [are] returning to [go] again. 8All the words [are] weary, a man is unable to speak; an eye is not satisfied by seeing, and an ear is not filled by hearing. [These are both infinitive contstucts, but we’ll translate them as verbal nouns (which they are) for clarity.] 9What that was, it will be, and what was borne, it will be borne; but there is nothing wholly new under the sun. 10There is a word which he said, ‘look [at] this! It is new.’ Already it has been [in existence] forever, which has been from before us. 11There is no memory of the firsts, nor [lit. and also] of the latters which will be, there will not be of them a memory, with [those] which will be after us.

עמל ʕɑ̆mɑˈlo n.m + 3ms Posessive suffix
ˌʃɛjjɑʕɑ̆ˈmol ʃɛ + Waw Consecutive Qal non-perfective 3ms
זרח zɔˈrɑħ Qal Perfective 3ms
zoˈreɑ̆ħ Qal Parciciple
ש?ף ʃoʔef Qal Participle
ללחת lɔˈlɔħɛθ Qal Participle + l
יגע jɣeˈʕim Qal Participle m.s. (note Tserei not Qomotz)
שבע tisˈbɑʕ Qal Non-Perfective 2ms/3fs
כבר kvɑr adv.

Posted by at 22:19


Jonah 1:9-16

9He said to them, “I am a Hebrew. I fear YHWH, the god of the heavens who made the sea and the dry land.? 10The men feared greatly, and said to him, “What is this you did?? For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of YHWH, because he told them. 11They said to him, “What should we do to you so that the sea will be calm for us, for the sea continues raging. 12He said to them, “Lift me, hurl me into the sea, so that the sea might be calm for you. For I know that because of me this big storm burdens you. 13The men dug [their oars into the water] to return to the dry land, but they could not prevail because the sea kept raging against them. 14They cried out to YHWH, and said, “Please, YHWH, may we not perish because of this man’s life. Do not place innocent blood upon us for you are YHWH, for you have done as you pleased. 15They lifted Yona and hurled him into the sea, and the sea stood still from its raging. 16The men feared YHWH greatly; they slaughtered a sacrifice to YHWH and made vows.

[If some of my commenting seems lazy, its because it is. Until I get some of my unicode troubles figured out, I don't feel like bothering with it.]

ani ‘ivrit a nominal clause of classification
The relative particle refers back to YHWH.

Lit: The men feared a great fear

Take this as Lambdin’s third sequence implying consequence.

Again taking this to imply consequence. According to Waltke and O’Connor 11.2.3g, ‘al, in late Biblical Hebrew, can function similar to l and indicate the indirect object. This seems the be the best sense of translation rather than the more literal “upon you.?
“For I know,? lit: I am knowing.
The second ‘al is translated as “burdens? according to W&O 11.2.3c

Often translated as rows, but the root more properly means to dig.
Holex + Participle has the sense of “continues/kept?

“may we not perish? as the cohortative.
“for you have done as you pleased? is more literally, “as what you delighted, you did.?

Lit: The sea stood up from its raging.

Again, the cognate accusative “big fear? is translated adverbially as emphasis.

Posted by at 22:34


Jonah 1:1-8

1The word of YHWH came to Yona son of Amittai, 2“Get up, go to Ninewe the great city; cry out against them for their crimes have come up before me.? 3However, Yona arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of YHWH; he went down to Yafo and found a ship going to Tarshish, paid its fare, and went down in it to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of YHWH. 4Then YHWH cast a great wind on the sea, so there was a great storm on the sea; and the ship was about to be destroyed. 5The salty [men] were frightened and cried out, each to his own god, and hurled the instruments which were on the ship into the sea to lighten [it] for them, but Yona had gone down in the hold of the boat, laid down, and was fast asleep. 6A head roper approached him, and said to him, “What of you, deep sleeper? Get up! Call to your god! Perhaps the god may think of us and we may not perish. 7Then they said, each to his fellow, “Go, cast lots so we may know on whose account this evil is upon us,? so they cast lots and the lot fell on Yona. 8They said to him, “Tell us, you on whose account this evil is upon us, what is your mission? From where have you come? What is your homeland, and what people are you?

1) lit: the word of YHWH was to Yona, saying. I opted to transliterate the names in this passage according to the Hebrew and not traditionally.

2) qam has a sense of arising for a specific purpose. uqə̆rɑ here has the sense of indicting or calling to account for crimes.

4) חשבהħiʃʃə̆vɑ Pi’el Perfective 3fs
לחשברlə̆ħiʃʃɑver Pi’el Infinitive Construct + ל-prefix
Literally the phrase means something like, “She reckoned to be destroyed,? but this appears to be the only instance of the verb in pi’el form referring to inanimate objects. I follow BDB’s suggestion here.

5) ויר?וwajjirə̆ʔu Qal Wɑw-Relative + non-perfective 3cpl: they were afraid
ויזעקוwajjizʕăk’u Qal Wɑw-Relative + non-perfective 3cpl: they called out
ויטלוwajjɑt’ilu Hif Wɑw-Relative + non-perfective 3cpl: they hurled
להקלlə̆hɑk’el Geminate Hif Infinitive Construct + ל-prefix: to make light
וישכבwajjiʃkav Qal Wɑw-Relative + non-perfective 3ms: he laid down
וירד?wajjerɑðam Nif Wɑw-Relative + non-perfective 3ms: he slept hard

6) נרד?nirðɑm Nif participle ms
יתעשתjiθʕaʃʃeθ עשת Hitp non-perfective 3ms: he shall think (Aramaism)
Here I take jiθʕaʃʃeθ in its modal sense, God might consider sparing Yona and the crew, while noveð indicated the possible outcome of God’s consideration.

לכו lə̆hu הלך Qal Imperative mpl
ונפילה wə̆nappilɑ Hif Wɑw-Conjunctive + Non-perfective 1cpl
ונדעה wə̆neðə̆ʕɑ ידע Qal Cohortative
בְ + שֶ ּ + למי bə̆ʃɛllə̆mi Lit: On who’s why.

הגידה־נה haggiðɑ-nɑ Hif Extended Imperative + nɑ ms

Posted by at 11:50


Psalm 150

1Praise Yah! Praise god for his apartness; praise him for his holy firmament. 2Praise him for his might; praise him according to his abundance of greatness. 3Praise him with an ejaculation of a horn; praise him with an instrument and a lyre. 4Praise him with a tambourine and a dance; praise him with strings and an instrument. 5Praise him with whirrings of sound; praise him with whirrings of joy. 5Let the whole breath praise Yah; praise Yah.

1) hallelujah forms an inclusio, bracketing the whole psalm.
The word hallelujah is rather peculiar in itself. The expected form would be
Qal - *הִלְלוּ hillū

but for geminate roots
הֹלּוּ hollū

Pi'el - *הַלְּלוּ halləlū

but for geminate roots in Pi'el:
Ψ 1501 - הַלְלוּ hallū

Though Ben Zvi says geminate roots show no unusual features in the Pi'el, he seems to be wrong. The femine singular and masculine plural pi'el imperative regularly lack the doubling of the second root letter. It is also interesting to note that the traditional rules of pronunciation prevent this from being realized as hallelujah as one might expect from the recieved tradition. To reach such a vocalization we must take the schwa not to be quiescent (as befitting one following a short vowel like patach, but vocal). This isn't entirely unexpected from the double letter, but the lack of a daghesh is unexpected.

קדש is another intersting word. The absolute form is kʼodɛʃ. I'd like to make an argument that the addition of the 3rd masculine posessive suffix often triggers propretonic reduction and leaves the second syllable short and unaccented causing further reduction, but I'm not sure I can support that argument phonologically. What I can say, however, is that Lamdin says that O-Class segholates, however, keep an O vowel with the qamatz qaton with their posessive suffix (Lambdin appendix b 11). I'm still not entirely convinced that the graphemes in Tiberian Hebrew support the double pronunciation of qamats and schwa though. It seems completely nonsensical that anyone would construct a system to record the purest pronunciation possible and muddle it with such homographs.

I also take the final construct state to be adjectival attributive genetive per Waltke and O'Conner section 9.5.3.

My first inclination was to translate בגבורתיו as "in his might" which is the general sense Ben Zvi suggests.

גדל is also a segholate with a suffix, though interestingly this time it takes a u-class vowel when the 3rd masculine posessive suffix is attached. Lambdin doesn't have and Yu-class segholates in section III of his Appendix B, though we can assume it follows the rules in there. It would be interesting to see if there are other U-class segholates like this.

תקע is only found in this verse in Psalms. Due to the parallelism we can assume it has something to do with music, and ___ of a horn seems to obviously refer to some sort of blast or noise.

Many of the terms which follow (e.g. נבך, עוגב are also of dubious meaning, though they also seem to relate to some kind of musical instrument or sound.

תהלל is in the Pi'el is 3fs or 2ms non-perfective. I'd like to translate it as the 2fs agreeing with נשמה and modal. "The whole breah will praise (or praises) Yah" as the indicative doesn't seem to fit as well. I'd prefer to translate it as "Let every breath praise Yah," but Ben Zvi's idiomatic phrase does seem apt in light of the other passages he cites.
All the verses here are divided in parallel halves. Verse six breaks the whole pattern; there are no segholates, and the verb-form for הלל is completely different here. We then sum up the whole psalm with a repetition of the initial words, completeing the inclusio.

Posted by at 22:28


Psalm 15

1A Psalm of David
YHWH, who dwells in your tent?
Who dwells in your holy mountain?
2A walker of completed [ones], and
a doer of righteous [things], and
a speaker of truth in his heart.
3who hasn't walked to his tongue,
who hasn't done to his fellow.

5whose silver he hasn't given in usury, and
hasn't taken a bribe to an innocent [one];
the doer of these shall not change forever.

[edit: Whoops, I didn't mean to post this yet, it's obviously not done.]

Posted by at 19:15

2005年11月 6日

Proverbs 16:8

8A little with righteousness is better than much income without justice.

8) Here's an instance of the comparative min. There is ellipsis of , but its is presumed meaning is "a little [income] with righteousness is better than much income without justice."

Posted by at 23:28

Proverbs 10:1

1A wise son gladdens a father, while a foolish son is the shame of his mother.

1) This is pretty simple, though I think it best to translate the construct state in the adjectival sense, rather than the posessive. Verbal clause, then nominal clause of classification. AB;A'B' parallelism.

Posted by at 23:24

2005年11月 1日

Proverbs 3:13-26

13A happy man has found wisdom, and a [happy] man has attained understanding. 14For her gain is better than a gain of silver; her income [is better] than gold. 15She is more precious than pearls, and all your pleasures will not resemble her. 16A long life is on her right; on her left, wealth and glory. 17Her ways are ways of kindness; all her paths are wholeness. 18She is a tree of life to a her graspers, and her holders are made happy. 19YHWH founded the earth with wisdom; he established the heavens with understanding. 20With his knowledge the primordial-waters were torn asunder, so that the clouds might leave dew. 21My Son, don't let them leave your sight; guard sound-wisdom and discretion. 22Now they will be life to your soul, and grace around your neck. 23Then you will safely walk your way, and your foot won't stumble. 24When you sleep, don't fear; you shall lie down and your sleep shall be pleasant. 25Don't be afraid of a sudden dread (lit. fear of suddenness) and the devestation of the wicked, should she come. 26For YHWH will be your loins, and he shall keep your foot from captivity.

13) A more traditional translation would be, "Fortunate is a man who has found widsom, and a man who attains understanding." ashrei and adam are in construct here, but the idiomatic useage requires a different translation than, "Happiness of a man has found wisdom, and [hapiness] of a man has attained understanding." This avoids inserting a relative clause not bourne out by the Hebrew in an attempt to make sense of the clauses in English, as the traditional translation does. My translation doesn't really deal well with the elipsis of Ashrei, however; the verse clearly follows the well attested ABC;B'C' pattern.

14) Obviously the min refers to the comparative in these verses. Again, we see the ABC;B'C' pattern. I'm not entirely happy with the "poetic" translation of xarts as gold, but have no better suggestions.

15)Here I continue following the feminine gender for the pronoun, though it could easily be replaced by the neuter. The first half is a nominal predication, the second is non-perfective in aspect.

16) "Length of Days" is really bad English. BDB doesn't seem to hold a better suggestion, but "wealth of days" may be better in English. "An extended lifespan," might also capture the meaning.

17) Fairly straitforeward synonymous parallelism, derek and netiv alongside na'm and shalm. Both are nominal clauses of classification. I prefer to translate as "wholeness" instead of the more traditional "peace."

18) Here we find difficulty in translating the Hebrew participles. I prefer not to add relative clauses whenever possible (i.e. her graspers, instead of those who grasp her). Also, I found the glosses for me'usshar to be troublesome, unfortunately I don't have the resources to carry out a word-study to find fully investigate the meaning. I went with the more literal translation, instead of glossing it as "happy" as most translations do. Of course, this seems to obscure the parallelism in the verse a bit...

19) The first half is in the perfective aspect, the second as well. knen from kn in the polel, not from knn. I transleded be- as with instead of in or on, because it seems to indicate a means of formation, rather than a location.

20) tehmm generally refers to the primordial waters of chaos, as I understand the term; possibly related to Tiamat. This reading, as opposed to depths or abyss, seems to work better with the following clause referring to rain. nivqa' is best translated violently, in order to bring to mind the slaying of Ti'amat.

21) Vocative, followed by the jussive, then the imperative. This verse is fairly straitforeward.

22) weyihy is the non-perfective form with a prefixed conjunction. The translation adds "around" in the second clause, which indicated the aspect of adornment. Wisdom is a necklace of favor/grace.

23) lavetax is troubling. BDB suggests it be translated as an adverb, but I'm not entirely happy with this. [Note to self: Check with HALOT.] Otherwise the verse is fairly straitforeward, translating both non-perfective verbs as simple future tense.

24) Non-perfective, imperative, perfective, perfective.

25) I don't like this verse at all. Dread of suddenness, devestation of the wicked (ones), for/if/when she has come/arrived. Its not very clear to me.

26) This verse is strange too. Loins/stupidity/confidence appear to be widely divergent meanings of this idiomatic word. I went with loins just to avoid the traditional reading. leked is captivity here, instead of King James' "being captured," to avoid translating the noun as a participle or verb.

Posted by at 19:21


Ezekiel 37:1-14

1The hand of YHWH was upon me. YHWH brought me out with breath and gave me rest in the midst of the valley; it was full of bones. 2Now he had brought me across to them going round and around, there were a lot on the surface of the valley; they were very dry. 3He said to me, "Mortal, can these bones live?" I said, "My Lord YHWH, you know." 4He said to me, "Prophesy to these bones. Say to them, 'Dry Bones, hear the word of YHWH. 5Thus says my lord YHWH to these dry bones: I am about to bring breath upon you, and you shall live. 6I will set on you sinews, I will raise flesh on you, I will spread skin on you, I will set breath in you. You shall live; you shall know that I am YHWH.'" 7So I prophesied as I was commanded. There was a sound as I prophesieda rattling!bones came together; bone to its [matching] bone. 8I saw sinews on them! and flesh arose; skin spread over the top of them, but there was no breath in them. 9He said to me, "Prophesy to the breath! Prophesy Mortal! Say to the wind, 'Thus says my lord YHWH: from the four winds, come Breath, blow into these slain so that they may live." 10I made myself a prophet as he commanded me. Breath entered them; they came alive and stood on their legs, a very great army. 11He said to me, "Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Isreal. They said, 'Our bones are dry. Our hope has perished. We ourselves are cut off.' 12Therefore prophesy to them and say to them, 'Thus says my lord YHWH: I am about to open your graves and raise you from your graves, My People, and bring you to the soil of Israel. 13You will know that I am YHWH when I open your graves and when I raise you from your graves, My People. 14I will put breath in you and you shall live. I will place you on your land, and you shall know that I am YHWH." I spoke and I acted. An utterance of YHWH.

Commentary and Translation notes

1: I chose to translate yhwh as the subject of the verb and not in construct with ruach because of the tropes.

3: Take ben-āām not as "son of man" but simply as a member of the category of humans, capitalized to indicate the vocative.

10: "Made myself a prophet" in a vain attempt to capture the massoretic Hitpa'el stem of the verb. Though the clause has the same meaning as "prophesy" in verse seven, it isn't the same form. This would, of course, reflect the massoretic understanding as opposed to a modern emendation.

11: "We ourselves" with lān.

12: "Soil of Isreal" from 'amat yisrā'ēl.

Posted by at 19:15