Friday, March 25, 2016

A Tour through Ps. 119: Daleth

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi
Week 4 out of 22; today's letter is Daleth (not 'Dalek'!), and verses 25 - 32 each start with that letter in the Hebrew.

Here is the passage as rendered by the NIV 84:

I am laid low in the dust; preserve my life according to your word.
I recounted my ways and you answered me; teach me your decrees.
Let me understand the teaching of your precepts; then will I meditate on your wonders.
My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.
Keep me from deceitful ways; be gracious to me through your law.
I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your laws.
I hold fast to your statues, O LORD; do not let me be put to shame.
I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.

Wow.  Hm.  Interesting.  Mulling it over.

Let's see how it pans out paraphrased with definitions from the Hebrew Dictionary...

My soul clings to the dry earth; revive and refresh me [by the instrument of] your speech.
I have recounted my journeys and [how] you responded; teach me your statutes.
Cause me to understand the direction of your precepts so [I] will meditate upon how marvelous you are.
My soul drops from grief; establish me [by the instrument of] your speech.
Remove from me the habit of deception, and [by] your divine instruction show me favor.
[I] have chosen the path of fidelity; your judgements are set in place.
[I] cling to your testimonies, Yahweh, put me not to shame.
[I] shall run the path of your commandments, because [you] enlarge my inner man: mind, will, heart, understanding. 

I'm kinda surprised;  the NIV translation seems very free-form; when I started digging into the Hebrew, I see poetic structure... Look at the repetition of structure in verses 25 and 28:

My soul (clings to dry earth/ drops from grief);  (revive and refresh/ establish) me by the instrument of your speech.

I also see a pattern in verses 30 - 32...vs. 30 looks at the past, vs. 31 is present and vs. 32 looks to the future.  Now I can see that in the NIV translation as well; but I didn't until I dug deeper.

Choose the way...hold fast... and run.

Just a little aside, there's a commentary note from Mr. Scofield at this point in my NIV, in which he points out that, out of the 176 verses in Ps. 119, only 4 (verses 90, 121,122 and 132...although I kinda think 90's use of 'faithfulness' could be stretched to cover the word) do not contain a synonym for God's Word.

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