Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Job 9:17-35

Didn't know that Job had email, eh? And say not that there is no smile in my translation. Chapter 10 has one too.

...who with a tempest bruises me
and multiplies my wounds without cause
he will not give me a turn to breathe
but fills me with bitterness
if of strength - behold might
if of judgment - where is my appointment?

If I justify myself, my mouth condemns me
Complete - me? It perverts me
Complete - me, I do not know my being
I refuse my life
One thing therefore I said
complete or wicked he consumes

if a scourge slays suddenly
the testing of the innocent he derides
earth is given into the hand of the wicked
the faces of the judges he blindfolds(1)
if not there? then who -

My days are swifter than email
they hurry away
they see no good
they pass as ships of papyrus
as the eagle swoops to its food

If I say I will forget my complaint
I will abandon my face and smile sweetly
I am afraid of my injuries
I know you will not acquit me
And I - shall I be wicked?
Why so? I would toil in vain

If I wash myself in waters of snow
And make clean with purity my palms
then in a pit you will plunge me
and my clothes will abhor me
for not a man like me
that I will answer him
that we come together in judgment
there is not between us an umpire(2)
that might fix his hand on the two of us

Let him turn away from me his staff
and let not his horror terrify me
I would speak and not fear him
כִּי לֹא־כֵן אָנֹכִי עִמָּדִי
for not so am I with myself(3)

(1) courtesy of Clines and forget the concordance
(2) this bon mot from Tur Sinai
(3) Tur Sinai considers the last stich in Hebrew belongs to the next thought in chapter 10. Maybe - but Clines has a pleasant solution which I have adopted with slight variation.

At some point - perhaps after the first cycle, I will attempt more interpretation. I am also experimenting with forms to see if some diagrams may emerge.

A note on concordant translation: I am not exactly a slave to using the same word in English for the same word in Hebrew. The correspondences are many to many - not one to one. Sue has a lovely post here from the introduction to the KJV - scroll to the bottom for the quote in the comments. The KJV admits to being non-concordant where the translators so chose. Well - they had a different set of problems than I do and they made a different set of errors and happy phrases than I am making. I agree that rigid concordance is not only impossible but may be misleading. I disagree when creative synonymy obscures a conversation or a structural form - such as I have called thread and frame. Forms are important to the understanding of the piece.

I also object to concordance used or not to reinforce what the translator thinks the text should say. We all can do this - how much of the KJV implicitly supports the Divine right of Kings or the submission of the people to due publick order? And do I know what the text says? No - the text says nothing. I think my response to the text, and I imagine that I touch the mind of an ancient author. I experience the text in me and I believe the touch of the present God. Both are my privilege and both essentially uncommunicable.

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