Saturday, March 6, 2010

OK what does this mean and why the big letters?

Some letters may also be bolded but the text is too ambiguous to my eyes to be sure. The text occurs at the end of the Psalter. I will make a stab at it (better than Google's!) But I find it strange that there is no version of it on the web.

ח ז ק
סכום פסוקי דספר תהלים אלפים וחמש מאות ועשרים ושבעה.
וסימנו יי׳ אהבתי מעוץ ביתך ומקום משכן כבודך. וחציו
ויפתוהו בפיהם. וסדריו תשעה עשר. וסימנו המשביע בטוב עדיך:

Here's the first cut from Google translate:
Psalm verses sum Desperreau thousand five hundred and twenty-seven.Signaled Yi 'I loved your home and place of the tabernacle of Oz your honor. HalfOiftohu mouths. Arrange nine ten. Signaled Hmsbia well Adich:

Hmm seems to be missing something....
 These words do not appear to be normal Biblical words. Some words I don't recognize so let's go one at a time.
? I can't find this one yet - related to sum? סכום
verse - not in BDB but I can believe it פסוקי
? not this one either but the last three letters are the common word - to recount or a book  דספר
prayers / psalms תהלים
and five וחמש
hundred מאות
and twenty ועשרים
seven ושבעה
and he has marked them וסימנו
Hashem  יי׳
I have loved אהבתי
the habitation of מעוץ
your house ביתך
and the place of ומקום
the dwelling of משכן
your glory כבודך
and its divisions וחציו
and they will open it  ויפתוהו
in their mouths בפיהם
and he has arranged it וסדריו
nine תשעה
ten עשר
and he has marked them וסימנו
the satisfaction - or an imperative? satisfy / promise המשביע
in the good בטוב
of your counsels עדיך
So guessing away -- help --:
To grow strong (or strength)
The sum of the verses in the Book of the Psalms are five hundred and twenty seven and Hashem has marked them. I have loved the habitation of your house and the place of the dwelling of your glory. So its divisions will open it in their mouths and he has arranged it nine and ten. And he has marked them as satisfaction in the good of your counsels.
So I counted the verses - I get 2408 from my database but I better check further... And the sum of the verses as gematria is 41505. And the sum of the chapters 11325 - but who would want to know!


rbarenblat said...

ח ז ק is probably a reference to the phrase "chazak, chazak, v'nitchazek" which is traditionally recited when a book of Torah is completed: "be strong, be strong, and we will be strengthened."

סכום means completed, more or less, so: "[We have] completed the verses in the book of psalms." The words which follow seem to spell "2,527" -- not sure what that denotes. וסימנו means something like "And we have completed," and ה׳ אהבתי מעון ביתך, ומקום משכן כבודך is Ps 26:8 - "God, I have loved your house, the place where your glory dwells." Beyond that, I'm not much help, I'm afraid...

Bob MacDonald said...

Thank you Rachel. Solving the first word is helpful. Adding the two also puts the verse count in the right ballpark. Good start to the puzzle.

Anonymous said...


The word chazak is a traditional ending for a book of the Bible.

The words that follow are the equivalent of the modern checksum. They indicate how many verses are in the book. The first sentence simply means, "the number of verses in the book of Psalms is 2,527." (The daled is the Aramaic equivalent of she- or shel.)

The next line is a mnemonic (siman) for remembering 2,527. So the point there is not the meaning of the words but rather the numerical value of the letters.

The line after that tells you where the middle (chetzi) of the book lies: vay'fatuhu b'fihem [Ps. 37:36].

Hope this helps.


Bob MacDonald said...

Thank you Joel - the Aramaic word threw me off. The 'two' is now accounted for.

My difference in verse count is likely due to differences in versification between English versions and Hebrew.

The translation of 'half' appeared for me in some of my research - this bodes well for getting further in understanding.

You leave me with some puzzle still as a good teacher should :|