Psalm 76, talk about difficult!

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Psalm 76, talk about difficult!

Postby kwrandolph » Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:29 am

I am getting ready to say that I don’t understand this psalm, and just go on to the next.

Verse three had the בשלם question that we discussed (upon further thought, the “in Salem” seems to be the best reading).

Verse five had the הרר question. Here it looks like a participle of an action.

Verse five starts with נאור, is that niphal from אור or passive from נאר?

What does טרף mean in this verse?

Verse six has the interesting form אשתולל which is a hitpael followed by an object.

Verses five through seven seem to be a curse on evil people, or are they?

The next section, verses eight through ten I think are understandable.

The final section also makes sense.

A recent complaint was that Biblical Hebrew poetry shouldn’t be so difficult.

Thanks to Ken, I now know that the difficult parts of this psalm are not found in the DSS, and I didn’t have to ask others to look it up for me.

What do you all think?

Karl W. Randolph.

Isaac Fried
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Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:32 pm

Re: Psalm 76, talk about difficult!

Postby Isaac Fried » Tue Aug 26, 2014 8:15 pm

1. In נאור NA-OR, the "prefixed" NA- is a personal pronoun, 'you yourself'. אור Or is 'brilliance, Splendor; magnificence'.

2. HRR הרר is short for הר-הר HAR-HAR, 'mountain chain'.

3. E$TOLLU אשתוללו is from the root שלל $LL, which is a variant of תלל TLL and סלל SLL, 'pile up'. So, אשתוללו can be understood in the positive sense of 'piled themselves up', or in the negative sense of 'exhausted, bereft, deprived, despoiled'.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

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