procrastination, heresy, and navel-gazing.

Thursday, March 08, 2007


i quite like the hebrew section of the bible. as a written language, as a heard language, there's a lot that's great about it.

i might just qualify this by making clear that i can neither speak, read, or otherwise understand the language, but i don't think that automatically disqualifies me from commenting (feel free to correct me on that count!)

one of the nice things is the many literary devices used:

  • alliteration, the repitition of sounds, which one can see even looking at the hebrew, take for example ps122:

    שַׁאֲלוּ, שְׁלוֹם יְרוּשָׁלִָם;

    יִשְׁלָיוּ, אֹהֲבָיִךְ

    יְהִי-שָׁלוֹם בְּחֵילֵךְ;

    שַׁלְוָה, בְּאַרְמְנוֹתָיִךְ

    it's a heap easier than rhyming!

  • imagery is something we don't really think about so much, considering we have so darn many words to say everything in. which would explain why the next point is my favourite.

  • Terseness is an expressive word, and is basically the opposite of wordiness (c/f Matthew 6:5). it's the thing out of the three that i most feel saddened by, in not being a master of many languages and being forced to read the wordy english.

    take for example Proverbs 16:18,

    לִפְנֵי-שֶׁבֶר גָּאוֹן;

    וְלִפְנֵי כִשָּׁלוֹן, גֹּבַהּ רוּחַ

    They don’t need to say, "before you are utterly wiped out like Sodom and Gomorrah was you would be filled to the brim, bubbling over, ready to explode, so it’s sort of natural to think that you would explode, this then leading to your own self-destruction". It’s a lot simpler to say "before destruction: pride"

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    Blogger psychodougie said...

    for those hard of seeing, this says (according to those who know such things!):

    sha'alu shelom yerushalayim
    yishlayu ohavayik

    yehi shalom bechelek
    shalvah be'armenotayik

    3:07 pm  
    Blogger Aaron Plunkett said...

    Hebrew sounds like a sick language. Can't wait to study it and look at the bible in it's original language!

    3:31 pm  

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