Studies in Ancient Yahwistic Poetry

By Frank Moore Cross Jr.; David Noel Freedman | Go to book overview
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Notes on the Song of Deborah
Insert nedîbî, masculine construct plural (on the form and vocalization, see Chapter V, footnote 4), which may have dropped out by haplography. It is required by the meter, suggested by the parallel construction in the first colon. The expression occurs in Num. 21:18 and Ps. 47:10.
This phrase is extra-metrical, perhaps a choral response used here and at intervals throughout the song (in formal presentation).
Since this is a study in metrical structure, we omit verses 4-16 because of the many textual and linguistic difficulties. A number of bicola and tricola are clear, but no satisfactory continuous pattern emerges. Beginning with vs. 17, however, and continuing through vs. 23, a fairly regular series of bicola 3:3 (with one tricolon) is found.
A cursory examination of vs. 17-18 shows that although the meaning of MT is clear, the meter is irregular, and balance between parallel cola is lacking. If, however, the names of the tribes are set apart as extra-metrical feet, a uniform series of bicola 3:3 results. We find a similar phenomenon in the Blessings of Jacob and Moses, where the name of the tribe is not given in the Blessing itself, and therefore must have stood as an extra-metrical foot, or where the name of the tribe is given, and is plainly extra-metrical. Cf. Deut. 33:12, 13; also note 46, Chapter III.
Read cālā; in early orthography the final vowel would not have been indicated. A verb is required both for reasons of meter and sense. For the idiom cf. II Kings 19:23 = Isa. 37:24מרמ<ל> ל + ָע + ָ is also possible, cp. Ps. 68:19.
Omit for metrical reasons. Its presence impairs the symmetry of the bicolon, abc:cbd.
Read here mimmazzelôtām, "from their stations", following Winckler and other commentators. The change z s may be due to an error in oral transmission. Cp. now KRT A:99,188, mzl.
The text is a conflate of two early variants. One apparently read םמרק <ןשק> לחנ, qîšôn having fallen out as a result of homoioarkton. The other variant read ןשק לשק לחנ םמדק.
Read here probably, qiddemām, "confronted them", following the commentators. Note a similar usage of this root in II Sam. 22:6,19 = Ps. 18:6,19. The order of the cola


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