Studies in Ancient Yahwistic Poetry

By Frank Moore Cross Jr.; David Noel Freedman | Go to book overview

Notes to the Text
1.
Following Prof. Albright's suggestion, we reconstruct vs. 1b-2 as a tricolon, 3:3:3. The words in vs. 1b beginning with 'ēt 'ašser and continuing to the end of the verse, seem to be a prosaic addition. In addition, wešimcû after hiqqābe s + ̣û is to be omitted, apparently having been inserted under the influence of wešimcû in the second colon.
2.
The pronoun is to be connected with the following phrase, in agreement with the LXX and Vulgate. On the meter, see note 4.
3.
Omit the conjunction, following several LXX minuscules. According to the canons of early Canaanite and Hebrew poetry, the conjunction is used rarely at the beginning of cola.
4.
The difficult phrase yéter śe'ēt appears to be a corruption of rē'ši + ̂t, repeated accidentally from the previous colon. The original reading of the final colon of the verse may have been either rē'ši + ̂t cuzzi + ̂ (on cuzzi + ̂, see note 5), or yēter cuzzi + ̂. Since the present text may be more easily explained on the basis of an original yēter, and since that reading is supported by the versions, it is to be preferred.

Analysis indicates that the metrical structure of vs. 3 is 2:2.2:2. Note the rhyme scheme, typical of bedouin poetry, in which each colon ends with the first person pronominal suffix, -i + ̂.

5.
Read cuzzi + ̂, "my strength". The suffix is to be read, as indicated by the parallel expressions: bekōri + ̂, kōhi + ̂, and 'ôni + ̂. In וע, we have an example of early Hebrew orthography, final vowels not being indicated in the spelling. Ball, The Book of Genesis (Sacred Books of the old Testament), Leipzig, 1896, p. 119, suggests the reading cuzzi + ̂. In the parallel phrase, he reads yēter śe'ēti + ̂.
6.
Compare with this couplet, the Song of Lamech, Gen. 4:23-24, in which we find a similar rhyme and a similar metrical pattern.
7.
Vs. 4a is unintelligible as it stands. The versions are based on an already corrupt text and offer no help in interpreting the passage. The line apparently is defective, a bicolon 3:3 being expected here (since this material goes with what follows). Possibly the first two words are to be read,

-77-

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