Take your prize, Mr. Dylan

Please, don’t be shy. It is not only that you deserve it:


It is also because you represent the ensemble of songwriters-singers from other places and other times who have been able to make us taste the flavour of beauty and art and live unforgettable emotions: Homer, the anonymous medieval wandering singers, Joan Manuel Serrat, Víctor Jara …

For example, several millennia ago there were already talented songwriters-singers, psalmists, whose songs are still song but with a different melody and, sometimes, also with some changes in the original meaning of its lyrics. In order to recreate the emotions of those ancient creations -that are both past and ageless- I would like to do a little piece of restoration from a text to be read on this 30th Sunday in ordinary time: Psalm 33(or 34 in some traditions), verse 2 (or  3 according to editions that count the introduction itself as verse 1). My starting point are the consonants of the masoretic text and according to them, here it is my proposal:

IN (or with or by) the LORD my soul renews like the moon.

They listen humbly and rejoice.

Is this version more poetic than that one of your bibles? As a comparison, here it is KJV:

I will boast in the LORD; the humble will hear and be glad.

At least, my version is less “boasting”. But where on earth does the moon come from? I can see it into the Semitic root הלל which is related to the semantic field of the “new moon”. We can also find the verb  تهلل in modern Arabic today. It means “being very happy” and it has the very same Semitic root, linked to the concept of “new moon”.

Concerning the “humble“, the term is in the original Hebrew in plural masculine without article or any other mark that can make it a grammatical subject of the sentence. So, my option has been to consider that word with an adverbial function and to suppose an omitted subject, they, derived from the conjugation of the verb “to listen”.

By the way, what is not easy to translate is the phonetic parallelism between “to listen” שמע and “to rejoice”שמח .

The beginnig of the verse is marked by the preposition ב, simple and humble, which is also found just at the beginning of the Bible as a whole:

In the beginning”, or “for beginning”, or even “Let’s begin: God created”, bla, bla …

It is a very typical Semitic preposition and extremely employed in Aramaic, Syriac, Arabic and even in classical Ethyopic (Ge’ez):


The word “b” is all over identic but the writing of the letter, of course, changes. For example, if you want to write it in Arabic, please, look at:


One thought on “Take your prize, Mr. Dylan

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