Category Archives: Sdq

Beatitudes in freshness

Throughout centuries and centuries, strong messages have become forgotten and, if too strong, at the end they arrived but only decaffeinated: Too many walls and the sound becomes weaker and weaker. Work by translators is not innocent. Sticked to original ancient texts –Curetonian gospels, for example, like in http://www.dukhrana.com/peshitta/index.php -we can however unearth old messages that do renew if we find the right words.

Let us break the walls and recover meanings:

A blessing that the poor ones have in their spirits is that they become landlords of the heavens’ kingdom.

A blessing of the sad ones is that they get comfort.

A blessing of the humble ones is that they inherit the land.

A blessing that the hungry and thirsty ones of justice (root Sdq , look at “Category Archives: Sdq” and, for example, the entry https://bibliababel2.wordpress.com/2016/11/12/fear-of-my-name/) have is that they are satisfied.

A blessing of the compassionate ones is that there is compassion for them (“compassion”more or less equivalent to “mercy”, look at the corresponding entries of this category).

A blessing of those ones who have their hearts purified is that they see God.

A blessing of the servants of the peace is that they are called “sons of God”.

A blessing of the persecuted ones because they follow the justice (again, root Sdq) is that they are masters of the kingdom of heavens.

Your blessing is when the people are persecuting, criticizing and defaming  you in every way, due to my NAME ( this Semitic expression may mean YHWH, a respectful way of designating God; see https://bibliababel2.wordpress.com/2016/11/12/fear-of-my-name/).

Rejoice and  be happy on that day! Then, your reward increases in the heaven. In the same way your ancestors were persecuting those prophets who were before you.

That was Matthew 5:3-12. Without cosmetics!

 

 

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Fear of my name

My suggestion of exercise of poetical translation for this 33th Sunday on ordinary time goes to a single verse -the second one- of the first reading: a terrifying apocalypse by Malachi (a name which, very appropiately, contains the same semantical Hebrew root of the noun “angel”).

The verse of my choice is Malachi 3:20 (although, please, pay attention to the exact numbering in your own bibles as I have detected different editions that have a fourth chapter) because it contains a “balsamic” effect in the middle of a burning apocalypse, whose therapeutic effect -perhaps- the most of translations do not fully capture.
My personal version -directly from the Masoretic Hebrew text- tries to emphasize the contrast between two poles. In the first half of the verse, we find “Large fear”, litterally “fears” whose plural I have understood like a kind of intensification. That is the first focus. The second one, in the second half of the same verse, could be “medicine”, under the form of a participle with the root “rph’” which is related to the semantical field of “therapy” (the name “Raphael“, for example, means “God healed” and also contains this root).
So, the suspense of the plot is served: On one side, psychological sickness (fear) but on the another one, the remedy, Sdq,  word with a Semitic root that only very approximately can be translated as “justice”. By the way, this very same root is still quite alive in modern Arabic, for exemple in the word صديق , to be read /sadyyq/ and which means”friend“.
As a matter of fact, the second half of the verse is a metaphoric explanation of the expression “My name”, ie YHWH, the most respectful wording for God whose pronunciation was lost for ever because, among other reasons, ancient Semitic inscriptions and writings had not any vowel at all.
So, here it is Malachi under a new/old perspective, only for your eyes:

It will uprise to you a great fear of my name,
a sun of justice bringing medicine on its wings.

The sun with wings is an ubiquous iconographic theme to be find in the whole Ancient Middle East. So, please, pay no attention to mysterical-hysterical interpretations about prophecies to come and so on, because the question is rather about a common cultural background of those remote times and far beyond.

Then,  أصدقاء  /ásdiqaaa/ (friends)  -word, as I have mentioned,  with a root Sdq or, if you prefer in Hebrew,  צדק-  I say you: until next Sunday إن شاء الله

 /in sha Alla / (if God wills so…).

A complex cocktail

That is the text of our first reading for this 27th Sunday in ordinary time. The  Habakkuk’s  book has itself a high level of complexity linked to its antiquity. That implies also the existence of several traditions of translation: Neither the  Latin Vulgata, nor the Greek Septuaginta, nor the Hebrew Masoretic text, nor the Syriac Peshitta coincide among themselves for the meaning of verse 2,4, the last verse in the selected reading for today. Even if you take two English modern translations you will hardly find the common leitmotiv, specially in the first half of the verse.

If we retain the standard Masoretic text , one important reason for this divergence is that the subject of the sentence is omitted. That is why the verse 4,2 may be put in connection either with the preceding text, or with  what follows, or just be considered as an isolated proverb criticising some kinds of behaviour (this last option is the way that probably follows the Septuaginta).

My personal view is that the subject of the first half of the verse has to do with the previous vision or prophecy  or, more precisely, its recording on tabletts (of clay, I suppose, as the most frequent support for information in ancient Middle East). Consequently, dear readers of this blog, only for your eyes, here is my proposal:

It (the recording of the prophetic message) will excite and not please to the spirit

of a righteous person, but he (or she, the righteous man or woman) will live by virtue of the confidence on it (the message).

As you can see, pronouns in any language (either Hebrew or English) may be used as a sort of “wild card” and that lets us find new meanings in the sentence. In particular, this translation of mine has made me remember the concept about prophetic messages as usually having two “flavours” just like that story in Rev 10,9-10:

And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, “Give me the little book”. And he said unto me, “Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.” And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.  (KJV)

By the way, the concepts of “right”, “justice” and so on are not completely on the same signification level as the corresponding Semitic words with the root Sdq צדק

If you can read Spanish, please, look at this article for explanation

http://www.mercaba.org/SANLUIS/CUADERNOS_BIBLICOS/105%20La%20justicia%20en%20el%20antiguo%20testamento%20(GERAD%20WERKINDERE)

specially in page 17. But we will speak over that very same point here, in this blog… another day, if God  and/or nature wish(es) so.