The aim of this blog is “ruminating” the Bible according to its original version in Semitic languages: Hebrew, Syriac, Aramaic …
New technological tools (hypertext, language learning methodologies, automatic grammatical analysis) help us to taste the flavour of the biblical texts in original languages. In 15th century there was a change of paradigm in biblical readings. Something analogous is to come due to nowadays supports and software of information.
The result of that biblical tasting will bring happiness to the believer because she/he will find reasons to thank God for having received surprisingly undeserved gifts, but the unbeliever will bring too at any case the award of having enjoyed good literature. Remember, please, professor Frye: http://heritage.utoronto.ca/northropfryelectures
And as the movement is demonstrated by walking, let’s go into the first reading of this 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time: prophet Amos. As a matter of fact, in a certain way, Amos sounds like “Laudato sì”. However our experts in liturgy have cut, abruptly, in verse 7 just when a thrilling apocalypse begins.
I guess the reason for not including the verse 8 in our Sunday reading is that there are some “scars” suffered by the text of this verse during its long, ancient transmission to us. One of these “scars” is that one related with the appearance of a “light” on the standard Masoretic text which became a “river” in other authoritative versions (Greek LXX, Syriac Peshitta and others). Another possible scar is a verb that is not understandable because perhaps it was a very old copyist error, so old that the Jewish sages have not considered reverent to correct it. So, they inserted in the margin a MASORETIC note (Qere, reading) in order to keep the traditional -possibly wrong- way of writing, but indicating the understandable way to read the word.
However, the problem I find is related to modern translations of verse 7. This verse can be translated not like as we have in our bibles, but in a quite another way if the Hebrew connector אִם is taken like an “if” (conditional) or a “but”. It’s just the way followed by our old medieval Castilian masters on translation. Please, take the pleasure of visiting the glorious internet pages of corpus “Biblia Medieval” http://corpus.bibliamedieval.es/
No problem if you are not fluent in old Castilian. Here you have my own version:
7 The Lord has sworn by the glory of Jacob:
“If I would forget forever all of their misdeeds …
And with the truncation, the sentence remains suspended. We should better continue
8 will the earth then not rise against that,
leaving in mourning all of its inhabitants? “.
The whole of it will rise like a lightning
becoming dragged and flooded
as if it were the Nile of Egypt!
9 In that day it shall come to happen the things that YHWH the Lord announced …
(And a series of God caused apocalyptic cataclysms follows with the narrative)
All of this makes me remind strongly this Jesus’ wording: “I tell you that if they remain silent, then the stones will cry” (Lk 19:40). I think that Amos’ text has a kind of rethoric in which, if God and / or humans would remain inactive against injustice, then the Creation itself could react. It looks like as if creatures, even without conscience or reason, would have its own code.
I hope you may have enjoyed this very first entry of my blog. Let me tell you that if you can read Spanish, the “brother” blog of this site is freely offered to you in https://bibliababel.wordpress.com/
I do wait for your corrections and comments. Have a happy autumn!