By Alastair Hunter

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Additional info for Psalms: Remembering Zion (Old Testament Readings)

Example text

The Hebrew here is so specific and so tightly organised that (as one of the exceptions to my own rubric) I intend to give it some attention by setting out an English translation which matches (at the expense of fluency) the actual form of the Hebrew: Daily the sun//shall not smite you//nor moon by night The balance is perfect: the centrally placed verb covers both threats; the adverbial form ‘daily’ reflects the Hebrew use of a suffix to create the adverb; similarly ‘by night’ matches here the Hebrew use of a prefix.

Aspect 5 was defined as ‘first-level readings which may take into account the results of aspects 1–4. Here again some clarification is required; for I do not mean to say that these are logically prior—only that they tend to have been the major focus of traditions of interpretation since the introduction of formal biblical criticism. They are more likely, in short, to be found already discussed in existing literature (though typically without much reference to aspect 4). Modern hermeneutical techniques and personal readings could perfectly well form the starting-point of the process of interpretation.

A neat interpretation, which might even allow the Scots to climb their mountains safe again in the knowledge that they are within the realm of the creator. Too safe, perhaps. Too restricted. Look again at the fundamental thought of this Psalm, and the language of control that it employs. ’ Answer—‘from the hills’. But no; there is a disjunctive disconfirmation, and suddenly the mountain tops (the place of the gods in so many religions, including that of Israel) are demonised, ruled out of bounds.

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