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deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: thrust away, plunged deeper and deeper by some cataract, as the echo of its fall goes down. And there is an absence in the psalm of any local color from a foreign land.
Page 318. Drama of Night and Morning.- Despondent outlook with fatigue of night (strophe), vigor and resolution with the refreshment of waking (antistrophe): the whole is drama, because the change is brought about by external circumstances.
Page 320. Under the Protection of Jehovah.—This title gives the unity of this familiar lyric. The idea is developed by imagery; first, the image of the shepherd, detailed at length; then by a rapid succession of images briefly touched—the blockade, the feast, the flowing fountain, the river following the Israelites in their wanderings through the desert, with climax in the favorite image of a dweller in God's house.
Page 321. A Song of Trust.—The structure of this poem is a striking illustration of the lyric device of Interruption. A quatrain gives the simplest possible expression of trust in God; point is given to it by the interruption of another lyric giving (strophe) awful threats, (antistrophe) the calm rejoinder of faith.
Page 322. The Consecrated Life.—Compare the variant of this in one of the Psalms for the Inauguration of Jerusalem (page 69, and note page 475).
Page 324. The transgression of the wicked uttereth its oracle wilhin his heart.This fine rendering of R. V. margin turns on the use of the word oracle for the actual utterances of God (compare page 470, note to page 38). There are three stages of moral decline: at first the sinner has to sin in the teeth of remonstrating conscience; then conscience is dead and he sins peaceably; there is a lower depth when conscience takes the side of evil, and its secret promptings replace the oracles of God.
Page 324. From the Alphabet of the Law.–What is here given is a fragment, to illustrate what is too prominent in the Psalter to be wholly unnoticed. Many psalms are 'alphabetical': that is, in the original language succes sive verses begin with successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Our translators have not attempted to represent this. [In the Golden Treasury Psalter (Macmillan) the translation is altered to bring this out.] The great example of this alphabetical idea is Psalm 119. Here we have twenty-two sections, corresponding to the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet; each section is made up of eight couplets commencing with the special letter; and in every couplet there is a word which is a synonym of the word law. An idea of the effect can be caught from the specimen given. Such tours de force of alphabetical and similar ingenuity have been prominent at certain periods of literary history. Modern taste retains them in the ‘acrostic.'
Page 326. Liturgies. The modern usage of the word 'Liturgy' applies it to Divine Service in which various moods of the soul are represented-penitence, supplication, prayer, exposition, and the like, perhaps differentiated by different postures of kneeling, standing, sitting, but with no links of transition from one to another. It is remarkable that several of the psalms, sometimes short psalms, are made up of these moods of the soul, standing side by side, without transitions. From the way these are printed in the present work no further explanation is necessary.
Page 326. By terrible things thou wilt answer us in righteousness. From the Scriptural use of this word righteousness (compare page 519) the answer in righteousness becomes the vindication of right by Divine Providence.
Page 327. I waited patiently, etc.-In this first section of the psalm a strophe presents a great deliverance which has put a new song in the psalmist's mouth; the antistrophe gives the new song.–But wherein consists the 'newness? If the second section be read apart from the italic passages, it is found to lay down the supremacy of righteousness over sacrifice (compare the Vision of Judgment, pp. 293-4). The italic passages are parenthetic interruptions bringing out how this doctrine is one to which the speaker's ears have been opened by the experience narrated in the first section; he is resolved to bear testimony to this new reading of “the law."
Page 331. Song of God's House.—The main point of this poem will be treated in the Note on Direct Metaphor (page 514): it is a song of the pilgrimages to the sacred feasts. The structure is noticeable: triplet stanzas express the worshippers' longings for these pilgrimages; the rest is made up of a strophe, presenting the pilgrimages, and an antistrophe containing the pilgrims' hymn. [The antistrophe is ‘interrupted' by one of the triplet stanzas.)-In whose heart are the highways lo Zion: the lover of these pilgrimages: the way to Zion runs through his heart.-Passing through the valley of Weeping, etc. Dreary spots on the route are converted for the season into gaiety by the flocking pilgrims, like dry places covered for a while with blessings by the brief spring rains. (Another example of metaphor direct.)—They go from strength to strength: from stage to stage of the ascent to Zion.
Page 332. Votive Hymns. Page 342. Votive Anthems.—The Bible regularly treats the fulfilment of a vow by a combination of the personal experience with the general topic of Divine deliverances. In the hymn, My soul shall make her boast, etc., the personal element appears in the Solo part, the general topic in the Chorus part.-In the hymn that follows this, the two elements are less clearly separated: on the whole the strophe is general, the antistrophe personal. — In the great Votive Anthem (342-51), only two out of the seven sections are personal, while the other five put general or national thanksgiving. See below.
Pages 336 to 358. Festal Anthems.-What are presented under these titles are made by putting together successive psalms of the traditional Bible. Such Anthems make an approach to the modern oratorio. Of course, the indications of Chorus, Semichorus, and the like, are only editorial suggestions: their value will be tested if the arrangement is carried out in practice.
Page 336. Jehovah Reigneth.—The successive psalms (95-100) have sometimes been called Accession Hymns, as emphasizing the thought of Jehovah as king over all the nations. As here arranged, the Anthem is in five parts. Parts I, III, V (that is, the beginning, the middle, and the close) have the pendulum rhythm of alternation between praise and motives for that praise. (Compare below, the Anthem Hallelujah.] Separating these we have II, in the more measured joy of antistrophic structure; and IV, distinguished by refrains: the (italic) refrain of awe, and the refrain of ecstasy (printed in capital letters). Page 342. Votive anthem: The Egyptian Hallel.-In this case, the putting
together of successive psalms (111-118) is not a modern suggestion, but is the traditional ‘Hallel,' used at the three great Feasts, the Feast of Dedication, and the New Moons. (The title Egyptian is founded on section III.] It falls into seven divisions. I is prefatory, in the quiet tone of meditation. (In the original these two psalms are alphabetical.] II is a general Doxology; IV is the Doxology of Israel; VI is the brief Doxology of the Nations. III is the foundation on which the whole rests: the Deliverance from Egypt. It is based on the primitive conception of Deity as a local power (compare in Jonah, page 259): the new thought is the marvel of the presence of a God moving with his people. This is developed by the art effect known as Introversion:
A new conception of Deity!
All nature convulsed!
Why all nature convulsed?
At this new conception of Deily! Such introversion, it is unnecessary to say, prevails through various branches of art. It has even come down to modern sport:
What is the matter with Smith?
He's all right!
Who's all right?
Sections V and VII contain the votive element. The matter of these sections is practically identical. But in V there is nothing to suggest more than one speaker, the worshipper performing his vow. VII involves (1) a Soloist, the worshipper; (2) a Chorus, his escort of friends (or the whole People); and (3) in the latter part a Chorus of Priests awaiting the Procession at the Temple.Open to me the gates of righteousness . . . this is the gate, the righteous shall enter into it. This is the regular use of righteousness as vindication of the righteous (by deliverance). Compare page 519.
Page 362. Hallelujah.—This is the simplest of the Festal Anthems. The First Chorus speaks expressions of praise; the Second Chorus furnishes matter for praise. As they alternate, at first it is the Second Chorus that is most prominent; gradually the First Chorus gains upon the Second; then they alternate in single lines to an overpowering climax of the Full Chorus:
Let everything that hath breath praise the LORD. If readers will arrange to carry out the structure in practice, they will appreciate its simple effectiveness.
Page 364. The midst thereof being inlaid with love, etc.—That is, love gifts or wedding presents.
Notes to Zion Redeemed Page 375. Keep silence before me.—The natural formula (compare our modern Oyez, Oyez) for a proclamation before a potentate. Compare in Habakkuk
(page 257): The LORD is in his holy tem ple: let all the earth keep silence before him. O islands: by a regular usage in prophecy the islands (of Greece) are the western boundary of the prophetic world. The sense is, that all the world to its furthest boundary is summoned to judgment. Compare a little later: The isles saw and feared; the ends of the earth trembled; and again (page 383), To the islands he will repay recom pence; so shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun.
Page 376. So the car penter encouraged the goldsmith, etc.—With the contemptuous irony usual in prophecy the idolatrous nations as they assemble are panicstricken lest their manufactured gods may not stand the shock of being confronted with the true God.
Page 377. Behold my servant. At this point the Servant of Jehovah is the Nation of Israel. Thus (after the interrupting songs) the proclamation describes this servant as blind, deaf, hidden in prison houses of Babylon for its sin.
Page 379. Behold I have given him for a witness to the peoples.-In accordance with the Doom Form of this passage the prose portions are the word of God, proclaiming Israel a witness to the nations; the verse gives the words of Israel inviting the nations into the covenant with God. An interesting confirmation of this is seen in the use of the conjunction For. For my thoughts are not your thoughts: the for connects this, not with the (verse) passage which has immediately preceded, but with the preceding prose. And again, For ye shall go out with joy continues the last verse passage, and does not join on to the prose that immediately precedes.
Page 380. Behold, my servant shall prosper.—Here the Servant of Jehovah has changed to a mystic Personality. The Chorus of Nations gradually catch the exaltation of what had appeared to be the humiliation of suffering. What might at first appear a difficulty in the arrangement of the text is really a striking confirmation. This is the change of pronouns: through the greater part of the chorus the pronouns are plural ("we,” “us”), suitable to a Chorus of Nations; but at certain points we have the singular. (He grew up before “him” as a tender planl—for the transgression of “my” people was he stricken-by his knowledge shall “my” righteous servant make many righteous.) The singular pronoun refers to God. The point is, that the Chorus of Nations do not merely catch the idea of vicarious suffering as an abstract idea, but they also read it into the thoughts of God in his providential disposal of events.
Page 383. Who are these that fly ... as doves to their windows?-A striking figure for the sails of ships, that are bringing the exiles to Zion.
Notes to the Books of Wisdom When an editor, charged with the task of writing notes, has to deal with the Books of Wisdom, he feels much perplexity. Every line of wisdom writing seems to invite comment. But to copious notes there is not only the practical objection of swelling the size of this work; such notes seem somewhat incongruous with the idea of wisdom literature, which, avoiding direct speech, wraps itself up in thought-provoking expressions. Readers would not thank the editor of a comedy for explaining all the jokes. And the phraseology of wisdom is intended to 'amuse'-in the etymological sense of that word, which is to set
a-musing. Thus here the notes on particular passages are reduced to a minimum. The interconnection of thought, which binds the separate writings into a philosophic whole, has been fully brought out in the text of Chapter VI.
Page 401. A Proverb Cluster.—This makes a distinct stage in the evolution of the Essay out of floating proverbs. Collections of such floating proverbs are made without any interconnection. But sometimes they are grouped under a common topic, such as the Sluggard, or the Fool. Here we have the first germ of the Essay. Essays are found in the wisdom books in which the component proverbs of the cluster are entirely independent, as in the two examples on pages 401, 402. But gradually, as Stanley puts it, the closed hand of the Hebrew proverb changes into the open palm of Greek rhetoric. This makes the Essay as conceived in Ecclesiasticus and Bacon.
Page 402. Number Sonnets.—This peculiar type of proverbial literature contains a numerical progression in its opening lines to which the rest of the poem corresponds. The numerical framework is a mode of emphasis. Thus in the second of the two examples): to say that the mutual behavior of a pair of lovers was unintelligible to any but themselves would be frigid prose. It has a point when the behavior is made a climax to three other things untraceable—the way of the eagle, the serpent, the ship in water.
Page 402. A Riddle Sonnet.-In modern poetry the 'Sonnet'is restricted to a single specialized form-14 lines disposed in logical order. In earlier literature there is no limitation to the 14 lines. In wisdom literature the idea of a sonnet is the adaptation of matter to form-not any one form, but to what is markedly form. In the present case the form is pronounced. A riddle in six brief lines, with the answer in a couplet; then there is both reversed order and duplication, the couplet becomes a quatrain, and for six single lines we have six couplets. Some element of form dominating matter will be found to underlie all the poems printed as ‘sonnets.'
Page 403. The Epigram.-In wisdom literature the epigram has a definite structure: a couplet text with a brief verse expansion. As printed in this work, the two lines (not necessarily consecutive) which make the text are indented to the left. Thus, of the specimens here given the texts of the second and third
Weary not thyself to be rich;
Eat thou not the bread of one that hoth an evil eye,
For as one that reckoneth within himself, so is he. Each of these could stand by itself as an independent proverb. To make an epigram the independent proverb is supported by other lines. The grudging host seems to reckon up in his mind the cost of each morsel his guest eats.
Page 404. A Maxim.—The maxim is the prose analogue of the epigram: a proverb text with a prose expansion. The two specimens illustrate.
Page 405. Out of prison he came forth to be king.—Many interpreters, missing the maxim form, have sought (without success) to find a political allusion in