For my Hebrew class last year, I was asked to write up a super literal translation of Psalm 23 (below), and then build off of that to create a much more dynamic, creative, contemporary translation. This was the result.
A Psalm in the spirit of David.
The LORD is tending to me
I want for nothing
He has me lie down in pastures of fresh, new grass
Beside the waters of rest
He gently guides me
He brings the life back to my soul
He leads me into the grooves of life well-lived because of who he is.
Though I truly die in the depth of darkness,
there is no evil that I fear,
You are truly there with me
Your staff and your support: they comfort me
You host before my face a table opposite all that stands against me.
You clean me with oil over top of my head.
Overflowing abundance is my cup.
Surely, goodness and steadfast faithfulness will chase me down
for the whole of my life’s days
This will be my story:
I will return into the dwelling place of the Lord and stay—
for lifetimes upon lifetimes.
When Lamech had lived one hundred eighty-two years, he became the father of a son; he named him Noah, saying, “Out of the ground that the Lord has cursed this one shall bring us relief from our work and from the toil of our hands.”
Noah’s name means “comfort” or “rest”. This is an interesting prophetic statement concerning Noah. Hebrew irony at its best. The same Hebrew word for “earth” is used here as “ground”. Same word as in “God created the heavens and the earth”. So, how Noah will bring “relief” from the toil is by playing a part in the undoing of God’s creation of “the heavens and the ground”. In other words, he comes out of the ground to bring comfort to that ground by undoing the ground. Oh, Hebrew.
See other Marginalia here. Read more about the series here.
If my Facebook feed is representative of the general population at all, then I can confidently say that most of you have heard about the debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye about creationism and evolution.
On this blog, I try not to get too much into issues of great contention in the church family when I don’t think it’s necessary, especially when I think it would unnecessarily prevent someone from reading this blog with a free conscience, or just mess with their head too much. But this is the one issue that I have felt the freedom to be blunt, bold, consistent, and loud about my opinion. So, I don’t have too much to add to everyone else out there that was more or less lamenting this debate more than celebrating it. Maybe I’ll have some thoughts next week coming at it from a different angle, but we’ll see.
Today, I wanted to share with you a video from the in-person portion of my Hebrew class a couple of weeks ago. To get an A in the class I have to translate, memorize, and recite a section of the Genesis 1 in the Hebrew. To help us with that, my professor made a video of him reciting it and acting out the recitation in front of us.