Friday, January 06, 2012

Psalm 1 translation

I am much better at Greek than Hebrew, but I've kept my resolution to translate a verse of the Psalms a day this year.  I'm tweeting the verses but I finished Psalm 1 today and thought I would collect them here. This isn't anything like a finished translation, but it gives a little sense of the Hebrew.
1 Oh the delights of the man
who does not walk by the counsel of wicked people,
and in the way of sinners does not stand
and in the seat of mockers does not sit.

2 Rather, in the Law of the LORD [is] his pleasure,
and on his Law he will reflect daily and nightly.

3 And he will be like a tree being planted by the rivers of waters,
which will give its fruit in its time,
and its leaf will not wither,
and everything he does will be successful.

4 Not so [are] the wicked.
Rather [they are] like chaff
that the wind will drive away.

5Therefore, wicked people will not prevail in [their] sentencing
or sinners with the jury of the righteous.

6 For the LORD knows the way of righteous people,
but the way of wicked ones will perish.
This was perhaps a psalm written as a "cover letter" for the whole Psalm collection or perhaps at least "Book 1" of the Psalms (1-41). The Law is of course the Pentateuch. All in all, these factors suggest a rather late date in the post-exilic period, I suspect.

1 comment:

Josh and Jaclyn said...

I think I am going to enjoy these translation posts. I too, have decided to read and translate narratives this year. I'm wondering what your thought process is on how literal to translate. It seems at times (see verse 1) that you are in keeping with the Hebrew word order, yet at other times you are exchanging the 3ms suffixes for gender neutral ones. What kind of "grid" do you use to make those decisions? Thanks again for the posts.