09 January 2010

RODS & STAVES: Being There when it counts: Psalm 23

The Lord is my sheperd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul; He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for He is with me; His Sceptre and His Support, they comfort me. Psalm 23

I took a close look at the Hebrew text of this Psalm, and decided that I might translate it a little differently. Not that rod and staff are bad translations, as much as, perhaps, they are less complete as conveyers of the nuances of intent than other words. I like sceptre and support better than rod and staff. A sceptre is a symbol of the power of the throne of God; and God supports His people, Jew or Gentile, with an outstretched hand, which though unseen, will catch us when we begin to fall, steady us on uncertain or hazardous journeys.

Or maybe:
"Your power and authority, and your concerned loving kindness, they protect and sustain me in all travail."

Best would be two or three English words footnoted in the text to explain each Hebrew word, but then, that would make a cumbersome book that scholars might love, but nobody else could easily read.

There is a Being There, when being there really counts, and that is the point.


Adam Ehad said...

Nice! Almost a poem!

Carolyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carolyn said...

Interestingly, after having found and enjoyed this post earlier, one of my Bible study scriptures for today was Psalm 23. I came back and reread this post to ponder again. I love your last sentence. I do enjoy reading your posts...the thoughts and the language. Thank you for sharing.

דוד נתנאל סיגל said...

And thank you for visiting here!