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subject of the action in the parallel clause, (2) no close analogy for £i's phrase is known, (3) sil's thought is too abstract and colourless for this context. The specific meaning of £i has been sought in two main directions. Some find a promise to Judah to the effect that Assyria shall not again afflict her as she did under Sennacherib or as she had done to Samaria.” Others take it as a threat against Nineveh to the effect that no second disaster will be needed to accomplish her overthrow.f This is essentially the same thought as that conveyed by the reading here followed, viz. no second stroke of chastisement will be necessary (cf. 1 S. 3° 26°2 S. 20"); Yahweh will punish once for all. None will dare to oppose him again. This meaning is strongly supported by the remainder of the line. —9b. For unto complete destruction he is about to work] This is an exact parallel to v. ** and fits here better than after *.i. It reaffirms the proposition made in * and clinches it, so has here “a full end he is about to make” (cf. Ez. 11”); this yields good sense, but lacks any formal connective with the preceding half of the line. By using the first two words of v. " here, we not only secure a smoother connection, but also account satisfactorily for the two words which at the beginning of v. * are unintelligible and have baffled all interpreters. For the idiom “unto complete destruction,” cf. Dn. 9” Ez. 13° 2 Ch. 12”; and for the absolute use of the verb ‘work’ (noy), cf. 1 K. 8*.* Je. 14' Ez. 20" Ps. 22" 37° 52" Mal. 3” Dn. 9”.-9a. What are you devising against Yahweh’) Not “what are you thinking of Yahweh?” $ The verb Styn in the Piel with 58 or %y always means “to plot” or “plan against” (Ho. 7” Dn. II”). The writer here addresses himself directly to the foes of Yahweh and seeks by this pointed question to bring out the futility of all human devices aimed against the great God; cf. Ps. 33". The answer to this question, or whatever else it may have been that formed the original conclusion of this line, is now lost.— 2b. Yahweh takes vengeance on his adversaries and lays up wrath for his foes] The right of this line to stand here is shown by its nearness in thought to the preceding line, by its fitting into the acrostic at this point, and by the fact that it is superfluous where it stands in #1.” Others treat the line as a part of the gloss on v. *t intended to limit the absolute statement there made by the additional suggestion that Yahweh’s vengeance is reserved only for his enemies. For the phrase ‘lays up wrath,’ cf. Je. 3’ “Ps. 103", where Yahweh’s attitude toward his own people is declared to be just the opposite of that which he is here credited with holding toward his foes. The prohibition of this state of mind which is laid upon Israel in Lv. 19” recognises the same difference between Israelites and non-Israelites; cf. Am. I*-10. Thorns cut down and dried out—they will be devoured like dry stubble] As it stands in sti, this verse is wholly unintelligible. Modern interpreters have for the most part abandoned it as hopeless and many declare the recovery of the original text impossible. A literal rendering of fli would yield, “for unto thornsentangled and like their drink soaked, they will be devoured like dry stubble full,” or possibly, “fully dry.” This has usually been interpreted to mean that even though the foes of Yahweh be, like tangled thorns, difficult and dangerous to approach and be hard to destroy even as drenched thorns are hard to burn, yet before Yahweh’s might they will be made to fall as easily as the fire consumes the stubble. Others have found in the second clause a slightly different thought, viz. “like drunkards who fall into the flames as though desiring so to do, they will be consumed, etc...” But no translation affording any connected sense is possible within the limits of ordinary grammatical interpretation. The translation here given rests upon a text which is confessedly largely conjectural and, as with all guesses, the chances are against it. Recent interpreters have cut the Gordian knot by dropping the more difficult words as due to dittography (v. i.), but this leaves the line with only five beats instead of the six that are required. The poet's imagination pictures the enemies of
* So e. g. Jer., Sanctius, Hö., Pu., Or.. f So e. g. Theodoret., Rä., Ki., Rosenm., Hi., Um., Ew., We., Hal. t The order * * b. * is that adopted by Bick., Gunk., Gray, Marti, Now.", Hpt., Stk., Du., Kent. § Contra Rosenm., Ew., Strauss, Ke., We., Dav., GASm., Now., Arn., Hap., Marti, Kent. “Against Yahweh” is adopted by (3 H so, Hi., Gray, Hal., Dr., Hpt., van H., Kau.
* So placed also by Bick., Now.", Or. (?), Arn., Marti, Hpt., Stk., Kau., Kent; while Du. places the whole of v. here.
t So e. g. Gunk, We, Now.", Gray, Hap., Dr., van H..
! So e. g. We..., Dav., GASm., Dr., Kau.
§ So e. g. Ew., Hi., Hol., Or. ** So e. g. Ki., Mau.
Yahweh as a patch of thorns laid low by the sickle and ready for the fire. The same likening of Yahweh’s foes to thorns and stubble appears in Is. 33* *; cf. also 2 S. 23" Mi. 7"Is. Io" 27° Ez. 2" Ec. 7".
The acrostic structure of this section was first noticed in modern times at least, by Pastor G. Frohnmeyer of Lienzingen in Würtemberg. His suggestion was called to the attention of scholars by De. in his commentary on Ps. 9. The discovery was taken up by Bick. who sought to reconstruct vv. 1-10 on this basis in ZDMG. XXXIV (1880), 559 f. and later in his Carmina V. T. metrice (1882), 212 f. Bick.’s scheme was peculiar in that he sought the whole alphabet in the successive lines of vv. *. 1", by making the alphabetic arrangement apply not only to the initial letters, but also to the second and third letters of the lines. In his own words, “exquisito artificio alphabetico struitur hoc carmen. Unicuique disticho litera ex ordine alphabeti usque ad mem inclusive praemittitur, sed ea lege, ut Aleph iteretur, et prima ultimaque stropha unicam tantum literam initialem recipiant. Hoc modo in initio secundi distichi literae Nun locus reservatur. Ceterae literae a Samekh usque ad Tav (equibus Pā, ut saepius, literae 'Ajin praemittitur) literas initiales Bet, Gimel, Dalet, He, Vavita sequuntur, ut alternatim binae et singulae ponantur; ergo Samekh et På post Bet, 'Ajin post Gimel, Qade et Qoph post Dalet, Reš post He, Šin et Tav post Vav.” The artificiality of this hypothesis, which is wholly without analogy in Heb., and the violence to the text which is necessary to give it any shade of plausibility kept scholars from adopting it; and Bick. (though he had presented the last str. in revised form [11-1] in Zeitschrift für Kathol. Theologie for 1886), in his last publication on the subject, viz. Beiträge z. sem. Metrik (1894) abandoned the scheme himself. The next contribution was from Gunk. in ZA W. XIII (1893), 223 ff. and also some further suggestions in Schöpfung und Chaos (1895), Io2 f. He, observing that elsewhere alphabetic poems are carried through the whole alphabet and that 110-2 was of approximately the same length as 1”, proceeded to reconstruct 1'-2' so as to make it yield twenty-two lines, each opening in turn with the letters of the alphabet in their proper order. This involved radical emendations and several transpositions of lines or parts of lines, especially in 110–21. The first full statement of the case for English readers was furnished by Gray, Exp. 1898, pp. 207-220, who did not attempt to follow Gunk. in the reconstruction of the latter half of the acrostic, concerning which he rightly says, “any particular suggestion can be regarded as little more than a possibility”; but satisfied himself with marshalling the evidence for the acrostic character of the piece as a whole and with contributing a textual suggestion or two of much value. Hap. (1900 and 1902) regards the acrostic form as original rather than as due to an editor as some have suggested and carries it through 2', but considers the poem in its present form to be in reality a composite of two poems (viz. 11-10 and 11–2), which have been independently wrought out of the original acrostic which he undertakes to restore. Arn. (1901) subjected the work of his predecessors to a keen criticism and maintained that only a fragment of the original acrostic had been incorporated in ch. I and that it is found in 12-10. In the restoration of this, he proffers some new textual readings and transpositions. Hpt. (1907) likewise makes no attempt to restore the acrostic beyond 11° and adds but little on the acrostic form to the work of his predecessors. Du. (1910) begins the acrostic with 1", tr. 1" to foll. I*, and combines 1” with 110 to form the D and y lines with which he stops. The acrostic structure of 1*10 is too clearly apparent to be a subject of reasonable doubt. Eight of the lines as they stand in fl offer the desired initial letter, while four or five more are easily recovered by slight emendations and transpositions, some of which are necessary apart from all requirements of the acrostic. This fact is recognised and a reconstruction substantially identical with that given above (pp. 287 f.) is adopted by nearly all recent scholars; e. g. We., Now., Marti, Dr., Stk., van H., Kau., and Kent. The only doubters are Dav. and GASm. The former entertains the possibility that the traces of an acrostic are due solely to unconscious and accidental causes; but the recurrence of so many successive letters at regular intervals seems to reduce the possibility of chance or accident to the vanishing-point. The latter scholar wonders how a poem originally clearly indicated as acrostic could have failed of recognition and have suffered mutilation to such an extent as to have lost the semblance of an acrostic. But the fact that Ps. 9 and Io underwent a somewhat similar transformation is sufficient answer to such an objection. In the section beginning with 11, not only are there no sure traces of the acrostic, but the character of the contents undergoes a change. The acrostic concerns itself primarily and almost exclusively with Yahweh and his doings; vv. 11", are clearly addressed to a party of the second part who seems to have been guilty of a great crime against Yahweh and his people. Hence, these two parts of ch. I must be treated separately. It is Gunk.'s merit to have pointed out the distinction in style and tone between ch. I and chs. 2, 3. In the latter, the writer is dealing with a definite and concrete political situation; but in the former we have only theological abstractions. The language and ideas here are not those of the prophets, but those of the post-prophetic, eschatological psalmists. The artificial acrostic form is also out of keeping with the vigor
ous and vital style of Nahum. It points to later times, when such usage
was common; e. g. Pr. 311” Ps. 9, 1o, 25, 34, 37, III, 112, 119, 145. La. 1-4. This section is, therefore, now generally held to be of late origin; so e.g. Bick., Gray, We., Now., Hap., Löhr (ThDZ. 1901, p. 37), Arn., Marti, Dr., Bu.Gesch, Cor., Hpt., Kau., Du., Kent. The fact that the later addition comes at the beginning of the book rather than at the end, as is more customary, is not altogether without parallel; similar introductions are Gn. 11–2*, Dt. 1–5; and some would place Mi. 1* in the same category. 2. Rup) Only Jos. 24"; a variation from the more usual form N.R.— ” box) Marti om. 'n; so Hpt., Stk., Kau., Kent. Du. om. both words. —mn" Spi] Om. with ($ as a dittog.; so Gunk., Hap., Now., Du. Marti om. only ”; so Hpt., Stk., Ka. The threefold occurrence of ’2 greatly exercised the older exegetes; Ra., e.g., saw in it a reflection of the threefold vengeance of '', viz. in the beginning of Israel's history, in the prophet's own time, and in the days to come when Israel is to be deported to Babylon. Abar. interpreted it as occasioned by the fact that Assy. had invaded and devastated Israel three times; while Tarnovius, Mich., Geb. and Pu. referred it to the three persons of the Trinity. The om. of ' ', here suggested is much simpler than the proposition to drop 'm and the second ", even though it does bring the caesura after the fourth beat instead of the third; such variations in hexameter are not uncommon.—nrn oyal] ($ uerá 6vuot, om. ; so so; so also Gunk., Hap., Now. On this usage of 'a, cf. Pr. 22* 29” and Ges. $ its s. “; so also Ar. dhu = “possessor of,’ ‘characterised by.”—noun) (3 kal ééalpwy, nowhere else used to render 'i, but = 'oc, in Dn. 7. H et irascens. For the same usage of '1, with the object on understood, v. Je. 35. in Ps. 103° Lv. 191*; Am. 11", in its original form, probably presented this vb. with An expressed (v. H.A*, 32). Hpt. would assign 'i in all these passages to a 'j II = ‘be embittered’ and = Assy. natáru, generally read madäru, and connected with Ar. mutirr (V nob) = ‘bursting out (of wrath).’ New. traced it to an Ar. wb. = ‘see’ and rendered it “observeth with an angry eye’; cf. no?p = ‘mark,” “target” (1 S. 20°).-All who recognise the acrostic character of this passage concede vv. *b, *.* to be out of place here; but opinions vary as to the best disposition of them; some treating both lines as glosses, others finding only * to be late and placing ob after the pline, while others make both lines original, putting **, *b, in reverse order, after the pline (Bick.), or *B. *b after the pline (Hpt.), or ** after the to line (v. 7) and * after p (Arn.). Du., however, begins the acrostic with v. *, dropping the initial " and placing v. after v. *. Every attempt to use ** as a part of the acrostic involves serious difficulty. To make it supply the shortage in the pline, demands the arbitrary omission of more than half of ** in order to bring the completed line within the compass of a hexameter. To place it after the to line, likewise calls for some pruning of ** which is, as it stands, too long for a line, and it also involves the omission of 's own from v. 7 which has to be crowded into a single line. Du.'s proposition involves an irregular order of words for