Major Poems of the Hebrew Bible: Ex. 15, Deut. 32, and Job 3
This book presents a comprehensive discussion of three famous poems which are studied as works of art. A full description of their prosodic regularity, as well as the variations on it, is given, and goes hand in hand with a detailed structural analysis of the lower and higher textual units. Great care is taken to find the correct delimitation of cola (half-verses), verses, strophes and stanzas, and, in the case of Deut.32, of its four big sections, after which all things fall into place.
The articulation of the higher units underpins the discursive or argumentative structure of Deut.32 and Job 3 and is a solid basis for an interpretation that tries to honour the thematic developments in these songs. In the case of Ex.15, of which the stanzaic division is already known, the attention shifts to the lower levels. The contours and rhythms of its short cola, and its verses and strophes are studied and accounted for. The chapter on Job 3 has a special feature. The count of premasoretic syllables is shown to be an essential part of the numerical perfection of this poem.
A major point of departure for this book, which is corroborated by its results, is that these poems are so complex (read: of such many-layered significance) that they cannot be given their due by a simple set of techniques or fixed canon of interpretive procedures. This poetry requires a flexible approach which tries to cover the full range of its brilliant usage of language, style and structure.
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B The poem under the rule of prosody
The relations between syntax and the higher prosodic units
A comprehensive description
one stanza three strophes w 16
four stanzas eight strophes w 718
four stanzas ten strophes w 1935
two stanzas six strophes w 3643
The Song of Moses in Deut 32 as a whole
The poem of Job 3
Structural analysis of strophes and stanzas
alliteration anaphora asyndetic B-cola B-colon balance Book of Job books of Samuel caesura chiasm chiastic clause cola colon consists count counterfactual deity Deuteronomy diagonal discourse double enemy enjambment exactly fact figures final strophe final verse four cola four strophes Freedman God's half verses Hebrew Hiphil forms IIIA inclusio indicate interpretation Israel L-strophes leve1 long strophes LORD Masoretic means merism metonym monosyllable morpheme Moses narrative nominal nouns number of syllables object occurs opening opposition parallelism participle pattern plural poem poet poetic lines poetry position prosodic Psalm quotation formula refers refrain strophes rhetorical rhyme section IIIB semantic sequence short strophes Song Song of Hannah speaker speaks speech stanza stresses stro strophe 14 strophe 20 strophes containing strophic strophic units suffix syllables syntactic syntax three strophes three verses tion tricolon verb verbal predicates verse and strophe word pair YHWH