The wordliness of life

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I spent my morning devotion reading Psalm 1 and Terrien's commentary of it. As much as I have mentioned that it is a joy reading Terrien with his excellent writing and usage of language, it proved to be a challenge too. What with the usage of words like transhumance, sapiential and stichoi. Looks like I need a dictionary to carry along with the heavy tome of a commentary.

    The verbs "walk," "stand," and "sit" (Ps 1:1) suggest nomadic transhumance with its necessary choice between two tracks in the sand.

    transhumance - the seasonal migration of livestock, and the people who tend them, between lowlands and adjacent mountains.

    The initial word, "blessed" or "happy" attempts to translate the Hebrew 'ashre, an exclamation, probably of sapiential origin, which hails and greets someone with a wish for success and the plenitude of existence.

    sapiential - that is wise or intelligent
    ~ Pocket Oxford English Dictionary

    Unlike most other psalms, which usually comprise strophes of double or triple stichoi, each strophe contains only a single triad preceded and followed by an opening and closing element.
    stichoi - stichometry is a term applied to the measurement (μετρον) of ancient texts by στιχοι (lit. "rows") or verses of a fixed standard length.
Picture by Steve Woods

Samuel Terrien, The Psalm, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003): 70-1

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4 comment(s)

  1. Dude! Now that guy knows how to throw around a thesaurus!

    May he bless you anyway :-)

  2. Hi Maeghan,

    One of those words - sapiential - I am actually familiar with b/c we had a speaker at work talk about "sapiential theology". I think it refers mainly to the wisdom of God.
    I say, along with the commentary & dictionary, a camera would prove to be quite a burden!

  3. Sapiential Theology

    Very interesting. I think it refers to Theology of Wisdom. I did a check in the net - not much.