Графични страници
PDF файл

3. Sometimes the simple member is disproportionably small, so that the inequality is still more striking ; for example, Ps. xl.



“I have proclaimed thy righteousness in the great congrega

Lo, I have not restrained my lips,

O Lord, thou knowest." Sometimes a noble effect is thus produced ; for example, Ps. xci. 7:

" A thousand shall fall by thy side,

And ten thousand at thy right hand,

But thee it shall not touch." Comp. Cant. vi. 4.

Frequently there is a parallelism in each several proposition and member; for example, Ps. lxix. 21 :

Reproach hath broken my heart, and I am full of heaviness;
I look for pity, but there is none;

For comforters, but find none.' Here belongs also Ps. lxix. 5: More numerous than the hairs of my head are they who

hate me without reason ; Mighty are they who seek to destroy me, being my enemies

without cause ; I must restore what I took not away." 4. Sometimes the complex member is increased to three or four propositions; for example, Ps. i. 3:

“He is like a tree planted by streams of water,

That bringeth forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaves also do not wither ;

All that he doeth shall prosper.” Comp. Ps. Ixv. 10, lxviii. 31, lxxxviii. 6. This form is particularly frequent in the prophets, who, approaching, as they generally do, nearer to prose, often allow the parallelism to flow almost into a free, prosaic diction. Members with three propositions occur in Amos i. 5, ii. 14, Mic. v. 4. Indeed, no less than four propo


sitions sometimes form one member, and with a grand effect ; for example, Amos iv. 13:

“For behold, he formed the mountains and created the wind;

He declareth to man what is his thought ;
He maketh the morning darkness,
And walketh upon the high places of the earth ;

Jehovah, God of hosts, is his name. 5. Instead of the full subordinate parallelism, we sometimes find only a short clause or supplement, for the most part in the second member; for example, Ps. xxiii. 3 :

" He reviveth my spirit ;

He leadeth me in the right paths,

For his name's sake."
Comp. Ps. v. 3, xxvii. 11, 12, &c.

In these forms of parallelism the proportion is apparently destroyed ; but it is not so, provided we suppose it to consist, not in the number of the words and extent of the period, but in the thoughts. The relation between two thoughts remains essentially the same, although one of them may be more fully developed than the other. As it does not depend in the least upon the measure of the words, a considerable inequality in these makes no differIt were well

we could but always forget, what was unknown to the Hebrew, the rule which requires a measure of time in rhythm.

III. Out of the parallelism which is rendered unequal by the complexity of one of the members, there arises, in the case of a still greater fulness of thought, another, in which the equality is restored by both members becoming complex. Here richness of matter is combined with perfect proportion of form. The modes of combination are again the same, and accordingly we meet with the same species of parallelism : *) The synonymous ; for example, Ps. xxxi. 11:- For


life is wasted with sorrow,
And my years with sighing ;
My strength faileth by reason of my affliction,
And my bones are consumed on account of all my enemies."


Sometimes the members have an alternate correspondence; for example, Ps. xl. 17:

Ever say,

“But let all who seek thee

Be glad and rejoice in thee;
Let those who love thy protection

- Exalted be Jehovah.'" Comp. Ps. xxxv. 26, xxxvii. 14, Cant. v. 3, Ps. Ixxix. 2, Mic. i. 4. 2) The antithetic; for example, Ps. xxx. 6: “For his anger endureth but a moment,

But his favor through life;
Sorrow may be a guest for the night,

But joy cometh in the morning.”
Comp. Ps. lv. 22.

Sometimes there is an alternate correspondence in the antithesis ; Ps. xliv. 3:

With thine own hand didst thou drive out the nations,
And plant our fathers;
Thou didst destroy the nations,

And cause our fathers to flourish.”
Comp. Is. liv. 10.

2) There are also instances of this double parallelism with the synthetic structure ; for example, Cant. ii. 3 :

“ As the apple-tree among the trees of the forest,

So is my beloved among the sons ;
In his shadow I love to sit down,

And his fruit is sweet to my taste.”
“ As high as are the heavens above the earth,

So great is his mercy to them that fear him;
As far as the east is from the west,.
So far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”

Ps. ciii. 11, 12. Sometimes there are triplet parallelisms, both of the synonymous and synthetic class. Thus,

- The floods, O Jehovah,

The floods lift up their voice;
The floods lift up their roaring.
Mightier than the voice of many waters,
Yea, than the mighty waves of the sea,
Is Jehovah in his lofty habitation.”

Ps. xciii. 3, 4.
Thy thunder roared in the whirlwind;
Thy lightning illumined the world ;
The earth trembled and shook.
Thy way was through the sea,
And thy path through great waters,
And thy footsteps could not be found.”

Ps. lxxvii. 18, 19. This species of double parallelism occurs with peculiar frequency in the prophets; comp. Am. i. 2, iii. 4 seq., iv. 4 seq., ix. 2 seq., Mic. i. 4 seq., iii. 6 seq., Nah. i. 1, ii. 1 seq., Hab. i. 13, 16. Indeed, they were not satisfied with the latitude of this form, but gave to one of the members, or even to both, more than two propositions, and sometimes as many as four; for example, Hab. iii. 17 :

“For the fig-tree shall not blossom,

And there shall be no fruit upon the vine ;
The produce of the olive shall fail,
And the fields shall yield no food ;
The flocks shall be cut off from the folds,

And there shall be no herd in the stalls."
Comp. Amos ii. 9, v. .5, vii. 17, Mic. ii. 13, vii. 3, IIab. ii. 5, iii. 17.

In the better poets these subordinate propositions are short, in the other long, which occasions a sort of dragging; for example, Zeph. iii. 19, 20.

IV. But we should entertain too narrow a view of the parallelism of members, if we supposed it to consist exclusively in the proportion of the thoughts. For how could we dispose of the numerous passages where this is entirely wanting, — where the thoughts are found to correspond to each other neither by their resemblance, nor by antithesis, nor by synthesis ? The parallelism

of members assumed further a simply external rhythmical form, such as rhyme is. Originally and according to rule, it was expressed in the matter ; but next it left its impression as a distinct form, even where the matter did not correspond to it. The proportion grew habitu and hence greater freedom and license in the thoughts were sometimes tolerated ; besides, the constant recurrence of resemblance and antithesis would have been tedious both to poet and hearer. This species of parallelism we shall call the rhythmical, because it consists simply in the form of the period. Examples of it occur in all the kinds.*

1) With the number of the words nearly equal; for example, Ps. xix. 12:

“ By them also is thy servant warned,

And in keeping of them there is great reward.” 2) With striking inequality in the number of the words; for example, Ps. xxx. 3 :- Jehovah, my

God! I called upon thee, and thou hast healed me." 3) With a double and a simple member; for example, Ps. xiv. 7:

“O that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!

When the Lord bringeth back the captives of his people,

Then shall Jacob rejoice, and Israel be glad.” It is deserving of remark, how the rhythmical parallelism makes good its place, where three parallel thoughts occur, and there is no internal ground for dividing them into exactly two members; for example, Ps. i. 1: Happy the man that walketh not in the paths of the un

Nor standeth in the way of sinners,
Nor sitteth in the seat of scoffers.”

* It is highly important to distinguish this sort of parallelism, in order to avoid the mistakes which have so frequently arisen from the abuse of the parallelism of members as an exegetical help.

« ПредишнаНапред »