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with vigour, probed to its depths, and presented to us in language, the burning eloquence of which is almost unrivalled.

In one respect alone does the art fail to reach its culminating point under the hands of David. His Psalms commonly lack the smoothness and polish which give a kind of artificial beauty to the far inferior compositions of the post-exilic period. They are characterized by a terseness of expression which not unfrequently obscures the sense intended. To the ear they are often harsh and rugged. In fact the majority of them—these traits are not always present, and Psalms viii., xix., xxiii. are startling exceptions to the rule— must have been very ill adapted for public singing, and all attempts of translators to reproduce the sense and at the same time introduce such uniform rhythm as is required by musical schemes, have as yet proved failures. Our PrayerBook Version recklessly sacrifices the sense to sound. In David's time musical (not poetical) schools were founded under the presidency of Asaph and others, and the “sons of Korah,” probably not long afterwards, undertook the actual vocal performance of such hymns as were used in public service. For the relation of these guilds of musicians and singers to the Poetry of the Psalter, see General Introd.

Of the names of the great Hebrew Poets from the time of David to that of the Captivity we have but very scanty records. The beautiful

Song of Songs" claims to be Solomon's work, and there is no real reason for doubting that it is so. This is not the place to discuss the character and purport of this singular composition. We will only remark that it cannot be styled a dramatic Poem. Two Psalms (lxxxviii., lxxxix.) are ascribed to sages of Solomon's court, Heman and Ethan the Ezrachites. Some few of the poems of this period are of the highest order, e. g. Pss. lxxiii., lxxviii., lxxxi. The overthrow of Sennacherib appears to have elicited some first-rate poems of the paean kind, Pss. xlvi., xlvii., xlviii., lxxvi.; a fact which is illustrated by the care for the national anthology shewn by Hezekiah; cf. 2 Chron. xxix. 20—30. This prince himself wrote a poem-obscure and rugged, but not wanting in depth—to commemorate his signal recovery from sickness.

But after this stirring episode, Psalms replete with originality and depth of thought are the exception rather than the rule. The troubles of the Captivity period evoke three most melancholy but trustful Psalms wherein the hand of Jeremiah may perhaps be detected,Pss. xxii., lxix., cii.,—and to this period belongs the prayerful acrostic Poem known to the English reader as the “Lamentations of Jeremiah.” The exquisite little elegy Ps. cxxxvii. appears to have been written under the actual pressure of the afflictions of the exile.

After the return from Babylon the nation zealously devoted itself to the restoration of the Temple and its services. A great number of Psalms were written at this time. Almost all are joyous, run smoothly, and appear to be well adapted for public performance. But they are hymns rather than poems. The same expressions of joy and thanksgiving are repeated over and over again. Stereotyped phrases from older compositions are frequently interwoven. These Psalms have in fact the appearance of having been made to order. They are for the most part anonymous, and in the few cases (cf. cxx.—cxxxiv.) where the supposed author's name is given, internal evidence refutes the Title. In the LXX. some of these Psalms are ascribed to Haggai and Zechariah, and that these Prophets contributed their share to the national anthology of their day is perfectly possible. The best production of this time perhaps is the little collection of “Songs of Degrees,” cxx.— cxxxiv. What has been lost in poetical art is however to some extent atoned for by the progress made in religious belief. The animosity towards private or public foes, which is the disagreeable feature in earlier Psalms, now rarely asserts itself. There is a great hope prevalent that the foreign nations will embrace the religion of Israel. Jehovah Himself is expected to appear in glory, and to make Himself known to all peoples of the earth. A group of Psalms (xciii., xcv.-c.) specially proclaims this national hope, which it is possible to suppose, has become blended with the Messianic promise of earlier days. The three Psalms, xliv., lxxiv., lxxix., which we assign to the Maccabæan era, are not stamped with any peculiar features. They are substantial and vigorous, as petitions which are the outcome of grievous troubles usually are. But they are not remarkably original in tone. The author of the two latter is specially indebted to Jeremiah.

Almost all the Poetry of the Bible is of a religious character. The Song of Lamech, the Song of the Well, and the Lament of David over Jonathan, may be instanced as examples of secular Poems, and probably the Song of Songs and Psalm xlv. are primarily of a secular character. The Poetry of the Bible is of the lyric order. Under this head the various Poems might be ranged in subdivisions, as being enigmatic, didactic, gnomic, elegiac, dramatic, etc. But none of these subdivisions can be definitely distinguished from the parent order: as Davidson well observes, “these species lie dormant in the lyric, which readily passes over into them.” Job and the Song of Songs do but very imperfectly

approximate to what is commonly known as dramatic poetry, and cannot be regarded as belonging to a distinct dramatic genus. Of the epic we have no example.

Rhyme is not employed in ancient Hebrew Poetry. It appears to have been first introduced in the 7th century A.D. : since this date many beautiful specimens of rhyming poetry have from time to time been produced. Occasionally however in the ancient poetry the flow of a poem is rendered smoother by the introduction of a few lines ending in the same or like-sounding syllables (cf. Ps. lxxxvi. 8–11, note). Metres are equally unknown : here and there we have instances of dactylic or anapæstic rhythm, but as Delitzsch says, “there is not a single instance of a definite rhythm running through the whole ; the rhythms vary according to the thoughts and feelings.” Attempts such as those of Philo, Josephus, and Jerome, to discover in the Psalms the metres of Greek and Latin Poetry, are as hopeless as might be expected. What there is of artificial arrangement in Hebrew Poetry may be thus analyzed.

I. Throughout almost all Poems the feature known as “Parallelismus membrorum” is to some extent observable. The relation of the two parallel members of a verse need not be closer than that of the two halves on either side of the cæsura of the hexameter and the pentameter. It is clearly a rhythmical, not a logical system, that bisects such verses as the following:

“Which my lips have uttered I and my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble.” "God looked down from heaven upon the children of men | to see if there were any

that did understand, that did seek God.” “Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold / wondrous things out of Thy law.”

The consequence or development (not the cause) of this cæsural scheme is the well-known system whereby the verse is split into two quite distinct clauses, the central thoughts in each of which correspond. This, and not the cæsural system, is what most writers designate by the term “parallelism;" and though Ewald's term “thought-rhythm” is at least as appropriate, we shall adhere to this use, warning the reader not to confound such “parallelism" with the merely cæsural, scheme of which it is the outcome.

Under this head may be ranged

a. Synonymous or cognate parallelism. The parallel lines here express substantially the same sense : e. g.

“Seek ye the LORD while He may be found:
Call ye upon Him while He is near.”

Is. lv. 6.

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“But his delight is in the Law of the Lord:
And in His Law doth he meditate day and night."

Ps. i. 2.
“Deliver me from the workers of iniquity:
“And save me from bloody men.”

Ps. lix. 2. This is the commonest form of parallelism. It is specially noticeable throughout the Poetry of the Psalter. It must be borne in mind that the two members are not necessarily synonymous in the strict sense of the term. They are merely two branches of one parent stem of thought. It is most inaccurate to denominate this system “gradational.” The passages in which ascent from species to genus or descent from genus to species is noticeable are so rare that they do not deserve distinct classification.

B. Antithetic parallelism. This is merely another form of a. The same thought is expressed twice, by firstly predicating something of one term, and secondly, directly or indirectly denying that something to a term of opposite character: e. g.

“For the froward is abomination to the Lord,
But His secret is with the righteous.”

Prov. iii. 32.
“For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish.”

Ps. i. 6.
“He hath put down the mighty from their seats,
And exalted them of low degree."

S. Luke i. 52. This feature is far more common in Proverbs than in the Psalter.

When the single thought extends over four clauses, additional elegance is conveyed to these two forms of parallelism by an inversion of clauses. This use is more prevalent where the parallelism includes two entire verses, since the verse of four clauses is much rarer than that of two. Styling the four clauses a, b, c, d, it will be seen that in such a verse as this, a:b::d:c.

a “My son, if thine heart be wise,

My heart also shall rejoice :

Yea my reins shall rejoice,
d When thy lips speak right things.”.

Prov. xxiii. 15, 16.
And that in this verse a:0::6:d.

a "I will make drunken my arrows with blood

And my sword shall devour flesh:-
With the blood of the slain and the captives,
From the hairy head of the enemy."

Deut. xxxii. 42.

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These are merely deviations from the ordinary system of arrangement, and of course cannot be recognized (as by Jebb) as a distinct class of parallelism. Introverted parallelism, especially that of the kind last noticed, is a rare feature in Biblical Poetry.

y. Synthetic or constructive parallelism. Here the parallelism is either wholly comprised in or extended to the form of construction. The clauses are so shaped that noun corresponds to noun, verb to verb, adjective to adjective: e. g.

“The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul :

The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart:
The commandment of the Lord is bright, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever:
The judgments of the LORD are true, they are righteous altogether.
More desirable than gold, and than inuch fine gold:
And sweeter than honey, and the juice of the honeycomb.”

Ps. xix. 7-10. It has been stated that parallelism in its three main branches originates in the cæsural scheme of the Hebrew verse. This scheme is rendered more striking in some passages by the allotment of the same number of words1 to each member of the verse. This arrangement can hardly be designated as a “metre,” since no regard is had to the comparative length of the words used. It deals with words, not with syllables. The rhythm throughout such passages varies as in other passages. The names Binary, Ternary, and Quaternary verse have been applied to designate the passages wherein the members consist respectively of two, three, or four words. The following are instances of Binary verse, Exod. xv. 9, 10; Judg. v. 3, 25; Is. i. 3; Pss. ix. 15, 16 [16, 17]; XXX. II [12]; xlv. I [2]; Ixv. 10 [11]. We give the first of these at length :

118 “ The enemy said,
I'VX 7778 'I will pursue, overtake,

אחלק שלל אריק חרבי תורישמו ידי נשפת ברוחך כסמו ים צללו כעופרת במים אדירים

I will divide the spoil,
I will bare my sword,
My hand shall drive them out.'

Thou didst blow with Thy wind;
'

The sea covered them:
They sank like lead,
In the glittering waters.”

Exod. xv, 9, 10,

1 Two words standing in that close connection which is indicated by the Masoretic mark Makkiph are counted as one word.

2 The majority of these instances are selected from Mason and Bernard's excellent Grammar, Vol. II.

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