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.
    ~ www.dictionary.com

    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.
    ~ www.wikipedia.org
Maeghan
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 :-)

    ReplyDelete
  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!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sapiential Theology

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

    ReplyDelete