OLD TESTAMENT THEOLOGY: The "OT" bit references historical, literary, cultural issues (the particulars), the "theology" bit references the Big Picture (and why it matters). These two poles are expressed in the title. This blog concerns everything in between.
Wednesday, 26 August 2009
Syntax of Ps 20:10 according to the ta'amim
The ta'amim for Ps 20:10 seem to reflect an interesting interpretation of the verse:
Save, O Lord! The King will answer us when we call him.
This is contra what would seem to be the more obvious meaning, followed by many modern translations:
Save O Lord, the King; may he answer us when we call him.
BHS even suggests moving the atnach toהַ֝מֶּ֗לֶךְ.
Interestingly, the Andersen-Forbes Phrase Marker Analysis goes with the ta'amim (and KJV). I'm not sure why. As far as I can see, the people never call upon a king for help in the Bible (do they?).
So my question: Do people see a Messianic interpretation at work here? Or does the cantillation's syntax fit the flow of the Psalm as it stands? Or, even more interesting, is the LORD himself being called king? This would lead to a blurring of boundaries between the David and divine king.
I should add that the Targum sees God as being addressed as king (go here for online translation). Targum, LXX and many modern translations smooth out the switch in the second colon by translating "answer" as an imperative: "answer us when we call [you]!"
Update: I've just read that Delitzsch follows the ta'amim (on euphonic grounds) and reads הַ֝מֶּ֗לֶךְ as a vocative referring to God: "O King, answer us when we call." This, however, requires that we amend the yiqtol יַעֲנֵ֥נוּ to an imperative, something Delitzsch oddly doesn't comment on.
Update 2: I've changed my mind in the comments and explained why.