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1. Sometimes by synonymes.

Psalm viii. 4.
“When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers,
The moon and stars which thou hast made,
What is man, that thou art mindful of him?
And the son of man, that thou visitest him ?”

Psalm viii. 7. “ Thou hast given him dominion over the works of thy hands. All thou hast put under his feet.”

Ps. Ix. 2, 9, 10, and many other places. 2. Sometimes by antithesis.

Proverbs x. 3, 4.
“ Jehovah will not suffer the soul of the righteous to l'amish,

But will scatter the substance of the wicked.
A slack hand makes poor.
A diligent hand makes rich."

Also, 6, 8, 9, 11, and many others. 3. Sometimes by synthesis.

Psalm i. 6.
“For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous,
But the way of the wicked shall perish.”

Psalm iii. 3.
Many say of my soul,

• No help for it in Elohim.'"

See, also, 5, 7, 9, iv. 4, 5, et al. 4. By an identical expression ; that is, by repeating in fuller and stronger form.

Job xviii. 13.
“It shall devour the strength of his body.
The first-born of death shall devour his strength."

Hos. ix. 14. Ps. xxi. 5, lvii. 4."

Compare Loroth, De sac. Poesi Heb. Prælect. xix. p. 365, ed. Michaelis. VOL. II.


In these simple couplets or distichs, besides the chief cæsura in the middle of the verse, we find always smaller cæsuras, the most distinctly marked in the second half-verse, towards the end, in order to preserve the cadence.

Psalm viii. 4.
? |

? ;
I look at thy heavens, 1 the work of thy fingers;
The moon and the stars, | which thou hast created.”

כִּי־ אֶרְאֶה שָׁמֶיךְ | מַעֲשֶׂה אֶצְבְּרֶיךָ יָרֵחַ וְכוֹכָבִים | אֲשֶׁר כּוֹכָנִתַּח

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B. Symmetry with dissimilar Members.

By the internal force of the thought also, members that are disproportionate, and dissimilar in expression, are brought under a rhythmical symmetry, and often with fine effect.

Hosea iv. 17.
Ephraim is joined unto idols :

Let him alone." Two or more passages, parallel among themselves, may individually be so opposed to one another, that larger rhythmical periods will be produced, and with fine effect.

Psalm xxxvi. 7.
Thy righteousness is like the great mountains;

Thy judgments are a great deep;
Man and beast thou preservest, Jehovah.” b

חֲבוּר עֲצַבִּים אֶפְרַיס

חַנַּח לו :


Ps. xxxvii. 13, xlviii. 5, lxvii. 33. Job xiv. 14. o Ps. cxii. 10. Job iii. 5, vii. 11, X. 1, 15, 17, xx. 26. Pg. xv. 4, xlix. 11, xxii. 25, xl. 10, xci. 7, i. 3, Ixv. 10. Am. iv, 13.

Sometimes one member has merely an echo of itself in the next.

Psalm v. 3. “ Hearken to the voice of my supplication, my King and my God, For unto thee will I pray.”

Ps. xxii. 3, xxvii. 11, 12. In all these forms the above logical distinction is repeated.

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When there is a richer fulness of thoughts and images, both members are doubled. Then, either each member has its own sub-parallelism, or it overleaps and disregards the parallelism. Here, likewise, the same logical distinctions are repeated.

Psalm xxxi. 11.
“For my life is consumed in affliction,

And my years in sighing;
My strength fails because of my sin,

And my bones decay." * A passage may be contrasted with such a double member three or more times. By this arrangement, the greatest compass is given to rhythmical periods. The prophets, in particular, are fond of this more extended form.

Habakkuk iii. 17.
“Though the fig-tree bear not fruit,

And there is no increase of the vines ;
Though the fruit of the olive fail,
And the fields do not furnish food,

• Ps. xl. 17, xxxv. 26, xxxvii. 14, lxxix. 2. Cant. v. 3. Mich. i. 4. Pe. XXX. 6, lv. 22, xliv. 3. Cant. ij. 3,

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The flock fail from the fold,

And there is no herd in the stalls," &c. Amos ii. 9, v. 5, vii. 17. Mich. ï. 13, vii. 3. Ewald distinguishes what he calls an extended rhythm, which is the extension of a couplet into a period of ten or eleven syllables, in Psalm ii. 12, xxxii. 4, 6, xxxix. 2, lxii. 4, 5, 10, 11. But here I find only connected members, where there is no symmetry of thought, like that described in the next section.

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As, among us, a short syllable may be made long, by the tone, (tact,) so the Hebrews have sometimes a symmetry of the members of a sentence, which is not founded in the sense of the passage, but is only continued by the rhythmical movement, when once it is begun. This contrivance introduces variety into the style, which would otherwise be stiff and uniform.

This rhythmical symmetry consists in having the same number of words in each member, (as, for example, in Ps. xix. 12,) or in having a great difference in the number of words in the two members, (for example, Ps. xiv. 7, xxx. 3.) The parallelism also may be double.

Psalm xxxi. 23.
« And I said in my haste,
*I am cut off from before thine eyes;'
But yet thou didst hear the voice of my prayer,

In my crying unto thee.”
In the use of this form there is sometimes a transition
to an unmeasured style.

Malachi i. 6. A son honoreth his father,

And a servant his master:
If I, then, be a father, where is my honor ?
And if I be a master, where is the fear of me?
Saith Jehovah of hosts to you, priests that despise my name.'

Zech. xii. 3. It often occurs in Jeremiah. Sometimes the course of the rhythmical periods differs from the logical order of thought.

Psalm cii. 8.
“I watch, and am
Like a solitary sparrow on the house-top.”
Job xxxvii. 12. Zeph. iii. 18.

§ 134, a.


The symmetry, and the other rhythmical relations, of the members, are denoted by the accents. But the distinction between the prosaic and the poetic accentuation of the books of Job, Proverbs, and the Psalms, is of no great importance. In the former, silluk with sophpasuk marks the end; in the former, athnah, (,) and in the latter merka-mahpak, (-;) designate the main

Among the Jews, recitation degenerated into cantillation; and so the accents acquired a musical signification, and are called neginoth, (nijnaz.) A scheme of this cantillation according to the accents is called Sarka, and may be found in Jablonski's Preface to his Hebrew Bible. This use of the accents has erroneously been looked upon as their original use. Christian scholars first discovered the logical, rhythmical nature of the accents. Bohle, Santin. sac. 8. ex Accentibus ; 1636. Wasmuth, Instit. Accentuat. Heb. ; 1661. Jo. Frank, Diacrit. Sac.; 1710. J. F. Hirt. Syst. Accent. Heb.; 1752. C. B. Spitzner, Instit. ad Analyt. s. Text. Heb. V. T. ex Accentibus ; 1786. Hupfeld (1. c. p. 826) arrives at some new conclusions.

Ewald, Gram. 2d ed. p. 89. The poetical has shorter and easier propositions, and more manifold and subtile distinctions.

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