Psalm 2
Semantics

Close-but-clear*

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Why have nations thronged, and why do peoples mutter emptiness?

Kings of earth are standing, and rulers have conspired together against YHWH and against his anointed one.

 

“Let us tear off their bonds, and let us throw their ropes from us.”

 

The one enthroned in the heavens laughs. The Lord mocks them.

 

Then he speaks to them in his wrath, and he dismays them with his anger.

 

“And I have fashioned my king on Zion, my holy mountain.”

Let me recount the decree. YHWH said to me, "You are my son. I have fathered you today.

 

 

Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance and the ends of the earth your property.

 

 

You will crush them with an iron sceptre. You will smash them like a potter’s vessels."

 

And now, kings, be wise. Accept discipline, rulers of earth.

 

Serve YHWH with fear and rejoice with trembling.

 

Kiss the son, lest he become angry and you perish in your conduct, for his anger rages easily. Happy are all who take refuge in him.

* The "close-but-clear" is a formal-equivalent rendering of the Hebrew. It is based on the interlinear, adjusted for English word-order. It aims to be as close to the Hebrew as possible while still being clear in English. 

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Lexical Semantics

A crucial element in translating words is knowing the overlap between the cultural associations of the source language and the cultural associations of the receptor language.

We represent this relationship with Venn diagrams, putting the Hebrew cultural associations in green and, in yellow, the cultural associations of the creators of this work (Standard North American English). This exercise has been so helpful we recommend translation projects consider generating their own such diagrams for all key terms in a psalm.

It is useful to know what information is shared by both cultures (in the overlap), and so will readily come across with a standard gloss, what associations will be wrongfully associated with a translation (and so need to be guarded against: in the yellow only), and what associations from the Hebrew may need to be explicitly included, because they are foreign to the local terms (in the green only).

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Verbal Semantics

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Unit-level Semantics

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Expanded Paraphrase

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