Thursday, November 24, 2005

The Parallelism in Shir HaShirim 7:12-8:4

Note that much of this is an exercise is applying a specific methodology. Personally, I have some doubts about whether much of the methodology is useful or that it produces true results.
I follow here the divisions given by the setumot (rather than given by Gordis or Hakham), such that Shir HaShirim 7:12 begins the song, rather than 7:11. Also, all references to trup are based on Wickes.
Shir HaShirim 7:12-13:
יב לְכָה דוֹדִי נֵצֵא הַשָּׂדֶה, נָלִינָה בַּכְּפָרִים 12 Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages.
יג נַשְׁכִּימָה, לַכְּרָמִים--נִרְאֶה אִם-פָּרְחָה הַגֶּפֶן פִּתַּח הַסְּמָדַר, הֵנֵצוּ הָרִמּוֹנִים; שָׁם אֶתֵּן אֶת-דֹּדַי לָךְ. 13 Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see whether the vine hath budded, whether the vine-blossom be opened, and the pomegranates be in flower; there will I give thee my love.
Framing these two pesukim are the words לְכָה דוֹדִי and דֹּדַי לָךְ - they thus form an inclusio bracketing this one idea.

The first line has לְכָה דוֹדִי נֵצֵא הַשָּׂדֶה. A is לְכָה דוֹדִי and B is נֵצֵא הַשָּׂדֶה. A introduces the idea that the woman calls the man to come with her someplace. B echoes this idea, since נֵצֵא is plural, and they are going together. Thus, נֵצֵא parallels לְכָה. There is nothing in B to explicitly parallel דוֹדִי in A, for this is unneccesary, as נֵצֵא means that both of them are going. We thus have a ballast variant, and we fill the space with a specification of where they are to go - הַשָּׂדֶה. Thus, we might even say according to Lowth that this is a synonymous parallelism. It is easier to say it is synthetic parallelism, though, as in A there is a call to the lover and in B there is a specification of where they will go.

From a post-Lowthian perspective, we see development from A to B. A is the mere calling to the lover to come to/with her, while B is the specification of where they should go. הַשָּׂדֶה is not there to provide ballast, but rather דוֹדִי was not repeated so as to make space for the specification. In A, the woman stands alone, calling for her lover to take an action, while in B, he is with her, and they will go together to the field - thus the 1st person plural נֵצֵא, which includes her. There is an advancing of the narrative via snapshots. B echoes A, but advances the narrative a bit as well, for now they are (in her description of what they should do) going into the field.

The next line is נָלִינָה בַּכְּפָרִים, נַשְׁכִּימָה לַכְּרָמִים. A is נָלִינָה בַּכְּפָרִים and B is נַשְׁכִּימָה לַכְּרָמִים.

However, before proceeding, note how נָלִינָה בַּכְּפָרִים advances the idea presented in נֵצֵא הַשָּׂדֶה. There are major syntactic differences between לְכָה דוֹדִי and נֵצֵא הַשָּׂדֶה, but not between נֵצֵא הַשָּׂדֶה and נָלִינָה בַּכְּפָרִים, not to mention נַשְׁכִּימָה לַכְּרָמִים.a

לְכָה is a verb directed at another individual, and is 2nd person singular. נֵצֵא is 1st person plural. Also, דוֹדִי is the subject, the one who should come, while הַשָּׂדֶה is the destination. The two verbs thus assign entirely different theta-roles (under theta-theory) to the two nouns.

However, when we consider נֵצֵא הַשָּׂדֶה together with נָלִינָה בַּכְּפָרִים and נַשְׁכִּימָה לַכְּרָמִים, we see they are all of the same form. The verb is jussive and 1st person plural. The nouns all possess the definite article, and all convey destination. We are seeing snapshots of their trip together.

We would have thought that travelling out to the field was a day's excursion. נָלִינָה בַּכְּפָרִים shows us they are to go for an extended trip, such that they will need to spend the night in a nearby village. Thus, she seems to be a city maiden, who wants to go with her lover out to the coutryside. Villages are related to fields in that both are in a rural setting, as opposed to commonplace urban settings.

This is taking כְּפָרִים as villages, as does Gordis. However, Hakham notes here and in many other places (in which it fits even better, and thus proves it) that כְּפָרִים does not mean villages but rather refers to a type of spice. כְּפָרִים is the plural of kofer rather than kefar. Thus, they might not be going out to the countryside (הַשָּׂדֶה) and then sleeping in a village, but rather sleeping in the field, among these spices.

The trup is therefore not all bad in terms of its division. The division I proposed above matches Gordis (baruch shekivanti), but the trup is:
לְכָ֤ה דוֹדִי֙ נֵצֵ֣א הַשָּׂדֶ֔ה נָלִ֖ינָה בַּכְּפָרִֽים׃
The zaqef and the tipcha both subdivide silluq, and thus the zakef must operate first. We thus have:
לְכָ֤ה דוֹדִי֙ נֵצֵ֣א הַשָּׂדֶ֔ה
נָלִ֖ינָה בַּכְּפָרִֽים

The pashta subdivides a phrase ending in zakef, and thus we have:
לְכָ֤ה דוֹדִי֙
נֵצֵ֣א הַשָּׂדֶ֔ה

The tipcha subdivides a phrase ending in silluq, but in נָלִ֖ינָה בַּכְּפָרִֽים there are only two words in the phrase, rendering a subdivision unneccessary. Yet the tipcha is present to serve a musical purpose, as a pretone for the silluq.

We thus have the trup marking off the parallelism I mentioned earlier, of לְכָ֤ה דוֹדִי֙ in A and נֵצֵ֣א הַשָּׂדֶ֔ה in B, accomplishing this via a pashta. We also have the trup marking off another parallelism, between the complex phrase C, לְכָ֤ה דוֹדִי֙ נֵצֵ֣א הַשָּׂדֶ֔ה, which is a call to go out to the field, and D, נָלִ֖ינָה בַּכְּפָרִֽים, which describes the time spent in the field. There is a slight advancement in narrative, since in C they are going to the field and in D they are in the field, sleeping, but still, it is an acceptable parallelism.

Hakham will not redivide pesukim in the text, and he keeps the pasuk division, putting a space between לְכָ֤ה דוֹדִי֙ נֵצֵ֣א הַשָּׂדֶ֔ה and נָלִ֖ינָה בַּכְּפָרִֽים. He also makes this note about בַּכְּפָרִֽים being the plural of kofer, and so the parallelism works out quite nicely.

Something else is to be said for parallel between נֵצֵ֣א הַשָּׂדֶ֔ה and נָלִ֖ינָה בַּכְּפָרִֽים, and that is that we have seen this parallelism before. We must digress to consider a parallelism I have thought of before, but probably has not been noted by any modern scholar. This parallelism is to be found in Shir Hashirim 1:13-14:
יג צְרוֹר הַמֹּר דּוֹדִי לִי, בֵּין שָׁדַי יָלִין 13 My beloved is unto me as a bag of myrrh, that lieth betwixt my breasts.
יד אֶשְׁכֹּל הַכֹּפֶר דּוֹדִי לִי, בְּכַרְמֵי עֵין גֶּדִי.
14 My beloved is unto me as a cluster of henna in the vineyards of En-gedi.
Taking verse 13 as A and verse 14 as B, we have almost synonymous parallelism. צְרוֹר הַמֹּר, "a bag of myrrh" in A parallels אֶשְׁכֹּל הַכֹּפֶר, "a cluster of henna," in B. דּוֹדִי לִי, "my beloved is unto me" is identical in both A and B. However, בֵּין שָׁדַי יָלִין, "that lieth betwixt my breasts," seems a mismatch for בְּכַרְמֵי עֵין גֶּדִי, "in the vineyards of En-gedi."

However, we should reread the word שָׁדַי - not that the masorah is wrong, but the word resonates with another possible pronunciation, which we should consider. Change the shin to a sin. This produces saday. This could mean "my fields," but the possessive form is unnecessary. It could simply mean "fields," or even "field." This is because the heh is transforming to a yud in certain instances. A proof of this is in Tehillim 96:12:
יא יִשְׂמְחוּ הַשָּׁמַיִם, וְתָגֵל הָאָרֶץ; יִרְעַם הַיָּם, וּמְלֹאוֹ. 11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof;
יב יַעֲלֹז שָׂדַי, וְכָל-אֲשֶׁר-בּוֹ; אָז יְרַנְּנוּ, כָּל-עֲצֵי-יָעַר. 12 Let the field exult; and all that is therein; then shall all the trees of the wood sing for joy;
where the word does not mean "my fields," or even "fields." (Note that it is paired with the singular בּוֹ.) Now we have an excellent match of בֵּין שָׂדַי, "between the fields," and בְּכַרְמֵי עֵין גֶּדִי, "in the vineyards of En-gedi." The field matches the vinyard. Of course, A still has יָלִין and B does not, but this is a ballast variant.

Now that we see this parallelism in the first perek, we can apply it to the seventh perek as well.

Recall that we are trying to find links between A, לְכָ֤ה דוֹדִי֙ נֵצֵ֣א הַשָּׂדֶ֔ה, and B, נָלִ֖ינָה בַּכְּפָרִֽים. We saw many of these terms in the first perek. In the first perek we had בֵּין שָׁדַי יָלִין, which we reread as "that sleep between the fields." Here, we have הַשָּׂדֶה in A followed immediately by נָלִינָה in B. In the first perek, we had אֶשְׁכֹּל הַכֹּפֶר, and here we have the plural form (according to Hakham) בַּכְּפָרִים. In the first perek we had דּוֹדִי לִי, and in A, we have לְכָ֤ה דוֹדִי֙. All these terms are have been related earlier.

As I mentioned earlier, the second line is נָלִינָה בַּכְּפָרִים, נַשְׁכִּימָה לַכְּרָמִים. A is נָלִינָה בַּכְּפָרִים and B is נַשְׁכִּימָה לַכְּרָמִים.

From a syntactic perspective, we have a perfect match. נָלִינָה matches נַשְׁכִּימָה and בַּכְּפָרִים matches לַכְּרָמִים. Even though syntactically, נֵצֵא הַשָּׂדֶה is similar, morphologically speaking, these two are even closer. נָלִינָה and נַשְׁכִּימָה both begin with na (though with a kametz/patach distinction) and end with a kametz heh. There is even more sound parallelism - they both end ima/ina, and mem and nun are in a consonant group which switches off (lamnar).

Similarly, בַּכְּפָרִים and לַכְּרָמִים are syntactically related, more than הַשָּׂדֶה. Both בַּכְּפָרִים and לַכְּרָמִים begin with a preposition ("in" and "to"), followed by a plural noun with the definite article. In contrast, הַשָּׂדֶה is missing the preposition (though it is implicit), and is a singular, rather than plural noun, though it does have the definite article.

The words בַּכְּפָרִים and לַכְּרָמִים are also phonologically related. They rhyme, and have the same vowel pattern (absent in הַשָּׂדֶה). Much of this can be attributed to their shared syntactic features, but there is more. Both roots lead off with a kaf and have a resh, though in different positions. The letters which differ, the mem and the peh, belong to the same phonological groups, the labials (בומפ). Thus, there is an echo effect from one to the next, that links the two together and moves us forward.

Semantically, there is a difference between the two. נָלִינָה works well against נַשְׁכִּימָה because they are opposites, but בַּכְּפָרִים compared with לַכְּרָמִים does not work as well. If we take Hakham's translation of בַּכְּפָרִים as a type of spice, then it is not bad. They go to sleep among the (growing) spices, perhaps in the field, and wake up early to go to the vinyard. Under Lowth, we might call this synonymous parallelism, but it might also be synthetic parallelism. If we take is as villages, like Gordis, then it is even more difficult to pair it with לַכְּרָמִים.

However, we do not really need parallelism in every single detail. We have syntactic and phonological parallelism, and thus semantic parallelism is not important.

Furthermore, there is semantic parallelism, just not between A and B. Rather, we need to go a bit earlier, and match נַשְׁכִּימָה לַכְּרָמִים to נֵצֵא הַשָּׂדֶה. While more distant syntactically and phonologically than נָלִינָה בַּכְּפָרִים, it is actually closer semantically. In נֵצֵא הַשָּׂדֶה, the intent is that they will go forth into the field. The preposition le is implicit. הַשָּׂדֶה is the perfect counterpart for לַכְּרָמִים - one is a field, and the other a vineyard. Indeed, נַשְׁכִּימָה does not only mean "wake up early," but "wake up early" to go somewhere, and thus can be related to נֵצֵא הַשָּׂדֶה. Perhaps we should not talk about A and B, but rather A, B, and C, with a synonymous semantic and syntactic parallelism between A and C, and a syntactic and phonological parallelism between B and C.

This once again moves us forward in the lovers' excursion into the countryside. They went to sleep together among the spices, or in the village, and wake up early the next morning to enjoy the delights of the spring. There is perhaps an intensification from merely going into a single field (in A) to getting up early in anticipation to go into many vineyard full of blossoming plants (in C). Thus is intensification from singular to plural, in the change from the general going to the specific, and from the somewhat interesting field to the more delightful vineyards. There is also a change from peaceful going to sleep among the spices, or in the village (in B) to waking up and going forth to see the blossoming plants, which is much more active and exciting.

The trup, I would note, is not bad. It reads:
נַשְׁכִּ֨ימָה֙ לַכְּרָמִ֔ים נִרְאֶ֞ה אִם־פָּֽרְחָ֤ה הַגֶּ֨פֶן֙ פִּתַּ֣ח הַסְּמָדַ֔ר הֵנֵ֖צוּ הָֽרִמּוֹנִ֑ים שָׁ֛ם אֶתֵּ֥ן אֶת־דֹּדַ֖י לָֽךְ׃

While we might have wanted נַשְׁכִּימָה לַכְּרָמִים in the previous verse, the other two elements, נֵצֵא הַשָּׂדֶה and נָלִינָה בַּכְּפָרִים work together opposite נַשְׁכִּימָה לַכְּרָמִים. Further, based on the rules of trup, the first half of the verse is to be divided:
נַשְׁכִּ֨ימָה֙ לַכְּרָמִ֔ים
נִרְאֶ֞ה אִם־פָּֽרְחָ֤ה הַגֶּ֨פֶן֙ פִּתַּ֣ח הַסְּמָדַ֔ר הֵנֵ֖צוּ הָֽרִמּוֹנִ֑ים

which is syntactically exactly how the verse functions. Everything up to the etnachta is indeed a specification of what they will do when they wake up early in the morning to go out to the keramim.

The next line is נִרְאֶה אִם-פָּרְחָה הַגֶּפֶן פִּתַּח הַסְּמָדַר, הֵנֵצוּ הָרִמּוֹנִים. Again using Wickes' rules for division of trup, we find that the Masoretes had the same. They first divided:

נִרְאֶ֞ה אִם־פָּֽרְחָ֤ה הַגֶּ֨פֶן֙ פִּתַּ֣ח הַסְּמָדַ֔ר
הֵנֵ֖צוּ הָֽרִמּוֹנִ֑ים

which is a nice division along semantic lines - the first refers to vines and vine blossoms, and the second refers to flowering pomegranates. However, they divide נִרְאֶ֞ה אִם־פָּֽרְחָ֤ה הַגֶּ֨פֶן֙ פִּתַּ֣ח הַסְּמָדַ֔ר in two using the pashta (because there were more than three words in the phrase), thus giving:

נִרְאֶ֞ה אִם־פָּֽרְחָ֤ה הַגֶּ֨פֶן֙
פִּתַּ֣ח הַסְּמָדַ֔ר

There is thus an A/B/C line, though with a slightly closer semantic relationship between A and B. Our analysis will follow in their footsteps.

The word נִרְאֶה applies to A, B, and C, as does the word אִם, though it only occurs in A. They want to see all the beautiful plants in full flower. פָּרְחָה הַגֶּפֶן appears to be in a synonymous parallelism with פִּתַּח הַסְּמָדַר. Both פָּרְחָה (budded) and פִּתַּח (blossomed) are verbs connoting development of the vine on the way to blossoming, and both הַגֶּפֶן (vine) and הַסְּמָדַר (vine blossoms) are nouns referring to a part of the vine that so develops. הֵנֵצוּ הָרִמּוֹנִים is also part of the synonymous parallelism. The verb הֵנֵצוּ (flowered) also is a verb connoting flowering and הָרִמּוֹנִים (pomegranates) are also plants which flower. Thus, there is a close semantic synonymous parallelism.

There is also a close phonetic relationship between A and B, absent in C, matching the closer semantic relationship between A and B - they both refer to the vine, while C refers to pomegranates). פָּרְחָה and פִּתַּח both begin with a peh and end with a het in the last syllable.

In fact, when we consider it, A and B actually have a syntagmatic, rather than paradigmatic relationship. Each is a stage in the development of the vine. A describes the vine itself developing buds. B continues not with the vine, but with the buds, which were closed in A and in B, open as vine-blossoms. Thus, there is a progression, with B describing the next step of A. Together, A + B describe the vine developing flowering blossoms. These are set against C, which describe a different plant, the pomegranate, flowering. This pattern of A || B || C, but furthermore, A + B || C, is one we observed in the previous line: נֵצֵא הַשָּׂדֶה, נָלִינָה בַּכְּפָרִים, נַשְׁכִּימָה לַכְּרָמִים. And in fact the trup gives the same division.

An additional point. Jastrow tries to emend בַּכְּפָרִים in the previous line to baggefanim, presumably to semantically match לַכְּרָמִים, as well as to semantically match A and B in this line. I see many attempts at emendation as evidence that the word to be emended resonates with the other word. Thus, for example, in נַזְכִּירָה דֹדֶיךָ מִיַּיִן in Shir HaShirim 1:4, even though the word means "we shall inhale," and fits perfectly, the fact that some try to emend to נַשְׁכִּירָה, "we shall be drunk," is evidence that the word resonates with that meaning. In our example, Comparing kpr to gpn, the kaf and gimel are both in the phonetic group beged kefet., peh is identical in each, and the nun and resh are in lamnar.

הֵנֵצוּ calls to mind נֵצֵא from the previous line, giving sound parallelism, which helps with the inclusio.

The next line, שָׁם אֶתֵּן אֶת-דֹּדַי לָךְ displays no internal parallelism. It concludes one phase of the song, and forms an inclusio with לְכָה דוֹדִי, on a phonetic, though not semantic level. Even as this line closes the previous phase, in acts as a bridge to the next phase. For the next line is:הַדּוּדָאִים נָתְנוּ-רֵיחַ, וְעַל-פְּתָחֵינוּ כָּל-מְגָדִים. We have a parallel of דֹּדַי to הַדּוּדָאִים, and אֶתֵּן parallels נָתְנוּ.


חֲדָשִׁים, גַּם-יְשָׁנִים; דּוֹדִי, צָפַנְתִּי לָךְ

To be continued...

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