Biblical Sound and Sense: Poetic Sound Patterns in Proverbs by Thomas P. McCreesh

By Thomas P. McCreesh

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Additional info for Biblical Sound and Sense: Poetic Sound Patterns in Proverbs 10-29 (JSOT Supplement)

Example text

The use of such energic forms for the sake of sound is not without parallel. In Prov. 4 It 1. Bostrom, Paronomasi, p. 138. 2. BDB, p. 524, lists Prov. 25 as the only instance of leb as feminine. k. 3. BHS; McKane (Proverbs, pp. 229 and 446) reads 'him', as does Scott, (Proverbs, p. 90). 4. Toy, A Critical Commentary, p. 30. Toy was working before such energic forms, apart from situations where the energic appears on the end of the imperfect before suffixes, were attested as a regular feature of any west Semitic language.

Bdrk sdqh tms' d d t There are exactly three words in each colon but the dentals are evenly distributed among them only in the second colon. There are two dentals in the first word of the first colon and two in the middle word. The third word, sebd, lacking any dental sound, stands apart from this consonant motif. This phonic contrast between sebd and the rest of the proverb highlights its uniqueness as the subject of both cola. There are two things said about sebd: it is 'a crown of glory' and 'it is gained by virtue'.

Occasionally, however, the pattern continues from the first colon into the second. These links are usually not the only sound patterns in the proverb, but one or more patterns are interwoven with it. Thus, for example, the Latin phrase per aspera ad astra1 has three phonic links: 1. Stevenson (The Home Book of Proverbs, p. 2208) gives this history of the saying. Suggested either by Virgil or Seneca the saying has another form: Ad astra per ardua. Another proverb is similar to it: Per angusta ad augusta.

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