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orion-list Verse & Prose in CD and 1 Enoch
I am curious to learn why R. H. Charles' translations of CD and 1 Enoch
(APOT vol. 2) clearly render materials clearly as prose or verse, while
more recent translations (such as E. Isaac's translation of 1 Enoch in
Charlesworth's _Old Testament Pseudepigrapha_, or any translation of CD by
Vermes, Garcia or even Gaster) do not.
An example might be 1 Enoch:
Section I. INTRODUCTION
1 The words of the blessing of Enoch, wherewith he blessed the elect and
righteous, who will be 2 living in the day of tribulation, when all the
wicked and godless are to be removed. And he took up his parable and
said -Enoch a righteous man, whose eyes were opened by God, saw the vision
of the Holy One in the heavens, which the angels showed me, and from them
I heard everything, and from them I understood as I saw, but not for this
generation, but for a remote one which is 3 for to come. Concerning the
elect I said, and took up my parable concerning them:
The Holy Great One will come forth from His dwelling,
4 And the eternal God will tread upon the earth, (even) on Mount Sinai,
[And appear from His camp]
And appear in the strength of His might from the heaven of heavens.
5 And all shall be smitten with fear
And the Watchers shall quake,
And great fear and trembling shall seize them unto the ends of the earth.
6 And the high mountains shall be shaken,
And the high hills shall be made low,
And shall melt like wax before the flame
Or Fragments of a Zadokite Work (i.e., CD):
3 For because of the trespass of those who forook Him,
He hid His face from Israel and His Sanctuary,
And gave them over to the sword.
4 But when he remembered the covenant of the forefathers,
He left a remnant to Israel
And gave them not over to destruction.
5 [And in the period of the wrath three hundred and ninety years after He
had given them into the hand of nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon He
And He made to spring forth from Israel and Aaron
A root of His planting to inherit His land,
And grow fat through the goodness of His earth.
While Charles' rendition of 1 Enoch is based on his proposed retroversion
of the Ethiopic into Hebrew, the DSS Aramaic (and likely original
language) version of this book of Enoch should, I think, clearly indicate
whether verse was employed.
The latter case involved a preserved Hebrew text (CD) which can now be
independently verified against the DSS versions. Charles clearly felt that
CD preserved elements of versification (which he used in order to detect
cases of interpolations, as evidenced by Charles' use of square brackets
in CD 1:5).
In both of these cases, the modern translators mentioned above render
these works entirely in prose. Maybe I missed it, but I cannot find any
clear statement as to whether they do or do not employ verse, or why they
do not so render it (as Charles did) if it is present. I think it can be a
wonderful interpretive tool, if it is present. Modern bibles have no
problem rendering verse differently from prose, so it seems strange to me
that this is totally lacking from modern translations of these two works
(and perhaps the DSS in general), if it is actually present.
Since I am not competent in Hebrew, can anybody in the know point me to
secondary literature that deals with the use of verse in the DSS. Is it
because modern consensus does not detect versification where Charles did
back in the late 19th and early 20th century?
Cleveland, Ohio, USA
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