For further discussion, see below.

2. Segmentation. Almost all the strophes are couplets. Exceptions are 18 and 19, which are tricola and 5-6, a quatrain. Problems are presented by 4a which may be a monocolon, but could belong to either 3 or 4bc—and by 11.

3. Inner-strophic analysis stanza I (2-4)

f^til "S3p flow rUN 11? 2a How long will you set traps40 for words? iaiJ iriNl Iran b Consider, and after we'll speak.

nonaa uatpru l?HD 3a Why are we reckoned as cattle?

DaTjn iraBJ b (Why) are we unclean41 in your eyes?

lBNa itTBJ rpto 4a Cutting his throat in his anger42 PN arm ■pra'?n b Would the earth be abandoned for you? IDlpDD 113 pnm c Or a rock be moved from its place?

2a opens with the formula nan ir (also 19,2; etc.) in anacrusis. 2ab is poor quality poetry: there is no parallelism; but j occurs six times. In 3ab the word-pair Not: // nana breaks up the legal expression nonanNDts, 'unclean beast'43—and 4a probably belongs to this strophe. Good synonymous parallelism first occurs in 4bc in combi

39. For discussion of the date see the commentaries.

42. Meaning obscure, perhaps a reference to the expiatory sacrifice, Lev 5,6.

43. Occurring in Lev 5,2; 20,25; Nb 18,15; etc.—as suggested by Watters, Formula-Criticism, 198.

nation with alliteration (*i p y V). The word Dipo recurs in 21 to form an envelope figure marking the limits of the poem.

"irr D"J?En n« 5a Even the light of the wicked is put out,

WN a^ac nr N^l b his fire-flame will not shine;

friwa 1&t! -11« 6a light is darkness in his tent,

"13tp ifti? 1131 b and his lamp over him is put out.

121N "Hire lis- 7a His powerful strides are shortened, inxi> iroftttTl b his schemes cast him down.

5-6 forms a quatrain linked by repetition of-iPT (5 a, 6b), repeated use of words for light (u a-at? tin) and the sounds ty t (-¡) 3. 7 is a connective couplet, linking stanzas II and III. It is difficult to decide whether it does not form part of the next stanza, in fact, since it interlocks with 8a and 11-12 by the chiastic sequence: lftJT 131N uin iftn. There is alliteration between ny nysa and 'rm\

stanza III (8-10)

'a 8a For lftj-ia nana rftsy he is cast into a net at his feet,44

-^nrr naattf b and over a pitfall he walks, riB aps?a intc 9a is seized on his ankle by a trap,

l^an pNa JlOB 10a Hidden in the ground is a rope for him, a-nj "by lrna'iDI b and a gin upon the path.

8ab: Anacrusis of 'a is followed by two 3-beat lines. A tour of six successive synonyms for trap (ma^D ^an d"ds na naat? nen) links 8-10 as a single stanza.443 Alliteration in 9 is based on the word prn 'to grasp'. Use of gender-matched synonyms, reversed, in 10 creates a surprise effect which adroitly depicts a hidden and unexpected trap:

Hidden in the ground (f.) is a rope (m.) for him, and a gin (f.) upon the path (m.).

Chiasmus (place-trap—trap-place) reinforces this effect.

stanza IV {11-14)

niffta innra 3'aD 11a Around do frighten him Terrors, rtjn1? inrsim b at his feet a-chase.

44. Unless means 'on the spot; instantly' as in Jgs 5,15—cf. Gerleman, JSS 4 (1958) 252-54.

44a. For a closely similar tour in Maqlu III 160-64 cf. Lichtenstein,J04AiE5 5 (1973) 257-58.

UN33in "¡V 12a Despite his wealth he's famished,45

lybxb J13J Tdl b calamity ready for his stumbling, riw na baso 13a Consumed by Sickness is his skin, mo 1133 V-Q b3N< b does consume his limbs Death's Eldest.

intD3D ibilND pnr 14a Ripped from his snug tent, ninb3 "ib&b imyxni b brought before the King of Terrors.

llab is a 'pivot-patterned' couplet (with silent stress) functioning as stanza-opener. In 12 the word-pair tn // p« occurs. Wordplay is exploited in 13, in the guise of repetition: "13 // ma. In 14b ninb3 forms an envelope figure with the same word in 11a, marking off the opening and close of the stanza. The letter b occurs 4 times in 14. stanza V (15-19)

b3D lbHN3 JiaKVi 15a In his tent, fire is set, nnsj im: by mrb b on his abode, sulphur scattered.46 ltsa" miiy nnnD 16a Below, his roots dry up, ITSp bDs byDDl b above do perish his branches.47 pN '3D 13N 113T 17a His memory perished from the earth, rin '3B by lb D5? Nbl b he has no name in the street. UNO inBliT 18a He is thrust from light

"1BTI bN b into darkness, TO b3noi c driven out of the world.

lb )"3 Nb 19a He has no offspring, 10y3 133 Nbl b no descendant among his people, VH3D3 Tit? ^Kl c no survivor where he used to live.

15ab: the imagery of destruction is underlined by use of gender-matched synonyms (see on 10):

'tent' (m.)—'fire' (f.)48 'abode' (m.)—'sulphur' (f.)

again with mismatch of genders. In 16 the poet has rejuvenated an old saying49 by imaginative use of alliteration: lEO'1 mittf and bo- byoo. The word-pair 'above // below' constitutes merismus. In context the word-pair txp // Brief is intended metaphorically. Yet another word-pair serves to link the two cola of 17: ow //I3t. 18abc is a chiastic tricolon with an ABA' pattern, the central colon relating to

45. Reading una ajn (shared consonant or haplography).

46. So Dahood, Bib 38 (1957) 312-15; the final b of the first colon is transposed to the second as emphatic lamedh m mrb; MT lb "baa is repointed to *mabbel (from b3J), meaning 'fire'.

47. Here I'Sp (lit. 'branches') has the pregnant meaning 'harvest, fruit'.

48. The gender of this noun is indicated by the verb.

49. Used not only in Isa 37,31; 2 Kgs 19,30; Am 2,9—but also in Phoenician.

the two outer ones. The stanza closes with another tricolon (19) its lines gradually increasing in length. It opens with the alliterative word-pair 133 // p also found as a unit elsewhere.50

stanza VI (20-21)

D'JiriN 1DKU IDT1 bv 20a Appalled at his day51 are Westerners,

■w liriN cnmpi b Easterners, horror seizes. •jw niiDB'D rfw in 21a Surely such are the dwellings of the impious,

•w I?T Kb DlpD nn b this is the place of'he-knew-not-God'.

20 is a couplet marked by both chiasmus and the polar word-pair dtihn // D"3Dip which combine to depict merismus. // DDt? is a further word-pair.

21 brings the poem to a close with a bicolon, the dominant strophic form.52 It may be accidental that the poem comprises 2 X 22 lines. Note the (feeble) wordplay: ^N-rftN.

4. Synthesis. The stanza-division adopted here is based on a combination of content (see above) and structural indicators. These indicators are the chiastic use of "ia—iin in II (5a, 6b), the opening pivot-pattern in IV (11), the final tricolon in V (19), the tour or list in III (8-10) and the envelope figure marking off IV (11 and 14). Apart from the frequent word-pairs (mentioned already), the poem is strongly characterised by certain keywords which can be tabulated as follows:


I 2a PP

b c Dipn

7a fin lira b

52. Noteworthy is the noun-verb parallelism here, of the form construct + genitive // construct + finite verb; see Grossberg, JBL 99 (1980) 483-84, and section 6.6, above.


IV 11a mrfp bn am jiN

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