Page 52 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 44

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
may be filled with morphemes which differ from one another but
hold the same syntactic position in the sentence. Thus, even
though in Psalm 23:2 “pastures” and “waters” have different suf­
fixes, they occupy equivalent places syntactically.
Berlin has done more than most students o f biblical verse in
demonstrating the degree to which sound repetition serves to
reinforce the bond between lines of a couplet. Another recent
survey,
Classical Hebrew Poetry: A Guide to Its Techniques
(Sheffield:
JSOT Press, 1984) by Wilfred G. E. Watson, similarly appreciates
the function of sound in strengthening parallelism. William R.
Watters
(Formula Criticism and the Poetry of the Old Testament
[Ber­
lin: Walter de Gruyter, 1976]), however, cautions against placing
too much emphasis on phonetic repetition as a fundamental ele­
ment of parallelism (p. 16). In my own experience, one finds as
much if not more phonetic repetition within single lines as
between lines. Returning to Psalm 114:1, for example, allitera­
tion appears prominently within each line:
befoet yisra’el mimmksrayim (
tsade
and
sin)
bet ya’akov me’am lo’ez (’
ayin)
Developing some of the suggestions of O’Connor in his
Hebrew
Verse Structure,
Berlin points, too, to the well-known pairing of
words between lines of a couplet in biblical verse. To use our
example from Psalm 114:1 again, the words “Israel” and “Jacob”
— which were names for the same individual in Genesis — rep re­
sent a typical pair of words, spread here between two lines. Some
scholars (Stanley Gevirtz, William Whallon, Perry Yoder, and
others) have seen word pairing as the chief factor in creating par­
allelism. Berlin has quite properly put word pairing in its place, as
one of the patterns of linguistic correspondence that constitute
couplets. The key academic debate here concerns the nature of
that word pairing. Most scholars have assumed tha t ancient
versemakers learned a stock of word pairs in training for their
craft and employed these pairs in producing parallel lines. Berlin
and O ’Connor have observed, among other things, that word
pairs may be of two types: paradigmatic, in which the two words
belong to the same class and relate to the same idea — examples
are “Israel”-“Jacob ,” “m oun ta in”-“hill,” “h and”-“righ t-hand ,”
“father”-“mother”; or syntagmatic, in which the second word of
the pair follows the first in common usage. An example is
“Balak”-“Son of Zippor” (Numbers 23:18), in which the two com­