The International Critical Commentary (ICC):...

"... the crown belongs to Crawford H. Toy's voluminous interpretation of the book of Proverbs"--Rudolf Smend, from " Wisdom in Ancient Israel", Cambridge, 1997.

RHYTHM AND PARALLELISM ix The rhythmical form of the poetic line or verse is marked notby the number of words or syllables, but by the number of accentsor beats. The accent of each word or group of words is fixed bythe laws of Hebrew accentuation; accepting the Masoretic systemas correct ( and we have nothing else to guide us), we can withreasonable probability determine the number of beats in any line. The chief source of uncertainty lies in the presence of possibly un- accented words, which are to be combined into rhythmical unitywith following words; such are short prepositions, conjunctions, negatives, and nouns defined by following nouns ( status construc- tus). These may or may not have an accent; in determiningthis point we may sometimes be aided by the Masoretic punctu- ation ( the Maqqef or hyphen), which gives the pronunciation ofthe seventh century of our era; but this is not always decisive, and we must, in the last instance, be guided by the general natureof the rhythm. In order to avoid the possibly misleading suggestions of theterms “ dimeter, trimeter, tetrameter, pentameter, hexameter,” etc., the lines are here called binary (“ having two beats”), ter- nary, or quaternary. For the guidance of the English reader( the translation rarely giving the rhythmical form of the Hebrew) the rhythmical definition of every couplet is marked in the com- mentary; thus, ternary means that both lines of the couplet areternary, ternary- binary that the first line is ternary and the secondline binary, etc. In Proverbs the lines are arranged almost without exception incouplets ( distichal). A certain number of triplets occur ( tris- tichal), and these must be dealt with every one for itself. Thepresence of triplets, even in a passage predominantly distichal, must be admitted to be possible. In some cases the third lineappears to be a corruption of some other line, or the remains of aseparate couplet, or an erroneous scribal insertion; where thereis no reasonable ground of suspicion, beyond the irregularity, thetriplet form must be accepted. 2. Strophes ( quatrains and other forms) occur in all parts ofthe Book except II. It is not to be assumed that a discourse Grimme, in ZDMG., 1896. On Babylonian rhythm see Delitzsch, Bab. Weltschöpf- ungsepos; H. Zimmern, in ZATW., 1898.          C    h  a  p  t e  r   Home  |    I n  d  e  x  

The International Critical Commentary (ICC): PROVERBS


About Book The International Critical Commentary (ICC): PROVERBS

Front MatterTitle PageCopyright PageINTRODUCTION.§ 1. NAMES.§ 2. DIVISIONS.§ 3. STRUCTURE OF THE MATERIAL.§ 4. RHYTHM AND PARALLELISM§ 5. THOUGHT.§ 6. ORIGIN AND DATE.§ 7. TEXT AND VERSIONS.§ 8. CANONICITY.§ 9. BIBLIOGRAPHY.A COMMENTARY ON THE BOOK OFPROVERBS.I. CHAPTERS I.–IX.III.VII.VIII.II. DETACHED APHORISMS (X. I–XXII. 16).XII.XIII.XIV.XVI.XVII.XVIII.XIX.XXI.XXII.III. SECOND COLLECTION OF APHORISMS(XXII. 17–XXIV. 34).XXII.XXIII.XXIV.IV. CHAPTERS XXV.–XXIX.THE TITLE. 25 1.XXVI.XXVII.XXVIII.XXIX.V. CHAPTERS XXX., XXXI.XXXI.INDEXABBREVIATIONS
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