By Joze Krasovec
Initially provided as author's thesis (doctoral--Hebrew college, 1983)
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Additional resources for Antithetic Structure in Biblical Hebrew Poetry (Vetus Testamentum, Supplements)
Yet, there are enough factors of content and form to justify a division of the section into three antithetically associated units: llc-15ab 15c-17 18 the willing tribes the unwilling tribes the particularly brave tribes Zebulon and Naphtali The first and third segments correspond to each other in content, and form a certain inclusion with relation to the antithetic second segment that they share. The peculiarity of v 18 becomes evident once the division and the linguistic association between the first and the second segments has been clearly stated.
While in other examples the contrasting pair iiNII"'Ji:J (or vice versa) stands either in the passive voice or in the past tense thus presenting a statement or an assertion rather than a solemn determination, we are faced here with an extremely amplified demand to curse-bless in the imperative-jussive form. In the context of the entire Song, especially with regard to the imperative demands in vv 12 and 21c, this vehemence is perfectly understandable. But the climax is reached at this point in every respect.
The peculiarity of v 18 becomes evident once the division and the linguistic association between the first and the second segments has been clearly stated. It is striking that in unit llc-15ab the verb TI' appearing four times (llc. 13-twice. 14b) plays a pre-eminent part. 13a): the enumerated tribes "marched then" to battle l3 • That makes it obvious that 11c belongs to this and not to the preceding passage. The poet wants to stress 13 Most modern interpreters recognize, in view of the whole context, in ail four in· stances the verb,-,' - "to march down" (to the battle).