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G&T ice n slice
27th Feb 2013, 21:47
I went to a CoE foundation boarding skool in deepest darkest Sussex
and was always puzzled by Psalm 121
"I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help."

Soo...
I'm looking up into the hills and hoping I'll see help coming?
or
I'm looking up into the hills because that's the general direction help will come from?
or
actually 2 distinct sentences
1) "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills"
and
2) "from whence cometh my help?"

now Ps121.ii reads "My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth."

So it seems like P121.i is really two distinct sentences and the answer to the question comes in Ps121.ii

But it's one of those little conundrums that has kept me amused & marginally puzzled for the best part of 40 years.

I mean, if one is asking a question, why is one looking unto the hills before formulating the question in question?

Afficionados will recognise the King James version.

Certain people will of course eventually receive everything they truly deserve with one of those "modern" translations, or (the ultimate sin) having females in holy orders - boy are they all in for a surprise

example
I look to the hills! Where will I find help?
It will come from the Lord, who created the heavens and the earth

Where's the interest in that ??? shrug shoulders "yeah? so what?" forgotten

But even though I am not religious I can still quote pretty well verbatim great tracts of the K.J.V. bible & the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, as the language is of itself memorable, just as somehow I seem to have absorbed quantities of Shakespeare, without actually having read anything of his since schooldays.


oh well, I've forgotten where I was going with this

west lakes
27th Feb 2013, 21:53
Walk outside, look to the East - those are the hills!

G-CPTN
27th Feb 2013, 22:01
I've got hills to the north (rejoice!), and hills to the south . . .

West and east runs the river.

Tankertrashnav
27th Feb 2013, 22:10
Bit of a bugger if you live in the fen country!

Mind you they have some truly fabulous churches to look up to instead.

west lakes
27th Feb 2013, 22:11
( I know roughly where G & T lives so the directions are correct in his, and my, case)

con-pilot
27th Feb 2013, 23:22
I'm in Oklahoma, we ain't got no stinkin' hills. :p






Actually we do, even have mountains, but some lines are just too good to pass up. :)

RJM
27th Feb 2013, 23:41
I know how you feel, c-p. I waited for years to be in the US and have somebody ask me directions. I was able to say 'Sorry pal, I'm a stranger round these parts myself'.

It amused me, anyway.

Hydromet
27th Feb 2013, 23:45
We have a Hills Hoist in the back yard. You can look up to it, but I can't see any help coming from it. Maybe a shot of kookaburra poop if you're unlucky, but...

Arm out the window
28th Feb 2013, 00:04
It really refers to the undulations on the front of members of the more curvaceous sex, and the salvation that can come from them ... if God didn't want us to look at them, he wouldn't have put them there now, would he?

Worrals in the wilds
28th Feb 2013, 00:18
Is that salvation or salivation? :}

sisemen
28th Feb 2013, 00:30
I live on the top of a hill.

I always knew that there was something about me. Please send all proceeds from collection plates to the following address.......

broadreach
28th Feb 2013, 01:44
I live in a valley and am deprived of early morning and late afternoon sunlight. Please take up a collection for the relocation of my property and my soul to a higher point. PM for bank details, 15% commission guaranteed.

Solid Rust Twotter
28th Feb 2013, 04:49
Only thing in these here hills are leopards and baboons. Only help you're going to get is them helping themselves to your chooks and mielies.:}

Krystal n chips
28th Feb 2013, 09:10
"
"I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help "

One dark(ish) night, a friend of mine and myself did precisely that in Austria as we saw a building that we thought would be the answer to our prayers...thus we struggled up the snow covered slope and found it was indeed for a building for prayer....but not the salvation we sought .........as we thought it was a pub ! :{

UniFoxOs
28th Feb 2013, 09:11
Finally found its meaning recently. It's actually
[QUOTE]I will lift up mine eyes unto the hill, from whence cometh my help?/QUOTE]

We have bought a small bungalow near the top of the hill on which we live and are extending it for retirement. Every part-time casual labourer I have hired to help me with this has promptly found himself a job and farked off. Hence I can be heard quoting the above frequently.

UFO

Takan Inchovit
28th Feb 2013, 09:18
I used to looketh unto the hills while waiting for the freedom bird to appear through the gap and take me outa the sh!t hole where I was working.

tony draper
28th Feb 2013, 09:59
Here's a earlier version.
I houe mine eghen in hilles, to se
Whethen sal come helpe to me.
:)

603DX
28th Feb 2013, 11:29
Only thing in these here hills are leopards and baboons. Only help you're going to get is them helping themselves to your chooks and mielies.http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/badteeth.gif


(So sayeth SRT.) When I went up onto baboon hill in the Lake Nakuru National Park in Kenya, I saw no leopards, but plenty of baboons. What most of the males were doing to themselves was frankly rather surprising, they seemed to be in a permanent state of what I can only call Slasherism ... :uhoh: Never seen anything like that on David Attenborough's programmes, I must say. ;)

G&T ice n slice
28th Feb 2013, 12:18
Hi Westie

yep, every day I go out, look east and do the "West Cumbrian weather forecast"

(1) if I can't see the hills, it's raining
(2) if I can see the hill's, it's going to rain

As they say round here, on a good day you can see Pica, on a really excellent day Pica is hidden by the rain/clouds and the view improves 100%......

Pica (pronounced pie-kah) is a tiny ex-mining village, on top of the hill and really very very isolated (releative to the area) . You don't pass through Pica any time between dusk begining to fall or dawn not fully risen. Rumours that "the Wicker Man" was actually based on the residents of Pica is a foul rumour with no substance. But the police only go there when accompanied by a priest holding bell, book & candle.

Lord High Admiral D:
I houe mine eghen in hilles, to se
Whethen sal come helpe to me.

That's brilliant, makes the KJV version look positively modern!
But interestingly it suggests that the original meaning has been shifted a bit - that translates more or less as "I hold my eyes on the hills to see whether help shall come to me"

west lakes
28th Feb 2013, 12:43
on a really excellent day Pica is hidden by the rain/clouds and the view improves 100%....:ok::}:\ ..........

moosp
28th Feb 2013, 13:04
Glad to see someone else who has been motivated by this line. I have always loved living surrounded by hills and mountains, as I feel I get a deeply atavistic solace and a strength from them. But I think we need to parse "whence" in that line.

Does it mean "From where shall I find my help?' or "From there I get my help." I had always hoped it meant the latter.

I shall look up to the hills surrounding my present residence and see if I get an answer...

tony draper
28th Feb 2013, 13:05
As I understand it a lot of phrases in the Bible today were written by Englishmen when they first translated and improved it, such as Let there be Light,My brother's keeper, Salt of the Earth ect they did not exist in the original writ by they furriners in the sandy places.
:rolleyes:

wings folded
28th Feb 2013, 13:27
Anyway, "from whence" is tautological since whence means "from where", so the "from" is redundant. (unless you have a stammer)

The expression has been used since the 14th century according to the Oxford dictionary, and has gained acceptance, but I have no truck with these modern fads.

Lonewolf_50
28th Feb 2013, 13:53
If you go to the Wycliffe Bible, you find the following

121
I raised mine eyes to the hills; from whence help shall come to me.
2 Mine help is of the Lord; that made heaven and earth.

It's a curious change in tense, past to future expectation, that the KJV does not make. The on line Wycliffe also shows an alternate "question" at the end of line one.

121
I raised mine eyes to the hills; from whence help shall come to me.
(I raised up my eyes to the hills, or the mountains; O where shall I find help?)
2 Mine help is of the Lord; that made heaven and earth. (My help is from the Lord; who made heaven and earth.)

This fits the poetic style, and oft-used rhetorical question set up, in many bits of the old Hebrew Scriptures.

In the New American Bible translation, you will find a sensible rendering that is affirmed by using verses one and two as the complete phrase, not just verse 1.

I raise my eyes toward the mountains (hills) From whence shall come my help?
2 My help comes from the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth.
Even in King James Version, you find the meaning by coupling verses one and two:
121
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
2 My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.

Even without the question, the linkage between those two verses is unmistakable as a set up and spike. It may be that the translators were not as keen on rhetorical questions the original Hebrew writers.

More esoteric translations and notea suggest that the psalmist is believed to have been directly referring to Mount Zion and the area around it as the hills or mountains, and thus the psalmist is looking at the Temple when asking that question. This makes the couplet a bit of internal self affirmation, the psalmist looking at where God is housed, the Temple, and reminding himself that when he needs help that to God is where he should be looking.

Probably more than you asked for, but there it is. The Psalms were certainly written in a lyrical and poetic style -- or styles, depending upon the age of a given Psalm.

So here's my suggestion: try not to read scripture out of context, and try not to cherry pick scripture for meaning. It is a common habit, and I've done it plenty. If you are puzzling over meaning, it's usually a decent idea to read the whole psalm, the whole chapter, (not one verse only) of a given passage to get a sense of connected meanings.

Sort of like reading all of the sentences of a new article to see what's going on. ;)

Then again, my favorite passage in scripture is also its pithiest:

Jesus wept.

Those two words are rich in meaning and subtlety.

G&T ice n slice
28th Feb 2013, 15:56
More esoteric translations and notea suggest that the psalmist is believed to have been directly referring to Mount Zion and the area around it as the hills or mountains, and thus the psalmist is looking at the Temple when asking that question. This makes the couplet a bit of internal self affirmation, the psalmist looking at where God is housed, the Temple, and reminding himself that when he needs help that to God is where he should be looking.

AHA !!!!

That's starting to make a lot of sense now. Yes, if the writer(s) were, as indicated, looking Templewards they would be looking up at the hills and then the whole lot hangs together. And the rhetorical question device also makes more sense.

Well, there you go, 40 years of occasional contemplation & vague puzzlement of a couple of lines of a Psalm solved in 24 hours by PPruners!

I'll have to find a replacement "what to think about in the wee small hours when morpheus declines to visit" subject

I've just found that someone at sometime has helped themselves to my Illiad & Odessy - the version where the original Greek is on the left hand page and the accompanying English translation is on the right hand page.

Not that I can read Greek, but the translation was in verse-form. I doubt that it is still in print..

oh well Brekekekx-kox-kox as they say

Smudger
28th Feb 2013, 16:09
It's all bollocks anyway so what's the point of any discussion

flying lid
28th Feb 2013, 17:34
Life of Brian - Blessed are the cheesemakers - YouTube

Lid

G&T ice n slice
28th Feb 2013, 21:13
It's all bollocks anyway so what's the point of any discussion

werrrl....

It's called social intercourse - one puts out a marginally interesting little snippet and one gets replies and it fills in a few minutes whilst the old cultarius is sharpening up the bronze knives and whilst we wait on the victimarius bring up the probatio victimae. Beats losing denarii to the popa, who cheats at astragali.

So much more civilised than all that screaming & shouting that used to go on when it was all obsidian & virgins. I mean these days you just can't get the obsidian.

But you knew where you were with gods in those days. Get it wrong and you were up to you neck in molten lava before you could say 'whoops'.

Solid Rust Twotter
1st Mar 2013, 05:00
One owes you a pint for that one, Mr G&T.:ok: We need a spiffing button to show further approval.

ArthurR
1st Mar 2013, 07:30
When I was in the RAF Valley Mountain Rescue team, I often used to look up at a hill and think of God.

The thought was "Oh God, we've not got to go up the one as well"

cavortingcheetah
1st Mar 2013, 07:48
Byron had the answer when he wrote the following poem. It commemorates the saving of Jerusalem from Sennacherib and his Assyrians in the 7th century BC or is it CE if you're a heathen?

The hills are those around Jerusalem.


The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,
When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.

Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green,
That host with their banners at sunset were seen:
Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown,
That host on the morrow lay withered and strown.

For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed;
And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!

And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide,
But through it there rolled not the breath of his pride;
And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf,
And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.

And there lay the rider distorted and pale,
With the dew on his brow, and the rust on his mail:
And the tents were all silent, the banners alone,
The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown.

And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,
And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal;
And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,
Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord!

tony draper
1st Mar 2013, 09:34
Bring back the old religion I say, this wishy washy sandy place stuff was never intended for us Anglo Saxons.:rolleyes:
http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a194/Deaddogbay/Stonehenge_zpsd2d67399.jpg

603DX
1st Mar 2013, 09:49
Life of Brian - Blessed are the cheesemakers - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xLUEMj6cwA)

Those PPRuNers with whom I exchange PMs will understand why I love clips from that Monty Python film ...

G-CPTN
1st Mar 2013, 09:53
wbQSAdU4Qb4

Sallyann1234
1st Mar 2013, 10:43
You've all got it wrong. The quotation is actually..

"I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my wealth."

It's an old farmers' prayer, looking forward to the gravy train from heavily subsidised wind farms.

Blacksheep
1st Mar 2013, 12:30
T'were we fair haired, blue eyed chaps from the East who did for the old religion, tony. Downing dozens of horns full of mead and singing about Valhalla were more in line for the raiders of the lost ark. (Hey! Bluefang! Where did we leave our ship? Hic!)