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July 26, 2006

Weird Ish Happenin' Lately, Yo

A thousand year Irish psalmbook has been dug out of the ground after a construction worker spotted it.

The approximately 20-page book has been dated to the years 800-1000. Trinity College manuscripts expert Bernard Meehan said it was the first discovery of an Irish early medieval document in two centuries.

"This is really a miracle find," said Pat Wallace, director of the National Museum of Ireland, which has the book stored in refrigeration and facing years of painstaking analysis before being put on public display.

"There's two sets of odds that make this discovery really way out. First of all, it's unlikely that something this fragile could survive buried in a bog at all, and then for it to be unearthed and spotted before it was destroyed is incalculably more amazing."

That's just happenstance and archaelology. Here's the weirdness:

The book was found open to a page describing, in Latin script, Psalm 83, in which God hears complaints of other nations' attempts to wipe out the name of Israel.

Andy the Squirrel knows I'm a heathen, so he sends along a modern rendering of Psalm 83, with his annotations to it:

1 O God, do not keep silent; be not quiet, O God, be not still.

2 See how your enemies are astir,
how your foes rear their heads.

3 With cunning they conspire against your people;
they plot against those you cherish.

4 "Come," they say, "let us destroy them as a nation,
that the name of Israel be remembered no more."

5 With one mind they plot together;
they form an alliance against you-

6 the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites,
of Moab and the Hagrites,

7 Gebal [TODAY JBEIL, LEBANON], [a] Ammon [Part of Jordan today I believe] and Amalek [SOUTHERN JORDAN/PARTS OF ISRAEL, ]
Philistia, with the people of Tyre.

8 Even Assyria has joined them
to lend strength to the descendants of Lot.
Selah

9 Do to them as you did to Midian,
as you did to Sisera and Jabin at the river Kishon,

10 who perished at Endor
and became like refuse on the ground.

11 Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb,
all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,

12 who said, "Let us take possession
of the pasturelands of God."

13 Make them like tumbleweed, O my God,
like chaff before the wind.

14 As fire consumes the forest
or a flame sets the mountains ablaze,

15 so pursue them with your tempest
and terrify them with your storm.

16 Cover their faces with shame
so that men will seek your name, O LORD.

17 May they ever be ashamed and dismayed;
may they perish in disgrace.

18 Let them know that you, whose name is the LORD-
that you alone are the Most High over all the earth.

Tyre was in the news all day yesterday.

See? Weird.

A Non-Weird Way Of Looking At This: One can note that pretty much "Tyre" and "Assyria" have been trying to destroy Israel for 5000 year straight, with only a 1000 year or so pause after they managed, more or less, to accomplish that, so it's not surprising that today's news echoes the "news" of previous millenia.

Still. Weird.


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posted by Ace at 12:29 PM

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