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 Post subject: Dear wife's bithday (honorific)
PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 6:50 pm 
Requiescat in pace
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Location: Boston (Roslindale), MA
Religion: Catholic
Today (Wednesday, July 14, 2010) is my dear wife's 65th birthday. In celebration of that, I will be posting two separate threads. Both are true; but one will be teasing/joking and the other will be more straightforwardly honorific. In case there is any difficulty in distinguishing, this is the honorific one.

One of my favorite scriptural passage is the "Praise of the Good Wife" found in Proverbs 31:10-31. It is pretty impressive in almost any translation, and I wish to include two in honor of my dear wife's birthday.

The following is in the New American Bible translation, a fairly normal translation of the Hebrew into English.
NAB wrote:
<Proverbs 31:10>
When one finds a worthy wife, her value is far beyond pearls.
Her husband, entrusting his heart to her, has an unfailing prize.
She brings him good, and not evil, all the days of her life.
She obtains wool and flax and makes cloth with skillful hands.
Like merchant ships, she secures her provisions from afar.
She rises while it is still night, and distributes food to her household.
She picks out a field to purchase; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She is girt about with strength, and sturdy are her arms.
She enjoys the success of her dealings; at night her lamp is undimmed.
She puts her hands to the distaff, and her fingers ply the spindle.
She reaches out her hands to the poor, and extends her arms to the needy.
She fears not the snow for her household; all her charges are doubly clothed.
She makes her own coverlets; fine linen and purple are her clothing.
Her husband is prominent at the city gates as he sits with the elders of the land.
She makes garments and sells them, and stocks the merchants with belts.
She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs at the days to come.
She opens her mouth in wisdom, and on her tongue is kindly counsel.
She watches the conduct of her household, and eats not her food in idleness.
Her children rise up and praise her; her husband, too, extols her:
"Many are the women of proven worth, but you have excelled them all."
5 Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting; the woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Give her a reward of her labors, and let her works praise her at the city gates.

The second translation of Prov 31:10-31 which I want to include here is a specialty translation which attempts to carry over the alphabetic acrostic of the Hebrew original.

In an alphabetic acrostic the initial letters of lines (or verses or sections) follow the sequence of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet and the lines/verses/sections are of roughly equal length. The Hebrew alphabet has 22 letters and many of these acrostics have 22 verses or a multiple thereof, the acrostic sometimes being used to determine verses. The most complete alphabetic acrostics in the original language of the Hebrew Bible are Psalms 25, 34, 37, 111, 112, 119, 145; Proverbs 31:10-31 (the Praise of a Good Wife); and each of the first four chapters of the Book of Lamentations.

Needless to say, the alphabetic structure of the original is not usually able to be carried over into English translations. But there is an existing English translation of the entire Bible which tries to do justice to the form of the Hebrew alphabetic acrostic. This is the Knox translation, an older (late 1940's-50's) Roman Catholic translation done by Monsignor Ronald Knox, a convert from Anglicanism. I have used it in the past in Bible Study groups to illustrate an acrostic.

The one outstanding feature of Knox's translation (and obviously one of the places were the "light of the Hebrew" original was allowed to shine) is in the alphabetic acrostics. Here Monsignor Knox respects the 22 letters of the Hebrew original but starts his verses with successive letters of the English alphabet, usually leaving off X, Y, and Z and one other letter, often Q.

In all the Knox acrostics the printed text puts the Acrostic letter in Boldface type to highlight it. I include below the Knox translation of the Praise of the Good Wife (Proverbs 31:10-31, note the 22 verses!) In this one, the translator used the letters A-W, omitting Q, as the first letter of each verse.
Knox translation wrote:
<Prov 31:10>A man who has found a vigorous wife has found a rare treasure, brought from distant shores.
<11>Bound to her in loving confidence, he will have no need of spoil.
<12>Content, not sorrow, she will bring him as long as life lasts.
<13>Does she not busy herself with wool and thread, plying her hands with ready skill?
<14>Ever she steers her course like some merchant ship, bringing provision from far away.
<15>From early dawn she is up, assigning food to the household, so that each waiting-woman has her share.
<16>Ground must be examined. and bought, and planted out as a vineyard, with the earnings of her toil.
<17>How briskly she girds herself to the task, how tireless are her arms!
<18>Industry, she knows, is well rewarded, and all night long her lamp does not go out.
<19>Jealously she sets her hands to work, her fingers clutch the spindle.
<20>Kindly is her welcome to the poor, her purse ever open to those in need.
<21>Let the snow lie cold if it will, she has no fears for her household; no servant of hers but is warmly clad
<22>Made by her own hands was the coverlet on her bed, the clothes of lawn and purple that she wears.
<23>None so honoured at the city gate as that husband of hers, when he sits in council with the elders of the land.
<24>Often she will sell linen of her own weaving, or make a girdle for the travelling merchant to buy.
<25>Protected by her own industry and good repute, she greets the morrow with a smile.
<26>Ripe wisdom governs her speech, but it is kindly instruction she gives.
<27>She keeps watch over all that goes on in her house, not content to go through life eating and sleeping.
<28>That is why her children are the first to call her blessed, her husband is loud in her praise:
<29>Unrivalled art thou among all the women that have enriched their homes.
<30>Vain are the winning ways, beauty is a snare; it is the woman who fears the Lord that will achieve renown.
<31>Work such as hers claims its reward; let her life be spoken of with praise at the city gates.

Happy Birthday, dear Mary!
Edward Pothier

 Post subject: Re: Dear wife's bithday (honorific)
PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 7:02 pm 
Handmaids of the Lord
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Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 1:23 am
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Awwww :cloud9:

Happy Birthday, Mrs. Pothier!!! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Quid retribuam Domino pro omnibus quæ retribuit mihi?

"Take it as a certain sign that your charity is not genuine if your words, no matter how true, are not charitable." --St Francis de Sales

"The thing is--to be ready to die: and is there one of us who would quite like to die, doing as little for God as we are doing now?" --Fr Faber

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