In chapter 2 of his scroll, the author of hebrews spoon-feeds us psalm 8:5-7, and thus invites us to hear the passage in its entirety. In this space, I will spoon feed you just verse 5, recalling that the original text has neither chapter, nor verse, nor vowel. And I will invite you to hear the passage in its entirety.
מָֽה אֱנוֹשׁ כִּֽי תִזְכְּרֶנּוּ וּבֶן אָדָם כִּי תִפְקְדֶֽנּוּ (yakubovich)
What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? (KJV)
what is man that thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that thou dost care for him? (RSV)
Mah is the biblical hebrew what. And it is the base for manna (what is it?), the bread that is not produced by the will of man through the agricultural revolution, but instead descends from the heavens through the will of god alone. Énosh means man or human, and in the biblical story is the son of Seth, Adam’s 2nd opportunity. Teezekerénu is a semitic term I wrote about regarding the falling asleep of Nipsey Hu$$le. With all of the mindfulness trainings and meditation apps being popularized in the US today, you would think that is what the author has in mind. But, it’s not. Zkr is to think of or remember. The son of man is the ben adam is the son of the groundling. Finally, teepqedénu is caring for, visiting, providing for, paying attention to and if you add the Ge’ez feqede (p & f are interchangeable hence Persian and Farsi, fish and phish) you can stamp visiting and add willing and wanting.
what is man that you think of him? and the son of the groundling that you willingly visit him?
The psalmist sees the sky, moon, and stars and feels little and belittled by something greater. And yet even those creations have something greater than them. How sublime? Although it is hidden from some Phds, he hears infants praising yhwh adonénu (our lord). And so, using synonymic parallelism, he asks the same rhetorical question, in two unique ways. The questions are neither meant to be answered, nor treated as separate questions. They are the equivalent of a statement recognizing the sustaining and abundant favor provided by yhwh, on a daily basis.
This is a great glimpse into our prayer life in mt. zion.