Guide Commentary On The Psalms (1910)

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They are also equidistant from the ends of the poem five lines and also from the thematic centre of the poem, my son you are, as can be seen in the table below.


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Those who would choose kiss the son, would retain the referent to the anointed one, and thus retain to a certain extent this cohesion. However, son does not semantically parallel anointed as well as chosen one does. This would be the message of the poem if kiss BAR is interpreted as kiss his feet or pay sincere homage to him. Let us look at the flow of logic in the poem. In the first part, the nations rebel against both God and his anointed.

In response, in the second section, God appoints his king, whom he adopts as his son, to rule over the entire world, and to smash their common enemies. In the third part, it would indeed be odd if the nations of the earth were called only to respect YHWH with no reference to his king. If the nations are rebelling against both YHWH and his anointed, then it is only logical that they should be commanded to stop their rebellion to both YHWH and his anointed, and respect and submit to them both. Let kings of Tarshish and the islands pay tribute, kings of Sheba and Seba offer gifts.

Let all kings bow to him, and all nations serve him. You have rescued me from the strife of people; You have set me at the head of nations; peoples I knew not must serve me. At the mere report of me they are submissive; foreign peoples cower before me; foreign peoples lose courage, and come trembling out of their strongholds. The Lord lives! Blessed is my rock! Exalted be God, my deliverer, the God who has vindicated me and made peoples subject to me, who rescued me from my enemies, who raised me clear of my adversaries, saved me from lawless men.

For this I sing Your praise among the nations, Lord, and hymn Your name: He accords great victories to His king, keeps faith with His anointed, with David and his offspring forever. This is not a problem if one translates — kiss his feet or worship in purity. YHWH is unambiguously the main referent throughout verse There seems to be a confusion of possible clues. First of all, as Prince assumed, it would appear that the antecedent for the pronoun should be the immediately preceding referent, in our case, the specially chosen one, much like a similar statement in Amos Seek the Lord, and you will live, Else He will rush like fire upon the House of Joseph … NJPS On the other hand, as Prince pointed out, a close study of the content leads quickly to the conclusion that the most likely referent for a vengeful person who also provides refuge for those who seek him is YHWH.

On the other hand, a reference to a potentially wrathful God-anointed king, who can also give refuge to his faithful subjects, seems out of place within the Biblical context. A quick check of passages referring to anger and wrath in Psalms reveals that the majority of cases refer to either the wrath of God, or to the wrath of the wicked, with one exception — Psalm : I am seized with rage because of the wicked who forsake Your teaching. NJPS So while there is a possibility for interpretation of the threat of anger from a God-anointed king21, there is an overwhelming likelihood that this passage is referring to the wrath of God.

Not necessarily so, especially if we take into consideration the distribution of pronoun reference elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible.

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Recent studies22 in participant reference in Hebrew have revealed that the major participant in a Hebrew text is most likely to be referred to with pronouns, while secondary participants will be referred to with nominal referents particularly in the cases of potential ambiguity. He is the one who gets angry, installs his king, and gives him all power and authority. If this was the case, then YHWH would be the unambiguous referent for the pronouns that follow.

Further support comes from the observation that this interpretation allows for the pairing with the term anointed one; the two are equidistant from the ends of the poem as well as from the thematic centre, reinforcing the cohesiveness of the terms anointed one, son, and chosen one. It was also noted that for every reference to YHWH, there is also a reference to his chosen king — anointed one, king, son, and chosen one — further enforcing the symmetry of pairing in the poem of these two referents.

This interpretation also corroborates the expected flow of argumentation in the poem: YHWH is angry at the rebellion against both himself and his anointed; thus the prophet calls for submission to both. Finally, since this interpretation raises issues of ambiguity for the pronouns that follow in the rest of verse 12, possible reasons for this problem are raised, but the favored interpretation that the pronouns refer to YHWH is considered to be a valid choice.

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A Guide to Biblical Hebrew Syntax. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Barnes, W. The Psalms with Introduction and Notes, Vol. London: Methuen and Co. Barthelemy Dominique. Fribourg: Academic Press. Translated by James Andersen. Grand Rapids: Wm B.

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Eerdmans Publishing Company. Cazelles, Henri. Word Biblical Commentary : Psalms Waco: Word Books. De Regt, L. Assen, The Netherlands: Van Gorcum. Jennings, A. The Psalms with introductions and critical notes. London: Macmillan and Co. Keil, C. F and Delitzsch F. Commentary on the Old Testament Vol. Cambridge: University Press. Kraus, Hans-Joachim.

Psalms translated from the 5th edition of Psalmen. Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House. Maclaren, Alexander. London: Hodder and Stoughton. Translation of the Psalms and Canticles with commentary. London: Manresa Press.

Pietersma, Albert. Perowne, J. London: Bell and Sons.

Commentary On The Psalms (1910)

Prince, J. Journal of Biblical Literature, Vol. Van der Merwe, Christo, H J et al. A Biblical Hebrew Reference Grammar. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press. An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns. Yosef, Yuri. Lexicons Botterweck, Johannes and Helmer Ringgren. Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. Brown, Driver, Briggs. Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament.

Psalter, Psaltery

Oxford: Oxford University Press. Baumgartner, Walter and Ludwig Koehler. Leiden: Brill. The Dictionary of Classical Hebrew, Vol. Tregelles, Samuel Prideaux. Related Papers. By Nina Collins.


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