Saturday, September 02, 2006

Psalm 23 has some surprises; currently working on psalm 46 – I think I will skip through the 150 by 23’s or the like to get a first cut.

Psalm 23 is usually read as the ultimate piety - but I think that the poet had less than that in mind. He was more concerned with the marvel of YHWH's presence as blessing and as correction. Having been blessed in correction by God (as opposed to by persons, however much they play a role) it shows the poet that God is with him in all forms of distress. In fact, Psalm 23 has an entrenchment metaphor - the same Torah metaphor as Psalm 1 running through it. So I have avoided the usual translation of HSD as loving kindness - and used the rare reproof. For such real presence in trouble - and trouble is often of our own making - is as great as the cup overflowing. That word for cup, כּוֹסִי can also be translated owl - due to the shape of the face - it would make a good poem also - as in that book I heard the Owl call my name. It has the sense of unclean. But the poet is telling us that a vessel that overflows because God fills it cannot be unclean. So I chose in great piety myself a word that would resonate with that close relationship to God that is embedded in the marriage idiom.

Raabe is very detailed on Psalm 46 and critiques several proposed chaistic structures. I will do mine first then read his critique.

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