Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Psalm 145 Revisited

Still not at the poetic stage, but I had occasion these past two weeks to reread Magonet on the Psalms (A Rabbi Reads the Psalms, Jonathan Magonet SCM Press 2004). So I am beginning to diagram his structures for the Psalms he covers: 145, 92, 23, 25, 19, 22, 51, 118, 115, 121, 124, 134, 146, 90, 73, all of which are in depth. He has fun with Psalm 145, showing a considerable tension between the theology of the chosen and the theology of universality. The Psalmist's universality is shown in the frequency with which he uses the word all. (Blue foreground colour in the diagram.)

Note also I have managed the acrostic with a bit of shifting (clearly seen in the mismatched colours) and a few xtreme spellings and slang: such as xtreme for Het and teous ... righteous for Tsade and killer Glory (not so far from the mark!). Note also the red coloring for the works and deeds referred to. As someone said (must find the quote - Calvin I think) the whole gospel is in the psalter.

If we include the missing Nun from Amos 5:2, the centre of the Psalm is slightly shifted. Where is the centre? Is it the revealing to the children of dust the might and glory, honour of his reign, for all ages, your rule for all; Age to Age? I think the two verse centre is better than the KLM-MLK pun that Magonet suggests (though this works as the stimulus for the acrostic). King/Age are both keywords spanning beginning middle and end of the Psalm.

Other features to note are pronoun usage (I, they, you) and the eventual universality of blessing - if Adonai is blessed by all flesh, there is no two-tiered salvation structure.

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