Saturday, July 28, 2007

Searching for strophes

A new drawing of Psalm 67 has appeared. I didn't know I was going to do it, but my eye fell on psalm 67 as I was returning Les psaumes redécouverts by Marc Girard to the library, and instead of returning it, I renewed it. So this morning instead of finishing a draft of Psalm 119, I revisited Psalm 67 and it stood up and said hello!

The centre of the psalm is absolutely identified by the structure. It is the most loving statement reflecting Abraham's question to God - shall not the judge of all the earth do right! (I want to warn those who use that little clicky thing on your blogs - the related links may not be what you would desire - like visits to pagan temples and such.)

Having found the centre, the relationships in and between the external strophes are inviting. See if you agree with me (and Jerome) in discovering some of them by studying the links I have drawn. Tell me please what you think.

I am indebted to Girard for the detailed confirmation and correction of some of my structure. I do not agree with Girard as to where the strophes are or what is the macro chiasm. He has A (2-3) B (4), C(5), B (6), A (7-8). I have A(1-2), B(3-4), C(5), B(6), A(7-8). Three reasons: 1. the Selah - aha another use of Selah - similar to psalm 46 where a 3-fold and 2-fold structure are both present. and 2. the repeated earth forms the outer fragile container for the centre. and 3 - it is a song. Girard ignores the titles - not a good idea.

I have always sung psalm 67 as if poetry were linear just because there seemed to be a chorus. Poetry, clearly, is circular, as is time. And what is the centre of time? - the lamb that was slain before the foundation of the world, the cross radiating to both past and future, the shining countenance of God - diametrically linked to the produce of the earth. The cross is a singularity - by man came also the resurrection from the dead. Come Hebraists, humour me, where are the strophes et pourquoi?

1 comment:

Beyond Words said...

Bob, thank you for caring enough to think through my concerns and for commenting at beyond words. I tried to e-mail you but it bounced back. There are some things that are too complex to leave out there in cyber-space.

I've suffered some acute cognitive dissonance with the way God's revelation has been censored and interpreted for me for most of my life. I've been painfully deconstructing it-- I think LeRon Shults calls this Purgation.

And the whole thing of the Temple(s) has huge symbolic meaning for me. I believe I've not been given access to the historical grounding for that rich, full, triune Godhead of the OT--and I want to wrestle with that God until I'm blessed.

When I looked at your Psalm diagram, I saw the hope of the nations, and God's righteousness, but it rang hollow through the echoes of proof texts I've heard all my life--filtered through American evangelical subculture so all the nations look like us!

But the other day I was reading Psalm 73 and I realized I have something in common with David. "Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."

I don't need heaven to desire God. I don't need hell to make me turn to God. I simply desire God and to abide with God.

Your posts and your comments abroad the blogosphere are really a Godsend. Thank you.