Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The circle of Elohim

Psalms 42 and 86 surround those psalms that use Elohim more than they use the Name as a designation for God. As I did this I realized that switching from David to Korah is quite a task - and there are significant differences in the refrain in Psalm 42 - is it my face that God saves or his presence - his face - just a yod or a vav difference.

I have used 'One' where 'El' rather than 'Elohim' occurs. I would like a better distinction - but I think it better to distinguish than to say God in both cases. Note the three times where it occurs. Is it a mark of tenderness? Why is this poem a maskil?

For the leader, an insight of the children of Korah
As a hart longs for streams of water
so my being longs for you, O God
thirsts my being for God, for the One living
When will I go in and see the presence of God?

So for me my tears, as bread day and night,
in saying to me every day, where is your God?
Such I remember as I pour out within me my being
for I go under cover

I led them to the house of God
with a voice of a loud cry and thanksgiving
a tumult of festival

Why be depressed, O my being, and murmur in me?
wait in God for yet I will thank him
for the deliverance of his presence

O my God, in me my being is depressed
therefore I will remember you
from the land of Jordan
from the Hermons
even from a small hill

Depth to depth calling to the voice of your waterspouts
All your breakers, and your waves have passed over me

By day יְהוָה will command his loving kindness
and in the night his song to me
is a prayer to the One of my life

I will say to the One, my fortress, why have you forgotten me?
why mourning do I exist under an oppressive enemy?
with a sword in my bones, my reproach, my distress?
in saying to me every day, where is your God?

Why be depressed, O my being, and why murmur in me?
wait in God for yet I will thank him
for deliverance in my presence and my God.
Psalm -86
A prayer Of David
Stretch יְהוָה your ear and answer me
for I am afflicted
and in need am I
Guard my being for under your protection am I
save your servant
you, my God, the one trusting in you
have mercy on me, O Lord
for to you I cry every day

Rejoice the being of your servant
for to you, O Lord, my being I lift up
for you, O Lord, are good
and forgiving and great in loving kindness
to all calling on you

Listen יְהוָה to my prayer
and attend to the voice of my supplication
In the day of my distress I will call on you
for you will answer me
there is none like you among the gods
O Lord, and there is nothing like your works

All nations whom you made will come
and worship in your presence, O Lord
and glorify your name
for you are great and do wonders
you O God, you alone

Instruct me יְהוָה your way
I will walk in your truth
make one my heart to fear your name
I will thank you, O Lord my God with all my heart
and I will glorify your name for ever
for your loving kindness is great to me
and you have delivered my being from Sheol's nether parts

O God the proud rise up against me
and an assembly of violent ones seek my being
and not do they set you before them
but you O Lord God are compassionate and gracious
slow to anger and full of loving kindness and truth

look to me and have mercy on me
give your strength to your servant
and salvation to the child of your truth
make for me a sign of good
and those hating me will see and be ashamed
for you יְהוָה have helped me and comforted me.

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