Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Psalm 144

Psalm 144 has a take-off on Psalm 8's question. Rather than the awe of creation and confidence in the created being, this psalm has a reversal of the words of Psalm 8 and yet a set of verbs that value God's attention in spite of the following cola concerning the request for deliverance from the children of the alien.

מָה-אֱנוֹשׁ כִּי-תִזְכְּרֶנּוּ; וּבֶן-אָדָם, כִּי תִפְקְדֶנּוּ. Psalm 8
remember, visit
יְהוָה--מָה-אָדָם, וַתֵּדָעֵהוּ: בֶּן-אֱנוֹשׁ, וַתְּחַשְּׁבֵהוּ. Psalm 144
know, take account

Do you think there is significance to this allusion to Psalm 8 at the end of the Psalter?
What is the sense of the verb sequence? (I note that Psalm 49 contains both beni-adam and beni-enosh together).

Since I am pairing psalms to see if there are structural aspects to this cathedral of prayer, I am wondering...

Of David
Blessed is יְהוָה my strength
teacher of my hands in battle, my fingers in war
My loving kindness and my fortress, my high tower
of me, for me, deliverer, my shield
and in him I have sheltered subduing my people under me

יְהוָה what is this humus that you know it
the children of humanity that you value them
the human is like a wind
its days as a shadow passing away

יְהוָה spread out the heavens and come down
Touch hills and they will smoke
Strike lightning and you will scatter them
let loose your arrows and you will trouble them
let loose your hands from above

Set me free and rescue me from the great seas
from the hand of the children of the alien
whose mouths speak emptiness
and their right hand a right hand of falsehood

O God, a song that is new I will sing to you
on lute, a ten-stringed harp, I will make music to you
giving salvation to kings
separating even David his servant from a sword of evil

Set me free and rescue me
from the hand of the children of the alien
whose mouths speak emptiness
and their right hand a hand of falsehood

so that our sons are as plants grown up in their youth
with our daughters as corner-stones carved
in the form of a palace
so our granaries are full furnished
from kind to kind our sheep fruitful by thousands
to ten thousands in our streets
our friends strong as oxen
without breach without sally
without complaint in our piazas

happy the people who are like this to him
happy the people who have יְהוָה as their God

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