Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Psalm 37 - the middle

Ronald Benun in his detailed article on the Acrostics in Book 1 demonstrates with word counts the central component of Psalm 37. I did not see his result in detail before the same words jumped out at me. In my translation they are:

cause the wicked will perish and the enemies of יְהוָה
as the prized fat of lambs they will find their end
in smoke they will find their end

What does this mean? It means that the sacrifice has a meaning for the psalmist. It symbolizes the end of the wicked. What perfect lamb do you know that brings to an end wickedness in you?

I am not a detail student of the cult - but don't you think this is a somewhat unexpected meaning? We read of sin offerings, guilt offerings, scapegoats, the unblemished lamb as substitute and so on - but did we ever see a holocaust and marvel at the end of the prized fat and think - that's where the wicked, the enemies of my Lord end?

Don't forget Pogo - we have met the enemy and it is us. But equally, don't lose the message of the cult and its implications for the offering of the NT. Maybe they recognized the truth of Pogo in their reasoning about sacrifice and we, privileged in our ignorance, cannot imagine they were so sophisticated.

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