Saturday, January 10, 2009

Rarely used words in the Psalter - 8

Eight is for Psalm 7 - and we all want to know about Hell - so let's go to this lake of fire and apply for the available jobs - advertised here as assistants to the Life-Guard.

The first clue in this Psalm is in the title. It is a שגיון, (shiggaion) a word shared only with Habakkuk 3:1. (That poem is worth reading even in translation. I think I will give it a once over translate later...) And these two, Psalm 7 and Habakkuk 3, share a common theme. Do you who fear Hell really suppose that the Anointing is not there? Where did you learn your Christ? How do you know about fire?

No one knows what this word שגיון means. I rendered it reel - an agonized dance. I have seen such. The psalm is "A reel of David who sang to יְהוָה ". Sing, Beloved, and rejoice. With David and Habakkuk, you can be sure that your defiance-of-despair-in-the-face-of-lack-of-prosperity will not be ignored by the One in whom the Anointing was and is fully present without reserve.

You might notice that I am developing an idea - Christ, Oil, Anointing, Anointed, Messiah - are we too slow to see the reality of the Kingdom and the Priesthood which Jesus (He is Lord of all) brings through his death and through the vindication of his work in the resurrection? This is no time for imagination - though there is nothing wrong with imagination if it is in this full Spirit of the Possible. But this is time and there is always time for hearing and doing that we may understand. Meet him in his death by baptism and you will not be disappointed. He has harrowed Hell. He has defined it that you may understand. The Judge is the Life-Guard at the Lake of Fire.

There are two unique words in Psalm 7:14. I have not looked at every word between verse 1 and 14 but my rough search did uncover these two: חבל and הרה and Beloved, don't be too sure as to who is the subject of these verbs.

Behold he will bind sorrow and has conceived trouble
and will bear falsehood

I suspect I should not let this translation stand. The word is in the Piel and the Piel probably demands more of a transformation of the binding aspect of the Qal. Lambdin's Introduction to Biblical Hebrew defines Piel as transitivizing, denominative, intensive, or unclassified! (Sounds like I can do what I like with it then.)

Well, my bind is that there is one of whom I have heard who has bound sorrow through his cross. That is also my release from all my bonds. So I will keep the 'bind' and label the Psalm as I have - Binding sorrow. Conceived is heavily used (20 times) in Genesis but rare in the rest of TNK (22 times). I bet that word is worth a study.

The ambiguity of the subject of these verbs in Psalm 7 is useful. If this Anointed one has bound sorrow for us, then though we too will bind our own sorrow, we have an enormous power in his having been freed from bondage (the resurrection) that gives to us life by his Spirit. We can both rest in the completion of his binding of sorrow and we can share this work of his also - for ourselves and for others. (Remember how work is used in John, e.g. John 5:36, and Paul, e.g. Galatians 2:16, and you will understand how faith enables this participation without superrogation.)

No comments: