Psalms 6-8   1 comment

Above:  Psalm 7

Image in the Public Domain




The Book of Common Prayer (1979) includes a plan for reading the Book of Psalms in morning and evening installments for 30 days.  I am therefore blogging through the Psalms in 60 posts.


Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning:

Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them,

that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life,

which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ;

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer (1979), page 226


This post covers two laments and a prayer extolling divine glory.

Psalms of lament interest me.  A Psalmist, who is in a dire situation–illness in Psalm 6 and betrayal in Psalm 7–cries out to God, perhaps more out of desperation than confidence.  After all, if God is as attentive as certain words in Psalms of lament might seem to indicate, why is the faithful Psalmist in such a pickle?  One might detect a degree of sarcasm in some of the praises of God in Psalms of lament.  That would be consistent with what many Jewish Biblical scholars have indicated.  In Judaism, after all, people get to argue with God.

That is one reason I like Judaism so much.  God, as Judaism understands God, is “big” enough to listen to my kvetching and to respond mercifully.  This is good news indeed, I understand, for I argue with and complain to God frequently.  Where else can I go?

One of the most basic contexts in which to read and interpret scripture is other scripture.  Reading Psalms 6 and 7 together, one detects their common setting–grievance.  Then one reads Psalm 8, in which we are, according to the Hebrew text yet not many English-language translations, only slightly lower than the gods (not the angels).  Yet we remain insignificant compared to God, of whom we properly stand in awe, and who is merciful to the faithful.  One should be humble–literally, down to earth–before God.

If our relationship to God is complicated, we should at least rejoice in the fact of the existence of a relationship.  May it be a positive one.


On a different topic, I applaud the late Father Mitchell J. Dahood for the vividness of his translation of the Book of Psalms.  Consider, for example, O reader, Psalm 6:10 from The Book of Common Prayer (1979):

All my enemies shall be confronted and quake with fear;

they shall all turn back and suddenly be put to shame.

Then read Dahood’s rendering of that verse:

Let all my foes be humbled and greatly shaken,

let them return, be humbled in Perdition.

That is more expressive, is it not?

I recommend acquiring Dahood’s three volumes (from The Anchor Bible series) on the Book of Psalms and studying their contents.







Posted July 29, 2017 by neatnik2009 in Psalm 6, Psalm 7, Psalm 8

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One response to “Psalms 6-8

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  1. Pingback: Guide Post to the Septuagint Psalter Project | BLOGA THEOLOGICA

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