Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Psalms 103-105


Another psalm. Another earworm.

Psalm 103 is attributed to David. It has been the source of several English language hymns but reading it starts the Godspell setting of James Montgomery's words playing on my mental jukebox.

Verse 9 is another iteration of the frequently repeated confession of YHWH's nature:

YHWH is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

Psalm 104 also begins "Bless YHWH, O my soul...." It describes God's work in creation and, according to the New Interpreter's Study Bible, "shows unmistakable dependence upon the contents of the Egyptian 'Hymn to the Aten,' or Sun Deity. I have always like verse 26 which declares that God made the fierce, frightening sea monster Leviathan just for fun. The God of this psalm is creative and generous, sustaining his creation.

Psalm 105 recounts the history of Israel from the time of the Patriarchs, through Egyptian slavery, liberation, the wilderness  period, to the conquest and settlement of Canaan.

Next: Psalms 106-107

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