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Bible Commentaries

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers
Psalms

Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4
Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8
Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12
Chapter 13 Chapter 14 Chapter 15 Chapter 16
Chapter 17 Chapter 18 Chapter 19 Chapter 20
Chapter 21 Chapter 22 Chapter 23 Chapter 24
Chapter 25 Chapter 26 Chapter 27 Chapter 28
Chapter 29 Chapter 30 Chapter 31 Chapter 32
Chapter 33 Chapter 34 Chapter 35 Chapter 36
Chapter 37 Chapter 38 Chapter 39 Chapter 40
Chapter 41 Chapter 42 Chapter 43 Chapter 44
Chapter 45 Chapter 46 Chapter 47 Chapter 48
Chapter 49 Chapter 50 Chapter 51 Chapter 52
Chapter 53 Chapter 54 Chapter 55 Chapter 56
Chapter 57 Chapter 58 Chapter 59 Chapter 60
Chapter 61 Chapter 62 Chapter 63 Chapter 64
Chapter 65 Chapter 66 Chapter 67 Chapter 68
Chapter 69 Chapter 70 Chapter 71 Chapter 72
Chapter 73 Chapter 74 Chapter 75 Chapter 76
Chapter 77 Chapter 78 Chapter 79 Chapter 80
Chapter 81 Chapter 82 Chapter 83 Chapter 84
Chapter 85 Chapter 86 Chapter 87 Chapter 88
Chapter 89 Chapter 90 Chapter 91 Chapter 92
Chapter 93 Chapter 94 Chapter 95 Chapter 96
Chapter 97 Chapter 98 Chapter 99 Chapter 100
Chapter 101 Chapter 102 Chapter 103 Chapter 104
Chapter 105 Chapter 106 Chapter 107 Chapter 108
Chapter 109 Chapter 110 Chapter 111 Chapter 112
Chapter 113 Chapter 114 Chapter 115 Chapter 116
Chapter 117 Chapter 118 Chapter 119 Chapter 120
Chapter 121 Chapter 122 Chapter 123 Chapter 124
Chapter 125 Chapter 126 Chapter 127 Chapter 128
Chapter 129 Chapter 130 Chapter 131 Chapter 132
Chapter 133 Chapter 134 Chapter 135 Chapter 136
Chapter 137 Chapter 138 Chapter 139 Chapter 140
Chapter 141 Chapter 142 Chapter 143 Chapter 144
Chapter 145 Chapter 146 Chapter 147 Chapter 148
Chapter 149 Chapter 150

Book Overview - Psalms

by Charles John Ellicott

THE BOOK OF PSALMS.

The Psalms.

BY

THE REV. ARCHDEACON AGLEN, M. A.


INTRODUCTION

TO

THE BOOK OF PSALMS.

I. Preliminary.—The Psalms appear in the earliest classification we have of the Hebrew Scriptures, viz., that of the New Testament, as one of the three great divisions of sacred literature, side by side with the Law and the Prophets. In the more elaborate arrangement of the Talmudic Canon, they lose their distinctive title in the more general one of Hagiographa or sacred writings (in Hebrew, Kethubim),(1) at the head of which they stand, in the order adopted in the Hebrew Bibles.(2) In the Septuagint this threefold division, not having been settled at the time of that translation, does not of course appear, and the Psalms there are classed with the poetical and didactic books, as in our English Bibles. It is often assumed that the title Psalms in Luke 24:44 means the whole of the Hagiographa, the whole being named after its most important part. It is, however, more probable that the pre-eminence there given to the Psalms is due to another reason. The threefold division into Law, Prophets, and Psalms, was not a popular mode of designating the Scriptures as a whole, but an arrangement arising out of the use of the synagogue, where the Psalms supplied the lesson for the afternoon, as the Prophets did for the morning, of the Sabbath. The collection in its present form bears evidence of adaptation to the exigencies of the synagogue services.(3) It was, however, originally made for the (Second) Temple service, and for musical purposes. It was the Jewish hymnal. This appears in the names by which it was known. In Hebrew the book is that of the Tehillîm, or shortly, Tillîm,(4) that is, praises. The Greek name is in one Codex ψαλμοί, in another ψαλτήριου? (the Lyre), from which comes Psalter.(5) The Hebrew word for psalm (mizmôr), whatever be the root idea of the term, apparently denotes a composition, not merely lyric, like shir, and so capable of being sung, but one actually set to music and accompanied by music.

Another indication that the choral service of the Temple or the Synagogue was the object of the compilation of the Psalms, and indeed of the composition of many of them, is found in the titles prefixed to a great number of the hymns. The meaning of these titles, and their bearing upon the difficult questions of date and authorship, will be discussed in the individual psalms. Here it is only necessary to call the reader’s attention to the musical character of many of them. Some, for instance, convey directions to the choir or choir-master: in the Authorised Version,” To the chief musician” (Psalms 11, 13, &c.). To this is sometimes added the kind of instruments to be employed (Psalms 5, 6, 54, &c.), or the name of a musician or designation of a body of musicians (Psalms 62, 77). Others apparently indicate the tune to which the psalm is to be sung, or the compass of the voices for which it is suitable (Psalms 9, 22, 56, 6, 12). Others, again, bring the Psalter into close connection with the Levitical guilds or families, the Asaphites and the Korahites (Psalms 1, 73-83, 42-49), whose connection with the Temple worship is elaborately described in the Book of Chronicles.

Its character as the Jewish hymnal once recognised, the Psalter will be found to answer, so to speak, frankly and openly the many questions that can and must be asked of its composition, arrangement, &c., even if on all points the answer cannot be so complete as we could wish. For instance we see at once from the analogy of hymn-books of modern churches that the collection is likely to turn out to be a compilation of works of different authors and different times, composed with various purposes, and on a vast variety of subjects, and only so far connected as being capable of use in the public worship of the Church; and this the most cursory glance at the Book of Psalms is sufficient to establish.

II. Contents and formation of the Psalter.—BOOK I., Psalms 1-41, all ascribed to David, except Psalms 1, 2, 10, 33, where the omission of an inscription is easily accounted for. The name Jehovah is principally, but not exclusively, used throughout this book.

BOOK II., Psalms 42-72, comprising the following groups: Psalms 42-49, Korahite; 43, which is anonymous, is properly part of 42; Psalms 1., Asaphic; Psalms 51-65, Davidic; Psalms 66, 67, anonymous; Psalms 68-70, Davidic; Psalms 71, anonymous; Psalms 72, Solomonic. The use of the name Elohim is characteristic of this book.

BOOK III., Psalms 73-89, comprising: Psalms 73-83, Asaphic; Psalms 84, 85, Korahite; Psalms 86, Davidic; Psalms 87, 88, Korahite, the latter having a supplementary inscription “to Heman the Ezrahite,” Psalms 89 ascribed to Ethan. Though used an almost equal number of times, the name Jehovah is plainly not so congenial to this book as Elohim.

BOOK IV., Psalms 90-106, comprising: Psalms 90, ascribed to Moses; Psalms 91-100, anonymous; Psalms 101, Davidic; Psalms 102, “A prayer of the afflicted;” Psalms 103, Davidic; Psalms 104-106, anonymous. The divine names are used here and in the next book indifferently.

BOOK V., Psalms 107-150, comprising: Psalms 107, anonymous; Psalms 108-110, Davidic; Psalms 111-119, anonymous Psalms 111, 112, 113, have Hallejuhah in the place of an inscription; Psalms 120-134 “Songs of degrees” (of these Psalms 122, 124, 131, 133 are in the Hebrew Bible, but not in the LXX., ascribed to David, and Psalms 127 to Solomon); Psalms 135-137, anonymous; Psalms 135 being inscribed “Hallejuhah, a psalm of praise;” Psalms 138-145, Davidic

Psalms 146-150, anonymous, each beginning with “Hallejuhah.”

This arrangement does not correspond with that of the LXX. and Vulg., which put together Psalms 9, 10, 114, 115, and separate Psalms 116, 147 into two. There are also considerable variations in the titles. The LXX. ascribe seventeen to David, which have no author named in the Hebrew, one to Jeremiah (Psalms 137), four to Haggai and Zechariah (Psalms 138, 146-148) making at the same time the omissions noticed above, while other less important variations show themselves.

The complete absence of any perspicuous method in this table is the first point that strikes us. It is told that in the first century of our era an ambitious scribe wished to classify the Psalms and arrange them on some more intelligible plan, but was met by the objection that it would be impiety to meddle with what David had left in such confusion. Modern scholars have not been so scrupulous, and many attempts at classification have been made, none, perhaps, with complete success, but even the worst with this result—to show how entirely without plan the last compiler of the Psalter worked, or rather to suggest that he made no attempt at classification, but found certain collections or groups already formed, and merely attached others to them so as to serve for the purpose of public worship, without either endeavouring to improve on a previous system or invent one of his own. That such collections previously existed there can hardly be a doubt. Just so much plan appears in the arrangement of the whole as to show it, for surely no collector would have taken the trouble to bring all the Davidic psalms which occur in the first and second books together, unless he were intending to make, as far as he could, a complete collection of such psalms. Indeed, the compiler of Books I. and II. himself declares he has effected this object by the statement, “The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended,” which can mean nothing else than that there were, in the writer’s knowledge, no more to be found. We may even perhaps assume that before the bulk of the others bearing the inscription “of David” were discovered, not only Books I. and II., but also III. and IV., had taken their present shape, or surely the last redactor would have placed those occurring in Book V. nearer the others of the same reputed authorship.

The position of groups called from their titles Asaphic and Korahite psalms in Books III. and IV., points to the same conclusion. Unless the last compiler had found them already spread over two books, he surely would have grouped them together. Another distinct group, which seems to owe its arrangement to some previous hand, appears under the title “songs of degrees.”

The groups, too, known as the Hallel psalms, were evidently formed for purposes of public singing, and not on any system affecting the whole collection of psalms.

The general conclusion is, that the Psalter owes its shape chiefly to what we may call the accidents of growth. Whenever the last redaction was made, individual psalms, nay, whole groups of psalms, may have been inserted, or added; but the addition was made without regard to any definite system, either chronological or artistic. The previous grouping may even have been interfered with, and to some extent disordered, by the latest hand that touched the Psalter.

On the other hand, so much of chronological sequence as naturally must show itself in a collection of compositions which has grown with time, may have been so far recognised and continued as that most of the very late psalms occur towards the end, while the earlier Books I. and II. were—except in one particular—but very slightly, perhaps from the same motive, interfered with.

This one particular relates to Psalms 1, 2. That these were by the Rabbis regarded as one composition, and were placed at the head of the collection with a purpose (see Introduction, Psalms 1:2) can hardly now be questioned. It is also probable that they owe their position to the latest, or, at all events, a very late hand. The collector of the Davidic psalms of Book I. would hardly have begun his collection with an orphan psalm, as the Rabbis call those wanting inscriptions; whereas a late compiler, who had already under his hand many such, would not pay any regard to a point of the kind. Wishing to strike at once the key-note of the whole collection, and to place at the opening of the Psalms a composition presenting the covenant relation in both its aspects, as affecting the individual towards ungodly individuals and the nation towards uncovenanted nations, and at the same time to bring into prominence the dignity of the written law, and the glory of the Messianic hope, he would select the two hymns most strikingly suiting his purpose, and weld them into one inaugurating psalm.

III. The titles of the Psalms.—Preliminary to any attempt at discussion of the authorship of the Psalms or the date of the composition and collection, the titles or inscriptions found at the head of so large a number of them claim notice, as being apparently the only guide followed in the arrangement of the Psalter as it has come down to us.

In the Hebrew Bible 116 psalms have inscriptions of some kind. The rest, 34 in number, are called by the Rabbis “orphan” psalms. In the Greek Bible no psalm has been left without a heading, except the first and second. An indication of the difference of opinion as to the value of these headings is supplied by the numbering of the verses. When the text of the Hebrew Bible received its present shape they were evidently regarded as an integral part of the Psalms, forming in many cases the first verse, to the great inconvenience in reference, since in all versions they have been treated as prefatory and not as part of the composition. That this opinion was not as old as the ancient versions is shown by the liberties the translators took with the inscriptions. They evidently did not, like the Fathers and later Jews, regard them as of equal importance with the text of the Psalms; and this very fact prepares the way for that criticism to which they have been in modern times subjected.

On the other hand, the fact that the LXX. found the inscriptions in their copies, proves that they were not the invention of those who incorporated them with the Psalms. Nay, it is often argued that because the translators were so perplexed by some of the musical directions as to have made hopeless nonsense of them, these at least, and by implication the titles generally, must be of an antiquity considerably greater than the version of the LXX., lapse of time having rendered these musical terms obscure. They may, however, have been obscure not from antiquity but from novelty. Newly-invented technical terms offer as much difficulty to a translator as obsolete words, and the musical system of Palestine was not improbably quite unknown at Alexandria long after it had come into use. On the other side it must be noticed that the translators allowed themselves considerable license with the titles even when they understood them, both changing and supplementing them, and generally treating them not as authoritative, but merely as convenient, finding them in many points defective, and often capable of improvement. This mode of treatment is not confined to the LXX. The Syriac allows itself the same freedom, and in one case prefixes a most interesting, but at the same time most tantalising heading, “from an ancient document.”

Since such was the point of view of the old versions, it may justly be claimed by modern scholarship, that the inscriptions are open ground, coming to us with no kind of external authority, and to be judged in each separate case on their merits. They may here embody a tradition, here merely represent a clever guess, but whether due to popular tradition or Rabbinical adventure, the value of each inscription depends on the support it receives from the contents of the Psalm to which it has been affixed, and not to any authority from its age or position.

The meaning of the many obscure and perplexing musical inscriptions will be discussed as they present themselves. But one inscription, since it designates a whole group of psalms calls for notice here. It is that prefixed to the fifteen Psalms , 120-134, “a song of degrees.” This translation comes through the Vulgate, canticum graduum; but song of steps or ascents would more nearly represent the Hebrew. The inscription was plainly intended to describe either the purpose for which the Psalms were composed, or some use to which they were adapted, for we may dismiss the theory that it describes a peculiarity of rhythm, a step-like progression, which is indeed audible in some of them, but only very faintly or not at all in most.(8)

He will not suffer thy foot to move,

Thy keeper will not slumber,

Behold slumbereth not and sleepeth not

The keeper of Israel.

This device is hardly apparent in Psalms 120, 127, 129, 131, and not at all in Psalms 128, 132.

Three accounts have been given of these psalms.

(1). They were composed to celebrate the return from the Captivity, and the title means “songs of going up.” This view, however, must be abandoned. Some of the poems may very probably have been composed in honour of this event, but others of them (Psalms 120, 122, 134) have nothing to do with the march homewards from exile. Nor does the inscription really refer to that event. It is true that the verb from which the noun is formed is the usual word for journeying from the Babylonian low country to Palestine, and in Ezra 7:9 the very noun in the singular is used of the return, but the plural cannot well refer to it.

(2). They are pilgrim songs which were chanted by the caravans as they journeyed to Jerusalem to the yearly feasts. This view is more natural, but against it is the fact that some of the hymns seem in no way suitable for such a use, and there is no historical authority (though strong probability) that any such custom prevailed. The form of the noun is also, in the opinion of many scholars, against this theory.

(3). They were psalms chanted by the Levites at the feast of Tabernacles as they stood during the water-drawing on the steps leading from the court of the men to that of the women. They are in fact literally “step songs.” In favour of this view there is the fact that the number of the steps so occupied was fifteen, corresponding with the number of the Psalms. It is gathered also from the Talmud that these very Psalms were actually sung in this position. The inscription “songs of steps” not only exactly suits this explanation, but is what we should expect a rubrical title to be. (Comp. the Graduale of the Romish Church). This is also the explanation given by the Rabbinical authorities, on which we have to rely for our knowledge of Jewish ritual.

IV. Authorship and Date of the Psalms.—The discovery that little historical value was to be attached to the titles, at once opened up the difficult question as to the authorship and date of every part of the collection, and, unfortunately, without knowing the principle on which the collectors worked in prefixing the titles, we are without the benefit of profiting by their errors. That they thought they were working on materials extending through the whole possible period of the nation’s literature, is shown by the ascription of one Psalm (90) to Moses. That, however, they did not work with the intention of making their collection representative of all the different ages of greatest literary vigour in that long period, is evident from the exclusion of the Song of Deborah, and the Psalm of Hannah, which would have served as examples of the times of the Judges. Nor are more than two Psalms allotted to the prolific age of Solomon (Psalms 32, 127), and none at all to the revivals under Hezekiah and Josiah.

The task of discovering individual authors for the Psalms must be given up; that of ascertaining the date of composition is hardly less difficult since so many have no strongly marked individuality, and greatly resemble one another. Critics have, however, placed the largest number of the Psalms in four periods of history.

(1). Before the Captivity.

(2). During the Captivity.

(3). From the Captivity to the Maccabees.

(4). In the Maccabean (or subsequent) age.

Still, within limits so large it is often next to impossible to decide on the precise date of a psalm. Certain general features, however, present themselves as tests, and these have been followed here, and will be found noticed in the particular introductions.

The most important question with regard to these periods relates to the Maccabean age. In the controversy as to the existence of psalms of this period, critics of the greatest eminence are found on each side. If (see below) it can be proved that the Canon, as far as regards the Psalter, was not closed till after the reign of the Asmonean Queen Alexandra (Salome) then there is no external argument against Maccabean Psalms, while there is in many cases strong internal evidence in their favour. Nay, there is the strongest a priori probability that times so stirring, and marked by such a striking revival of patriotic and religious sentiment, should have given birth to poetry.

The question of the close of the Psalter has received a new light from the discovery of Grätz, that, according to tradition embodied in the Talmud, the night service, alluded to in Psalms 134, did not become part of Jewish ritual before the re-inauguration of the Water Libation during the Feast of Tabernacles by Queen Alexandra. This, if certain, brings the composition of that psalm, and, by implication, others of the “songs of degrees,” down to the middle of the first century before Christ, and gives for the whole range over which the Psalter extends, counting from David, a period of eight hundred years.

V. Nature of the verse.—Of quantity and metre, in the sense a Greek would have used the words, Hebrew poetry knows nothing.

It is convenient to speak of parallelism as simple or complex according as the verse formed by it consists of two members or more than two.

The perfect form exhibits a symmetry both in form and expression; there is a balance not only in the sense, but in the order and arrangement of the words, the lines being of equal length and identical in structure, verb answering to verb, and noun to noun, as in Psalms 19:2.

“Day to day uttereth speech,

And night to night sheweth knowledge.”

This form is variously called the synonymous or cognate parallelism. The second line may be an exact echo or repetition of the first, as in Job 42:1 of the same psalm.

“The heavens declare the glory of God,

And the sky sheweth his handy-work.”

But generally it either explains and illustrates the first line, as in Psalms 18:14.

“Yea, he sent out his arrows and scattered them.

And he shot out his lightnings and discomfited them.”

Or it gives a new turn to the thought, and carries it on, as Psalms 77:1.

“My voice is unto God, and I cry aloud,

My voice is unto God, and he will hearken unto me.”

The Psalms offer endless modifications of this perfect form. Sometimes the similarity of sense is dropped, while that of form remains. Often a graceful diversity is introduced by inverting the order of the words, as in the example above given, from Psalms 119:1, where in the Hebrew the clauses run

“The heavens declare the glory of God,

And the works of his hands shews the sky.”

a figure which the Greeks called chiasmus, and which in Hebrew poetry is often called introverted parallelism. Comp. Psalms 107:9; Psalms 107:16, where the English partially repeats the figure.

Often again the principal element is not one of resemblance, but of progression, as in Psalms 129:3.

“The ploughers ploughed upon my back,

And made long furrows.”

Here the echo is not so much in the sense as in the construction of the clauses. The balance is maintained in the number and order of the words employed, though an entirely new thought is introduced. Indeed, sometimes, the rhythm almost disappears. There is still a manifest intention of parallelism, but the charm of the echo is gone. We are very near prose in such verses as Psalms 107:38, &c.

“He blesseth them so that they multiply exceedingly,

And suffereth not their cattle to decrease.”

For this kind of parallelism the name synthetic was adopted by Lowth, but epithetic has been suggested as an improvement.

The alphabetical poems, presently to be noticed, show how the Hebrew poets of the later ages tried to supply to this kind of verse something of the definiteness wanting from the lax nature of their parallelism.

If contrast between the two clauses takes the place of resemblance, we get the second of the two principal forms of parallelism, the antithetic or, as it has been called from its prevalence in the Book of Proverbs, the gnomic or sententious rhythm. Here, as in the former case, the degrees of the antithesis are various. Sometimes the opposition extends to all the terms, as

“They are bowed down and fallen,

But we are risen and stand.”—Psalms 20:8.

Sometimes it is confined to one, and sometimes it discovers itself only as a contrast of sentiment without extending to the several terms. The Psalms do not afford many examples for this kind of verse, but the following fall more or less distinctly under it, Psalms 1:6; Psalms 15:4.

The poetic mood, however, does not at all times submit to the constraint of fixed metre, and even the simple style of Hebrew has to allow of many a licence to be elastic enough for the passion of lyric song.

In the development from the simple rhythm, the complex forms of verse followed the analogy of rhymed stanzas in English and other modern poetry. Just as the original rhyming couplets have developed into verses of every possible variety, so the simple Hebrew rhythm has undergone countless variations and numerous combinations. The rhyme of thought has been treated like the rhyme of sound. In this way grew up what is generally called the strophe system of the Psalms.

That a division of Psalms into stanzas, or strophes, is not an arbitrary arrangement, is proved by the occurrence of two marked features. The first of these is the Refrain, which itself in many of the hymns serves to mark the verse structure. This feature may, perhaps, be traced to the liturgical use of the Psalms, the chorus alone being sung by the full choir, while the priest or Levite chanted the rest. The most perfect examples are offered by Psalms 42, 43, 46, 48, 57, 80.

In the Psalms 111, 112, each line has its own initial letter, and in the original each line consists generally of three words.

In Psalms 25, 34, 145, which are arranged in couplets, only the first line of the couplet shows the initial letter.

Psalms 37 is arranged in stanzas of four lines, the first line only of each having the initial letter.

The author of Psalms 9, 10, apparently intended to begin every line of his quatrains with the same letter, but abandoned it for a simpler plan after the first stanza (comp. Lamentations 3)

In the 119th. Psalm the alphabetic system has been carried out most completely and elaborately. It consists of twenty-two long stanzas, composed each of eight couplets, each of the eight beginning with the same letter. This laboured result first suggested to Bishop Lowth his examination into the principle of Hebrew poetry. It certainly furnishes a proof of the existence of a verse structure and a guide for dividing other poems into their constituent stanzas.

VI. The purpose and scope of the Psalms.—The covenant ideal in its bearing on individuals and on the nation at large in its relation to other nations (prominently put forward in the first two Psalms) may be said to furnish its purpose to the Psalter. This theocratic ideal was not born into the heart of the people at once, but was developed by a long and painful discipline after many failures and much suffering; and all this finds its reflection in the Psalms.

According to the two aspects under which it is viewed, this covenant ideal appears in the portrait of the perfectly just and upright individual, or in the picture of a prosperous and happy nation. The latter, however, is often represented in the person of its anointed king, or Messiah, to whom, even in the darkest and saddest days, the eyes of the race can hopefully turn. This identification of the ideal people with the ideal sovereign must always be borne in mind in reading the Psalms. It follows of necessity from the locus standi so commonly assumed by the writers, who, under their own personality, really present the fortunes of the community, its sufferings and trials, its hopes and fears. Thus the changeful destinies of the race are represented as involved in the fortunes of one individual, and this individual is very often the perfect King. It is in consequence of this that we can find in the Psalms, not only the Jews’ Messiah, but the Christians’ Christ, not only the victorious and triumphant monarch, but the despised and suffering Son of Man.

Another point in regard to the covenant ideal as presented in the Psalter must be noticed. The character of the upright individual is described from a religious rather than a moral point of view. The highest moral standard is touched in the Psalms, but it is, so to speak, touched from above, not from below; it is conceived of by reference to God and the requirements for one who would tread His courts, not by reference to the moral excellence of the qualities themselves that go to make up the perfect character. Hence proceeds a far stricter ethical sentiment than that which attends a merely moral code, a sentiment which regards a breach of the law not only as a lapse from the right, but as treason against God. Where, therefore, a moral standard would demand accusation and condemnation, the standard of the Psalmist cries for denunciation as of a recreant and apostate to a great cause. What are called the imprecatory psalms may possibly, sometimes, combine with their religious and patriotic vehemence some elements less pardonable. Party and even personal bitterness may sometimes lend the words a sting. They are certainly not so suited for Christian worship as the prayers and praises which form the greater part of the Psalter. But their difficulty, as component part of a Jewish book of devotion, vanishes when we reflect that the wicked, on whose head the curses fell, were at once foes to their nation and apostates from their religion, and in many cases actually represented public enemies such as churches and states even of Christian times have thought it right to denounce with anathemas.


Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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