Sunday, July 13, 2008

Psalm 17

Warning - KJV to follow.

Hear the right, O LORD, attend unto my cry, give ear unto my prayer, that goeth not out of feigned lips.

Let my sentence come forth from thy presence; let thine eyes behold the things that are equal.

Thou hast proved mine heart; thou hast visited me in the night; thou hast tried me, and shalt find nothing; I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.

Concerning the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer.

Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.

I have called upon thee, for thou wilt hear me, O God: incline thine ear unto me, and hear my speech.

Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them.

Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings,

From the wicked that oppress me, from my deadly enemies, who compass me about.

They are inclosed in their own fat: with their mouth they speak proudly.

They have now compassed us in our steps: they have set their eyes bowing down to the earth;

Like as a lion that is greedy of his prey, and as it were a young lion lurking in secret places.

Arise, O LORD, disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword:

From men which are thy hand, O LORD, from men of the world, which have their portion in this life, and whose belly thou fillest with thy hid treasure: they are full of children, and leave the rest of their substance to their babes.

As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.

Which incidentally matches in the last verse the 1917 JPS Hebrew translation.

I'm no scholar of the Psalms, or of when one or the other of the Psalms was written, of which are early and which are late. However, seeing the face of God does indeed seem to my uneducated eyes to indicate a relatively early Jewish belief in, well, seeing the face of God. "When I awake" is also interesting. It can be interpreted literally - when you wake up in the morning, there is God with you. It can also be interpreted as when you awake to the reality of religion. Or when you wake up after your death.

Or who knows what else - my commentary on the Psalms, scholarly and otherwise, is sorely lacking, so I'm basically making this up as I go along. Hope I'm not a heretic.

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