The LORD is my light and my salvation: Like many psalms, King David wrote this from a season of trouble. And so, based upon God’s past deliverance, David expresses confidence that God will continue to protect him in verse 3. 3 Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident. [11] See Craigie and Tate, Psalms 1–50, pp. 8: Psalms, Part I, tr. Academic Study of the Torah Is Essential, Not Just for Academics, Study the Torah with Academic Scholarship, By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use, https://thetorah.com/article/a-faith-that-includes-doubt-psalm-27. A Psalm of David. In modern Hebrew, the meaning of the verb לבקר extends much further, to include social visits, tourism, and vacations (one can מבקר Disney World, for example, without providing medicine for Micky Mouse or drugs for Donald Duck). A faith that allows no doubt is hubris: when it claims to know for sure what God will and will not do, it denies God’s freedom and invests far too much in the believer’s impregnable security. But the difference can easily be explained by the reality of life-threatening fear. Nevertheless, several scholars have successfully defended the unity of Psalm 27. Further, it is not the case that the first stanza is entirely confident while the second and third completely lack elements of faith. The stanzas are stylistically distinct as well: in the first stanza, the worshiper speaks of God in the third person; in the second, the worshiper addresses God in the second person; in the third, God is again described in the third person. Psalm 27:1 Or refuge; Psalm 27:3 Or in this; Psalm 27:4 Or meditate; Psalm 27:8 The command (seek) is addressed to more than one person; Psalm 27:8 The meaning of the Hebrew verse is uncertain; Psalm 27:13 Other Hebrew manuscripts Oh! Both Mowinckel and Joachim Begrich argue that Temple functionaries would regularly issue responses on God’s behalf to the entreaties of worshipers, though in most cases these responses are not preserved in the psalms themselves. The L ord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The poet first sounds forth his sure confidence in his God, Psalms 27:1-3, and his love of communion with him, Psalms 27:4-6. God wasanswering all his prayers. Perhaps it was after he had killed Goliath. Psalm 119 is the 119th psalm of the Book of Psalms, generally known in English by its first verse, in the King James Version, "Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord." Psalm 27:1. Saith David, When my foes came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. [N.p. Psalm 27 1 Meaning – The LORD is the strength of my life David also confesses that the Lord is the strength of his life. The first part of the psalm consists of Verses 1-6, and the second part consists of Verses 7-14. There is a definite shift between Part 1 and Part 2. 21:17) and his people thereupon resolved he … A Faith that Includes Doubt – Psalm 27 The psalm of the High Holiday season begins with the words “God is my light and my salvation,” moves to expressions of distress about God’s absence, and ends with a statement of hope. This practice is relatively new, evidently some 200 years old. In modern Jewish parlance, this phrase is used to refer to visiting the sick, an ethically commendable action that generally involves dropping by to cheer up a sick person. 7–14) a classic psalm of complaint and plea.[10]. אַחַ֚ת | שָׁאַ֣לְתִּי מֵֽאֵת־יְהֹוָה֘ אוֹתָ֪הּ אֲבַ֫קֵּ֥שׁ שִׁבְתִּ֣י בְּבֵֽית־יְ֖הֹוָה כָּל־יְמֵ֣י חַיַּ֑י לַֽחֲז֥וֹת בְּנֹֽעַם־יְ֜הֹוָ֗ה וּלְבַקֵּ֥ר בְּהֵיכָלֽוֹ: To appear there every morning. Of David. [8] John Goldingay, Psalms 1–41 [Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Academic, 2006], 400. 1. One [thing] I ask of the Lord, that I seek-that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to see the pleasantness of the Lord and to visit His Temple every morning. All this, he argues, shows that one poem ends in 6 while another begins in 7; see Gunkel, Psalmen, 114 and 116, and cf. [4] To be sure, the intention of the implied then-clause is clear: what the speaker was thinking was something to the effect of, “If not for my faith that I will see God’s goodness, I would be completely lost.”. [12] Rolf Jacobson captures something crucial about the alleged gulf between the two parts of the psalm when he writes that the psalm “speaks words of fear. But the attempt remains less than complete. Similarly, the first nine lines (out of twenty-five) in the prayer to Marduk found in Lenzi, 313-25, are a well-structured hymn to Marduk (as demonstrated by Tzvi Abusch, “The Form and Meaning of a Babylonian Prayer to Marduk,” Journal of the American Oriental Society 103 [1983]), but that hymn is but a section of the longer plea psalm into which it is (Abusch shows) very well integrated at a literary-rhetorical level. Together with the Psalms that bear David's name they add up to 75 , which means David has written exactly half of all the Psalms. In this final stanza, we can sense an attempt to return to the serene confidence of the first stanza. You were my help; do not forsake me and do not abandon me, O God of my salvation. Tweet; One of the themes that weaves its way through Psalm 27 is the belief that true salvation is to be found only in the presence of Yhwh. A whole literature has developed around this issue; of particular import for confirming Begrich’s original insight is Jonas Greenfield, “The Zakir Inscription and the Danklied,” in Al Kanfei Yonah: Collected Studies of Jonas C. Greenfield on Semitic Philology, ed. To these all he opposeth God’s all sufficiency, as making for him, and as being … Enter your email address to get our weekly email with fresh, exciting and thoughtful content that will enrich your inbox and your life. [5] If this is the case, the psalm ends with a new speaker’s voice, which urges the worshiper to keep faith. Commentary, Psalm 27:1, 4-9 (Epiphany 3A), James Howell, Preaching This Week, WorkingPreacher.org, 2014. Concordia Publishing House May 6, 2020. Psalm 27 Commentary: True Salvation in God. Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; The direction of the psalm’s movement is crucial, because it models the maturing of an authentic relationship with God. Oops! In our poem, three-verset lines are used to mark off the ends of the stanzas; we find the same use of three-verset lines in a poem that otherwise consists of two-verset lines at the end of the two stanzas of Psalm 19; see Benjamin Sommer, “Nature, Revelation, and Grace in Psalm 19: Toward a Theological Reading of Scripture,” Harvard Theological Review 108 (2015), 380. 4 One thing. But it … 21:16, 2 Sa. "The Timeless Psalms: Psalm 27:1, 4-9, Joan Stott, prayers and meditations based on lectionary Psalms, 2014. In Psalm 27:5 David bases the justification of his desire upon that which the sanctuary of God is to him; the futures affirm what Jahve will provide for him in His sanctuary. [6] For a similar case, see the beginning and ending of Psalms 103 and 104, where the worshiper addresses the worshiper’s own soul. Not all rites have it, and variations exist not simply between the five main liturgical rites of the Jewish people (Ashkenazic, Eidot Hamizraḥ/Sephardic, Italian, Yemenite, and Romani) but within these rites. In the first stanza (vv. Though an host should encamp against me, Peter Craigie and Marvin Tate point out shared vocabulary that draws together what Gunkel regards as separate poems: ישעי (vv. Thus the converse — that two separate songs appear in one chapter — is certainly conceivable. 1 (A Psalm of David.) This broader sense of the verb developed out of the much more specific meaning of the phrase in older forms of Hebrew. אַל־תִּ֖תְּנֵנִי בְּנֶ֣פֶשׁ צָרָ֑י כִּ֥י קָֽמוּ־בִ֥י עֵֽדֵי־שֶׁ֜֗קֶר וִיפֵ֥חַ חָמָֽס: To the desire of my enemies, to have their desire fulfilled through me. God doth two things at once, because the special grievance of God's children it is from inward and outward enemies. It is possible that a single chapter in the Book of Psalms might contain more than one composition. 230-31. Psalm 27, also referred to as L'Dovid and Dominus illuminatio mea after the opening words, is the 27th (or in the Vulgate numbering: 26th) Psalm from the Book of Psalms.. Menachem (Machbereth Menachem, p. 47) however associated it with (. קַוֵּ֗ה אֶל־יְהֹ֫וָ֥ה חֲ֖זַק וְיַֽאֲמֵ֣ץ לִבֶּ֑ךָ וְ֜קַוֵּ֗ה אֶל־יְהֹוָֽה: and if your prayer is not accepted, reinforce your hope. 4a): I know that You give reward to the righteous in the world to come, but I do not know whether I have a share with them or not. Another explanation: An expression of a trap (פח). One [thing] I ask of the Lord, that I seek-that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my … And words of trust. This line, then, presents “an apt summary of the psychology that informs this psalm,”[7] because it is “another statement standing between plea and trust.”[8], How can we account for the stark contrast between the first stanza, in which the worshiper joyously proclaims trust in God, and the second and third stanzas, in which the worshiper betrays a fear that God might be far off? [18] It is not outside the realm of possibility that each of the two sections once existed on its own, and that an editor, noticing the elements that link them, deliberately put them together to form the single composition that is now Psalm 27. [1] Psalm 27 was added to the liturgy for the months of Elul and Tishrei in the Middle Ages. ל֗וּ֗לֵ֣֗א֗ הֶֽ֖אֱמַנְתִּי לִרְא֥וֹת בְּטֽוּב־יְהֹוָ֗ה בְּאֶ֣רֶץ חַיִּֽים: If I had not believed in the Holy One, blessed be He, those false witnesses would have already risen against me and destroyed me. In this one psalm we have a beautiful and brief distillation of the entire Psalter as a book of doubt and faith. Jacob Blidstein notes, And as John Goldingay astutely notes regarding v. 1, the worshiper’s statement that he has no reason to fear draws attention to the fact that he apparently is worrying about something.[14]. A then-clause with a word that typically introduces an if-clause would have invited confusion worshiper. Psalms might contain more than one composition, be strong and he will give your heart courage, hope! Translation with Commentary, 91 Baker Academic, 2006 ], 400, be strong he! To recapture that a little 9 by prayer neither Pollyannish nor naive ; it is with... Not accepted, reinforce your hope ( Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1962 ) 112–18... The face of these violent enemies the Book of Psalms might contain more than one composition ק.ו.מ (.... 14 ] Goldingay, Psalms 1–41 [ Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Academic, 2006 ], 400 for. 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