Sunday, January 16, 2011

No mincing of words here

Psalm 3 for Robert's PsalmChallenge at Daily Athens:

1. A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.

2. Lord, how many are my enemies! There are many who rise up against me.
3. Many are there who say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah.
4. But, O Lord, you are a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of my head.
5. I cried to the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out from his holy mountain. Selah.
6. I laid down and slept; I awoke; for the Lord sustained me.
7. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves around against me.
8. Arise, O Lord! Save me, O my God! For you have struck all my enemies on the cheek bone; you have broken the teeth of the wicked.

9. Salvation belongs to the Lord; your blessing is upon your people. Selah.

Verse 8 can also be translated in the future tense.
David hopes God will once again smite or break the mouth of the enemies who "bad-mouth" David.
Whether this is meant literally or figuratively, you choose!
Lashon hara is the Hebrew term for "slander" but literally it means "the evil tongue," so it is not far-fetched that David would like the tongue place in his slanderers to be messed up.
א מִזְמוֹר לְדָוִד בְּבָרְחוֹ מִפְּנֵי אַבְשָׁלוֹם בְּנֽוֹ: ב יְהֹוָה מָה־רַבּוּ צָרָי רַבִּים קָמִים עָלָֽי: ג רַבִּים אֹמְרִים לְנַפְשִׁי אֵין יְֽשׁוּעָתָה לּוֹ בֵֽאלֹהִים סֶֽלָה: ד וְאַתָּה יְהֹוָה מָגֵן בַּֽעֲדִי כְּבוֹדִי וּמֵרִים רֹאשִֽׁי: ה קוֹלִי אֶל־יְהֹוָה אֶקְרָא וַיַּֽעֲנֵנִי מֵהַר קָדְשׁוֹ סֶֽלָה: ו אֲנִי שָׁכַבְתִּי וָֽאִישָׁנָה הֱקִיצוֹתִי כִּי יְהֹוָה יִסְמְכֵֽנִי: ז לֹֽא־אִירָא מֵרִֽבְבוֹת עָם אֲשֶׁר סָבִיב שָׁתוּ עָלָֽי: ח קוּמָה יְהֹוָה הוֹשִׁיעֵנִי אֱלֹהַי כִּֽי־הִכִּיתָ אֶת־כָּל־אֹיְבַי לֶחִי שִׁנֵּי רְשָׁעִים שִׁבַּֽרְתָּ: ט לַיהֹוָה הַיְשׁוּעָה עַל־עַמְּךָ בִרְכָתֶךָ סֶּֽלָה


Reader Wil said...

It's great to see which part of a psalm appeals to one. I found some other verses of this psalm. I noticed that David starts his psalms often in a sad and hopeless tone and ends them always praising God and full of hope.

Dina said...

Oh Wil, your pictures of the parent animals shielding their young are precious!

Yes, what you say here is so true. This is the greatness of the Psalms, the poetic tension. When some Christian churches "clean up" a Psalm to sing in their liturgy, this tension is lost.

I can't say Verse 8 "appeals" to me, but I DID have a photo of broken teeth in a broken jaw. And I figured everyone else would illustrate with nice pictures, like sleeping children.

BTW, yesterday Gigihawaii recommended a very moving film about a baby camel and its mother, about pastoral life in yurts in Mongolia. "The Story of the Weeping Camel" is on YouTube.
Gigi has a photo summary of it at

Robin said...

A strong image for strong words. Nicely chosen.

You and I went pretty much diametric opposites this week. Of course I have the advantage of having decided not to stick to the order of the psalms and being able to pick and choose as suits me :).

My photography is available for purchase - visit Around the Island Photography and bring home something beautiful today!

Reader Wil said...

I also prefer the way the Church of England sing the psalms without rhyme, but on the other hand for a child the rhymed version of a psalm in the language it knows, is easier to remember. I shall never forget Psalm 23 because I learned it first in rhyme. My mum was comforted by psalms about the mountains, when she had to work in our concentrationcamp on Java.

VP said...

That's the beauty and the wisdom of Psalms.

Pietro said...

Great psalm, Dina, so significant and interesting. I would choose the figurative interpretation for the verse 8.

Kay said...

I had to stare at your photo for a few seconds before I realized what it was.

Spiderdama said...

Great psalm and your photo is great!
Wish you a happy week:-)

Anonymous said...

oh ! how impressive a sight, both the image and words. Once again, you are as well able to leave a positive tone, which surely will last long.

Of great joy your participation ! Thank you as well for your kind words. It is indeed out of the German translation that I do choose. Please have a good start into the new week.

daily athens

Sara said...

A well chosen photo, Dina. Did you come across that on one of your walks? Your comment on verse 8 was interesting too, thanks for the extra information.

Petrea said...

That is quite a photo.