Sunday, April 22, 2012

A psalmist's rage against evil forces

Robert Geiss at daily athens photo PsalmChallenge has somehow brought us all the way to the 58th Psalm, and a difficult one it is.

1 For the leader; al tashheth. Of David. A michtam.

Do you rulers indeed speak justly?
Do you judge people with equity?

2 No, in your heart you devise injustice,
and your hands mete out violence on the earth.

3 Even from birth the wicked go astray;
from the womb they are wayward, spreading lies.

4 Their venom is like the venom of a snake,
like that of a cobra that has stopped its ears,

5 that will not heed the tune of the charmer,
however skillful the enchanter may be.

6 Break the teeth in their mouths, O God;
LORD, tear out the fangs of those lions!

7 Let them vanish like water that flows away;
when they draw the bow, let their arrows fall short.

8 May they be like a snail that dissolves as it moves along,
like a stillborn child that never sees the sun.

9 Before your pots can feel the heat of the thorns—
whether they be green or dry—the wicked will be swept away.

10 The righteous will be glad when they are avenged,
when they dip their feet in the blood of the wicked.

11 Then people will say,
“Surely the righteous still are rewarded;
surely there is a God who judges the earth.”

In his analysis, Rabbi Benjamin Segal writes, "For some, the vindictiveness of Psalm 58 is hard to take . . ."

The rabbi quotes Broyles, who, speaking about the psalmist's desire for vengeance remarks, “These biblical images should at least awaken us who live in the comfortable West to the Bible’s realism about injustice and how victims feel.”

1. "The Womb" by Dr. Noni Reina.
2. Statue currently on exhibit at Mamilla by Alexander Metlayev.
3. Snail shells in an old fort on the Roman Road.


Robert Geiss said...

What a moving entry and first picture !

Yes, it might take indeed a Psalmist to be able to struggle with evil, back then and certainly nowadays.

Please have a good Sunday ahead.

Pietro said...

I always like your powerful Psalm posts, Dina. Thanks for sharing.
Happy weekend!

Louis la Vache said...

Powerful illustrations for the Psalm, Dina.

Sunday Psalm

Dina said...

Oops! I did last week's psalm by mistake.
But since I was busy watching Orthodox Easter last Sunday, I didn't do my psalm homework, and now I'm catching up.

cieldequimper said...

You've done a fantastic job illustrating something I find hard to understand.

Joan Elizabeth said...

I too found the Psalm a hard one.

JM said...

The Womb is very powerful! I like how you composed the shot letting us peep the street on the right.

VP said...

I like the snail shell...

Birdman said...

May they be like a snail that dissolves as it moves along,
like a stillborn child that never sees the sun.

This one's a favorite. Quite an image in the mind.

Spiderdama said...

Great art and perfect pics to this psalm. I love that first one..special.

Hope you have a wonderful week ahead.

NixBlog said...

Beautiful entry for Psalm Sunday, Dina.

Eki said...

I can relate to the first and second verses well. And I like the pictures that you chose to visualize the verses.