Complaint Psalms: Part Two

This second look at the complaint psalms continues to focus on Psalm 22. Part three will return to Jeremiah…

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5 Responses to Complaint Psalms: Part Two

  1. Hi Tim – I am now seeing these posts on the blunderbus feed from the BS folks. Re psalm 22, I have noted the ‘gap’ in the middle of verse 22 (Hebrew) – save me from the lion’s mouth // from the horns of the wild bulls you have answered me.

    The bulls don’t form one of the circles – I expect the poet is referring to the horns of the altar. Have you noted the circles in the psalm?

  2. Tim Bulkeley says:

    No, I hadn’t and when I did the E100 podcasts (I’m repeating a few for holy week) I was doing nearly one a day, so not spending as long as I should have with each passage 🙁

    I see what you mean about the Ox being out of place but wonder a bit about the identification with the horns of the altar… Though the thought of strength and untameability are interesting…

  3. We have sung psalm 22 in several translations yesterday and today – most of them miss the hart in the centre of the circles of the other animals. The hart is what I have glossed for ?????????? – maybe I shouldn’t have. But it is a pair with the inscription and a cypher for God (as in the Song). This structure – an eccentric circle and several concentric circles in a ring structure is repeated in the last part of the psalm (verses 27-32) – this time it is around eating and there are four repeated keywords eat – a-b-c-d eat d-b-c-a. Just like hart – bull (of Bashan)-lion-dog-hart-dog-lion-wild ox in the first part. Perhaps I reach too far. But if I were a poet and recurring words were a technique (and I think there is enough evidence to suggest that they were) then I would not have done this by accident. (anyway – thanks for listening – I really must seek precision)

  4. whoops – your comments don’t support Hebrew ! I mean the 5th lexeme in verse 20 of the Hebrew text

  5. […] There are a number of passages in the prophets, and especially in Jeremiah that are like the complaint (lament) psalms. In Jeremiah the passages known as “the confessions of Jeremiah” are particularly interesting. Here I’ll just look at one feature of the first two (or three, it depends how we count them of these passages and notice how it helps us towards a possible understanding of the sudden change in Psalm 22 that we noticed in the last post in this series (Complaint Psalms: Part Two). […]