Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Wednesday Bible Study: Divine Right

Psalm 72 is one of those elevating the king to a kind of demigod status and extolling his power and glory. As I have said many times, the basic structure of Judean society, as was the norm throughout the region, was an alliance between a priestly caste and warrior kings, so that's what this is all about. But yes, it's weird that it's called a Psalm of Solomon, and concludes with "The prayers of David, son of Jesse, are ended." It's doubly weird because many subsequent psalms are in fact ascribed to David. The likely explanation is that the Book of Psalms we have today is a compilation of several books, usually thought to be four. This was the last in one of the volumes so the scribe just copied it. Anyway, busy this morning, can't say more for now.

A Psalm of Solomon.

72 Give the king thy justice, O God,
and thy righteousness to the royal son!
May he judge thy people with righteousness,
    and thy poor with justice!
Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people,
    and the hills, in righteousness!
May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,
    give deliverance to the needy,
    and crush the oppressor!

May he live[a] while the sun endures,
    and as long as the moon, throughout all generations!
May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass,
    like showers that water the earth!
In his days may righteousness flourish,
    and peace abound, till the moon be no more!

May he have dominion from sea to sea,
    and from the River to the ends of the earth!
May his foes[b] bow down before him,
    and his enemies lick the dust!
10 May the kings of Tarshish and of the isles
    render him tribute,
may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts!
11 May all kings fall down before him,
    all nations serve him!

12 For he delivers the needy when he calls,
    the poor and him who has no helper.
13 He has pity on the weak and the needy,
    and saves the lives of the needy.
14 From oppression and violence he redeems their life;
    and precious is their blood in his sight.

15 Long may he live,
    may gold of Sheba be given to him!
May prayer be made for him continually,
    and blessings invoked for him all the day!
16 May there be abundance of grain in the land;
    on the tops of the mountains may it wave;
    may its fruit be like Lebanon;
and may men blossom forth from the cities
    like the grass of the field!
17 May his name endure for ever,
    his fame continue as long as the sun!
May men bless themselves by him,
    all nations call him blessed!

18 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
    who alone does wondrous things.
19 Blessed be his glorious name for ever;
    may his glory fill the whole earth!
Amen and Amen!

20 The prayers of David, the son of Jesse, are ended.


  1. Psalm 72:5 Gk: Heb may they fear thee
  2. Psalm 72:9 Cn: Heb those who dwell in the wilderness

No comments: