Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Wednesday Bible Study: The show is about nothing

The next three psalms are just not very interesting. The first amounts to a curse against the singer's unspecified and undescribed enemies, who he is confident God will shoot with an arrow. The second is a standard song of praise, giving God credit for nature and what it offers. The third is more praise for God and a pledge to keep on worshiping and sacrificing. There isn't much to say about these, except that they seem to fulfill the function that songs do today in religious services, to remind people of what they are supposed to believe and deepen their investment. Of course these beliefs are contradictory -- God will punish the wicked but also forgive our sins.

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

64 Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint;
    preserve my life from dread of the enemy,
hide me from the secret plots of the wicked,
    from the scheming of evildoers,
who whet their tongues like swords,
    who aim bitter words like arrows,
shooting from ambush at the blameless,
    shooting at him suddenly and without fear.
They hold fast to their evil purpose;
    they talk of laying snares secretly,
thinking, “Who can see us?[a]
    Who can search out our crimes?[b]
We have thought out a cunningly conceived plot.”
    For the inward mind and heart of a man are deep!

But God will shoot his arrow at them;
    they will be wounded suddenly.
Because of their tongue he will bring them to ruin;[c]
    all who see them will wag their heads.
Then all men will fear;
    they will tell what God has wrought,
    and ponder what he has done.

10 Let the righteous rejoice in the Lord,
    and take refuge in him!
Let all the upright in heart glory!


  1. Psalm 64:5 Syr: Heb them
  2. Psalm 64:6 Cn: Heb they search out crimes
  3. Psalm 64:8 Cn: Heb They will bring him to ruin, their tongue being against them

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. A Song.

65 Praise is due to thee,
    O God, in Zion;
and to thee shall vows be performed,
    O thou who hearest prayer!
To thee shall all flesh come
    on account of sins.
When our transgressions prevail over us,[a]
    thou dost forgive them.
Blessed is he whom thou dost choose and bring near,
    to dwell in thy courts!
We shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house,
    thy holy temple!

By dread deeds thou dost answer us with deliverance,
    O God of our salvation,
who art the hope of all the ends of the earth,
    and of the farthest seas;
who by thy strength hast established the mountains,
    being girded with might;
who dost still the roaring of the seas,
    the roaring of their waves,
    the tumult of the peoples;
so that those who dwell at earth’s farthest bounds
    are afraid at thy signs;
thou makest the outgoings of the morning and the evening
    to shout for joy.

Thou visitest the earth and waterest it,
    thou greatly enrichest it;
the river of God is full of water;
    thou providest their grain,
    for so thou hast prepared it.
10 Thou waterest its furrows abundantly,
    settling its ridges,
softening it with showers,
    and blessing its growth.
11 Thou crownest the year with thy bounty;
    the tracks of thy chariot drip with fatness.
12 The pastures of the wilderness drip,
    the hills gird themselves with joy,
13 the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,
    the valleys deck themselves with grain,
    they shout and sing together for joy.


  1. Psalm 65:3 Gk: Heb me

To the choirmaster. A Song. A Psalm.

66 Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth;
    sing the glory of his name;
    give to him glorious praise!
Say to God, “How terrible are thy deeds!
    So great is thy power that thy enemies cringe before thee.
All the earth worships thee;
    they sing praises to thee,
    sing praises to thy name.”Selah

Come and see what God has done:
    he is terrible in his deeds among men.
He turned the sea into dry land;
    men passed through the river on foot.
There did we rejoice in him,
    who rules by his might for ever,
whose eyes keep watch on the nations—
    let not the rebellious exalt themselves.Selah

Bless our God, O peoples,
    let the sound of his praise be heard,
who has kept us among the living,
    and has not let our feet slip.
10 For thou, O God, hast tested us;
    thou hast tried us as silver is tried.
11 Thou didst bring us into the net;
    thou didst lay affliction on our loins;
12 thou didst let men ride over our heads;
    we went through fire and through water;
yet thou hast brought us forth to a spacious place.[a]

13 I will come into thy house with burnt offerings;
    I will pay thee my vows,
14 that which my lips uttered
    and my mouth promised when I was in trouble.
15 I will offer to thee burnt offerings of fatlings,
    with the smoke of the sacrifice of rams;
I will make an offering of bulls and goats.Selah

16 Come and hear, all you who fear God,
    and I will tell what he has done for me.
17 I cried aloud to him,
    and he was extolled with my tongue.
18 If I had cherished iniquity in my heart,
    the Lord would not have listened.
19 But truly God has listened;
    he has given heed to the voice of my prayer.

20 Blessed be God,
    because he has not rejected my prayer
    or removed his steadfast love from me!


  1. Psalm 66:12 Cn Compare Gk Syr Jerome Tg: Heb saturation

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