HOME CHAT NAB PRAYERS FORUMS COMMUNITY RCIA MAGAZINE CATECHISM LINKS CONTACT
 CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 CATHOLIC SAINTS INDEX  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 CATHOLIC DICTIONARY  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Home
 
Bible
 
Catechism
 
Chat
 
Catholic Encyclopedia
 
Church Fathers
 
Classics Library
 
Church Documents
 
Discussion
 
Mysticism
 
Prayer
 
Prayer Requests
 
RCIA
 
Vocations
 
Ray of Hope
 
Saints
 
Social Doctrine
 
Links
 
Contact
 







Christ In Type And Prophecy: Volumes 1&2 by Rev. A.J. Maas S.J.

1. STRUCTURE OF THE PSALM.—Prof. Bickell divides vv. 2–20a into seven stanzas, each containing six heptasyllabic lines; vv. 20b–23 he divides into six stanzas (three of which are incomplete), each containing four alternately heptasyllabic and pentasyllabic lines. The learned Professor endeavors to establish his division of the psalm on other than metrical grounds. According to him, the psalmist cannot be supposed to return in the latter part of the psalm to complaints and exhortations to trustfulness, after he has passed in the first part from complaint to an invocation of the divine vengeance and a firm hope in God’s help. Again, in the latter part the psalmist does not address the unfaithful friend whom he addresses in the first part. Cheyne (p. 156) remarks: “But what if in the text to which this whole passage [vv. 20b–23] must once have belonged, and which doubtless described the character and doings of the ungodly, v. 20b stood at the close of the section?” Here too it is, therefore, supposed that the portion which Prof. Bickell separates from the first part constituted originally an independent piece of literature. According to the Speaker’s Commentary, vv. 1–8 describe the psalmist’s bitter anguish and earnest longing for deliverance from his slanderers and enemies; vv. 9–23 contain alternate imprecations and prayers and vivid pictures of an approaching insurrection. We shall see Le Hir’s division after considering the question of the authorship of the psalm.

2. AUTHORSHIP OF THE PSALM.—a. Hitzig attributes the psalm to Jeremias, pointing to the flight into the wilderness (Jer. 9:2), and the possibility that Pashur may have been an early friend. De Wette and Hupfeld have advanced most obvious objections against this hypothesis, and it appears strange that any should fail to recognize the adaptability of the psalm to the history of David. b. The title, the contents, and the sentiments of the psalm render it certain that David must be regarded as its author. 1. The title is rendered in our version “unto the end, in verses, understanding for David.” We have already seen the proper meaning of these clauses: “Unto the end” has been explained in the Introduction to psalm 8 as meaning “to the leader of the choir;” “understanding” is explained in the Introduction to Ps. 44 (45) as signifying either “a didactic poem” or “a poem that is somehow artificially connected.” The clause rendered “in verses” literally signifies “on stringed instruments.” We cannot determine what kind of stringed instruments are meant, for “neginoth” is a generic term. Finally, what is rendered “for David” is in Hebrew the expression which we have repeatedly explained as indicating the author of the psalm. The whole title therefore reads: “To the leader of the (players on) stringed instruments; a didactic poem by David.” 2. The contents of the psalm are not less explicit in pointing to David as its author. In vv. 3–6 David explains to God his deadly fear of Absolom; in vv. 7–9 he expresses his desire for the desert in order to find rest from the tumultuous tempests of the city; in v. 10a David prays that God may create a still greater confusion in the plans of his enemies; in vv. 10b–12 the author sees Jerusalem filled with and beset by violence and perfidy; in vv. 13–15 the treason of Achitophel, the faithless friend, is described; in v. 16 David asks for the destruction of his enemies; in vv. 17–19a David expresses his trust in God and his assurance of being heard; in vv. 19b–22 he returns to a description of the number and fury of his enemies; finally, he trusts in God and predicts the ruin of his enemies. A glance at the history of David as it is portrayed in the books of Kings will show the exact agreement between the life of David and the particular incidents mentioned in the psalm. 3. That the sentiments expressed in the psalm are those we naturally expect in king David will appear in the text and its explanation. a. Patrizi finds the style of the psalm too obscure and complicated to befit a production of David; still, this characteristic of style is not so extraordinary as to render David’s authorship improbable. David does not hesitate to use an abrupt manner of speaking when his feelings require it; and in the present psalm the feelings of David are moved more deeply than in many of his other inspired songs. b. The other exceptions advanced against David’s authorship are of less weight. According to 2 Kings 23:34 and 1 Par. 3:5, Bethsabee appears to be Achitophel’s granddaughter; hence our opponents think it unlikely that David should have so inveighed against Achitophel’s treason, since the latter was only revenging the honor of his family in his defection from David. α. But in the first place, this relationship between Bethsabee and Achitophel is by no means so clearly established as our opponents pretend. β. Again, if Achitophel had become David’s friend and adviser after his sin with Bethsabee, he had no right to abuse the sanctity of friendship and counsellorship in order to satisfy the cravings of private vengeance. David was, therefore, fully justified in his indignation against the faithless friend and the treacherous counsellor. c. Finally, it is urged against David’s authorship that the psalmist was in the city and desired to flee into the desert, while David in the trouble caused by Absolom was outside the city. α. It is not true that the speaker in the psalm must necessarily be conceived as being within the city proper; and though David was outside the city at the approach of Absolom and at the time of Achitophel’s treason, he was so near the city that he was in constant fear of a pursuit on the part of his rebellious son. β. Patrizi, who denies David’s authorship on the ground of the psalm’s non-Davidic style, still grants the exact agreement of the psalmist’s situation with the history of David, and therefore supposes that the psalm has been composed by a contemporaneous author who commemorates the misfortune of the theocratic king.

3. MESSIANIC CHARACTER OF THE PSALM.—a. The reference of the psalm to the Messias follows, in the first place, from the fact that king David is the type of the Messianic king, not merely in his glory and power, but also in his suffering and tribulation. And since the keenest suffering of David consisted in the rebellion of his son Absolom, this very rebellion together with its accompanying circumstances is aptly regarded as the type of Christ’s rejection and betrayal. b. But, in the second place, the psalm describing the inward sufferings occasioned by Absolom’s rebellion and by Achitophel’s treason has been generally considered in the patristic writings as a typical description of Christ’s own mental anguish at the time of his passion. The references to the testimonies of the Fathers may be found in Kilber’s Analysis Biblica, ed. II. ii. 49.

54 (55)

Hear, O God! my prayer,

And despise not my supplication;

Be attentive to me and hear me,

I am grieved in my exercise and am troubled

At the voice of the enemy,

And at the tribulation of the sinner.

For they have cast iniquities upon me,

And in wrath they were troublesome to me;

My heart is troubled within me,

And the fear of death is fallen upon me;

Fear and trembling are come upon me,

And darkness hath covered me.

And I said: Who will give me wings

Like a dove, and I will fly and be at rest?

Lo, I have gone far off flying away,

And I abode in the wilderness;

I waited for him that hath saved me

From pusillanimity of spirit, and a storm.

Cast down, O Lord, and divide their tongues,

For I have seen iniquity and contradiction in the city;

Day and night shall iniquity surround it upon its walls,

And in the midst thereof are labor,

And injustice; and usury

And deceit have not departed from its streets.

For if my enemy had reviled me, I would verily have borne with it;

And if he that hated me had spoken great things against me,

I would perhaps have hid myself from him;

But thou a man of one mind, my guide and my familiar,

Who didst take sweet meats together with me,

In the house of God we walked with consent.

Let death come upon them,

And let them go down alive into hell;

For there is wickedness in their dwellings

In the midst of them.

But I have cried to God,

And the Lord will save me.

Evening, and morning, and at noon I will speak and declare,

And he shall hear my voice;

He shall redeem my soul in peace from them that draw near to me,

For among many they were with me.

God shall hear,

And the Eternal shall humble them.

For there is no change with them,

And they have not feared God.

He hath stretched forth his hand to repay,

They have defiled his covenant.

They are divided by the wrath of his countenance,

And his heart hath drawn near;

His words are smoother than oil,

And the same are darts.

Cast thy1 care upon the Lord,

And he shall sustain thee;

He shall not suffer

The just to waver for ever.

But thou, O God, shalt bring them down

Into the pit of destruction;

Bloody and deceitful men

Shall not live out half their days.

But I will trust in thee, O Lord.

It follows from what has been said that the psalm applies to the agony and anguish of Jesus Christ only in its typical sense. But here two more considerations must be added: a. There is a striking resemblance between David’s treacherous friend and the treacherous apostle: both hanged themselves in a fit of despair. b. Though the direct typical meaning of the psalm points to Judas, still Judas was in his turn only a symbol of all those faithless friends of Christ who sell their divine master—often at a price less than that paid to Judas. Since Jesus bore in his agony in the garden of Gethsemani the pain of soul caused by all these acts of foul treason, the psalm is rightly regarded as expressing the intense affliction of our divine Redeemer in his hour of agony.








Copyright ©1999-2018 e-Catholic2000.com