Monday, April 4, 2011

The universal אִישׁ - the new creation is full of enemies

In the context of the present and the presence, in that all time and space are present to glory, (just add another element to the tuple if you need it for your latest mathematical theory of everything), it is to be noted that all the enemies are included in the new creation according to psalm 87.  This follows psalm 86 with its meditation on the heart of God from Exodus 34:6 (or is it Numbers 14:18 that the poet is thinking of?).

So how does a poet construct a psalm? If my favorite poem is Eliot's Journey of the Magi, (see prior post on science, fiction, and eternity - and if you don't know this poem, my allusions would be lost on you - so you better see the poem too) can we catch the allusions that the psalmist is making in psalm 87?  It is short enough to repeat here. Whence come the springs?  Is this where God wipes away all tears from their eyes מעיניהם? (Compare Numbers 20:8).

Also right in the middle of this poem is a Philistine (stranger still). Surely no philistine (read in your favorite enemy) was born there?

How does the coda of verse 7 close the frame of verses 1-3? (Answer very clear - it's a three fold close - here.)

לִבְנֵי קֹרַח
מִזְמוֹר שִׁיר
יְסוּדָתוֹ בְּהַרְרֵי קֹדֶשׁ
1Of the children of Korah
A Psalm, A song
His foundation is on the holy hills
אֹהֵב יְהוָה שַׁעֲרֵי צִיּוֹן
מִכֹּל מִשְׁכְּנוֹת יַעֲקֹב
2יְהוָה loves the gates of Zion
among all the dwellings of Jacob
נִכְבָּדוֹת מְדֻבָּר בָּךְ
עִיר הָאֱלֹהִים
3Glorious things are spoken in you
the city of God

אַזְכִּיר רַהַב וּבָבֶל
הִנֵּה פְלֶשֶׁת
וְצֹר עִם כּוּשׁ
זֶה יֻלַּד שָׁם
4I will remember monster and confusion
to those who know me
voila, a stranger
and the hard-nosed with the children of Ham
This one was born there
וּלְצִיּוֹן יֵאָמַר
אִישׁ וְאִישׁ יֻלַּד בָּהּ
וְהוּא יְכוֹנְנֶהָ עֶלְיוֹן
5And of Zion it will be said
she and he were born here
And the Most High will establish her

יְהוָה יִסְפֹּר
בִּכְתוֹב עַמִּים
זֶה יֻלַּד שָׁם
6יְהוָה counts
when he records the peoples
This one was born there

וְשָׁרִים כְּחֹלְלִים
כָּל מַעְיָנַי בָּךְ
7So it is for the singers and the profane alike
All my springs are in you