I have now removed both mercy seat and loving-kindness everywhere from my completed chapters. They are not necessary to the translation. Their implications are fine, but to put them into the translation is to translate to a future that is not yet happened. My first coach might be horrified but my current coach will be pleased. I can't please everyone.
There is nothing unloving or unkind about mercy. And you know what? I wouldn't be bothering with this wonderful puzzle if I hadn't needed and known mercy. And mercy is plentiful as a translation of חסד. It's a human thing - and even if we might think we may neither need nor deliver mercy, that somehow only losers are merciful, it is only because of our confusion.
But it is a confusion that may have dire consequences. I speak this to all who worship Mammon, who are ruled by insurance companies and banks (and I include churches and nations). Do you think Jesus justified banks with his parable? (Ah misreading - how easy it is.)
So I have changed these things. There is a good set of notes even in the first edition of Seeing the Psalter - perhaps here I have successfully straddled the gap between Judaism and my faith as learned in Christ Jesus. I hope so. And I have already noted the tension in the cover of the ark.
It never fails to amaze me that though I am constrained tightly in my hermeneutical circle (of which a whole post is required), yet I am freed by the mercy of God in these, even these archaic and awkward words - for I was the person who was assembling wood together on the first Sabbath I ever attended at Synagogue, and I was chosen in the small but ancient assembly that day to carry the Torah.
The reality of story is greater than our self-contradictions, our newspeak, our legal frameworks, our prejudice, and our failures. God has not put together a תמם (completeness) that denies Gödel's incompleteness theorem. We are all, each of us, alone, together or in groups, proofs of Gödel's theorem. We are unique, precious, unprovable but true theorems even though we are thought by some to be derivable from a closed system of rules. We are the no to totalitarianism. (I've been reading too much about Orwell.)