Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Christmas 2021

 Our usual Christmas summary of the year - a year where much is left unsaid - as usual. This history hasn't been written yet - no one knows the winners. 

My count of my books is wrong - I left out three - at least one from the prior century. But perhaps I wasn't me when I wrote them. An maybe some crazy day I will learn to write short stories and novels! In another life.

Monday, December 27, 2021

Forbes - Structures - and artifice

 Forbes appears to study the psalms in groups of 7 - heptade or septenary he calls them. It's not a bad idea. Such groups do certainly exist. I noted that Psalms 110-117 (an octave actually) hung together so well that I used them as a backbone for my oratorio. He too identifies 111-117 as a group of 7

This heptade is most distinctly marked, and arranged according to the more usual division of the 7 (3-1-3), since it consists of 3 Psalms beginning with hallelujah (cxi.— cxiii,), and 3 ending with hallelujah (cxv.-cxvii.), grouped around a central Psalm (cxiv.), which is distinguished from the rest by having no hallelujah either at the beginning or end.

This has promise for understanding - but I will hold my peace till I verify to what extent he pursues this idea. Not just that the 150 psalms are 3 * 7**2 + 3. If the simple arithmetic is a design structure, then it ought to be evident in a number of places.

Given his suggestion, I think he could have highlighted it more clearly in his book and not bothered to use two differing names for them. This is the overall breakdown that I have been able to find using the search capacity of the archive software.

Book 1: Psalms 2-8, 9-15, 16-22, 20-26, 27-33, 34-40. (Note the overlap)

Book 2: Psalms 42-48 Both for this group of seven and for psalms 9-15 he must insist that 9 and 10 be separated as also 42 and 43. 

Book 5: Psalms 120-126, 128-134 For this grouping he decides that the counting of Yahweh and Yah is sufficient to identify the structures 7 each surrounding Psalms 127 and each of the sevens containing one 'Yah' in the third psalm (122:4, and 130:3) and 48 invocations of the name altogether, 24 on each side). These are confirmed by a query to my database:

120 2, 121 5, 122 3, 123 2, 124 4, 125 4, 126 4  = 24

127 3

128 3, 129 3, 130 4, 131 2, 132 6, 133 1, 134 5 = 24

I am slightly disappointed that his thesis is incomplete. The artifice as he has analyzed it may be insufficient to consider it to have been deliberate or more readily observable throughout the psalter. One could search for repeated words that formed other groups of 7. And he is justified at looking for concentric structures and examining the centres. 

Still much more work to do, and a risk of coming up with either things that no one would design, or things that no one would see.

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Is the Fall a Biblical notion?

The story of Adam and Eve is certainly an arresting tale. Brilliant. All the adjectives I might summon up to congratulate the author / inventor of such a tale. Creatures emerging from the ground, from the dust, breathing, soulful. Every one of them, human and beast alike.

You knew that didn't you? Qohelet (chapter 3 towards the end) is somewhat mocking in its tone about up being up and down being down, but the preacher doesn't use words defining the living 'soul' as such. 

The words defining life and 'soul' occur together without a pause or a preposition separating them in these places: Genesis 1-9 - 10 times referring to all sorts of life. They occur together in Leviticus 11 (twice), in Ezekiel (twice) - once about turning from individual wickedness and once referring to all life of every sort.

Nothing is special about the prototype earthling - except to say that it became a living being, alive to self, a living soul if you like that phrasing, just like the rest of the other creatures. We arrogate to ourselves too much importance. 

When the earthing and the mother of all learned the knowledge of their nakedness in the garden, they did not 'fall'. Any suggestion of such is an imposition to support some idea or other that needs to support his or her theology or anthropology.

The word for sin is not used until Genesis 4 where it refers to what's going on in Cain, that second archetypal story. The word for transgression and its relationship to sin is not used to describe an action until the word about Joseph in the 50th chapter of Genesis.

What we have in the Adam and Eve story is their emotions and thoughts writ plain. We see in them and in the story of their offspring, our own emotions based on desire, envy, and the other things that consciousness is plagued with. To be conscious allows us to be good and also makes us aware of what is not good. The opening of eyes that we might reach out and touch and grasp and see and know. These all have the potential for both good and evil, the knowledge that the tree afforded to those who ate of its fruit.

We have all these thoughts, so we are in a position equivalent to having eaten of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Evil occurs 4 times in the story. It is accurately called so. But the act of eating is not considered evil, nor is it ever called sin or transgression in Tanach. It is not even called disobedience. Yahweh God asks - have you eaten of the tree which I commanded you not to eat?

Is Yahweh God disappointed in them? The text does not say. The God protects them by expulsion from the garden. The blazing sword that guards the way - that's maybe a metaphor worth pursuing.

Adam and Eve were blind, naïve, innocent, and ignorant. Not a desirable status. Responsible, righteous, knowing what is not good for ourselves or others, love, willing the good of another even if we don't like them - these are the marks of maturity. In the garden, there was no such option.

What about the NT? Paul certainly makes use of the story of the sin of the one man and calls it transgression, sin, and disobedience - but he makes use of it to engage our spirit in the work of righteousness - to engage those things in us that lead to maturity: responsibility, knowing what is not good for ourselves or others, love, willing the good of another even if we don't like them. 

Nowhere is the word Fall used to describe this archetypal reaching back to our origins.

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Who is this author Forbes?

Forbes (1888) writes about God's "original purpose, the restoration of the race to the eternal life which they had forfeited, and to the primitive righteousness from which they had fallen". 

[Not righteousness, John, but naivety and innocence, and not to be sought as a restoration of state from the knowledge of good and evil. There is no escaping that knowledge, once acquired, and there is no doubt that humanity had it in the beginning, or as soon as that reflective state of consciousness and resonant memory was reached that enabled the human to grasp.]

Here is an Aberdeen man of the 19th century, a divine, telling the world about God's original purpose. Not too presumptuous, eh? Well, I guess I understand presumption myself.

Mr. John Forbes was not that easy to find on Google. The ancient sources in the archive have quite a few Forbes. But this professor of oriental languages, Aberdeen, does turn up occasionally, the second son of Patrick Forbes of Corss, bishop of Aberdeen. His brother William died without succession so John became the Laird of Corss. He married a Dutch woman who did bear to him George Forbes of Corss. (From a genealogy of the Family of Forbes - page 22.) In this same document we read many pages of people named John Forbes in the period. Where, I wonder did he get his degrees? How was he raised by his bishop father? He appears to have written a pamphlet:

on the reformation in Germany. It was a part of a series of Lectures on Foreign Churches, Delivered in Edinburgh and Glasgow, 1846, in connexion with the objects of the Committee of the Free Church of Scotland, on the State of Christian Churches on the Continent and in the East. You can buy it for 4s. 6d., cloth binding.

He is also a trained mathematician, having written a book on the Differential and Integral Calculus, "derived synthetically from an original principle." 

There is a delightful description of him in Our Scottish Clergy, Fifty-two Sketches. The author, a certain John Smith, begins with what might be read as praise, but soon pillories John Forbes:

You will find the article here.

Here is his educational background:

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Wild Geese

 I should like a wild goose chase. I have been reviewing Forbes in these posts. Forbes's rehearsal of the Messianic beliefs of the 19th century at the beginning of the fundamentalist fight with higher criticism is quite interesting. Turgidity past, he has come to many texts with which I can sympathize without degenerating into violence though there is a high degree of what I might think is random association of words across genres. E.g., he still interprets what I read as myth as if the characters were flesh and blood. Nonetheless, he traces a thought process through the Tanach somewhat carefully. On page 46 he comes to the last words of David.

Let's look at David's last words. 2 Samuel 23:2-5. David's words are given as an oracle. Oracle is used exactly twice in the Psalter in psalms 36 and 110. [You wouldn't know this from most translations. It is a commonly used word (nam) often translated simply as say. I separated the tangled uses of words in the domain of speaking. (For the term dbir, a specialized form of dbr referring to a place in the temple, I used a coinage to avoid overlap.)]

These are key structural pieces of the Psalter. I would even call them pillars. They are so obvious. Each of the 7 poems preceding the 9 acrostics is a pillar. Years ago I drew them as in the following diagram.

A chiastic relationship between the poems prior to the acrostics in the Psalter

I suspect that the music of this section (1-5 - yes include the incipit) is like the other of David's poems in 2 Samuel, the elegy over the death of Saul and Jonathan.

2 Samuel 23

Syllables: 145. Words: 71. Roots: 52. Root Recurrence: 44%. Average per verse: 6.2.
וְאֵ֛לֶּה דִּבְרֵ֥י דָוִ֖ד הָאַֽחֲרֹנִ֑ים
נְאֻ֧ם דָּוִ֣ד בֶּן־יִשַׁ֗י וּנְאֻ֤ם הַגֶּ֙בֶר֙ הֻ֣קַם עָ֔ל מְשִׁ֙יחַ֙ אֱלֹהֵ֣י יַֽעֲקֹ֔ב וּנְעִ֖ים זְמִר֥וֹת יִשְׂרָאֵֽל
1 And these are the words of David, the last ones.
An oracle of David the son of Jesse, and an oracle of the valiant, upheld concerning the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the pleasure of the psalmists of Israel.
a valh dbri dvid hakronim
naum dvid bn-iwi unaum hgbr huqm yl mwik alohi iyqob unyim zmirot iwral
v/alh dbr\i dvd h/akr\nim
nam dvd bn iwi v/nam h/gbr h/qm yl mwk alh\i iyqb v/nym zmr\vt iwral
ר֥וּחַ יְהוָ֖ה דִּבֶּר־בִּ֑י
וּמִלָּת֖וֹ עַל־לְשׁוֹנִֽי
2 ♪f The spirit of Yahweh spoke in me,
and his speech was on my tongue.
b ruk ihvh dibr-bi
umilto yl-lwoni
rvk ihvh dbr b\i
v/ml\tv yl lwvn\i
אָמַר֙ אֱלֹהֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל לִ֥י דִבֶּ֖ר צ֣וּר יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל
מוֹשֵׁל֙ בָּאָדָ֔ם צַדִּ֕יק מוֹשֵׁ֖ל יִרְאַ֥ת אֱלֹהִֽים
3 The God of Israel said to me, the rock of Israel spoke,
Who governs for humanity, ... righteous governing in the fear of God.
g amr alohi iwral li dibr xur iwral
mowl badm xdiq mowl irat alohim
amr alh\i iwral l\i dbr xvr iwral
mvwl b/adm xdiq mvwl ira\t alh\im
וּכְא֥וֹר בֹּ֖קֶר יִזְרַח־שָׁ֑מֶשׁ
בֹּ֚קֶר לֹ֣א עָב֔וֹת מִנֹּ֥גַהּ מִמָּטָ֖ר דֶּ֥שֶׁא מֵאָֽרֶץ
4 Then as the light of morning, sun will rise,
morning without thick clouds, from the luminous, from the rain, vegetation from the land.
d ucaor boqr izrk-wmw
boqr la ybot mnogh mm'tr dwa marx
vc/avr bqr i/zrk wmw
bqr la yb\vt m/ngh m/m'tr dwa m/arx
כִּֽי־לֹא־כֵ֥ן בֵּיתִ֖י עִם־אֵ֑ל
כִּי֩ בְרִ֨ית עוֹלָ֜ם שָׂ֣ם לִ֗י עֲרוּכָ֤ה בַכֹּל֙ וּשְׁמֻרָ֔ה כִּֽי־כָל־יִשְׁעִ֥י וְכָל־חֵ֖פֶץ כִּֽי־לֹ֥א יַצְמִֽיחַ
5 Though my house is not so with God,
yet a covenant everlasting he set for me, arranged in all, and kept for all my salvation and all delight, though it does not grow.
h ci-la-cn biti ym-al
ci brit yolm wm li yruch bcol uwmurh ci-cl-iwyi vcl-kpx ci-la ixmik
ci la cn bit\i ym al
ci brit yvlm wm l\i yrvc\h b/cl v/wmr\h ci cl iwy\i v/cl kpx ci la i/xmk
Selected recurrence in 2 Samuel 23:1-5

Friday, December 17, 2021

Forbes - Psalms 90

 I will now try to cherry-pick the real issues as Forbes deals with individual psalms. It was a bit tiresome to copy the entire text. It is here in a slightly more readable version. Starting on page 20, after a page or two of repeated introduction to what he wants to prove, he begins with Psalms 90 which he calls 

The earliest of all the Psalms, Ps. xc, entitled " a Prayer of Moses the man of God"

He is assuming that the inscription implies that Moses wrote this psalm. The commentary I have to hand  (Tate, Word Biblical Commentary Psalms 51-100) does not treat any inscription as implying authorship. He rests his case on the work of Peter Craigie in the earlier volume in the series. The phrase is ambiguous and not necessarily implying authorship. The thought that Moses wrote the psalm seems to me to take our author on a wild-goose chase through all sorts of speculation on the idea of the afterlife (pp 21-23). Tate (p 438) identifies the language as post-exilic.

[He does point out several similarities with the language of Deut 31:30-32:47. He also notes that only Moses can tell God to nkm (sigh, trad. repent Ex 32:12, Ps 90:13). These could be arguments for Mosaic authorship. Then again other features in the language such as the form wubh for wvb point to what Tate calls a learned psalmography. "Thus Ps 90 probably owes its existence and preservation to learned scribal composers, collectors, and interpreters of psalms and teachings in post-exilic Israelite communities who considered themselves servants of Yahweh, and prepared prayers and teaching for Israelites who sought to live as the devoted servants of Yahweh during hard times long endured." I'm not sure that I would go this far, but without a database, I would not be able to agree that only Moses gives an imperative to Yahweh. So if a learned scribe wrote Psalms 90 after the manner of Moses - certainly a legitimate interpretation of lmwh (below) - then such a scribe was both learned and wise.]

I love this psalm. I cannot hear Forbes reading of it. It is a deadly reading, morose. The two prayers in Book 4 (90 and 102) surround an important maturing of our human attitudes to governance. Psalms 90 begins with the most encouraging sentence - that his Lord is our habitation from generation to generation. How can we not feel embraced in this instruction. It does not depend on our holding without evidence a particular theological belief system. It is an invitation to growth and responsibility. The new keyword in the psalm is 'renew' (klp), a word that is reflected in Psalms 102, the matching prayer.

You can hear a performance here of the music embedded in the text. The structure of the psalm is intricate. I suggest that the repeated words be looked at - use find on the strong letters of the SimHebrew to see where they occur and how they frame the pieces. (Strong letters rarely move or disappear in a word form. They are: a, b, g, d, z, k, 't, c, l, s, y, p, x, q, r, w, t. Weak letters may or may not appear in some forms of the root. They are: h, v, i, m, n.)

Psalms 90

Syllables: 356. Words: 140. Roots: 92. Root Recurrence: 55%. Average per verse: 4.5.
adm advn (2) avn avr aiw al (2) alp alvh (2) am amr anvw ap (2) arx ath (2) bhl bva bn (2) bqr (3) gbr gvz dvr (2) dca hgh hdr hih (3) hm hr zrm kvl kvw kcm klp (2) ksd kxr 'trm ibw id (2) idy (2) ihvh ivm (6) ikm ild ira iwn cvn (2) ci (5) cl (2) clh (2) cmv cn l lbb lil mvl mi mnh myvn mwh mti ngd nkm nym ybd (2) ybr (3) yd (3) yvn yvp yzz yin yl (4) ylm (3) yml ynh yrb ywh (2) pll pnh (2) pyl xvx rah (2) rhb rnn ryy wby (2) wvb (3) wit wmk (2) wmn wmr wnh (6) tbl tmvl
תְּפִלָּה֮ לְמֹשֶׁ֪ה אִֽישׁ־הָאֱלֹ֫הִ֥ים
אֲ‍ֽדֹנָ֗י מָע֣וֹן אַ֭תָּה הָיִ֥יתָ לָּ֗נוּ בְּדֹ֣ר וָדֹֽר
1 A prayer of Moses the man of God.
My Lord, a habitation you yourself have become for us, from generation to generation.
a tpilh lmwh aiw-halohim
adonii myon ath hiit lnu bdor vdor
t/pl\h l/mwh aiw h/alh\im
adn\i myvn ath h/i\it l\nv b/dr v/dr
בְּטֶ֤רֶם ׀ הָ֘רִ֤ים יֻלָּ֗דוּ וַתְּח֣וֹלֵֽל אֶ֣רֶץ וְתֵבֵ֑ל
וּֽמֵעוֹלָ֥ם עַד־ע֝וֹלָ֗ם אַתָּ֥ה אֵֽל
2 From ere mountains were born or you birthed earth and world,
and even from everlasting to everlasting, you are God.
b b'trm hrim iuldu vtkoll arx vtbl
umyolm yd-yolm ath al
b/'trm hr\im ild\v vt/kvl\l arx v/tbl
vm/yvlm yd yvlm ath al
תָּשֵׁ֣ב אֱ֭נוֹשׁ עַד־דַּכָּ֑א
וַ֝תֹּ֗אמֶר שׁ֣וּבוּ בְנֵי־אָדָֽם
3 You turn a mortal to contrition,
and you say, Turn children of humanity.
g twb anow yd-dca
vtamr wubu bni-adm
t/wb anvw yd dca
vt/amr wvb\v bn\i adm
כִּ֤י אֶ֪לֶף שָׁנִ֡ים בְּֽעֵינֶ֗יךָ כְּי֣וֹם אֶ֭תְמוֹל כִּ֣י יַעֲבֹ֑ר
וְאַשְׁמוּרָ֥ה בַלָּֽיְלָה
4 ♪C For a thousand years in your eyes are like a recent day that has passed by,
and a watch in the night.
d ci alf wnim byiniç ciom atmol ci iybor
vawmurh blilh
ci alp wn\im b/yin\ic c/ivm a/tmvl ci i/ybr
va/wmvr\h b/lil\h
זְ֭רַמְתָּם שֵׁנָ֣ה יִהְי֑וּ
בַּ֝בֹּ֗קֶר כֶּחָצִ֥יר יַחֲלֹֽף
5 ♪g You inundate them. Sleep they become.
In the morning, as grass renews,
h zrmtm winh ihiu
bboqr ckxir iklof
zrm\tm wn\h i/hi\v
b/bqr c/kxr i/klp
בַּ֭בֹּקֶר יָצִ֣יץ וְחָלָ֑ף
לָ֝עֶ֗רֶב יְמוֹלֵ֥ל וְיָבֵֽשׁ
6 ♪g in the morning, it blossoms and renews.
Of the evening, it is cut down and dries up.

v bboqr ixix vklf
lyrb imoll vibw
b/bqr i/xx v/klp
l/yrb i/mvl\l v/ibw
כִּֽי־כָלִ֥ינוּ בְאַפֶּ֑ךָ
וּֽבַחֲמָתְךָ֥ נִבְהָֽלְנוּ
7 For we are consumed in your anger,
and in your heat we are vexed.
z ci-clinu bapç
ubkmtç nbhlnu
ci cl\inv b/ap\c
vb/km\tc n/bhl\nv
שַׁתָּ֣ה עֲוֺנֹתֵ֣ינוּ לְנֶגְדֶּ֑ךָ
עֲ֝לֻמֵ֗נוּ לִמְא֥וֹר פָּנֶֽיךָ
8 You put our iniquities before you,
our dissembling in the light of your face.

k wth yvonotinu lngdç
ylumnu lmaor pniç
wt\h yvn\tinv l/ngd\c
ylm\nv lm/avr pn\ic
כִּ֣י כָל־יָ֭מֵינוּ פָּנ֣וּ בְעֶבְרָתֶ֑ךָ
כִּלִּ֖ינוּ שָׁנֵ֣ינוּ כְמוֹ־הֶֽגֶה
9 ♪B For all our days face away from your fury.
We consume our years as a mutter.
't ci cl-iminu pnu bybrtç
cilinu wninu cmo-hgh
ci cl im\inv pn\v b/ybr\tc
cl\inv wn\inv cmv hgh
יְמֵֽי־שְׁנוֹתֵ֨ינוּ בָהֶ֥ם שִׁבְעִ֪ים שָׁנָ֡ה וְאִ֤ם בִּגְבוּרֹ֨ת ׀ שְׁמ֘וֹנִ֤ים שָׁנָ֗ה וְ֭רָהְבָּם עָמָ֣ל וָאָ֑וֶן
כִּי־גָ֥ז חִ֝֗ישׁ וַנָּעֻֽפָה
10 The days of our years, in them a seventy year span, and if valiant, an eighty year span, but their boldness is toil and mischief,
for they scurry past, and we fly away.
i imi-wnotinu bhm wbyim wnh vam bgburot wmonim wnh vrohbm yml vavvn
ci-gz kiw vnyuph
im\i wn\vtinv b/hm wby\im wnh v/am b/gbvr\t wmvn\im wnh v/rhb\m yml v/avn
ci gz kw vn/yp\h
מִֽי־י֭וֹדֵעַ עֹ֣ז אַפֶּ֑ךָ
וּ֝כְיִרְאָתְךָ֗ עֶבְרָתֶֽךָ
11 Who knows the strength of your anger,
and according to your fear your fury?
ia mi-iody yoz apç
uciratç ybrtç
mi iv/dy yz ap\c
vc/ira\tc ybr\tc
לִמְנ֣וֹת יָ֭מֵינוּ כֵּ֣ן הוֹדַ֑ע
וְ֝נָבִ֗א לְבַ֣ב חָכְמָֽה
12 To apportion our days so make us know,
that we may come to the heart of wisdom.
ib lmnot iminu cn hody
vnbia lbb kcmh
l/mn\vt im\inv cn hv/dy
vn/ba lbb kcm\h
שׁוּבָ֣ה יְ֭הוָה עַד־מָתָ֑י
וְ֝הִנָּחֵ֗ם עַל־עֲבָדֶֽיךָ
13 Return Yahweh, how long?
And be comforted over your servants.

ig wubh ihvh yd-mtii
vhinkm yl-ybdiç
wvb\h ihvh yd mti
vh/nkm yl ybd\ic
שַׂבְּעֵ֣נוּ בַבֹּ֣קֶר חַסְדֶּ֑ךָ
וּֽנְרַנְּנָ֥ה וְ֝נִשְׂמְחָ֗ה בְּכָל־יָמֵֽינוּ
14 Satisfy us in the morning of your kindness,
and we will shout for joy and be glad in all our days.
id wbynu bboqr ksdç
unrnnh vnwmkh bcl-iminu
wby\nv b/bqr ksd\c
vn/rnn\h vn/wmk\h b/cl im\inv
שַׂ֭מְּחֵנוּ כִּימ֣וֹת עִנִּיתָ֑נוּ
שְׁ֝נ֗וֹת רָאִ֥ינוּ רָעָֽה
15 ♪g Make us glad for days you afflicted us,
years we have seen evil.

'tv wmknu cimot yinitnu
wnot rainu ryh
wmk\nv c/im\vt yn\itnv
wn\vt ra\inv ry\h
יֵרָאֶ֣ה אֶל־עֲבָדֶ֣יךָ פָעֳלֶ֑ךָ
וַ֝הֲדָרְךָ֗ עַל־בְּנֵיהֶֽם
16 Let your work appear to your servants,
and your honour upon their children.
'tz iirah al-ybdiç poylç
vhdrç yl-bnihm
i/rah al ybd\ic pyl\c
v/hdr\c yl bn\ihm
וִיהִ֤י ׀ נֹ֤עַם אֲדֹנָ֥י אֱלֹהֵ֗ינוּ עָ֫לֵ֥ינוּ
וּמַעֲשֵׂ֣ה יָ֭דֵינוּ כּוֹנְנָ֥ה עָלֵ֑ינוּ
וּֽמַעֲשֵׂ֥ה יָ֝דֵ֗ינוּ כּוֹנְנֵֽהוּ
17 And let the pleasure of the Lord our God be upon us,
and the deed of our hands establish upon us,
and the deed of our hands establish.
iz vihi noym adonii alohinu ylinu
umywh idinu connh ylinu
umywh idinu connhu
vi/hi nym adn\i alh\inv yl\inv
vm/ywh id\inv cvn\nh yl\inv
vm/ywh id\inv cvn\nhv
1 habitation מעון compare verse 17 pleasantness נעם which has the letters reversed (less the vav) (Magonet 2003 p 166).
3 contrition, דכא elsewhere, crushed.
4 [2 Peter 3:8]
6 renew occurs here and in Psalm 102 almost as a frame for book 4 prior to its four long concluding psalms.
cut down, מול let circumcised, see also 118:10ff
9 mutter, as in Psalms 1 and 2, chosen here to rhyme with flutter.
10 span, שׁנה singular year in Hebrew. Here and in Psalm 95 I have marked the singular use of year with the numerals 40, 70, 80 using this phrasing.
13 be comforted, נחם of God only, trad. repent. The word is comfort, as in Isaiah 40:1, here in the niphal imperative (passive) with יְהוָה as the subject.

Forbes sees Messiah in this text (p 27). He sees Messiah everywhere. And he is going into a long representation of the development of the Messianic idea in the Old Testament. 

I see the love of God expressing itself through Moses in spite of the failure of the monarchy so exquisitely lamented in Psalms 89. I see hope of renewal, and the presence of God. The call of Book 4 is to return to God's instruction. This is continued in Book 5 with the great acrostic 119. 

I skimmed ahead to find Forbes absolutely dependent on the idea of the fall.
Remove from Genesis the account of the Fall and the promise of man's ultimate deliverance from its consequences, and we lose the key to the whole Bible.

The so-called fall is more like a birth. It is largely ignored in the Tanach. The word for fall (npl) is never used to refer to this story in Tanach. The keys to the Bible are the Song and the Psalms, but not the way Forbes reads them. I suspect that he has Paul and the author of Hebrews also fully implicated in his tortuous theology. Even the New Testament is about renewal and presence. Linear infinity is not eternity. 

Thursday, December 16, 2021

The Psalter (Forbes 1888) #8

 The final post on the introduction. (I hope). These paragraphs recap what he wrote in the earlier pages. So there is some coherence in his writing. I will not go into much detail but I have found some links to the works that Forbes cites. At the moment of his writing, he is on the side of the established English theology, and is being challenged by a humbler knowledge that insists on reality rather than magic in prophecy.

Thus far the books of the Psalms have followed what may be called a quasi-chronological. arrangement. Book VI. still continues the same order, since it opens with the grand Te Deum (Ps. cxviii.) composed on occasion of the completion of the second temple. This again is succeeded by the great alphabetical Psalm (cxix., composed probably by Daniel, cf. vers. 9, 23, 46, 54, etc.) in praise of the law of God, which under the second temple received a prominence never before accorded to it ; after which follow the fifteen Psalms of Ascents, all of which, it is shown, apply exactly to the time of the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem under Nehemiah. Book VII. (cxxxvi.-cl.) forms a fitting conclusion to the Psalter. The prayer of the Ransomed Church of the Messiah melts away in the triumphant burst of praise which closes the book.

We return to Forbes division of Book 5 into three sub-books. I find this of marginal interest. It shows he is reading but I don't think it figures in any argument or lack thereof so far. I am curious that he thinks Psalms 119 was composed by Daniel (probably? i.e. 0.1% probable). And the association of the Psalms of Ascents with the rebuilding is a new one to me as well. 

 My aim in these studies has been to lay a sound foundation for the Christian interpretation and use of the Psalms, by avoiding the error of the older interpreters in reading in between the lines the additional knowledge which they received from the New Testament; and by beginning, on the contrary, with endeavouring to ascertain in each Psalm the meaning which the writers themselves, with the light which they possessed from previous revelations, must have attached to their own words,—and especially as that meaning is shown to have been understood, and is more clearly defined, by comparison with the group with which the Psalm is associated by those who arranged the Psalter as we now possess it. Such evidently was the only meaning and teaching of the Psalms to the Jewish Church for centuries antecedent to the New Testament period ; and such, therefore, must be the meaning of them with which we are to start in judging of the application of the quotations made from them by our Lord and His apostles.  

This assertion is not proven, merely stated again and again - 'lay a sound foundation' is a laudable aim, but why for a particular interpretation? 

It may be asked, Will not the habit of symmetrical and parallelistic arrangement of ideas to which the Israelites were thus accustomed, modify in part the estimate we should form of the intelligence and insight of the Old Testament writers, and even readers, if we consider the accurate comparison of thoughts and connection of ideas to which they were necessarily compelled ? We are inclined to think that the importance due to this consideration has not received the attention which it deserves. And in the following studies it will be found that considerable stress has been laid upon the additional new light which the Divine revelation made to David in Ps. cx. must have cast both on the preceding Messianic announcements and on many of the Psalms subsequently indited [sic]. It will be shown from the internal evidence of Psalm cx. itself how beautifully appropriate to the time and circumstances of David personally was the revelation now made to him ; thus forming an independent proof that David was the author of the Psalm, and that he was taught to look forward to the coming of an almighty king and " priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek," whom he styles " my lord." This revelation lets in a clear light from the very commencement of the monarchy, on the idea which David and every intelligent Israelite must have formed of the Messianic King who was to accomplish God's high purposes for Israel, as one infinitely superior to himself or Solomon, or any common mortal ; and it threw the fulfilment into a far remote future, since no king of the tribe of Judah could be a priest so long as Moses' dispensation lasted, which limited the priesthood to the sons of Aaron exclusively.

 He considers that 'intelligence' is required for the human insight into the purpose of the Psalter. I find this a problem, probably a sociological one. I cannot accept from anyone, even myself, any assumption of superiority with respect to a human or group of humans. Love countermands such a thought. The assumption of superiority is a false foundation.

The idea of the Messiah as a wholly distinct person thus stands out clearly from the very first, and dissipates at once the mistaken notion of Dr. Delitzsch, that David " regarded himself as the Anointed —sub specie Christi" (Messianic Prophecies, Lectures by Franz Delitzsch, translated from the MS. by Samuel Ives Cartiss, § 19, 20, p. 47. T. & T. Clark, Edin.) to the extent at least that he ever so identified himself with the Messiah as to imagine that he should never die, but " considered himself immortal, Ps. xvi." (Supra, § 23, p. 51.) Dr. Delitzsch must have forgotten that in the original notice given to David of the continuance of his race on the throne, it was distinctly told him that the first instalment of the promise in its lower sense was to be, not to himself, but to his seed which should proceed out of his bowels, " when thou shall sleep with thy fathers " (2 Sam. vii. 12). It is with reference to this original promise that St. Peter explains to us that David expressed the confident assurance, "Thou wilt not leave my soul to Sheol, nor wilt Thou suffer Thine holy one to see corruption," etc. (Ps. xvi. 10, 11) ; not cherishing the idea of ever-enduring life in this world, but of being raised to eternal life from the grave. St. Peter's words are, David " being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins he would set one upon his throne " (2 Sam. vii. 12), he "foreseeing this spake of the resurrection of Christ" (Acts ii. 30, 31)—and of his own resurrection as included in it. Observe the degree of insight into God's communications which St. Peter here attributes to David, and the process of reasoning which he presupposes to have passed in David's mind in order to reach the conclusion he deduces from it. The promise made to David of a " seed " whose " throne should be established for ever," must have led him to identify his seed with the " seed " promised to the woman who was by His victory over the serpent to undo the sentence of death, and regain the gift of eternal life for man ;—and again with the " seed " promised to Abraham, who was to extend the blessing to " all the nations of the earth."

Rather than intelligence as intellect or being smart, I could allow intelligence in the sense of gift from the Spirit as the mode in which the psalmist often writes. It is not magic though or prediction, but presence. Here I am following Kimhi in his attribution of the work of the Spirit in David.

Here the distinction between the Messianic King, who is to obtain by his great conflict the boon of eternal life for himself and his people, and between David as a mere participator therein, is as evident as in trilogy Ps. xx—xxii., where the prize which he asks of God for all his suffering and conflict is, " Life he asked of Thee : Thou gavest it him, even length of days for ever and ever." In short, the primary and direct subject, in the intention of the Psalmist, we hold to be the Messiah in Ps, ii., Ps. XX. - xxii., and Ps. xl., whatever might have been the immediate occasion that called forth the Psalmist's thoughts. The prominent subject before the mind of all psalmists and prophets is ever the contest which is going on between the supremacy and purposes of Jehovah and the powers of evil. The tendency, therefore, with the prophet is ever to pass on from the present and immediate event to the final victory of God's great purposes and the consummation of all. A similar remark to those made on Dr. Delitzsch's view of David's Messianic Psalms we must extend to Solomon's Ps. lxxii. His remarks on this Psalm are : " In the time of David and of Solomon, the hope of believers which was attached to the kingship of David had not yet fully broken with the present. At that time, with few exceptions, nothing was known of any other Messiah than the Anointed One of God, who was David or Solomon himself." Accordingly Dr. Delitzsch affirms that the words of Ps. lxxii. " were all fulfilled in Solomon."  (Need I say with reference to the remarks I have made on what appears to me to be errors on the part of Dr. Delitzsch, that they are made in consequence of the very high regard of the opinions generally of this deeply respected veteran, to whose criticisms on the Psalms and Isaiah particularly I have been so much indebted in common with every Biblical scholar. It is the weight so justly given to the authority of whatever falls from the pen of such a critic, that renders it necessary to enter a caveat against whatever tends to mislead, or to propagate mistaken ideas.)

 He is very critical of Delitzsch. I haven't read any of his work directly. His NT translation is available here.

On the contrary, we maintain that such views are altogether inconsistent with the revelation made in Ps. cx. In Ps. lxxii. the direct and primary subject is the Messiah, to whom alone the words of ver. 17 can apply, " And all nations shall bless themselves in him ; they shall call him blessed." It is the prayer of Solomon for the final establishment of that great kingdom of universal peace and righteousness which the Messiah was to introduce,—for his own kingdom only in the feeble measure in which his rule could foreshadow and hasten its coming. All this is in accordance with the teaching that Solomon received from his father. And the fulfilment in the higher and perfect sense alone lends point and significance to the epigraph which is subjoined to the doxology which closes Ps. lxxii. and the 2nd Book of Psalms, " Ended [or fulfilled] are the prayers of Jesse the son of David. [sic!]"

Psalms 72:17

יְהִ֤י שְׁמ֨וֹ לְֽעוֹלָ֗ם לִפְנֵי־שֶׁמֶשׁ֮ יִנּ֪וֹן שְׁ֫מוֹ וְיִתְבָּ֥רְכוּ ב֑וֹ
כָּל־גּוֹיִ֥ם יְאַשְּׁרֽוּהוּ
17 His name will be forever. His name will propagate in the presence of the sun, and they will bless themselves in him.
All nations will call him happy.

iz ihi wmo lyolm lpni-wmw iinon wmo vitbrcu bo
cl-goiim iawruhu
i/hi wm\v l/yvlm l/pn\i wmw i/nvn wm\v vit/brc\v b\v
cl gvi\m i/awr\vhv

I need to define forever, don't I. Look up ylm and all its uses. Notice that its first domain is in the idea of hiding or obscurity. It is not so obvious in any case that this 'ever' is a linear time 'with no term either end'. From Aquinas to Einstein is a long distance. Forbes has preceded our capacity for mass destruction.

We would plead, therefore, with our modern critics to grant to the psalmists and prophets of the Old Testament a little more intelligence and insight into their own utterances than they seem inclined to allow them. The great function of this class whom the Spirit of God raised up was to explain the meaning and purposes of God's dealings with His people, that they might learn the lessons these were intended to teach them, and might be prepared to do their part, both in abstaining from whatever would obstruct, and in striving to promote the accomplishment of God's great purposes. They must therefore have been men accustomed to look before and behind them, and to take an enlarged and comprehensive view of God's kingdom.

We claim this intelligence for them partly on St. Peter's authority, whose reasoning on the grounds upon which David based his hope of a resurrection to eternal life, expressed in Ps. xvi. 10, 11, has, as we have seen, consistency only when founded on the promise made to him in 2 Sam. vii., as St. Peter shows. Yet one of the latest of our commentaries on the Psalms, (The Psalms, with Introductions and Critical Notes, by Rev. A. C. Jennings, M.A., assisted in part by Rev. W. H. Lowe, M.A., Cambridge. Macmillan & Co., 1877.) and one which contains many thoughtful and judicious observations, says of Ps. xvi. 10, "All that is implied in this verse is that the Psalmist, in that he has Jehovah at his right hand, is confident that he shall escape death, i.e. probably the violent death with which his adversaries menaced him."

If this was all that David contemplated, what has his prophetic knowledge of a future Messiah, to which Peter refers, to do with his hope of present deliverance from death ? The only reply we find is a reference to one of those tantalizing comments of Dean Alford, in which he says and straight unsays his words, leaving the difficulty in greater obscurity than he found it. Alford well remarks in Acts ii. 31, " The word προϊδὼν distinctly asserts the prophetic consciousness of David in the composition of this Psalm. But of what sort this prophetic consciousness was, may be gathered from the same apostle, 1 Pet. i. 10-12. It was not a distinct knowledge of the events which they foretold, but only a conscious reference in their mind to the great promises of the covenant, in the expression of which they were to be guided by the Holy Spirit of prophecy to say things pregnant with meaning, not patent to themselves but to us."

 Forbes clearly has an aversion to historical critical thought.

Never has statement been more completely misrepresented than this of St. Peter generally is, as if he meant to assert that because some things in the prophetic utterances were obscure and indistinct to the prophets, the whole, or main part, was so. Though they sought and searched diligently, they knew not " the time, nor the manner of the time, that the Spirit of Christ that was in them did point to ; " but this they knew distinctly, that it testified beforehand " the sufferings of Christ, and the glories that should follow them." And though they knew not the exact time or way when all this should take place, yet they knew distinctly that it was not to be in their own time , or that of their contemporaries that the fulfilment was to take place. To them " it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto you [of the apostle's days], did they minister these things." To conclude, we are very much inclined to turn the tables against our modern critics, and to question whether the want of insight and discernment which they attribute to the ancient psalmists and prophets be not rather chargeable on themselves in not taking the connected and comprehensive view of the whole circumstances of God's ancient people which they ought.

They judge of each Psalm too much as an isolated production, without taking into account the enlarged meaning which it immediately received on being introduced into the Public Manual of Devotion for the Church in all future time, and thus being connected in living articulation with other Psalms. In like manner the prophecies are judged of too frequently by looking only at an isolated chapter, the tendency being on the part of the more advanced critics, wherever a difficulty occurs in tracing the connection, to split up a Psalm into " fragments," or in prophecy to suppose a break in the MS. here, or an interpolation there.

 Curious, I agree with Forbes that the Psalter has form and structure and purpose, just not the purpose he is determined to attribute to it.

To what other cause are we to refer the miserable state of confusion in which the two great prophecies of Isaiah appear in the commentaries of the present day ? Of the Immanuel prophecy no satisfactory explanation has been given by the critics, one main reason being, because they coniine their attention to chap, vii., instead of seeing that they must extend their view to the whole six chapters, vii. to xii.- (Let me refer to my exposition of the whole prophecy in a publication too little known in this country, the Presbyterian Review for October 1886, pp. 690-713. C. Scribner's Sons, New York'; and T. K. T. Clark, Edinburgh.) With regard to the still more magnificent prophecy of the " Servant of the Lord " (Isa. xl. to Ixvi.), notwithstanding the great care which the author has taken from the first to map out his great subject into three distinct divisions or stages, and to mark out the transitions from the one to the other, the rationalistic critics have muddled up all three together, and thereby so confused their own minds and those of others as to render it difficult to trace out the beautiful arrangement and line of argument which runs through the whole. If spared to pass the present work through the press, I may attempt to clear away some of the mistaken ideas which render this prophecy a reproach to the present state of criticism. The short sketch now given of the line of argument pursued in these studies may, it is hoped, prepare the reader to follow with greater ease and interest the details in the book itself, from seeing beforehand their bearing on the whole.

The review he notes is here. (Enjoy this early debate between the assumption of superiority and the need for humility of knowledge.)

Here endeth the extensive introduction to Forbes. This must at least be an insight into the mind of 1888 at the height of Empire and the beginning of the disintegration of Christendom. 

The Psalter (Forbes 1888) #7

There is a style here in this document which I find turgid. Not only is it full of conclusion without argument, whether the conclusion is justified or not, but the paragraphs are long-winded. More poetry please, more white space, more time for reflection. But perhaps I shouldn't cavil. 

The Psalms hitherto considered, which are quoted as Messianic in the New Testament, we believe to have been Messianic primarily, both in the intention of the writers and according to the understanding of those who assigned them their place in the Psalter. But there are others, not Messianic in their general tenor, on the quotations from which, made in the New Testament, as pertaining to Christ, the line of argument pursued in these studies is found to throw light. One of these is the oft-quoted verse from Ps. cxviii. 22, " The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner."

 Let's have a look at Psalms 118:22 before we get into the most confusing part of this introduction. We will not draw any conclusion with respect to 'the line of argument' throwing any light, yet. Curious, stone [abn] occurs only three times in the psalter.

Psalms 118:22
אֶ֭בֶן מָאֲס֣וּ הַבּוֹנִ֑ים
הָ֝יְתָ֗ה לְרֹ֣אשׁ פִּנָּֽה
22 ♪g A stone the builders refused,
becomes the head of the corner.
cb abn masu hbonim
hiith lraw pinh
abn mas\v h/bvn\im
h/i\th l/raw pnh

The implied definite nature of the stone is fine. I.e. read The stone, rather than A stone if you prefer.

What is this stone? What the building referred to, and of what are they the symbols ? And who are the builders ? We have but to look to Zechariah (the relation between whose prophecies and the later Psalms has been already pointed out) to find a reply to all these queries. If we consult the commentators, such as Hengstenberg, Ewald, Hupfeld, Perowne, etc., Israel is the stone " despised by their heathen masters [the builders of the edifice of the world's power], but now, by the good hand of their God upon them, lifted into a place of honour, . . . chosen of God as the foundation-stone of that new spiritual building which Jehovah was about to erect ; that temple of the world, the foundation of which was to be laid in Zion." (Perowne on Ps. cxviii. 22.)

I was not convinced by his citations of verses from Zechariah (see The Psalter #6)

But if the heathen are thus made the builders, how is this to be reconciled with the words of St. Peter, who distinctly charges the rejection of the stone on the Jews as the builders : " He is the stone which was set at nought [sic] of you the builders, which was made the head of the corner" (Acts iv. 11) ? In chap. i. of Hebrews there are seven passages cited from the Old Testament in proof of Christ's superiority to angels, the difficulties connected with two of which at least are so great as to have led some to maintain that the quotations are not adduced as 'proofs, but simply by way of illustration (See, for instance, Epistle to the Hebrews, by Professor A. B. Davidson, LL.D., p. 44.) of an admitted fact. One of these is the passage adduced in Heb. i. 10-12 from Ps. cii. 25-27, [26-28 Hebrew] "Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundations of the earth," etc. Nothing can be more evident in turning to the Psalm than that the reference throughout is to Jehovah alone, and not to the Son, the Messiah. How then account for the writer to the Hebrews citing the words as so self-evidently applicable to Christ, as not to call for a word of comment from him for their elucidation ?

There is another aporia in his argument, skipping from the stone (his reference to Acts 4:11) to the angels of the English translation of Hebrews. First, what was the thought process for this skip? And secondly, the gloss angels is interpretive of multiple Hebrew roots. (See below).

Psalms 102:26-29
לְ֭פָנִים הָאָ֣רֶץ יָסַ֑דְתָּ
וּֽמַעֲשֵׂ֖ה יָדֶ֣יךָ שָׁמָֽיִם
26 ♪g Before, the earth you founded,
and the deed of your hands, the heavens.

cv lpnim harx isdt
umywh idiç wmiim
l/pn\im h/arx isd\t
vm/ywh id\ic wmim
הֵ֤מָּה ׀ יֹאבֵדוּ֮ וְאַתָּ֪ה תַ֫עֲמֹ֥ד
וְ֭כֻלָּם כַּבֶּ֣גֶד יִבְל֑וּ
כַּלְּב֖וּשׁ תַּחֲלִיפֵ֣ם וְֽיַחֲלֹֽפוּ
27 ♪C These will perish but you, you will stand,
and they all like a garment will fade.
As clothing you will renew them and they will be renewed.
cz hmh iabdu vath tymod
vculm cbgd iblu
clbuw tklipm viklopu
hm\h i/abd\v v/ath t/ymd
v/cl\m c/bgd i/bl\v
c/lbw t/klp\m vi/klp\v
וּ֝שְׁנוֹתֶ֗יךָ לֹ֣א יִתָּֽמּוּ
28 But you are he,
and your years will not be completed.
ck vath-hua
uwnotiç la iitmu
v/ath hva
v/wn\vtic la i/tm\v
בְּנֵֽי־עֲבָדֶ֥יךָ יִשְׁכּ֑וֹנוּ
וְ֝זַרְעָ֗ם לְפָנֶ֥יךָ יִכּֽוֹן
29 The children of your servants will dwell here,
and their seed before your face will be established.
c't bni-ybdiç iwconu
vzrym lpniç iicon
bn\i ybd\ic i/wcvn\v
v/zry\m l/pn\ic i/cvn

I have expanded the verses of Psalms 102 to include verse 29 (and the numbering is off by one anyway - but no material issue there.) What is the point of Psalms 102? Hebrews does not include the last verse in its reference and applies the psalm to Jesus. But it is not exclusive as the last verse shows. When I was a child (about 7 years into my study), I wrote this in Seeing the Psalter: "This prayer and Psalm 90 surround the proclamation of Yahweh as king. This extends the knowledge of Yahweh to nations, peoples, and kingdoms, to all the kings of the earth. Compare the ending of this psalm and Psalm 90. Both prayers end with establish. The two 'prayers' share 13 such keywords. A total of 24 roots are shared 108 times in 46 verses. This accounts for about a third of the words of these two psalms. Hebrews applies the psalm’s ending to the son. This application is more than a verse taken from its context. Applying it to Jesus does not preclude applying it to Zion and Jerusalem, i.e. to all the children of your servants."

Forbes goes on:

Another passage, to the interpretation of which the connection of the books of Psalms in like manner lends the clue, is Heb. i. 6, "And when He again bringeth in the First-born into the world, He saith, And let all the angels of God worship him." Here we are landed in a perfect maze of difficulties. In the first place, how came the writer to the Hebrews, in speaking of the occasion on which the angels are called upon to worship the Messiah, to designate him, in place of " the Christ," by the uncommon title of " the First-born, "especially in reference to his superiority to the angels ? Firstborn implies the existence of other brethren (Rom. viii. 29). It is not in respect of angels, but of men, that the writer himself tells us that Christ " is not ashamed to call them brethren" (Heb. ii, 11). Again, the source from which the quotation is taken is much controverted. In Ps. xcvii. 7 we have words almost equivalent in the Septuagint version, " Worship Him, all ye His angels."

Psalms 97:7

יֵבֹ֤שׁוּ ׀ כָּל־עֹ֬בְדֵי פֶ֗סֶל הַמִּֽתְהַלְלִ֥ים בָּאֱלִילִ֑ים
הִשְׁתַּחֲווּ־ל֝וֹ כָּל־אֱלֹהִֽים
7 All servants of a graven image will be ashamed, boasting in the good for nothing.
Worship him all gods.
z ibowu cl-yobdi psl hmthllim balilim
hwtkvu-lo cl-alohim
i/bw\v cl ybd\i psl hmt/hll\im b/alil\im
h/wk\vv l\v cl alh\im

Forbes accepts the angels citation is from Psalms 97:7 (LXX). I do not confound messenger / angel with gods / elohim. The Greek translation renders elohim as ἄγγελοι. Fine if you like it, but what does it prove? Only that there is a piling on of imagery in the NT. It is clear that the writers of the NT, and the believers throughout Christendom are more than impressed with Jesus, who reminded us, "Not everyone who says Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven." Any such impression that leads to enforced governance, evil laws, and subsequent destruction of others, is not consistent with the character either of Yahweh or of Jesus. So where are we left? Just more assertions of theology without real connection of the thought process either in the author or his citations.

Continuing, Forbes admits confusion, but it is a ploy for he is certain that he can work it all out with his approach. He is, so far, not working anything out, but repeatedly stating conclusions without support. And for all his being a professor of original languages, his assertions are entrenched in an English translation.

But besides that the person of the verb is changed, whence comes the strange addition of the conjunction "And" with which the quotation is introduced? This difficulty, however, seems to be removed when we are referred to the identical words of the quotation in the Septuagint translation of Deut, xxxii. 43. But we are thus only landed in greater confusion. For on turning to the Hebrew original no such words are found, and the addition made in the Greek version is discovered to be only one of three passages (Isa. xliv. 23 ; Ps. xcvii. 7 ; and Ps. xxix. 1), so combined in the Greek version with the first line of Deut. xxxii. 43 as to form a manufactured parallelistic quatrain of four lines.

 True enough Deuteronomy 32:43 has significant additions to the Hebrew. I am not sure where his use of Isaiah 44:23, or Psalms 29:1 come into play, but perhaps in the Greek, his 'logic' would be more evident.

The difficulty therefore still remains. How came this addition to be introduced into the Greek version of Moses' Song in Deuteronomy, and what led the writer to the Hebrews to prefer taking his quotation from this spurious addition instead of from the original Psalm ? Moreover, the same objection lies to the relevancy of the quotation from whichever source taken, as in the case of the preceding quotation in Heb. i. 10-12, since both the Psalm and Moses' Song refer exclusively to Jehovah and not to the Messiah. Does it not form some slight presumption in favour of the truth and value of the method pursued in these studies, if it shall be found to have supplied a satisfactory reply to all these difficulties ?

I suppose we must remember his logic until we read the next 200 pages. (If I have taken this long to wade through the introduction, will I ever get to the end?)

I suppose in my early classes in Scripture as a teen, my teachers, teaching by rote, expected me to memorize answers. We didn't get very far. Neither learning nor teaching consists of such regurgitation.