Metaphors in the Psalms

Friday, November 10, 2006

I continued studying Terrien’s Introduction in his commentary to the Psalm – on Stropic Structure and Style. This stands out for me:
    The vitality of the Psalms depends not only on the sincerity with which the poets poured out their faith but also in the seduction, sometimes bizarre for us in its archaism, but always compelling, for their metaphors and stylistic movements. These metaphors and their anthropomorphism seem to be obsolete in many ways. Thus the sun is a bridegroom who steps out as a hero from the nuptial chamber (Ps. 19:5). River strike their hands in applause (Ps. 98:8); the Lord plays his toy, Leviathan (Ps. 104:26); he sees with eyes and hears with ears (Ps. 34:16); and he preserves in a wineskin the tears of those who suffer (Ps. 56:9). Moab is God’s wash basin, and Edom is hit with God’s sandal as a vindictive challenge (Ps. 108:10). Strophes bring a certain discipline over the multiplicity of metaphors.
Picture by Rick Jernberg

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