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Psalms

Psalms

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Published by cpmacau
Christian Community Bible (OT) - 48th Ed (2009)
Christian Community Bible (OT) - 48th Ed (2009)

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Published by: cpmacau on Nov 27, 2009
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01/07/2012

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THE FIVE BOOKS OF THE PSALMS
The Psalms
come from the collections of songs used in the Temple of Jerusalem. Al-though tradition has it that David regulated the liturgy just as he composed all the psalms, itis more likely that the Levites—the “Sons of Asaph and Yedutun”—who were in charge of the sacred music of the Temple, had a greater role in the writing and selection of the psalms.With the passage of time, the psalms took on an overlay of personal piety, collective lamen-tations and the expressions of another era.As the prayer book of ancient Israel, the psalms fed Jewish piety as they did the prayerof Jesus. To this day, they form the foundation of Christian liturgical prayer used by count-less religious, priests and deacons as well as an increasing number of laity.Not all Christians may find in the psalms the fulfillment of their own aspirations, butadapting them for prayer, or better still, allowing them to educate and form one’s spiritual lifemay prove to be more valuable. If we are to enter into a conversation with God, we wouldbenefit more by listening to Him and meditating his inspired words than by speaking of ourown worries.
The Psalms
have come through the ages as a powerful means of prayer. If they do notalways satisfy our own sense of prayer, it is not necessarily a bad thing. If they manage tounbalance even slightly our ingrained habits of piety, that is not a small gift. These psalmsmay be capable of renewing our language and symbolism in a world where God is often astranger and people would prefer to be left alone, to pursue their own interests.The Psalms have been collected into five books as one can see from the endings of eachbook (cf Ps 41, 72, 106). Within different collections one sometimes finds nearly identicalPsalms and we can consider them as pairs.The numbering of the psalms is slightly different in the Hebrew and Greek editions. Wehave used the Hebrew numbering and placed the Greek number in parenthesis—the one mostoften used in our Latin Liturgy.
The Songs in the Bible
Together with the psalms we should also indicate other prayers which we find in mostparts of the Bible and which we usually call “canticles”: – of Moses: Ex 15 – 2nd of Moses: Dt 32 – of Anna: 1 S 2 – of Isaiah: Is 12 – of Hezekiah: Is 38 – of Habakkuk: Hb 3 – of the three servants: Dn 3:52 – of Tobit: Tb 13 – of Sirach: Sir 36 – of Mary: Lk 1:46 – of Zechariah: Lk 1:68 – of Simeon: Lk 2:29 – Ephesians: 1:3-14; 3:14-20 – Revelation: several passages – See also 2 S 23; Ne 9:6; Is 26:7; 59;63:7; Jer 20:7; Jdt 16:13; Wis 9:1; Sir23:1; 51.
 
PSALM 1The two ways.
What you sow in life you willharvest. Those who keep God’s law will behappy here and in the next life. Whoever re-fuses it will not prosper.
1
Blessed is the onewho does not go where the wickedgather,or stand in the way of sinners,or sit where the scoffers sit!
2
Instead, he finds delight in the lawof the Lordand meditates day and nighton his commandments.
3
He is like a tree beside a brookproducing its fruit in due season,its leaves never withering.Everything he does is a success.
4
But it is different with the wicked.They are like chaff driven away by the wind.
5
The wicked will not stand when judgment comes,nor the sinners when the righteousassemble.
6
For the Lord knows the way of therighteousbut cuts off the way of the wicked.
1
The first psalm speaks of happiness, justas Jesus’ first discourse began with “Happy!” (orbeing blessed, “Fortunate”).We often find the theme of two ways in theBible (Dt 30:15; Jer 21:8; Pro 4:18; Mt 7:13).It expresses our personal responsibility whichwill be clearly seen on the day of judgment.Whatever the appearances may be at times, truehappiness is for those who are faithful to the willof God.Jesus is the green and productive tree, par ex-cellence. All that is good, great, beautiful andholy in the heart of a person blossoms on thetree of the cross.
Jer 21:8;Dt 30:15;Pro 4:18-19;Mt 7:13-14Jos 1:8;Ps 119Jer 17:8;Ezk 19:10-11;Rev 22:2Job21:18;Ps 35:5;Is 40:24112:10
 
110;Acts 4:25-28Rev19:19;Ps 83:6149:8Is 40:15…23;Ps 59:92S 7:14;Ps 89:27;Acts 13:33;Heb 1:5;5:5Gen 12:7;Is 49:6;Dn 7:14110:5;Rev 19:15;2:26-27Wis 6:134:9;Pro 16:202S 15:1318:3;Dt 33:29;Ps 62:8;27:6;110:7;Sir 11:13Pro 3:24;
1195PSALM 3
The two kingdoms.
This struggle between the kingsof the earth and God’s Anointed announces the Bookof Revelation. God has come among us. His presenceis a challenge to those who would like to be lords ofthe earth. There will be no lasting peace here below
1
Why do the nations conspire?Why do the peoples plot in vain?
2
The kings of the earth brace themselvesand the rulers together take their standagainst the Lord and his anointed.
3
They say, “Let us break their bonds!Let us cast away their chains!”
4
The One enthroned in heaven laughs;the Lord looks at them in derision.
5
Then in anger he speaks to them,terrifying them in the fury of his wrath:
6
“Behold the king I have installed,in Zion, upon my holy hill!”
7
I will proclaim the decree of the Lord.He said to me: “You are my son.This day I have begotten you.
8
Ask of me and I will give youthe nations for your inheritance,the ends of the earth for your possession.
9
You shall rule them with iron scepterand shatter them as a potter’s vase.”
10
Now therefore, learn wisdom, O kings;be warned, O rulers of the earth.
11
Serve the Lord with fearand fall at his feet;lest he be angry and you perishwhen his anger suddenly flares.Blessed are all who take refuge in him!
Verses 6–9 are like an oracle ofGod warning all nations that he him-self has crowned his Son in Zion, theholy hill of Jerusalem. He asks everyking to submit. This king is, of course,the Messiah, “God’s Anointed” (wecall him the Christ). His cause is thatof the innumerable poor who await his justice throughout the entire world.
The kings of the earth, the rulers
are not the only ones who persecute,but all those who wield power overpeople’s minds, who create publicopinion among the masses, and themafias, the powers of darkness. Godconfronts them and with him the vic-torious Anointed One who is called theSon.
PSALM 2PSALM 3How many are my enemies!
King David, like allChristians, has an ally more powerful than all his en-emies together: God.
2
O Lord, how great in number are my foes!How numerous are they who rise against me!
3
How many are they who say of my soul:“There is no help for him in God!”
4
But you are my shield, O Lord,my glory, you lift up my head.
5
Aloud I cry to the Lord,and from his holy hill he answers me.
6
If I lie down to sleep,

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