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Case Study on Psalm 101 - Term Paper Example

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Case Study on Psalm 101

Historical Analysis Psalm 101 was written “for the occasion of the enthronement of a Judahite king”3 and the glorification of the Davidic king’s example of virtue and righteousness. In fact, Psalm 101 is known as “David’s mirror of a monarch”4. It may have actually been written during the time _____________ 1Jerome F. D. Creach, The Destiny of the Righteous in the Psalms (2008): 107. 2James Douglas Grant Dunn, “God-Talk for a Disillusioned Pilgrim in Psalm 21,” Eerdmas Commentary on the Bible (2003): 413. 3Michael L. Barre, “The Shifting Forces of Psalm 101,” The Book of Psalms: Composition and Reception, vol. 99 (2005): 206. 4James Luther Mays, “Psalm 101: The Way of Integrity,” Psalms (1989): 321. when David was sworn in as king over all of Israel, and he wrote this as a pledge of allegiance to God5. This could have then taken place in 1002 BC6. Literacy Background Psalm 101 uses a number of poetic devices in order to convey the message of royal conduct, virtue and integrity. Among these are metonymies like “my house” in the line “I will conduct the affairs of my house/ with a blameless heart”7. The word “house” here does not necessarily mean the house where one lives but rather the whole kingdom that one holds and rules, for it is a king that is assumed to be speaking in Psalm 101. Nevertheless, the use of the word “house” somehow implies that the king considers his own kingdom as something that is of his immediate responsibility. Another metaphor in Psalm 101 is the line “I will put to silence”8 as a form of punishment. Putting someone to silence may mean something imposing a punishment on a criminal that will teach him a hard lesion and make him not commit the same wrongdoing ever again. “Haughty eyes” and “proud heart”9 are also two other phrases that speak of a person’s character rather metonymically. Both haughty eyes and a proud heart only mean one thing: pride. This pride is one thing that displeases God, and the fact that this verse on pride _______________ 5Barre, “The Shifting Focus of Psalm 101, The Book of Psalms: Composition and Reception, volume 99 (2005): 206. 6David M. Carr & Colleen M. Conway, An Introduction to the Bible: Sacred Texts and Imperial Contexts: Composition and Reception (2010): 234. 7Ps. 101:2, New International Version. 8Ps. 101:5, 8. 9Ps. 101:5. on “slandering [one’s] neighbor in secret”10 implies that those who slander their neighbor are actually proud and haughty people. Nevertheless, the point is clear – haughtiness and pride displeases God. Structural Outline of Psalm 121 The basic structure of Psalm 101 is uneven because there is a problem “where to mark off its second major division”11. In fact, as discussed by Barre, the second line of verse 2: “when will you come to me?” does not seem to be a part of the first or the second stanzas for this particular line is a question of longing while the rest of the first and second stanzas are the king’s promises to God. The first strophe, or verses 1 and 2, is all about the Psalter’s exaltation of the Lord and his desire to live the blameless life. The second strophe, or verses 3 to 5, is all about the description of the negative things that the Psalter or the king himself is supposed to do12. Among the people condemned here are those with faithless (Ps. 101:3), those with “perverse of heart” (Ps. 101:4), and those who “slander their neighbor in secret ...Show more

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(Name) (Professor) (Subject) (Date) Royal Conduct in Psalm 101 Although Psalm 101 is regarded as a royal psalm, for it somehow demonstrates how a king is supposed to behave in ensuring his own integrity and in maintaining that of his cabinet and ministers1…
Author : kbarton
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