Tour of a winepress Psalms - Psalms 8, 81, 84 – a view from the epicenter Psalm 81 p

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Tour of the winepress Psalms - Psalms 8, 81, 84 – a view from the epicenter Psalm 81

The group pressed on through the dark book of the Psalms, book 3, there were cries of distress heard mixed with trust and praise. We walked through a song sung to the music of lilies, passing though Psalm 80 and to avoid too quickly passing though the next, the tour guide motioned us to stop.

We looked at the marker in the distance in front of us. “If only my people would listen and hear my voice”

The group pondered as the guide told us “you are approaching the poetic epicenter." Bolzano, the Mathematician raised his hand and confidently said “Excuse me, we passed the center 8 Psalms ago, 150 divided by 2 would make the center between 75 and 76. End of proof?” The English major then raised her hand and just as confidently said “Often in a poem the most important theme is in the middle. There are 5 books. This is book 3, the center. There are 17 Psalms in this book and Psalm 81 is the center Psalm.” The guide responded, “That’s right, Leonie . And that is why this Psalm is considered by some to be the poetic center Psalm” . The guide told us we were hurrying through the dark book of the Psalms too quickly and needed to take the pace slower though this next Psalm.

We first entered Psalm 81 passing through the title. The guide asked “Observations?”

To the choirmaster: according to The Gittith. Of Asaph.

The historian spoke up. “Asaph was the head of a group of priests who David had sing on mount zion when the ark was moved there before there was any temple built yet.” “Gittith is in the plural and a variant of the city of Gath”, Leonie added. The political science major said “an instrument of music from a city of the enemies of Israel?” “Well Gath means winepress”, added Leonie. “a harvest theme?” The historian said “when the ark was moved to Mt Zion it was because the unbelieving Philistine city suffered plague and the ark was set but oddly ended up at Obededom the Gittite’s house for a while, God super blessing him” The guide added, “Perhaps instruments of Gath were taken by a believing Philistine, Obed Edom who ministered to God with the Ark for a time?” We don’t know for sure. A loud noise interrupted the conversation. The psychology major spoke up "or perhaps David after serving the Philistines for a time brought it back." "A studied ambiguity? Mixing harvest, redemption, victory themes?", Leonie wondered.

Sing aloud to God our strength;
shout for joy to the God of Jacob!
2 Raise a song; sound the tambourine,
the sweet lyre with the harp.

As we entered there was singing. “I hear singing”, the musician noted with delight. “Yes, and the words spoken loudly and with a tone of delight, Thomas” , added the psychology major. “Ahhh!! Tambourines and the lyre and harp. And trumpets! Trumpets at the new moon” , Thomas smiled, more pleased. The historian of the group piped up. “In ancient Israel when a new moon was seen for the festival the first to see it would yell ‘consecrated!!!’ and go to the priests and tell them”.

3 Blow the trumpet at the new moon,
at the full moon, on our feast day.

“More trumpets!” Thomas was beside himself. “Trumpets at the full moon?” Now he was bewildered. The mathematician tried to help. “Perhaps, Thomas, the worship was to be monotonic in nature?” Leonie smiled, "let me transalte, monotonic means not reversing direction. Monotonic increase in one way. Always an increase. Always increasing in worship as is from new moon to full The historian tried to help. Perhaps, there is only one month with festival at both the new moon and full moon: the end of the old year and the beginning of the new. Bolzano pondered both answers. The theater and history major both were delighted at the pageantry of history they walked through nest. We could see Joseph going into Egypt with his family, then Moses and the exodus acted out before us.

For it is a statute for Israel,
a rule ] of the God of Jacob.
5 He made it a decree in Joseph
when he went out over[c] the land of Egypt.
I hear a language I had not known:
6 “I relieved your shoulder of the burden;
your hands were freed from the basket.

‘Joseph? Moses? Exodus?’ wondered the historian to himself. “But that would be the Passover, not the Feast of trumpets Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah of the end of the year and beginning of the next”. Leonie tried to help. “sometimes an author might leave something ambiguous so as to be more broadly applied?”

7 In distress you called, and I delivered you;
I answered you in the secret place of thunder;
I tested you at the waters of Meribah.

"God was put on trial at Meribah as the rock and was struck", Leonie said. The group soberly and thoughtfully pondered what they saw.
"They complained against Moses and God told them to stand before the rock, holding a trial as it were and instead of Moses being struck,
the rock was struck. And after the punishment, life giving water came. But who does the rock represent?"

I am the LORD your God,
who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.

“It just hit me, the Psalmist has been speaking in the first person” Leonie said. And this in no ordinary first person. "I am the LORD your God"

10 “But my people did not listen to my voice;
Israel would not submit to me.

The tour guide spoke up. “We are at the center of the center. This is the central theme of this Psalm and arguably the poetic center of the book of Psalms.
'If only My people would listen to Me' "

Bolzano observed, "Said twice"
Leonie added, "If you could restated with variety, said at least three times."

12 So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts,
to follow their own counsels.
13 Oh, that my people would listen to me,
that Israel would walk in my ways!
14 how quickly I would subdue their enemies
and turn my hand against their foes!
15 Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him,
and their punishment would last forever.

The psychologist thought to himself, "Gave them over to follow their own counsel...."
The musician thought to himself, " If the gittith is a instrument from Gath, then fitting to use it song about a reversal of justice against enemies. A win over Goliath types?"
The historian thought to himself, "how quickly, how soon God would act if they repented?"

But he would feed you with the finest of the wheat,
and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”

Leonie looked confused. "I, he, I? God was speaking in first person and now the Psalmist said ‘he will feed you, second person’ and then back to first ‘I would satisfy you’ ? What do you make of that"

The guide smiled. “The rock is the one to come. God was put on trial and punished at Meribah as the rock and was struck and so will the one to come and he will fill and satisfy you. the life giving one who will be struck.

Leonie asked the last question before they moved on , "Open your mouth wide and I will fille it..... I.... how does that work with one who is to come doing the filling...I?

The guide said, :Take note of Asaph, he wrote more chapters of the Bible than Peter, James or Jude." And the tour pressed on, moving from the Psalms of Asaph, toward those of the Sons of Korah.
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I see there is some controversy whether parts of titles are postscripts or superscripts. Anyone know what the most likely is? Or how one might decide?
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