Israel and Psalms 83

According to this AOL article, some manuscripts of the Psalms dating back to 800-1000AD were excavated in Ireland last tuesday.

There are some interesting improbable coincidences to this story.

First is its sheer preservation. According to the director of the National Museum of Ireland, "This is really a miracle find…. there’s two sets of odds that make this discovery really way out. First of all, it’s unlikely that something this fragile could survive buried in a bog at all, and then for it to be unearthed and spotted before it was destroyed is incalculably more amazing".

Second is this fact: "the book was found open to a page describing, in Latin script, Psalm 83, in which God hears complaints of other nations’ attempts to wipe out the name of Israel."

Timely, isn’t it?

Psalm 83 on my RSV translation reads as follows:

A Song. A Psalm of Asaph.
O God, do not keep silence; do not hold thy peace or be still, O God! For lo, thy enemies are in tumult; those who hate thee have raised their heads. They lay crafty plans against thy people; they consult together against thy protected ones. They say, "Come, let us wipe them out as a nation; let the name of Israel be remembered no more!" Yea, they conspire with one accord; against thee they make a covenant – the tents of Edom and the Ish’maelites, Moab and the Hagrites, Gebal and Ammon and Am’alek, Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assyria also has joined them; they are the strong arm of the children of Lot. [Selah] Do to them as thou didst to Mid’ian, as to Sis’era and Jabin at the river Kishon, who were destroyed at En-dor, who became dung for the ground. Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb, all their princes like Zebah and Zalmun’na, who said, "Let us take possession for ourselves of the pastures of God." O my God, make them like whirling dust, like chaff before the wind. As fire consumes the forest, as the flame sets the mountains ablaze, so do thou pursue them with thy tempest and terrify them with thy hurricane! Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek thy name, O LORD. Let them be put to shame and dismayed for ever; let them perish in disgrace. [ (Psalms 83:19) Let them know that thou alone, whose name is the LORD, art the Most High over all the earth. ]

It seems the situation has not changed much for the Israelis.


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