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Luke 8:40-56

A. 40 And it came to pass, that, when Jesus was returned, the people gladly received him: for they were all waiting for him.41 And, behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue: and he fell down at Jesus’ feet, and besought him that he would come into his house: 42 For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying.

2A. But as he went the people thronged him.43 And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any,

2B. 44 Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched.

2C. 45 And Jesus said, Who touched me?

2D. When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?

2C’. 46 And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.

2B’. 47 And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately.

2A’. 48 And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.

B. 49 While he yet spake, there cometh one from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, Thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master.

C. 50 But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.

B’. 51 And when he came into the house, he suffered no man to go in, save Peter, and James, and John, and the father and the mother of the maiden. 52 And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth. 53 And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead.

A’. 54 And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise. 55 And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and he commanded to give her meat. 56 And her parents were astonished: but he charged them that they should tell no man what was done.

Psalm 119

Does this alphabetic acrostic psalm have other structural features? Readers may be interested in the following  quoted from Professor Casper Labuschagne

– Christensen ( discerns a regular structure of the 22 alphabetic units (cantos) and finds 44 strophes of 4 verselines each. The 22 cantos are outlined in a ‘nested’ menorah pattern, a menorah within a menorah within a menorah, as follows:

1-8, 9-16, 17-24 {25-32, 33-40, 41-48 [49-56, 57-64, 65-72 (73-80, 81-88, 89-96, 97-104) 105-112, 113-120, 121-128] 129-136, 137-144, 145-152} 153-160, 161-168, 169-176.

Additionally, on prosodic grounds, he detects a larger sevenfold structure, which is supposed to overlie his presumed ‘nested’ menorah structures. It consists of 7 cantica outlined in a menorah pattern, which is similar to the menorah I propose. The 176 Masoretic verses divide into: 1-24, 25-48, 49-72, 73-104, 105-128, 129-152, 153-176.

Canticum I vs. 1-24             3 cantos 24 verselines
Canticum II vs. 25-48         3 cantos 24 verselines
Canticum III vs. 49-72        3 cantos 24 verselines
Canticum IV vs. 73-104     4 cantos 32 verselines
Canticum V vs. 105-128    3 cantos 24 verselines
Canticum VI vs.129-152    3 cantos 24 verselines
Canticum VII vs.153-176   3 cantos 24 verselines

Psalm 128

A. 1 Blessed (eser) is every one that feareth the LORD;
that walketh in his ways.

B. 2 For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands:
happy (eser) shalt thou be, and it shall be well (tob) with thee.

C.3 Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house:
thy children like olive plants round about thy table.

A’. 4 Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed (barak) that feareth the LORD.

B’. 5 The LORD shall bless (barak) thee out of Zion:
and thou shalt see the good (tub) of Jerusalem all the days of thy life.

C’. 6 Yea, thou shalt see thy children’s children,
and peace upon Israel.

Psalm 127*

Note: D J Estes, Like Arrows in the Hand of a Warrior (Psalm CXXVII), Vetus Testamentum, Vol. 41, (Jul., 1991), pp. 304-311, indicates that at least one author has suggested a chiastic structure, perhaps linking the house with children and the gates with the city.

A. 1 Except the LORD build the house,
they labour in vain that build it:
except the LORD keep the city,
the watchman waketh but in vain.

B.2 It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late,
to eat the bread of sorrows:
for so he giveth his beloved sleep.

B’. 3 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD:
and the fruit of the womb is his reward.

A’. 4 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man;
so are children of the youth.
5. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them:
they shall not be ashamed,
but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

Psalm 117

A. 1 O praise the LORD, all ye nations:
praise him, all ye people.

B. 2 For his merciful kindness is great toward us:

B’. and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever.

A’. Praise ye the LORD (Yah).

Note:  verse 1 of this shortest of Psalms is quoted by the Apostle in Romans 15. Interestingly the context makes reference to  the mercy and truth of the Lord – although in reverse order.

“8 Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers: 9 And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name. 10 And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people. 11 And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye people. 12 And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust.

Psalm 99

Note: The Psalm is in three part with a refrain to do with the holiness of YHWH, after each section. The first section describes the Lord as king reigning from the mercy seat. The second section focuses on the king aspect, the third upon the priestly aspect. 

A1. 1 The LORD reigneth; let the people tremble:
he sitteth between the cherubims; let the earth be moved.
2 The LORD is great in Zion; and he is high above all the people.

B1. 3 Let them praise thy great and terrible namefor it is holy.

A2. 4 The king’s strength also loveth judgment;
thou dost establish equity,
thou executest judgment and righteousness in Jacob.

B2.  5 Exalt ye the LORD our God,and worship at his footstool;
for he is holy.

A3.  a. 6 Moses and Aaron among his priests,
and Samuel among them that call upon his name;

b. they called upon the LORD, and he answered them.

c. 7 He spake unto them in the cloudy pillar:
they kept his testimonies, and the ordinance that he gave them.

b’. 8 Thou answeredst them, O LORD our God:

a’. thou wast a God that forgavest them,
though thou tookest vengeance of their inventions.

B3.  9 Exalt the LORD our God,and worship at his holy hill;
for the LORD our God is holy.

Note: vv 6 and 8 pair Moses, Aaron and Samuel with forgiveness. Moses and Samuel especially are known for interceding with God to forgive Israel. 

Psalm 106

Note: The structure of Psalm 106 is very difficult to pin down (see earlier posts), though there are obvious similarities between the beginning and end of the Psalm. One significant issue is why are the events of Israel’s history record out of strict chronological order? The effect appears to be to centre on the idolatry at Horeb, either side of which are incidents in the wilderness, although these are not strictly chronological. Each incident has a response from the Lord. One thing to note is that Moses is mentioned three times – firstly as an object of jealously, secondly as intercessor, and thirdly as speaking inadvisedly. Perhaps the focus is on the need for a greater than Moses to intercede for the sins of the people. 

The following is put forward for debate and comment. 

A. 1 Praise ye the The LORD.

O give thanks unto the The LORD; for he is good:
for his mercy endureth for ever.
2 Who can utter the mighty acts of the The LORD?
who can shew forth all his praise?
3 Blessed are they that keep judgment,
and he that doeth righteousness at all times.

B. Salvation
4 Remember me, O The LORD,
with the favour that thou bearest unto thy people:
O visit me with thy salvation;
5 That I may see the good of thy chosen,
that I may rejoice in the gladness of thy nation,
that I may glory with thine inheritance.

C. In Egypt and at the Red Sea
a. 6 We have sinned with our fathers,
we have committed iniquity, we have done wickedly.
7 Our fathers understood not thy wonders in Egypt;
they remembered not the multitude of thy mercies;
but provoked him at the sea, even at the Red sea.

b. 8 Nevertheless he saved them for his name’s sake,
that he might make his mighty power to be known.
9 He rebuked the Red sea also, and it was dried up:
so he led them through the depths, as through the wilderness.
10 And he saved them from the hand of him that hated them,
and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy.
11 And the waters covered their enemies:
there was not one of them left.

D. In the wilderness
a. 12 Then believed they his words;
they sang his praise.
13 They soon forgat his works;
they waited not for his counsel:
14 But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness,
and tempted God in the desert.

b. 15 And he gave them their request;
but sent leanness into their soul.

2a. 16 They envied Moses also in the camp,
and Aaron the saint of The LORD.

2b. 17 the earth opened and swallowed up Dathan,
and covered the company of Abiram.
18 And a fire was kindled in their company;
the flame burned up the wicked.

E. In Horeb
a. 19 They made a calf in Horeb,
and worshipped the molten image.
20 Thus they changed their glory
into the similitude of an ox that eateth grass.
21 They forgat God their saviour,
which had done  great things in Egypt;
22 Wondrous works in the land of Ham,
and terrible things by the Red sea.

b. 23 Therefore he said that he would destroy them,
had not Moses his chosen stood before him in the breach,
to turn away his wrath, lest he should destroy them.

D’. In the wilderness
a. 24 Yea, they despised the pleasant land,
they believed not his word:
25 But murmured in their tents,
and hearkened not unto the voice of the The LORD.

b. 26 Therefore he lifted up his hand against them,
to overthrow them in the wilderness:
27 To overthrow their seed also among the nations,
and to scatter them in the lands.

2a. 28 They joined themselves also unto Baal-peor,
and ate the sacrifices of the dead.
29 Thus they provoked him to anger with their inventions:
and the plague brake in upon them.

2b. 30 Then stood up Phinehas, and executed judgment:
and so the plague was stayed.
31 And that was counted unto him for righteousness
unto all generations for evermore.

3a. 32 They angered him also at the waters of strife,

3b. so that it went ill with Moses for their sakes:
33 Because they provoked his spirit,
so that he spake unadvisedly with his lips.

C’. in Canaan – (see Judges) 
a.34 They did not destroy the nations,
concerning whom The LORD commanded them:
35 But were mingled among the heathen,
and learned their works.
36 And they served their idols:
which were a snare unto them.
37 Yea, they sacrifice their sons and their daughters unto devils,
38 And shed innocent blood,
even the blood of their sons and of their daughters,
whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan:
and the land was polluted with blood.
39 Thus were they defiled with their own works,
and went a whoring with their own inventions.

b. 40 Therefore was the wrath of The LORD kindled against his people,
insomuch that he abhorred his own inheritance.
41 And he gave them into the hand of the heathen;
and they that hated them ruled over them.
42 Their enemies also oppressed them,
and they were brought into subjection under their hand.
43 Many times did he deliver them;
but they provoked him with their counsel,
and were brought low for their iniquity.
44 Nevertheless he regarded their affliction,
when he heard their cry:
45 And he remembered for them his covenant,
and repented according to the multitude of his mercies.
46 He made them also to be pitied of all those that carried them captives.

B’. 47 save us, O The LORD our God,
and gather us from among the heathen,

A’. to give thanks unto thy holy name,
and to triumph in thy praise.

48 Blessed be the The LORD God of Israel
from everlasting to everlasting:
and let all the people say, Amen.

Praise ye the The LORD.

Psalm 108

Note: This psalm poses a significant challenge for interpretation inasmuch as it is made up of two halves of two other psalms. The first part of psalm 108 is the second part of psalm 57. The second part of psalm 108 is the second part of psalm 60. Both contributory psalms, 57 and 60, have unusually detailed introductions, the first about David in a cave fleeing Saul, and the second about an incident prior to Joab’s victory over Edom when David was king. In the first, David is fleeing unjust persecution. In the second, the psalm suggests that Israel is being chastened by the Lord. Psalm 108 therefore brings together the celebrations of deliverance from two different scenarios. Interestingly the connecting sentence between the two parts begins with the repeated refrain of psalm 57 – “ Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: and thy glory above all the earth”. All suggestions welcome.

A Song or Psalm of David.

From Psalm 57:7-11
1 O God, my heart is fixed;
I will sing and give praise,
even with my glory.
2 Awake, psaltery and harp:
I myself will awake early.
3 I will praise thee, O LORD, among the people:
and I will sing praises unto thee among the nations.
4 For thy mercy is great above the heavens:
and thy truth reacheth unto the clouds.

5 Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens:
and thy glory above all the earth;
6 That thy beloved may be delivered:
save with thy right hand, and answer me.

7 God hath spoken in his holiness;
I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem,
and mete out the valley of Succoth.
8 Gilead is mine; Manasseh is mine;
Ephraim also is the strength of mine head;
Judah is my lawgiver;
9 Moab is my washpot;
over Edom will I cast out my shoe;
over Philistia will I triumph.

10 Who will bring me into the strong city?
who will lead me into Edom?
11 Wilt not thou, O God, who hast cast us off?
and wilt not thou, O God, go forth with our hosts?

12 Give us help from trouble:
for vain is the help of man.
13 Through God we shall do valiantly:
for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.

From Psalm 60:5-12

Psalm 98

A Psalm.

A. 1 O sing unto the LORD a new song;
for he hath done marvellous things:
his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.
2 The LORD hath made known his salvation:
his righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen.
3 He hath remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel:
all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

B. a. 4 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth:
make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.

b. 5 Sing unto the LORD with the harp;
with the harp, and the voice of a psalm.

a’. 6 With trumpets and sound of cornet
make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King.

A’. 7 Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof;
the world, and they that dwell therein.
8 Let the floods clap their hands:
let the hills be joyful together
9 Before the LORD; for he cometh to judge the earth:
with righteousness shall he judge the world,
and the people with equity.

Psalm 65

Note. The psalm appears to be in three parts with a hint of chiastic inversion within each. The first is about the grace of God which forgives sins and allows us to fellowship with Him. The second is about the worldwide reach of God’s salvation, and the third is a picture of a harvest cycle and the rain that softens the earth and allows ploughing, sowing and growth – a metaphor for the blessing of the Kingdom of God.

To the chief Musician, A Psalm and Song of David.

A. 1 Praise waiteth for thee, O God, in Sion:
and unto thee shall the vow be performed.
2 O thou that hearest prayer,
unto thee shall all flesh come.

B. 3 Iniquities prevail against me:
as for our transgressions, thou shalt purge them away.

B’. 4 Blessed is the man whom thou choosest,
and causest to approach unto thee,
that he may dwell in thy courts:

A’. we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house,
even of thy holy temple.

A. 5 By terrible (yare) things in righteousness wilt thou answer us, O God of our salvation;
who art the confidence of all the ends of the earth,
and of them that are afar off upon the sea:

B. 6 Which by his strength setteth fast the mountains;
being girded with power:

B’. 7 Which stilleth the noise of the seas,
the noise of their waves, and the tumult of the people.

A’. 8 They also that dwell in the uttermost parts are afraid (yare) at thy tokens:
thou makest the outgoings of the morning and evening to rejoice.

A. 9 Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it:
thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water:
thou preparest them corn, when thou hast so provided for it.

B. 10 – growth –  Thou waterest the ridges thereof abundantly:
thou settlest the furrows thereof:
thou makest it soft with showers:
thou blessest the springing thereof.

B’. – harvest – 11 Thou crownest the year with thy goodness;
and thy paths drop fatness.
12 They drop upon the pastures of the wilderness:
and the little hills rejoice on every side.

A’. 13 The pastures are clothed with flocks;
the valleys also are covered over with corn;
they shout for joy, they also sing.