Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
French Countryside near Bannalec

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Canonical Reading Plan for Jul 3, Psa 103-105



Today’s readings are Psa 103-105.

Psa 103 - David's praise for God's forgiveness

Let's look at Psalm 103 and how it is structured, for a moment. There is a literary device, in Hebrew poetry, known as a chiasm, an intersection of two divergent literary paths. There are usually two paths, one leading up to the main point and the other leading away from it. In a chiasma, the point of intersection is the primary point of the passage. Generally, it can be seen in the grouping of two or three verses, running in a pattern like this: A > B > C > B > A, with the "C" group being the primary emphasis. Psalm 103 is a large chiasm. It is structured like this;

A-Praise (v 1)
     B-The God who meets our needs (v 2-5)
          C-The God who does right (v 6)
               D- The God who reveals Himself to Israel (v 7)
                    E-The eternal mercy of God (v 8-9)
                         F-How God does not deal (v 10)
                              G-Comparisons to God's excellencies (v 11-14)
                              G1-Comparisons to man's frailties (v 15)
                         F1-How God does not deal (v 16)
                    E1-The eternal mercy of God (v 17a)
               D1-The God who does right (v 17b)
          C1-To those who do His precepts (v 18)
     B1-All God rules is to bless Him (v 19-22a)
A1-Praise (v 22b)

The Psalm starts out with praise (A), leads up to the main point of comparing God's excellencies to man's frailness (G, G1) then leads back to praise (A1). 

Chiasms are sometimes labeled chiasmata. Both words are also used as medical terms. As a literary device, they require some hard work but can be very rewarding. 

Psa 104 - Praise (The Psalmist extols God's providential care)
Psa 105 - Praise (The Psalmist extols God's wonderful works)

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