The psalm is addressed to the Sons of Korah, but attributed to Heman, son of Zerah, son of Judah by Tamar his daughter-in-law (1 Chronicles 2:3-6). That’s a mouthful and it requires you remember the sad stories of Judah’s sin regarding Tamar (Genesis 38). As such, this represents truly ancient wisdom, as Solomon is compared against the legendary wisdom of this psalmist (1 Kings 4:31) among others.
The Ancient Near Eastern wise men were not witch doctors, but their brand of deep wisdom is surely different from anything commonly found in Western society. Genuine Hebrew mystical awareness recognizes multiple levels of moral consideration in our human existence. This psalm is a contemplation; it is not meant to assert answers but to ask wise questions. It serves to indicate territory for exploration. What you find is between you and God. The contemplation covers only one of the many levels for moral consideration. If you take the language literally, you would conclude these are ignorant savages who don’t really know God. You would also miss the point completely, because from such is the source of our knowledge of God. To these Hebrew wise men He revealed Himself most clearly, so we best guard against the folly of literalism when reading Hebrew mystical poetry.
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