Kiln blog: Psalm 117

(Reposted in full due to brevity; source.)

Some people find significance in the observation that this is the middle chapter in the entire Protestant canon, and also the shortest chapter. In a few manuscripts it is considered part of either the previous or succeeding psalms, but there seems no justification for that.

It is still used as part of the “Hallel Psalms” at Passover. Some English translations probably capture the more recent Talmudic Jewish attitude with a tinge of nationalism, perhaps even racism. However, it’s hardly any challenge to see beyond that when you consider the more consistent prophetic attitude from both ends of the Bible. That prophetic word says the only reason for the advantages of the Covenant was so that the light of truth could be shined on those who did not have the Covenant, and the blessings could be shed abroad to those who didn’t belong under it. The whole idea is a welcoming invitation, not exclusion.

So perhaps we would benefit from an alternative translation that captures more of the original Hebrew flavor:

“Let every human living celebrate Jehovah; cheer loudly His name everyone! For His kind mercy prevails over all our needs, and the certitude of His Lordship remains stable into infinity. O celebrate Jehovah!”

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About Ed Hurst

Disabled Veteran, prophet of God's Laws, Bible History teacher, wannabe writer, volunteer computer technician, cyclist, Social Science researcher
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