Monday, June 4, 2012

Scripture study: Psalms 120: 5-7

Psalms 120:5-7:
"Woe is me, that I sojourn in Mesech
that I dwell in the tents of Kedar!
My soul hath long dwelt
with him that hateth peace.
I am for peace: but when I speak
they are for war."

Psalms 120 is the first so-called "Song of Degrees." I like the suggestion by one Bible scholar that the fifteen psalms thusly designated may have been chanted by the Jewish priests as the pilgrims ascended the fifteen steps to the temple, one psalm per step.

Christian scholar Stephen Kaung suggests that the Songs of Degrees also lay out the believer's journey of conversion.

In Psalms 120, the soul who is becoming spiritually reborn, becomes disturbed as he surveys his sinful environment. Old ways and sometimes even old friends, no longer appeal.

Mesech, believed to have been in Anatolia (cf. also Herodotus III:94, Moschi or Tibarenes), and Kedar, a people in Arabia descended from Ishmael,(Gen 25:13,) were proverbial as places beyond civilization; barbarous and savage.

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