The Divine Lamp

The unfolding of thy words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple…Make thy face shine upon thy servant, and teach me thy statutes

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 66

Posted by Dim Bulb on July 4, 2013


THIS psalm consists of two clearly distinguished parts. The first (verses 1-12) is an invitation, addressed by different bodies of singers to all peoples, to sing the praises of the God of Israel. The first group of singers calls on the peoples (verses 1-4) to join in the chorus of God’s praise because of the greatness of His deeds. A second group of singers summons the nations (verses 5-7) to behold the special deeds of wonder which God has wrought for Israel; and a third group calls on the peoples (verses 8-12) to thank the God of Israel for His mercies towards His people. The second part of the psalm (verses 13-20) is the song of an individual who tells the pious of Israel of God’s favours and mercies towards himself, and of his vow to offer to the Lord a service of thanksgiving. There is no need to suppose that we have in the psalm the fusion of two originally distinct poems. The first part, dealing with God’s goodness to the nation of Israel, serves as a fitting introduction to the second which describes God’s mercy towards the individual singer. The psalm was apparently composed for liturgical use. It formed a portion of the thanksgiving service which the psalmist (and possibly his friends) had vowed to the Lord for help in some time of need. The date of the psalm cannot be determined. The Vulgate superscription Canticum psalmi resurrectionis is useless for purposes of dating. Psalm of uprising conveys no definite reference. Theodoret regarded it as implying that the psalm was composed to celebrate the safe return of the exiles from Babylon the return being a sort of resurrection (cf. Rom 11:15). But probably, the idea of a resurrection is due entirely to verse 9 of the psalm. The title in the Massoretic text does not contain anything corresponding to resurrectionis. It may be inferred from the psalm that the ritual of the Temple is still being carried on, so that the poem may be assigned to the monarchical period.

One Response to “Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 66”

  1. […] Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 66. […]

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