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 8

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 17, 2016


THE glory of God, as shown forth in nature and in man, is the theme of this poem. God s wondrous greatness can every where be seen. It is reflected especially in the heavens. When it is hymned by infant lips it disarms the enemies of God. Over against the great glory of God, man appears so trifling that it is strange that God should give any thought to him. Yet God has taken such deep interest in him, that He has given him a greatness far above that of nature, a greatness only less than divine. This kindness of God towards man only serves to show forth more fully His greatness. The poem ends with the same awestruck confession of God s glory with which it began.

The song seems to be a song of the vintage season. The glory of the nightly heavens is so emphasised that we may, perhaps, suppose that it was sung in the night time. Possibly it was sung during a night-watch in the Temple during the feast of Tabernacles. It may have been composed by David as a jneditation on the glory of God, without any reference to liturgical use. The appropriation to a vintage-festival, like Tabernacles, implied in Pro torcularibus, is not necessarily Davidic.


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