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Psalm 12

Here is a parsing of Psalm 12 by Chris Wooldridge, which makes the beauty of its structure apparent. Several of its Stanzas reflect the overall shape of the Psalm by placing the wicked and their boasts at the end. Most interestingly, the Maturity Stanza ‘refines’ the words by running the order backwards. 1For the skeptics, Chris saw this quite independently, and yet it is something I have also observed. See If I Could Turn Back Time.

A hyphenated-word-block indicates a single Hebrew word, with each word being | separated | by a line and double spacing on each side.

Psalm 12

To-the-chief-musician (Word)
——————————–
Upon  |  Sheminith2“eighth” (an eight-stringed instrument) Hitchcock’s Dictionary of Bible Names. (Sacrament)
——————————–
A-psalm | of-David (Government)

TRANSCENDENCE

Creation

TRANSCENDENCE
Help | Yahweh! (Sabbath – Authority)
HIERARCHY
For | ceases/ends (Passover – Leaven cut off)
ETHICS
The-godly-man, (Ascension – Covenant Head: Singular Seed)
For | blotted-out-are (Testing – Wilderness)
The-faithful (Maturity – Covenant Body: Much Fruit)
OATH/SANCTIONS
from-among-the-sons (High Priest and Beloved King)
SUCCESSION
of-men. (All Adams, All Nations)

Placing Yahweh in the first line highlights this as a call to His authority over all life. Notice the symmetry between the cutting off of the godly at Passover and the singled-out “sons” of the faithful at Atonement. The central Line is usually translated “vanish” or “disappear,” but it is also the word for “blotting out,” which in the Bible has legal connotations. At Conquest, there are “sons”, but the godly are not amongst them. 3It is interesting that the selection of David (“Beloved”) and Christ (the “beloved Son”) both appear at Conquest / Baptism in their respective passages. There, and here, God looks upon the heart, and circumcision of the flesh becomes meaningless.

HIERARCHY

Division

Vanity  |  they-speak, (Transcendence)
Every-man  |  with  |  his-friend, (Hierarchy)
With-lips  |  that-are-flattering, (Ethics)
With-a-heart  |  and-a-heart (Sanctions)
Do-they-speak. (Succession)

This Stanza puts the words of Man in the place of the Word of God. At Transcendence, instead of a true revelation, we have only vanity. Instead of Division, we have all men united against God as a false Hierarchy, giving God only lip service at Ethics. Instead of the “division” of sacrificial sanctification, we have men before God as false witnesses. The heart is mentioned twice because it is a double-heartedness driving their forked tongue. Succession is about Representation of the Father. Despite their outward religion, these men represent only themselves.

ETHICS

Ascension (Law Given – Priest)

Shall-cut-off  |  Yahweh (Creation)
All  |  lips  |  that-are-flattering (Division)
The-tongue  |  that-speaks  |  lofty-things, (Ascension)
Who  |  have-said (Testing)
“With-our-tongue  |  shall-we-prevail, (Maturity)
Our-lips  |  are-our-own, (Conquest)
Who | is-lord  |  to-us?” (Glorification)

Here, the nature of the “lip” as a religious confession becomes clear. Instead of listening to God (a priestly act), the boasts of the wicked are “lofty,” that is, they pretend to be the Words from the mountain of God (Acts 12:22). As the “Levitical” Stanza, instead of moving (chiastically) into the Most Holy and out again, as did the High Priest, the action moves from heaven, through the lips and tongue into the human heart and out again, but what comes out defiles the Man (Matthew 15:11).

Testing (Law Opened – King)

“From-the-destruction  |  of-the-poor (Creation)
To-the-lamentation  |  of-the-needy, (Division)
Now  |  will-I-arise!” (Ascension)
Says  |  Yahweh, (Testing)
“I-will-stand (Maturity)
Him-in-victory (Conquest)
From-him-who-snorts  |  unto-him.” (Glorification)

Line 1 concerns the false authority of these men. Line 2 is the groaning response of those under their authority. But Yahweh is on the true throne. Though He sits as a King, He stands as a Priest on behalf of the oppressed and speaks as a Prophet. Notice that the Lord is now the “Head” and the oppressed are the “Body.” The puach in Line 7 is possibly an ironic ruach, that is, it is the breath of life given by God to Man “puffed” at the helpless in defiance of God. Instead of being God’s Shekinah, the false kings have given their members to the serpent and fashioned a dragon (Genesis 3:14-15). In doing so, Man kindles God’s nostrils, an expression which almost always has reference to His anger against oppressors of widows and orphans.

Maturity (Law Received – Prophet)

The-words  |  of-Yahweh (Booths)
Are-words  |  that-are-clean, (Atonement)
As-silver (Trumpets)
Tested  |  in-a-furnace (Pentecost)
On-the-land, (Firstfruits)
Refined (Passover)
Sevenfold. (Sabbath)

In the “Prophet” Stanza, the words of Yahweh are contrasted with the words of men. The pattern works backwards (as does Day 5 in Genesis 1), which may refer to the Lord’s ability to bring abundance from nothing, or reversing the process of decay as we see in Ezekiel 37. Silver usually appears at Line 5 as “Bridal plunder.” The purpose seems to be tracing God’s Words back to their pure source, the sevenfold Spirit. Putting Booths in Line 1 makes Yahweh both the true father of the helpless and also their shelter.

OATH/SANCTIONS

Conquest (Coverings)

Them,  |  Yahweh, (Transcendence)
You-shall-keep. (Hierarchy)
You-shall-guard-them (Ethics)
From  |  generation  |  this (Oath/Sanctions)
Unto-the-ages. (Succession)

This Stanza corresponds to the Day of Atonement (Coverings), where the Lord, as High Priest, or Joshua, speaks both blessing and cursing with His two-edged tongue to destroy His enemies and redeem His friends. Yahweh sets apart (sanctifies) the righteous at Hierarchy, He is the fiery cloud in the wilderness at Ethics, and at Sanctions we learn what those in His charge are being protected from: this wicked generation. Israel herself was being divided in two, those with integrity from those who were double-tongued. However, that generation is cast out, since the Succession Line makes it clear that unlike the wicked and their false oaths, the righteous have a future.

SUCCESSION

Glorification (Representation)

All-around (Transcendence – Genesis)
The-wicked  |  walk (Hierarchy – Exodus)
And-are-raised-up (Ascension – Leviticus)
The-vilest (Testing – Numbers)
Of-the-children (Maturity – Deuteronomy)
Of-Adam (Sanctions – Joshua)
(No Succession)

The final Stanza condemns the wicked. “All around” refers architecturally to the uncircumcised, although here it is Israelites behaving like pagans, those called to be priests acting like kings. They are “raised up” and enthroned at Ascension but when jealously inspected at Testing they are found to be vile or worthless. The mention of  “children” at Maturity is ironic, since these are the offspring of the serpent, the one who attempted to murder the generations promised to Adam. There is no Succession to this Stanza, because the wicked are given no Rest. Those who refuse God as their Father will see their own children cut off. The situation in Stanza 1 is now “backwards” or reversed.

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Since Chris is so keen and capable, we are together working on parsing the first book of Psalms (1-41) and hope to have it published early next year.

References   [ + ]

1. For the skeptics, Chris saw this quite independently, and yet it is something I have also observed. See If I Could Turn Back Time.
2. “eighth” (an eight-stringed instrument) Hitchcock’s Dictionary of Bible Names.
3. It is interesting that the selection of David (“Beloved”) and Christ (the “beloved Son”) both appear at Conquest / Baptism in their respective passages. There, and here, God looks upon the heart, and circumcision of the flesh becomes meaningless.

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