Lectionary Year A
October 6, 2002
Psalm 19

Step II: Disposition

A. Genre

(JFC) These poetic lines seem to be extolling the beauty of creation and further exalting its meaning as witnessing to God's Word and presence as well as its power and endurance. Then it changes subjects to praise the effectiveness of God's Law and how beneficial it is/can be. Proper observance of that Law can bring great rewards, while admitting the questionable-ness of proper/sincere(?) confessions of sinfulness. It concludes with a prayer for God's accepting the pray-ers' utterances and reflections. The language is picturesque. It uses many parallelisms describing the same entity, quite well.

B. Personal Interaction

(JFC) Is the heat of the sun an image of favor in the ancient Near East where deserts and such climates seem to disfavor raising crops to say nothing of trying to live bearably? Is the fear of Yahweh (ta;r>yI) understood by the recipients of this part of the written Word of God and the recitation of same, to be reverence and respect more than fears of terrorists, for example? What are presumptuous sins and how do they differ from ordinary ones? What does the direct address at the close of this Psalm mean to suggest? And, are there two different Psalms combined into one here?

C. Organization

(JFC) The heat of the sun is at the end of verse 7. The fear of the Lord is in the tenth verse. The direct address to God is in the 15th verse. The second different Psalm might begin with the eighth verse (Hebrew number). And, conceivably, the final verse could be a much-used chorus appealing to God to receive such prayers as they are rendered.

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