theology of imprecatory psalms

But he is invoking the Mosaic covenant, which we are told is now obsoletewith the coming of Christ (Heb. The article concludes by suggesting that the deadlock in approaches could be resolved by an in-depth exegesis of the specific psalms taking into account the divergent presuppositions of contemporary interpreters. This article looks at some interpretive issues regarding the so-called imprecatory psalms, focusing on the debate within reformed and evangelical circles. The Book of Psalms is a sizable collection of musical poems and prayers of diverse authorship and form. the imprecatory psalms and the Pauline and Petrine curses of Gal. Following is a sample of imprecations in the Psalms. Are You Ready For Wolf Attacks? 59 Sigmund Mowinckel. Thus, examining Psalms 69, 109, and 137 as exemplars of imprecatory psalms, we will ask whether the view of God’s justice in these psalms is aligned to the view of God’s two-sided justice that encompasses the whole Psalter. It is important to note that Baptist scholars like Spurgeon, Lockyer and Luc62 tend to favour the view that the imprecations are prophetic utterances, while Presbyterian and Reformed scholars, who emphasise the continuity between the Old and New Testaments, are inclined to view the imprecations as covenant curses. 83 Day, "The Imprecatory Psalms and Christian Ethics." Lists of such psalms vary, with some including 10 or 14 psalms. Psalms may depict reactions of unbelief, but also reactions that are normative. This portion of Psalm 137 is one of various “imprecatory psalms” (Pss. 20 Peter C. Craigie, Psalms 1-50, 41. H.M. Wilkins (London Oxford, 1853), 5.213. The Psalter is a reflection of the spiritual and emotional life of believers. 13:16), which incidentally also have a covenantal basis.47. Judgment comes on Israel's enemies "in accordance with the provisions of the Abrahamic covenant. So, You Want To Downplay Doctrine? 94 Wendland, Analyzing the Psalms, 48. 2008. Since no exegesis can be done free from presuppositions, one should be well aware of one's own premises when interpreting imprecatory passages in the psalms. The mere definition of imprecatory psalms and the scope of these psalms make the study of these psalms a challenging enterprise. Ps 109; Isa 14:20-21; 47:3; 44:11 cf. "9 Luc considers Martin's calculation to be conservative, so he suggests that there are "28 psalms that contain one or more verses of imprecation. 82 Day, "The Imprecatory Psalms and Christian Ethics." Commentary on the Old Testament in ten volumes. Get this from a library! 17 Peter C. Craigie, Psalms 1-50. Explain the concept of imprecation in the New Testament and in a general biblical theology. 50 Day, "The Imprecatory Psalms and Christian Ethics," 174-5. Still, within a covenantal framework, God's justice calls for a sense of justice among his covenant people, a sense of indignation and abhorrence, not only of sin but also of evil and apostasy. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1993. 94:1) that excludes personal retaliation and necessitates appeal to God to punish the wicked (cp. 68 Laney, "A Fresh Look at the Imprecatory Psalms," 41-42. "2 Some psalms "contain extremely harsh judgments upon the enemies of the psalmists. Among these Presbyterian and Reformed scholars are Vos, Martin, Harman, and Laney.63 The next section will also refer to Presbyterian and Reformed scholars Lensch, and Peels.64. Imprecatory Psalms are musical poems where the Psalmist requests that God bring judgment upon his adversaries. Pages 113-32 in Classical Evangelical Essays in Old Testament Interpretation. He also mentions that the Christian's prayer should be "informed and shaped by God's objective Word and by an enlightened desire to seek His kingdom and His righteousness."81. Thirdly, when we pray the imprecatory psalms, we do not expect that God will send “the hornet” to exterminate ISIS as … A futuristic approach does not necessarily seek the fulfilment of the imprecations in the New Testament. 5 See Chalmers Martin, "Imprecations in the Psalms," in Classical Evangelical Essays in Old Testament Interpretation, ed. Introductory issues regarding these psalms abound, such as their definition and scope and the question whether they constitute a specific genre or subgenre within the Psalter. Widmer, Standing in the Breach, 416. Nairobi: Word Alive Publishers, 2006. They were characterised by falsehood, treachery, cunning, greed, hatred, cruelty, arrogance and pride.56 The enemies in the imprecations are stereotypes of the reprobates who need to be punished by God. He cites Tournay who says the "prophetic dimension" of the psalmist has too often been neglected in modern psalm studies, a dimension long recognised by the Judeo-Christian tradition.35For example, with regards to Psalm 14:1, the Targum interprets that the psalmist David is "in the spirit of prophecy" and in the interpretation of Psalm 46:1 the same description is used to describe the sons of Korah. [ Links ], Lockyer, Herbert. They are consistent with God's nature: God is sovereign and righteous and he has the right to destroy all evil in his universe.52 Vos says that we should assume that the imprecatory psalms are "necessarily prayers for eternal doom of the wicked and they may also be regarded as prayers for severe temporary judgments on the enemies of God. If we believe that God is just—that YHWH does not leave the guilty unpunished—then to pray the imprecatory psalms is to call upon God to act in accordance with God’s own character. Scholars, therefore, revert to theories informed by hermeneutical premises about the continuity and discontinuity of the testaments to answer the question about the basis of the imprecations. To imprecate means to invoke evil upon, or curse. If you have any issues, please call the office at 385-246-1048 or email us at Pages 229-279 in Five Views on the Law and Gospel. Edited by Wayne G. Strickland. 3 Hassel C. Bullock. Deut 32:37; Deut 32:39 cf. "The original audience did not expect the exact terms of punishment to apply to someone other than the intended person," therefore "we should not use the exact terms on someone today."72. Ps 69:21 in John 19:28). 26 Luc, "Interpreting the Curses in the Psalms," 398. Home Online Resources The Contemporary Use of the Imprecatory Psalms (Goldingay) The Contemporary Use of the Imprecatory Psalms (Goldingay) John Goldingay … Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1991. There are few areas in Old Testament theology that have puzzled scholars as much as the "imprecatory psalms.". Curated Resources 171-168. Such a close reading should encompass a variety of approaches such as grammatical, literary, historical and canonical analysis. "44 Since the psalmist was Abraham's posterity he had the right to pray curses on Israel's enemies. A. Motyer, they are “Psalms containing passages seeking the hurt of someone else.”(3) At first glance, such “prayers of destruction” may appear to be out of accord with the Christian’s responsibility to love his enemies (Matthew 5:44). Therefore, from the New Testament perspective, the enemies in the imprecatory psalms are the enemies of Christ.74 Christ teaches the believer to love his/her enemies and pray for those who persecute him/her (Matt 5:44; Luke 6:26). Secondly, the prophetic views of history take cognisance of the Messianic era as the catharsis toward which all prophetic messages directly or indirectly make a contribution. Following is a sample of imprecations in the Psalms. [Eun Chae Cheong; Theological Research Exchange Network.] Any element of imprecation in the New Testament and the type of prayer they employ of such. A prophet in the Psalms, '' 408 Christian Reformed Church ( http: // ) runs strongly through final... Filled with maledictions Scriptures is the calling down of Curses or divine on... Psalms ; Evangelical Approach ; covenant ; prophetic books and the lack encouragement! Pages 113-32 in Classical Evangelical Essays in Old Testament theology that have grown out of, Your... ( Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1999 ): 395-96 I also the! E. Hill and John H. Walton, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1999 ) 395-410... Of Continuity, but we also see appropriate discontinuity the suffering is poignant, the imprecations in of! 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