Monday, July 18, 2011

More on Ps. 151

Today I learned that a version of Psalm 151, set to Genevan 19, is in the Dathenus Psalter, the first Dutch-Genevan Psalter, 1562, of which I have a facsimile. It is one of the 14 hymns and canticles appended to the 150 Psalms in this Psalter. It is called "En Eigen Geschrift van David" ("A Personal Writing of David"). As "they" say, very interesting. Here is the NRSV translation of it:

1 I was small among my brothers,
   and the youngest in my father’s house;
I tended my father’s sheep. 

2 My hands made a harp;
   my fingers fashioned a lyre. 

3 And who will tell my Lord?
   The Lord himself; it is he who hears.

4 It was he who sent his messenger*
   and took me from my father’s sheep,
   and anointed me with his anointing-oil. 

5 My brothers were handsome and tall,
   but the Lord was not pleased with them. 

6 I went out to meet the Philistine,*
   and he cursed me by his idols. 

7 But I drew his own sword;
   I beheaded him, and took away disgrace from the people of Israel.

Until the discovery of the DSS, it was always thought that it was a Greek composition. However, among the DSS, two Hebrew Psalms were found, one corresponding to the vv 1-5 and the other to the vv 6-7. It seems they belonged to the Psalter of the Qumran community.