Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 112

THE FEAR OF THE LORD AND ITS FRUITS

THIS psalm, as has been said in the introduction to Ps 109, applies to the just man and his works the things which are said of Yahweh and His works in Ps 109. As Ps 109 ends with the praise of the fear of the Lord as life’s highest wisdom, so this psalm begins with a reference to the man who practises that wisdom, and then goes on to describe the blessedness of his condition. If the two psalms are read side by side it will be realised how strikingly the predicates applied, to Yahweh and His works in Ps 109 are here transferred to the just man (the man that fears the Lord) and his doings. Ps 112 may be taken, in a sense, as an elaborate way of saying that the life of the just man is a sort of participation in the life of God. This psalm, like Ps 109, is alphabetically arranged, each of the twenty-two lines of which it consists beginning with the twenty-two letters ,of the Hebrew alphabet. In the Vulgate text the psalm is connected with the time immediately following the return from the Babylonian Exile—the time of the prophets Haggai and Zachariah. If the two psalms, 109 and 112, are, as seems not unlikely, from the same author, the title of Ps 112 determines the date of Ps 109 also. It would seem that in the original text of the Septuagint both psalms were connected by their superscriptions with the time of Haggai and Zachariah.

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14 Responses to Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 112

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