Lost and Found


Last Thursday, a construction engineer digging up a bog in the Irish Midlands uncovered an ancient Psalter dated to AD 800-1000. Hailed as a "miracle find" by the National Museum of Ireland, the 20-page vellum manuscript was found opened to Psalm 83.

Authorship of Psalm 83 is attributed to Asaph, a Levite and choir leader who lived during the time of David (1 Chronicles 15:16-17). In Psalm 83, Asaph describes Judah's neighbors conspiring against her and beseeches the Lord to stop these enemies:

3 With cunning they conspire against your people; they plot against those you cherish.
4 "Come," they say, "let us destroy them as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more."
5 With one mind they plot together; they form an alliance against you —
6 the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, of Moab and the Hagrites,
7 Gebal, Ammon and Amalek, Philistia, with the people of Tyre.
8 Even Assyria has joined them to lend strength to the descendants of Lot. Selah
The locations of those neighboring tribes can be found today in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, as well as southern Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. Bible scholars believe the confederacy described by Asaph did not exist in antiquity and remains an unfulfilled prophecy. Islam, the single most plausible unifying force for such a coalition, did not come along until the 7th century, some 1,500 years after Asaph's time. As the fighting in Lebanon prepares to enter its third week, any existing tolerance for Israel in the Middle East (e.g. the recent split in the Arab League) will diminish badly.

Update: The National Museum of Ireland clarified Thursday that Psalm 83 of this Latin Psalter corresponds to Psalm 84 in today's Bible translations. Certainly less dramatic, yes. However, worldwide exposure of Psalm 83 in light of current events is the real story here.


Anonymous said... on 7/27/2006 12:43 PM  

Wrong, wrong, wrong! As a result of variations around the world in preparing ancient publications of the Psalms, the numbering has not been consistent: the Psalm discovered here in Ireland is the equivalent of Psalm 84, which makes no reference to Israel or its enemies. The only possible conection with present day events are the lines:
As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
they make it a place of springs
How wrong is that?

Anonymous said... on 7/27/2006 1:22 PM  

Thanks for the tip, Anonymous. Corrections have been duly made.

One exclamatory "wrong" would've sufficed.

Anonymous said... on 8/01/2006 3:13 PM  

One other thing. These so called experts issuing the clarification are not Bible scholars they are the officials of the National Museum of Ireland.

This is about what I would expect from these so called experts.

Everyone can go back to sleep... Nothing to see here......
Move along....move along

Kristen said... on 8/21/2006 8:17 AM  

Glad to see posts from you again. :)

Anonymous said... on 8/24/2006 1:28 PM  

Thank you for the encouragement, Kristen. Posts should resume in September.