Psalms & Civic Responsibilities Perennial Advice from the Wisdom Literature III

III. Wisdom literature consists of Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ruth, Canticles, Ecclesiastes, and Esther. There is some discrepancy between a Catholic & Protestant Bible. Whenever this discrepancy occurs, Catholic refer to these books as deuterocanonical. For a good discussion of why this occurred, refer to this article.    accessed March 6, 2021

  1. Psalms takes pride of place within the Wisdom literature. The psalms are the prayers that the Holy Family would have prayed. In every Holy Mass, and in the Liturgy of the Hours, Psalms are read. The Liturgy of the Hours is a systematic process of prayerfully reading Sacred Scripture in light of the overall liturgical year.
  2. For faithful interpretation of all Scripture, a cursory glance of the literal sense must precede the 3 spiritual senses allegorical (Christ), moral (practical living), anagogical (eschaton, heaven) CCC115

Time Period: Salvation History organized by Jeff Cavins is an accessible and substantive means of understanding the Narrative of God’s actions in history. Walking With God[1] is an excellent narrative companion book to his 23 part course.

Briefly recalling, A&E rebelled against God. Our Lord in the protoevangelium promised a seed from the woman would crush the head of Satan. Through a series of covenants: A&E (couple), Noah (family), Abraham (tribe), Moses (nation), David (Kingdom), and culminating in Jesus Christ (the Church) the Lord works out his promise of salvation. The 7thcovenant, I propose, is the eschaton, end of the world with a new heavens & a new earth.

Covenant= promise with an oath, vow. More than a person under duress be able to fulfill. God supplies grace to fulfill the vow. Establishes family bonds, extension & military alliances.

Wedding feast Church, Kingdom of Heaven imagery perfect and fitting, covenants, ties into life. Christ husband of the Church. Perfect circle of connectivity.

Abraham received three promises: land, name, worldwide blessing. Moses & Joshua secure the land. David will provide the royal lineage (name) from which Christ, the Messiah, will come. Through Christ all the world will be blest.

David’s major exploits he is anointed as a shepherd lad by Samuel in front of his family, kills Goliath, moves ark to Jerusalem, establishment of 5th covenant, and will desire to build the First Temple, an honor given to his son but is fulfilled with Jesus be given an everlasting dynasty.

The Lord is faithful but not necessarily in the way we expect or imagine.

King David circa 1000 BC, world power is Egypt, in decline, to be succeeded by Assyria (Jonah’s reluctance) and the founding of Rome 753 BC

Genre: collection of 150 sacred prayers and songs. Poetry not prose is the genre of psalms.

Hebrew Poetry: Not rhyme or rhythm but parallelism of thought between two or three poetic lines[2] There are different types of parallelisms: synonymous, antithetical, synthetic.

Psalms, Greek psalmos song, Hebrew mizmor to make music

[1] Tim Gray & Jeff Cavins, Walking With God, A Journey Through the Bible (Ascension Press: West Chester, PA 2009)

[2] John Bergsma & Brant Pitre, A Catholic Introduction to the Bible Volume 1 (Ignatius: San Francisco 2018) 562