Daily Arts Web Nucleus


Discover the Arts! Each day a different image from the Literary, Performing, or Visual Arts representing a portion of Scripture
plus an explanation with links

2015 February 13

Portrait of a Young Man (Tymotheos) - (1432)
Jan van Eyck (c. 1390 - 1441)
Northern Renaissance Style; Early Netherlandish Painting
National Gallery, London, England, United Kingdom
Image Source: Web Gallery of Art

     Explanation: Psalm 12 refers to a time of persecution and danger for David such as those under Saul or Absalom. In this Psalm David pleads with the LORD for help against the godless, flattering, plunderers which surround him. And David was assured that God would set the oppressed, like David, in a place of safety where they would be preserved. The painting above is symbolic of this blessing, first in the name of the one depicted -- Timothy -- whose name means "honored by God," and second, in the title of the engraving, "LEAL SOUVENIR (Loyal Remembrance)." A souvenir is something which (or in the case of the righteous man, someone who) is preserved and remembered.

          [ THEMATICALLY AND CHRONOLOGICALLY RELATED SCRIPTURES: 1 Samuel 19-31. 2 Samuel 15-18. ]

          [ CHRONOLOGY: General. Patriarchs (Traditional). Judges # 1. Judges # 2. Kings # 1. Kings # 2. Prophets # 1. Prophets # 2. NT # 1. NT # 2. NT # 3. ]

          [ MAPS: Maps # 1. Maps # 2. Maps # 3. Maps # 4. Maps # 5. ]

          [ COMMENTARIES, ETC: GENERAL: Bible Study Tools; Bible Hub: Study Light; Blue Letter Bible // PSALMS: Monergism: Precept Austin: The Treasury of David; John Gill; John Calvin - Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

          [ MUSIC: GENERAL: The Cyber Hymnal // PSALMS: Genevan Psalter (Instrumental). Psalm 12 - #1; Psalm 12 - #2. Psalm 12 - #3. ]

     David begins this Psalm by addressing the LORD. He changes the addressee several times in the verses that follow. To the LORD he pleads for help because the godly man (i.e., the merciful man) and the faithful man (i.e., the supportive man) cease and disappear (1). The oppressors speak vanity (or declare desolation) upon their neighbors with smooth lips and a double heart (literally "in heart and heart") -- or with one heart then another (2). The LORD will cut off such lips and tongues which speak these proud or great things, saying that they will prevail with their tongue and lips, and no one is their master (3-4). But the LORD hears the oppressed, the poor, and the needy; and he said that he will set them in safety from those who puff at them -- referring, perhaps, to the contemptuous snort or puff that is often heard from the nostrils or on the lips of those who despise others (5). David acknowledges these assurances from the LORD and says that they are as pure as silver which has been purified seven times in a furnace (6). Then, speaking to the LORD, David acknowledges that the LORD will preserve the oppressed from this generation and forever (7). And, to again show the danger that he and his companions were in, David says that the wicked walk on every side (or circle around) when vile (or tempestuous) men are exalted. In other words, they are like a destructive whirlwind (8).



Psalms 1-41.

Psalm 12

1 To the chief Musician upon Sheminith [Transposed To Psalm 11 *

A Psalm of David.

Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth;
for the faithful fail from among the children of men.
2 They speak vanity every one with his neighbour:
with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak.

3 The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips,
and the tongue that speaketh proud things:
4 Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail;
our lips are our own: who is lord over us?

5 For the oppression of the poor,
for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the LORD;
I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him.

6 The words of the LORD are pure words:
as silver tried in a furnace of earth,
purified seven times.

7 Thou shalt keep them, O LORD,
thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

8 The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted.

1 To the chief Musician, [Transposed From Psalm 13:1

* NOTE: On Opening and Closing Comments in the Psalms.
[Some commentators take the Psalm in Habakkuk 3 to be a standard model for the Psalms.
Habakkuk's Psalm begins with the name of the composer (Habakkuk) and a musical notation ("upon Shigionoth").
It closes with a dedication or a "send to" notice ("To the chief singer on my stringed instruments").
I have arranged similar material, where it is found in the Psalter, in accord with the model in Habakkuk.]

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