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 March 16

Angel Musicians (left panel) - (1480s)
Hans Memling (c. 1430 - 1494)
Early Netherlandish Style
Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp, Belgium
Image Source: Web Gallery of Art

     Explanation: In Psalm 43 the Psalmist calls for God to vindicate him and bring him back to worship in God's house. The author may have been David; and the occasion may have been his flight from Absalom (2 Samuel 15-18). He closes by encouraging himself to believe that God will help him. The middle and closing parts of the previous Psalm use the same words as the closing words of Psalm 43. This may indicate that the two Psalms were composed on the same occasion by the same author. Some ancient Hebrew manuscripts have them as one Psalm. Commentators are divided on the question of their original unity. But thematically, this Psalm has imprecations (a call to judgment) which the previous Psalm does not. Nearly every other Psalm in Scripture, except this one and one other which may have been part of a contiguous Psalm, have imprecations. This fact would argue, though not conclusively, for the original unity of the two Psalms.
     David wanted to play, sing, and worship before the LORD. But he did not want to do this in isolation. He wanted to do it in the Tabernacle, at the altar, where he would have been surrounded by others who were worshipping with him. The painting above reflects the heavenly worship, into which David and his fellow worshipers would have entered.


          [ 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 43 - #1. Psalm 43 - #2. Psalm 43 - #3. ]

     The author, who may have been David, asked God to judge him, to plead his cause, and to deliver him from the deceitful and unjust man. He asked why God, who was his strength, had cast him off and why he went mourning because of the oppression of the enemy (1-2). He pleaded with God to send out his light and his truth and to let them lead him to his holy hill and to the Tabernacle which sat upon it. He said that when God did this he would then go to the altar; and, with the harp, he would praise God who was his exceeding joy (3-4). And then, speaking to himself, he asked himself why he was cast down and disquieted. He said that he would yet praise his God for his help when God turned his face toward him (5).



Psalms 42-72.

Psalm 43

1 Judge me, O God,
and plead my cause against an ungodly nation:
O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.
2 For thou art the God of my strength:
why dost thou cast me off?
why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?

3 O send out thy light and thy truth:
let them lead me;
let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.
4 Then will I go unto the altar of God,
unto God my exceeding joy:
yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God.

5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul?
and why art thou disquieted in me?
hope thou in God:
for I shall yet praise him
who is the help of my countenance.
and my God.

1 To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, Maschil. [Transposed From Psalm 44:1] *

* 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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