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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 April 2

Gloomy Day (detail) - (1565)
Pieter Bruegel the Elder ( c. 1525 - 1569)
Dutch and Flemish Renaissance Style
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria
Image Source: Web Gallery of Art

     Explanation: In Psalm 60 David cries out in distress about the foreign forces which came against him and his nation. But he receives assurance of deliverance from God and praises him accordingly. Today's painting matches the gloomy emotional mood and tone of David's cry of desolation in the opening verses of the Psalm.

          [ THEMATICALLY AND CHRONOLOGICALLY RELATED SCRIPTURES: 2 Samuel 8:1-14. 2 Samuel 10. 1 Kings 11:15-16. 1 Chronicles 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). VARIOUS ARTISTS: Psalm 60 - #1. Psalm 60 - #2. Psalm 60 - #3. 1 Peter 5:10. ]

     David begins his Psalm with words of distress, asking why he has cast off his people, scattered them, and been displeased with them. He asks him to turn to them again. He says that God has made the earth to tremble, broken it, and shaken it. He has shown his people hard things and made them to drink the wine of astonishment. And he says that God has given a banner to them that fear him that it may be displayed because of the truth. The apparent implication of this statement is that they have not been able to lift this banner in victory, thus declaring the truth of who God is (1-4). David then says, "That your beloved may be delivered; save with your right hand, and hear me." The immediate reference seems to be to David, as a man after God's own heart; but there seems also be a reference to Israel as God's beloved (5). God then replies to this prayer, assuring David that he has not cast off his people, as David supposed. He makes this clear by stating that he has chosen certain important regions in Israel (Shechem, the Valley of Succoth, and Gilead), certain key tribes of Israel (Manasseh, Ephraim, and Judah), and, surprisingly, even the territory (and, in some eschatological sense, the people) of certain prominent pagan nations (Moab, Edom, and Philistia). The impression given by these choices is that God's grace and acceptance is broader and more comprehensive than David had ever imagined (6-8). David responds to these reassurances by expressing his confidence that he will conquer his enemies, even though God had cast Israel off and did not go forth with their armies. He concludes by asking God to give them help from trouble; for the help of man is vain. And he express his confidence that through God they will do valiantly, because God himself will dread down their enemies (9-12).



Psalms 42-72.

Psalm 60

1 To the chief Musician [Transposed To Psalm 59 ]*

upon Shushaneduth, Michtam of David, to teach; when he strove with Aramnaharaim and with Aramzobah, when Joab returned, and smote of Edom in the valley of salt twelve thousand.

O God, thou hast cast us off, thou hast scattered us, thou hast been displeased; O turn thyself to us again.
2 Thou hast made the earth to tremble; thou hast broken it: heal the breaches thereof; for it shaketh.
3 Thou hast shewed thy people hard things: thou hast made us to drink the wine of astonishment.
4 Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah.

5 That thy beloved may be delivered; save with thy right hand, and hear me.

6 God hath spoken in his holiness; I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth.
7 Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is the strength of mine head; Judah is my lawgiver;
8 Moab is my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe: Philistia, triumph thou because of me.

9 Who will bring me into the strong city? who will lead me into Edom?
10 Wilt not thou, O God, which hadst cast us off? and thou, O God, which didst not go out with our armies?
11 Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man.
12 Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.

1 To the chief Musician [Transposed From Psalm 61:1] *

* 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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