Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Rob Bowman

"Praise To The Man"

Recommended Posts

This will give a bit of amusement or heartburn, depending on your approach...

You can sing "Praise to the Man" to the tune of "Hail to the Chief."

I kind of like it.

http://fakebook.fm/title/h/hail-to-the-chief/

Bernard

It's kind of fun to play around with meter.

For example, Emily D-i-c-kinson's poem "Death" can be sung to the tune of "Yellow Rose of Texas." Try it:

Because I could not stop for Death,

He kindly stopped for me;

The carriage held but just ourselves

And Immortality.

We slowly drove, he knew no haste,

And I had put away

My labor, and my leisure too,

For his civility.

We passed the school, where children strove

At recess, in the ring;

We passed the fields of gazing grain,

We passed the setting sun.

Or rather, he passed us;

The dews grew quivering and chill,

For only gossamer my gown,

My tippet only tulle.

We paused before a house that seemed

A swelling of the ground;

The roof was scarcely visible,

The cornice but a mound.

Since then 'tis centuries, and yet each

Feels shorter than the day

I first surmised the horses' heads

Were toward eternity.

Here's another one. You can sing Robert Frost's poem, "On Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" to the tune of "Hernando's Hideaway":

Whose woods these are I think I know.

His house is in the village though;

He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer

To stop without a farmhouse near

Between the woods and frozen lake

The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake

To ask if there is some mistake.

The only other sound's the sweep

Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

http://www.computermusicshop.com/Hernando-s-Hideaway-Lead-Sheet-p/y112545.htm

Edited by Scott Lloyd

Share this post


Link to post

It's kind of fun to play around with meter.

For example, Emily D-i-c-kinson's poem "Death" can be sung to the tune of "Yellow Rose of Texas." Try it:

Here's another one. You can sing Robert Frost's poem, "On Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" to the tune of "Hernando's Hideaway":

Those are hilarious!

Hugh Nibley and his brother Reid (pianist, professor of music at BYU) wrote words to famous classical

pieces. The one I remember (wish I could remember more) was to the music of Harold in Italy by

Hector Berlioz...the famous tune...

"Harold, will you lend me your velocipede?"

"Surely I will, if you promise not to speed."

With this happy discovery (Hail to the Chief///Praise to the Man), we are but one step closer

to the inevitable Mormon take-over of the United States of America! Huzzah!

"Millions shall know Brother Joseph again" would make a great bumper sticker.

Edited by Bernard Gui

Share this post


Link to post

I had a companion on the mission who put "Praise to the Man" to the tune of the Soviet (now Russian) national anthem.

Share this post


Link to post

We just sang that song last week. I enjoyed it very much. I even laughed a bit as everyone should know we don't have a king.

I bet you didn't sing this verse:

Lord, grant that Marshal Wade,

May by thy mighty aid,

Victory bring.

May he sedition hush and like a torrent rush,

Rebellious Scots to crush,

God save the King.

Share this post


Link to post

"Millions shall know Brother Joseph again" would make a great bumper sticker.

Somehwere a guy who owns a warehouse of "Who is John Galt" bumper stickers is thinking... don't go there.

Share this post


Link to post

So far, not one of you has addressed the argument I presented. My argument is not (a) that it is always wrong to give any sort of praise to a human being, or (b) that the LDS hymnal praises Joseph more than Jesus, or (c ) that there is no biblical basis for some sort of doctrine that might be described by the term "deification" (a concept I neither mentioned nor criticized).

Sorry, Mr. Bowman, but you should read the Book of Sirach, Chapter 44. You can find it in any Catholic Bible:

Chapter 44:

"1 Next let us praise illustrious men, our ancestors in their successive generations.

2 The Lord has created an abundance of glory, and displayed his greatness from earliest times.

3 Some wielded authority as kings and were renowned for their strength; others were intelligent advisers and uttered prophetic sayings...

7 All these were honoured by their contemporaries and were the glory of their day.

8 Some of them left a name behind them, so that their praises are still sung...

10 But here is a list of illustrious men whose good works have not been forgotten...

13 Their offspring will last for ever, their glory will not fade...

15 The peoples will proclaim their wisdom, the [red]assembly[/red] will celebrate their praises."

Argument A) According to Jesus Ben Sirach, is not wrong to give any sort of praise to human being. Even if you don't accept the Book of Sirach as inspired, the major part of Christianity (Catholics, Orthodoxes, Coptics, etc.) consider it inspired. Besides that, most of protestants consider the deuterocanonical books with a historic value. Thus, you have a historical reference that the Jews praised their prophets and their heroes in their synagogues (the assembly will celebrate their praises)

Argument B) There is only 1 hymn in all LDS Book of Hymns dedicated to praise Joseph Smith, all others Hymns praise Jesus Christ/and or GOD.

Argument C) There plenty of biblical references to the "theosis" doctrine. See Jordan Vadja thesis: "Partakes of the Divine Nature"

Share this post


Link to post

I bet you didn't sing this verse:

Lord, grant that Marshal Wade,

May by thy mighty aid,

Victory bring.

May he sedition hush and like a torrent rush,

Rebellious Scots to crush,

God save the King.

Actually we sang that verse 2 times. J/k.

Share this post


Link to post

As for the English edition of the hymnbook, "God Save the King" is contained therein (#341). That should appeal to Church members in the British Isles, Canada and the Commonwealth of Nations.

I know you can get inserts for "O Canada". It seems likely this is possible for other nations' anthems as well.

Share this post


Link to post

Marcelo,

You wrote:

Sorry, Mr. Bowman, but you should read the Book of Sirach,...

Argument A) According to Jesus Ben Sirach, is not wrong to give any sort of praise to human being. Even if you don't accept the Book of Sirach as inspired, the major part of Christianity (Catholics, Orthodoxes, Coptics, etc.) consider it inspired. Besides that, most of protestants consider the deuterocanonical books with a historic value. Thus, you have a historical reference that the Jews praised their prophets and their heroes in their synagogues (the assembly will celebrate their praises)

Sorry, Marcelo, but you should read my posts before criticizing my position (see Prov. 18:13). I had written:

So far, not one of you has addressed the argument I presented. My argument is not (a) that it is always wrong to give any sort of praise to a human being, or (b) that the LDS hymnal praises Joseph more than Jesus, or (c ) that there is no biblical basis for some sort of doctrine that might be described by the term "deification" (a concept I neither mentioned nor criticized).

You wrote:

Argument B) There is only 1 hymn in all LDS Book of Hymns dedicated to praise Joseph Smith, all others Hymns praise Jesus Christ/and or GOD.

The argument "I only did it one time" is not a valid defense.

You wrote:

Argument C) There plenty of biblical references to the "theosis" doctrine. See Jordan Vadja thesis: "Partakes of the Divine Nature"

See point (c ) above from my earlier post. And please see Proverbs 18:13.

Edited by Rob Bowman

Share this post


Link to post

Actually we sang that verse 2 times. J/k.

Are you sure you want to do that?

Share this post


Link to post

I know you can get inserts for "O Canada". It seems likely this is possible for other nations' anthems as well.

Not in the Russian one.

Share this post


Link to post

Are you sure you want to do that?

The proper response to that verse is to sing back Hey Johhny Cope are ye wauking yet?

Edited by volgadon

Share this post


Link to post

The proper response to that verse is to sing back Hey Johhny Cope are ye wauking yet?

Awesome, Thanks.

As the Jacobite army advanced south in 1745, a Hanoverian force, led by Sir John Cope, was in pursuit. Bonnie Prince Charlie reached Edinburgh first, however, and Cope assembled his troops to the south, at Prestonpans, waiting for reinforcements. But the wily Jacobite commander Lord George Murray circled round and launched a surprise attack early one morning and routed the government forces, some say in less than 15 minutes. This Jacobite song recalls this famous victory.

Getting back to the original topic, I think Praise to the Man fits well in the Gaelic tradition of rebel songs, especially the original line: "Long shall his blood which was shed by assassins stain Illinois while the earth lauds his fame."

Yours under the tyrant-ending oaks,

Nathair /|\

Share this post


Link to post

Not in the Russian one.

Why in the world would anyone want "O, Canada" in Russian?

Lehi

Share this post


Link to post

Why in the world would anyone want "O, Canada" in Russian?

Lehi

Now that is THE question of the day.

Share this post


Link to post

Somehwere a guy who owns a warehouse of "Who is John Galt" bumper stickers is thinking... don't go there.

Do you mean I have to remove my Galt bumper sticker?

We wouldn't have to make a warehouse full, just enough for

all the B.M.W.s.

Bernard

Share this post


Link to post

Why in the world would anyone want "O, Canada" in Russian?

Asked and answered: These gentlemen are obviously singing it with great gusto...

http://blog.rivalspot.com/2011/04/20/drunk-russian-fan-fights-canadian-hockey-players/

Bernard

Edited by Bernard Gui

Share this post


Link to post

I’d like to suggest looking at the LDS hymn Praise to the Man in a different way. This hymn does not simply praise Joseph Smith, though that is itself surprising. It praises Smith in language that the Bible typically and in most cases exclusively reserves for God and Christ:

This complaint backfired.

Share this post


Link to post

This complaint backfired.

Every criticism against the Church, Joseph Smith, or the Book of Mormon eventually does.

Share this post


Link to post

Every criticism against the Church, Joseph Smith, or the Book of Mormon eventually does.

There's one thing about the Mormon Church, its members are just too good looking compared to them Evangelicals.

Mormons:

Romney-Family-Photo.jpg

Evangelicals:

iglesias1-thumb-450x306.jpg

Proof positive.

Share this post


Link to post

David,

I’d like to go back to your quotations from Psalm 72 and your comparisons of those quotations to the LDS hymn “Praise to the Man.”

May he have dominion from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth! May desert tribes bow down before him, and his enemies lick the dust! May the kings of Tarshish and of the coastlands render him tribute; may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts! May all kings fall down before him, all nations serve him!” (Ps. 72:8-11 ESV)

This passage never applied to any of the mortal Davidic kings who ruled in Jerusalem. It is a prayer that has its fulfillment only in the Messiah, David’s greatest descendant. We know this for the following reasons.

1. None of those kings ever had dominion over the entirety of the region specified in verse 8. The Davidic king with the greatest domain was Solomon, and his domain fell far short of this description. Its fulfillment was to be realized not in a Jewish king at the time of the psalmist but in the future King of Kings who was to have all authority in heaven and on earth (Matt. 28:18).

2. The enemies of the Davidic kings from David to the Babylonian Exile were never all vanquished. Verse 9 is a prayer that all of the king’s enemies would die (that is what “lick the dust” means). That never happened during the era of the Jerusalem monarchy.

3. Similarly, none of the Jerusalem kings had all kings fall before him or all nations serve him (v. 11). Once again, this is an expression of a future-oriented Messianic hope, not a statement of a present fact at the time of the psalm’s composition.

One piece of evidence would be enough to establish the point, but three should put it beyond question. Psalm 72:8-11 is not about any mortal Jerusalem monarch. It was not a statement about David, Solomon, or any of the Davidic kings of the divided monarchy. It was only about the Messiah. Therefore, this passage cannot be used as precedent for honorific language applied to some human being other than Jesus Christ.

In the light of what has just been said, verse 17 of the same Psalm should be understood as strictly Messianic: “May his name endure forever, his fame continue as long as the sun! May people be blessed in him, all nations call him blessed!” (Ps. 72:17 ESV). This is not a prayer asking that all nations call as blessed Solomon or Josiah or any of the other Jerusalem monarchs. The people will be blessed in the Messiah and all nations will call him blessed. That is the clear meaning of this verse in the context. Again, there is no precedent here for applying such honorific language to any mortal.

The same point applies in Psalm 45:6-7, which you also quoted:

“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness; you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions” (Ps. 45:6-7 ESV).

Not one of the David kings in the OT era ruled forever and ever. In fact, the Jerusalem throne came to an inglorious end in the early sixth century BC. But that throne typified the throne of God, who became incarnate for our salvation and is indeed ruling forever and ever. The NT explicitly quotes this passage and applies it to Jesus the Messiah (Heb. 1:8-9). Here is a clear example of a psalm looking beyond the mortal king of that era and prophetically speaking of a future descendant of David who would be much more than that mortal king could ever be. Therefore, this psalm is not calling Solomon or any other mortal Jerusalem king “God.” This interpretation receives confirmation from the fact that it ends just as Psalm 72 does:

“I will cause your name to be remembered in all generations; therefore nations will praise you forever and ever” (Ps. 45:17 ESV).

The close parallel between Psalm 45:17 and 72:17 confirms that Psalm 45, like Psalm 72, looks beyond the Davidic king of that time to anticipate the rise of the Son of David par excellence, the one who would indeed be God, whose kingdom would last forever, and whom all nations would praise forever and ever. Thus, Psalm 45:6 is not precedent for any human being other than Jesus Christ as the subject of hymns of praise.

Finally, I must point out that your post offered “parallels” from Psalms 45 and 72 to just three lines of “Praise to the Man,” out of a dozen lines. Recall that I had said that the hymn “praises Smith in language that the Bible typically and in most cases exclusively reserves for God and Christ” (emphasis added). You cannot overturn this claim by citing parallels to one-fourth of the hymn’s lines, especially when, as I have shown, these parallels all happen to be in Messianic psalms.

Share this post


Link to post
“May he have dominion from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth! May desert tribes bow down before him, and his enemies lick the dust! May the kings of Tarshish and of the coastlands render him tribute; may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts! May all kings fall down before him, all nations serve him!” (Ps. 72:8-11 ESV)

This passage never applied to any of the mortal Davidic kings who ruled in Jerusalem. It is a prayer that has its fulfillment only in the Messiah, David’s greatest descendant. We know this for the following reasons.

1. None of those kings ever had dominion over the entirety of the region specified in verse 8. The Davidic king with the greatest domain was Solomon, and his domain fell far short of this description. Its fulfillment was to be realized not in a Jewish king at the time of the psalmist but in the future King of Kings who was to have all authority in heaven and on earth (Matt. 28:18).

2. The enemies of the Davidic kings from David to the Babylonian Exile were never all vanquished. Verse 9 is a prayer that all of the king’s enemies would die (that is what “lick the dust” means). That never happened during the era of the Jerusalem monarchy.

3. Similarly, none of the Jerusalem kings had all kings fall before him or all nations serve him (v. 11). Once again, this is an expression of a future-oriented Messianic hope, not a statement of a present fact at the time of the psalm’s composition.

One piece of evidence would be enough to establish the point, but three should put it beyond question. Psalm 72:8-11 is not about any mortal Jerusalem monarch. It was not a statement about David, Solomon, or any of the Davidic kings of the divided monarchy. It was only about the Messiah. Therefore, this passage cannot be used as precedent for honorific language applied to some human being other than Jesus Christ.

I have already shown via several scholarly citations, that your argument that Psalm 72 was not a statement written about any of the Israelite human kings runs contrary to “universal” knowledge. In pointing out the three ways in which Psalm 72 never applied literally to any of the mortal Davidic kings, I'm afraid you have failed to recognize what is “universally” understood by biblical scholars as royal court hyperbole written as a song of praise to the human king.

As W. Harold Mare explains in his article “King and Kingship” in volume IV of the Anchor Bible Dictionary:

“The expectations that the king’s ideal attributes correspond to the central elements of Yahweh’s kingship reflects the importance of religious legitimation in the establishment and maintenance of royal power in early agrarian states. The royal psalms (Psalms 2; 45; 72; 101; 110)…provide the clearest evidence for the main themes of Israelite, or rather Davidic royal ideology.” (pg. 44).

As "Davidic royal ideology," when interpreted in their ancient Near Eastern context, the statements you identified as unfulfilled in terms of their relationship to mortal kings simply reflect the royal ideal for the monarch via court hyperbole. As such, texts such as Psalm 72, which presents a song of praise to a mortal Israelite king in language typically used to extol God himself, proclaims in the words of More, “the ideal aspirations and hopes for the new reign” (Ibid. pg. 45).

Hence, contrary to you assertion, it is irrelevant whether or not an Israelite king never had dominion over the entirety of the region specified in the biblical psalm, failed to truly vanquish all of his enemies, and/or never truly experienced all kings falling before him, etc. This does not change the fact that Psalm 72 was written as a song of praise for an Israelite king in which the literary imagery served as a prayer of hope and expectation for the mortal king’s reign.

As Mare explains:

“This psalm embodies most of the main elements of the ideals of kingship. The request (Ps. 72:1-2) that the king be granted the divine gift of justice, mishpat, is tied to the fertility and prosperity of the nation as a whole. His basic duty is then to preserve and protect the order and harmony of the kingdom and thereby the whole of Yahweh’s creation (Ps. 72:3, 5-7, 15-17). He is promised universal dominion and the defeat of his enemies, i.e. the defeat and expulsion of chaos (Ps. 72:8-11)” (pg. 45).

Hence, despite its applicability to Christ, the psalm was originally written for an Israelite human king and reflects ancient Israel’s “ideal aspirations and hopes for [his] new reign.”

In the light of what has just been said, verse 17 of the same Psalm should be understood as strictly Messianic: “May his name endure forever, his fame continue as long as the sun! May people be blessed in him, all nations call him blessed!” (Ps. 72:17 ESV). This is not a prayer asking that all nations call as blessed Solomon or Josiah or any of the other Jerusalem monarchs. The people will be blessed in the Messiah and all nations will call him blessed. That is the clear meaning of this verse in the context. Again, there is no precedent here for applying such honorific language to any mortal.

Well, there’s your opinion, Rob, and then there's the one “universally” recognized by biblical scholars. Here it is once again:

“Ps 72 is universally considered to by a royal psalm… More specifically, Ps 72 is probably also an accession or coronation psalm, a prayer for the king at the beginning of his reign. It may have formed part of the coronation ceremony as well as less spectacular occasions when praying for the king’s welfare was required.” Marvin E. Tate, Psalms 51-100. Word Biblical Commentary (Waco: Thomas Nelson, 1990), 222.

The same point applies in Psalm 45:6-7, which you also quoted:

“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness; you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions” (Ps. 45:6-7 ESV).

Not one of the David kings in the OT era ruled forever and ever. In fact, the Jerusalem throne came to an inglorious end in the early sixth century BC. But that throne typified the throne of God, who became incarnate for our salvation and is indeed ruling forever and ever. The NT explicitly quotes this passage and applies it to Jesus the Messiah (Heb. 1:8-9). Here is a clear example of a psalm looking beyond the mortal king of that era and prophetically speaking of a future descendant of David who would be much more than that mortal king could ever be. Therefore, this psalm is not calling Solomon or any other mortal Jerusalem king “God.” This interpretation receives confirmation from the fact that it ends just as Psalm 72 does:

“I will cause your name to be remembered in all generations; therefore nations will praise you forever and ever” (Ps. 45:17 ESV).

The close parallel between Psalm 45:17 and 72:17 confirms that Psalm 45, like Psalm 72, looks beyond the Davidic king of that time to anticipate the rise of the Son of David par excellence, the one who would indeed be God, whose kingdom would last forever, and whom all nations would praise forever and ever. Thus, Psalm 45:6 is not precedent for any human being other than Jesus Christ as the subject of hymns of praise.

Rob, no offense, but your problematic analysis illustrates how important it is when attempting to interpret the Hebrew Bible to do so in accordance with its ancient Near Eastern context. The reason, in part, that biblical texts such as Psalm 45 and 72 are “universally” recognized as royal court hyperbole, written as songs of praise to the human king, is that these texts fit perfectly the historic contextual genre. As strange as it may seem from your perspective to praise mortal kings with language that was literally unfulfilled in the lifetimes of these monarchs, such hyperbolic praise was historically expected in terms of mortal kings.

Note, for example, the Phoenician-Hieroglyphic, Azatiwada Inscription composed during the beginning of the 7th century BC.

“I am Azatiwada, the blessed of Ba‘al…I enlarged the land of the plain of Adana… And I smashed the rebels; and I crushed all evil which was in the land…And I made peace with every king. And indeed every king made me as a father…” (a translation of this text can be found in the Monumental Inscriptions volume of The Context of Scripture).

As a Near Eastern monarch, the Canaanite king was expected to enlarge his country’s boundaries and completely smash his enemies. Similarly, the biblical psalms simply present ancient Israel’s “ideal aspirations and hopes" for the reign of the new mortal king in traditional “Canaanite” imagery. Examples from the East Semitic sphere illustrate how truly widespread these royal ideals proved in the Semitic world. Note, for example, the prayer offered to Samsuiluna, king of Babylon (1749-1712 BC).

“Slay his enemies, his foes deliver into his power… O Samsuiluna, of eternal lineage divine, most fitted for kingship, Enlil has made yours the greatest of destines!”

Or the royal decree to Zimri-Lim, king of Mari from the God Adad:

“I will give him throne on throne, house on house, territory on territory, city on city, then I will give him this land from one end to the other.”

Now, applying your reading of the biblical psalms to this royal decree, we would have to assume that despite what the text itself states, that the degree was not truly written to Zimri-Lim, since the king of Mari did not truly reign from “one end of the land to the other.”

In reality, the biblical enthronement psalms of praise written to Israelite mortal kings reflect the same royal expectations witnessed in the coronation prayer for the king of Assyria dating sometime after the reign of Tukulti-Ninurta I (latter half of the second millennium BC)

“May Assur and Ninlil, owners of the your diadem, let you wear the diadem on your head for a century…May your priesthood and the priesthood of your sons go fair before Assur your god. With your just scepter, enlarge your country.”

Of course like the biblical psalms written in praise of Israelite mortal kings, these Akkadian prayers feature hyperbole. As witnessed in the case of the Shulgi Prophecy composed in the latter half of the second millennium BC (or perhaps the first part of the first millennium BC), this was the historic expectation:

“I was lord of the four world regions, from the rising sun to the setting of the sun.”

Again, applying your reading of the biblical psalms to the Shulgi prophecy, we would have to assume that Shugli was simply a type for a future Mesopotamian king yet to come, since Shulgi wasn’t truly “lord of the four world regions,” etc.

In reality, the biblical psalms simply reflect the pattern witnessed in the prayer of Nebuchadnezzar II (604-562 BC):

“O Marduk, Enlil of the gods, my divine creator, may my works find your favor, may I live on forever. Grant me the gift of eternal life, venerable old age, a firm throne and an enduring reign.. At your first command, which cannot be altered, may my weapons be whetted and brandished, may they overwhelm the weapons of the enemy.” (All of these examples can be found in the most recent edition of Benjamin R. Foster’s Before the Muses: An Anthology of Akkadian Literature).

Thus, when read in the context of Near Eastern expectations for kingship, the biblical psalms make perfect sense in the manner thy are “universally” interpreted, i.e. as songs of praise to mortal kings. In light of the way other monarchs referred to their reigns, biblical kings would have been seen as weak, and insignificant if they did not receive psalms of praise via the language you criticized as unfulfilled. For context, see for example, the Egyptian Narmer Palette, dating from about the 31st century BC:

250px-NarmerPalette-ROM-back.jpg

Note that the slate palette depicts the Egyptian king’s superiority in several ways, “the figure of the king assumes monumental proportions; the army is insignificant; the king’s superiority is absolute; He strikes down his enemies underfoot like dirt.” (Othmar Keel, Symbolism of the Biblical World, pg. 291). In his analysis, Keel linked this Egyptian portrayal of kingship with traditional Israelite conceptions, including those featured in Psalm 110:5:

“The LORD is at your right hand; he will shatter kings on the day of his wrath. He will execute judgment among the nations, filling them with corpses…” (pg. 293).

The Narmer Palette also connects with biblical views of kingship in presenting the deity Horus (depicted as a falcon) holding the king’s enemies with a rope tied to their head via the nose, a motif that appears in Israelite writings via texts such as Psalm 2:8, and 110:1 that present Yahweh as deity delivering the king’s enemies into his hand.

Note also the portrayal of the Egyptian king Ramses III trampling under feet his enemies, a Near Eastern portrayal that Keel specifically links with the biblical promise in Psalm 21:8:

“Your hand will find out all your enemies, your right hand will fling out those who hate you.”

ramesseum.gif

See also the 1400-1350 BC Canaanite depiction of the King of Ugarit striking down an enemy:

Ugarit-ivory-plaque.jpg

So you see, even though such imagery written to a king in ancient Israel seems to you "strange," and "unfulfilled," this language actually typified the expectations for kingship in the ancient Near East witnessed in the textual and iconographic remains of the era.

Finally, I must point out that your post offered “parallels” from Psalms 45 and 72 to just three lines of “Praise to the Man,” out of a dozen lines. Recall that I had said that the hymn “praises Smith in language that the Bible typically and in most cases exclusively reserves for God and Christ” (emphasis added). You cannot overturn this claim by citing parallels to one-fourth of the hymn’s lines, especially when, as I have shown, these parallels all happen to be in Messianic psalms.

Rob, when all is said and done, despite your personal claims to the contrary, biblical scholars “universally” recognize that the Bible features songs of praise written to mortal humans with language typically reserved for extolling God himself.

So again, while you’re free to express your opinion that the LDS hymn places inappropriate emphasis upon Joseph Smith, or that from your perspective, the song detracts from the reverence that should be given to Christ, by claiming that no biblical precedent exists for a hymn of praise written to any man other than God, and that “Praise to the Man” is not “biblically” sound on the grounds that the hymn praises a human being with literary motifs typically associated with deity (no matter how few in number by your count), your criticisms are as demonstrated “universally” recognized as incorrect.

Best,

--DB

Edited by David Bokovoy

Share this post


Link to post

I have already shown via several scholarly citations, that your argument that Psalm 72 was not a statement written about any of the Israelite human kings runs contrary to “universal” knowledge. In pointing out the three ways in which Psalm 72 never applied literally to any of the mortal Davidic kings, I'm afraid you have failed to recognize what is “universally” understood by biblical scholars as royal court hyperbole written as a song of praise to the human king.

While I agree that Psalm 72 most likely refers to an earthly kind, with typological references to a future Messiah; the methodology you use to prove your point doesn’t sit comfortably with the LDS position. Rob’s argument for interpreting Psalm 72 in purely Messianic terms doesn’t tally with other passages in the Bible. For example Jacob gave similar blessings, or made similar promises, to Judah and his descendents:

Genesis 49
:

8 Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father's children shall bow down before thee.

9 Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?

10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.

11 Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ***'s colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:

12 His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.

So that is not an unprecedented thing to happen. But your attempt to “blend” it with the pagan cultures of the “Near East,” as in these passages from your post:

Rob, no offense, but your problematic analysis illustrates how important it is when attempting to interpret the Hebrew Bible to do so in accordance with its ancient Near Eastern context. The reason, in part, that biblical texts such as Psalm 45 and 72 are “universally” recognized as royal court hyperbole, written as songs of praise to the human king, is that these texts fit perfectly the historic contextual genre. As strange as it may seem from your perspective to praise mortal kings with language that was literally unfulfilled in the lifetimes of these monarchs, such hyperbolic praise was historically expected in terms of mortal kings.

Note, for example, the Phoenician-Hieroglyphic, Azatiwada Inscription composed during the beginning of the 7th century BC.

“I am Azatiwada, the blessed of Ba‘al…I enlarged the land of the plain of Adana… And I smashed the rebels; and I crushed all evil which was in the land…And I made peace with every king. And indeed every king made me as a father…” (a translation of this text can be found in the Monumental Inscriptions volume of The Context of Scripture).

As a Near Eastern monarch, the Canaanite king was expected to enlarge his country’s boundaries and completely smash his enemies. Similarly, the biblical psalms simply present ancient Israel’s “ideal aspirations and hopes" for the reign of the new mortal king in traditional “Canaanite” imagery. Examples from the East Semitic sphere illustrate how truly widespread these royal ideals proved in the Semitic world. Note, for example, the prayer offered to Samsuiluna, king of Babylon (1749-1712 BC).

“Slay his enemies, his foes deliver into his power… O Samsuiluna, of eternal lineage divine, most fitted for kingship, Enlil has made yours the greatest of destines!”

Or the royal decree to Zimri-Lim, king of Mari from the God Adad:

“I will give him throne on throne, house on house, territory on territory, city on city, then I will give him this land from one end to the other.”

Now, applying your reading of the biblical psalms to this royal decree, we would have to assume that despite what the text itself states, that the degree was not truly written to Zimri-Lim, since the king of Mari did not truly reign from “one end of the land to the other.”

In reality, the biblical enthronement psalms of praise written to Israelite mortal kings reflect the same royal expectations witnessed in the coronation prayer for the king of Assyria dating sometime after the reign of Tukulti-Ninurta I (later half of the second millennium BC)

“May Assur and Ninlil, owners of the your diadem, let you wear the diadem on your head for a century…May your priesthood and the priesthood of your sons go fair before Assur your god. With your just scepter, enlarge your country.”

Of course like the biblical psalms written in praise of Israelite mortal kings, these Akkadian prayers feature hyperbole. As witnessed in the case of the Shulgi Prophecy composed in the latter half of the second millennium BC (or perhaps the first part of the first millennium BC), this was the historic expectation:

“I was lord of the four world regions, from the rising sun to the setting of the sun.”

Again, applying your reading of the biblical psalms to the Shulgi prophecy, we would have to assume that Shugli was simply a type for a future Mesopotamian king yet to come, since Shulgi wasn’t truly “lord of the four world regions,” etc.

In reality, the biblical psalms simply reflect the pattern witnessed in the prayer of Nebuchadnezzar II (604-562 BC):

“O Marduk, Enlil of the gods, my divine creator, may my works find your favor, may I live on forever. Grant me the gift of eternal life, venerable old age, a firm throne and an enduring reign.. At your first command, which cannot be altered, may my weapons be whetted and brandished, may they overwhelm the weapons of the enemy.” (All of these examples can be found in the most recent edition of Benjamin R. Foster’s Before the Muses: An Anthology of Akkadian Literature).

Thus, when read in the context of Near Eastern expectations for kingship, the biblical psalms make perfect sense in the manner thy are “universally” interpreted, i.e. as songs of praise to mortal kings. In light of the way other monarchs referred to their reigns, biblical kings would have been seen as weak, and insignificant if they did not receive psalms of praise via the language you criticized as unfulfilled. For context, see for example, the Egyptian Narmer Palette, dating from about the 31st century BC:

Note that the slate palette depicts the Egyptian king’s superiority in several ways, “the figure of the king assumes monumental proportions; the army is insignificant; the king’s superiority is absolute; He strikes down his enemies underfoot like dirt.” (Othmar Keel, Symbolism of the Biblical World, pg. 291). In his analysis, Keel linked this Egyptian portrayal of kingship with traditional Israelite conceptions, including those featured in Psalm 110:5:

“The LORD is at your right hand; he will shatter kings on the day of his wrath. He will execute judgment among the nations, filling them with corpses…” (pg. 293).

The Narmer Palette also connects with biblical views of kingship in presenting the deity Horus (depicted as a falcon) holding the king’s enemies with a rope tied to their head via the nose, a motif that appears in Israelite writings via texts such as Psalm 2:8, and 110:1 that present Yahweh as deity delivering the king’s enemies into his hand.

Note also the portrayal of the Egyptian king Ramses III trampling under feet his enemies, a Near Eastern portrayal that Keel specifically links with the biblical promise in Psalm 21:8:

“Your hand will find out all your enemies, your right hand will fling out those who hate you.”

See also the 1400-1350 BC Canaanite depiction of the King of Ugarit striking down an enemy:

So you see, even though such imagery written to a king in ancient Israel seems to you "strange," and "unfulfilled," this language actually typified the expectations for kingship in the ancient Near East witnessed in the textual and iconographic remains of the era.

doesn’t tally with the Bible itself. It is not as if the Bible itself is ignorant of the pagan cultures that exist around it. On the contrary, it is quite vocal about the existence of that culture, and always speaks against it. The Bible—from Genesis to Malachi—recognizes two distinct cultures perpetually opposed to each other: a pagan or heathen one (which it always condemns)—and an alternative one centered on the worship of Jehovah (which it extols). That is the common theme running through ought the Old Testament. This segregation is never compromised. Your attempt to blend these two cultures together as though they were essentially one and the same, or different aspects of the same thing, may very well conform to the views of modern scholarship; but it has no place in the faith centered theology of Latter-day Saints, nor indeed in the traditional theology of orthodox Christianity—Catholic or Protestant. Mormonism is not entirely unorthodox. It shares many aspects of traditional or orthodox Christian theology. And from that point of view your method of presentation of your arguments creates problems regardless of which side of the theological divide one belongs to—LDS or Evangelical.

Share this post


Link to post

David,

You wrote:

I have already shown via several scholarly citations, that your argument that Psalm 72 was not a statement written about any of the Israelite human kings runs contrary to “universal” knowledge. In pointing out the three ways in which Psalm 72 never applied literally to any of the mortal Davidic kings, I'm afraid you have failed to recognize what is “universally” understood by biblical scholars as royal court hyperbole written as a song of praise to the human king.

First, I didn’t claim that Psalm 72 was not about any of the Israelite human kings. I claimed that Psalm 72:8-11 expressed the hope that one of the royal descendants of David would enjoy unchallenged, worldwide rule over all the nations. That figure turns out to be Jesus Christ, who is God incarnate.

Second, if I don’t agree with your position, then it is not “universal” knowledge. And I am by no means alone. Historically, both Jews and Christians have understood Psalm 72:8-11 and passages like it as messianic, and this understanding is far from dead. You quote Marvin Tate as saying that Psalm 72 is “universally considered to be a royal psalm.” Well, of course. I totally agree with that! But the royal psalms typically expressed hopes for the Davidic kingship that were never fulfilled in the OT era and that are fulfilled in Jesus the Messiah.

Third, while I agree that some of the language about the Davidic king in the Psalms could be understood in its original historical context as hyperbolic, there is no evidence that this is how anyone ever understood Psalm 72:8-11 until very, very recently. Rather, as I have just pointed out, this passage is not a hyperbolic statement about the sitting Jerusalem monarch but is a statement of hope for God to fulfill his promises to David. What you call the “ideal” I argue is fulfilled in one person alone, Jesus Christ.

Fourth, the comments you quote from Mare contradict your interpretation of the passage as hyperbolic. In your own quotation from his article in ABD, Mare claims that the Davidic king “is promised universal dominion and the defeat of his enemies” in Psalm 72:8-11. But this is false—the Psalm is a prayer asking for this hope to be realized, not a promise that it will be realized in the present sitting Jerusalem king—and contrary to your description of the passage as merely hyperbolic.

A recent academic study that supports the perspective I am defending here is Michael Rydelnik’s book The Messianic Hope: Is the Old Testament Really Messianic? (Nashville: B&H, 2010). If I may say so, this book is a must-read for you, David.

Fifth, your quotations from non-Israelite texts concerning ancient Near Eastern kings provide some interesting examples of hyperbole but are irrelevant to a text like Psalm 72:8-11. For example, when a text presents Shulgi as claiming, “I was lord of the four world regions, from the rising sun to the setting of the sun,” that was indeed hyperbole, because it was a claim made for a specific king as something actually accomplished. In Psalm 72:8-11, the psalmist is praying for God to bless the Davidic royal line with a king who would completely fulfill God’s promises to David. Of course, Christians believe that while other dynasties and empires have vainly sought or claimed universal sovereignty, Jesus Christ really does have all authority in heaven and on earth (Matt. 28:18).

Finally, arguing that Psalm 72:8-11 is merely “hyperbole” undermines the whole point of your argument, which is to establish precedent for the LDS hymn “Praise to the Man.” Do you wish to argue that the hymn’s statements about Joseph Smith should be understood as merely hyperbolic or idealizations? Is this how Mormons understand the hymn?

Share this post


Link to post

Daniel 6:22. Was that directed to a future descendant of the king?

Share this post


Link to post
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...