Psalm 78, 27 Sep 20

This song continues the theme of the Exodus, the Hebrews escaping from slavery and refugee status into a wilderness experience on the way to a promised land. Again, the parting of the waters of the Red Sea and the provision of manna and water in the desert are taken as a parable from which, if they are listening, the faithful may take lessons from the past.

So the psalmist first urges us to listen to his or her teaching handed down through the years, for each generation to learn afresh. Attendite populus meus — ‘Listen O my people’:

For more commentary, including the ‘dark sayings’ of verse 2 and the Berliner Mauer, see the longer entry on this psalm here>. Meanwhile, YouTube is keen to offer many versions of the 1629 Heinrich Schütz composition, rather than the Gabrieli shown above.

This week at South Woden I have recorded the setting in our ‘red book’, Together in Song 41; so have that ready for sing-along.

The psalms are sung in all three major monotheistic and Abrahamic faiths, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. This is Psalm 13, How long? Usque quo Domine oblivisceris. In a Psalter in the British Library, MS 5786; in parallel Greek, Latin and Arabic versions.

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