Psalms of Solomon, Psalm 1 – Analysis

For some reason, I don’t believe that I can write something without posting it. So, I am doing so – although this might not be how it ends up on paper. Over this next week, I will be posting rough drafts of my analysis’ of the Psalms of Solomon.

I cried out to the Lord when I was extremely troubled, to God when sinners attacked.
Suddenly the clamor of war was heard before me. I said: “He will hear me, for I am full of righteousness.”
I considered in my heart that I was full of righteousness, for I have prospered and had many children.
Their wealth was spread on the whole earth, and their glory to the end of the earth.
They exalted themselves to the stars. They said they would never fall.
They were arrogant in their possessions, and they did not bring glory to God?.
Their sins were in secret, and even I did not know.
Their lawless actions surpassed those of the gentiles before them; they completely profaned the sanctuary of the Lord.

Psalm 1 – (No Superscription)

This first Psalm is the judicial review of the Hasmonean dynasty highlighting their false patronage of the cult, their lewd behavior in private, and their self-conceit for the things that they had. It is told from the viewpoint of Jerusalem, personified as a mother. This is a common thought in the New Testament as well (Galatians 4.26). Verse 3 is connected the Deuteronomistic covenant (Deut 28.63) in which God promises prosperity and children if Israel obeys. Jerusalem is caught believing that because she had accomplished those things, then it must have been a sign from God. Indeed, the Hasmonean kings had overthrown the Greeks, achieving independence for Israel. Several of the kings which followed had even expanded Israel’s borders to Solomonic days, but now, they were under the boot heel of Rome. Verse four possibly alludes to Hyrcanus who opened David’s Tomb to fund the foreign troops[1].

[1] Josephus, Ant. xiii, 9:1-9

Joel L. Watts
Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

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