[b-hebrew] g(r Psa. 106:9 - exorcism?

B. M. Rocine brocine at twcny.rr.com
Tue Dec 14 18:58:20 EST 2004

Hi Clay,

When the Lord *rebukes* Yam Suph, the expression does indeed invest evil 
into the waters.

But I not sure we can interpret the Lord's mastery of the sea or water in 
its mutlitude of expressions all one way even though the images may be part 
of closely related traditions.  (I am not suggesting that either you or 
Fitzmyer has asked us to.  I am just musing.  ;-)   )

I am not so sure the water itself is usually the evil force (or the figure 
of evil).

How do these details work with your musings:  In Exo 15, distinctly from Ps 
106, the weight of detail depicts the Lord primarily as drowning Pharaoh's 
army.  The water is an object of divine action, yes, but like a tool.  The 
real object is the evil persecutor.  Likewise, the Lord had sent the evil 
locusts that plagued Egypt into Yam Suph.  In these cases, should we better 
think of the sea not as cosmic evil but as an expression of omnipotence? 
Interestingly, I don't think there is any rebuking going on in Exo 15.

How does the sea work as a figure for humanity rather than cosmic evil?  It 
might even work in Psa 106 where the exhortation is more or less a rebuke to 
the Lord's people for forgetting Him.


> Bryan Rocine wrote:
>> If Fitzmyer means, on the other hand, that the rebuke of the waters of 
>> Yam
>> Suph typifies the Lord's supremacy over the dark powers of chaos in the
>> tradition of Gen 1, I can accept the explanation.  I imagine, however, 
>> that
>> such an explanation is so generally accepted, it would not have prompted
>> your query.
> What prompted my query is the notion that monotheism of the Psalmist 
> reduces
> the physical universe to dead matter of 20th century materialist. That 
> Psalm
> 106:9 is just talking about moving some water aside to make a path and 
> there
> is no other dimension to this. No cosmic conflict between spiritual beings
> represented in this event. This "flat" reading of the text is really quite
> common.
> Psa. 106:9 wyg(r byM-swP
> Bryan, I take it that you would have no problem with the suggestion that 
> g(r
> with yM-swP as an object involves subduing a hostile spiritual force, not
> just the physical event of making a path through the sea.
> greetings,
> Clay Bartholomew

B. M. Rocine
Living Word Church
6101 Court St. Rd.
Syracuse, NY 13206

ph: 315.437.6744
fx: 315.437.6766

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