Psalm 26

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Scroll of the Psalms

Psalm 26 is the 26th psalm from the Book of Psalms.

It is "a profession of integrity by a Levite, engaged in worshipping Yahweh in the temple choir. (1) He professes integrity in walk, and unwavering trust in Yahweh, as attested by Yahweh Himself (v.1-2). (2) Ever conscious of the divine kindness and faithfulness, he abstains from all association with the wicked (v.3-4). (3) He hates the company of the wicked and purifies himself for sacrifice (v.5-6). (4) He loves the temple (v.8), and stands in its choir blessing Yahweh (v.12). A later editor by additions and changes introduces elements of prayer (v.1a, 9-11) and worship (v.7)."[1]

According to Charles and Emilie Briggs, it is to be dated within the Persian period (539 to 333 BCE).[2]

Luttrell Psalter

Structure[edit]

The Psalm is divided into 2 parts

  1. Verse 1-1: Please and affirmation of justice for the Psalmist
  2. Verse 12: certainty of being heard and confident vows

The following observations can be made:

  • The absence of a complaint. The peculiarity of the absence of an action falls on the Psalm:[3] there is no reference to the wicked, which poses a risk for the psalmist in any way.
  • The highlighting of the temple. The psalm refers not only to the "house of the Lord" (verse 8) and "Assembly" (verse 12), but also to the rites that are performed by the Psalmist in the Temple: the symbolic washing of hands, the circumambulation of the altar (verse 6) and the subsequent singing (verse 7).[4]

Uses[edit]

Judaism[edit]

In Judaism, verse 8 is the third verse of Ma Tovu.[5][6]

Among Catholics[edit]

Text of Psalm 26:8 on St. Michael's Church in Bienenbüttel.

According to the monastic tradition this psalm was since St. Benedict of Nursia, performed during the celebration of matins of Sunday[7] Today, Psalm 26 is recited or sung at midday Friday.[8]

Musical settings[edit]

Johann Sebastian Bach used the second verse in German as the text for the opening movement of his Christmas cantata Unser Mund sei voll Lachens, BWV 110 (1725). Jules van Nuffel set the complete psalm in Latin, In convertendo Dominus.

Bibliography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Quote from Charles Augustus Briggs; Emilie Grace Briggs (1960) [1906]. A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Psalms. International Critical Commentary. 1. Edinburgh: T & T Clark. p. 229. 
  2. ^ Charles Augustus Briggs; Emilie Grace Briggs (1960) [1906]. A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Psalms. International Critical Commentary. 1. Edinburgh: T & T Clark. p. 229. 
  3. ^ Craig C. Broyles, Psalms Concerning Temple Entry in The Book of Psalms: Composition and Reception (2005), 261
  4. ^ Craig C. Broyles, Psalms Concerning Temple Entry in The Book of Psalms: Composition and Reception (2005), 261
  5. ^ The Complete Artscroll Siddur page 12
  6. ^ D’après le Complete Artscroll Siddur, compilation des prières juives.
  7. ^ Psautier latin-français du bréviaire monastique, p. 73,
  8. ^ Règle de saint Benoît, traduction par Prosper Guéranger, (Abbaye Saint-Pierre de Solesmes, réimpression 2007) p. 46.