Preliminary Thoughts on Psalm 1-2


Psalm 1-2 are chiastically arranged in order to show that the Blessed Man from Psalm 1 is the Son, the King, of Psalm 2. The King is the Blessed Man who is like the one planted by streams of water, who delights in the law of the Lord; the one decreed to be a Son forever, begotten of God that he might inherit the world and divide the treelike saints from the chaff-like wicked; that he laughs at the plans of the wicked who will be cut off in the judgment; and the one appointed by Yahweh to burst the bonds of the wicked.

The chiasm:
A. Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the Torah of Yahweh, and on his law he meditates day and night. (1:1-2)
-B. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruits in its season, and its leaf does not whither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. (1:3-4)
–C. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for Yahweh knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked shall perish. (1:5-6)
—D. Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against Yahweh and against his Messiah, saying, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.” (2:1-3)
–C’. He who sits in the heavens laughs; Yahweh holds them in derision. Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying, “As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.” (2:4-6)
-B’. I will tell of the decree: Yahweh said to me, “You are my Son; today, I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”  (2:7-9)
A’. Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve Yahweh with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him. (2:10-12)

There are a few obvious links between A and A’, including the use of “blessed” and the wisdom themes. B and B’ compare the righteous king and his servants, who are like trees planted by water, to the nations who are like chaff waiting to be inherited by the Son. C and C’ talk about the judgment of the wicked and the futility of their ways. D, the turning point, focuses on Yahweh and his Messiah’s partnership versus the partnership of the raging nations.

These match the days of Creation:
A. Day One/The Sabbath/Creation/Genesis/Transcendence/Initiation The Blessed Man is Adam in the fullness of Sabbath, dwelling with the wisdom to rule, delighting in God’s law rather than disobeying it. The Sabbath is ruled by the Blessed Man who conquers his enemies, and he conquers by chewing on the Torah just as Joshua was to chew on the Torah before he conquered Canaan. The word that initiates a situation is the Torah of God: the man who meditates on the word is blessed and takes his seat amongst the righteous. The Torah was given by the same God who breathed creation into existence.
-B. Day Two/Passover/Separation/veil/Hierarchy/Exodus/Delegation. The righteous dwell in Eden, as trees watered by a river, just as the Garden was watered by the four rivers. Those who chew on Torah are the new Adam, a servant set apart from the unrighteous. The Torah mediates the law of Yahweh to his people like Adam heard God’s law by speaking with him. The wicked are driven out of the Garden by “wind” or ru’ach, the breath of God. The righteous are marked by fruit, just as Israel was marked by blood on their door post. As a people, the righteous are fruitful while the unrighteous are blown away.  The word alters the world by beginning to separate the righteous and unrighteous.
–C. Day Three/Firstfruits/Ascension/Leviticus/Ethics 1 – Priesthood Separation of land (righteous) and sea (unrighteous). The land-plants of Day 3 are negatively pictured by the failure of the wicked to produce fruit like the righteous did.  The righteous are offered as Firstfruits of the final Harvest of the saints. The conflict comes to a head in the day of judgment: the righteous who received God’s law are judged in the positive where the nations without the law are judged in the negative. Priests are those who meditate on the law, following it to the letter, able to judge righteously based on the law. The first three days are Forming Days, where the world is formed by the division of those obedient to the law and those who reject the law.
—D. Day Four/Pentecost/Law/Testing/Numbers/Kingdom The stars and moon and sun are symbols of the rulers of the world and seasons: the Son, Yahweh, and the nations compete for the rule over the world. The Law is given on Pentecost, but this passage shows a reverse of the law. Rather then the true Torah of God, the kings of the nations set up an anti-Torah in their “counsel” together. The Glory-Cloud Spirit that descended on Pentecost is displayed negatively by the anti-Glory-Cloud of the kings of the nations. The next stage in maturity is from priest to king, and here we meet the king, Yahweh’s Messiah. The implications of the conflict are understood when the nations are proved to be not just immoral people, but active enemies of Yahweh and his Son.
–C’. Day Five/Trumpets/Testing/Deuteronomy/Prophet The swarming creatures in the sky are the Father and the Son, while the swarming sea creatures are the terrified nations. The Feast of Trumpets calls together the righteous swarm, and here the unrighteous swarm is called to face Yahweh in judgment. The law is given a second time in the fifth day slot, and since Christ is the telos of the law, the law is given again here. The fifth day slot also has the first command, and this portion shows the failure of the nations to pay heed to God’s law like the Blessed Man does. The underdogs, the nations, prepare for battle against Yahweh and his Messiah. The nations are transformed from the ruling powers to terrified losers before Yahweh.
-B’. Day Six/Atonement/Conquest/Joshua/Oath/Sanctions The new Adam-Joshua is created by the decree of the Father to the Son, an everlasting oath (2 Samuel 7). His Bride is created from the nations of the world and this bride is removed from sin when the Messiah dashes the unrighteous against his rod. This is the beginning of his conquest of the world. The second three days are Filling Days, where the world is filled by the righteous Son and the obedient nations.
A’. Day Seven/Feast of Booths/Glorification/Judges/Representation/Succession The Sabbath is established when the Son destroys the insubordinate nations and receives them as his inheritance, his glorification. The Feast of Booths is the celebration of God with man and, the Son, Jesus Incarnate, dwells with man and rules over the world here. The Son represents Yahweh to the nations, as paying heed to the Son is paying heed to Yahweh. The rule of the world is succeeded by the Son as the nations are destroyed or bow before him.

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