The Hun And The Imprecatory Psalms -- By: W. A. Jarrel

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 076:302 (Apr 1919)
Article: The Hun And The Imprecatory Psalms
Author: W. A. Jarrel


The Hun And The Imprecatory Psalms

W. A. Jarrel

Dallas, Texas

To economize space, but few of the Holy Scriptures on which the truths of this article are based are quoted. The reader, therefore, will please study it with his Bible in hand. See Ps. 35:8; 55:15; 69:24, 27; 109:10, 12, 13, 18, 19.

1. The tender, forgiving character of David precludes understanding these Psalms as “mere spiteful vengeance.” Surely, in the light of David’s having twice spared the life of Saul, when, with the bloody spirit of the Hun, and without any provocation or reason, he was seeking to murder him, we must interpret his writings as of anything else than the spirit of personal, private, “spiteful revenge” (l Sam. 24:1–22; 26:5–21). The forgiving, noble spirit of the writer of these Psalms caused even as wicked a man as Saul to confess to him: “Thou art more righteous than I: for thou hast rewarded me good, whereas I have rewarded thee evil” (1 Sam. 24:17–19). And, on the second time when David had spared the life of Saul, who, notwithstanding David had previously so forgivingly spared his life, had continued to seek to murder him, Saul was so impressed with the forgiving and noble character of David, that he confessed: “I have sinned: return, my son David; for I will no more do thee harm, because my soul [life] was precious in thine eyes this day; behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly “(1 Sam. 26:21). This tender, forgiving character of David is shown so great as to be even a fault in his-great life — in his dealings with Absalom and Shimei (2 Sam. 13:39; 18:33; 19:4–6, 21–23).

2. The indorsement, by Jesus, of these Psalms cannot be harmonized with interpreting them as the “venom of spite.” He read them, prayed them, sung them, and lived them (Luke 20:42–44; 24:44–46; Ma...

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