"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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God Calls David
1 Samuel 16:1-13; Psalm 51:10-14 Commentary
by Brent A. Strawn
Reading 1 Samuel 16:1-13 alongside Psalm 51:10-14 creates a fascinating dialogue between these two texts.
Most people read the words of Psalm 51 in light of its superscription as pertaining to David’s contrition after his affair with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11-12). In this perspective, Psalm 51 is a kind of supplement to 2 Samuel 12:13 because what David says there, “I have sinned against the LORD” -- only two words in Hebrew! -- leaves much to be desired. David’s confession in 2 Samuel 12 seems altogether too brief to mean much in the face of the numerous wrongdoings, including the murder that he has committed. Psalm 51, especially via its superscription, gives readers of the Bible more to go on, suggesting that David felt genuine sorrow and had much more to say than just a quick two-word confession.
But scholars have long wondered if any of the psalms’ superscriptions were original to the poems themselves. The superscriptions may have been added later, especially since some of the most ancient versions of the Bible often have different superscriptions. The connection ...
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NL287: God Calls David
October 22, 2017
This is the podcast for 1 Samuel 16:1-13; Psalm 51:10-14, the Narrative Lectionary reading for Oct. 22, 2017, featuring Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Kathryn Schifferdecker, and Craig Koester. Podcast recorded at Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn.