Psalm 26

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Psalm 26
St James Bramley John 3.5 and Psalm 26.6 (2).jpg
Wall paintings of the text of John 3:5 and Psalm 26:6 I will wash my hands in innocency, o Lord, and so will I go to thine altar on the west end of the north wall of the church of St James, Bramley, Hampshire.
BookBook of Psalms
Hebrew Bible partKetuvim
Order in the Hebrew part1
CategorySifrei Emet
Christian Bible partOld Testament
Order in the Christian part19

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]

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]

New Testament[edit]

Pontius Pilate washed his hands to show his innocence in the gospels. He tried an outward display mechanically following Psalm 26:6 but his abdication of responsibility to be a just judge was not in the spirit of Psalm 26.[5]

Judaism[edit]

In Judaism, verse 8 is the third verse of Ma Tovu.[6][7]

Catholic Church[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[8] Today, Psalm 26 is recited or sung at midday Friday.[9]

Verses 6-12 are said during the Lavabo (washing of the hands) of the Tridentine Mass.

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.

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. ^ https://biblehub.com/matthew/27-24.htm
  6. ^ The Complete Artscroll Siddur page 12
  7. ^ D’après le Complete Artscroll Siddur, compilation des prières juives.
  8. ^ Psautier latin-français du bréviaire monastique, p. 73,
  9. ^ Règle de saint Benoît, traduction par Prosper Guéranger, (Abbaye Saint-Pierre de Solesmes, réimpression 2007) p. 46.

External links[edit]

  • Psalm 26 in Hebrew and English - Mechon-mamre
  • Psalm 26 King James Bible - Wikisource