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Appendix 9 - On Psalm 107.19,20

Appendix 9

On Psalm 107:19,20

Psalm 107:19-20 19 Then they cried to the Lord in their trou­ble, and he delivered them from their distress. 20 He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction.

In verse 20, the Hebrew, translated literally, has “delivered them from the pit,” and the LXX has “rescued them from cor­ruption (diaphthora, i.e. of death and the grave).” The word “corruption” (diaphthora) also occurs in Psalm 30:9, “What profit is there in my death (lit. “blood”, referring to a violent death, cf. Col.1:20; Lk.22:20, etc), if I go down to the pit (LXX diaphthora, ‘corrupt­ion’)? Will the dust praise you? Will it tell of your faithful­ness?” Here “death” and “corruption” are used synonymously.

“Corruption” appears in another important verse: “For you will not aban­don my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption” (Psalm 16:10). The importance of this verse lies in the fact that it is twice quoted with reference to Jesus’ resurrection: Peter, preaching to the multitudes on the day of Pentecost, quotes this verse and then goes on to say, “He (the Psalmist) foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not aban­doned to Hades (the Greek for Sheol), nor did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are wit­nesses” (Acts 2:31,32). Paul quotes this same verse and for the same reason (Acts 13.35ff).

It is striking that in the very next verse, Psalm 16:11, there is reference to God’s “right hand,” which is precisely where Jesus was granted to sit after God had raised him from the dead: “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

Yahweh’s “right hand” is referred to twice in Peter’s message in Acts 2 immediately following the verses quoted above about Christ’s resurrect­ion: “Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing” (Acts 2:33; also v.34).


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