Psalm 8

 

  

O Yahweh, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Your honor is chanted above the heavens, (1)

and from the mouth of infants and sucklings.

You have founded a bulwark because of the threat of your foes,

in order to silence the enemy and the avenger. (2)

 

When I look at your heavens, the products of your fingers,

the moon and the stars which you have established, (3)

 

What are humans that you think about them?

Human children that you care for them? (4)

 

Yet you make them lack divine status by only a little;

with glory and honor you crown them. (5)

You make them rule over the products of your hands;

everything you place under their feet-- (6)

sheep and cattle all of them,

and even the animals out in open fields; (7)

birds of the heavens and fish of the sea,

whatever sails through the roads of the seas. (8)

 Yahweh, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!  (9)

 

This cylinder seal from the 9-7 c BCE indicates how kingship/human rulership might have been understood in Israel in antiquity.  The king expresses his role over the deer by placing his foot on its neck, but with his hands he fends off a lion.  So our "dominion" is for the protection of the weakest in the society.

Ralph W. Klein

December 7, 2000

Resources for Psalm 8