Put A Bird On It! (Psalms 50-65)

These psalms by David continue on in their usual mean-spirited way (e.g., “O God, break their teeth in their mouths” (Psalm 58:6). Ouch. Some of them are classified as miktams and others as maskils, if you’re interested (I’m not).

According to a random, non-legit-looking website I consulted via a Google search, a maskil – FYI – is a particularly “skillful, poetic, or didactic psalm”. Didacticism in the Bible?! Get outta town!!

The heading to Psalm 56 caught my eye. It reads: “To the choirmaster according to The Dove on Far-Off Terebinths. A Miktam of David, when the Philistines seized him at Gath”. “The Dove on Far-Off Terebinths”? I got excited for a moment, picturing a talking dove. I love it when animals talk in movies (G-Force, Hotel for Dogs, etc) and I half-expect it in my day-to-day life (I’m surprised that when reprimand my rooommate’s dispeptic cat Mugsy for upchucking – yet again – he has nothing to say for himself).

Anthropomorphism was the cornerstone of my former decades-long vegetarianism, I suspect.

I looked up this sassy, smart-talkin’ dove and was disappointed to find out that “The Dove of Far-Off Terebinths” was likely the title of a popular secular song at the time. Surprisingly, Psalm 56 would have been sung to its tune like a song from Weird Al Yankovic’s ouevre (he deserves that word; he’s underrated; he COMMITS).

Put a Bird On It.


Published in: on June 5, 2013 at 11:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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