Q. I’m analysis Psalm 121 and also I’m puzzled that the says, “The sun will not injury you by day, nor the moon through night.” I deserve to see the threats of things prefer sunstroke and also heat exhaustion, yet how have the right to the moon ache us?

As I define in mine study guide to the Psalms, Psalm 121 is just one of the “songs of ascents” the were created to relief the Israelites that God’s protection as castle went approximately Jerusalem because that the annual pilgrimage festivals.

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One strategy to answering your concern is to shot to argue the the moon actually have the right to hurt united state (for example, by observing the there are more car accidents when the moon is full, etc.), ~ above the premise the the Bible’s authority is in which method at risk if it suggests the moon can hurt us as soon as it yes, really can’t.

Another method is to say that in statements favor this, the holy bible is keeping a popular id that has due to the fact that proved unscientific, however this doesn’t put the Bible’s authority at risk; rather, the preservation of such old beliefs is component of the Bible’s human witness to God’s deeds and also character.

I personally wouldn’t have actually a difficulty with that second approach, but in this instance I don’t think it’s necessary, since there’s a 3rd approach that’s actually much more in keeping with Hebrew thought and language.

We should hear the statement the “the sun will not harm you by day, no one the moon by night” in light of the understanding, articulated in the Genesis creation account, that God established the “sun to dominance the day and the moon to preeminence the night.” Psalm 121 is saying, “Not also the leader of the day will certainly hurt you; how much less any kind of of the servants that the leader of the job (that is, something else during the day). Not also the ruler of the night will hurt you; just how much less anything else during the night.”

In other words, this is just one of those marvelous Hebrew expressions for totality the we discover so often in the bibles (which incorporate others such together “from the least to the greatest,” “from the heaven over to the earth beneath,” etc.). In fact, in Moses’ blessing on the people of Joseph at the finish of Deuteronomy, there’s a very similar statement come the one in Psalm 121, i m sorry illustrates this point: “May the lord bless his land v . . . The best the sunlight brings forth and the best the moon can yield.”

Obviously plants grow indigenous the light and warmth of the sun, no from noþeles that originates from the moon. But this is simply another expression because that totality: may God bless girlfriend with everything that day and also night can yield, that is, everything, all the time.

I hope this view helps describe the declare in Psalm 121.

For a conversation of another expression because that totality, check out this post.


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Author: Christopher R Smith

The Rev. Dr. Christopher R. Smith is one an ordained minister, a writer, and a biblical scholar. The was active in parish and also student ministry because that twenty-five years. He to be a consulting editor come the international Bible society (now Biblica) for The books of the Bible, an edition of the brand-new International variation (NIV) that presents the biblical publications according come their natural literary outlines, there is no chapters and verses. His knowledge the books of the holy bible study guide series is keyed come this format. The was likewise a consultant to Tyndale residence for the Immerse Bible, an edition of the new Living translate into (NLT) that similarly presents the bibles in their organic literary forms, without chapters and also verses or section headings.He has a B.A. Indigenous Harvard in English and American Literature and also Language, a master of arts in Theological researches from Gordon-Conwell, and also a Ph.D. In the history of Christian Life and also Thought, with a minor concentration in Bible, native Boston College, in the joint routine with Andover Newton Theological School.View all write-ups by Christopher R Smith


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Author Christopher R SmithPosted on January 23, 2014October 9, 2018Categories Bible: historic AccuracyTags moon, song of ascents, sun
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Keith Putnam says:
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Bobby Strother says:

Today, the fourth Sunday ~ Easter, the epistle lesson in ~ my parish lugged this short article to mind, particularly James 1:17: “Every great gift and also every perfect present comes from heaven; the comes under from God, the Creator that the heavenly lights, that does not change or reason darkness by turning.”

The explanation of Hebrew number of speech as an expression of the totality of God’s sovereignty is advantageous to me. God created both day and night, and he alone eventually prevails.


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Colin Koh says:

I’ve to be going v a a worrying and also sleepless couple of job anf I review Pdalm 121 this morning and also pondered the question of the moon hurting united state by night.

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During this times my sleeplessness is fraught with psychological anguish. This city spoke come me in a very personal way. Reassuring me that during the night, God is through me.

I to be reminded just how the gravitational traction of the sun and moon influence bodies that water including our brain and during a complete or new moon it causes people come act more irrationally (hence lunacy). Therefore I think the holy bible tells me that God is in manage of my irrational fears once the night comes.