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Michael_Gerard
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« on: November 16, 2010, 04:33:30 PM »

What did David mean in Psalm 6:5?

For there is not in death Thy memorial, In Sheol, who doth give thanks to Thee?

Was he just expressing his own despondent thoughts here?
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« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2010, 04:41:01 PM »

Michael,

I can tell you what I 'THINK' David meant by this - but I would be guessing what was in his mind some three thousand years ago.  (Makes me smile knowing that perhaps one day I might have the opportunity to talk to him.)

What I 'think' he means is that in the culture before Christ, there was no life after death.  Sheol was death. . .the pit. . .the place six feet under - where there was no life any longer - and therefore no ability to think about or praise God.  David loved Him so very much that the thought of being separated from Him in death was actually worse than death itself. 

This is my take - but as I said, the best person to ask would be King David . . .one day.
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« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2010, 04:46:56 PM »

Michael,

I can tell you what I 'THINK' David meant by this - but I would be guessing what was in his mind some three thousand years ago.  (Makes me smile knowing that perhaps one day I might have the opportunity to talk to him.)

What I 'think' he means is that in the culture before Christ, there was no life after death.  Sheol was death. . .the pit. . .the place six feet under - where there was no life any longer - and therefore no ability to think about or praise God.  David loved Him so very much that the thought of being separated from Him in death was actually worse than death itself. 

This is my take - but as I said, the best person to ask would be King David . . .one day.
But then Abraham, Issac, and Jacob weren't really living with God until after Christ, and there weren't any living spirits waiting for Him when He descended into Hades.
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« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2010, 04:49:51 PM »

Comparing multiple translations usually helps. For example:

The Brenton Septuagint: For in death no man remembers thee: and who will give thee thanks in Hades?

NJKV: For in death there is no remembrance of You; In the grave who will give You thanks?

The Message (a Protestant paraphrase): I'm no good to you dead, am I? I can't sing in your choir if I'm buried in some tomb!

The psalmist is despondent, and in his despondency, he appeals to God. In this verse, he tries to convince God that God actully loses something valuable if the psalmist dies.

But the psalm ends well:

The LORD has heard my supplication;
         The LORD will receive my prayer.
Let all my enemies be ashamed and greatly troubled;
         Let them turn back and be ashamed suddenly.
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« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2010, 05:18:29 PM »

What did David mean in Psalm 6:5?

For there is not in death Thy memorial, In Sheol, who doth give thanks to Thee?

Was he just expressing his own despondent thoughts here?

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

This psalm is often sung in the Passion services, and is also in relation to Job 
Quote
where then is my hope—
   who can see any hope for me?
 Will it go down to the gates of death?
   Will we descend together into the dust?”
Job 17:16-17 NIV

The passage in Job sheds a bit more light to the Messianic aspects of these particular lamentations about grief.  They tell of the miracle of the Incarnation and also the Resurrection, for the Incarnation is the source to the answer to Job's lament, could Job's hope have possibly descended in dust together when the Divine is not of dust? If in the person of Jesus Christ, the Divine and Unlimited took on Mortality and Limit, a body of dust, then Job's true hope in God could indeed descend into the depths of Hell, Death, sharing in the nature of flesh and blood with humanity, also conforming to our death that we might be raised up into His life.  In Hell and Death who could give thanks aside from the coming of the Light into Darkness, of the Savior into and through the gates of hell, bursting forth as the Dawn into the Light of His Resurrection. 

Saint Augustine goes onto connect this Psalm with the parable of the rich man and Lazarus and Abraham's bosom.

Quote
6. "For in death there is no one that is mindful of You" Psalm 6:5. He knows too that now is the time for turning unto God: for when this life shall have passed away, there remains but a retribution of our deserts. "But in hell who shall confess to You?" Luke xvi That rich man, of whom the Lord speaks, who saw Lazarus in rest, but bewailed himself in torments, confessed in hell, yea so as to wish even to have his brethren warned, that they might keep themselves from sin, because of the punishment which is not believed to be in hell. Although therefore to no purpose, yet he confessed that those torments had deservedly lighted upon him; since he even wished his brethren to be instructed, lest they should fall into the same. What then is, "But in hell who will confess to You?" Is hell to be understood as that place, whither the ungodly will be cast down after the judgment, when by reason of that deeper darkness they will no more see any light of God, to whom they may confess anything? For as yet that rich man by raising his eyes, although a vast gulf lay between, could still see Lazarus established in rest: by comparing himself with whom, he was driven to a confession of his own deserts. It may be understood also, as if the Psalmist calls sin, that is committed in contempt of God's law, death: so as that we should give the name of death to the sting of death, because it procures death. "For the sting of death is sin." 1 Corinthians 15:56 In which death this is to be unmindful of God, to despise His law and commandments: so that by hell the Psalmist would mean that blindness of soul which overtakes and enwraps the sinner, that is, the dying. "As they did not think good," the Apostle says, "to retain God in" their "knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind." Romans 1:28 From this death, and this hell, the soul earnestly prays that she may be kept safe, while she strives to turn to God, and feels her difficulties.
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1801006.htm
stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2010, 05:28:09 PM »

Michael,

I can tell you what I 'THINK' David meant by this - but I would be guessing what was in his mind some three thousand years ago.  (Makes me smile knowing that perhaps one day I might have the opportunity to talk to him.)

What I 'think' he means is that in the culture before Christ, there was no life after death.  Sheol was death. . .the pit. . .the place six feet under - where there was no life any longer - and therefore no ability to think about or praise God.  David loved Him so very much that the thought of being separated from Him in death was actually worse than death itself. 

This is my take - but as I said, the best person to ask would be King David . . .one day.
But then Abraham, Issac, and Jacob weren't really living with God until after Christ, and there weren't any living spirits waiting for Him when He descended into Hades.

That's the thing, Michael, I said the 'culture' meaning what the culture held as true at the time. . .not necessarily what was true.  If you'll remember, the Sadducee's and the Pharisees had a big upheaval over whether there was life after death or not . . .and whether there would be a resurrection or not.   If there is anything that I really truly appreciate about the Bible is that it is honest in what is presented by those in it.  Then this brings me back the the thoughts of David. . . they were his thoughts. . . but I think the Holy Spirit can give us direction when we're ready. . .seems sometimes scripture can mean a multitude of things and be correct in every meaning.
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« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2010, 06:37:04 PM »

Some assorted Patristic thoughts (from Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: Old Testament VII - Psalms 1-50, Blaising, C.A. and Hardin, C.S. eds., InterVarsity Press.  Pp. 47, 51-52)

Quote from: St. Athanasios the Great - On the Interpretation of the Psalms 15
When you feel the Lord's displeasure, if you see that you are troubled by this, you can say Psalm 6.

Their translation of Ps 6:5: "For in death there is no remembrance of thee; in Sheol who can give thee praise?

The editors also note the following that I find germane to discussion of the psalm:

Quote
The sixth pslam, in the Septuagint, bears the title, "To the eighth," which is variously understood as the day of judgment (Augustine), the day of resurrection (Gregory of Nyssa), or the new age of spiritual circumcision (Didymus).

{Snip}

Now is the time for repentance; conversion is not possible after death (Chrysostom, Theodoret, Augustine, Jerome).  Now is the time for cleansing; then the time for chastisement (Gregory of Nazianzus).

To the commentaries now of 3 giants (HabteSelassie already quoted Augustine, who is also included in this volume):

Quote from: St. John Chrysostom - Commentary on the Psalms 6.4
(When the psalmist says) "for in death there is no one to remember you," (he is) not implying that our existence lasts only as far as the present life: perish the thought!  After all, he is aware of the doctrine of resurrection.  Rather, it is that after our departure from here there would be no time for repentance.  For the rich man praised God and repented, but in view of its lateness it did him no good.  The virgins wanted to get some oil, but no one gave any to them.  So this is what this man requests, too, for his sins to be washed away in this life so as to enjoy confidence at the tribunal of the fearsome judge.

Quote from: St. Gregory the Theologian - On His Father's Silence, Oration 16.7
Iti s better to be punished and cleansed now than to be transmitted to the torment to come, when it is the time of chastisement, not of cleansing.  For as he who remembers God here is conqueror of death (as David has most excellently sung), so the departed have not in the grave confession and restoration; for God has confined life and action to this world, and to the future the scrutiny of what has been done.

Quote from: St. Gregory of Nyssa - On the Inscriptions of the Psalms 2,11,146-47
For he who has made the inheritance known has also mentioned the octave, which becomes both the boundary of the present time and the beginning of the age to come.  Now the characteristic feature of the octave is that it no longer affords those who are in it opportunity to procure things good or bad, but one hands over instead the sheaves from whatever seeds he has sown for himself through his works.  For this reason he prescribes here that the one who is exercised in the same victories effect repentance, as such zeal is idle in Hades.
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« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2010, 08:02:43 PM »

Quote
The Message (a Protestant paraphrase): I'm no good to you dead, am I? I can't sing in your choir if I'm buried in some tomb!
Could this Protestant paraphrase have captured the meaning?

Could David be speaking from an earthly perspective here (i.e. no one in Sheol can publicly remember God, or praise Him among His people on earth)?
« Last Edit: November 16, 2010, 08:23:56 PM by Michael_Gerard » Logged
Michael_Gerard
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« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2010, 08:47:10 PM »

P.S. I found this helpful.

Quote
ANSWER: First, in such places as Psalm 6:5; 88:10,11; 115:17, the psalmist used those Hebrew words which are virtually always used in respect to public worship in the house of God in the midst of the congregation. The Hebraist, John Gill, comments: 'These passages only respect praising God before men, and in the church militant, as is done by saints in the land of the living."

For example, in Psalm 6:5, David laments that if the Lord does not deliver him out of his depression by destroying his enemies (v. 3,10), he would die. Once in Sheol, he could not give "thanks" -yadah- unto the Lord. So, the Lord should deliver him in order to receive David's thanksgiving. The word -yadah- in its various forms is found 103 times in the Hebrew OT. Almost without exception, it is the word used for public worship in congregational meetings and refers to public testimonies, praise, thanks [Psalm 9:1f; 18:49; 35:18; 43:4; 71:14ff].

The psalmist is simply saying that once he is dead, there will be no further opportunities to give public praise in the midst of the congregation. (Morey, page 215-216)
http://www.philvaz.com/apologetics/num10.htm
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Michael_Gerard
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« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2010, 12:06:50 PM »

Some assorted Patristic thoughts (from Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: Old Testament VII - Psalms 1-50, Blaising, C.A. and Hardin, C.S. eds., InterVarsity Press.  Pp. 47, 51-52)

Quote from: St. Athanasios the Great - On the Interpretation of the Psalms 15
When you feel the Lord's displeasure, if you see that you are troubled by this, you can say Psalm 6.

Their translation of Ps 6:5: "For in death there is no remembrance of thee; in Sheol who can give thee praise?

The editors also note the following that I find germane to discussion of the psalm:

Quote
The sixth pslam, in the Septuagint, bears the title, "To the eighth," which is variously understood as the day of judgment (Augustine), the day of resurrection (Gregory of Nyssa), or the new age of spiritual circumcision (Didymus).

{Snip}

Now is the time for repentance; conversion is not possible after death (Chrysostom, Theodoret, Augustine, Jerome).  Now is the time for cleansing; then the time for chastisement (Gregory of Nazianzus).

To the commentaries now of 3 giants (HabteSelassie already quoted Augustine, who is also included in this volume):

Quote from: St. John Chrysostom - Commentary on the Psalms 6.4
(When the psalmist says) "for in death there is no one to remember you," (he is) not implying that our existence lasts only as far as the present life: perish the thought!  After all, he is aware of the doctrine of resurrection.  Rather, it is that after our departure from here there would be no time for repentance.  For the rich man praised God and repented, but in view of its lateness it did him no good.  The virgins wanted to get some oil, but no one gave any to them.  So this is what this man requests, too, for his sins to be washed away in this life so as to enjoy confidence at the tribunal of the fearsome judge.

Quote from: St. Gregory the Theologian - On His Father's Silence, Oration 16.7
Iti s better to be punished and cleansed now than to be transmitted to the torment to come, when it is the time of chastisement, not of cleansing.  For as he who remembers God here is conqueror of death (as David has most excellently sung), so the departed have not in the grave confession and restoration; for God has confined life and action to this world, and to the future the scrutiny of what has been done.

Quote from: St. Gregory of Nyssa - On the Inscriptions of the Psalms 2,11,146-47
For he who has made the inheritance known has also mentioned the octave, which becomes both the boundary of the present time and the beginning of the age to come.  Now the characteristic feature of the octave is that it no longer affords those who are in it opportunity to procure things good or bad, but one hands over instead the sheaves from whatever seeds he has sown for himself through his works.  For this reason he prescribes here that the one who is exercised in the same victories effect repentance, as such zeal is idle in Hades.

I don't understand the quote from Gregory of Nyssa, as he seems to have believed (and taught) that hell would be emptied.

Also, if there's no growth or change in hades, what happens to those who live no more than a few hours (or who never take their first breath, like my sister)?

In 1958, my dad paid an RC priest $25.00 to have my still born sister baptized, because he believed that if she wasn't shed be stuck in Limbo forever.

A Greek Orthodox priest once told me that this life is a preperation for the next, but what preperation did my sister get?

Is it possible they do learn and grow (and perhaps share in this preperation here thru those of us who live on earth)?
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