Analytical Studies in the Psalms

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Category: Old Testament Commentaries RP Biblical Study
Author:
Arthur G Clarke

 

No other book in the Old Testament touches the daily life of the Christian more closely than the Psalms.
 
On the first day of Japan’s entry into World War II, Arthur Clarke was arrested in North China where he had been privileged to serve God for many years as a missionary.
 
He was placed in solitary confinement for three months. The daily strength and comfort derived especially from the Psalms during these days helped him immensly.
 
It is hoped that this book will continue to bring much comfort and encouragement to believers.
 
Review 
In the Foreword of this classic book on the Psalms, W E Vine observes “The brightest and best steel comes through the hottest furnace. The beauty of the pearl is the result of the bitterness of pain. The most gorgeous butterflies gain their freedom by means of a struggle through the thickest cocoons”.
This book is the result of an experience of solitary confinement, when the author, who was serving God as a missionary in North China, was arrested and imprisoned by the Japanese during World War II.
Much comfort was derived from the Psalms during that difficult period until his release in 1945. The book commences with “Introductory Notes” and contains helpful instruction as to the Psalms and their Order, Date and Authorship, Titles, Form of Hebrew Poetry, and Interpretation. The author establishes that to truly understand
the Psalms, it is necessary to study them from three view-points “(a) the Primary Association or Historical Aspect; (b) the Prophetic Anticipation, or Typical Aspect; and (c) the Personal Application, or Devotional Aspect”. The author is fond of alliteration which he extensively employs throughout the book, but his method never appears to be overstretched. As an example, Psalm 95 is entitled “Reaching Redemption Rest”. The psalm is divided into three sections. 1. The glad worship of the people (1-7b). 2. The great wish for the people (7c). 3. The grave warning to the people (8-11). The psalm is then considered in the three ways set out in the “Introductory Notes”. The study of each psalm concludes with a section of “Verse Notes”. The book concludes with twelve helpful appendices including “Poetic figures of Speech”.
 
A Cameron

 

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