Heidegger's Bible Handbook: Psalms: The Sweet Psalmist of Israel

6. David deservedly called the sweet psalmist of Israel. The hymn-writers of the Gentiles are not even able to be compared with him.


Certainly with good reason is the man David called the Sweet Psalmist of Israel. For, no one before David received this gift, to write so many and such sweet odes, elegant in expression, setting the entire doctrine of godliness, and especially the Kingdom of Christ, before the eyes, for the perpetual use of the Church. Mere sport and jest are the songs of the most ingenious among the nations, if they be compared with these. For who is it that is able to set forth anything, living, breathing, and vigorous, as it were, by Pindar,[1] Horace,[2] Callimachus,[3] or Homer, those Eagles among the Hymnographers, more apt and worthy either of God or the Son of God, or more agreeable to conscience, or in words more expressive; or more richly adorned in illustrations, or in πάθεσι/passions more sincere and weighty, or εἰκονισμοῖς/images, ἠθοποίαις/expressions, and ὑποτυπώσεσι/outlines of the matters conducted more illustrious, than all those things in this Divine volume of the Psalms?

[1] Pindar (522 BC-443 BC) was a lyric poet of Greece, esteemed by some to be the greatest. [2] Horace (65 BC-8 AD) was a Roman poet, perhaps the greatest of his day. [3] Callimachus (c. 305-c. 240 BC) was a caretaker of the Library of Alexandria and a poet.

17 views1 comment