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PROVIDENCE, prov'i-dens:

I. Providence Defined II. Different Spheres of Providential Activity Distinguished

III. Biblical Presentation of the Doctrine of Providence

1 . The Doctrine ot Providence in the OT

(1) The Pentateuch

(2) The Historical Books

(3) The Psalms

(4) The Wisdom Literature

(5) The Book ol Job

(6) The Prophetical Writings

2. The Doctrine o( Providence in the NT

(1) The Synoptic Gospels

(2) The Johannine Writings

(3) The Acts, and Other Historical Writings ol the NT

(4) The Pauline Epistles

(5) The Petrine Epistles, and Other NT Writings

3. OT and NT Doctrines ol Providence Com- pared

(1) The New Emphasis on the Fatherhood and Love of God

(2) The Place of Christ and the Holy Spirit in Providence

(3) The New Emphasis upon Moral and Spirit- ual Blessings

IV. Discussion of the Contents of the Biblical Doctrine

1. Different Views of Providence Compared

(1) The Atheistic or MateriaUstic View

(2) The Pantheistic View

(3) The Deistic View

(4) The Theistic or Biblical View

(5) The Divine Immanence

2. The Divine Purpose and Final End of Provi- dence

3. Special Providence

(1) Spiritual, Not Material. Good to Man the End Sought in Special Providence

(2) Special Providence and "Accidents"

(3) Special Providence as Related to Piety and Prayer

(4) Special Providence as Related to Human Cooperation

(5) General and Special Providence Both Equally Divine

4. Divine Pro^'idence and Human Free Will

(1) Divine Providence as Related to Willing Wills

(2) Divine Providence as Related to Sinful Free Will

5. Divine Providence as Related to Natural and Moral Evil

6. Evil Providentially Overruled for Good

7. Interpreting Providence

8. Conclusion Literature

/. Providence Defined. — The word "provide" (from Lat proiddere) means etymologically "to foresee." The corresponding Gr word, wpdvota, -pro- noin, means "forethought." Forethought and fore- sight imply a future end, a goal, and a definite pur- pose and plan for attaining that end. The doctrine of final ends is a doctrine of final causes, and means that that which is last in realization and attainment is first in mind and thought. The most essential attribute of rational beings is that they act with refer- ence to an end; that they act not only with thought but with forethought. As, therefore, it is character- istic of rational beings to make preparation for every event that is foreseen or anticipated, the word "providence" has come to be used less in its origi- nal etymological meaning of foresight than to signify that preparation, care and supervision which are necessary to secure a desired future result. While all rational beings exercise a providence pro- portioned to their powers, yet it is only when the word is used with reference to the Divine Being who is possessed of infinite knowledge and power that it takes on its real and true significance. The doctrine of Divine providence, therefore, has refer- ence to that preservation, care and government which God exercises over all things that He has created, in order that they may accomplish the ends for which they were created.

"Providence is the most comprehensive term in the language of theology. It is the background of all the several departments of religious truth, a background



Proverbs, Book of Providence

mysterious in its commingled brightness and darkness. It penetrates and flUs tiie whole compass of the relations of man with his Maker. It connects the unseen God with the visible creation, and the visible creation with the work of redemption, and redemption with personal sal- vation, and personal salvation with the end of all things. It carries our thoughts back to the supreme purpose which was in the beginning with God, and forward to the foreseen end and consummation of all things, while it includes between these the whole infinite variety of the deahngs of God with man" (W. B. Pope, Compendium of Christian Theology, I, 456).

//. Different Spheres of Providential Activity Distinguished. — The created universe may be con- veniently divided, with reference to Divine provi- dence, into three departments: first, the inanimate or physical universe, which is conserved or governed by God according to certain uniform principles called the laws of Nature; secondly, animate exist- ence, embracing the vegetable and animal world, over which God exercises that providential care which is necessary to sustain the life that He created; and thirdly, the rational world, composed of beings who, in addition to animate life, are pos- sessed of reason and moral free agency, and are governed by God, not necessitatively, but through an appeal to reason, they having the power to obey or disobey the laws of God according to the decision of their own free wills. This widespread care and supervision which God exercises over His created universe is commonly designated as His general providence, which embraces alike the evil and the good, in addition to which there is a more special and particular providence which He exercises over and in behalf of the good, those whose wills are in harmony with the Divine will.

///. Biblical Presentation of the Doctrine of Providence. — The word "providence" is used only once in the Scriptures (Acts 24 2), and here it refers, not to God, but to the forethought and work of man, in which sense it is now seldom used. (See also Rom 13 14, where the same Gr word is tr"" "provision.") While, however, the Bib. use of the word calls for little consideration, the doctrine indi- cated by the term "providence" is one of the most significant in the Christian system, and is either dis- tinctly stated or plainly assumed by every Bib. writer. The OT Scriptures are best understood when interpreted as a progressive revelation of God's providential purpose for Israel and the world. Messianic expectations pervade the entire life and ht. of the Heb people, and the entire OT dispensa- tion may not improperly be regarded as the moral training and providential preparation of the world, and esp. of the chosen people, for the coming Mes- siah. In the apocryphal "Book of Wisdom" the word "providence" is twice used (14 3; 17 2) in reference to God's government of the world. Rab- binical Judaism, according to Jos, was much occu- pied with discussing the relation of Divine provi- dence to human free will. The Sadducees, he tells us, held an extreme view of human freedom, while the Essenes were believers in absolute fate; the Pharisees, avoiding these extremes, believed in both the overruhng providence of God and in the free- dom and responsibility of man (Ant, XIII, v, 9; XVIII, i, 3; BJ, II, viii, 14). See Pharisees. The NT begins with the announcement that the "kingdom of heaven is at hand," which declaration carries along with it the idea of a providential pur- pose and design running through the preceding dis- pensation that prepared for the Messiah's coming. But the work of Christ is set forth in the NT, not only as the culmination of a Divine providence that preceded it, but as the beginning of a new provi- dential order, a definite and far-reaching plan, for the redemption of the world, a forethought aiid plan so comprehensive that it gives to the very idea of Divine providence a new, larger and richer mean-

ing, both intensively and extensively, than it ever had before. The minutest want of the humblest individual and the largest interests of the world- wide Idngdom of God are alike embraced within the scope of Divine providence as it is set forth by Christ and the apostles.

(1) Providence in the Pentateuch. — The opening sentence of the Scriptures, "In the beginning God

created the heaven and the earth," is 1. Divine a noble and majestic affirmation of Providence God's essential relationship to the in the OT origin of all things. It is followed by Scriptures numerous utterances scattered through- out the sacred volume that declare that He who created also preserves and governs all that He created. But the Israelitish nation was from the beginning of its history, in the Heb conception, the special object of God's providence and care, though it was declared that Jeh's lordship and government extended over all the earth (Ex 8 22). The Deu- teronomist (10 14) uses language which implies that Divine possession of all things in heaven and earth carries along with it the idea of Divine providence and control; and he also regards Israel as Jeh's pecuhar possession and special care (32 8).

This special providence that was over the elect nation as a whole was also minute and particular, in that special individuals were chosen to serve a providential purpose in the making of the nation, and were Divinely gmded in the accomplishment of their providential mission. Thus Abraham's providential place in history is set forth in Neh 9 7.8. Jacob acknowledges the same provi- dential hand in his life (Gen 31 42; 48 15). The life of Joseph abounds in evidences of a Divine providence CGen 45 5.7; 50 20). The whole life-Ustory of Moses as it is found in the Pent is a study in the doctrine of Divine providence. Other lives as set forth in these early narratives may be less notable, but they are not less indebted to Divine providence for what they are and for what they accomplish for others. Indeed, as Pro- fessor Oehler remarks, "The whole Pentateuchal history of revelation is nothing but the activity of that Divine providence which, in order to the realization of the Divine aim, is at once directed to the whole, and at the same time proves itself efficacious in the direction of the life of separate men, and in the guiding of all circum- stances" (OT Theology).

(2) The historical books of the OT. — In a sense all the books of the OT are historical in that they furnish material for writing a history of the people of Israel. See Israel, History op the People. The Pent, the Poetical Books, the Wisdom Lit., the Prophets, all furnish material for writing OT his- tory; but there is still left a body of literature, including the books from Josh to Est, that may with peculiar fitness be designated as historical. These books are all, in an important sense, an inter- pretation and presentation of the facts of Heb his- tory in their relation to Divine providence. The sacred historians undertake to give something of a Divine philosophy of history, to interpret in a religious way the facts of history, to point out the evils of individual and national sin and the rewards and blessings of righteousness, and to show God's ever-present and ever-guiding hand in human his- tory — that He is not a silent spectator of human alTairs, but the supreme moral Governor of the uni- verse, to whom individuals and nations alike owe allegiance. To the Heb historian every event in the life of the nation has a moral significance, both because of its relation to God and because of its bearing on the providential mission and testing of Israel as the people of God. The Book of Jgs, which covers the "dark ages" of Bible history, and is an enigma to many in the study of God's hand in history, shows how far God must needs conde- scend at times in His use of imperfect and even sensual men through whom to reveal His will and accomplish His work in the world. While therefore He condescends to use as instruments of His provi- dence such men as Samson and Jephthah, it is never




through these that He does Hia greatest work, but through an Abraham, a Joseph, a Moses, an Isaiah, through men of lofty moral character. And this is one of the most notable lessons of OT history if it be studied as a revelation of God's providential methods and instrumentalities. Among these his- torical writers none has given clearer and stronger expression to God's providential relation to the physical world as its preserver and to the moral world as its Divine Governor than the author of Nehemiah. "Thou, even thou, art Lord alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest

them all Yet thou in thy manifold mercies

forsookest them not in the wilderness: the pillar of the cloud departed not from them by day, to lead them in the way; neither the pillar of fire by night, to shew them light, and the way wherein they should go. Thou gavest also thy good spirit to in- struct them" (9 6.19.20 AV). His words reflect the views that were entertained by all the OT histo- rians as to God's hand in the government and guid- ance of the nation. Heb history, because of the Divine promises and Divine providence, is ever moving forward toward the Messianic goal.

(3) The Psalms. — The poets are among the world's greatest religious teachers, and the theology of the best poets generally represents the highest and purest faith that is found among a people. Applying this truth to the Heb race, we may say that in the Pss and the Book of Job we reach the high-water mark of the OT revelation as to the doctrine of Divine providence. The Psalmist's God is not only the Creator and Preserver of all things, but is a prayer-hearing and prayer-answering God, a Being so full of tender mercy and loving- kindness that we cannot fail to identify Him with the God whom Christ taught us to call "our Father." Nowhere else in the entire Scriptures, except in the Sermon on the Mount, can we find such a full and clear exhibition of the minute and special providence of God over His faithful and believing children as in the Pss— notably such as Pss 91, 103, 104 and 139. Ps 105 traces God's hand in providential and gra- cious guidance through every stage of Israel's wondrous history. Thanksgiving and praise for providential mercies and blessings abound in Pss 44, 66, 78, 85, 135. While the relation of God's power and providence to the physical universe and to the material and temporal blessings of life is constantly asserted in the Pss, yet it is the connec- tion of God's providence with man's ethical and spiritual nature, with righteousness and faith and love, that marks the highest characteristic of the Psalmist's revelation of the doctrine of providence. That righteousness and obedience are necessary conditions and accompaniments of Divine provi- dence in its moral aspects and results is evidenced by numerous declarations of the psalmists (1 6; 31 19.20; 74 12; 84 11; 91 1; 125 2). This thought finds happiest expression in Ps 37 23 AV: "The steps of a good man are ordered of the Lord, and he delighteth in his way." The inspired poets make it plain that the purpose of Divine providence is not merely to meet temporal wants and bring earthly blessings, but to secure the moral good of individuals and nations.

(4) The Wisdom Literature. — The doctrine of providence finds ample and varied expression in the Wisdom Lit. of the OT, notably in the Book of Prov. The power that preserves and governs and guides is always recognized as inseparable from the power that creates and commands (Prov 3 21- 26; 16 4). Divine providence does not work inde- pendently of man's free will; providential blessings are conditioned on character and conduct (Prov 26

10 AV; 2 7.8; 12 2.21). There cannot be, in OT terms of faith, any stronger statement of the doc- trine of Divine providence than that given by the Wise Men of Israel in the following utterances recorded in the Book of Prov: "In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he will direct thy paths" (3 6); "A man's heart deviseth his way, but Jeh directeth his steps" (16 9); "The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of Jeh" (16 33); "A man's goings are of Jeh" (20 24); "The king's heart is in the hand of Jeh as the watercourses: He turneth it whithersoever he will" (21 1); "The horse is prepared against the day of battle; but victory is of Jeh" (21 31). See also 3 21-26; 12 2.21. The conception of providence that is presented in the Book of Eccl seems to reflect the views of one who had had experience insin and had come into close contact with many of life's ills. All things have their appointed time, but the real- ization of the providential purposes and ends of creaturely existence is, wherever human free agency is involved, always conditioned upon man's exer- cise of his frpe will. The God of providence rules and overrules, but He does not by His omnipo- tence overpower and override and destroy man's true freedom. Things that are do not reflect God's perfect providence, but rather His providence as affected by human free agency and as marred by man's sin (Eccl 3 1-11). "I know that there is nothing better for them, than to rejoice, and to do good so long as they live. And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy good in all his labor, is the gift of God"^ (vs 12.13; see also ver 14); "The righteous, and the wise, and their works, are in the hand of God" (9 1) ; "The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong" (9 11). The same conclusion that the author of Eccl reached as to how human life is affected by Divine provi- dence and man's sin has found expression in the oft-quoted lines of the great poet:

"There's a Divinity that shapes our ends, Rough-hew them how Ave will."

(.5) The Book of Job. — The greatest of all the in- spired contributions to the Wisdom Lit. of the OT, the Book of Job, demands special considera- tion. It is the one book in the Bible that is de- voted wholly to a discussion of Divine providence. The perplexities of a thoughtful miad on the subject of Divine providence and its relation to human suf- fering have nowhere in the literature of the world founil stronger and clearer expression than in this inspired drama which bears the name of its unique and marvelous hero. Job. Job represents not only a great sufferer, but an honest doubter: he dared to doubt the theology of his day, a theology which he had himself doubtless believed until experience, the best of all teachers, taught him its utter inadequacy to explain the deepest problems of human life and of Divine providence. The purpose of this book in the inspired volume seems to be to correct the prevailing theology of the day with regard to the subject of sin and suffering in their relation to Divine providence. There is no more deplorable and hurtful error that a false theology could teach than that all suffering in this world is a proof of sin and a measure of one's guilt (see Affliction). It is hard enough for the innocent to suffer. I'o add to their suffering by teaching them that it is all because they are awful sinners, even though their hearts assure them that they are not, is to lay upon the innocent a burden too grievous to be borne. The value in the inspired Canon of a book written to reveal the error of such a misleading doctrine as this cannot easily be over- estimated. The invaluable contribution which this book makes to the Bib. doctrine of providence is to be found, not in individual and detached sayings.




striking and suggestive as some of these may be, but rather in the book as a whole. Statements concerning God's general providence abound in this inspired drama — such as these, for example: "Who knoweth not in all these, that the hand of Jeh hath wrought this, in whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind?" (Job 12 9.10); "Who hath given him a charge over the earth? or who hath disposed the whole world? .... He shall break in pieces mighty men without number, and set others in their stead" (34 13.24 AV).

But the special contribution of the Book of Job to the doctrine of Divine providence, as already indicated, is to set forth its connection with the fact of sin and suffering. Perplexed souls in all ages have been asking: If God be all-powerful and all-good, why should there be any suffering in a world which He created and over which He rules? If He cannot prevent suffering, is He omnipotent? If He can, but will not prevent suffering, is He in- finitely good? Does the book solve the mystery? We cannot claim that it does. But it does vindi- cate the character of God, the Creator, and of Job, the moral free agent under trial. It does show the place of suffering in a moral world where free agents are forming character; it does show that perfect moral character is made, not by Divine omnipo- tence, but by trial, and that physical suffering serves a moral end in God's providential govern- ment of men and nations. While the book does not clear the problem of mystery, it does show how on the dark background of a suffering world the lumi- nous holiness of Divine and human character may be revealed. The picture of this suffering man of Uz, racked with bodily pains and irritated by the ill-spoken words of well-meaning friends, planting himself on the solid rock of his own conscious recti- tude, and defying earth and hell to prove him guilty of wrong, and knowing that his Vindicator liveth and would come to his rescue — that is an inspired picture that will make every innocent sufferer who reads it stronger until the end of time. See also Job, Book of.

(6) The prophetical writings. — Nowhere in all literature is the existence and supremacy of a moral and providential order in the world more clearly recognized than in the writings of the OT prophets. These writings are best understood_ when inter- preted as the moral messages and passionate appeals of men who were not only prophets and preachers of righteousness to their own times, but students and teachers of the moral philosophy_ of history for all time, seers, men of vision, who interpreted all events in the light of their bearing on this moral and providential order, in which Divine order the Israelitish nation had no small part, and over which Israel's God was sovereign, doing "according to his will in the army of heaven and among the inhabit- ants of earth." While each prophetic message takes its coloring from the political, social and rnoral conditions that called it forth, and therefore differs from every other message, the prophets are all one in their insistence upon the supremacy and Divine authority of this moral order, and in their looking forward to the coming of the Messiah and the setting up of the Messianic kingdom as the provi- dential goal and consummation of the moral order. They all describe in varying degrees of light and shade a coming time when One born of their own oppressed and down-trodden race should come in power and glory, and set up a kingdom of righteous- ness and love in the earth, into which kingdom all nations shall be ultimately gathered; and of His kingdom there shall be no end. God's providential government of the nation was always and every- where directed toward this Messianic goal. The

language which an inspired writer puts into the mouth of Nebuchadnezzar, the heathen king, is an expression, not so much of the gentile conception of God and His government, as it is of the faith of a Heb prophet concerning God's relationship to men and nations: "He doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?" (Dnl 4 35). The providential blessings which the prophets promise to the people, whether to individuals or to the nation, are never a matter of mere omnipotence or favoritism, but are inseparably connected with righteous conduct and holy character. The blessings promised are mainly spiritual, but whether spiritual or material, they are always conditioned on righteousness. The Book of Isa is esp. rich in passages that empha- size the place of moral conduct and character in God's providential government of the world, the supreme purpose and end of which are to establish a kingdom of righteousness in the earth (Isa 33 13-16; 35 8-10; 43 2; 46 4; 64 14-17). Divine providence is both personal and national, and of each it is declared in varying terms of assurance that "Jeh will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rearward" (52 12). Each of the major and minor prophets confirms and reen- forces the teachings of this greatest and most truly representative of all the OT prophets.

(1) The Synoptic Gospels. — The Synoptic Gospels furnish the richest possible material for a study of

the doctrine of Divine providence. 2. Divine They recognize in the advent of Christ Providence the fulfilment of a long line of Messi- in the NT anic prophecies and the culmination of

providential purposes and plans that had been in the Divine mind from the beginning and awaited the fulness of time for their revelation in the Incarnation (Mt 1 22; 2 5.15; 3 3). In His private and personal life of service and prayer Christ is a model of filial trust in the providence of the heavenly Father (Mt 11 25; 26 39; Mk 1 35; 6 46; Lk 3 21; 11 1). His private and public utterances abound in declarations concerning God's ever-watchful and loving care for all His creatures, but above all for those creatures who bear His own image; while His teachings concerning the King- dom of God reveal a Divine providential plan for the world's redemption and education extending of necessity far into the future; and still beyond that, in His vision of Divine providence, comes a day of final judgment, of retribution and reward, followed by a new and eternal order of things, in which the destiny of every man will be determined by his conduct and character in this present life (see Our Lord's parables concerning the Kingdom: Mt 13 24-50; Mk 4 26ff; Lk 14 16ff; also Mt 24 and 25). The many familiar utterances of Our Lord, found in the Synoptic Gospels, contain the most essential and precious of all the NT revela- tions concerning the providence of the heavenly Father (Mt 5 45; 6 26-34; 10 29-31; Lk 21 16-18).

(2) The Johannine writings. — St. John's Gospel differs from the Synoptic Gospels in its mode of presenting the doctrine of providence chiefly in that it goes back to the mind and purpose of God in the very beginning (Jn 1 1-5), whereas the Synoptic Gospels simply go back to the Messianic prophecies of the OT. Both the Gospel and the Epp. of John in their presentation of Divine providence place the greatest possible emphasis on Divine love and filial trust, the latter rising in many places to the point of positive assurance. The Book of Rev is a prophetic vision, in apocalyptic form, of God's providential purpose for the future, dealing not so much with individuals aa with nations and with




the far-reaching movements of history extending through the centuries. God is revealed in St. John's writings, not as an omnipotent and arbitrary Sovereign, but as an all-loving Father, who not only cares for His children in this life but is building for them in the world to come a house of many man- sions (Jn 14 1-20) .

(3) The Book of Acts and other NT history. — The historical portions of the NT, as contained in the Acts, and elsewhere, while not eliminating or depreciating the element of human freedom in indi- viduals and nations, yet recognize in human life and history the ever-present and all-controlling mind of that God in whom, it is declared, "we live, and move, and have our being" (Acts 17 28). The career of the first distinctive NT character begins with these words: "There came a man, sent from God, whose name was John" (Jn 1 6). But not only John, the forerunner, but every other indi- vidual, according to the NT conceptions, is a man "sent from God." The apostles conceive them- selves to be such; Stephen, the martyr, was such; Paul was such (Acts 22 21). NT biography is a study in providentially guided lives, not omitting references to those who refuse to be so guided — for such is the power of human free agency, many who are "sent from God" refuse to go upon their Di- vinely appointed mission. The Day of Pentecost is the revelation of a new power in history — a revela- tion of the place and power which the Divine- human Christ and the Holy Spirit are to have hence- forth in making history — in making the character of the men and the nations whose deeds are to make history. The most potent moral force in history is to be, from the day of Pentecost on, the ascended incarnate Christ, and He is to be all the more in- fluential in the world after His ascension, when His work shall be done through the Holy Spirit. This is the historical view of providence as connected with the person of Christ, which the NT historians present, and which we, after 19 centuries of Chris- tian history, are warranted in holding more confi- dently and firmly even than the Christians of the 1st cent, could hold it; for the Christian centuries have proved it true. What God is in Nature Christ is in history. All history is becoming Christian history, thus realizing the NT conception of Divine providence in and through Christ.

(4) The Pauline writings. — No character of whom we have any account in Christian literature was providentially prepared for his life-work and providentially guided in accomplishing that life- work more truly than was the apostle Paul. We find, therefore, as we would antecedently expect, that Paul's speeches and ■m-itings abound in proofs of his absolute faith in the overruling providence of an all-wise God. His doctrine of predestination and foreordination is best understood when inter- preted, not as a Divine power predetermining hu- man destiny and nullifying the human will, but as a conception of Divine providence as the eternal purpose of God to accomplish an end contemplated and foreseen from the beginning, viz. the redemp- tion of the world and the creation in and through Christ of a new and holy humanity. Every one of the Pauline Epp. bears witness to the author's faith in a Divine providence that overrules and guides the life of every soul that works in harmony with the Divine will; but this providence is working to secure as its chief end, not material and temporal blessings, but the moral and spiritual good of those concerned. Paul's teachings concerning Divine providence as it concerns individuals and is condi- tioned on character may be found summed up in what is perhaps the most comprehensive single sen- tence concerning providence that was ever written: "And we know that all things work together for

good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose" (Rom 8 28 AV). Any true exposition of the NT doctrine of Divine providence that may be given can only be an un- folding of the content of this brief but comprehen- sive statement. The greatest of the Pauline Epp., that to the Rom, is a study in the divine phi- losophy of history, a revelation of God's providential purpose and plan concerning the salvation, not merely of individuals, but of the nations. These purposes, as Paul views them, whether they concern individuals or the entire race, are always associated with the mediatorial ministry of Christ: "For of him, and through him, and unto him, are all things. "To him be the glory for ever" (Rom 11 36).

(5) The Petrine Epp. and other NT writings. — The Epp. of Peter, James, and Jude, and the Ep. to the He, are all in entire accord with the teach- ings of the other NT writings already considered. St. Peter, who at first found it so hard to see how God's providential purpose in and for the Messiah could be realized if Christ should suffer and die, came later to see that the power and the glory of Christ and His all-conquering gospel are inseparably connected with the sufferings and death of the Messiah (1 Pet 1 11.12). No statement con- cerning God's providence over the righteous can be clearer or stronger than the following utterance of Peter: "The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous. And his ears unto their supplication: But the face of the Lord is upon them that do evil. And who is he that will harm you, if ye be zealous of thatwhichisgood?" (1 Pet 3 12.13). The purpose and end of Divine providence as viewed in the Ep. of Jas are always ethical : as conduct and character are the end and crown of Christian effort, so they are the end and aim of Divine providence as it co- operates with men to make them perfect (Jas 1 5. 17.27; 2 5; 5 7). The apologetic value of the Ep. to the He grows out of the strong proof it presents that Christ is the fulfilment, not only of the Mes- sianic prophecies and expectations of Israel, but of the providential purposes and plans of that God who at sundry times and in divers manners had spoken in times past unto the fathers by a long line of prophets (He 1 1.2; 11 7-40; 13 20.21). It would be difficult to crowd into one short chapter a more comprehensive study of the lessons of his- tory that illustrate the workings and the retribu- tions of the moral law under Divine providence than is found in the Ep. of Jude (see esp. vs 5.7.11. 14.15.24).

From this brief survey of the teachings of the OT and NT Scriptures concerning the doctrine of Divine providence, it will be seen 3. OT and that, while the NT reaffirms in most NT Doc- particulars the doctrine of Divine trines of providence as set forth in the OT Providence Scriptures, there are three particu- Compared lars in which the points of emphasis are changed, and by which new and changed emphasis the doctrine is greatly enriched in the NT.

(1) The fatherhood and love of God in providence. — The God of providence in the OT is regarded as a Sovereign whose will is to be obeyed, and His lead- ing attributes are omnipotence and holiness, where- as in the NT God is revealed as the heavenly Father, and His providence is set forth as the forethought and care of a father for his children. His leading attributes here are love and holiness — His very omnipotence is the omnipotence of love. To teach that God is not only a righteous Ruler to be feared and adored, but a tender and loving Father who is ever thinking of and caring for His children, is to make God lovable and turn His providence into an administration of Almighty love.




(2) The plarc of Christ and the Holy Spirit in proui- itence. — The doctrine ol providence in tiie NT is con- nected witli tlie person of Ctirist and tlie administration of ttie Holy Spirit, in a manner tliat distinguishes it from the OT presentation of providence as the worli of the one God who was there revealed in the simple unity of His nature witliout distinction of persons. If it be true, as some theologians have taught, that "God the Father plans, God the Son executes, and God the Holy Ghost applies," then it would follow that providence is the work exclusively of Christ and the Holy Spirit; but this theological formula, wliile it has suggestive value, cannot be accepted as an accurate statement of Bib. doctrine with reference to Divine providence. Christ constantly refers creation and providence to the Father. But He also said, "My Father worketh even until now, and I work" (Jn 5 17), and the NT writers attribute to Christ the work both of creation and providence. Thus Paul: " For by him were all tilings created, that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principaUties, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: and he is before all things, and by tiim aU things consist" (Col 1 16.17 AV). Although this and other passages refer to Christ's relation to general providence, including the government of the physical imiverse, yet it is only when the Divine government is concerned with the redemption of a lost world and the establishment of the Kingdom of God in the hearts and lives of men, that the full extent of Clu-ist's part in Divine providence can be realized. The saving and perfecting of men is the supreme purpose of providence, if it be viewed from the NT standpoint, wliich is that of Christ's mediatorial ministry.

(3) The new emphasis upon moral and spiritual blessings. — The NT not only subordinates the ma- terial and temporal aspects of providence to the spiritual and eternal more than does the OT, but Christ and the apostles, to an extent that finds no parallel in the OT, place the emphasis of their teaching concerning providence upon man's moral needs and eternal interests, and upon the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, the establishment of which in the hearts and lives of men is the one great object for which both the heavenly Father and His children are ceaselessly working. To be free from sin, to be holy in heart and useful in life, to love and obey God as a Father, to love and serve men as brothers — this is the ideal and the end for which, according to the NT, men should work and pray, and this is the end toward which God is working by His ceaseless cooperative providence.

IV. Discussion of the Contents of the Biblical Doctrine. — There are four distinct conceptions of providence as it concerns God's rela- 1. Different tion to the ongoing of the world and Views of to man, the rational and moral free Providence agent whom He has placed upon it, viz. the atheistic, the deistic, the pan- theistic, and the theistic or Bib. view. See also God, I, 4. The last named view can best be under- stood only when stated in comparison and contrast with these opposing views.

(1) Atheism, or materialism, stands at one extreme, affirming that there is no God, that the material universe is eternal, and that from material atoms, eternaUy en- dowed with certain properties, there have come, by a process of evolution, all existing forms of vegetable, animal and rational life. As materialism denies the existence of a personal Creator, it of course denies any and every doctrine of Divine providence.

(2) Pantheism stands at the other extreme from atheism, teaching that God is everything and everytiung is God. The created universe is "the Uving garment" of God — God is the soul of the world, the universe His existence form. But God is an infinite It, not a personal Being who can express His existence in terms of self- consciousness — I, Thou, He. Providence, according to pantheism, is simply the evolution of impersonal deity, differing from materialism only in the name which it gives to the infinite substance from wMch all things flow.

(3) Deism teaches that there is a God, and that He created the world, but created things do not need His presence and the exercise of His power in order to con- tinue in existence and fulfil their functions. The mate- rial world is placed under immutable law; while man, the rational and moral free agent, is left to do as he wills. God sustains, according to deism, very much the same relation to the universe that the clock-maker does to his timepiece. Having made his clock, and wound it up. he does not interfere with it, and the longer it can run without the maker's intervention the greater the evi-

dence of wisdom and skill on the part of the maker. God according to deism has never wrought a miracle nor made a supernatural revelation to man. The only religion that is possible to man is natural reUgion ; he may reason from Nature up to Nature's God. The only value of prayer is its subjective influence; it helps us to answer our own

?rayers, to become and be what we are praying to be. f the Divine Being is a prayer-hearing God, He is at least not a prayer-answering God. The laws of Nature constitute God's general providence ; but there is no other personal and special providence than this, according to deism. God, the deists afBrm, is too great, too distant, too transcendent a Being to concern Himself witli the details of creaturely existence.

(4) The theistic or Biblical conception of provi- dence teaches that God is not only the Creator but thePreserver of the universe, and that the preser- vation of the universe, no less than its creation, implies and necessitates at every moment of time an omnipotent and omnipresent personal Being. This world is not "governed by the laws of Nature," as deism teaches, but it is "governed by God, accord- ing to the laws of Nature." "Law," in itself, is an impotent thing, except as it is the expression of a free will or person back of it; "the laws of Nature" are meaningless and impotent, except as they are an expression of the uniform mode, according to which God preserves and governs the world. It is customary to speak of the laws of Nature as if they were certain self-existent forces or powers govern- ing the world. But shall we not rather say that there is no real cause except personal will — either the Divine will or created wills? If this be true, then it is inconsistent to say that God has committed the government of the physical universe to "second- ary causes" — that is, to the laws of Nature — and that these laws are not immediately dependent upon Him for their efficiency. The omnipresent and ever-active God is the only real force and power and cause in the universe, except as created wills may be true and real causes within their limited bounds. This view of God's relation to the created universe serves to distinguish the Bib. doctrine of Divine providence from the teachings of material- ists and deists, who eliminate entirely the Divine hand from the ongoing of the universe, and in its stead make a god of the "laws of Nature," and hence have no need for a Divine preserver. Bib. theism makes ample room for the presence of the supernatural and miraculous, but we must not be blind to a danger here, in that it is possible to make so much of the presence of God in the supernatural (revelation, inspiration, and miracle) as to over- look entirely His equally important and necessary presence in the natural — which would be to en- courage a deistical conception of God's relation to the world by exaggerating His transcendence at the ejcpense of His immanence. That is the true theistic doctrine of providence which, while not undervaluing the supernatural and miraculous, yet stedf astly maintains that God is none the less present in, and necessary to, what is termed the "natural."

(5) The Divine Immanence. — This idea of God's essential relation to the continuation of all things in existence is perhaps best expressed by the term "im- manence." Creation emphasizes God's transcend- ence, while providence emphasizes His immanence. Pantheism affirms God's immanence, but denies His transcendence. Deism affirms His transcendence, but denies His immanence. Bib. theism teaches that God is both transcendent and immanent. By the term "transcendence," when applied to God, is meant that the Divine Being is a person, separate and distinct from Nature and above Nature — "Nature" being used here in its largest signification as including all created things. By the Divine Immanence is meant that God is in Nature as well as over Nature, and that the continuance of Nature is as directly and immediately dependent upon Him as the origin of Nature — indeed, by some, God's preservation of




the created universe is defined as an act of "con- tinuous creation." By the Divine Immanence is meant something more than omnipresence, which term, in itself alone, does not affirm any causal relation between God and the thing to which He is present, whereas the term "immanence" does affirm such causal relation. By asserting the Divine Im- manence, therefore, as the mode of God's providen- tial efficiency, we affirm that all created things are dependent upon Him for continued existence, that the laws of Nature have no efficiency apart from their Creator and Preserver, that God is to be sought and seen in all forms and phases of creaturely existence, in the natural as well as the supernatural and miraculous, that He is not only omnipresent but always and everjTvhere active both in the natu- ral and the spiritual world, and that without Him neither the material atom, nor the living organism, nor the rational soul could have any being. He not only created all things, but "by him all things con- sist," that is, by Him all things are preserved in being.

What, then, let us ask, do the Scriptures teach as to the purpose and end of God's providential

government of the world? Back of 2. Purpose this question is another: What was and Final the Divine motive and supreme End of thought in the creation of the uni-

Providence verse, and what the final cause and

end of all things in the mind and pur- pose of God ? If we can think God's thoughts after Him and discover this "final cause" of creation, with even approximate accuracy, then we shall find a principle that will illuminate at least, if it does not fully explain, the methods and mysteries of provi- dence. We venture to affirm that the controlling thought in the mind of God in establishing this order of things, of which we are a conscious part, was to create a race of beings who should find their highest happiness by being in the highest degree holy, and who should, in proportion as they attain their highest holiness and happiness, thereby in the highest degree glorify their Creator. The Creator's highest glory can be promoted only by such beings as are at once rational, moral, free, holy. There are unconscious, unthinking, unmoral forms of ex- istence, but the motive and meaning of the universe is to be found, not in the lower, the physical and animal, but in the highest, in the rational and moral. The lower exists for the higher, the material and animal for the spiritual and moral. A being whose character is formed under the conditions and laws of intellectual and moral freedom is higher than any being can be that is what it is necessitatively, that is, by virtue of conditions over which it has no control. Character that is formed freely under God's government and guidance will glorify the Creator more than anything can which is made to be what it is wholly by Divine omnipotence. These things being true, it follows that God's providence in the world will be directed primarily and cease- lessly toward developing character in free moral agents, toward reducing sin to the minimum and developing the maximum of holiness, in every way and by every means compatible with perfect moral freedom in the creature.

The possibility of sin in a world of free agents and in a state of probation is unavoidable, but to say that sin is possible does not mean that it is necessary. See Choice; Will. The final cause and end, the purpose and motive, of Divine provi- dence, then, are not the temporal, material and earthly happiness of men, but the highest ultimate moral good of free beings whose highest happiness is secured through their highest holiness — which means first, their obedience to the holy will of God as their Father, and secondly, loving and self-

sacrificing service to their fellow-men. This ever- present and all-dominating moral purpose of Divine providence determines its methods and explains, in part at least, what would otherwise be its mysteries. With this conception of Divine providence the general trend of Bib. thought is in entire accord. In the light of Christ's revelation of God as a holy and loving Father who regards all men as His children and whose chief concern is to develop holi- ness and love in those whom He loves, we may define Divine providence as Infinite Wisdom, using infinite power to accomplish the ends of infinite holiness and love. The originating and determining cause of Divine providence is, in the NT conception of it, always to be found in the love of God, while the final cause is the glory of the Father as realized in the holiness and happiness of His children.

By the doctrine of special providence, according to tlie best use of that term in theological Uterature, is meant as already indicated, that minute care 3 Special ^^^ ever-watchful supervision which God T5* .J exercises over His obedient and behoving

JrTOViaence children in things, both small and great, which are designed to secure their ever- increasing holiness and usefulness. God's general provi- dence is and must be special, in that it descends to par- ticulars — to the minute details of creaturely existence — and is always and everywhere active. But the Scrip- tures teach that there is a more special care over and ordering of the lives of the spiritually good than pertains to the wicked, who have not the fear of God before their eyes. The following Scriptures set forth in unmistakable terms the doctrine of a special providence exercised by the heavenly Father over and in behalf of the righteous: "A man's goings are established of Jeh; and he delight- eth in his way" (Ps 37 23); "In all thy ways acknowl- edge him, and he will direct thy paths" (Prov 3 6); "There shall no mischief happen to the righteous " (Prov 12 21);" But seek ye first his kingdom, and his righteous- ness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Mt 6 33) ; "To them that love God all things work together for good" {Rom 8 28). The follomng points seem to be plainly involved in any statement of the doctrine of special providence that can claim to be faithful to the teachings of the Scriptures;

(1) Spiritual, not material, good to man the end souoht in special providence. — A mistaken and hurtful notion has long been prevalent to the effect that special provi- dence is designed to secure the secular and earthly good, the material and temporal prosperity, of God's children. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Material bless- ings may indeed come as a special providence to the child of God (Mt 6 33etal.), but that "good" which all things work together to secure for them that love God is mainly spiritual good, and not financial, or social, or intellect- ual, or temporal good, except as these may secure ulti- mate spiritual good. Indeed, God's special providence may take away wealth and bring poverty in its stead in order to impart the "true riches." It may defeat rather than further one's worldly hopes and ambitions; may bring sickness rather than health, and even death in- stead of life — for sometimes a Christian can do more good by siclcness or death than by health or continued life — and when that is the case, his sickness or death may well be interpreted as a special providence. "Every branch that bearcth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit." Many of the OT promises do. it is true, seem to have special reference to material and temporal blessings, but we should remember that tho best inter- pretation of these is to be found in the NT, where they are (as, for example, when quoted by Christ in the Tempta- tion) interpreted as having mainly a spiritual significance. When Our Lord speaks of the very hairs of our heads being numbered, and declares that if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without the Father's notice, surely we, who are of more value than many sparrows, cannot drift beyond His love and care. His words might be inter- preted as teaching that God will save us from physical suffering and death; but such is not His meaning, for in tho very same context He speaks of how they to whom He thus pledges His love and care shall be persecuted and hated for His name's sake, and how some of them shall be put to death; and yet His promise was true. God was with them in their physical sufferings, but the great blessing wherewith He blessed them was not physical, . but moral and spiritual.

(2) Special providence and "accidents." — Another Still more mistaken and hurtful notion concerning special providence is the association of it with, and the limitation of it largely to, what are caUed "accidents," those irregu- lar and occasional occurrences which involve more than ordinary danger and risk to life. The popular notion of special providence associates it with a happy escape from visible dangers and serious injury, as when the house catches on fire, or the horses run away, or the train ia




wrecked, or the ship encounters an awlul storm, or one comes in contact with contagious disease or the terrible pestilence that walketh in darkness. A happy escape from injury and death on such an occasion is popularly designated as a "special providence," and this regardless of whether the individual thus escaping is a saint or a sinner. We cannot too strongly emphasize the fact that God's special providence is not a capricious, occasional, and irregular intervention of His love and power in behalf of His children, but involves ceaseless — yea infinite — thought and care for those that love Him, everjTvhere and in all the experiences of life.

(3) Special providence as related to piety and prayer. — God's special providence is conditioned upon piety and prayer, though it far transcends, in the blessings it brings, the specific requests of His children. While we may properly pray for things pertaining to our temporal and physical life with the assurance that God will answer such prayers in so far as He deems best, yet the Scriptures encourage us to mako spiritual blessings the main object of our prayers. "Seek ye first his kingdom, and his righteousness." is the essence of the N'T teaching on this subject: but we should not overlook the fact that this Divine injunction is both preceded and followed by the strongest assurances of the most minute and ceaseless provision for all our temporal and physical wants by the loving heavenly Father. "Therefore take no thought saying. What shall we eat? or. What shall we drink? or. Wherewithal shall we be clothed ? . . . . For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness: and all these things shall be added unto you," AV. In keeping with this Scripture, the poet has written:

"Make you His service your delight: Your wants shall be His care." But while it is true that God has promised to make our wants His care, we should remember that He has prom- ised this only to that devout and godly number of pious, graying souls who "seek first the kingdom of God, and is righteousness." His general providence is alike to all, by which "he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the un- just." But it is only "to them that love God" that it is promised that "all things work together for good" — and the proof of love is not in one's profession, but in his obedience and service.

(4) Special providence as related to human cooperation. — The words of Clirist concerning the heavenly Father's watchful and loving providence do not mean that the children of God are not in any sense to take thought for food and raiment, and ial^or daily to obtain the necessi- ties of life. Labor, both mental and physical, is as mucli a duty as prayer. The prayer, "Give us this day our daily bread," does not render it unnecessary that they who offer it should work for their own daily bread. Nothing could be more hurtful to healthful Christian activity than to interpret Our Lord's insistence, in the Sermon on the Mount and elsewhere, upon trust in the heavenly Father's watchful providence as a justification of thoughtlessness, idleness, and improvidence: seeing that its purpose is simply to warn us against that need- less and hurtful anxiety about the future which is not only inconsistent with trust in God, but which is utterly destructive of man's best efforts in his own behalf.

(5) General and special ■providence both equally Divine. — While the Scriptures appear to us to malce a real and true distinction between God's natural and His supernatural order, and between His general and His special providence, yet to truly pious and wisely discerning souls all is alike Divine, the natu- ral as well as the supernatural, general as well as special providence. So far as God's faithful and loving children are concerned, general and special providence blend into one. The only real and im- portant distinction between the two is that made by the free wills of men, by virtue of which some are in loving accord with the Divine plans concern- ing them, and others are at enmity with God and oppose the purpose of His love concernmg them If all men wore, and had always been, alike trustful and loving children of the heavenly Father^ there would perhaps never have been any occasion for making a distinction between the general and the special providence of God. The only distmction we should have needed to recognize in that case would have been as to the varieties of Divme provi- dence, in view of the fact that the all-loving Father would cause widely different events to happen to His different children. If anyone, therefore, is m- clined to deny the distinction which we have here made between general and special providence, and

prefers to affirm that there is but one general provi- dential order over mankind in the world, that the distinction is in man and not in God's providence, his position cannot be seriously objected to, pro- vided he does not thereby moan that the world is governed by impersonal and immutable laws, but will affirm with clearness and confidence that the world is governed by the all-loving, all-wise, omni- present, and everywhere-active God. For, indeed, the only thing that is really "special" and out of order is the limitation which sin imposes upon the workings of Divine providence in so far as the self- will and opposition of men prevent the realization of the providential purposes of God concerning them. But, unfortunately, sin is now, and has long been, so prevalent and dominant in the world that we have come to regard God's providence as affected and limited by it, as that which is regular and general^, and His more perfect and complete providence m behalf of and over the good as the exceptional and special. But whether we call Divine providence, as related to believers, "general" or "special," is of little consequence, provided we believe that "the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord" (Ps 37 23 AV), that "all things work together for [spiritual] good to them that love God," and that to those who, duly subordinating the temporal to the spiritual, seek "first the kingdom of God and his righteousness," all things needful "shall be added" by the heavenly Father.

The problem of Divine providence has its utmost significance, not in its bearing on the laws of physi- cal nature, but in that phase of it 4. Divine which concerns God's dealings with Providence moral agents, those creatures who and Human may, and often do, act contrary to Free Will His will. God governs men as a father governs his children, as a king governs his free subjects; not as a machinist works his machine, or as a hypnotist controls his mesmer- ized victims. A father in his family and a sovereign in his realm may each do as he pleases within certain limits, and God infinitely more: "He doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth ; and none can stay his hand, or say unto him. What doest thou?" (Dnl 4 3.5). He setteth up one andputteth down another. Nevertheless, even God acts within limits; He limited Himself when He created free agents. As a mere matter of power God can pre- determine man's volitions and necessitate his acts, but He can do so only by making of him a kind of rational machine, and destroying his true freedom. But Scripture, reason and consciousness all unite in teaching man that he is morally free, that he is an agent, and not something merely acted on. God's providential government of men, therefore, is based on their freedom as rational a,nd moral beings, and consists in such an administration and guidance by the Holy Spirit of the affairs of men as shall en- courage free moral agents to virtue, and discourage them from sin. God's providence must needs work upon and with two kinds of wills — willing wills and opposing wills.

(1) Divine providence as related to willing wills. — The apostle declares that God works in believers ' ' both to will and to do of his good pleasure." If God's special provi- dence over and in behalf of His children may involve an intervention of His Divine power within the realm of physical law, much more, it would seem, will it Involve a similar intervention within the realm of the human mind and the htmian will. Spiritual guidance is one of the most precious privileges of believers, but it is difficult to conceive how the Holy Spirit can effectually guide a believer without finding some way of controlling his will and determining his voUtions that is compatible with free agency. While most of man's thoughts, erno- tions and voUtions are self-determined in their origin, being due to the free and natural workings of his own mind and heart and will, yet there are also thoughts,

Providence Province



emotions and volitions that are Divinely produced. Even a sinner under conviction of sin has thoughts and emo- tions that are produced by the Holy Ghost. Much more has the believer Divinely produced thoughts and feeUngs; and if Divinely produced thoughts and feelings, there may be, in like manner, it would seem. Divinely produced volitions. Does this seem irreconcilable with the fact of moral free agency ? We think not ; it is no more sub- versive of human free agency for God to influence effect- ively a man's voUtions and secure a certain course of action than it is for one man effectively to influence another. No volition that is Divinely necessitated can be a free moral volition; for moral volitions are such as are put forth freely, in view of motives and moral ends. The element of necessity and compulsion would destroy ail true freedom in, and moral accountability for, any particular volition, so that it could not be either virtuous or vicious. But — and here is the crucial point — ^whcn a man, by an act of his own will, freely commits the order- ing of his life to God, and prays God to choose for him what is best, working in him both to will and to do. that act of self -commitment to God involves the very essence of moral freedom, and is the highest exercise of free agency. "Our wills are ours to make them Tliine," the poet has truly said. In other words, the highest moral act of man's free will is the surrender of itself to the Divine will; and whatever control of man's will on God's part results from and follows this free act of self- surrender is entirely consistent with perfect moral free- dom, even though it should involve Divinely produced voUtions. Does a perplexed child cease to be free when in the exercise of his freedom he asks a wise and loving father to decide a matter for him, and be his guide in attaining a certain desired end? Surely not; and this Intervention of parental wisdom and love is none the less effective if It should work, as far as possible, through the mind and wiU of the child, rather than allow the child to be entirely passive. So God works effectually through the mind and will of every soul who unreservedly commits himself to the Divine will — commits himself not once simply, but continually. God cannot under the Divinely appointed laws of freedom work in and through the sinner *' both to will and to do," because the sinner's will is bent on evil, and hence opposed to the Divine will. God's wiU can work, not with, but only against, a sinful will; and if it should so work and necessitate his voli- tions, that would destroy his true freedom. But, if God should work in and through an obedient and acquiescent will that is seeking Divine guidance, that would be an exercise of Divine power in no way incompatible with the true moral freedom of men. Such is the influence, as we conceive it, of the Divine upon the human will in providence. God's providence works effectively only through willing wills.

(2) Divine providence as related to sinful free will. — • But God's providence encounters opposing as well as willing wills. Not every unconverted man, however, represents an equally antagonistic will — there are differ- ent degrees of opposition. That God's gracious and special providence in behalf of an individual often ante- dates his forsaking sin and his acceptance of Christ as a personal Saviour is manifest to every student of Christian biography. Tvluch of the best training that many a "chosen vessel" ever receives for his life-work turns out to be that unconscious providential preparation which he was receiving under a Father's guidance before he con- sciously consecrated himself to his Divine Master. "I girded thee, though thou hast not known me," said God to Cyrus — and on this text Horace BushneU preached one of the greatest of modern sermons on Divine providence, taking as his theme, "Every man's life a plan of God." If this be true of a Christian man, that even before his conversion the Holy Spirit was seeking him, and even preparing him. as far as was then possible, for fulfilling the "plan of God" in his life, is it not in aU probability equally true that the Hol;^ Spirit and the good provi- dence of God were working in behalf of other sinners who persisted to the end in rebellion against God ? Such is the power of moral free agency with which God has en- dowed man that the created free agent can defeat the plan of Infinite Love cone divided into smaller circum- scriptions [civitates) for the purposes of local govern- ment. In the older provinces these

3. Division districts corresponded generally with of Provinces the urban communities which had been

the units of sovereignty before the advent of the Romans. Under Rom rule they were divided into different classes on the basis of their dignity and prerogatives, as follows:

(1) Coloniae: Rom or Lat colonies established after the model of the Italian commonwealths.

(2) Ctvitates foederatac: C'ommunitios whose independ- ence had been guaranteed by a formal treaty with Rome.

(:i) Civitates liherae: Communities whose independ- ence the Romans respected, although not bound to do so by a formal obligation.

(4) Ciuitates sii-pendiariar: Communities which had surrendered to the discretion of the Romans and to which limited powers of local government were granted by the conquerors as a matter of convenience.

The civitates stipendiariae. and in some cases the col- onics, paid taxes to the Rom government, the greater part of which was in the form either of a certain propor- tion of the annual products of the soil, such as a fifth or tenth, or a fixed annual payment in money or kind.

Judaea became a part of the province of Syria

in 63 BC, but was assigned in 40 BC as a kingdom

to Herod the Great, whose sovereignty

4. Province became effective three years later. of Judaea The provincial regime was reestab- lished in 6 AD, and was broken only

during the years 41-44 AD, when Herod Agrippa was granted royal authority over the land (Jos,

Ant, XIX, viii, 2). The Rom administration waa in the hands of the procurators (see Procurators) who resided at Caesarea (Jos, BJ, II, xv, 6; Acta 23 23.33; 25 1) in the palace of Herod the Great (Acts 23-35). The procurators of Judaea were subject to the authority of the imperial governors of Syria, as is evident from the deposition of Pontius Pilate by Vitellius (Jos, Ant, XVIII, iv, 2; Tac. A7in. vi.32). The procurator was competent to exercise criminal jurisdiction over the provincials in cases involving a capital sentence (Jos, BJ, II, viii, 1), but he was bound to grant an appeal by Rom citizens for trial at Rome (Acts 25 11). A death sentence by the Sanhedrin required the sanc- tion of the procurator, as appears in the process against the Saviour. Under Rom rule cities like Caesarea, Sebaste, and Jerus became organs for local government, like the urban communities in other parts of the Empire.

The revenue of Pal under Claudius is said to have been 12,000,000 denarii (about $2,400,000, or

£500,000; of Jos, Ant, XIX, viii, 2). 5. Revenue In addition to the ground tax, the

amount of which is not known, a variety of indirect contributions were collected on auctions, salt, highways, bridges, etc, which constituted, no doubt, the field of activity in which the publicans gained their unenviable reputation.

LiTEHATnRE. — The reader may be directed to Mar- quardt, ffomisoAe Staatsveriealtung, I, 497-502, 517-57, for a general discussion of the Rom system of provincial administration, and to the same volimie, pp, 405-12, for the provincial government of Pal.

George H. Allen

PROVOCATION, prov-6-ka'shun, PROVOKE, pr5-vok': "Provoke," lit. "to call forth," hence to excite or stir up, whether in a good or bad sense, appears frequently in the OT as the tr of Piel, or Hiph. of CyS , ks'as (noun, C^S , /ca'o.s), in the sense of "to make' angry" (Dt 4 25; 9 18;'l K 14 9.15, etc); sometimes of "T^P , marah (Isa 3 8), and of other words. In the NT we have irapafTjXiw, parazeloo, "to make jealous" (Rom 10 19; 11 11. 14); irapopyl'^u, parorgizo, "to make angry" (Eph 6 4; cf Col 3 21); with TrapaTiKpahui, para- pikraino, "to embitter" (He 3 16; cf in 1 Esd 6 15), and other Gr words. "Provocation" in He 3 8.15 (quoting Ps 95 8) is parapikrasmos, LXX for Heb m'rihhah. An example of the good sense of the word is in He 10 24, "Consider one another to pro- voke [lit. "to the provoking," here paroxusmds] unto love and good works."

For "provoke" RV has "despise" (Nu 14 11; Dt 31 20), "rebel against" (Ps 78 40); for "provoked," "despised" (Nu 14 23; 16 30; Isa 1 4), "moved" (Dt 32 16; 1 Ch 21 1), "rebelled against" (Ps 78 56). "were rebellious" (106 33.43); for "provoking" (Ps 78 17), "to rebel against"; for "provoked" (2 Cor 9 2), "stirred up"; "provoked within" for "stirred in" (Acts 17 16); "provoked" for "limited" (Ps 78 41m, "limited"); "provoketh" for "emboldeneth" (Job 16 3); instead of "Provoke not your children to anger" (Col 3 21), "Provoke not your children."

W. L. Walker

PRUDENCE, proo'dens, PRUDENT, prdo'dent: In the OT "prudence" is the tr of np"iy, 'ormah (Prov8 12); also in AV of bDTS , sekhel {2 Ch 2 12, RV "discretion"); and "prudent" is the tr of 0^137, 'arum, "subtle" (Prov 12 16,23; 13 16, etc; 'cf Gen 3 1; Job 5 12), and of T^?, bin (1 S 16 18, RVm "skilful"; Prov 16 21; 18 15; Isa 5 21; 10 13, ARV "understanding," etc), with other words. In the NT "prudence" occurs once as the tr of 't>pkvT)



Province Psalms, Book of






does not occur in the NT. As forethought, fore- sight, prudence was reckoned one of the cardinal virtues by the ancient ethical writers. See the re- marks of Coleridge on its lower and higher character in his Aids to Reflection, Aphor. 29.

W. L. Walker PRUNING-HOOK, proon'ing-hook. See Hook, (3); Vine.

PSALMS, siimz, BOOK OF (Di^nn, t'hillim, "praises," D'^sHp 1BD , ^epher t'hilUm, "book of praises"; ^aX|jio6, Psalmoi, '^aXT'^piov, Psalttrion):

I. Introductory Topics

1. Title

2. Place in the Canon

3. Number of Pss

4. Titles in the Hebrew Text Authorship and Age of the Pss

1. David as a Psalmist

2. Psahnody after David Growth of the Psalter

1. Division into Five Books

2. Smaller Groups of Pss Poetry of the Psalter The Speaker in the Pss The Gospel in the Psalter

1. The Soul's Converse with God

2. The Messiah

3. Problem of Sin

4. Wrestling with Doubts

5. Out of the Depths

6. Ethical Ideals

7. Praving against the Wicked

8. The Future Life Literature

/. Introductory Topics. — The Heb title for the Psalter is sepher t'hilllm, "book of praises." When we consider the fact that more than 1. Title 20 of these poems have praise for their

keynote, and that there are outbursts of thanksgiving in many others, the fitness of the Heb title dawns upon us. As Ker well says, "The book begins with benediction, and ends with praise — first, blessing to man, and then glory to God." Hymns of praise, though found in all_ parts of the Psalter, become far more numerous in Books IV and V, as if the volume of praise would gather itself up into a Hallelujah Chorus at the end.

In the Gr version the book is entitled in some MSS Psalmoi, in others Psallerion, whence come our Eng. titles "Psalms," and "Psalter." The Gr word psalmos, as well as the Heb mizmor, both of which are used in the superscriptions prefixed to many of the separate pss, indicates a poem sung to the accompaniment of stringed instruments. The title mizmor is found before 57 pss. The Psalter was the hymnal of the Jewish nation. To indi- vidual pss other titles are sometimes prefixed, such ass/iir, "song"; t'hillah, "praise" ; t'phillah, "pray- er," etc. The Psalter was both prayerbook and hymnal to the Jewish people. It was also a manual for the nurture of the spiritual life in private as well as public worship.

The Pss were placed in the k'thiibhim or "Writings.'' the third group of the Heb Scriptures. As the chief

book of the knhuhhim. the Psalter appears 9 Plarp flrstin the great majority of Gerrnan MSS,

f- 5'''*'-"= though the Spanish MSS place Pss after

in tne Qj and the Tahn puts Ruth before Pss.

Canon There has never been any serious question

as to the right of the Psalter to a place in the Canon of Scripture. The book is possibly more highly esteemed among Christians than by the Jews. If Christians were permitted to retain only one book in the OT, they would ahnost certainly choose Pss. By 100 BC, and probably at a much earher date, the Book of Pss was completed and recognized as part of the Hagiographa, the 3d division of the Heb Bible

According to the Heb text, toUo"!''''! by modern VSS there are 150 separate poems m the Psalter. _ Ihe Gr

version has an additional ps, m which Q TViP David describes his victory over Gohath;

^T T^ c but this is expressly said to be outside Number OI ^he number." The LXX, followed by Psalms Vulg. combined Pss 9 and 10, and also 114

and 115, into a single ps. On the other hand they divide Pss 116 and 147 each into two poems.

Thus for the greater part of the Psalter the Heb enumera- tion is one number in advance of that in the Gr and Lat Bibles.

The existing division in the Heb text has been called in question at various points. Pss 42 and 43 are almost certainly one poem (see refrain in 42 5.11: 43 5); and it is probable that Pss 9 and 10 were originally one, as in LXX. On the other hand, it is thought by some that certain pss were composed of two originally separate poems. We may cite as examples Ps 19 1-6.7-14; 24 1-6.7-10; 27 1-6.7-14; 36 1-4. .5-12. It is evident that such combinations of two different poems into one may have taken place, for we have an example in Ps 108, which is composed of portions of two other pss (57 7-11; 60 5-12).

(1) Value of the superscriptions. — It is the fashion among advanced critics to waive the titles of the pss out of court as wholly worthless 4. Titles in and misleading. This method is as the Hebrew thoroughly unscientific as the older Text procedure of defending the super-

scriptions as part of an inspired text. These titles are clearly very old, for the LXX, in the 2d cent. BC, did not understand many of them. The worst that can be said of the superscriptions is that they are guesses of Heb editors and scribes of a period long prior to the Gr version. As to many of the musical and liturgical titles, the best learning of Heb and Christian scholars is unable to recover the original meaning. The scribes who pre- fixed the titles had no conceivable reason for writing nonsense into their prayerbook and hymnal. These superscriptions and subscriptions all had a worthy meaning, when they were first placed beside indi- vidual pss. This indisputable fact of the great antiquity of these titles ought forever to make it impossible for scientific research to ignore them Grant, for the sake of argument, that not one of them came from the pen of the writers of the Pss, but only from editors and compilers of exilic or post-exilio days, it would still be reasonable to give attention to the views of ancient Heb scholars, before considering the conjectures of modem critics on questions of authorship and date. Sources of information, both oral and written, to which they had access, have long since perished. _ In estimating the value of their work, we have a right to use the best critical processes known to us; but it is un- scientific to overlook the fact that their proximity to the time of the composition of the Pss gave them an advantage over the modem scholar. If it be said by objectors that these ancient scribes formed their conclusions by the study of the life of David as portrayed in the historical books of _K and Ch, the reply is ready that several historical notices in the titles cannot be thus explained. Who was Cush? Who was Abimelech? (Pss 7 and 34). A careful weighing of the facts concerning the super- scriptions will make it seem highly improbable that the earUest of these titles does not reach back into preexilic times. We almost certainly have in them the results of the labors of Heb scribes and compilers stretching over several centuries. Some of the titles may have been appended by the psalmists themselves.

We are far from claiming that the titles are always intelligible to us, or that, when understood, they are always correct. The process of constructing titles indicative of authorship had not ceased in the 2d cent. BC, the LXX adding many to pss that were anonymous in the Heb. The view expressed nearly 50 years ago by Perowne is eminently sane: ' 'The inscriptions cannot always be reUed on. They are sometimes genuine, and really represent the most ancient tradition. At other times, they are due to the caprice of later editors and collectors, the fruits of conjecture, or of dimmer and more un- certain traditions. In short, the inscriptions of the Pss are like the subscriptions to the Epp. of the NT. They are not of any necessary authority, and their



value must be weighed and tested by the usual critical processes."

(2) Thirlle's theory. — J. W. TMrtle {The Titles of the Pss. 1904) advances the hypothesis that both super- scriptions and subscriptions were incorporated in the Psalter, and that in tlie process ot copying the Pss by hand, the distinction between the superscription of a given ps and the subscription of the one immediately preceding it was finally lost. When at length the differ- ent pss were separated from one another, as in printed edd, the subscriptions and superscriptions were all set forth as superscriptions. Thus it came about that the musical subscription of a given ps was prefixed to the literary superscription of the ps immediately following it. The prayer of Habakkuk (Hab 3) was taken by Thirtle as a model or normal ps ; and in this instance the superscription was literary. ' ' A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet upon Shigionoth," while the subscription is musical, " For the Chief Musician, on my stringed in- struments." The poem of Hezekiah in celebration of his recovery (Isa 38 9-20) seems to support Thirtle's thesis, the superscription stating the authorship and the occa- sion that gave birth to the ps, while ver 20 hints at the musical instruments with which the ps was to be accom- panied in public worship. If now the musical notes be separated from the notes of authorship and date that follow them, the musical notes being appended as sub- scriptions, while the literary notes are kept as real super- scriptions, the outcome of the separation is in many in- stances a more intelligible nexus between title and poem. Thus the subscript to Ps 55, "The dove of the distant terebinths," becomes a pictorial title of vs 6-8 of the ps. The appHcation of the rule that the expression ' ' for the Chief Musician" is always a subscript removes the difficulty in the title of Ps 88. The superscription of Ps 88, on Thirtle's hypothesis, becomes "Maschil of Heraan the Ezrahite." Ps 87 thus has a subscript that repeats the statement of its superscription, but with an addition which harmonizes vdth the content of the poem. "MahalathLeannoth," with a slight correction in vocali- zation, probably means " Dancings with Shoutings," and ver 7 of Ps 87 s'peaks of both singing and dancing. The tone of Ps 87 is exceedingly cheerful; but Ps 88 is the saddest in the entire Psalter. The application of Thirtle's hypothesis also leaves Ps 88 with a consistent literary title, whereas the usual title ascribes the ps first to the sons of Korah and then to Heman the Ezrahite.

(3) Meaning of the Hebrew titles. — Scholars have not been able to come to agreement as to the meaning and application of a goodly number of words and phrases found in the titles of the Pss. We append an alphabeti- cal list, together with hints as to the probable meaning :

(a) ' Ayelelh ha-Shahar (Ps 22) means "the hind of the morning," or possibly "the help of the morning." Many think that the words were the opening line of some familiar song.

(b) ',.1/amoi/i (Ps 46) nieans "maidens." The common view is that the ps was to be sung by soprano voices. Some speak of a female choir and compare 1 Ch 15 20: Ps 68 11.24 f. According to Thirtle, the title is a sub- script to Ps 45, which describes the marriage of a prin- cess, a function at which it would be quite appropriate to have a female choir.

(c) ' Al-tashheth (Pss 57-59; 75) means " destroy not, " and is quite suitable as a subscript to Pss 56-58 and 74 (cf Dt 9 26). Many think this the first word of a vintage song (cf Isa 65 8).

(d) "Ascents, Song of" (Pss 120-134): RV translates the title to 15 pss "A Song of Ascents," where AV has "A Song of Degrees. ' ' The most probable explanation of the meaning of the expression is that these 1.5 pss were sung by bands of pilgrims on their wav to the yearly feasts in .lerus (Ps 122 4). Pss 121-23, 125, 127, 128 and 132- 34 are well suited for use on such occasions (see, how- ever. Expos T, XII, 62).

(e) "For the Chief Musician": 55 pss are dedicated to the precentor or choir leader of the temple. "To the Chief Musician" might mean that the precentor was the author of certain pss, or that there was a col- lection of hymns compiled by him for use in temple wor- ship, or that certain pss were placed in his hands, with suggestions as to the character of the poems and the music which was to accompany them. It is quite likely that there was an official collection of pss for public worship in the custody of the choir master of the temple.

(/) "Dedication of the House" (Ps 30): The title probably refers to the dedication of Jeh's house: whether m the days of David, in connection with the removal of the ark to Jerus, or In the days of Zerubbabel, or in the time of Judas Maccabaeus, it is impossiljle to say positively. If Ps 30 was used on any one of these widely separated occasions, that fact might account for the Insertion of the caption, " a Song at the Dedication of the House."

(g) "Degrees": see "Ascents'* above.

(k) Gittitk (Pss 8, 81, 84) is commonly suppased to refer to an instrmnent invented in Gath or to a tune that was used in the Phili city. Thirtle emends slightly to gittoth. "wine presses." and connects Pss 7, 80 and 83 with the Feast of Tabernacles.

(i) HigguyCin: This word is not strictly a title, but

occurs in connection with Selah in Ps 9 16. RV translates the word in Ps 92 3, "a solemn sound," and in Ps 19 14, "meditation." It is probably a musical note equiva- lent to largo.

U) Y'dhuthun: In the title of Ps 39, Jeduthun might well be identical with the Chief Musician. In Pss 62 and 7'f RV renders "after the manner of Jeduthun." We know from 1 Ch 16 41; 25 3 that Jeduthun (q.v.) was a choir leader in the days of David. He perhaps Introduced a method of conducting the service of song which ever afterward was associated with his name.

(/t) Yonath 'elem r'hokim (Ps 56): We have already called attention to the fact that as a subscript to Ps 55 "the dove of the distant terebinths," or "the silent dove of them that are afar off," would have a point of contact with Ps 55 6-8.

(0 Mahdlath (Ps 53), Malfilath V'annoth (Ps 88): Perhaps Thirtle's vocalization of the Heb consonants as meholoth, "dancings," is correct. As a subscript to Ps 87, m'holoth may refer to David's joy at the bringing of the ark to Zion (2 S 6 14.15).

(m) Maskil (Pss 32, 42-45, 52-55, 74, 78, 88, 89, 142): The exact meaning of this common term is not clear. Briggs suggests "a meditation," Thirtle and others "a ps of instruction," Kirkpatrick "a cunning ps." Some of the 13 pss bearing this title are plainly didactic, while others are scarcely to be classed as pss of instruction.

(n) Mikhtdm (Pss 16,56-60): Following the rabbinical guess, some translate "a golden poem." The exact meaning is unknown.

(o) Math lahben: The title is generally supposed to refer to a composition entitled "Death of the Son." Possibly the melody to which this composition was sung was the tune to which Ps 9 (or 8) was to be sung. Thirtle translates "The Death of the Champion," and regards it as a subscription to Ps 8, in celebration of the victory over Goliath.

(p) On''N'ghindth" occms&t (Pss 4, 6, 54, 55, 67, 76), and means "with stringed instruments." N^ghlnath (Ps 61) may be a slightly defective writing for N'ghindth. Perhaps stringed instruments alone were used with pss having this title. According to Thirtle's hypothesis, the title was originally a subscript to Pss 3, 5, 63, 54, 60, 66, 75.

(g) N'^hUoth (Ps 5). possibly a subscript to Ps 4, is supposed by some to refer to "wind instruments," possibly flutes.

(r) yjielah, though not strictly a title, may well be dis- cussed in connection with the superscriptions. It occurs 71 t in the Pss and 3 t in Hab. It is almost certainly a technical term whose meaning was well known to the precentor and the choir in the temple. The LXX always, Symmachus and Theodotion generally, render did- psalma, which probably denotes an instrumental interlude. The Tg Aquila and some other ancient VSS render "for- ever." Jerome, following Aquila, translates it " always." Many moderns derive §eldh from a root meaning "to raise," and suppose it to be a sign to the musicians to strike up with a louder accompaniment. Possibly the singing ceased for a moment. A few think it is a htur- gical direction to the congregation to "lift up" their voices in benediction. It is unwise to dogmatize as to the meaning of this very common word. See Selah.

(s) Sh'minith (Pss 6, 12), meaning "the eighth," probably denotes the male choir, as distinguished from ' Alamoth, the maidens' choir. That both terms are musi- cal notes is evident from 1 Ch 15 19-21.

(/) ShiggdySn. (Ps 7) is probably a musical note. Some think it denotes " a dithyrambic poem in wild ecstatic wandering rhythms, with corresponding music." _ (u) SAosftan/iim (Pss 45, 69) means "lilies." Shoshan- mm 'edhuth (Ps 80) means "lilies, a testimony." Shu- shan 'edhuth (Ps 60) may be rendered "the lily of testi- mony." Thirtle represents these titles as subscripts to Pss 44, 69, 68, 79, and associates them with the spring festival, Passover. Others regard them as indicating the melody to which the various pss were to be sung.

(») "Song ot Loves" (Ps 45) is appropriate as a lit- erary title to a marriage song.

(4) Testimony of the titles as to authorship. — (a) Ps 90 is ascribed to Moses, (b) To David 73 pss are ascribed, chiefly in Books I and II. (c) Two are assigned to Solomon (Pss 72, 127). (d) 12 are ascribed to Asaph (Pss 50, 73-83). (e) 11 are assigned to the sons of Korah (Pss 42-49, 84, 85, 87). (/) Ps 88 is attributed to Heman the Ezrahite. {g) Ps 89 bears the name of Ethan the Ezrahite. In most cases it is plain that the editors meant to indicate the authors or writers of the pss. It is possible that the phrase "to David" may sometimes have been prefixed to certain pss, merely to indicate that they were found in a collection which con- tained Davidic pss. It is also possible that the titles "to Asaph" and "to the sons of Korah" may have originally meant that the pss thus designated belonged to a collection in the custody of these temple singers. Ps 72 may also be a prayer for Solomon rather than a ps by Solomon. At the same time, we must acknowledge, in the light of the titles describing the occasion of com- position, that the most natural interpretation of the various superscriptions is that they indicate the sup- posed authors of the various poems to which they are



prefixed. Internal evidence shows conclusively that some of these titles are incorrect. Each superscription should be tested by a careful study of the ps to which it is appended.

(5) Titles describing the occasion of writing. — There are 13 of these, all bearing the name of David, (a) Pss 7, 59, 56, 34, 53, 67, 142, 64 are assigned to the period of his persecution by Saul. (6) During the period of his reign over all Israel, David is credited with Pss 18, 60, 51, 3 and 63.

//. The Authorship and Age of the Pss. — Ps 90

is ascribed to Moses. It is the fashion now to deny- that Moses wrote anything. A careful study of Ps 90 has brought to hght nothing inconsistent with Mosaic authorship. The dignity, majesty and pathos of the poem are worthy of the great lawgiver and intercessor.

(1) The age of David offered fruitful soil for the growth of religious poetry. — (a) The pohtical and

religious reforms of Samuel created a 1. David as new sense of national unity, and kin- a Psalmist died the fires of religious patriotism.

(6) Music had a large place in the life of the prophetic guilds or schools of the prophets, and was used in public reUgious exercises (1 S 10 5f). (c) The victories of David and the internal expansion of the life of Israel would inevitably stimulate the poetic instinct of men of genius; cf the Elizabethan age and the Victorian era in Eng. literature, (d) The removal of the ark to the new capital and the organization of the Levitical choirs would stimulate poets to compose hymns of praise to Jeh (2 S 6; 1 Ch 16, 16, 25).

It is the fashion in certain critical circles to blot out the Mosaic era as unhistoric, all accounts of it being considered legendary or mythical. It is easy then to insist on the elimination of all the higher religious teach- ing attributed to Samuel. This leaves David "a rude king in a semi-barbaric age," or, as Cheyne puts it, "the versatile condottiere, chieftain, and liing." It would seem more reasonable to accept as trustworthy the uniform tradition of Israel as to the great leaders, Moses, Samuel and David, than to rewrite Israel's history out of the tiny fragments of historical material that are ac- cepted by skeptical critics as credible. It is often said ttiat late writers read into their accounts of early heroes their own ideas of what would be fitting. James Robert- son's remark in reply has great weight: "This habit of explaining the early as the backward projection of the late is always liable to the_ objection that it leaves the late itself without explanation" {Poetry and Religion of the Pss, 332).

(2) David's qualijicalions for composing pss. — (a) He was a skilful musician, with a sense of rhythm and an ear for pleasing sounds (1 S 16 15-23). He seems to have invented new instruments of music (Am 6 5). (b) He is recognized by critics of all schools as a poet of no mean ability. The genuineness of his elegy over Saul and Jonathan (2 S 1 19-27) is commonly accepted; also his lament over Abner (3 33 f). In the elegy over Saul and Jonathan, David displays a magnanimity and tenderness that accord with the representations of S as to his treatment of Saul and of Jonathan. No mere rough border chieftain could have com- posed a poem full of the tenderest sentiment and the most exemplary attitude toward a persecutor. The moral elevation of the elegy has to be accounted for. If the author was a deeply religious man, a man enjoying the friendship of God, it is easy to account for the moral dignity of the poem. Surely it is only a step from the patriotism and magna- nimity and devoted friendship of the elegy to the reli- gious fervor of the Pss. Moreover, the poetic skill displayed in the elegy removes the possible objection that hterary art in the days of David had not at- tained a development equal to the composition of poems such as the Pss. There is nothing more Ijeautiful and artistic in the entire Psalter.

Radical critics saw the David of the Bible asunder. They contrast the rough border chieftain with the pious Psalmist. Though willing to beUeve every statement that reflects upon the moral character of David, tbcy

consider the references to David as a writer of hymns and the organizer of the temple choirs as tiie pious imaginings of late chroniclers. Robertson well says: "This habit of refusing to admit complexity in the ca- pacities of Bib. characters is exceedingly hazardous and unsafe, when history is so full of instances of the com- bination in one person of qualities the most diverse. We not only have poets who can harp upon more than one string, but wo have religious leaders who have united the most fervent piety with the exercise of poorly devel- oped virtue, or the practice of very questionable policy. A critic, if he has not a single measure of large enough capacity for a historical character, should not tliink himself at liberty to measure him out in two half- bushels, making one man of each" {Poetry and Religion of the Pss, 332). Among kings, Charlemagne and Gon- stantine the Great have lieen likened to David; and among poets, Robert Burns. There were contradictory elements in the moral characters of all these gifted men. Of Constantino it has been said that lie "was by turns the docile believer and the cruel despot, devotee and murderer, patron saint and avenging demon." David was a many-sided man, with a character often at war with itself, a man with conflicting impulses, the flesh lusting against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh. Men of fiesh and blood in the midst of life's temptations have no diflBcuity in understanding the David of the Bible.

(c) David was a man of deep feeling and of im- perial imagination. Think of his love for Jonathan, his grateful appreciation of every exploit done in his behalf by his mighty men, his fondness for Absalom. His successful generalship would argue for imagination, as well as the vivid imagery of the elegy, (d) David was an enthusiastic worshipper of Jeh. All the records of his life agree in represent- ing him as devoted to Israel's God. In the midst of life's dangers and disappointments, "David strengthened himself in Jeh his God" (1 S 30 6). We should have been surprised had no trace of religious poetry come from his pen. It would be difficult to imagine Milton or Cowper or Tennyson as confining himself to secular poetry. "Comus," "John Gilpin," and the "Charge of the Light Bri- gade" did not exhaust their genius; nor did the elegy over Saul and Jonathan and the lament over Abner relieve David's soul of the poetry that clamored for expression. The known facts of his life and times prepare us for an outburst of psalmody under his leadership, (e) The varied experiences through which David passed were of a character to quicken any latent gifts for poetic expression.

James Robertson states this argument clearly, and yet with becoming caution: " The vicissitudes and situ- ations in David's life presented in these narratives are of such a nature that, though we may not be able to say precisely that such and such a ps was composed at such and such a time and place, yet we may confidently say. Here is a man who has jjassed through certain expe- riences and borne himself in such wise that we are not surprised to hear that, being a poet, lie composed this and the other pss. It is very doubtful whether we should tie down any lyric to a precise set of circumstances, the poet being like a painter, who, having found a fit land- scape, sits down to transfer it to canvas. I do not think it likely that David, finding himself in some great per- plexity or sorrow, called for writing materials in order to describe the situation or record liis feelings. But I do think it probaliie that the vicissitude-s through which he passed made such an impression on his sensitive heart, and became so inwrought into an emotional nature, that when he soothed himself in his retirement with his lyre, they came forth spontaneously in the form of a psalm or song or prayer, according as the recollection was sad or joyful, and as his singing mood moved him" {Poetry and Religion of the Pss, 343 f).

The Bib. writers, both early and late, agree in affirming that the Spirit of Jeh rested upon David, empowering him for serviceof the highest order (1 S 16 13; 2 S 23 1-3; Mt 22 43; Acts 2 29-31). The gift of prophetic inspiration was bestowed upon Israel's chief musician and poet.

(3) External evidence for Davidic pss. — (a) In the NT David is named as the author of certain pss. Thus Ps 110 is ascribed to David by Jesus in His debate with the Pharisees in the Temple (Mt 22 41-45; Mk 12 3.5-37; Lk 20 41-44). Peter teaches that David prophesied concerning Judas (Acts 1 16), and he also refers Pss 16 and 110 to



David (Acts 2 25-34). The whole company of the disciples in prayer attribute Ps 2 to David (Acts 4 25 f). Paul quotes Pss 32 and 69 as Davidic (Rom 4 6-8; 11 9f). The author of He even refers Ps 95 to David, following the LXX (He 4 7), From the last-named passage many scholars infer that any quotation from the Pss might be referred to David as the chief author of the Pss. Possibly this free and easy method of citation, with- out any attempt at rigorous critical accuracy, was in vogue in the cent. AD. At the same time, it is evident that the view that David was the chief author of the Pss was accepted by the NT writers. (6) In 2 Mace 2 13 (RV), in a letter purporting to have been \\\\\\\\^Titten by the Jews of Pal to their brethren in Egypt, about 144 BC, occurs the following: "And the same things were related both in the public archives and in the records that concern Nehemiah; and how he, founding a Hbrary, gathered together the books about the kings and prophets, and the books of David, and letters of kings about sacred gifts." We do not know the exact date of 2 Mace, but it was almost certainly in the 1st cent. BC. The author regards David as the author of books in the sacred library gathered together by Nehemiah. (c) Jesus the Son of Sirach, who wrote not later than 180 BC, and possibly a good deal earlier, thus describes David's contribution to pubhc worship: "In every work of his he gave thariks to the Holy One Most High with words of glory ; with his whole heart he sang praise, and loved him that made him"(Ecclus 47 8f RV)- David's fame as a psalmist and the organizer of choirs for the sanctuary was well known to Ben Sira at the beginning of the 2d cent. BC. (d) The author of Ch, writing not later than 300 BC, and probably much earlier, represents David as making provision for a service of song before the ark of God and in connection with its removal to the city of David (1 Ch 15, 16). It seems to be imagined by some scholars that the Chronicler, whose historical accuracy is severely attacked by certain critics, is responsible for the idea that David was a great writer of hymns. On the contrary', he has less to say about David as a poet and psalmist than the author of S. Only in 2 Ch 29 30 is there explicit mention of David as the author of praises to Jeh. The Chronicler speaks repeatedly of the instruments of David and of his organization of the choirs. And so in the kindred books of Ezr and Neh there is mention of the style of worship introduced by David (Ezr 3 10; Neh 12 24.36). The author of the Book of K refers re- peatedly to David as a model king (1 K 11 4; 2 K 14 3; 20 5 f, etc). He becomes a witness for the high reputation of David for uprightness and reli- gious zeal, (e) Amos refers incidentally to David's great skUl as an inventor of musical instruments (Am 6 5). The same prophet is a witness to the fact that songs were sung in worship at Bethel to the accompaniment of harps or viols (Am 5 23). (/) The earliest witness, or witnesses, if the narrative be composite, we find in 1 and 2 S. David is described as a wonderful musician and as one on whom the Spirit of Jeh rested mightily (1 S 16 13-23). He is credited with the beautiful elegy over Saul and Jonathan (2 S 1 17-27) and the brief lament over Abner (2 S 3 33 f). He is said to have danced with joy before the ark, and to have brought it up to Jerus with shouting and with sound of trumpet (2 S 6 12 ff). He is credited with the pious wish that he might build a temple for Jeh and the ark^ and is said to have poured forth a prayer of thanksgiving to Jeh for the promise of a perpetual throne (2 S 7) . David dedicated to Jeh much wealth taken from his enemies (2 S 8 11). Both the good and the bad in David's hfe and character are faithfully set forth in the vivid narrative.

We come next to two statements that would settle the question ol David's pss, if critics would only accept them as the work of an author living within a generation or so of the time of David. tJnfortunately 2 S 21-24 is regarded by most critical scholars as an appendix to the early narrative of David's career. There is no agreement as to the exact date of the composition of these chapters. NaturaUy the burden of proof is on the critic who tries to disintegrate a document, and sus- picion of bias is inevitable, if by the disintegration he is able to escape the force of a disagreeable argument. Happily, we live in a free country, every man having a right to hold and to express his own opinion, for what- ever it may be worth. It seems to the present writer that 2 S 21-24 may well have come from the pen of the early narrator who told the story of David's reign in such a masterly fashion. Even if these chapters were added by a later editor as an appendix, there is no suffi- cient reason for putting this writer so late as the exile. His statements cannot be set aside as imrehable, simply because they run counter to the current theory as to the date of the Pss. 2 S 22 pm-ports to give the words of a song which David spake to Jeh, when he had been dehvered from Saul and from all his enemies. Ps 18 is evidently a different recension of the same poem. The differences between 2 S 32 and Ps 18 are not much greater than the differences in the various edd of "Rock of Ages." Only the most advanced critics deny that David wrote this glorious song. 2 S 23 1-7 must not be omitted, for here David claimed prophetic inspiration as the sweet Psalmist of Israel. This original and striking poem is worthy of the brilliant royal bard, (g) The titles of the Pss are external evidence of real value for determining the date and authorship of the Pss; and these ascribe 7.3 to David. A sweeping denial of all the forms of external evidence for Davidic pss ought to be buttressed by convincing arguments from internal evidence. Un- verified conjectures will not answer.

(4) Internal evidence for Davidic pss. — The fact that many of the pss ascribed to David correspond in tone and temper and in historical allusions with incidents in his life, while not in itself convincing proof that David wrote them, certainly reenforces the external evidence in favor of Davidic pss. We must refer the reader to the commentaries of De- litzsch, Kirkpatrick, Perowne and others for the evidence discovered in individual pss. In many pss the evidence is strongly in favor of the super- scriptions, in which David is named as the writer. See esp. Pss 18, 23, 32, 3.

(5) Number of Davidic pss. — Opinion varies among conservative scholars all the way from 3 or 4 to 44 or 45. It has come to pass that a critic who acknowledges even Ps 18 to be David's is called conservative. In fact, the more radical critics regard a scholar as conservative if he assigns even a small group of pss to the period before the exile. We must not allow ourselves to be deterred from ascribing to David any ps that seems to us, on the basis of both external and internal evidence, to come from his pen. DeUtzsch and Kirkpatrick are safer guides than Cheyne and Duhm. Maclaren also has made a close and sympathetic study of David's life and character, and accepts the results of sane criticism. W. T. Davi- son [HDB, IV) speaks out clearly and strongly for Davidic authorship of Pss 7, 11, 17, 18, 19 (first haU), 24 and a few other pss or parts of pss, though he makes large concessions to the present tendency to bring down the pss to a later date. He stands firmly for a large body of preexilic pss. Ewald assigned to David Pss 3, 4, 7, 8, 11, 18, 19, 24, 29, 32, 101; also 60 8-11 and 68 14-19. Hitzig ascribed to David Pss 3-19, with the exception of 5, 6 and 14. If one follows the titles in the Heb text, except where internal evidence clearly contra- dicts the superscriptions, it will be easy to follow De- litzsch in attributing 44 or 45 pss to David.

(1) Pss of Asaph (73-83, ako 50).— The pro- phetic spirit throbs in most of the pss ascribed

to Asaph (q.v.). God is pictured as a 2. Psal- righteous Judge. He is also pictured as mody after the Shepherd of Israel. Ps 73 holds David fast to God's righteous rule of mankind,

in spite of the prosperity of the wicked. Ps 60, which is assigned by many to the time of Hosea and Isaiah, because of its powerful prophetic message, may well have come from Asaph, the con- temporary of David and of Nathan. Some of the Asaph group, notably 74 and 79, belong to the period of the exile or later. The family of Asaph continued for centuries to lead in the service of song (2 Ch 35 15; Neh 7 44). Inspired poets were raised up from age to age in the Asaph guild.



(2) Pss of the sons of Korah {42-49, 84, 85, 8 7) . — This family of singers was prominent in the temple-worship in the days of David and afterward. Several of the most beautiful poems in the Psalter are ascribed to members of this guild (see Pss 42,

43, 45, 46, 49, 84). We are not to think of these poems as having been composed by a committee of the sons of Korah; no doubt each poem had an individual author, who was willing to sink his per- sonaUty in the ps he was composing. The privi- leges and blessings of social worship in the sanctuary are greatly magnified in this group of pss.

^ (3) Pss of Solomon (72, 127). — Even conserva- tive critics are in doubt as to the Solomonic author- ship of the two pss ascribed to him by the titles. Per- haps assurance is not attainable in the present state of inquiry. Delitzsch well says: "Under Solomon psalmody already began to decline; all the produc- tions of the mind of that period bear the stamp of thoughtful contemplation rather than of direct feel- ing, for restless yearning for higher things had given place to sensuous enjoyment, national concentration to cosmopolitan expansion."

(4) The era of Jehoshaphat. — Delitzsch and others regard the period of Jehoshaphat as one of literary productivity. Possibly Pss 75 and 76 celebrate the deliverance from the great eastern invasion toward the close of Jehoshaphat's reign.

(.5) The era of Hezekiah.~The latter half of the 8th cent. BC was one of literary vigor and expansion, esp. in Judah. Perhaps the great deliverance from Sennacherib's invasion is celebrated in Pss 46 and 48.

(6) The period of Jeremiah. — Ehrt and some other scholars are inclined to attribute to Jeremiah a considerable number of pss. Among those which have been assigned to this prophet may be named Pss 31, 35, 38, 40, 55, 69, 71. Those who deny the Davidic authorship of Ps 22 also assign this great poem to Jeremiah. Whether we are able to name definitely any pss of Jeremiah, it seems thoroughly reasonable that he should have been the author of certain of the plaintive poems in the Psalter.

(7) During the exile. — Ps 102 seems to have been composed during the exile. The poet pours out his complaint over the present distress, and reminds Jeh that it is time to have pity upon Zion. Ps 137 pictures the distress of the captives by the rivers of Babylon. The fire and fervor of the poem bespeak an author personally involved in the distress. No doubt other pss in our collection were composed during the captivity in Babylon.

(8) Post-exilic pss. — As specimens of the joyous hymns composed after the return from exile, we may name Pss 85 and 126. Many of the liturgical hymns in the Psalter were no doubt prepared for use in the worship of the second temple. Certain recent critics have extended this class of hymns so as to include the greater part of the Psalter, but that is surely an extreme view. No doubt, the stirring times of Ezra and Nehemiah stimulated poets in Jerus to pour forth thanksgiving and praise to Israel's God. Ewald taught that the latest pss in our collection were composed at this time.

(9) Are there Maccabean p.^s f — Calvin assigned Pss

44, 74 and 79 to the Maccabean period. If there are Maccabean pss, Calvin has perhaps hit upon three of them. Hitzig assigns to the Maccabean period all the pss from 73 to 150, together with a few pss in the earlier half of the Psalter. Among moderns, Duhm puts practically the whole Psalter in the period from 170 to 70 BC. Gesenius, Ewald. Hupfeld and Dilhnann, four of the greatest names in OT criticism, oppose the view that the Psalter contains Maccabean pss. Most recent students admit the possibility of Maccabean pss. The question may well be left open for further inves- tigation.

///. The Growth of the Psalter. — In the Heb text as well as in RV, the Pss are grouped into five books,

as follows: Book I, 1-41; Book II, Pss 42- 72; Book III, Pss 73-89; Book IV, Pss 90-106;

. ^. . . Book V, Pss 107-60.

1. Division

intn Five * '^ possible that this division into five

mtu rivc books may have been already made before Books the Chrorilcler composed his history of

Judah (cf 1 Ch 16 36 with Ps 106 48). At the end of Book II appears a subscript which is sig- nificant in the history of the Psalter. It is said in Ps 72 20: "The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended." It would seem from this note that the editor who appended it meant to say that in his collection he had included all the pss of David known to him. Singu- larly enough, the subscript is attached to a ps ascribed to Solomon. Pss 51-70, however, lie near at hand, all of which are attributed to David. Ps 71 is anonymous, and Ps 72 might possibly be considered a prayer /or Solomon. There is a further difficulty in the fact that the Second Book of Pss opens with nine poems ascribed to the sons of Korah and to Asaph. It Is a very natural conjecture that these nine pss were at one time united with Pss 73-83. .With these removed, it would be pos- sible to unite Pss 51-70 with Book I. Then the sub- script to Ps 72 would be a fitting close to a roll made up of pss ascribed to David. It Is impossible at this late date to trace fully and accurately the history of the formation of the Psalter.

Within the Psalter there lie certain groups of pss

which have in a measure retained the form in which

they probably once circulated sepa-

2. Smaller rately. Among these groups may be Groups of named the Psalms of Ascents (Pss Psalms 120-34), the Asaph group (Pss 73-

83), the sons of Korah groups (Pss 42-49, 84-87, except 86), a Mikhtam group (Pss 66-60), a group praising Jeh for His character and deeds (Pss 93-100), to which Pss 90-92 form a fitting introduction. Pss 103-7 constitute an- other group of praise pss, and Pss 145-50 make a closing Hallelujah group.

The Psalter has had a long and varied history. No doubt the precentor of the temple choir had his own collection of hymns for public worship. Small groups of pss may have been issued also for private use in the home. As time went on, collections were made on different organizing principles. Sometimes hymns attributed to a given author were perhaps brought into a single group. Possibly pss of a certain type, such as Maskll and Mikhtam pss, were gathered together in small collections. How these small groups were partly preserved and partly broken up, in the history of the formation of our present Psalter, will, perhaps, never be known.

IV. The Poetry of the Psalter. — For general dis- cussion of the form of Heb poetry, see Poetry. In the Pss ahnost all known varieties of poetic paral- lelism are exemplified. Among modems, C. A. Briggs has made extensive research into the poetical structure of the Pss. In summing up the result of his study of the various measures employed in the Pss, he classes 89 pss or parts of pss as trimeters, that is, the lines have three main accents; 22 pss or parts he regards as tetrameters, each of the lines having four accented syllables; 25 pss or portions are classed as pentameters, and an equal number as hexameters. He recognizes some variety of meas- ure in certain pss. There is coming to be agreement among Heb scholars that the rhythm of Heb poetry is largely determined by the number of accented syllables to the line. Some critics insist rigorously on perfect regularity, and therefore are compelled to resort to conjectural emendation. See Poetry, Hebrew.

Nine pss are known as alphabetical poems, viz. Pss 9, 10, 25, 34, 37, 111, 112, 119, 145. The mo,st elaborate of these is Ps 119, which is divided into 22 sections of 8 vs each. Each letter of the Heb alphabet occurs 8 t in succession as the initial letter of the verses in its section.

As to strophical structure or stanza formation, there is evidence in certain pss of such organization of the poems. The refrains with which strophes



often close form an easy guide to the strophical divisions in certain pss, such as Pss 42, 43, 46, 107. Among Eng. commentators, Briggs pays most attention to strophical structure. There is some evidence of antiphonal singing in connection with the Psalter. It is thought by some that Pss 20 and 21 were sung by responsive choirs. Pss 24 and 118 may each be antiphonal.

V. The Speaker in the Pss.— Smend, in ZA TW, 1888, undertook to establish the thesis that the speaker in the Pss is not an individual, but a per- sonification of the Jewish nation or church. At first he was inclined to recognize an individual speaker in Pss 3, 4, 62 and 73, but one year later he inter- preted these also as collective. Thus at one stroke individual religious experience is wiped out of the Psalter. A tew scholars have accepted Smend's thesis; but the great majority of critics of every school have withheld their assent, and some of the best commentators have shown that the theory is whoUy untenable.

Perhaps the best monograph on the subject, for the Ger. student, is one by Emil Balla, Das Ich der Psalmen. Balla's thesis is that the "I" pss, both in the Psalter and in tlie other boolcs of the OT. are always to be under- stood as indi\\\\\'idual, with the exception of those in which from plain data in the text another interpretation of the "I" is necessary. Of 100 pss in which "I" occurs, Balla classes 80 as easy to interpret; in the remaining 20 there might be reasonable room for difference of opinion whether the ps was individual or collective.

Personification is largely used in aU parts of the OT. There is no room for doubt that Ps 129, though using "I," "my" and "me," is the language of Israel as a people. The same is true of Ps 124. The author of Ps 126 hkewise associates himself with his brethren. The author of Ps 122, however, is evidently speaking for himself individually, when he says in ver 8, "For my brethren and companions' sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee." The intelligent reader usually has no difficulty in de- ciding, after a careful reading of a ps, whether the "I" refers to an individual Israelite or to the con- gregation of Israel. Sane views on this subject are important, inasmuch as Smend's theory does vio- lence to the strength and power of the individual religious experience of OT believers. In many por- tions of the OT, national duties are urged, and Israel is addressed as a whole. At the same time, it would be easy to exaggerate the relatively small place that individual reUgion occupies in the prophetic writings and in the Law. The Psalter absolutely refuses to be shut up in the molds of a rigid nationaUsm.

VI. The Gospel in the Pss. — Christians love the Psalter as much as the ancient Jew could possibly have done. On every page they discover elements of religious life and experience that are thoroughly Christian. In this respect the earlier dispensation came nearer to the perfection of Christian standards than in political and social organization. Along with the NT, the aged Christian saint desires a copy of the Pss. He passes easily from the Gospels to the Psalter and back again without the sense of shifting from one spiritual level to another. Reli- gious experience was enjoyed and was portrayed by the ancient psalmists so well that no Christian book in the apostohc period was composed to dis- place the Psalter.

(1) The psalmists are alwaijs reverent in their approach to Deity. — Jeh is infinitely holy (Ps 99

3.5.9). Pss 95-100 are models of adora- 1. The tion and worship.

Soul's (2) Thirsting for God.— Fss 42 and

Converse 43, which were originally one ps, voice with God the longing of the individual soul

for God as no other human composi- tion has been able to express it. Ps 63 is a worthy companion ps of yearning after God.

(3) Praising God. — More than 20 pss have for their keynote praise to God. See esp. Ps 8 1.9; 57 7-11; 71 22-24; 95 1-7. The first three vs of Pss 33, 34, 40, 92 and 105 reveal a rich vocabulary of praise for stammering human Hps.

(4) Joy in God's house. — Pss 84 and 122 are classic hymns expressive of joy in pubhc worship in the sanctuary. Religious patriotism has never received a more striking expression than is found in Ps 137 5 f .

(.5) Practising the presence of God. — In Pss 91 and 23 the worshipping saint delights his soul with the sense of God's protecting presence. The Shep- herd, tender and true, is ever present to shield and to comfort. The shadow of the Almighty is over the saint who dwells in the secret place of the Most High.

(6) God in Nature. — The Psalmist did not go "through Nature up to Nature's God" ; for he found God immanent in all things. He heard God's voice in the thunder; felt His breath in the twilight breeze; saw the gleam of His sword in the hght- ning's flash, and recognized His hand in every pro- vision for the wants of man and the lower animals. See Ps 104, "Hymn of Creation"; Ps 29, "Jeh, the God of the storm"; and the first half of Ps 19, "the heavens are telling."

(7) Love for God's word. — Ps 119 is the classic description of the beauty and power and helpful- ness of the Word of God. The second half of Ps 19 is also a gem. Ps 119 was happily named by one of the older commentators "a holy alphabet for Zion's scholars." The Psalmist sings the glories of God's Word as a lamp to guide, as a spring of comfort, and as a fountain of hope.

(8) God's care of all things. — Faith in Divine Providence — both general and special — was a cardinal doctrine with the psalmists; yea more, the very heart of their religion. Ps 65 sings of God's goodness in sunshine and shower, which clothes the meadows with waving grain. The river of God is always fuU of water. Ps 121, "Jeh thy Keeper," was read by David Livingstone at family worship on the morning when he left home to go out to Africa as a missionary.

(9) God OUR refuge. — The psalmists were fond of the figure of "taking refuge in God." Jeh was to them a rock of refuge, a stronghold, a high tower, an impregnable fortress. Pss 46, 61 and 62 exalt God as the refuge of His saints. His help is always easy to find. The might and wisdom of God do not overwhelm the inspired singers, but become a theme of devout and joyous contemplation.


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