PSALM 23: Two translations

The Lord is my shepherd.Yahweh is my shepherd,
I shall not want.I lack nothing.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.In meadows of green grass he lets me lie.
He leadeth me beside the still waters.To the waters of repose he leads me;
He restoreth my soul.there he revives my soul.
He guideth me in the paths of virtueHe guides me by paths of virtue
for his name's sake.for the sake of his name.
Yea, though
I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I pass through a gloomy valley,
I shall fear no evil.I fear no harm;
Thy rod and thy staffbeside me your rod and your staff
they comfort me.are there, to hearten me.
Thou preparest a table before meYou prepare a table before me
in the presence of mine enemies.under the eyes of my enemies;
Thou anointest my head with oil.You anoint my head with oil,
My cup runneth cup brims over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow meAh, how goodness and kindness pursue me,
all the days of my life,every day of my life;
And I shall dwell in the House of the Lordmy home, the House of Yahweh, long as I live.


Josephus, The Jewish War , Book II, chapter VIII. (2, 11, 14):

... For there are three philosophical sects among the Jews. The followers of the first of whom are the Pharisees; of the second the Sadducees; and the third sect, who pretends to a severer discipline, are called Essenes. These last are Jews by birth, and seem to have a greater affection for one another than the other sects have. These Essenes reject pleasures as an evil, but esteem continence, and the conquest over our passions, to be virtue. They neglect wedlock, but choose out other persons' children, while they are pliable, and fit for learning; and esteem them to be of their kindred, and form them according to their own manners. They do not absolutely deny the fitness of marriage, and the succession of mankind thereby continued; but they guard against the lascivious behaviour of women and are persuaded that none of them preserve their fidelity to one man.... For their doctrine is this: that bodies are corruptible, and that the matter they are made of is not permanent; but that the souls are immortal, and continue for ever; and that they come out of the most subtile air, and are united to their bodies as in prisons, into which they are drawn by a certain natural enticement; but that when they are set free from the bonds of the flesh, they then, as released from a long bondage, rejoice and mount upward....

But then as to the two other orders at first mentioned; the Pharisees are those who are esteemed most skilful in the exact explication of their laws, and introduce the first sect. These ascribe all to fate [Providence] and to God, and yet allow, that to act what is right, or the contrary, is principally in the power of men, although fate does co-operate in every action. They say that all souls are incorruptible; but that the souls of good men are only removed into other bodies—but that the souls of bad men are subject to eternal punishment. But the Sadducees are those that compose the second order, and take away fate entirely, and suppose that God is not concerned in our doing or not doing what is evil; and they say , that to act what is good, or what is evil, is at men's own choice, and that the one or the other belongs so to every one, that they may act as they please. They also take away the belief of the immortal duration of the soul, and the punishments and rewards in Hades. Moreover, the Pharisees are firendly to one another, and are for the exercise of concord and regard for the public. But the behavior of the Sadducees one towards another is in some degrees wild; and their conversation with those that are of their own party is as barbarous as if they were strangers to them. And this what I had to say concerning the philosophic sects among the Jews.


January 30, 2012 9:56 PM

John Paul Adams, CSUN

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