Poem from Ancient Times Relevant This Very Day

July 22, 2006

“Thou dost cause the grass to grow for the cattle, and plants for man to cultivate; that he may bring forth food from the earth, and wine to gladden his heart, oil to make his face shine, and bread to strengthen him. The trees of the earth are watered abundantly and the cedars of Lebanon…. In them the birds build their nests; the stork has her home in the fir trees. The high mountains are for the wild goats; the rocks are a refuge for the badgers. Thou hast made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting. Thou makest darkness, and it is night, when all of the beasts of the forest creep forth. The lions roar for their prey [and] get them away and lie down in their dens. Man goes forth to his work and to his labor until the evening.”

— Psalm 104, Verses 14 – 23, Revised Standard Edition

The line about the oil was wired from Mesopotamia to Europe when oil was first discovered by the British in Iraq around 100 years ago. Despite its gender-specific slant, I think it is a powerful verse, especially as Lebanon is being systematically destroyed by Israel right in front of our eyes.


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