A Proverb in a Song: part 3

“As well as the sons of Adam—even the sons of man—

together, both the rich and the needy.”

(Psalm 49:3 {Psalm 49:2 in English Bibles})


If you have been reading along with this psalm in your favorite Bible translation, you will quickly notice that there is some disparity between the language above and how most translators translate the first portion of this verse.  Most will translate this as “both low and high” or something very similar to that.  Essentially, what they are doing is taking the language of the “sons of Adam” and “the sons of man” and treating them idiomatically to reflect the idea of highborn and lowborn people of various estates, which would also make the first half of the verse parallel to the second.

Yet, I am not convinced that this is what the psalmist is seeking to do.  As we talked in the previous verse, this psalm is not written to Israelites alone, but it is directed to all people of all nations.  With that in mind, it seems to me that the psalmist is using language that is as broad as possible to refer to people from every tribe and nation.  The psalmist uses the very specific language of the Sons of Adam, which of course is all of mankind, and then he uses generic language that again refers to all people.  The idea here being that all people without exclusion are called to listen to the words of wisdom he is about to write—given as emphasis of what he proclaims in the previous verse.

Yes, beloved, as we said earlier, the Gospel is for all people of all time.  There is no one—man, woman, or child—that the words of scripture do not apply to.  The question is, if we understand this and agree with this, why do we not share the truth of God’s word with more people in our lives?  Why do we back down at the first sign of challenge and fail to stand for what we know to be the truth?  Oh, beloved, let us sound the alarms and preach from the rooftops—let us proclaim to the sons of Adam—indeed to all the children of the earth—that Jesus Christ is Lord and that salvation is found in his name and in his name alone!

About preacherwin

A pastor, teacher, and a theologian concerned about the confused state of the church in America and elsewhere...Writing because the Christian should think Biblically.

Posted on May 24, 2008, in Expositions and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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