Psalm 71 - Christ's Old Age?

Discussion in 'OT Wisdom Literature' started by py3ak, Nov 8, 2009.

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  1. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    Psalm 71 would seem quite easily understood to be words of Christ, appropriate to the experience of Christ in every way, and making statements that cannot be fully understood without reference to Christ. But there is also a strong emphasis on old age (vv.9, 18), to which Christ did not attain before His death and resurrection. Should this:
    1. Lead us not to apply any portion of the Psalm to Christ, but limit it to believers?
    2. Exclude these verses from applying to Christ, while understanding most (at least) of the rest of the Psalm as speaking of Him?
    3. Apply these verses to Christ as well, but figuratively (and if so how)?
    4. Conclude that the standard chronology of the life of Christ is wrong, and that He was closer to old age than to vigorous maturity when He was crucified?
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2009
  2. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    A Messianic interpretation will not fit with the whole of the Psalter unless it is understood that Messiah-king speaks as Head of the people. Besides making intelligible such alternations as "I" and "we" in various Psalms, it also enables us to reconcile the confession of sin passages as the sin of the body for which the Messiah-king suffers. The reference to old age can also be understood in this mystical union sense.
  3. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    Psalm 71 does fit very well with Christ apart from the old age references.

    Apart from the mystical union of Christ with His - sometimes - elderly members, and also that the church collectively grows older (from the childhood of the Mosaic period, through the rebellious adolescence of the last 2,000 years, eventually on to the maturity and glory of the postmillennial silver age, etc - if one is postmil) all we could say, since as far as we are aware Christ's death and ascension were when He was in His circa mid-thirties, is that towards the end of His life it seemed as if His strength was failing and that He was weak.

    Of course He deliberately put Himself into a position of "weakness" in order to carry out His divine mission.
  4. Mushroom

    Mushroom Puritan Board Doctor

    Why would Christ's soul need redeeming?
  5. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    Compare Psalm 31:5 and 106:10. Redemption doesn't have to be from sin - it can refer to God not leaving his soul in hell nor suffering his holy one to see corruption.
  6. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    Christ's soul was also "redeemed" from the burden of carrying our sins all His life, at the moment of death.

    But I wouldn't be sure if that was a proper application of the word "redeemed" here or elsewhere.

    Christ's burden was lifted at Calvary, anyway, when He said "Tetelestai!". I don't know if there's a particular word for that.
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