R. Meynet, Le Psautier. Deuxième livre (Ps 42/43-72), RBSem 20, Peeters, Leuven 2019 (420 p.)
Like the first, third and fifth books of the Psalter, the second book of the Psalter is a very elaborate composition. Indeed, it is not only each of its thirty psalms that is well composed, but also each of the “sequences” that articulate two or three psalms, and finally the five “sections” organized according to a concentric architecture around the five psalms “à mi-voix” (Ps 56-60).
Two complementary movements structure and animate the whole book. On the one hand, evil and violence are everywhere, as are the enemies. First of all, it is those from outside, the pagan peoples who trample on Israel; but the psalmist then discovers that those from within are no less violent, even the one in whom he had placed his trust. Sin, rooted from the beginning, marks all men. Its most pernicious form is “the lie”, which, like the lion and the viper, hides itself in order to strike better. It is not by chance that “the serpent” is evoked in the center of the central section, recalling the deadly venom of the serpent of the origins inoculated to the whole of humanity.
On the other hand, salvation is destined for all those who trust in God, in his faithfulness and in his truth. And thanksgiving resounds throughout, right to the end. It resounds not only in the mouths of the sons of Israel saved by their God, but also on the lips of all the other peoples; bringing gifts to the Temple, they will raise their hands in prayer to the one God, King of all the earth. They who, at the beginning of the book, were presented as the enemies and oppressors of the chosen people, will join Israel at the end in the same blessing, that which was promised to Abraham: “By your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed” (Gen 22:18).