The “miraculous” find of ancient psalms in an Irish bog has some wondering if there’s any special modern relevance, since the discovery dealt with the enemies of Israel attempting to destroy the nation.
Ancient book of psalms found in Irish bog by construction worker was opened to Psalm 83 (photo: National Museum of Ireland)
A construction worker in Ireland came across the ancient 20-page book dated to the years 800-1000 A.D. while driving his backhoe’s shovel into the mud last week. Experts say it’s impossible to say how the manuscript ended up there, but speculate it may have been lost in transit or dumped after a raid some 1,000 to 1,200 years ago.
The National Museum of Ireland issued a statement saying, “In discovery terms, this Irish equivalent to the Dead Sea Scrolls is being hailed by the museum’s experts as the greatest find ever from a European bog.”
“It is not so much the fragments themselves, but what they represent, that is of such staggering importance,” said the museum’s director, Pat Wallace. “In my wildest hopes, I could only have dreamed of a discovery as fragile and rare as this. It testifies to the incredible richness of the Early Christian civilization of this island and to the greatness of ancient Ireland.”
Wallace called it a “miracle find,” telling the Associated Press, “it’s unlikely that something this fragile could survive buried in a bog at all, and then for it to be unearthed and spotted before it was destroyed is incalculably more amazing.”
But it’s the fact the book was discovered opened to Psalm 83 that is attracting attention across the globe.
The ancient psalm deals with a plea to God not to let the enemies of Israel eradicate God’s chosen nation.
Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God. For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head. They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones. They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. (Psalm 83:1-4)
It then lists a number of Israel’s ancient enemies bent on its destruction.
Stan Goodenough, a South African journalist living in Israel for the past 12 years calls the timing of the discovery “incredible.”
For right now Israel’s enemies are again united in their desire to “cut Israel off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more.” They purpose to take for themselves the “pastures of God for a possession.” And that they are in league – or in a confederacy – is clear.
From Gaza, supported by most of the Arab states, the violence is being directed by the Palestinian Arab terrorist groups: the PLO, Hamas, the Palestine Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front For the Liberation of Palestine and the popular resistance Committees.
In the north, the Lebanese group [Hezbollah], supplied and enabled by Syria and the non-Arab but also Islamic Iran, is raining rockets down on Israel.
This, given the current situation, makes Psalm 83 a fascinating and fitting read, the ancient find nothing short of a phenomenon.
Goodenough points out the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1947, just as the modern state of Israel was being formed.
The bog find was heralded by the museum on Tuesday, one day after a call for global prayer on behalf of Israel. Psalm 83 was one of three psalms recited at locations worldwide Tuesday at the request of the governing council of Israel’s Chief Rabbinate.
In his book, “Israel in Crisis,” author David Dolan dedicates an entire chapter to Psalm 83.
“I detail who the protagonists are in the psalm, and then go on to talk about when it might be fulfilled,” he told WND.
The website A Christian Witness previously put Psalm 83 into a musical Flash presentation, demonstrating how timely the ancient song is with news images documenting the current threat facing Israel, linking the ancient peoples mentioned in the psalm to modern political states.
Psalm 83 attached to modern images and music in online Flash presentation (ACWitness.org)
Messageboards are filled with comments of news watchers who feel there’s a timely significance to the discovery, while others think it’s mere coincidence.
- “This is the eeriest discovery I’ve ever heard of, especially given current events. It actually sends chills up my spine.”
- “I have read Psalms many times, and never has it just about screamed its relevance to the Middle East. God is really speaking to us through His Word right now (as always, of course), if we’ll listen.”
- “I think this is one of the best news stories that I have read in quite some time. Those who seek Him, find Him. To those of us who believe, this is very uplifting!”
- “For this to have been an act of God, God would have to have been all-knowing, foreseen this very conflict roughly 1,000 years before it occurred, foreseen the bog market, foreseen the use of power tools, foreseen the individual working the equipment and ensured this particular one was working that part of that bog that day, have created the book of its various parts (leather, the paper within) in the first place, have placed it in that place for 1,000 years of earthquakes and various other acts of God, foreseen the person who purchased the land would happen to be of the save artifacts mindset (not common among money-hungry landowners) and foreseen the need to it open to that page on that day. I don’t know, seems all haphazard to me.”
- “What’s next? Maybe archaeologists will discover in a cave, located in the Sinai desert, a 2,000-year-old papyrus, that describes in detail the whole Jesus thing. It will be discovered that it was just an elaborate practical joke on a fellow named Murray who lived in the north end of Jerusalem. And we’ll all laugh and laugh.”
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