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Friday, July 28, 2006 

Armageddon gets postponed?

A good news week for the wingnut community both at home and abroad, we see. First, four of the hated UN peacekeepers get killed by the Israelis as part of the continued bombardment of Lebanon, then the discovery of a well-preserved Psalter in an Irish bog gets intimated as a message from God by the ever-excitable Likudnik demographic. But as often happens, once actual experts weigh in there's a different story:
Museum plays diplomatic role on psalm's 'warning to Israel'

In a week in which it secured one of its most remarkable artefacts, the National Museum yesterday found itself intervening in an unlikely international quarrel over global geopolitics and Biblical prophecy, writes Ruadhán Mac Cormaic.

As news of the discovery of a 1,000-year-old psalter in a bog in the midlands made its way briskly around the world this week, keen eyes fell on an ostensibly peripheral detail: while most pages had yet to be carefully studied, the museum had said, there was one that was legible. Psalm 83.

And with that, the news websites and blogs began to hum, each one honing in on Psalm 83 and its supposed reference to "the wiping of Israel from the map".

On Wednesday, under the title An Amazingly Timely Discovery, a writer with one Israeli news magazine devoted an entire column to the find, which he regarded as "nothing short of a phenomenon".

"I don't want to take it any further than I should, but time may show that the discovery of the Irish psalm book was a warning," he wrote.

However yesterday, before it all got out of hand, the director of the National Museum, Dr Patrick Wallace, issued a statement saying the text visible on the manuscript found in the bog does not refer to the wiping out of Israel but to the "vale of tears".

"This is part of Verse 7 of Psalm 83 in the old Latin translation of the Bible [the Vulgate] which....would have been the version used in the medieval period.

"In the much later King James version the number of the psalms is different, based on the Hebrew text and the 'vale of tears' occurs in Psalm 84.

"The text about wiping out Israel occurs in the Vulgate as Psalm 82" which equals Psalm 83 (King James version), he said.

"It is hoped that this clarification will serve comfort to anyone worried by earlier reports of the content of the text," Dr Wallace added.

© The Irish Times

If we were to tout our knowledge of both Christianity and Latin on a regular basis, and yet hadn't caught this, we guess we'd be pretty embarressed right now. Oops.

"Libel"-Richard Waghorne
"Attack blog"-Damien Mulley

About me

  • An early-thirties male Irish technologist living and working in Dublin, I'm a former (recovering) member of both Fianna Fáil and the Roman Catholic Church.

    I'm not a member of any political party these days, but my opinions can be broadly categorised as 'lefty' and republican. I am also a former member of the Irish Defence Forces.

    Please feel free to check out the FI Fie Foe Fum group blog, where I was once a regular contributor, and the Cedar Lounge Revolution, where I can usually be found in the comments.

    (This blog and its contents reflect only my own personal opinions as a private citizen, and not those of any other person or organisation.)



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