Psalm 8


#1

In psalm 8 it refers to ‘man’ and ‘son of man’. Why is there a distinction between the two?

…[4] what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?

Also, are there any parallels with Hebrews 2:6 or is the writer there trying to use the phrase in a new or different way?

…(6) But there is a place where someone has testified: "What is mankind that you are mindful of them, a son of man that you care for him?

Thanks.


#2

Parallelism, where the same idea is expressed twice using different words, is a common feature of Biblical poetry. In this case, “man” and “son of man” mean the same thing.


#3

In OT Hebrew, “son of man” is a colloquialism for human being.

Our LORD used this title for Himself to emphasize that HE was not only human, but was the new Adam, ie, “new human being.”

ICXC NIKA


#4

Whereas Psalm 8 just seems to recall man’s God-given dominion over creation mentioned in Genesis 1:28, the author of Hebrews, noting that man’s dominion over creation has not yet been perfectly realized, also understands the words of the psalm to be a prophecy of a time when man’s dominion over creation will be perfectly realized, a prophecy which has begun to be fulfilled with the exaltation of Jesus Christ.


#5

“Parallelism involves using relatively short sentences usually made up of two brief clauses that ‘parallel’ one another in some way.”

  1. Synonymous parallelism is where the same thought is repeated twice in different but synonymous (meaning ‘nearly the same’) words. For example:

The cords of death encompassed me;
the torrents of destruction assailed me; (Psalm 18.4)

Note how each of the phrases in the first line corresponds to a similar phrase in the second line. In this case, the phrases all appear in the same order, but that isn’t necessary. The order may change but if the same ideas in the first line all appear in similar but different terms in the second line, this kind of parallelism occurs. In other words, synonymous parallelism simply involves saying something twice.

psalmreflections.blogspot.com/2010/01/parallelism-in-psalms.html


#6

Thankyou GEddie.

Do you know if that form of words only applies to humans. For example, did ‘son of ox’ mean oxen, did ‘son of camel’ mean species of camel?

If so, does that have implications for the term ‘son of God’?

Thanks.

Also, are you saying that Jesus may have used the term to indicate that his life (and later death and resurrection) was representing mankind more generally in a similar way that Adam (literally mankind) represented human beings with his life?

Thanks again.


#7

Thanks Todd and Michael. I can see the use of prophecy and parallelism you speak about. It seems like a very beautiful and rich use of language.

I wonder in using language this way and looking for patterns and associated meaning in language, if it was somehow a precursor to looking at patterns and associated meaning in nature leading to scientific thinking?


#8

Never heard of such a construction. In any case, it isn’t found in Scripture.

If so, does that have implications for the term ‘son of God’?

Thanks.

Also, are you saying that Jesus may have used the term to indicate that his life (and later death and resurrection) was representing mankind more generally in a similar way that Adam (literally mankind) represented human beings with his life?

Thanks again.

Yeah. He’s the second Adam, as such, the generic “human being”.

ICXC NIKA.


closed #9

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