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Message in a Boggle

About two weeks ago (I cannot find the exact date), a construction worker was digging up a peat bog somewhere in Ireland for the purpose of creating commercial potting soil when he saw something in the bog. That something turned out to be an ancient selection of psalms in Latin that has been dated to around 800AD-1000AD. The discovery has been called a miracle find because of the unlikely chance that it would be preserved in a peat bog and the equally unlikely chance that it would be discovered.

The vellum book of about twenty pages was opened to the Latin Vulgate version of Psalm 83. This is interesting at the present time since Psalm 83 in the English Bible is about the desire of other nations to destroy Israel and the proclamation of judgment on these enemies. Psalm 83:4 states, "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."

However, Pat Wallace, the director of the National Museum of Ireland, explained that the numbering of the Latin Vulgate is different from that of our Bible today. Psalm 83 in the Vulgate is actually Psalm 84 in our Bible. Therefore, the text where the page is opened is our Psalm 84. In Psalm 84, the psalmist longs to dwell in the courts of the Lord (Psalm 83:2) and would rather be "a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness" (Psalm 84:10). The psalm also refers to the righteous going from strength to strength (Psalm 84:7) even though they pass through the "valley of Baca make it a well" [this is a picture of a time of weeping so great that the valley is filled with water - Psalm 84:6].

Perhaps, in this time of hatred against the nation of Israel, God is giving us a double reference. Psalm 83 (though the discovered book only has the name) points to the attempts to destroy the nation. However, the text of Psalm 84 (the actual text discovered) looks further to the time of peace and prosperity that is promised to the land and people of Israel. Psalm 84:11 states, "For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly."