Overcome with awe and wonder, the psalmist remembers the cosmological battle which gave birth to the universe and in which enemy and avenger were defeated (Ps 8:2-3). The events barely alluded to in Ps 8 are described elsewhere in biblical literature (e.g., Pss 74:12-17; 89:9-14). Yahweh founded his throne in the clouds (Ps 97:2-5; Job 26:7-9). The beams of his palace transfix the heavenly waters (Ps 104:3). The firmament is his bulwark (8:3; cf. Ps 150:1).
to all of the above and the moon and stars God set in place, mortal man counts
as nothing (8:5). Yet God has given him an exalted place in the economy of
creation (8:6-9). For this, too, Yahweh is worthy of praise (8:10).
A sense of wonder animates the one who knows the universe to be the work of one whose splendorrobes the heavens and who set the moon and stars in their place. A sense of wonder likewise animates the one who studies the universe on the assumption that it is an intelligible whole, and upon making a discovery is given ten new questions. John Polkinghorne well argues that the attitudes of science and faith have more in common than is often realized (“The Area of Interaction,” in Science and Theology: An Introduction [Minneapolis: Fortress, 1998] 4-24).
Psalm 8 is a superb piece of poetry. I provide an account of its structure and a new translation.
Go to: Psalm_8_scansion.pdf