God the Rock-Tsur

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Five times in the “Song” of Moses (Deuteronomy 32:4,15,18,30,31) the word tsur, “Rock,” is used as a title of God. It occurs also in the Psalms, Isa and poetical passages of other books, and also in proper names, Elizur, Zuriel, etc. Once in the King James Version (Isaiah 44:8) it is translated “God,” but “Rock” in the American Standard Revised Version and the American Revised Version, margin. The effort to interpret this title as indicating the animistic origin of Old Testament religion is unnecessary and a pure product of the imagination.

It is customary for both Old Testament and New Testament writers to use descriptive names of God: “rock,” “fortress,” “shield,” “light,” “bread,” etc., and is in harmony with all the rich figurativeness of the Scriptures; the use of the article in many of the cases cited further corroborates the view that the word is intended to be a descriptive title, not the name of a Nature-deity. It presents the idea of God as steadfast: “The appellation of God as tsur, `rock,’ `safe retreat,’ in Deuteronomy refers to this” (Oehler, Old Testament Theology). It often occurs, in a most striking figure, with the pers. suffix as “my rock,” “their rock,” to express confidence (Psalms 28:1).

Truly God is the rock of my salvation! The one I stand on in times of trouble

I shall not be moved!!

Stephanie

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