Psalms of Solomon 5:9


6 Don't be too demanding of us, lest we sin in desperation. 7 And even if you don't turn us back, we will not keep away, but we will come to you. 8 For if I am hungry, I will cry out to you, O God, and you will give me something. 9 You feed the young birds and the fish, when you send rain to the wilderness that the grass may grow; 10 So to provide pasture in the wilderness; for every living thing; when they are hungry, will turn to you. 11 You feed kings and rulers and their subjects, O God, and who is the hope of the poor and the needy, if not you, O Lord?

Genesis Rabbah 76


AND ENCAMPED BEFORE THE CITY. He showed his regard (hanan) for the important men (panim) of the city by sending them gifts. Another interpretation of AND ENCAMPED BEFORE THE CITY: he began to set up bazaars and sell cheaply. This teaches that a man must be grateful to a place whence he derives benefit. R. Simeon b. Yohai and his son were hidden in a cave for thirteen years. Their food consisted of withered carobs until their bodies broke out in sores. At the end of this period he [R. Simeon] emerged and sat at the entrance of the cave and saw a hunter engaged in catching birds. Now whenever R. Simeon heard a heavenly voice exclaim from heaven, ‘Mercy!’ it escaped; if it exclaimed, ‘Death!’ it was caught. ‘Even a bird is not caught without the assent of Providence,’ he remarked; ‘how much more then the life of a human being!’ Thereupon he went forth and found that the trouble had subsided. Then they went and bathed in cold baths.

 Notes and References

"... In this saying, as in the corresponding exhortation to consider the wild flowers (Matthew 6:28; Luke 12:27), Jesus adopts the style of a Jewish wisdom teacher, inviting his hearers to consider the natural world, God’s creation, and to draw religious lessons from it (compare Job 12:7–8; 35:4; Proverbs 6:6; Sirach 33:15; 1 Enoch 2:1–3; 3:1; 4:1; 5:1, 3). What he asks them to notice – that God feeds the birds / ravens – is drawn directly from the creation theology of the Hebrew Bible, especially the Psalms, in which it is a commonplace that God the Creator supplies all his living creatures with food ... The Old Testament creation theology, which Jesus here echoes, includes humans among the living creatures for whom God provides. The great creation psalm – 104 – where humans are included among all the creatures who look to God for food (verses 27–8), is notable for its depiction of humans as one species among others in the community of creation for which the Creator provides. Psalm 145:15, which echoes Psalm 104:27–8, does so, as the context makes clear, in order especially to highlight God’s provision for humans. Like Jesus, the psalmist points to God’s care for all his living creatures in order to assure humans who turn to God in need that he provides for them. The same point is made, in dependence on these psalms, in a later Jewish psalm (Psalms of Solomon 5:8-11) ..."

Bauckham, Richard Living with Other Creatures: Green Exegesis and Theology (pp. 87-89) Baylor University Press, 2011

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