Psalms – Chapter 11

Metaphorically Speaking

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

David says that he takes his refuge in G-d. How dare his detractors suggest that David is afraid? They level their weapons at David, both literally and figuratively, to try to destroy him. They secretly attack him with malicious gossip. They tear down the very foundation of a civilized society; what chance does an honest person have?

G-d’s “throne” is in Heaven, but His “presence” dwells among us to scrutinize the deeds of such evil people. He looks carefully at all mankind. He tests the righteous and is pleased with their successes, but He is angered by the actions of the wicked. Fiery coals will rain down on them; burning heat is their inheritance. The righteous, whose deeds G-d loves, will get to greet His “face.”

Of course, G-d does not have a physical throne or eyes or face or any of the other things attributed to Him by this Psalm. They are metaphors employed for our understanding.

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