不平衡的讲道(5)|诗篇127——“为父的却是不多”

阅读本文大约需要: 10 分钟

按:1. 我对公众号的看法一向是,公共空间发表的文章,就可以接受公共评论。新年打破惯例,将“不平衡的讲道”系列继续写下去。2. 不针对具体的人。不批评具体的事工。只讨论释经和讲道的原则问题。

看到一篇讲章,“生养众多,不至羞愧”。

Q: 

老师,怎么看这篇讲章?讲员也是号称国内JH界大V了。应用1:鼓励弟兄姊妹早结婚,早生子,多生子。比如20岁左右结婚生子,40多岁孩子已经大了,就可以全心服事了……

当时看到朋友圈不少人在转,看完后心情有些复杂,觉得讲员的解释和应用似乎有些牵强与主观。
但因不懂旧约原文,释经知识也不足,不敢妄议。

参加工作坊的一位朋友提出了这样一个问题。我很少专门讨论这样的具体问题,在工作坊的设定下,也不算是真正的“老师”。

但既然问题来了,我的原则是不回避。所以简单地从释经上分析诗篇127。若我的分析和这篇讲章有些不同结论,只算是在学术上的探讨,并非实指的批评。

诗篇127

1 (所罗门上行之诗。)

   若不是耶和华建造房屋,建造的人就枉然劳力;

          若不是耶和华看守城池,看守的人就枉然儆醒。

2 你们清晨早起,

          夜晚安歇,吃劳碌得来的饭,本是枉然;

                    唯有耶和华所亲爱的,必叫他安然睡觉。

3 儿女是耶和华所赐的产业;

              所怀的胎是他所给的赏赐。

4 少年时所生的儿女好象勇士手中的箭。

5            箭袋充满的人便为有福;

   他们在城门口和仇敌说话的时候,

必不至于羞愧。


限于恩赐不足、中年信主、孩子们年幼,我没有时间学习希伯来文,选了希伯来文1之后不到1周就主动取消了。我的希伯来文知识仅限于字母表。

但从解经的角度看,首先我们需要建立解释的基础文本。在这个方面,我在神学院接受的训练是要自己从原文翻译文本,作为解释的基础。在希腊文上,我借助工具书勉强可以如此。但在希伯来文上,确实力有不逮。

所以,我给出的建议是,用几种公认较好的技术性注释的文本作为解经的基础文本。一般而言,优秀的圣经注释家在撰写技术性注释的时候,都会自己翻译一遍文本,这与神学院的释经要求是完全一致的。同时,和合本作为一个百年之前的译本,里面有诸多可能的翻译和文本问题,需要仔细的研究。


既然对希伯来语所知极为有限,我的做法是参考bestcommentaries.com网站上提到的几种较好的技术性注释工具,建立我的解释文本,对照和合本,大概了解文本的含义。

Best Commentaries上提到的最佳技术类释经工具是WBC。所以,我首先检查WBC的诗篇127文本:

One of the processional songs. Solomonic. 

If Yahweh does not build a house, 

in vain will its builders have toiled over it.

If Yahweh does not guard a city, 

In vain will the guard have stayed awake.

In vain do you act 

who rise early

and rest late.

Some eat bread for which they have labored

this is the way he confers honor on those he loves.

Take notice, sons are what Yahweh gives, 

fruit from the womb is a reward from him.

Just like arrows handled by a warrior

are sons born in one’s youth.

How fortunate is the man

whose quiver

he fills with them.

Such do not suffer humiliation when they argue.


这里有一个很重要的解经原则问题。在解经的时候,我们首先需要将经文放在原始的语境下。和合本翻译为“儿女是耶和华所赐的产业”,“少年时所生的儿女好象勇士手中的箭”的两句,在WBC的英文文本中采用了sons,而没有用类似NIV的“Children are a heritage from the Lord……”。

但若在讲道的时候,给出“男女不限,多生为好”的应用,还是需要首先审视经文本来的含义。正好我手边还有基本工具书,所以继续参考各种文本和解释:

贝克旧约释经系列,John Goldingay的文本如下:

Song of the Ascents. Solomon’s.1 If Yhwh himself does not build a house,in vain will the builders have labored on it.If Yhwh himself does not guard a city,in vain will the guard have been wakeful.2 In vain are you,people who are early to rise, late to sit down,People who eat the bread of great toil;yes, he gives sleep to his beloved one.3 Now: sons are a possession from Yhwh;the fruit of the womb is a reward.4 Like arrows in the hand of the warrior,thus are the sons of youth.5The good fortune of the manwhose quiver he has filled;Of them people will not be ashamedwhen they speak with enemies in the gate.

我还有一册Robert Alter的“The Book of Psalms: A Translation With Commentary”,是这样翻译的:

A song of ascents for Solomon. 

If the LORD does not build a house,

in vain do its builders labor on it.

If the LORD does not watch over a town,

in vain does the watchman look out.

In vain you who rise early, sit late, 

eaters of misery’s bread.

So much He gives to His loved ones in sleep.

3 Look, the estate of the LORD is sons,

reward is the fruit of the womb.

4 Like arrows in the warrior’s hand,

thus are the sons born in youth.

5 Happy the man

who fills his quiver with them.

They shall not be shamed

when they speak with their enemies at the gate.


关于“sons”的典型注释(译文是我加上的)如下:

3. sons. The Hebrew banim can also mean “children” (as in the King James Version), but the martial imagery of the rest of the poem argues for the masculine sense of the term.

3. 儿子。希伯来语的banim也有“儿女”之意(比如KJV的翻译。译注:和合本很多时候和KJV保持了一致)。但是这首诗其余部分的战争意象,更支持这个词用作阳性名词的解释。

WBC的注释(不翻译了,强调是我加的),很清楚地说明了当时的文化处境,以及为何“儿子”多是一种祝福:

A further ambition in the field of human endeavor now comes to the fore, a family of sons, who in a male-dominated society were prized more than daughters. The series of statements in Jer 5:17 is interesting to compare with the sequence found in the psalm: bread, sons and cities are there all objects of divinely instigated disaster (cf. Isa 65:22–23: Hos 4:10). The psalm concentrates upon the particular value of sons born to a man not too late in life: they would be old enough to

protect their father in his declining years. If he were wrongly accused in the law court just inside the city gate (cf. Amos 5:12), they would rally round, ensuring that he was treated justly and defending his interests in a way denied to loners in society, such as widows and orphans (cf. Isa 1:23). They were God‘s arrows against injustice within the local community.

这是第一个解释的问题。如果确立的文本是“ 少年时所生的儿子好象勇士手中的箭”,并按照原来的语境对这首诗加以解释,在讲道的应用上就不会那么直接地“为父的不多,大家早点为父吧”,或许会更委婉地解释一下现代的语境。

解释上的第二个问题,是汉语的代词往往不明确所指。这是需要仔细核对文本,加以确定的。

 他们在城门口和仇敌说话的时候,

              必不至于羞愧。

这里的“他们”,指的是(泛指各位)父亲,还是指的是这位父亲箭袋里诸多的“儿子们”?

同样,Alter的解释简单明了(WBC和Baker的解释更全面复杂,但意思一样):

5. They shall not be shamed / when they speak with their enemies at the gate. Some scholars correct the plural verbs of the Masoretic text to the singular to make them refer to the man who has begotten all these sons. But because the gate was a place where one confronted attacking enemies, and because “to be shamed” is often linked in Psalms with military defeat, the more likely reference is to the brave sons parleying with the enemy and preparing, if necessary, to do battle.

有些学者将马所拉抄本的复数形式改为单数,以表示那位生了许多儿子的父亲。但因为城门通常是迎击敌人的地方,又因为“羞愧”在诗篇里常常与军事上的失败相联系,所以这里更可能指的是勇敢的儿子们与敌人谈判,若有必要,也不辞一战。

Beker的注释如下:

So why are sons valuable? The psalm offers only one reason. They are like weapons that can be used for offense or defense. This is particularly so if they are born when the father is young. They will

then be grown up by the time their father is middle-aged and is a person of responsibility and position in the community, and therefore sometimes has the need v. 5 presupposes (the point here is not that

they will be able to offer their parents support in their old age). But the line offers only a simile; such sons are like arrows in a warrior’s hand.


文本建立好了,大体上知道“儿子们”和“他们”的语境和含义,下一个问题是确定这首诗的类型。

一般而论,诗歌分为“赞美诗”,“祷告诗”,“咒诅诗”,“哀歌”,“弥赛亚诗歌”,“智慧诗”之类,其特点有异,解释原则也略微不同。这是任何释经学教材都会加以讨论的基础问题,在讲道的预备中也需要加以重视。

Leslie Allen的WBC在解释这首诗的类型和结构时,简单地说:

Psalm 127 is a wisdom poem. It consists of two extended wisdom sayings or proverbs (vv 1–2, 3–5). 【诗篇127是一首智慧诗,由两句扩展的箴言构成。】

姑且将这首诗当作智慧诗看待。从解释上,智慧诗或箴言,不能作为教义、命令或应许在讲道的时候,最好不要把箴言当作神的必然应许,比如看到

Prov 12:21 义人不遭灾害;恶人满受祸患。


最后,说一下福音与律法的问题。

“儿女是耶和华所赐的产业, 所怀的胎是他所给的赏赐”。

在这首诗的语境之中,若没有雅威的祝福和帮助,人的努力大概都是徒然。所以,当信靠雅威,在工作、家庭、安全、劳作上都信靠他。

大概无论如何,我的解释不会将1-2节归并到多生儿女上,我的应用也不会是我们要努力早婚,努力多生孩子,于是当有人在城门口问起时,我可以毫不羞愧地说,这都是雅威的祝福。

赐福和赏赐,自然是福音。凭着自己的努力,多生儿女来积福,大概很难说是“以基督为中心”的讲道。

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