Scattering Seeds of Light

There's an interesting bit of poetry in Psalm 97:11. 

Many modern translations of the line go with something like "light shines (or dawns) upon the righteous." 

But the more literal rendering of the Hebrew word zara in this verse isn't "shine" or "dawn," but "sown" or "scattered." Thus, many of the more literal translations translate Psalm 97:11 as "light is sown for the righteous." The Message runs with this idea it its rendering: "Light-seeds are planted in the souls of God’s people." A more restrained take on that idea is from the NASB: "Light is sown like seed for the righteous." The NLV translation has, "Light is spread like seed for those who are right and good."

I don't know much about the New Life Version translation, you can read about it here, but I like that line, "light is spread like seed." 

All this to say, I greatly prefer the more literal translations of Psalm 97:11. These literal translations, ironically, keep us closer to the poetic and metaphorical image used by psalmist, the lovely, whimsical idea that light is planted, that light is a seed that God is scattering throughout the world and in our hearts.

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