Psalms 68

 

לַמְנַצֵּחַ לְדָוִד מִזְמוֹר שִׁיר׃   68:1

Psal. 68:1   A psalm of David's, a song for the leader:

יָקוּם אֱלֹהִים יָפוּצוּ אוֹיְבָיו וְיָנוּסוּ מְשַׂנְאָיו מִפָּנָיו׃   68:2

Psal. 68:2   God shall rise up,

                               His enemies shall be scattered,

                      and those who hate him shall flee before Him.

כְּהִנְדֹּף עָשָׁן תִּנְדֹּף כְּהִמֵּס דּוֹנַג מִפְּנֵי־אֵשׁ יֹאבְדוּ רְשָׁעִים מִפְּנֵי אֱלֹהִים׃   68:3

Psal. 68:3   You shall drive away, as smoke is driven away,

                                the wicked shall vanish before God as wax melts before a fire.

וְצַדִּיקִים יִשְׂמְחוּ יַעַלְצוּ לִפְנֵי אֱלֹהִים וְיָשִׂישׂוּ בְשִׂמְחָה׃   68:4

Psal. 68:4   But the righteous shall be glad,

                                they shall rejoice before God;

                      so they shall exult in gladness.

שִׁירוּ לֵאלֹהִים זַמְּרוּ שְׁמוֹ סֹלּוּ לָרֹכֵב בָּעֲרָבוֹת בְּיָהּ שְׁמוֹ וְעִלְזוּ לְפָנָיו׃   68:5

Psal. 68:5   Sing to God!

                               Sing praise!

                      Lift up His name to rider on desert plains!

                               His name is with the Lord, so exult before Him.

I feel quite certain that the third and fourth Hebrew words are mistranslated by just about everyone.  Others have for those words variations like “Sing praises to His name.”  However, I believe that the word for His name belongs with the next clause and is the object of the imperative verb Lift up.  Otherwise the Hebrew of the rest of the verse isn’t intelligible.  In my translation it all makes sense.

אֲבִי יְתוֹמִים וְדַיַּן אַלְמָנוֹת אֱלֹהִים בִּמְעוֹן קָדְשׁוֹ׃   68:6

Psal. 68:6   Father of orphans and Judge of widows is God

                                in the habitation of His holiness.

אֱלֹהִים מוֹשִׁיב יְחִידִים בַּיְתָה מוֹצִיא אֲסִירִים בַּכּוֹשָׁרוֹת אַךְ סוֹרֲרִים שָׁכְנוּ צְחִיחָה׃   68:7

Psal. 68:7   God is Who makes solitary ones dwell sheltered,

                               Who brings out captives to prosperity.

                      Only rebellious ones dwell parched.

אֱלֹהִים בְּצֵאתְךָ לִפְנֵי עַמֶּךָ בְּצַעְדְּךָ בִישִׁימוֹן סֶלָה׃   68:8

Psal. 68:8   O God, with Your coming forth before Your people,

                                with Your striding through the wilderness (selah),

אֶרֶץ רָעָשָׁה אַף־שָׁמַיִם נָטְפוּ מִפְּנֵי אֱלֹהִים זֶה סִינַי מִפְּנֵי אֱלֹהִים אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל׃   68:9

Psal. 68:9   the earth shook, even the heavens dropped, before God

                                -- that was Sinai before God, God of Israel.

גֶּשֶׁם נְדָבוֹת תָּנִיף אֱלֹהִים נַחֲלָתְךָ וְנִלְאָה אַתָּה כוֹנַנְתָּהּ׃   68:10

Psal. 68:10   You will offer Your possession freewill offerings, rain, O God;

                                 and should it become weary, You will reaffirm it.

Wow!  What an amazing concept!  God offering freewill offerings -- such as rain -- to His people, Israel!

חַיָּתְךָ יָשְׁבוּ־בָהּ תָּכִין בְּטוֹבָתְךָ לֶעָנִי אֱלֹהִים׃   68:11

Psal. 68:11   Your living things dwell on it;

                                 may You in Your goodness, O God, prepare for the needy.

אֲדֹנָי יִתֶּן־אֹמֶר הַמְבַשְּׂרוֹת צָבָא רָב׃   68:12

Psal. 68:12   Should the Master give the word,

                                 the bearers of the news would be a numerous host.

מַלְכֵי צְבָאוֹת יִדֹּדוּן יִדֹּדוּן וּנְוַת בַּיִת תְּחַלֵּק שָׁלָל׃   68:13

Psal. 68:13   Kings of armies shall flee,

                                 they shall wander,

                        and the home dweller shall divide the spoil.

אִם־תִּשְׁכְּבוּן בֵּין שְׁפַתָּיִם כַּנְפֵי יוֹנָה נֶחְפָּה בַכֶּסֶף וְאֶבְרוֹתֶיהָ בִּירַקְרַק חָרוּץ׃   68:14

Psal. 68:14   If You would rest in the midst of the sheepfold,

                                   the wings of a dove might be overlaid in silver,

                        or its pinions in the greenish color of gold.

בְּפָרֵשׂ שַׁדַּי מְלָכִים בָּהּ תַּשְׁלֵג בְּצַלְמוֹן׃   68:15

Psal. 68:15   With the Almighty scattering the kings on it,

                                  it will snow in Zalmon.

The reference to snow in Zalman may have been familiar to the people of the day, but its significance has been long forgotten.  The message of the expression is unknown in modern times.  Of course that hasn’t prevented commentators from expertly expounding about it.

הַר־אֱלֹהִים הַר־בָּשָׁן הַר גַּבְנֻנִּים הַר־בָּשָׁן׃   68:16

Psal. 68:16   The mountain of Bashan is a mountain of God;

                                   the mountain of Bashan is a mountain of peaks.

The mountain of Bashan is believed to be Mount Hermon, the tallest mountain in the vicinity (of Lebanon) and it also possesses three peaks.

לָמָּה תְּרַצְּדוּן הָרִים גַּבְנֻנִּים הָהָר חָמַד אֱלֹהִים לְשִׁבְתּוֹ אַף־יְהוָה יִשְׁכֹּן לָנֶצַח׃   68:17

Psal. 68:17   Why would you watch with envy, mountains of peaks,

                                    the mountain God desires for His dwelling place?

                         Yes, the Lord shall abide to the end.

רֶכֶב אֱלֹהִים רִבֹּתַיִם אַלְפֵי שִׁנְאָן אֲדֹנָי בָם סִינַי בַּקֹּדֶשׁ׃   68:18

Psal. 68:18   The horsemen of God are myriads,

                                    thousands of thousands;

                         the Master is with them of Sinai in holiness.

עָלִיתָ לַמָּרוֹם שָׁבִיתָ שֶּׁבִי לָקַחְתָּ מַתָּנוֹת בָּאָדָם וְאַף סוֹרְרִים לִשְׁכֹּן יָהּ אֱלֹהִים׃   68:19

Psal. 68:19   You ascended to the height,

                                   You led captives captive,

                        You received gifts among humankind,

                                   yes, and of rebellious ones,

                        for the dwelling of the Lord, God.

בָּרוּךְ אֲדֹנָי יוֹם יוֹם יַעֲמָס־לָנוּ הָאֵל יְשׁוּעָתֵנוּ סֶלָה׃   68:20

Psal. 68:20   Blessed is the Master, the God of our salvation;

                                  day after day He carries our burden.            Selah.

הָאֵל לָנוּ אֵל לְמוֹשָׁעוֹת וְלֵיהוִה אֲדֹנָי לַמָּוֶת תּוֹצָאוֹת׃   68:21

Psal. 68:21   God is the God of deliverances for us,

                                  while death’s purposes are for the Lord, the Master.

אַךְ־אֱלֹהִים יִמְחַץ רֹאשׁ אֹיְבָיו קָדְקֹד שֵׂעָר מִתְהַלֵּךְ בַּאֲשָׁמָיו׃   68:22

Psal. 68:22   Surely God will shatter the head of His enemies,

                                  the scalp of hair going about with its guilt.

אָמַר אֲדֹנָי מִבָּשָׁן אָשִׁיב אָשִׁיב מִמְּצֻלוֹת יָם׃   68:23

Psal. 68:23   The Master says, “I will bring back from Bashan,

                                   I will bring back from the depths of the sea,

לְמַעַן תִּמְחַץ רַגְלְךָ בְּדָם לְשׁוֹן כְּלָבֶיךָ מֵאֹיְבִים מִנֵּהוּ׃   68:24

Psal. 68:24   so that your foot will splash in blood,

                                   the tongue of your dogs, from enemies out of it.”

The poetry of this verse, which is the end of the statement begun in the preceding verse, makes it difficult to understand.  I believe what is intended is that the Lord will bring Israel back from Lebanon, and their feet, and the tongue of dogs, will splash in the blood of the enemies from Lebanon.

רָאוּ הֲלִיכוֹתֶיךָ אֱלֹהִים הֲלִיכוֹת אֵלִי מַלְכִּי בַקֹּדֶשׁ׃   68:25

Psal. 68:25   They saw Your doings, O God,

                                  the ways of my God, my King, in holiness.

קִדְּמוּ שָׁרִים אַחַר נֹגְנִים בְּתוֹךְ עֲלָמוֹת תּוֹפֵפוֹת׃   68:26

Psal. 68:26   Singers came before, after minstrels,

                                  in the midst of maidens playing timbrels.

בְּמַקְהֵלוֹת בָּרְכוּ אֱלֹהִים יְהוָה מִמְּקוֹר יִשְׂרָאֵל׃   68:27

Psal. 68:27   Bless God, the Master,

                                  in more assemblies than the Fountain of Israel!

שָׁם בִּנְיָמִן צָעִיר רֹדֵם שָׂרֵי יְהוּדָה רִגְמָתָם שָׂרֵי זְבֻלוּן שָׂרֵי נַפְתָּלִי׃   68:28

Psal. 68:28   There is little Benjamin ruling them,

                                 princes of Judah are their glory,

                        princes of Zebulun,

                                 princes of Naphtali.

צִוָּה אֱלֹהֶיךָ עֻזֶּךָ עוּזָּה אֱלֹהִים זוּ פָּעַלְתָּ לָּנוּ׃   68:29

Psal. 68:29   God ordains your strength.

                                Make strong, O God, You Who acts for us!

מֵהֵיכָלֶךָ עַל־יְרוּשָׁלִָם לְךָ יוֹבִילוּ מְלָכִים שָׁי׃   68:30

Psal. 68:30   Because of Your Temple at Jerusalem,

                                 kings shall bring gift to You.

The apparent reference to the Temple means that this psalm may have been composed sometime after David’s death.

גְּעַר חַיַּת קָנֶה עֲדַת אַבִּירִים בְּעֶגְלֵי עַמִּים מִתְרַפֵּס בְּרַצֵּי־כָסֶף בִּזַּר עַמִּים קְרָבוֹת יֶחְפָּצוּ׃   68:31

Psal. 68:31   Rebuke the beast of the reed,

                                 the gathering of bulls among the calves of the peoples!

                        Trampling down on pieces of silver,

                                He scatters the peoples who would delight in wars.

יֶאֱתָיוּ חַשְׁמַנִּים מִנִּי מִצְרָיִם כּוּשׁ תָּרִיץ יָדָיו לֵאלֹהִים׃   68:32

Psal. 68:32   Ambassadors shall come from Egypt,

                                 Ethiopia shall quickly move its hands toward God.

מַמְלְכוֹת הָאָרֶץ שִׁירוּ לֵאלֹהִים זַמְּרוּ אֲדֹנָי סֶלָה׃   68:33

Psal. 68:33   Kingdoms of the earth, sing to God!

                                Sing praises of the Master (Selah),

לָרֹכֵב בִּשְׁמֵי שְׁמֵי־קֶדֶם הֵן יִתֵּן בְּקוֹלוֹ קוֹל עֹז׃   68:34

Psal. 68:34   to the Rider of old in the heavens of heavens!

                                Lo, He will produce with His voice, a mighty voice.

תְּנוּ עֹז לֵאלֹהִים עַל־יִשְׂרָאֵל גַּאֲוָתוֹ וְעֻזּוֹ בַּשְּׁחָקִים׃   68:35

Psal. 68:35   Ascribe strength to God!

                                His majesty is over Israel,

                        and His strength is in the clouds.

נוֹרָא אֱלֹהִים מִמִּקְדָּשֶׁיךָ אֵל יִשְׂרָאֵל הוּא נֹתֵן עֹז וְתַעֲצֻמוֹת לָעָם בָּרוּךְ אֱלֹהִים׃   68:36

Psal. 68:36   God is awesome out of your holy places;

                                God of Israel, He is the Giver of strength and power to people;

                        blessed is God.

 

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