Psalms 33


רַנְּנוּ צַדִּיקִים בַּיהוָה לַיְשָׁרִים נָאוָה תְהִלָּה׃   33:1

Psal. 33:1   Sing out for joy in the Lord, righteous ones!

                               For the upright, praise is lovely.

This verse faintly echoes the last verse of the previous psalm, and continues the hymn of exultation started there.

הוֹדוּ לַיהוָה בְּכִנּוֹר בְּנֵבֶל עָשׂוֹר זַמְּרוּ־לוֹ׃   33:2

Psal. 33:2   Give thanks to the Lord on a harp.

                               On a ten-stringed musical instrument play to Him!

שִׁירוּ־לֹו שִׁיר חָדָשׁ הֵיטִיבוּ נַגֵּן בִּתְרוּעָה׃   33:3

Psal. 33:3   Sing to Him a new song,

                               play skillfully with a shout of joy!

The two words, !GEn: Wbyjiyhe, I translate as play skillfully, must be an idiom.  Otherwise the number of the two words don’t agree.  Moreover, the Hebrew seems strange, and is difficult to translate accurately with literal precision.

כִּי־יָשָׁר דְּבַר־יְהוָה וְכָל־מַעֲשֵׂהוּ בֶּאֱמוּנָה׃   33:4

Psal. 33:4   For the word of the Lord is righteous,

                               and His every pursuit is with fidelity.

אֹהֵב צְדָקָה וּמִשְׁפָּט חֶסֶד יְהוָה מָלְאָה הָאָרֶץ׃   33:5

Psal. 33:5   Lover of righteousness and justice!

                              The loving kindness of the Lord fills the earth.

בִּדְבַר יְהוָה שָׁמַיִם נַעֲשׂוּ וּבְרוּחַ פִּיו כָּל־צְבָאָם׃   33:6

Psal. 33:6   By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,

                               and by the breath of His “mouth,” all their host,

כֹּנֵס כַּנֵּד מֵי הַיָּם נֹתֵן בְּאֹצָרוֹת תְּהוֹמוֹת׃   33:7

Psal. 33:7   gathering as a mass the waters of the sea,

                               setting the depths in storehouses.

יִירְאוּ מֵיְהוָה כָּל־הָאָרֶץ מִמֶּנּוּ יָגוּרוּ כָּל־יֹשְׁבֵי תֵבֵל׃   33:8

Psal. 33:8   Let all those of the earth fear because of the Lord;

                               because of Him let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe.

כִּי הוּא אָמַר וַיֶּהִי הוּא־צִוָּה וַיַּעֲמֹד׃   33:9

Psal. 33:9   For He speaks and it is,

                               He commands and it appears.

יְהוָה הֵפִיר עֲצַת־גּוֹיִם הֵנִיא מַחְשְׁבוֹת עַמִּים׃   33:10

Psal. 33:10   The Lord thwarts the purpose of nations,

                               He restrains the thoughts of peoples.

עֲצַת יְהוָה לְעוֹלָם תַּעֲמֹד מַחְשְׁבוֹת לִבּוֹ לְדֹר וָדֹר׃   33:11

Psal. 33:11   The purpose of the Lord shall endure forever,

                                the thoughts of His “heart” for all generations.

אַשְׁרֵי הַגּוֹי אֲשֶׁר־יְהוָה אֱלֹהָיו הָעָם בָּחַר לְנַחֲלָה לוֹ׃   33:12

Psal. 33:12   Happy is the nation whose God is the Lord,

                                the people He has chosen to be His inheritance.

מִשָּׁמַיִם הִבִּיט יְהוָה רָאָה אֶת־כָּל־בְּנֵי הָאָדָם׃   33:13

Psal. 33:13   The Lord looks from heaven,

                                He sees all the children of humankind.

מִמְּכוֹן־שִׁבְתּוֹ הִשְׁגִּיחַ אֶל כָּל־יֹשְׁבֵי הָאָרֶץ׃   33:14

Psal. 33:14   He gazes from His dwelling place

                                 at all the inhabitants of the earth,

הַיֹּצֵר יַחַד לִבָּם הַמֵּבִין אֶל־כָּל־מַעֲשֵׂיהֶם׃   33:15

Psal. 33:15   Who pre-ordains all together their hearts,

                                Who gives heed to all their deeds.

Does David reveal here that he believes in fate?  God pre-ordains?  I say no.  To pre-ordain is to foil free will, which I don’t believe God does except when it’s essential.

אֵין־הַמֶּלֶךְ נוֹשָׁע בְּרָב־חָיִל גִּבּוֹר לֹא־יִנָּצֵל בְּרָב־כֹּחַ׃   33:16

Psal. 33:16   There is no king saved by the size of an army,

                                 a mighty man will not be delivered by abundance of strength.

שֶׁקֶר הַסּוּס לִתְשׁוּעָה וּבְרֹב חֵילוֹ לֹא יְמַלֵּט׃   33:17

Psal. 33:17   Any horse is a disappointment for salvation;

                                 even by abundance of its strength it can not provide escape.

הִנֵּה עֵין יְהוָה אֶל־יְרֵאָיו לַמְיַחֲלִים לְחַסְדּוֹ׃   33:18

Psal. 33:18   Behold, the eye of the Lord is toward those revering Him,

                                 toward those waiting for His loving kindness

לְהַצִּיל מִמָּוֶת נַפְשָׁם וּלְחַיּוֹתָם בָּרָעָב׃   33:19

Psal. 33:19   to deliver their soul from death

                                and to keep them alive in famine.

Notice that David does not say that the Lord will keep famine away from those reverent of Him, only that they will be saved in the midst of famine.  Thus he acknowledges that “bad” things will happen to “good people.”  He has to be aware of this fact, since he has experienced it in his life.

נַפְשֵׁנוּ חִכְּתָה לַיהוָה עֶזְרֵנוּ וּמָגִנֵּנוּ הוּא׃   33:20

Psal. 33:20   Our soul waits for the Lord;

                                He is our Help and our Shield.

כִּי־בוֹ יִשְׂמַח לִבֵּנוּ כִּי בְשֵׁם קָדְשׁוֹ בָטָחְנוּ׃   33:21

Psal. 33:21   For in Him our heart can rejoice,

                                because we trust in His holy name.

יְהִי־חַסְדְּךָ יְהוָה עָלֵינוּ כַּאֲשֶׁר יִחַלְנוּ לָךְ׃   33:22

Psal. 33:22   Let Your loving kindness, O Lord, be upon us as we wait for You.


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