November 27, 2007

Psalm 46

Category: Bible - OT - Psalms :: Permalink

A reminder: I’ve prepared these psalms for our liturgy, trying to be as accurate in my translation as possible. The alternation between plain text and bold is for responsive reading. I invite feedback on the translation!

For the director.
A psalm.
By the sons of Korah.
Upon Alamoth
A song.

God is for us a refuge and strength;
A help in troubles he has been found — exceedingly!
Therefore we will not fear when the earth quakes
And when the mountains shake in the heart of seas.
Its waters will roar and foam;
Mountains tremble when it swells.  Selah.

There is a river — its streams will make the city of God rejoice,
The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.
God is in her midst; she will not be shaken.
God will help her at the turning of the morning.
Nations roared; kingdoms shook.
He gave his voice; the earth melts.

Yahweh of hosts is with us!
A high place for us is the God of Jacob.  Selah.

Come!  See the doings of Yahweh,
Who has put desolations in the earth,
Stopping wars to the end of the earth:
The bow he breaks and he cuts up the spear;
Chariots he burns in the fire.

Stop and know that I myself am God.
I will be exalted in the nations; I will be exalted in the earth.

Yahweh of hosts is with us!
A high place for us is the God of Jacob.  Selah.

A few comments about the translation of this psalm:

(1) In the title, alamoth means “virgins,” and upon alamoth may be a musical term (e.g., “For sopranos”).

(2) In line 4, “in the heart of seas” may be the location to which the mountains are moved: they are shaken into the midst of the seas.

(3) In line 12, “He gave his voice” means that he gave utterance to it, he gave it forth.

(4) In line 14, “high place” is another word for a refuge, a high spot where the enemy can’t get at you. “Fortress” doesn’t quite work because it doesn’t get the sense of height which is associated with this word.  Unfortunately, the term “high place” sounds too much like the high places where Israel worshiped, so that it has bad connotations instead of good ones and connotations of worship instead of protection.  If you have another suggestion for this, besides “refuge,” which I already used to translate the word at the beginning of the psalm, I’d be glad for it.

Posted by John Barach @ 4:17 pm | Discuss (0)

Leave a Reply