December 3, 2007

Psalm 47

Category: Bible - OT - Psalms,Uncategorized :: 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.
By the sons of Korah.
A psalm.

All peoples, clap hands!
Shout to God with a voice of exultation,
Because Yahweh Most High is to be feared,
A great king over all the earth.

He will subdue peoples under us
And tribes under our feet.
He will choose for us our inheritance,
The loftiness of Jacob whom he loves.  Selah.

God has ascended with a shout,
Yahweh with a sound of a trumpet.

Psalm to God!  Psalm!
Psalm to our king!  Psalm,
Because the king of all the earth is God.
Psalm a maschil!

God reigns over the nations.
God sits upon his holy throne.
The nobles of the peoples have gathered,
The people of the God of Abraham,
Because to God belong the shields of the earth.
He is exceedingly exalted.

Some comments about the translation of this Psalm:

(1) In line 8, the word “loftiness” is sometimes translated “pride.”  It can refer to pride or to any kind of exaltation.  The “loftiness of Jacob” may be the Promised Land or, more generally, all the privileges Israel has received.

(2) In line 10, the trumpet is specifically a ram’s horn, which is what the word means.

(3) In lines 11, 12, and 14 there is a summons to sing praise.  The word here is the verb form of the word we translate as “psalm,” and so to get that across I have translated this word as a command to “psalm” to God. A “psalm” is praise with voices and instruments, and to “psalm” means to praise God musically, with singing and the playing of instruments.

A maschil is a type of psalm (see, for instance, the titles of Pss. 44, 45).  It may refer to a teaching psalm and may have something to do with wisdom and understanding, which is why some versions of the Bible have “sing praises with understanding” here.

Posted by John Barach @ 4:15 pm | Discuss (0)

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