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chorus, or interlude in the performance, or a mark of a louder strain, or variation in the melody, probably the former. The Septuagint understand it thus, and translate it won dìapahpatos ode diapsalmatos, which would indicate an interlude in the song. Gesenius says, higgayon selah may be translated, "instrumental music, pause; that is, let the instruments strike up a symphony, and the singers pause." In Psalm xcii, 3, (Hebrew text, verse 4,), ale higgayon bekinnor seems to mean the grave, undertone, or murmuring sound of the harp. So our English, "upon the solemn sound with the harp." Higgayon occurs in Psalm xix, 14, (Hebrew text, verse 15,) and is translated "meditation" in our English Bible, as indicating the serious movement of the thoughts and feelings. 5.
-by, al-jonath elem rechokim, the dumb dove among strangers, (Hengstenberg;) the silent dove among strangers, (Gesenius ;) Knapp understanding, the same as 3, elim, mighty ones, Exodus xv, 11, translates, On the subjugation of foreign princes. Others also render it variously; but the former is undoubtedly the correct view. The dumb, or silent dove, is afar off, in exile. Psalm lvi. The silent dove here is an emblem of meek, suffering innocence. But who is intended by this emblematic description? Gesenius thinks the people of Israel may be meant; for they are elsewhere called, when in exile among the Babylonians, by that name: "O deliver not the soul of in, thy turtle-dove unto the multitude; forget not the congregation of thy poor forever." Psalm lxxiv, 19. But it may, with equal propriety, apply to David, and as the title of the Psalm fixes his abode in Gath at this time, and intimates that he was detained there as a captive, (for so the word means: "when the Philistines seized him, held him fast, in Gath,") he may well be compared, in his innocency, to the dove, and in his meekness and suffering to the silent dove, affrighted and unresisting among strangers. We are, then, to consider this as one of David's enigmatical titles, denoting the subject of the Psalm, himself, the silent dove among strangers. 6. 3, liduthun, to Jeduthun, Psalm xxxix; 777-be, al-Jeduthun, upon Jeduthun, Psalms lxii, lxxvii. The difference between, le, and by, al, says De Wette, seems not to be so important as to demand an entirely different interpretation,
and the whole phrase in the titles of the above Psalms should be translated alike: To the chief musician of the Jeduthunites. (For an account of Jeduthun, see section on authors of the Psalms, article Ethan.)
7., lehazkir, to bring to remembrance. Psalms xxxviii, lxx. This title designates the object of these Psalms. "The person who is to be put in remembrance by the Psalm is not, as is generally supposed, the Psalmist himself, or the whole Church; but God, who seemed to have forgotten the Psalmist. ... When God appears to have forgotten us we must remember him; the earnest prayer to God for help is the only and the sure means of attaining this." (Hengstenberg.) The azkarah, among the Hebrews was a memorial or remembrance-offering, (Leviticus ii, 2, 9, 16; v, 12; Numbers v, 26;) to bring the individual into remembrance, and hence into favour before God. This word, and the hazkir in the above titles, are from the same root.
8., a preposition, to, unto, of, on account of, for, &c. It is often used in the titles of the Psalms, as in the phrase lamnatseach, to the chief musician, where, says De Wette, it denotes the giving over of the Psalm to the chief musician for public exhibition. It also occurs in connexion with proper names, as 7, le David, p, le Asaph, &c., where it denotes authorship, and instead of rendering to David, to Asaph, to the sons of Korah, &c., it should read of or by David, Asaph, &c., unless from some other source we know that authorship is not intended. In the title of Psalm xlii we should read "for the sons of Korah," as in the common version, but in the other Korahitic Psalms we may translate of, as denoting authorship, (unless we except Psalm xlv,) as it is probable that several of the Korahites were authors. So also of the Psalms of Asaph, and of Ethan, the Ezrahite. In Psalm lxxii the rendering should be "for Solomon," as denoting the subject and purport of the Psalm. It was written for, or on account of, Solomon.
him that is over, or
9., lamnatseach, to the chief, or to to the superintendent of the musical choir. This word is found in the titles of fifty-three Psalms, and in Habakkuk iii, 19. An idea of the organization of the musical choir is given 1 Chronicle xv, 16-24. In the twenty-first verse it is said, Mat
tithiah and others were appointed to play "with harps on the Sheminith to excel." The marginal reading has it, "on the eighth, to OVERSEE;" the meaning is, on the octave, or bass, to LEAD, GOVERN, or REGULATE the song. There were leading voices as well as overseers, or masters, to the Hebrew choir. The word lamnatseach is sometimes inserted with the name of the author; as, To the chief musician, a Psalm of David. Psalms xi, xiii, xiv, xviii–xxi, xxxi, xxxvi, xl, xli, xlii, xliv, xlvii, xlix, li, lii, lxiv-lxvi, lxviii, lxx, lxxxv, cix, cxxxix, cxl. Sometimes it is put with the name of the instrument; as, To the chief musician, on Neginoth, Psalms iv, vi, liv, lv, lxvii, lxxvi; Upon Gittith, Psalms viii, lxxxi, lxxxiv; Upon Shoshannim, Psalms xlv, lxix, lxxx; Upon Nehiloth, Psalm v; Upon Mahalath, Psalm liii. Or with the first words of the song or melody in which the song is to be sung. See Psalms xxii, lvi-lix, lxxv. Or, finally, with a word, marking the tone or key, whether lower or higher; as, To the chief musician, upon Alamoth, Psalm xlvi. Upon the Sheminith, Psalm xii. Sometimes the name of the chief musician himself is inserted; as, To the chief musician, to Jeduthun, Psalms xxxix, lxii, lxxvii.
10. i, mizmor, a poem or song, a frequent title of the Psalms, but only once standing entirely alone, as simply a Psalm, Psalm xcviii, where it has been ingeniously supposed it denotes a purely "lyrical composition." It stands generally connected with the name of the author, or the instrument on which it is to be performed, or the person who is to perform the music, or some other circumstance. (See this word explained in the previous section, under Title of the Book of Psalms.)
11. by, al-mahalath, upon mahalath, probably either a stringed instrument to be accompanied with the voice, like the guitar, or a wind instrument of the flute kind. Psalms liii, lxxxviii. The etymology of the word would indicate an instrument of soft and soothing tone. Dr. Clarke renders the title of Psalm liii, "To the chief player on the flute, to the master of the band of pipers." (See ni, leannoth.)
12. pp, michtam, commonly derived from ?, kethem, gold, and hence translated golden Psalm, i. e., either a Psalm written in golden characters, or, figuratively, one that deserves to be written in golden characters; that is, one of precious or preeminent
worth. The word occurs only in the titles of Psalms xvi, lvi, lvii, lviii, lix, lx. Hengstenberg renders it, a secret, or, a song with a deep import. But the Psalms bearing this inscription do not seem entitled to this distinction or to any special mark of excellence. By a change in the final letters, which is admissible, n, miktam, would be changed to a, michtab, a writing, which, in Isaiah xxxviii, 9, is used in the sense of poem. It is more probable, according to Gesenius, that the labials and have been thus interchanged, and that michtab instead of michtam is to be understood, or that they are synonymous; so that michtam of David should simply read a poem of David, or, a Psalm or Song of David. I have, however, in the following work, retained the common rendering.
13. p, maschil, a didactic song, or song of instruction. Psalms xxxii, xlii, xliv, xlv, lii, liii, liv, lv, lxxiv, lxxviii, lxxxviii, lxxxix, exlii.
"The origin of this use of the word," says Gesenius, "is uncertain. The most obvious solution is that which makes it the same as didactic song, and supposes that this specific word came afterward to be applied to other and different kinds of song, since the writers even of the non-didactic Psalms not unfrequently act the part of teachers." The ancient bards were also teachers. They were the learned men, or sages of the world. In Psalm xlvii, 8, where our English reads: "Sing praises with understanding;" the Hebrew simply has, ppp, zammero maskil, sing Psalms causing to understand, or, sing Psalms to give instruction.
14. by, al-neginath, upon the stringed instrument, generally written in the plural, ni, neginoth, and also ni, bineginoth, in or with the stringed instruments. Psalms vi, liv, lv, lxi, lxxvi. These little variations of the form however, make no alteration in the sense. The idea conveyed seems to be a direction that the Psalm was to be sung with the accompaniment of stringed instruments. The word occurs in Psalm lxxvii, 6, (Hebrew text, verse 7,) where it is simply rendered song, "I will remember my song in the night."
15. i, el-ha nehiloth, upon the nehiloth, that is, upon the flutes, or pipes. The word comes from 3, halal, to bore through, to perforate, and signifies an instrument of the tubular kind. It occurs only in the title of Psalm v.
16. bp, selah, that is, rest, silence, pause. "Its use seems to have been, in chanting the words of the Psalm, to direct the singer to be silent, to pause a little, while the instruments played an interlude or symphony." (Gesenius.) Hence it commonly occurs in the middle of a Psalm, at the end of a particular section or strophe, but in Psalms lv, 19, and lvii, 3, and Habak. iii, 3, 9, in the middle of the verse, though still at the end of a member of the verse. The Septuagint everywhere translate it by diapahua, interlude, symphony. The word occurs about seventy-one times in the Psalms, and three times in Habakkuk. See nbp in, higgayon selah, No. 4 of this section.
17. 5, al, upon, after, according to, sometimes written b el, with which it is often interchanged, (as the title in Psalm v.) It occurs frequently, and designates the kind of melody, or of accompaniment, or the key, after which the Psalms were to be sung, or the instrument upon which they were to be performed; as, upon neginoth, upon nehiloth, upon almuth, &c.
18. -, al-muth labben, in Psalm ix; and in Psalm xlvi nibby, al-alamoth, simply. The alamoth in the latter, and al-muth in the former, are probably intended for one and the same word variously written. The meaning is, "after the manner of virgins, that is, with the female voice, the same as our treble, soprano, opposed to the deeper voice of men." (Gesenius.) In 1 Chronicles xv, 20, we are informed, that Zechariah and his companions were appointed by David to play with psalteries, nin, al-alamoth, upon alamoth, that is, the treble, soprano, or, after the female voice, or, with the accompaniment of the female voice, while Mattithiah and his companions played with harps on the sheminith, or bass. There is one serious objection, however, to the interpretation of almuth or alamoth, which supposes the actual female voice accompaniment. It is contrary to Hebrew and Oriental custom, respecting the social position and treatment of females, to suppose that they made a part of the Levitical choirs. Females appeared in public anciently, as now, in Asiatic countries, as minstrels and singers, but in a very different capacity and relation from that of temple-choristers—a duty assigned specially to the Levites. If this objection could be obviated, the explanation of Gesenius and De Wette above