« PoprzedniaDalej »
given, would be very satisfactory; but allowing this objection to have force, we may still with them understand almuth as the designation of a mode of music, called the virgin-mode, or imitation of the female voice; that is, soft, gentle. Professor Jahn supposes it may have been a kind of harp.
It may seem an objection to this statement that in Psalm lxviii, 25, "virgins" are mentioned as joining in the band of musicians and singers, and also in verse 11, (Hebrew text, verse 12,) "the company that published" the word were females, for the word nie, hambasseroth, those bearing tidings, is in the feminine plural, female publishers, probably the same as the "damsels playing with timbrels," (verse 25.) But it must be remembered that this was not temple worship, but a public triumphal song of the nation, in which all classes joined from a general spirit of patriotism and thanksgiving. It was a celebration of some great victory and national deliverance in the past martial history of the Israelites, probably belonging to the first conquests of Moses and Joshua. On such occasions females commonly took a part. See Exodus xv, 20, 21; Judges v, 1; 1 Samuel xviii, 6, 7; 2 Samuel i, 24.
The word 2, labben, in the title of Psalm ix, is not easy to explain. According to Calmet, Professor Jahn, De Wette, and others, a better reading of the Hebrew would be ?, le Ben, that is, to or for Ben. Ben was the name of a master musician in David's time, (1 Chronicles xv, 18.) We might, then, read the whole title of Psalm ix, thus: "To the chief musician. Upon the virgin-mode. To Ben;" merely denoting that the Psalm was assigned to Ben, the precentor, or chief musician, for public performance.
We have thus far proceeded upon the supposition that , al-muth, in Psalm ix, is the same as nine, alamoth, in Psalm xlvi, and that both are but the plural form of ny, almah, girl, maiden, virgin. If, however, we take the makkeph in the first mentioned word as well-placed, and consequently make al-muth, to be two words, we must then take the latter word n, muth, in its proper sense, meaning to die, to cause to die, to be slain; and if we understand, ben, (a son,) as a common substantive, and not as the name of a man, we should then read the title, "upon the death of the son." The Chaldee, says Dr. A. Clarke, has it "A song of David, to be
sung concerning the death of the strong man, who went out between the camps," that is, Goliath. But this Psalm could not have been composed on the death of Goliath, for "Zion" is. mentioned in several instances, (verse 11, 14,) as the abode of Jehovah. Dr. Alexander supposes labben to be the title, or the first words, or a prominent expression of some other poem, to the style, or to the air of which this Psalm was composed. It should then read, "After the manner, or to the air, of [the song or poem] Death to the son, or, the death of the son." Hengstenberg, after Grotius, supposes the letters of the word 13, laben, have been transposed, and that they should be changed back, so as to read, nabal, and as this latter word means fool, so he would read it: "upon the dying of the fool," which, he supposes to agree precisely with the contents of the Psalm, the subject of which is the destruction of the fool, or wicked person. See verses 3, 5, 6, 12, 17.
We prefer, however, the first opinion, which would read, “ "Upon the virgin-mode. To Ben;" as it seems more easy and natural, and more in accordance with the analogy of the titles. The Septuagint give another turn to the sense: 'TTEр TWV KOVOV TOV vioν, concerning the secrets or mysteries of the son. So also the Vulgate, pro occultis filii. And this has been mystically applied to Christ. But all this is fanciful.
19., leannoth, (Psalm lxxxviii,) is variously rendered, according as it is derived from, anah, to suffer, be afflicted, or from, anah, to chant, sing. Gesenius, De Wette, Dr. Davies, and others take the latter view; while Mudge, Hengstenberg, Alexander, and others take the former. Mudge translates, to create dejection; Alexander renders, mahalath leannoth, concerning afflictive sickness; Hengstenberg reads, upon the distress of oppression. The Septuagint (añoкρıðŋvai) and the Vulgate (respondendum) indicate a responsive song, and Houbigant translates the words in question, for the choirs, that they may answer. Many etymologists consider the primary idea of , anah, to sing, that of answering. The tone of the Psalm in question, however, being decidedly that of sadness and dejection, it appears more probable that leannoth denotes the strictly elegiac character of the performance, and the whole title may read, therefore, "A song, or Psalm, for the sons of Korah, to the chief musician, upon the flutes, [or the
hollow instruments,] to afflict, [or cause dejection,] a didactic Psalm of Heman, the Ezrahite. (See under by, al-mahabath, and also Introduction to Psalm lxxxviii.
20. 1773 177, shiggayon le David, a wandering of David, that is, a wandering ode, or song of David. Psalm vii, The same word occurs in the plural form in Habakkuk iii, 1, “A prayer-song (bp) of Habakkuk, the prophet, niig by, al shigionoth, on account of the wanderings. But what wander ings are here intended? The root na, shagah, and its cognate
, shagag, both signify to wander, either in a physical or a moral sense. Saul says, "Behold, I have played the fool, and erred exceedingly." 1 Samuel xxvi, 21. So also Psalm cxix, 10, 118: "Make me not to wander from thy precepts;" "Thou hast trodden down all those who wander from thy precepts." Of wandering literally, Deuteronomy xxvii, 18: "Cursed be he that maketh the blind to wander out of the way." Ezekiel xxxiv, 6: "My sheep wandered through all the mountains."
We may suppose David is prompted to sing, in Psalm vii, from a consideration of his own wanderings, first exiled by Saul, and now by the conspiracy of Absalom; or we may take the word in its typical sense, and suppose he speaks of the errors and transgressions of his persecutors. Either makes a good sense, but the latter more strongly designates the subject of the Psalm. In the poem of Habakkuk, (chapter iii,) the prophet's theme is, the providential history of the wanderings of the Israelites, but he evidently had before his vivid perceptions the unbelief and errors of his own generation, which called down the judgments of God through the fierce Chaldeans.
Bishop Horsley's suggestion, that Psalm vii is called a wandering ode, because it is made up of different subjects, in diferent styles of composition, as if it were a hasty, impromtu, irregular production, is more fanciful than solid.
21. ning by, al shushan eduth, upon the lily of testimony, Psalm lx; and in the plural form, with the strong disjunctive, Athnach, on the final syllable, nb, el-shosh annim eduth, upon the lilies. A testimony. Psalm lxxx. Also simply by, al-shoshannim, upon the lilies, Psalms lxix, xlv. Hengstenberg considers the titles of these Psalms enigmatical;
the lily denoting something lovely and the eduth or testimony being a descriptive title of the law of God; the words shushan eduth would then be taken as something lovely about the law, as, for instance, a promise, a precept. This interpretation, however, does not suit the subject of these Psalms, and cannot, therefore, with propriety be admitted. The Seventy render alghoshannim in Psalms xlv, lxix, lxxx, ύπερ των ἀλλοιωθησομένων, concerning those who are to be changed; but the meaning of this is left to conjecture. But among the numerous opinions and conjectures respecting the meaning of these obscure words, none seem so probable as that of Gesenius, who understands shushan, lily, as denoting "a lily-shaped instrument," and eduth, testimony, in the sense of revelation, or inspired poem, in which De Wette concurs. It would then read, al-shushannim, eduth, upon the lily-shaped instruments; a revelation, or an inspired
22., shir, song, ode, hymn-a common designation of the Psalms-like ința, mizmor, with which it is sometimes pleonastically joined; as mizmor shir, or, reversedly, shir mizmor a song, a psalm. Thirteen Psalms have this title, viz., Psalms xxx, xlviii, lxv, lxvi, lxvii, lxviii, lxxv, lxxvi, lxxxiii, lxxxvii, lxxxviii, xcii, cviii.
23. 7777777, shir jedidoth, a song of the loved ones. Psalm xlv. De Wette translates "a song of loveliness, i. e., a lovely song;" understanding the word jedidoth substantively, though it is an adjective proper. Others translate, a song of love, or a love-song, which is inadmissible. Gesenius suggests an idea similar to that of De Wette above. He suggests that shir jedidoth, which he translates a charming song, is an epithet which contains an encomium upon the Psalm itself, similar to , shir hashirim, song of songs, (Cant. i, 1,) which is to be understood as meaning the most beautiful of songs. In such a case, however, as is well intimated, the author of the Psalm could hardly be supposed to be the author of the title. The idea of Gesenius suits well to the character of Psalm xlv, for it is indeed a beautiful production. But the word jedidoth is to be understood in the concrete for loved ones, not in the abstract for loveliness, and we must, therefore, seek another explanation. The Psalm in question is, in its historic origin, imagery, and application, beyond doubt, an
epithalamium, celebrating the glorious majesty of the bridegroom. The bridegroom is also the king, to whom the Psalm is dedicated, verse 1, 3, massa lemelek, my works [I dedicate] to the king. In Jewish marriages, it was the custom for young virgins to encircle the bride and sing in honour of her espousals. We may suppose the forty-fifth Psalm thus sung. But who are the loved ones mentioned in the title? The word i jedidoth, is in the plural feminine, and, according to the interpretation we have adopted, must denote either the bride-maids who sing the song, and so read, a song of the beloved maids, as some have rendered it, but which is improbable, or else the beloved ones must mean the brides, or wives of the king. This latter idea seems the most probable. The reader must imagine himself in an Asiatic country. No other females could, with any propriety, be mentioned or referred to in the title of a nuptial song. The song was sung on account of the new bride, and also of all the wives of the royal harem. The subject of the song was the praise of the king; other characters and personages are mentioned subordinately to this, and to set off this with greater effect. But the song was sung specially to or for the bride and her companions. The Septuagint intimate another idea, by making the beloved ones masculine singular, instead of feminine plural, ŵồŋ úπερ TOV ȧYATηTOV, a song concerning THE BELOVED ONE, 2. e., THE ROYAL BRIDEGROOM; and this exactly suits the subject of the Psalm.
That the forty-fifth Psalm contains an important prophecy of Messiah and his kingdom is shown by comparing verses 6 and 7, with Heb. i, 8, and that it is to be considered as an allegory, representing the conjugal union of Christ and his Church, as Hengstenberg and Alexander have applied it, is also apparent. This relation of God to his Church is a common figure of the Old Testament; compare Isaiah liv, 5, Ezekiel xvi and xxiii, and Hosea i, ii and iii. In this allegorical application the jedidoth, beloved ones, of the title of the Psalm would denote the members of Christ's Church, and the royal bridegroom, the Lord's Messiah.
24. nibyen ¬p, shir hammaaloth, translated "song of degrees." This title applies to fifteen Psalms, viz: Psalms cxx-cxxxiv. Of the various opinions on this obscure title, we need mention only two. First, Gesenius and De Wette, followed also by