Psalm 105:1-6, 16-22, 45b

Psalm 105:1-6, 16-22, 45b
Proper 14A


O give thanksA to the Lord;B callC on his name;D

Notes on verse 1a

A “give thanks” = yadah. From yad (hand). This is to throw one’s hands into the air in a gesture of praise. So, it is to praise, give thanks, or make a confession.
B “Lord” = YHVH. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (to come to pass, become, be). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
C “call” = qara. This is to call or call out – to call someone by name. Also used more broadly for calling forth.
D “name” = shem. May be from sum (to put, place, set). This is name, fame, renown. A name was thought to indicate something essential about a person – something about their individuality. So, this word can also mean honor, authority, or character.

    make knownE his deedsF among the peoples.G

Notes on verse 1b

E “make known” = yada. This is to know, acknowledge, advise, answer, be aware, be acquainted with. Properly, this is to figure something out by seeing. It includes ideas of observation, recognition, and care about something. It can be used causatively for instruction, designation, and punishment.
F “deeds” = alilah. From alal (to affect, do, practice, mock, overdo, glean, abuse, pain). This is a deed or action – something that causes an effect. It could be a wanton or shameful deed or an opportunity.
G “peoples” = am. From amam (to darken, hide, associate; creating shadows by huddling together). This is people or nation. It can be used specifically for a tribe, collectively of troops or armies, or figuratively to refer to a flock of animals.

SingH to him, sing praisesI to him;
    tellJ of allK his wonderful works.L

Notes on verse 2

H “sing” = shir. From shir (song, singer). This is to sing. It could also refer to one who is singing or leading others in song.
I “sing praises” = zamar. Perhaps from zamar (to trim or prune). This is making music. It is used specially of music to worship God. So, music with singing, singing praise, or singing psalms.
J “tell” = siach. From siach (musing, meditation, communication, babbling, prayer, contemplation). This is to muse, meditate, complain, sing, sigh, speak, or utter.
K “all” = kol. From kalal (to complete). This is all or every.
L “wonderful works” = pala. From pele (wonder, miracle, wonderful, marvelous thing). This is to be extraordinary, to arise, to be great or accomplish.

GloryM in his holyN name;
    let the heartsO of those who seekP the Lord rejoice.Q

Notes on verse 3

M “glory” = halal. This is to be clear – it originally referred to a sound, then a color. It was to shine and then make a show or boast then to rave. In a causative sense it came to mean celebrate, give glory, sing praise, or be worth of praise. Because of the celebratory nature of the word, it could also mean to give in marriage. This is where Hallelujah comes from.
N “holy” = qodesh. This is set apart and so sacred. God is different from us and so God is holy/set apart. Things we dedicate to God’s service are set apart for God and so they, too, are holy, etc.
O “hearts” = leb. May be related to labab (to encourage; properly, to be encased as with fat; used in a good sense, this means to transport someone with love; used in a bad sense, it can mean to dull one’s senses). This is the heart, courage, one’s inner self, the mind, or the will. Heart is only used in a figurative sense in the Old and New Testaments.
P “seek” = baqash. This is to seek, ask, desire, or request. It can be any kind of searching. It can also mean to worship or pray – implies a striving for.
Q “rejoice” = samach. This is to rejoice or be glad. Properly, it is to brighten up in a literal or figurative sense.

SeekR the Lord and his strength;S
    seekT his presenceU continually.V

Notes on verse 4

R “seek” = darash. This is seek, ask, inquire, care for. Generally it means following in pursuit or following as part of a search, which implies seeking or asking. Also used specially to mean worship.
S “strength” = oz. From azaz (to be strong, become fixed, be bold, prevail, be impudent; it means to be stout literally or figuratively. A Late Hebrew word). This is strength in the sense of force, majesty, praise, material and physical strength, the abstract notion of security. It can also speak of social or political power.
T “seek” = baqash. Same as “seek” in v3. See note P above.
U “presence” = paneh. From panah (to turn, face, appear). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.
V “continually” = tamid. May come from a word that means to stretch. This word means an indefinite period of time. So, it could be regular or daily. It could also be constantly, continually, always, or perpetually.

RememberW the wonderful works he has done,X
    his miraclesY and the judgmentsZ he has uttered,AA

Notes on verse 5

W “remember” = zakar. This is to remember, to mark something so that it can be recalled, to be mindful of, to mention.
X “done” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.
Y “miracles” = mopheth. Perhaps from yaphah (to be beautiful, decorate; root means being bright, which implies being beautiful). This is a wonder, miracle, symbol, sign, or omen.
Z “judgments” = mishpat. From shaphat (to judge, defend, pronounce judgment, condemn, govern). This is a verdict or formal sentence whether from humans or from God. It includes the act of judging as well as the place that judging takes place, the suit itself, and the penalty. Abstractly, this is justice, which includes the rights of the participants.
AA “uttered” = peh. Literally, “of his mouth.” This is mouth in a literal or figurative sense. So, more literally, it can be beak or jaws. More figuratively, it refers to speech, commands, or promises.

6 O offspringBB of his servantCC Abraham,DD

Notes on verse 6a

BB “offspring” = zera. From zara (to sow or scatter seed; conceive or yield). This is seed or sowing. It can, thus, mean a fruit, plant, sowing time, child, offspring, or posterity.
CC “servant” = ebed. From abad (to work, serve, compel; any kind of work; used causatively, can mean to enslave or keep in bondage). This is a servant, slave, or bondservant.
DD “Abraham” = Abraham. From the same as Abiram (exalted father, a high father – lofty) {from ab (father literal or figurative) + rum (rise, bring up, being high, extol, exalt, haughty; to raise in a literal or figurative sense)}. This is Abraham, father of many nations or father of a multitude.

    childrenEE of Jacob,FF his chosen ones.GG

Notes on verse 6b

EE “children” = ben. From banah (to build or obtain children). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense.
FF “Jacob” = Yaaqob. From the same as aqeb (heel, hind part, hoof, rear guard of an army, one who lies in wait, usurper). This is Isaac’s son and his descendants. The name means heel-catcher or supplanter.
GG “chosen ones” = bachir. From bachar (to choose, appoint, try, excellent). This is chosen or choice. So, it implies excellence.

16 When he summonedHH famineII against the landJJ
    and cut offKK everyLL supplyMM of bread,NN

Notes on verse 16

HH “summoned” = qara. Same as “call” in v1. See note C above.
II “famine” = raab. From raeb (to be hungry). This is hunger, death, or hunger from famine.
JJ “land” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.
KK “cut off” = shabar. This is break, collapse, destroy, break in pieces, tear. It is bursting in a literal or figurative sense.
LL “every” = kol. Same as “all” in v2. See note K above.
MM “supply” = matteh. From natah (to stretch or spread out, extend, bend). This is a staff, rod, branch, or tribe. It could be a rod for discipline or correction. It could be a scepter to indicate authority, a throwing lance, or a walking staff. Figuratively, it could also be something that supports life (like bread).
NN “bread” = lechem. From lacham (to eat, feed on). This is bread, food, loaf. It can refer to food more generally for people or for animals.

17 he had sentOO a manPP aheadQQ of them,
    Joseph,RR who had been soldSS as a slave.TT

Notes on verse 17

OO “sent” = shalach. This is to send out, away, send for, forsake. It can also mean to divorce or set a slave free.
PP “man” = ish. Perhaps from enosh (human, humankind, mortal); from anash (to be weak, sick, or frail). This is man, husband, another, or humankind.
QQ “ahead” = paneh. Same as “presence” in v4. See note U above.
RR “Joseph” = Yoseph. From yasaph (to add, increase, continue, exceed). This is Joseph, meaning “he increases” or “let him add.”
SS “sold” = makar. This is to sell – could be commerce/trade, a daughter to be married, someone into slavery. Figuratively, it can mean to surrender.
TT “slave” = ebed.  Same as “servant” in v6. See note CC above.

18 His feetUU were hurtVV with fetters;WW

Notes on verse 18a

UU “feet” = regel. This is foot, endurance, or journey. It is a foot as the means of walking and so it implies a step or a greater journey. It can be used euphemistically for private parts.
VV “were hurt” = anah. This is to be occupied with. It can also be bowed down. It can refer to a sense of humility or to a sense of being browbeaten, oppressed, afflicted, or depressed. This can be literal or figurative – depressed in mood or circumstance.
WW “fetters” = kebel. 2x in OT. Perhaps from a word that means to braid together. This is a fetter.

    his neckXX was putYY in a collar of iron;ZZ

Notes on verse 18b

XX “neck” = nephesh. Related to naphash (to refresh or be refreshed). This is soul, self, person, emotion. It is a breathing creature. Can also refer to appetites and desires.
YY “put” = bo. This is to enter, come in, advance, fulfill, bring offerings, enter to worship, attack. It can also have a sexual connotation.
ZZ “iron” = barzel. From the same as Birzoth (a name meaning holes). Root may mean to pierce. This is iron as something used as a cutting implement. It can also specifically mean ax head.

19 untilAAA, BBB what he had saidCCC came to pass,DDD
    the wordEEE of the Lord kept testingFFF him.

Notes on verse 19

AAA “until” = ad. From the same as ad forever, all, old); from adah (to pass on, advance, decorate oneself). This is until, while, before.
BBB {untranslated} = et. Related to “until” in v19. Probably from anah (to answer, sing, announce); from ad (see note AAA above). This is a period or season. It can also mean whenever or continually.
CCC “what he had said” = dabar. From dabar (to speak, declare, discuss). This is speech, a word, a matter, an affair, charge, command, message, promise, purpose, report, request. It is a word, which implies things that are spoken of in a wide sense.
DDD “came to pass” = bo. Same as “put” in v18. See note YY above.
EEE “word” = imrah. From emer (speech, thing, utterance, promise, argument, command); from amar (to speak, say, answer, command, promise, report). This is any kind of utterance, a word or commandment.
FFF “kept testing” = tsaraph. This is to refine, smalt, or fuse metal. It can also refer to the smelter (goldsmith or silversmith). Figuratively, this is refine in a literal or figurative sense – to test or try, make pure.

20 The kingGGG sent and releasedHHH him;
    the rulerIII of the peoples set him free.JJJ

Notes on verse 20

GGG “king” = melek. From malak (to be or become king or queen, to rise to the throne, to be crowned; by implication, to take counsel). This is king or royal.
HHH “released” = nathar. 8x in OT. This is to jump, spring, undo, be greatly agitated, untie, or terrify.
III “ruler” = mashal. This is to rule, reign, govern, have authority, wield.
JJJ “set…free” = patach. This is to open wide in a literal or figurative sense. So, it is open, draw out, let something go free, break forth. It can also mean to plow, engrave, or carve.

21 He madeKKK him lordLLL of his houseMMM
    and ruler of all his possessions,NNN

Notes on verse 21

KKK “made” = sum. Related to “name” in v1. See note D above.
LLL “lord” = adon. From a root that means ruling or being sovereign. This is lord, master, or owner.
MMM “house” = bayit. Related to “children” in v6. Probably from banah (see note EE above). This is house, court, family, palace, temple.
NNN “possessions” = qinyan. 10x in OT. From qanah (to get, acquire, purchase, move to jealousy, buyer, keep cattle). This is possession, substance, creation, wealth.

22 to instructOOO his officialsPPP at his pleasureQQQ
    and to teach his eldersRRR wisdom.SSS

Notes on verse 22

OOO “instruct” = asar. This is to tie, yoke, bind, or fasten. It can mean to harness an animal, to join in fighting a battle, or to imprison someone.
PPP “officials” = sar. This is chief, leader, ruler, lord, official, governor, prince, military leader. It refers to someone at the top of a rank or class.
QQQ “pleasure” = nephesh. Same as “neck” in v18. See note XX above.
RRR “elders” = zaqen. From the same as zaqan (beard or chin – the beard represents old age). This is old, aged, or elder.
SSS “teach…wisdom” = chakam. This is to be wise or teach wisdom. It is wisdom in thought, word, or action.

45 thatTTT they might keepUUU his statutesVVV
    and observeWWW his laws.XXX
Praise the Lord!YYY

Notes on verse 45

TTT “that” = abur. From abar (to pass over, pass through, or pass by; cross over or to alienate; used for transitions). This is for, so that, on account of. Properly, it means crossed.
UUU “keep” = shamar. This is to keep, watch, or preserve. It means to guard something or to protect it as a thorny hedge protects something.
VVV “statutes” = choq. From chaqaq (to inscribe, carve, or decree; a lawmaker; literally, this is engraving, but it implies enacting a law because laws were carved into stone or metal). This is statute, boundary, condition, custom, limit, ordinance It is something that is prescribed or something that is owed.
WWW “observe” = natsar. This is to watch, guard, protect. It can be positive – preserve or obey. It can be negative as conceal.
XXX “laws” = torah. From yarah (to throw, shoot, be stunned; to flow as water so figuratively to instruct or teach). This is law, instruction, teaching, or statute. It can also refer to the first five books of the Bible – the Torah.
YYY “Lord” = Yah. Related to “Lord” in v1. From YHVH (see note B above). This is Lord or God – a shortened form of God’s most holy name.

Image credit: “Rameses II” at the Monuments de l’Egypte de la Nubie by Jean-François Champollion. Contributed by Rawpixel, 2006.

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