A “Ascents” = ma’alah. From ma’aleh (ascent, platform, slope, stairs, cliff, elevation, a rise; figuratively, a priority); from alah (to go up, ascend, be high, be a priority; to arise in a literal or figurative sense). This is something that arises, elevation, a journey to a higher pane. This can be used figuratively to mean having a though or being of a superior status. It is often used in a specific sense for something the mounts to a climax. This is step, stair, or high degree.
B “David” = David. From the same as dod (beloved, love, uncle); the root may mean to boil, which is used figuratively to describe love. So, this implies someone you love such as a friend, a lover, or a close family member like an uncle. David’s name likely means something like “beloved one.”
C “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.
D “was” = hayah. Related to “Lord” in v1. See note C above.
E “Israel” = Yisrael. From sarah (to persist, exert oneself, contend, persevere, wrestle, prevail) + el (God or god). This is Israel, meaning God strives or one who strives with God; new name for Jacob and for his offspring. This refers to the people and to the land.
F “now” = na. This particle is used for requests or for urging. It can be we pray, now, I ask you, oh. This is the same “na” in “hosanna.”
G “enemies” = adam. Perhaps from adam (to be red, make ruddy); related to adamah (ground, dirt, earth). This is man, humankind, also Adam’s name. It refers to a human individual or humanity.
H “attacked” = qum. To arise, stand, accomplish, establish, abide. This is rising as in rising against, getting up after being sick or asleep, arising from one state to another, becoming powerful, or rising for action. It can also be standing in a figurative sense.
I “swallowed…up” = bala. This is to swallow, engulf, cover, or destroy.
J “alive” = chay. From chayah (to live or keep alive literally or figuratively). This is alive, living, lifetime. It can also be used to describe someone’s age. It can refer to animals, plants, water, or a company or congregation of people. It is life in a very broad sense.
K “anger” = aph. From anaph (to be angry; properly, breathing hard as a signifier of being enraged). This properly refers to the nose or nostril and by extension the face. It can specifically refer to anger or wrath as one breathes hard and nostrils flare in times of great anger.
L “was kindled” = charah. Perhaps related to charar (to be hot, burn, glow, melt, be scorched; figuratively, to incite passion, be angry). This is to be displeased, burn with anger, glow, become warn. Figuratively it is a blaze of anger, zeal, or jealousy.
M “flood” = mayim. This is water, waters, or waterway in a general sense. Figuratively, it can also mean juice, urine, or semen.
N “swept…away” = shataph. This is to overflow, rinse, overwhelm, run, drown, rush, flood, cleanse, gallop, conquer.
O “torrent” = nachal. From nachal (to take as heritage, inherit, or distribute). This is a river or stream. It could be a wadi or arroyo – sometimes a narrow valley with no water at all, but in strong rains or when winter snow melts, it swells or floods with water.
P “gone” = abar. This is to pass over or cross over. It is used for transitions, whether literal or figurative. It can also mean to escape, alienate, or fail. This is the root verb from which “Hebrew” is drawn.
Q “us” = 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.
R “raging” = zedon. 1x in OT. From zud (to cook, boil up, or seethe; figuratively, it can mean to act with arrogance or insolence, to be rebellious). This is like boiling water. So, it could be a wave, raging, or proud.
S “waters” = mayim. Same as “flood” in v4. See note M above.
T “blessed be” = barak. This is to kneel, to bless. It is blessing God as part of worship and adoration or blessing humans to help them. It can be used as a euphemism to say curse God.
U “given” = natan. This is to give, put, set, offer. It is to give literally or figuratively.
V “prey” = tereph. From taraph (to tear or pluck off into pieces, to rend or catch; to supply with food). This is something that is ton – spoil, prey, food, or some other fragment.
W “teeth” = shen. From shanan (to sharpen, point, pierce; figuratively to teach). This is a tooth, ivory, something sharp, or, figuratively, a cliff.
X “we” = nephesh. Same as “us” in v4. See note Q above.
Y “escaped” = malat. This is to be smooth, which implies to escape as slipping away from. It can also be release, rescue, deliver, or preserve. It can be used specifically to meaning giving birth or making sparks.
Z “bird” = tsippor. From tsaphar (to skip about, maybe to depart). This is a little bird like a sparrow – a little bird as one that hops about.
AA “snare” = pach. From pachach (to trap, lay a net). This is a snare or bird trap. It can also refer to a sheet of metal hammered into a thin plate.
BB “fowlers” = yaqosh. 8x in OT. This is ensnare, lay bait, lure, trapper. It is to snare literally or figuratively.
CC “broken” = shabar. This is break, collapse, destroy, break in pieces, tear. It is bursting in a literal or figurative sense.
DD “we” = anachnu. This is we or us.
EE “help” = ezer. From azar (to help, protect, support, ally; properly, to surround so as to provide aid). This is help, aid, or helper. This word is used in Genesis 2:18 when God decides to make for Adam, “a helper as his partner.” If the same word can be used of God’s help (as in Psalm 121:1), then we should not downplay the significance of this formulation of “help.”
FF “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.
GG “made” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.
HH “heaven” = shamayim. Root may mean being lofty. This is sky, the air, or heaven. It is in a dual noun form so this might refer to the part of the sky where the clouds move on the one hand and the part beyond that where the sun, moon, and stars are on the other hand.
II “earth” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.
Image credit: “Namal 031” by RonAlmog, 2007 in Tel Aviv, Israel.