A “ascents” = ma’alah. From ma’aleh (ascent, platform, slope, stmairs, 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 “depths” = maamaqqim. 5x in OT. From amoq (to be deep in a literal or figurative sense; profound). This is depths or deep. C “cry” = qara. This is to call or call out – to call someone by name. Also used more broadly for calling forth. D “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.
E “Lord” = Adonai. From adon (lord, master, owner); root means to rule or be sovereign. This is the actual Hebrew word for Lord used (in a different form) of humans and (in the present form) of God. It means someone who is in control. F “hear” = shama. This is to hear, call, consent, or consider. It implies listening intelligently, giving attention, and, because of these two factors, obedience and action are often implied. G “voice” = qol. This is a sound, used often for human voices. Also used when God speaks or angels, animals or instruments. It can be a cry or a noise, thunder or earthquakes and so on.
Let your earsH beI attentiveJ to the voice of my supplications!K
Notes on verse 2b
H “ears” = ozen. This is ear, hearing, audience, show. Properly, it is broadness – applied to its ear in reference to its shape. I “be” = hayah. Related to “Lord” in v1. See note D above. J “attentive” = qashshab. 5x in OT. From qashab (to listen, pay attention to, incline – used in the phrase incline the ears.). This is attentive or listening. K “supplications” = tachanun. 18x in OT. From chanan (beseech, show favor, be gracious; properly, to bend in kindness to someone with less status). This is entreaty, prayer, or supplication. It is looking for favor earnestly.
L “Lord” = Yah. Related to “Lord” in v1 & “be” in v2. From YHVH (see note D above). This is Lord or God – a shortened form of God’s most holy name. M “mark” = shamar. This is to keep, watch, or preserve. It means to guard something or to protect it as a thorny hedge protects something. N “iniquities” = avon. Perhaps related to avah (to bend, twist, be amiss). This is sin, mischief, guilt, fault, punishment for iniquity, or moral evil.
Lord,O who could stand?P 4 But there is forgivenessQ with you, so that you may be revered.R
Notes on verses 3b-4
O “Lord” = Adonai. Same as “Lord” in v2. See note E above. P “stand” = amad. This is to stand up in a literal or figurative sense. So it can be establish, continue, endure, take a stand, act, be a servant, stand still, remain, stand against an enemy. Q “forgiveness” = selichah. 3x in OT. From salach (to forgive, spare). This is forgiveness or pardon. R “be revered” = yare. This is to fear, be afraid, dreadful. It can also refer to fearful reverence – to fear in a moral sense is to say to revere, respect.
5 I wait forS the Lord,T my soulU waits, and in his wordV I hope;W
Notes on verse 5
S “wait for” = qavah. It can mean to bind or gather together, especially in the sense of twisting together. In that light, it can mean collect. Figuratively, this can mean to wait, await, expect, or tarry. T “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note D above. U “soul” = 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. V “word” = 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. W “hope” = yachal. This is to wait, which implies patience, hope, and trust. It can also be pained waiting.
6 my soul waits for the LordX more than those who watchY for the morning,Z more than those who watch for the morning.
Notes on verse 6
X “Lord” = Adonai. Same as “Lord” in v2. See note E above. Y “watch” = shamar. Same as “mark” in v3. See note M above. Z “morning” = boqer. From baqar (to seek, plow, break forth, admire, care for). This refers to the break of day. So it is dawn, early, morning, or morrow.
7 O Israel,AA hope in the Lord!BB For with the LordCC there is steadfast love,DD
Notes on verse 7a
AA “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. BB “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note D above. CC “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note D above. DD “steadfast love” = chesed. From chasad (being good, kind, merciful; may mean bowing one’s neck as is done in the presence of an equal for courtesy’s sake; so, if one in a superior position is treating you like an equal, that is what is captured here). This is favor, goodness, kindness, loving kindness, pity, reproach, or a good deed. When done by God to humanity, this is mercy/loving kindness. When done by humanity to God, it is piety.
and with him is greatEE power to redeem.FF 8 It is he who will redeemGG Israel from all its iniquities.
Notes on verses 7b-8
EE “great” = rabah. This is increasing in any aspect whether quantity, authority, size, quality, greatness, etc. FF “redeem” = peduth. 4x in OT. From padah (to sever, to ransom; to secure someone’s release by paying their debt freeing them from slavery); to redeem, rescue, deliver, preserve; the redemption price). This is redemption, ransom, division. GG “redeem” = padah. Related to “redeem” in v7. See note FF above.
Image credit: “An Apostle with Folded Hands” by Anthony van Dyck, between 1618 and 1620.