Psalm 145:1-8

Psalm 145:1-8
Proper 20A


Praise.I Of David.II

I will extolIII you, my GodIV and King,V

Notes on superscript-verse 1a

I “praise” = tehillah. From halal (to praise, be boastful). This is praise or a song of praise. It is to offer God a hymn, to boast in God. This shares a root with “hallelujah.”
II “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.”
III “extol” = rum. This is to rise or raise, to be high literally or figuratively. So it can also mean to exalt or extol.
IV “God” = Eloah. From el (God or god). This is God or a god.
V “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.

    and blessVI your nameVII foreverVIII and ever.IX
EveryX dayXI I will bless you
    and praiseXII your name forever and ever.

Notes on verses 1b-2

VI “bless” = 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.
VII “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.
VIII “forever” = olam. This is a long scope of time whether in the past (antiquity, ancient time) or in the future (eternal, everlasting).
IX “ever” = ad. This is a long scope of time whether in the past (antiquity, ancient time) or in the future (eternal, everlasting).
X “every” = kol. From kalal (to complete). This is all or every.
XI “day” = yom. Root may mean being hot. This is the day in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean birth, age, daylight, continually or other references to time.
XII “praise” = halal. Related to “praise” in superscript. See note I above.

GreatXIII is the LordXIV and greatlyXV to be praised;
    his greatnessXVI is unsearchable.XVII

Notes on verse 3

XIII “great” = gadol. From gadal (to grow up, become great, become wealthy – to advance. The root meaning may be to twist in the sense of the process of growing). This is great, high, bigger, noble, old, marvelous. It can also refer to someone who is powerful or distinguished.
XIV “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.
XV “greatly” = meod. Perhaps from the same as uwd (firebrand, a poker). This is very, greatly, exceedingly. It can also mean vehemence, force, abundance.
XVI “greatness” = gedullah. Related to “great” in v3. 12x in OT. From gadal (see note XIII above). This is greatness, dignity, high honor, or mighty acts.
XVII “unsearchable” = ayin + cheqer. Cheqer is 12x in OT. From chaqar (properly, to penetrate; to thoroughly investigate, examine, ponder, or seek out). This is depth, inquiry – something to be examined or enumerated.

One generationXVIII shall extolXIX your worksXX to anotherXXI
    and shall declareXXII your mighty acts.XXIII

Notes on verse 4

XVIII “generation” = dor. From dur (to move in a circle, which implies living somewhere or remaining there; it can also be the sense of piling or heaping up). This is a revolution of time, which is to say, an age or generation. It can also be a dwelling or one’s posterity.
XIX “extol” = shabach. 11x in OT. This is to glory, praise, triumph. It can also mean still or soothe. Properly, it is speaking to loudly or to calm through speech.
XX “works” = maaseh. From asah (to do, make, accomplish, become). This is a word – any action whether positive or negative. It can also be a transaction, construction, activity, property, or something that is produced.
XXI “another” = dor. Same as “generation” in v4. See note XXVIII above.
XXII “declare” = nagad. This is to declare, make conspicuous, stand in front, manifest, predict, explain.
XXIII “mighty acts” = geburah. From gabar (to be strong or mighty; to prevail or be insolent). This is force in a literal or figurative sense. So, it could be strength, power, courage, triumph, victory, or mastery.

They will recount the gloriousXXIV splendorXXV of your majesty,XXVI
    and on your wondrousXXVII worksXXVIII I will meditate.XXIX

Notes on verse 5

XXIV “glorious” = kabod. From kabad (to be heavy, weighty, burdensome). This is weighty. Figuratively, glorious, abundant, riches, honor, splendor – a reference to one’s reputation or character. This word is often used to describe God and God’s presence.
XXV “splendor” = hadar. From hadar (to honor or adorn; majestic, respected, glorious; to favor or honor; to be proud). This is ornament, splendor, beauty, dignity, majesty, magnificence, and glory.
XXVI “majesty” = hod. This is grandeur, beauty, glory, honor, or authority. It emphasizes a form or appearance with gravitas.
XXVII “wondrous” = pala. From pele (wonder, miracle, wonderful, marvelous thing). This is to be extraordinary, to arise, to be great or accomplish.
XXVIII “works” = 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.
XXIX “meditate” = siach. From siach (musing, meditation, communication, babbling, prayer, contemplation). This is to muse, meditate, complain, sing, sigh, speak, or utter.

They will proclaim the mightXXX of your awesome deeds,XXXI
    and I will declareXXXII your greatness.

Notes on verse 6

XXX “might” = ezuz. 3x in OT. 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, power, forcibleness.
XXXI “awesome deeds” = 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.
XXXII “declare” = saphar. From sepher (writing, document, book, evidence). This is properly to tally or record something. It can be enumerate, recount, number, celebrate, or declare.

They shall celebrateXXXIII the fameXXXIV of your abundantXXXV goodnessXXXVI
    and shall sing aloudXXXVII of your righteousness.XXXVIII

Notes on verse 7

XXXIII “celebrate” = naba. 11x in OT. This is to spring up, flow, gush, or spout. It can also mean to belch as in emitting a bad smell. Figuratively, it can mean to speak, whether positively or negatively.
XXXIV “fame” = zeker. From zakar (to remember, to mark something so that it can be recalled, to be mindful of, to mention). This is remembrance, renown, memento, recollection, or commemoration.
XXXV “abundant” = rab. From rabab (increasing in any aspect whether quantity, authority, size, quality, greatness, etc.). This is abundance, many, elder, exceedingly, great. It refers to abundance of amount, rank, or status.
XXXVI “goodness” = tub. From tob (to be pleasing, to be good). This is goodness, gladness, something that is good. It can also be beauty, welfare, or joy.
XXXVII “sing aloud” = ranan. This is a cry of joy or a joyful song. Properly, it is emitting a shrill sound, especially one of joy.
XXXVIII “righteousness” = tsedaqah. From the same as tsedeq (rightness, righteousness, vindication. It is everything that is just or ethical. That which is right in a natural, moral, or legal sense. It also includes just weights (i.e. true weights). Figuratively, this is justice, righteousness, equity – even prosperity). This is righteousness, justice, righteous acts, and moral virtue.

The Lord is graciousXXXIX and merciful,XL
    slowXLI to angerXLII and aboundingXLIII in steadfast love.XLIV

Notes on verse 8

XXXIX “gracious” = channun. 13x in OT. From chanan (beseech, show favor, be gracious; properly, to bend in kindness to someone with less status). This is gracious, compassionate, merciful, having pity on.
XL “merciful” = rachum. 13x in OT. From the same as rechem (womb); from racham (to love, have compassion, have mercy); from racham (compassion, tender love, womb, compassion; the womb as that which cherishes the fetus). This is compassionate or merciful.
XLI “slow” = arek. 15x in OT. From arak (to be long in a literal or figurative sense, to continue, defer, draw out, endure, delay). This is long, patience, or slow.
XLII “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.
XLIII “abounding” = gadol. Same as “great” in v3. See note XIII above.
XLIV “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.

Image credit: “Where’s All the Gold?” by GollyGforce – Living My Worst Nightmare, 2011.

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