Psalm 145

Psalm 145


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.

The Lord is goodXLV to all,XLVI
    and his compassionXLVII is over all that he has made.XLVIII

Notes on verse 9

XLV “good” = tob. Related to “goodness” in v7. From tob (see note XXXVI above). This is good, beautiful, pleasant, agreeable, bountiful, at ease. This word is used for goodness as a concept, a good thing, a good person. This can refer to prosperity and welfare as well as joy, kindness, sweetness, and graciousness. So, this is ethically good, but also enjoyably good.
XLVI “all” = kol. Same as “every” in v2. See note X above. This is good, beautiful, pleasant, agreeable, bountiful, at ease. This word is used for goodness as a concept, a good thing, a good person. This can refer to prosperity and welfare as well as joy, kindness, sweetness, and graciousness. So, this is ethically good, but also enjoyably good.
XLVII “compassion” = racham. Related to “merciful” in v8. See note XL above.
XLVIII “made” = maaseh. Same as “works” in v4. See note XX above.

10 All your works shall give thanksXLIX to you, O Lord,
    and all your faithfulL shall bless you.
11 They shall speak of the gloryLI of your kingdomLII
    and tellLIII of your power,LIV

Notes on verses 10-11

XLIX “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.
L “faithful” = chasid. Related to “steadfast love” in v8. From chasad (see note XLIV above). This is faithful, kind, pious, merciful, or gracious. It can also refer to godly or pious people. This is where Chasidic Jews take their name from.
LI “glory” = kabod. Same as “glorious” in v5. See note XXIV above.
LII “kingdom” = malkut. Related to “king” in v1. From the same as melek (see note V above). This is royalty, kingdom, realm, empire – the power the sovereign has.
LIII “tell” = dabar. Related to “works” in v5. See note XXVIII above.
LIV “power” = geburah. Same as “mighty acts” in v4. See note XXIII above.

12 to make knownLV to all peopleLVI your mighty deedsLVII
    and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.

Notes on verse 12

LV “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.
LVI “people” = ben + adam. Literally, “children of humanity.” Ben is from banah (to build or obtain children). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense. Adam is 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.
LVII “mighty deeds” = geburah. Same as “mighty acts” in v4. See note XXIII above.

13 Your kingdom is an everlastingLVIII kingdom,
    and your dominionLIX endures throughout all generations.LX

The Lord is faithful in all his words
    and gracious in all his deeds.
14 The Lord upholdsLXI all who are fallingLXII
    and raises upLXIII all who are bowed down.LXIV

Notes on verses 13-14

LVIII “everlasting” = kol + olam. Kol is the same as “every” in v2. See note X above. Olam is the same as “forever” in v1. See note VIII above.
LIX “dominion” = memshalah. 14x in OT. From mimshal (dominion, ruler, authority); from mashal (to rule, reign, govern, have authority, wield). This is to rule, govern, a ream, ruler, authority, dominion, forces.
LX “generations” = dor + dor. Literally, generation and generation.” Same as “generation” in v4. See note XVIII above.
LXI “upholds” = samak. This is to lean, rest, support, brace, uphold, sustain, or establish. It is to lean on in a positive or negative sense.
LXII “falling” = naphal. This is to fall, whether by accident, to fall prostrate, or to fall in violent death. Figuratively, it can refer to personal ruin or calamity, a city falling, an attack or a falling away. It can also be a deep sleep or wasting away.
LXIII “raises up” = zaqaph. 2x in OT. This is to raise or lift up. Figuratively, it can mean to comfort.
LXIV “bowed down” = kaphaph. 5x in OT. This is to bend, bow, or curve.  It is used for bowed down (as in oppressed), a bulrush bowing, and bowing before God.

15 The eyesLXV of all lookLXVI to you,
    and you giveLXVII them their foodLXVIII in due season.LXIX

Notes on verse 15

LXV “eyes” = ayin. This is eye in a literal or figurative sense so eye, appearance, favor, or a fountain (the eye of the landscape).
LXVI “look” = sabar. 8x in OT. This is to look, inspect, wait. It can imply watching for in a hopeful and patient manner.
LXVII “give” = natan. This is to give, put, set, offer. It is to give literally or figuratively.
LXVIII “food” = okel. From akal (to eat, devour, burn up, or otherwise consume; eating in a literal or figurative sense). This is food, supply of provisions, the act of eating, or the time when one eats.
LXIX “due season” = et. Related to “ever” in v1. Probably from anah (to answer, sing, announce); from ad (see note IX above). This is a period or season. It can also mean whenever or continually.

16 You openLXX your hand,LXXI
    satisfyingLXXII the desireLXXIII of every living thing.LXXIV

Notes on verse 16

LXX “open” = pathach. 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.
LXXI “hand” = yad. This is hand, ability, power. Hand in a literal sense, but also what one can do or the means by which one does it.
LXXII “satisfying” = saba. To be satisfied or full in a literal or figurative sense. Also, to have plenty of.
LXXIII “desire” = ratson. From ratsah (to be pleased with, delight, take pleasure in, or accept with favor; to approve or consent regarding something; can be used specifically of satisfying debts or being pardoned). This is delight shown in favor, good will, something that is accepted or acceptable.
LXXIV “living thing” = 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.

17 The Lord is justLXXV in all his waysLXXVI
    and kindLXXVII in all his doings.LXXVIII

Notes on verse 17

LXXV “just” = tsaddiq. Related to “righteousness” in v7. From the same as tsedeq (see note XXXVIII above). This is just, innocent, righteous, righteous one, or lawful.
LXXVI “ways” = derek. From darak (to tread, march, to walk. Can also mean affixing a string to a box since one needs to step on it to bend it in the process; so also an archer). This is a road as a thing that is walked on. Can be used figuratively for the path that one’s life takes or how one chooses to live one’s life.
LXXVII “kind” = chasid. Same as “faithful” in v10. See note L above.
LXXVIII “doings” = maaseh. Same as “works” in v4. See note XX above.

18 The Lord is nearLXXIX to all who callLXXX on him,
    to all who call on him in truth.LXXXI

Notes on verse 18

LXXIX “near” = qarob. From qarab (to come near, offer, make ready). This is near whether nearby, related, near in time, or allied.
LXXX “call” = qara. This is to call or call out – to call someone by name. Also used more broadly for calling forth.
LXXXI “truth” = emet. From aman (to believe, endure, fulfill, confirm, support, be faithful, put one’s trust in, be steadfast. Figuratively, this is to be firm, steadfast, or faithful, trusting, believing, being permanent, morally solid). This is firmness or stability. Figuratively, it is faithfulness, truth, or trustworthiness. This is the same root that “amen” comes from.

19 He fulfillsLXXXII the desire of all who fearLXXXIII him;
    he also hearsLXXXIV their cryLXXXV and savesLXXXVI them.

Notes on verse 19

LXXXII “fulfills” = asah. Related to “works” in v4. See note XX above.
LXXXIII “fear” = yare. Related to “awesome deeds” in v6. From yare (see note XXXI above). This is fearful or morally reverent.
LXXXIV “hears” = 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.
LXXXV “cry” = shavah. 11x in OT. From shava (crying or shouting aloud; seeking freedom from some kind of trouble). This is cry, cry for help.
LXXXVI “saves” = yasha. To deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue, be safe. Properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. Used causatively, it means to free.

20 The Lord watches overLXXXVII all who loveLXXXVIII him,
    but all the wickedLXXXIX he will destroy.XC

Notes on verse 20

LXXXVII “watches over” = shamar. This is to keep, watch, or preserve. It means to guard something or to protect it as a thorny hedge protects something.
LXXXVIII “love” = aheb. This is to love, beloved, friend. It is to have affection for sexually or otherwise.
LXXXIX “wicked” = rasha. This is morally wrong so it refers to someone who is actively bad as wicked, criminal, an evil person, offender, condemned, or ungodly.
XC “destroy” = shamad. This is to demolish, destroy, perish, overthrow, pluck down.

21 My mouthXCI will speakXCII the praise of the Lord,
    and all fleshXCIII will bless his holyXCIV name forever and ever.

Notes on verse 21

XCI “mouth” = peh. 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.
XCII “speak” = dabar. Same as “tell” in v11. See note LIII above.
XCIII “flesh” = basar. From basar (being a messenger, publish, carry preach; properly, this is being fresh, rosy or cheerful as one bearing news). This is flesh, the body, fat, skin, self, nakedness, humankind, or kin. It can also refer to private parts.
XCIV “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.

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

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