Psalm 50:7-15

Psalm 50:7-15
Proper 5A


“Hear,A O my people,B and I will speak,C

Notes on verse 7a

A “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.
B “people” = 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.
C “speak” = dabar. This is generally to speak, answer, declare, or command. It might mean to arrange and so to speak in a figurative sense as arranging words.

    O Israel,D I will testifyE against you.
    I am God,F your God.

Notes on verse 7b

D “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.
E “testify” = ud. This is to repeat, return, do again. This implies testifying something since that is a repetition. It can also mean to charge, admonish, protest, relieve, restore, or lift up.
F “God” = Elohim. Related to “Israel” in v7. See note D above.

Not for your sacrificesG do I rebukeH you;
    your burnt offeringsI are continuallyJ beforeK me.

Notes on verse 8

G “sacrifice” = zebach. From zabach (to kill, slay, offer; slaughtering an animal to offer as a sacrifice). This is a slaughter – literally of an animal. So, it implies the act or the animals used in sacrifice. Further, it can mean offering.
H “rebuke” = yakach. This is to decide, be right, argue, or convince. It can also be to decide, convict, reason together, or reprove.
I “burnt offerings” = olah. From alah (to go up, climb, approach, bring; to be high or actively climb; can be literal or figurative). This is a step, stairs, or some kind of ascent. It is also used for whole burnt offerings, being the offering in which the whole thing is burned and rises as smoke. Burnt offerings were the least common of the offerings: most were eaten, shared with the priest and the one bringing the offering.
J “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.
K “before” = neged. From nagad (to declare, make conspicuous, stand in front, manifest, predict, explain). This is in front of, opposite to. It can refer to a counterpart or partner, one corresponding to or in the sight of.

I will not acceptL a bullM from your houseN
    or goatsO from your folds.P

Notes on verse 9

L “accept” = laqach. This is to take, accept, carry away, receive. It can also have the sense of take a wife or take in marriage.
M “bull” = par. Perhaps related to parar (to break, defeat, frustrate, caste off, clean, cease). This is a young bull or ox.
N “house” = bayit. Probably from banah (to build, make, set up, obtain children; to build literally or figuratively). This is house, court, family, palace, temple.
O “goats” = attud. From athod (to be ready, prepare, destined). This is something full grown or a leader. It can also refer to a male goat or ram.
P “folds” = miklaah. 3x in OT. From kala (to stop in the sense of holding back or restraining; to keep, refuse, forbid, or to prohibit by word). This is an enclosure such as a fold for sheep or goats.

10 For everyQ wild animalR of the forestS is mine,
    the cattleT on a thousandU hills.V

Notes on verse 10

Q “every” = kol. From kalal (to complete). This is all or every.
R “wild animal” = 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.
S “forest” = ya’ar. This is honeycomb, forest, thicket. Root may mean thick with green growth. It is a forest as a place where one would find honeycomb.
T “cattle” = behemah. This is animal or cattle. It is often used of large quadrupeds.
U “thousand” = eleph. Perhaps from the same as eleph (herd, cattle); from alaph (to learn, speak, associate with). This is thousand.
V “hills” = harar. 12x in OT. From the same as har (mountain, hill, hilly region). This is hill or mountain.

11 I knowW allX the birdsY of the air,Z
    and all that movesAA in the fieldBB is mine.

Notes on verse 11

W “know” = 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.
X “all” = kol. Same as “every” in v10. See note Q above.
Y “birds” = oph. From uph (to fly, flee, shine, be weary, be faint). This is a flying creature.
Z “air” = har. Related to “hills” in v10.See note V above.
AA “all that moves” = ziyz. 3x in OT. This is moving things like animals, abundance, a full chest.
BB “field” = sadeh. This is literally field, ground, soil, or land. It can be used to mean wild like a wild animal.

12 “If I were hungry,CC I would not tellDD you,
    for the worldEE and all that is in itFF is mine.

Notes on verse 12

CC “were hungry” = raeb. 17x in OT. This is to be hungry or famished.
DD “tell” = amar. This is to speak, say, answer, command, promise, report.
EE “world” = tebel. From yabal (to lead, bring, carry, conduct; properly, to flow; to bring or lead with fanfare). This is world, confusion, inhabited part of the earth, but also used for the whole world.
FF “all that is in it” = melo. From male (fill, satisfy, replenish, accomplish, fulfill, confirm, or consecrate; fill in a literal or figurative sense). This is fullness in a literal or figurative sense.

13 Do I eatGG the fleshHH of bullsII
    or drinkJJ the bloodKK of goats?

Notes on verse 13

GG “eat” = akal. This is to eat, devour, burn up, or otherwise consume. It can be eating in a literal or figurative sense.
HH “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.
II “bulls” = abbir. 17x in OT. From abir (strong, mighty); from abar (to fly, soar). This is mighty or valiant. It could refer to a mighty one broadly, an angel, or a bull.
JJ “drink” = shathah. This is to drink literally or figuratively. It could also be a drinker.
KK “blood” = dam. Perhaps from damam (to cease, be or become mute, silent, still, cut off, hold peace, be astonished, die). This is blood, bloodshed, bloodguilt, lifeblood, and death. It is used for people and animals. More often blood from a wound or the blood of the innocent. Used figuratively for violence or for wine. Closely tied to life and death.

14 OfferLL to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving,MM
    and payNN your vowsOO to the Most High.PP

Notes on verse 14

LL “offer” = zabach. Related to “sacrifices” in v8. See note G above.
MM “sacrifice of thanksgiving” = todah. From yadah (to throw one’s hands into the air in a gesture of praise, to give thanks, or make a confession); from yad (hand, ability, power; hand in a literal sense; what one can do or the means by which one does it). This is properly extending one’s hand, which implies affirmation and adoration. It can be a song of thanksgiving, a choir of thanksgiving, confession, or praise. It can also be a thank offering.
NN “pay” = shalam. This is to be complete or sound – to have safety mentally, physically, or extending to one’s estate. So, if these things are safe and complete, the implication is that one would be friendly; and, if being friendly, one would make amends and that friendship would be reciprocated. This is the root verb that “shalom” comes from, the Hebrew word for peace.
OO “vows” = neder. From nadar (to vow or promise). This is a vow – literally, that which was promised.
PP “Most High” = Elyon. Related to “burnt offerings” in v8. From alah (see note I above). This is most high, upper. It refers to elevation – so, lofty.

15 Call onQQ me in the dayRR of trouble;SS
    I will deliverTT you, and you shall glorifyUU me.”

Notes on verse 15

QQ “call on” = qara. This is to call or call out – to call someone by name. Also used more broadly for calling forth.
RR “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.
SS “trouble” = tsarah. From tsar (properly, a narrow or constricted place; figuratively, trouble, a pebble, an enemy, anguish, or distress); from tsarar (to bind, restrict, narrow, be cramped, an adversary). This is tightness, distress, affliction, trouble, or adversary.
TT “deliver” = chalats. This is to turn back or away in a literal or figurative sense. So, it could be return, break, build, retreat. It doesn’t necessarily imply going back to the place you started.
UU “glorify” = kabad. To be heavy, weighty, or severe. It can also be positive abounding in, rich, or honorable. The Hebrew word for “glory,” kabod, is taken from this root.

Image credit: “Joshua Tree National Park JOTR3531” by National Park Service Digital Archives.

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