Psalm 65

Psalm 65


To the leader.A A PsalmB of David.C A Song.D

Notes on superscript

A “leader” = natsach. Properly, something that glitters from a distance. So, something that stands out, excels, has status/standing (such as a chief musician or superintendent of Temple services). This can also mean to be permanent or enduring.
B “psalm” = mizmor. From zamar (making music; used specially of music to worship God; music with singing, singing praise, singing psalms); may be from zamar (to trim or prune). This is a melody or a psalm.
C “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.”
D {untranslated} = dumiyyah. 4x in OT. From the same as dumah (silence). This is silence or stillness. Figuratively, it could be trust or death.

PraiseE is due to you,
    O God,F in Zion;G
and to you shall vowsH be performed,I

Notes on verse 1

E “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.”
F “God” = Elohim.
G “Zion” = Tsiyyon. Related to tsyiyyun (signpost, monument); from tsavah (to charge someone, to command, order); from the same as tsiyyah (dryness drought); from a root meaning parched as desert, dry land. Zion can refer to a mountain in Jerusalem as well as another name for Jerusalem itself or the people.
H “vows” = neder. From nadar (to vow or promise). This is a vow – literally, that which was promised.
I “be performed” = 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.

    O you who answerJ prayer!K
To you all fleshL shall come.M

Notes on verse 2

J “answer” = 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.
K “prayer” = tephillah. From palal (to judge for oneself or in an official capacity; to pray or make supplication, to entreat). This is prayer or intercession. It can also be a hymn.
L “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.
M “come” = bo. This is to enter, come in, advance, fulfill, bring offerings, enter to worship, attack. It can also have a sexual connotation.

When deedsN of iniquityO overwhelmP us,
    you forgiveQ our transgressions.R

Notes on verse 3

N “deeds” = 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.
O “iniquity” = avon. Perhaps related to avah (to bend, twist, be amiss). This is sin, mischief, guilt, fault, punishment for iniquity, or moral evil. Here, it is plural.
P “overwhelm” = gabar. This is to be strong or mighty. It can mean to prevail or to be insolent.
Q “forgive” = kaphar. This is to appease, cover, pacify, cancel, make atonement, placate. Specifically, it can mean to cover with bitumen.
R “transgressions” = pesha. From pasha (to rebel, offend, quarrel; making a break from proper authority so can also refer to an apostate). This is transgression, rebellion, or sin. It could be a revolt on a national scale or an individual moral one.

HappyS are those whom you chooseT and bring nearU
    to liveV in your courts.W

Notes on verse 4a

S “happy” = esher. From ashar (to go straight, lead, guide; to be level and so to be right, blessed, honest, happy). This is happy or blessedness.
T “choose” = bachar. This is to choose, appoint, try, excellent.
U “bring near” = qarab. This is to come near, offer, make ready, approach, take.
V “live” = shakan. This is to settle down in the sense of residing somewhere or staying there permanently. It can mean abide or continue. “Mishkan,” taken from this verb, is the Hebrew word for the Tabernacle (as a place where God abided).
W “courts” = chatser. From chatsar (to blow a trumpet, trumpeter, to surround); from chatsotsrah (trumpet). This is an enclosure or court – a yard that is fenced in. It could also be a village or hamlet that is walled in.

We shall be satisfiedX with the goodnessY of your house,Z
    your holyAA temple.BB

Notes on verse 4b

X “satisfied” = saba. To be satisfied or full in a literal or figurative sense. Also, to have plenty of.
Y “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.
Z “house” = bayit. Probably from banah (to build, make, set up, obtain children; to build literally or figuratively). This is house, court, family, palace, temple.
AA “holy” = qadosh. From qodesh (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); related to qadash (set apart, consecrated, hallowed, sanctified; something or someone set apart for a holy purpose or use – ceremonially or morally clean). This is sacred or holy in a ritual or moral sense. As a noun, it refers to a holy one (like a saint or angel), a holy place (the sanctuary), or God (the Holy One).
BB “temple” = hekal. Perhaps from yakol (to be able, endure, overcome, prevail). This is a large building with public access such as a palace or temple.

By awesome deedsCC you answerDD us with deliverance,EE
    O God of our salvation;FF

Notes on verse 5a

CC “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.
DD “answer” = anah. This is answer, respond, announce, sing, shout, or testify. It means to pay attention, which implies responding and, by extension, starting to talk. Used in a specific sense for singing, shouting, testifying, etc.
EE “deliverance” = tsedeq. This is 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.
FF “salvation” = yesha. From 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). This is salvation, deliverance, rescue, safety, welfare, liberty.

you are the hopeGG of all the endsHH of the earthII
    and of the farthestJJ seas.KK

Notes on verse 5b

GG “hope” = mibtach. 15x in OT. From batach (to hide for refuge, be secure or sure; figuratively, it refers to trust, being confident, or hoping). This is trust, hope, confidence. It is a refuge or assurance.
HH “ends” = qatsu. 4x in OT. From qatsah (to cut off, cut short; figuratively, to destroy). This is an end, edge, boundary, corner, or limit. It is also used twice for the “ends of the earth.”
II “earth” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.
JJ “farthest” = rachoq. From rachaq (to widen, become distant, cast, or remove in a literal or figurative sense). This is distant or far, whether of space or of time.
KK “seas” = yam. Root may mean to roar. This is the sea, often referring to the Mediterranean. It comes from the root in the sense of the roar of crashing surf. This word is sometimes used for rivers or other sources of water. It can mean to the west or to the south.

By your strengthLL you establishedMM the mountains;
    you are girdedNN with might.OO

Notes on verse 6

LL “strength” = koach. Root may mean to be firm. This is power, strength, force. It can be literal or figurative, positive or negative. It can also mean capacity or means – what something produces. Additionally, it could refer to some kind of small reptile.
MM “established” = kun. Properly, this means in a perpendicular position. So, it is set up in a literal sense – establish, fix, fasten, prepare. In a figurative sense, it is certainty, to be firm, faithfulness, render sure or prosperous.
NN “girded” = azar. 16x in OT. This is to encircle, bind, encompass, to belt or gird.
OO “might” = geburah. Related to “overwhelm” in v3. From gabar (see note P above). This is force in a literal or figurative sense. So, it could be strength, power, courage, triumph, victory, or mastery.

You silencePP the roaringQQ of the seas,
    the roaring of their waves,RR
    the tumultSS of the peoples.TT

Notes on verse 7

PP “silence” = 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.
QQ “roaring” = shaon. 18x in OT. From shaah (to crash, rumble, rush, be desolate, devastate). This is a crash, loud sound, clamor, rumbling, destruction. It could also be the sound of rushing water.
RR “waves” = gal. From galal (to roll, roll away, wallow, commit, remove; rolling in a literal or figurative sense). This is a wave, billow, rock pile, something rolled, a spring of water.
SS “tumult” = hamon. From hamah (to growl, cry out, be moved, murmur, hum, mourn, rage, clamor). This is a sound, noise, roar, rumbling, wealth, crowd, disquietude.
TT “peoples” = leom. Root may refer to gathering. This is people, a community, or a nation.

Those who liveUU at earth’s farthest boundsVV are awedWW by your signs;XX

Notes on verse 8a

UU “live” = yashab. This is to sit and so to remain and so to dwell. It is sitting for any reason – as a judge, in order to ambush, or just sitting quietly. Causatively, this can mean settling or marrying. This can also mean continue, endure, or establish.
VV “farthest bounds” = qatsah. Related to “ends” in v5. From qatseh (end, brink, border, edge, frontier. It can refer to that which is within set boundaries); from qatsah (see note HH above). This is an end, corner, outer limit, coast, corner, fringe.
WW “are awed” = yare. Same as “awesome deeds” in v5. See note CC above.
XX “signs” = ot. From avah (to mark, sign, point out); OR from uth (to agree). This is a sign in a literal or figurative sense. It could be a flag or monument. It could be evidence or a mark. It could also be an omen or a miracle. 

you make the gatewaysYY of the morningZZ and the evening shout for joy.AAA

Notes on verse 8b

YY “gateways” = motsa. From yatsa (to go or come out, bring forth, appear; to go out in a literal or figurative sense). This is going forth as an act or the site from which something goes forth. It could mean exiting a place or the place where one exits. It can also be a source or a produce. Specifically, it can be a spring or fountain, the dawn as the the rising of the sin, an export, gate mine, and so on.
ZZ “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.
AAA “shout for joy” = ranan. This is a cry of joy or a joyful song. Properly, it is emitting a shrill sound, especially one of joy.

You visitBBB the earth and waterCCC it,
    you greatlyDDD enrichEEE it;

Notes on verse 9a

BBB “visit” = paqad. This is to attend to or visit – can be used for a friendly or violent encounter. So, it can be to oversee, care for, avenge, or charge.
CCC “water” = shuq. 3x in OT. This is to be plenty, to flow over in abundance.
DDD “greatly” = 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.
EEE “enrich” = ashar. 17x in OT. This is to enrich, become rich, gain wealth, or otherwise accumulate.

the riverFFF of God is fullGGG of water;HHH
   you provideIII the people with grain,JJJ
    for soKKK you have preparedLLL it.

Notes on verse 9b

FFF “river” = peleg. 10x in OT. This is a channel, canal, or streamlet. It can be a small stream of water used to irrigate plants.
GGG “full” = male. This is fill, satisfy, replenish, accomplish, fulfill, confirm, or consecrate. It is fill in a literal or figurative sense.
HHH “water” = mayim. This is water, waters, or waterway in a general sense. Figuratively, it can also mean juice, urine, or semen.
III “provide” = kun. Same as “established” in v6. See note MM above.
JJJ “grain” = dagan. Perhaps from dagah (to multiply, move quickly, breed greatly, grow). This is grain or other cereal.
KKK “so” = ken. Related to “established” in v6. Perhaps from kun (see note MM above).
LLL “prepared” = kun. Same as “established” in v6. See note MM above. This is to set upright. Generally used figuratively to mean thus, so, afterwards, rightly so.

10 You water its furrowsMMM abundantly,NNN
    settlingOOO its ridges,PPP

Notes on verse 10a

MMM “furrows” = telem. 5x in OT. This is furrow or ridge. Its root may mean to accumulate. It is one of the roots that the name “Bartholomew” comes from.
NNN “water…abundantly” = ravah. 14x in OT. This is to have one’s thirst satisfied (or figuratively other cravings). It can also mean to soak, water, or satisfy.
OOO “settling” = nachet. 11x n OT. This is to sink or descend, settle, press down, be broken.
PPP “ridges” = gedud. 2x in OT. From gadad (to cut, gather, assemble, crowd; also, to gash as pushing in). This is a furrow, gash, or ridge.

softeningQQQ it with showers,RRR
    and blessingSSS its growth.TTT

Notes on verse 10b

QQQ “softening” = mug. 17x in OT. This is to let, dissolve, soften, flow. It can also mean to fear, dishearten, be faint, or disappear.
RRR “showers” = rebibim. Related to “greatly” in v9. 6x in OT. From rabab (see note DDD above). This is many drops of water i.e. heavy showers.
SSS “blessing” = 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.
TTT “growth” = tsemach. 12x in OT. From tsamach (to sprout, grow – literal or figurative). This is a sprout or growth, literal or figurative.

11 You crownUUU the year with your bounty;VVV
    your wagon tracksWWW overflowXXX with richness.YYY

Notes on verse 11

UUU “crown” = atar. 7x in OT. To surround or encircle to defend, protect, or attack. It is crown in a literal or figurative sense.
VVV “bounty” = tob. Related to “goodness” in v4. From tob (see note Y 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.
WWW “wagon tracks” = magal. 16x in OT. From the same as agol (round). Older root may mean to revolve. This is a path or course. It is a track in a literal or figurative sense. Could also refer to a rampart because it is circular.
XXX “overflow” = raaph. 5x in OT. This is to trickle, distil, overflow.
YYY “richness” = deshen. 15x in OT. From dashen (to be fat, become greasy, be anointed or prosperous; can also mean to remove ashes from the fat offered for sacrifice). This is the ashes from that fat, fatness more broadly speaking, or, figuratively abundance.

12 The pasturesZZZ of the wildernessAAAA overflow,
    the hills girdBBBB themselves with joy,CCCC

Notes on verse 12

ZZZ “pastures” = naah. 12x in OT. From the same as naveh (home, place where shepherd or sheep live; at hme implies a lovely place or a place of satisfaction); from navah (home, beautify, praise) OR from naah (to be at home and so pleasant, beautiful). This is a home, pleasant place, or pasture.
AAAA “wilderness” = midbar. Related to “deeds” in v3. From dabar (see note N above). This is mouth or speech. It can also be desert or wilderness. Additionally, it can be used for a pasture to which one drives cattle.
BBBB “gird” = chagar. This is to gird, bind, or arm. Generally, it is using a belt to gather up one’s garment so that it’s easier to run or move quickly.
CCCC “joy” = gil. 9x in OT. From gil (properly, twirling around because of a strong feeling – whether of rejoicing or from fear; to rejoice, be glad or joyful, to cry). This is circle, rejoicing, or age.

13 the meadowsDDDD clotheEEEE themselves with flocks,FFFF
   the valleysGGGG deckHHHH themselves with grain,IIII
    they shout and sing together for joy.JJJJ

Notes on verse 13

DDDD “meadows” = kar. 16x in OT. From karar (to dance, whirl). This is a ram, battering ram, lamb, pasture for sheep, camel’s saddle.
EEEE “clothe” = labash. This is to wrap around, which implies clothing oneself or someone else. This is wrapping around in a literal or figurative way.
FFFF “flocks” = tson. This is a flock of sheep and goats.
GGGG “valleys” = emeq. From amoq (to be deep in a literal or figurative sense; profound). This is Vale or valley – frequently part of place names.
HHHH “deck” = ataph. 16x in OT. This is to turn, faint, hide, be overwhelmed, cover, clothe, fail.
IIII “grain” = bar. 14x in OT. From barar (to select, polish, cleanse, brighten, purify). This is something that is winnowed so any kind of grain, whether in the field or harvested. It can be corn, wheat, or other grains. This can also refer to a field or the open country.
JJJJ “shout…for joy” = rua. To break or destroy something so figuratively, an ear splitting sound such as a call of alarm or a joyful sound.

Image credit: “Alps, 2013” by Jiří Bubeníček.

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