psalm 27 hebrew commentary

Thus the converse — that two separate songs appear in one chapter — is certainly conceivable. 4,8), and חיי/חיים (vv. (Read Psalm 27:7-14) Wherever the believer is, he can find a way to the throne of grace by prayer. The Epistemic Standards of Biblical Scholarship, Connecting the Mitzvah of Maggid to the Seder Night. Rather, the worshiper sets aside a seemingly ideal faith to take on a more realistic one. [3] By poetic line, I mean one of the two- or three-part utterances that characterize biblical poetry. The first part of the psalm consists of Verses 1-6, and the second part consists of Verses 7-14. A single compound sentence spread over the last verset of one line and the first verset of another would be highly irregular for biblical poetry, which by and large shuns enjambment and overwhelmingly prefers end-stopping. בִּקְרֹ֥ב עָלַ֨י | מְרֵעִים֘ לֶֽאֱכֹ֪ל אֶת־בְּשָׂ֫רִ֥י צָרַ֣י וְאֹֽיְבַ֣י לִ֑י הֵ֜֗מָּה כָּֽשְׁל֥וּ וְנָפָֽלוּ: If a camp encamps against me, my heart shall not fear; if a war should rise up against me, in this I trust. [9] On this extreme nature of this contrast at verse 7, see Jacob (Gerald) Blidstein, “T’hillim 27,” Yavneh Review, Spring 1965, 21–23; Ellen Charry, Psalms 1–50 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Publishing Group, 2015), 139–41. A striking element of Psalm 27 is its movement from confidence to need, from believing in God’s reliability to worrying about God’s absence. Psalm 27 Commentary Verse 3. After all, there are cases in which a single psalm takes up more than one chapter: an alphabetic acrostic poem is spread over Psalms 9–10; Psalms 42–43 are also a single composition with a repeated refrain at 42:6, 42:12, and 43:5. And words of trust. Footnotes. Something went wrong while submitting the form. In other words, it ends with an implicit acknowledgement that the robust faith of the opening verses has been replaced with questioning, hope, and courage, but not pure confidence. For, indeed, God's children, when they are delivered, it is usually with the confusion of their enemies. the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? [23] Editor’s note: For an exploration of a similar theme in Jeremiah, see Andrea Weiss, “Jeremiah’s Teaching of the Trees,” TheTorah.com (2018). Perhaps it was after he had killed Goliath. The custom of reciting Psalm 27 during the penitential season, variously understood to entail the period from Rosh Hodesh Elul through Yom Kippur, Hoshanah Rabbah, or Shemini Atzeret, is codified in Mishnah Berurah, siman 581: "In our region it is customary to recite [Psalm 27] followed by kaddish at the conclusion of the morning and evening services every day from Rosh Hodesh Elul until … To these all he opposeth God’s all sufficiency, as making for him, and as being … The poet first sounds forth his sure confidence in his God, Psalms 27:1-3, and his love of communion with him, Psalms 27:4-6. 1 (A Psalm of David.) The Holy One, blessed be He, guards the droplet and forms the fetus. 1 David sustaineth his faith by the power of God, 4 by his love to the service of God, 9 by prayer. קַוֵּ֗ה אֶל־יְהֹ֫וָ֥ה חֲ֖זַק וְיַֽאֲמֵ֣ץ לִבֶּ֑ךָ וְ֜קַוֵּ֗ה אֶל־יְהֹוָֽה: and if your prayer is not accepted, reinforce your hope. The psalm of the High Holiday season begins with the words “God is my light and my salvation,” moves to expressions of distress about God’s absence, and ends with a statement of hope. Concordia Publishing House May 6, 2020. "One [thing] have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the … With a general strain of confidence, hope, and joy, especially in God's worship, in the midst of dangers, the Psalmist introduces prayer for divine help and guidance. The Psalm is a cry for and ultimately a declaration of belief in the greatness of God and trust in the protection he provides. [19] Alter, The Book of Psalms: A Translation with Commentary, 91. He wrote verses 1 - 6 when life was good. [4] Both Rashi and ibn Ezra see the then-clause as appearing in the middle of the previous verse (vv. Peter Craigie and Marvin Tate point out shared vocabulary that draws together what Gunkel regards as separate poems: ישעי (vv. script>. David’s subjects called him the light of Israel; but he owns he shone, as the moon doth, with a borrowed light: the light which God communicated to him reflected upon them. This faith is well displayed by Psalm 27’s journey from simple, trusting piety in its first stanza, through doubt in the second, to hope in the third. Ap-Thomas (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1962), 2:59. The psalm’s unexpected direction models the maturing of an authentic relationship with God. The wavering faith of Psalm 27 is humbler and more honest. ל֗וּ֗לֵ֣֗א֗ הֶֽ֖אֱמַנְתִּי לִרְא֥וֹת בְּטֽוּב־יְהֹוָ֗ה בְּאֶ֣רֶץ חַיִּֽים: If I had not believed in the Holy One, blessed be He, those false witnesses would have already risen against me and destroyed me. But in ancient times, when there were no hospitals and few physicians, ביקור חולים had a different meaning: it denoted examining and taking of sick people, attending to their needs in the ways that medical professionals (especially nurses) and hospital staff members do today. In the Italian rite it varies: in the Roman sub-rite, it is recited once a day during these months, but in the Milanese sub-rite, it is not recited at all. Hermann Gunkel, Introduction to Psalms: The Genres of the Religious Lyric of Israel, completed by Joachim Begrich, trans. Thus, contrary to the NJPS translation (which renders our phrase, “to frequent His temple”), the worshiper in our verse is not asking to be able to stop in at the temple on frequent occasions. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? But the attempt remains less than complete. Academic Study of the Torah Is Essential, Not Just for Academics, Study the Torah with Academic Scholarship, By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use, https://thetorah.com/article/a-faith-that-includes-doubt-psalm-27. Prof. Benjamin D. Sommer joined the JTS faculty as professor of Bible in July 2008. [10] For this response, see Hermann Gunkel, Die Psalmen (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1968), 112–18. The Book of Psalms Commentary by A. R. FAUSSET PSALM 27 Psa 27:1-14. Saith David, When my foes came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Of David. It is possible that a single chapter in the Book of Psalms might contain more than one composition. Such a development is quite typical of Akkadian psalms of plea: they often begin with invocations and statements of trust that could have been psalms of praise on their own. Some think David penned this psalm before his coming to the throne, when he was in the midst of his troubles, and perhaps upon occasion of the death of his parents; but the Jews think he penned it when he was old, upon occasion of the wonderful deliverance he had from the sword of the giant, when Abishai succoured him (2 Sa. Psalm 119 is the 119th psalm of the Book of Psalms, generally known in English by its first verse, in the King James Version, "Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord." Psalm 27:1. Please do not deface or discard. אַל־תַּסְתֵּ֬ר פָּנֶ֨יךָ | מִמֶּנִּי֘ אַל־תַּט בְּאַ֗ף עַ֫בְדֶּ֥ךָ עֶזְרָתִ֥י הָיִ֑יתָ אַל־תִּטְּשֵׁ֥נִי וְאַל־תַּֽ֜עַזְבֵ֗נִי אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׁעִֽי: Heb. We do not know when David wrote Psalm 27. by John King, [1847-50], at sacred-texts.com PSALM 27. כִּֽי־אָבִ֣י וְאִמִּ֣י עֲזָב֑וּנִי וַֽ֜יהֹוָה יַֽאַסְפֵֽנִי: For my father and my mother have forsaken me: At the time of coitus, they intended their own pleasure. The second, and last, line of the third stanza (i.e., all of v. 14) may have been spoken to the worshiper by a Levite or a prophet working in the Temple where the psalm was recited in biblical times. Both Mowinckel and Joachim Begrich argue that Temple functionaries would regularly issue responses on God’s behalf to the entreaties of worshipers, though in most cases these responses are not preserved in the psalms themselves. 7–14) a classic psalm of complaint and plea.[10]. The LORD is my light and my salvation: Like many psalms, King David wrote this from a season of trouble. Sigmund Mowinckel, Psalmenstudien (Amsterdam: P. Schippers, 1966), 1:148, points out that the first we can simply regard Psalm 27 as an individual complaint/plea that has an unusually long statement of trust in its first six verses. For a much more detailed treatment of the recitation of Psalm 27, see Moshe Hallamish, Studies in Kabbalah and Prayer (Beer Sheva: Ben Gurion University Press, 2012), 175–185 [Hebrew]. [6] For a similar case, see the beginning and ending of Psalms 103 and 104, where the worshiper addresses the worshiper’s own soul. 1–6) the worshiper is confident: But in the second stanza (7–12), the worshiper is distressed about God’s absence: The third stanza (13–14) expresses hope along with an implicit acknowledgment that certainty of salvation is not possible. This broader sense of the verb developed out of the much more specific meaning of the phrase in older forms of Hebrew. 1. 3 Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident. In this one psalm we have a beautiful and brief distillation of the entire Psalter as a book of doubt and faith. He wrote verses 13-14 when he put the 2 parts together. 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His worship, and Avital Pinnick ( Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1998 ), ק.ו.מ ( vv than composition! ) however associated it with ( flesh— my adversaries and foes— they stumble... ] John Goldingay, Psalms 1–50, 2d light -- is a definite shift between Part 1 and Part...., by his worship, and we learned in Seder Olam ( ch, Michael Stone, and my ;... Many readers might have expected of a trap ( פח ) relatively new, evidently some 200 years.... King, [ 1847-50 ], 400 which our Sages expounded (.... Rarity of enjambment in biblical poetry ) a classic Psalm of David nor with complete confidence but with hope v.... Through me ה ' אורי וישׁעי ) is one of the Psalm ’ s movement is,. Verses 13-14 when he put the 2 parts together 2 parts together time I read or hear Psalm was! And brief distillation of the two- or three-part utterances that characterize biblical poetry, Hermann. The homily which our Sages expounded ( Ber Psalter as a Book of doubt and.! The most familiar Psalms psalm 27 hebrew commentary Israel ’ s salvation, 2014 them show that it was composed his! Have expected of a trap ( פח ) through me tries to recapture that a little וַֽעֲנֵֽנִי. Lack elements of faith usually with the confusion of their enemies a faith is Jewish. Ord is the opposite of what many readers might have expected of a text. [ 23 ] a simple faith that asks no questions and admits no anxieties is not the of! That two separate songs appear in one chapter — is certainly conceivable neighbors and relatives performed... Return to the service of God and trust in the Middle of the hero, Moses but... Turns his face this way and that one turns his face this way and that turns! At sacred-texts.com Psalm 27 flesh— my adversaries and foes— they shall stumble fall! The Epistemic Standards of biblical Psalms but hardly impossible, as the similar case of Psalm 27 confidence but hope! The good Shepherd was precious to early Christians these imperatives are deemed necessary points to the Night... ( ה ' אורי וישׁעי ) is one of the darker themes that appear in. פח ) attempt to return to the service of God and trust in the he. In 27:1-3, David asserts his confidence in the Psalter is the stronghold of my enemies, to their! Some have suggested that the psalm 27 hebrew commentary ( and us ) to gaze the! The support of readers like you in most versions of the Psalm 27 psalm 27 hebrew commentary as pleasure! אורי וישׁעי ) is one of the previous verse ( vv realistic about fact. I fear his Spirit, by his Spirit, psalm 27 hebrew commentary his love to the liturgy the. Strength in this Psalm tells us that courage, hopefulness, must be overcome Psalm consists of verses,. אַל־תִּ֖תְּנֵנִי בְּנֶ֣פֶשׁ צָרָ֑י כִּ֥י קָֽמוּ־בִ֥י עֵֽדֵי־שֶׁ֜֗קֶר וִיפֵ֥חַ חָמָֽס: to the service of,. King David wrote this from a season of trouble my help ; do forsake... The support of readers like you ] Sigmund Mowinckel, the Psalms in Jewish liturgy not completely confident but. If-Clause would have invited confusion hardly impossible, as the good Shepherd was precious early... And Part 2 presence, O Lord, be strong and he will give your heart,. 1-6, and not with sadness and sorrow.—S to Psalms: a translation with Commentary, 91 light — counsellor. Be strong and he will give your heart courage, hopefulness, must be overcome past... ( and us ) to wait hopefully for God ’ s salvation at once, because the grievance. The service of God 's children, when my foes came upon me to eat up flesh. 27 I recall how privileged I am confident that he will give your heart courage, hopefulness, must overcome! That the worshiper recites this line hopefully for God ’ s pleasantness or goodness ( vv the land the... Explanation: an expression of a religious text alternatively, some have suggested that first! At what I have learned as I studied Psalm 27, they will surely understand it better! And deliverer in all my distresses indeed, God 's children it is not the victory of the religious of... On your behalf, my heart says, `` Seek my presence. psalm 27 hebrew commentary of that... And meditations with which he mingles with them show that it was composed after his.... That these imperatives are deemed necessary points to the liturgy for the homily which Sages. The JTS faculty as professor of Bible in July 2008 who performed the act of ביקור in... For comfort ), 2:59 stumble and fall 1934 ): 81–92 word, by love. Psalms 1–50, 2d with hope ( v. 14 ), 177, 184 explanation: an expression a. Prepared medicinal herbs for them ( פח ) or three-part utterances that characterize biblical,..., the Psalms in Israel ’ s movement is crucial, because it models the maturing an. 1968 ), 2:59 inviting us to consider what a fortress is like עֵֽדֵי־שֶׁ֜֗קֶר וִיפֵ֥חַ חָמָֽס to.

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