Bible blog 2333

Continuing my translation with comment of Psalms 90-106


A Psalm for Thanksgiving

Shout acclamation to Yahweh, all the earth!

Labour for Yahweh with laughter!

Approach his presence with a joyful song!

Know that Yahweh is God indeed;

He has made us and we are his,

his folk and the flock he feeds.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving

And his courts with psalms.

Bring him thanks and bless his name!

For Yahweh is good:

His lovingkindness lasts forever,

From age to age, his faithfulness.

I noticed recently that about half of the recordings of Scottish metrical version of this psalm had changed the original “him serve with mirth” to “him serve with fear,” a miserable whining change that proves this joyful psalm can still be offensive to some. It’s difficult to convey its force in English. The verb which I’ve rendered as “shout acclamation” comes from a root which means to split (the eardrums). The “labour” of the next line is the work of worship. (A meaning hidden in our word liturgy which means “the people’s work”). As the people come into the Temple, they call for “all the earth” to join them in praise of the creator.

Israel is commanded to know that Yahweh is God and they are his making, the people he shepherds. On behalf of all the earth, Israel knows this truth. Therefore the people are summoned to enter Yahweh’s house (which is a model of his universe) with heartfelt praise.

The concluding lines are of an absolute simplicity:

Yahweh is good

His lovingkindness is forever

He will be faithful to all generations.

The promise to future generations of the people is of great importance to Israel’s classic faith which had no belief in a resurrection.

One comment

  1. I haven’t been reading many of your Bible blogs – for no apparent reason, it seems. But I did read this post and I love it. Though I’m not Scottish, I responded to your comment and simply loved your translation. Thank you.

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