Trust and Joy. Yair (Translation and Commentary) on the Book of Psalms (18 September 2017, 27 Elul, 5777)
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 To the Chief Conductor,Â in Tunes, for David.
In the Hebrew this Psalm beings with the words: "LeMenatsaech BeNiginot LeDavid.
We have translated it as "To the Chief Conductor, in Tunes, for David."
It may also be translated as "To He Who Grants Victory through the Art of Music, for David".
S. R. Hirsch comments that through music one can obtain spiritual inspiration to enable one to overcome whatever adverse forces a person may be facing. King Saul suffered from mental anguish and David through his music had been able to alleviate his suffering (2-Kings 3:15). I myself never understood much about music. My attempts at singing where once compared (by a good-natured friend) to the braying of a donkey. [The fact is that I can sometimes sing very well. I just lack the technique of guaranteeing the quality from time to time.] One of my sons used to compose modern-type music. On my mother's side my great-grandfather was reportedly an accomplished violinist. According to reports he had been appointed to the King of Denmark. I do not know if this is true or not but if so it must be recorded somewhere: A Jew named "Jacoby" appointed as official violinist to the King of Denmark must have been exceptional at the time and should be of interest to historians. Sometimes we underrate our ancestors (and ourselves) and sometimes we do the opposite.
1  When I call hear me, God of my Righteousness. Out of straits you have opened things up for me. Show me favor and hear my prayer.
Â This Psalm was a personal prayer of King David that anyone who wishes may now use as a personal prayer to ask God for help. The Midrash (Yalkut Shimeoni) points out that this Psalm may also be seen as a cry of the Tribe of Judah for assistance in time of trouble, cf.
" HEAR, LORD, THE VOICE OF JUDAH, AND BRING HIM UNTO HIS PEOPLE" [Deuteronomy 33:7], i.e. re-unite him with his brothers?
2  Sons of men how long will you make shame of my honor? You love emptiness. You seek falsehood, Selah.
"Sons of men": In Hebrew "Bnei Ish" meaning (as the Radak points out) great men or important men.
Even today Biblical Critics and all kinds ofÂ other cranks belittle the greatness of King David. In a sense, nothing has changed. Everything in the Bible is almost immediately applicable to the situation today.
3  Know however that the LORD has set me apart as [a person of] HIS favor. The LORD will hear when I call unto him.
4 Let emotion attack you but do not sin. commune with your heart on your bed, and be still. Selah.
5 Offer sacrifice of righteousness and put your trust in the LORD.
It happens that when we do not sin though the opportunity comes our way and we are tempted that we regret it. This is human. Let it be considered like a sacrifice that you offered up to the Almighty.
It will be a mark of credit for you and help you and/yours at a future date.
6 Many are saying, 'Who will show us what is good? Lift up the light of your face upon us,Â LORD!'
Re "Lift up the light of your face upon us." S.R. Hirsch points out that in Hebrew this may also be understood to mean "Set the light of your favor upon us as a mark of our distinction".
7 You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound [ESV].
The inner happiness that comes with walking with God leads to salvation. This must be often worked upon and striven for since spiritually-inclined people also have a tendency towards depression. At all events the Psalms are a valuable tool and should be utilized. Oliver Cromwell knew the Psalms by heart or nearly so.Â Â Elizabeth-1 was also familiar with them as well as learning Hebrew.
8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety [ESV].