Psalm 4:5 brings us to the second occurrence of “Selah” in this psalm and it gives the verse added emphasis. The verse also leads us to study the Septuagint (LXX) translation, since Paul cited the first half of the verse from the LXX in Ephesians 4:26. As we continue our analysis of Psalm 4, the structure exposed in vv. 2-5 will provide us with information necessary for both an accurate interpretation of the psalm and appropriate application of its theological implications.
Follow this link for Hebrew Whiteboard to download Psalm 4:1-5 or any of the previous studies of Psalms 1-3 and 120-122.
Continuing with Psalm 4:3-4 the text moves from the psalm heading (v. 1) and David’s prayer (v. 2) to his address to his enemies. Verse 3 concludes with the first occurrence of “Selah” in this psalm, giving the verse an added layer of emphasis. Verse 4 sets up a contrast between the threefold description of David’s enemies and the singular description of the psalmist’s position before YHWH.
Follow this link for Hebrew Whiteboard to download Psalm 4:1-4 or any of the previous studies of Psalms 1-3 and 120-122.
As we enter the New Year (2017), we turn to another psalm from the biblical Psalter. Interpreters and expositors often refer to Psalm 4 as an evening prayer following Psalm 3 as a morning prayer. Psalm 4 presents us with the first potential example of the mis-divided psalm headings (the link to my blog post about these colophons). To access Psalm 4:1-2 and the previous psalms posted thus far, click on this link: Hebrew Whiteboard.
How delightful to study the Word of God, to analyze a psalm in detail, and to meditate upon its implications for my own life. Verses 8-9 conclude Psalm 122 and focus upon David’s purposes or promises for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for his people, and for the “house of YHWH,” the Tabernacle. The theme of “peace” occurs yet again (the word’s third use in the psalm) and “good” makes its appearance as the practical outworking of David’s commitment to Jerusalem and all who go there in pilgrimage to worship the Lord.
Those who downloaded the earlier verses will find a few revisions here and there for the sake of accuracy. May you enjoy the study of this psalm as much as I have.
Go to Hebrew Whiteboard for this unfolding analysis, as well as for accessing previous Psalms studies.
Structural or logical line diagramming serves as one of the chief means by which the exegete can identify verse structure in the Hebrew Bible. Since this method unlocks so much of the biblical text, I have begun a series of study helps in order to enable others to learn the method and to gain a better understanding of how it aids the process of exegesis. With this methodology the student of the Hebrew Bible will be able to examine the text with a view to its
- psalm superscription and subscription,
- poetic lines (by means of Masoretic accentuation),
- grammatical relationships,
- literary/poetic devices,
- micro- and macrostructures,
- resulting interpretive implications, and
- preaching propositions.
Below are links to the materials currently available:
Each new addition to an individual psalm will be announced by means of Hebrew Whiteboard Updates and each new psalm will be added to the list on Hebrew Whiteboard.
For my most highly recommended commentaries and studies on the Psalter, check out the following (listed in order of personal preference):