Psalm 107

Psalm 107


O give thanksI to the Lord,II for he is good;III
    for his steadfast loveIV endures forever.V

Notes on verse 1

I “give thanks” = yadah. From yad (hand). This is to throw one’s hands into the air in a gesture of praise. So, it is to praise, give thanks, or make a confession.
II “Lord” = YHVH. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (to come to pass, become, be). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
III “good” = tob. From tob (to be pleasing, to be good). 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.
IV “steadfast love” = chesed. From chasad (being good, kind, merciful; may mean bowing one’s neck as is done in the presence of an equal for courtesy’s sake; so, if one in a superior position is treating you like an equal, that is what is captured here). This is favor, goodness, kindness, loving kindness, pity, reproach, or a good deed. When done by God to humanity, this is mercy/loving kindness. When done by humanity to God, it is piety.
V “forever” = olam. This is a long scope of time whether in the past (antiquity, ancient time) or in the future (eternal, everlasting).

Let the redeemedVI of the Lord say so,
    those he redeemed from troubleVII
and gatheredVIII in from the lands,IX

Notes on verses 2-3a

VI “redeemed” = gaal. This is to redeem someone or something according to kinship laws. So, it could be acting on a relative’s behalf to buy back their property, to marry one’s brother’s widow, etc. This could be more briefly translated as to redeem, acts as kinsman, or purchase. As a noun, it could be deliverer or avenger.
VII “trouble” = yad + tsar. Literally “from the hand of the enemy.” Yad is related to “give thanks” in v1. See note I above. Tsar is from tsarar (to bind, restrict, narrow, be cramped, an adversary). Properly, this is a narrow or constricted place. Figuratively, it can be trouble, a pebble, an enemy, anguish, or distress.
VIII “gathered” = qabats. This is to collect, assemble, heap, grasp, or gather.
IX “lands” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.

    from the eastX and from the west,XI
    from the northXII and from the south.XIII

Notes on verse 3b

X “east” = mizrach. From zarach (to rise, shine, or dawn; can also describe symptoms of leprosy). This is the east as the place where the sun rises. It can also refer to the sunrise itself.
XI “west” = maarab. 14x in OT. From the same as ereb (evening, night, twilight); perhaps from arab (to become dark or become evening). This is the west as the place where the sun sets. It can also refer to the setting itself.
XII “north” = tsaphon. From tsaphan (to hide, hoard, reserve; to cover over or figuratively to deny; also to lurk). This is properly hidden, dark, or gloomy. It can also be used to refer to the north.
XIII “south” = 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.

Some wanderedXIV in desertXV wastes,XVI

Notes on verse 4a

XIV “wandered” = taah. This is to wander, deceive, seduce, vacillate. It is to stray in a literal or figurative sense.
XV “desert” = midbar. From dabar (to speak, command, declare). 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.
XVI “wastes” = yeshimon. 13x in OT. From yasham (to be stripped, destroyed, desolate). This is a wilderness or desert. It can also refer to a place called Jeshimon. It means “wasteland” or “wilderness.” See

    findingXVII no wayXVIII to an inhabitedXIX town;XX

Notes on verse 4b

XVII “finding” = matsa. This is to find, catch or acquire. It can also mean to come forth or appear. Figuratively, this can mean to meet or be together with.
XVIII “way” = derek. From darak (to tread, march, to walk. Can also mean affixing a string to a box since one needs to step on it to bend it in the process; so also an archer). This is a road as a thing that is walked on. Can be used figuratively for the path that one’s life takes or how one chooses to live one’s life.
XIX “inhabited” = moshab. From yashab (to sit and so to remain and so to dwell; sitting for any reason – as a judge, in order to ambush, or just sitting quietly; can mean settling or marrying; continue, endure, or establish). This is dwelling, seat, assembly, settlement, population.
XX “town” = iyr. From uwr (to awaken or wake oneself up). This can mean excitement in the sense of wakefulness or city. Properly, this is a place that is guarded. Guards kept schedules according to watches. This sense of the word would include cities as well as encampments or posts that were guarded.

hungryXXI and thirsty,XXII
    their soulXXIII faintedXXIV within them.

Notes on verse 5

XXI “hungry” = raeb. 16x in OT. From raeb (to be hungry or famished). This is hungry, a person who is hungry.
XXII “thirsty” = tsame. 9x in OT. From tsame (to thirst in a literal or figurative sense). This is dry, thirsty, or someone who is thirsty in a literal or figurative sense.
XXIII “soul” = nephesh. Related to naphash (to refresh or be refreshed). This is soul, self, person, emotion. It is a breathing creature. Can also refer to appetites and desires.
XXIV “fainted” = ataph. 16x in OT. This is to turn, faint, hide, be overwhelmed, cover, fail.

Then they criedXXV to the LordXXVI in their trouble,
    and he deliveredXXVII them from their distress;XXVIII

Notes on verse 6

XXV “cried” = tsaaq. This is to cry out or call together, to shriek. It can mean, by implication, calling for an assembly.
XXVI “Lord” = YHVH. Related to “Lord” in v1. From the same as YHVH (see note II above). It has the same meaning as “Lord,” but with a different vowel pointing.
XXVII “delivered” = natsal. This is to snatch someone or something away in a good sense – as rescue, defend, or deliver – or in a bad sense – as strip or plunder.
XXVIII “distress” = metsuqah. 7x in OT. From tsuq (to press on, compress; figuratively, to oppress or bring distress). This is straits or narrowness. Figuratively, it is stress, trouble, or anguish.

he ledXXIX them by a straightXXX way,
    until they reachedXXXI an inhabited town.

Notes on verse 7

XXIX “led” = darak. Related to “way” in v4. See note XVIII above.
XXX “straight” = yashar. From yashar (to be straight, right, even, smooth, or agreeable; figuratively, to make something pleasant or prosperous). This is straight, right, level. Also, it is pleasing, whether pleasing God or pleasing other people. So, it is upright or righteous.
XXXI “reached” = halak. This is go, come, walk. It is walk literally and figuratively and includes people and animals. It can be used figuratively for one’s moral life – how we walk according to God’s way or against it. It can also refer to the walk of life as in the course one’s life takes, the choices we make, etc.

Let them thank the LordXXXII for his steadfast love,
    for his wonderful worksXXXIII to humankind.XXXIV

Notes on verse 8

XXXII “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note II above.
XXXIII “wonderful works” = pala. From pele (wonder, miracle, wonderful, marvelous thing). This is to be extraordinary, to arise, to be great or accomplish.
XXXIV “humankind” = ben + adam. Literally, “children of humanity.” Ben is from banah (to build or obtain children). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense. Adam is perhaps from adam (to be red, make ruddy); related to adamah (ground, dirt, earth). This is man, humankind, also Adam’s name. It refers to a human individual or humanity.

For he satisfiesXXXV theXXXVI thirsty,XXXVII
    and theXXXVIII hungry he fillsXXXIX with good things.XL

Notes on verse 9

XXXV “satisfies” = saba. To be satisfied or full in a literal or figurative sense. Also, to have plenty of.
XXXVI {untranslated} = nephesh. Same as “soul” in v5. See note XXIII above.
XXXVII “thirsty” = shaqaq. 6x in OT. This is to run, rush, thirst. By implication of having an appetite, it can mean seeking greedily.
XXXVIII {untranslated} = nephesh. Same as “soul” in v5. See note XXIII above.
XXXIX “fills” = male. This is fill, satisfy, replenish, accomplish, fulfill, confirm, or consecrate. It is fill in a literal or figurative sense.
XL “good things” = tob. Same as “good” in v1. See note III above.

10 Some satXLI in darknessXLII and in gloom,XLIII

Notes on verse 10a

XLI “sat” = yashab. Related to “inhabited” in v4. See note XIX above.
XLII “darkness” = choshek. From chashak (to be or become dark). This is literal darkness is contrast to light. Figuratively, it can be obscurity, sorrow, misery, blindness, wickedness, destruction, death. It can also be hiding places. Additionally, it can mean judgment, mourning, ignorance, evil, or sin.
XLIII “gloom” = tsalmavet. 18x in OT. From tsel (shade in a literal or figurative sense; shadow, shade, protection, shelter, or defense); {from tsalal (to be or become dark, shade; this is the shade as during twilight or shadow as associated with something opaque)} + mavet (death, deadliness, the dead, or the place where the dead go; figuratively, pestilence or ruin); {from mut (to die in a literal or figurative sense)}. This is a deep shadow, the grave. Figuratively it is a darkness like death or a calamity. This is the “shadow of death” from Psalm 23:4.

    prisonersXLIV in miseryXLV and in irons,XLVI

Notes on verse 10b

XLIV “prisoners” = asir. 12x in OT. From asar (to tie, yoke, bind, or fasten; can mean to harness an animal, to join in fighting a battle, or to imprison someone). This is a prisoner or captive. It can also refer to a slave or someone otherwise bound.
XLV “misery” = oniy. From anah (to be bowed down; humility or being browbeaten, oppressed, afflicted, or depressed; literal or figurative – depressed in mood or circumstance). This is misery, poverty, or affliction.
XLVI “irons” = barzel. From the same as Birzoth (a name meaning holes). Root may mean to pierce. This is iron as something used as a cutting implement. It can also specifically mean ax head.

11 for they had rebelledXLVII against the wordsXLVIII of God,XLIX
    and spurnedL the counselLI of the Most High.LII

Notes on verse 11

XLVII “rebelled” = marah. This is to be contentious, rebellious, bitter, provoking, disobedient. It can be to be or make bitter or unpleasant. Figuratively, it is to rebel or resist and causatively to provoke. This is the root of “Miriam.”
XLVIII “words” = emer. From amar (to say, answer, challenge). This is something that is said – a word, saying, speech.
XLIX “God” = El.
L “spurned” = naats. This is to spurn, reject, provoke, abhor, treat with contempt. It can also mean bloom or flourish.
LI “counsel” = etsah. From yaats (to counsel, advise, determine). This is advice, purpose, plan, prudence, or counselor.
LII “Most High” = Elyon. From alah (to go up, ascend, be high, be a priority; to arise in a literal or figurative sense). This is most high, upper. It refers to elevation – so, lofty.

12 Their heartsLIII were bowed downLIV with hard labor;LV
    they fell down,LVI with no one to help.LVII

Notes on verse 12

LIII “hearts” = leb. May be related to labab (to encourage; properly, to be encased as with fat; used in a good sense, this means to transport someone with love; used in a bad sense, it can mean to dull one’s senses). This is the heart, courage, one’s inner self, the mind, or the will. Heart is only used in a figurative sense in the Old and New Testaments.
LIV “bowed down” = kana. This is to be humble, subdue, humiliate, conquer. Properly, it means to bend the knee.
LV “hard labor” = amal. From amal (to work – hard labor). This is trouble, toil, labor as well as misery, sorrow, or iniquity. It is work that wearies through effort so hence worry – can refer to body or mind.
LVI “fell down” = kashal. This is to stumble, fail, be weak or decayed, be overthrown, to totter. It can refer to weak legs or ankles so it is falter, faint, or fall.
LVII “help” = azar. This is to surround, which implies encircling to protect someone or help them out. It can also be help, ally, or support.

13 Then they criedLVIII to the LordLIX in their trouble,
    and he savedLX them from their distress;

Notes on verse 13

LVIII “cried” = zaaq. This is to cry or call out. It can be a call to assemble or gather together. By analogy, this could refer to a herald who announces a public gathering. It could also be a shriek from pain or danger.
LIX “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v6. See note XXVI above.
LX “saved” = 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.

14 he brought them outLXI of darkness and gloom,
    and broke their bondsLXII asunder.LXIII
15 Let them thank the LordLXIV for his steadfast love,
    for his wonderful works to humankind.

Notes on verses 14-15

LXI “brought…out” = yatsa. This is to go or come out, bring forth, appear. It is to go out in a literal or figurative sense.
LXII “bonds” = moser. Related to “prisoners” in v10. 11x in OT. From asar (see note XLIV above) OR from yasar (to discipline, correct, train, teach, punish; literally with blows, but figuratively using words). This is a band, bond, chain, or shackle. It is some kind of restraint or figuratively a chastisement.
LXIII “broke…asunder” = nathaq. This is to pull, tear off, drag, separate, lift, burst, root out, or snap.
LXIV “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note II above.

16 For he shattersLXV the doorsLXVI of bronze,LXVII
    and cuts in twoLXVIII the barsLXIX of iron.

Notes on verse 16

LXV “shatters” = shabar. This is break, collapse, destroy, break in pieces, tear. It is bursting in a literal or figurative sense.
LXVI “doors” = delet. From dalah (to draw, lift up; properly, to dangle; draw water; figuratively, to deliver). This is something that swings like a door, gate, leaf, lid, or other opening.
LXVII “bronze” = nechosheth. Perhaps from nechushah (copper, bronze, brass – something made from this metal like a coin or fetter; something that is considered base in contrast to gold or silver.; from nachush (made of bronze or brass, coppery; figuratively, hard); from nachash (to divine, interpret omens, learn from experience, observe; to hiss). This is bronze, copper, steel, brass or something made from copper. So, it could be a coin or chains. It can also figuratively mean something considered lesser in contrast to gold or silver.
LXVIII “cuts in two” = gada. This is to cut or chop as one cuts down a tree. It is used more generally for cutting off or destroying things.
LXIX “bars” = beriach. From barach (to flee, drive away, hurry, to bolt). This is a bar or a bolt. It can also be used for a fugitive.

17 Some were sickLXX through their sinfulLXXI ways,
    and because of their iniquitiesLXXII endured affliction;LXXIII

Notes on verse 17

LXX “sick” = evil. Root may be to be preserve. This is a fool or, figuratively, silly.
LXXI “sinful” = 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.
LXXII “iniquities” = avon. Perhaps related to avah (to bend, twist, be amiss). This is sin, mischief, guilt, fault, punishment for iniquity, or moral evil.
LXXIII “endured affliction” = anah. Related to “misery” in v10. See note XLV above.

18 they loathedLXXIV any kindLXXV of food,LXXVI

Notes on verse 18a

LXXIV “loathed” = taab. From toebah (abomination, loathsome, something morally disgusting or abhorrent). This is to abhor, despise, to reject, to act abominably.
LXXV “any kind” = kol. From kalal (to complete). This is all or every.
LXXVI “food” = okel. From akal (to eat, devour, burn up, or otherwise consume; eating in a literal or figurative sense). This is food, supply of provisions, the act of eating, or the time when one eats.

    and theyLXXVII drew nearLXXVIII to the gatesLXXIX of death.LXXX
19 Then they cried to the LordLXXXI in their trouble,
    and he saved them from their distress;

Notes on verses 18b-19

LXXVII “they” = nephesh. Same as “soul” in v5. See note XXIII above.
LXXVIII “drew near” = naga. This is touch, reach, arrive, come near, strike. This is touching for any reason including sexual or violent.
LXXIX “gates” = shaar. May be related to sha’ar (to calculate or reckon; may come from a root that means to open up or split). This is a gate, door, or other opening like a port.
LXXX “death” = mavet. Related to “gloom” in v10. See note XLIII above.
LXXXI “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v6. See note XXVI above.

20 he sentLXXXII out his wordLXXXIII and healedLXXXIV them,

Notes on verse 20a

LXXXII “sent” = shalach. This is to send out, away, send for, forsake. It can also mean to divorce or set a slave free.
LXXXIII “word” = dabar. Related to “desert” in v4. From dabar (see note XV above). 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.
LXXXIV “healed” = rapha. Properly, this is to repair by stitching – figuratively this means to heal or cure. It can also mean to make whole.

    and deliveredLXXXV them from destruction.LXXXVI
21 Let them thank the LordLXXXVII for his steadfast love,
    for his wonderful works to humankind.

Notes on verses 20b-21

LXXXV “delivered” = malat. This is to be smooth, which implies to escape as slipping away from. It can also be release, rescue, deliver, or preserve. It can be used specifically to meaning giving birth or making sparks.
LXXXVI “destruction” = shechith. 2x in OT. From shachah (to bow down, make a humble entreaty, to do homage to royalty or to God). This is a pit in a literal or figurative sense. It could mean destruction.
LXXXVII “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note II above.

22 And let them offerLXXXVIII thanksgivingLXXXIX sacrifices,XC

Notes on verse 22a

LXXXVIII “offer” = zabach. This is slaughtering an animal, generally for the purpose of sacrifice. It can mean kill or offer.
LXXXIX “thanksgiving” = todah. Related to “give thanks” in v1. From yadah (see note I above). This is properly extending one’s hand, which implies affirmation and adoration. It can be a song of thanksgiving, a choir of thanksgiving, confession, or praise. It can also be a thank offering.
XC “sacrifices” = zebach. Related to “offer” in v22. From zabach (to kill, slay, offer; slaughtering an animal to offer as a sacrifice). This is a slaughter – literally of an animal. So, it implies the act or the animals used in sacrifice. Further, it can mean offering.

    and tellXCI of his deedsXCII with songs of joy.XCIII

Notes on verse 22b

XCI “tell” = saphar. From sepher (writing, document, book, evidence). This is properly to tally or record something. It can be enumerate, recount, number, celebrate, or declare.
XCII “deeds” = ma’aseh. From asah (to do, make, accomplish, become). This is a word – any action whether positive or negative. It can also be a transaction, construction, activity, property, or something that is produced.
XCIII “songs of joy” = rinnah. From ranan (a cry of joy or a joyful song; properly, emitting a shrill sound, especially one of joy). This is a song, shout, cry of joy, or proclamation. It could also be a shout of grief.

23 Some went downXCIV to the seaXCV in ships,XCVI

Notes on verse 23a

XCIV “went down” = yarad. This is to go down, descend; going down in a literal or figurative sense. It can be going to the shore or a boundary, bringing down an enemy.
XCV “sea” = yam. Same as “south” in v3. See note XIII above.
XCVI “ships” = oniyyah. From the same as oni (ships, a fleet); probably from anah (to meet, happen, approach). This is ships or sailors.

    doingXCVII businessXCVIII on the mightyXCIX waters;C

Notes on verse 23b

XCVII “doing” = asah. Related to “deeds” in v22. See note XCII above.
XCVIII “business” = melakah. From the same as malak (messenger, an angel, or a deputy; human messengers literally or for prophets, priests, or teachers as messengers of God; also supernatural messengers i.e. angels). Properly, this is a deputyship or some kind of work. It can also be the product that comes from labor.
XCIX “mighty” = 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.
C “waters” = mayim. This is water, waters, or waterway in a general sense. Figuratively, it can also mean juice, urine, or semen.

24 they sawCI the deeds of the Lord,CII
    his wondrous works in the deep.CIII

Notes on verse 24

CI “saw” = raah. This is to see in a literal or figurative sense so stare, advise, think, view.
CII “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note II above.
CIII “deep” = metsolah. 11x in OT. From the same as tsulah (root may mean to sink; ocean depths, the abyss of the sea). This is depth, bottom, or otherwise somewhere deep that is watery or muddy.

25 For he commandedCIV and raisedCV the stormyCVI wind,CVII
    which lifted upCVIII the wavesCIX of the sea.

Notes on verse 25

CIV “commanded” = amar. Related to “words” in v11. See note XLVIII above.
CV “raised” = amad. This is to stand up in a literal or figurative sense. So it can be establish, continue, endure, take a stand, act, be a servant, stand still, remain, stand against an enemy.
CVI “stormy” = saar. From sa’ar (to storm, scattered by a storm, blow away, rage, storm tossed; this is to toss in a literal or figurative sense). This is a storm or whirlwind. It can also be stormy.
CVII “wind” = ruach. This is breath, wind, air, cool, spirit. This is wind, which resembles the breath and so this can be used figuratively for life itself or being frail/mortal/impermanent. It can refer to the air of the sky or the spirit.
CVIII “lifted up” = rum. This is to rise or raise, to be high literally or figuratively. So it can also mean to exalt or extol.
CIX “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.

26 They mounted upCX to heaven,CXI they went down to the depths;CXII

Notes on verse 26a

CX “mounted up” = alah. Related to “Most High” in v11. See note LII above.
CXI “heaven” = shamayim. Root may mean being lofty. This is sky, the air, or heaven. It is in a dual noun form so this might refer to the part of the sky where the clouds move on the one hand and the part beyond that where the sun, moon, and stars are on the other hand.
CXII “depths” = tehom. Perhaps from hum (to roar, murmur, cause an uproar, agitate; to defeat in battle, destroy). This is the deep or the abyss. Either understood as a formless empty place of nothingness or as a place of confusion filled with water – the deep the feeds the waters of the earth.

    their courageCXIII melted awayCXIV in their calamity;CXV

Notes on verse 26b

CXIII “courage” = nephesh. Same as “soul” in v5. See note XXIII above.
CXIV “melted away” = mug. 17x in OT. This is to let, dissolve, soften, flow. It can also mean to fear, dishearten, be faint, or disappear.
CXV “calamity” = ra’. From ra’a’ (to be evil, bad, afflict; properly, to spoil – to destroy by breaking into pieces; figuratively, to cause something to be worthless; this is bad in a physical, social, or moral sense; that which displeases, to do harm or mischief, to punish or vex). This is bad, disagreeable, that which causes pain, misery, something having little or no value, something that is ethically bad, wicked, injury, calamity. This refers to anything that is not what it ought to be – a natural disaster, a disfigurement, an injury, a sin.

27 they reeledCXVI and staggeredCXVII like drunkards,CXVIII
    andCXIX were at their wits’CXX end.CXXI

Notes on verse 27

CXVI “reeled” = chagag. 16x in OT. This is feast, celebrating a festival, making a pilgrimage. Properly, it means going in a circle or marching in sacred procession. It implies giddiness and dancing. It can also mean reeling to and fro.
CXVII “staggered” = nua. This is to waver in a literal or figurative sense. So, it could be to tremble, quiver, totter. It could also refer to a fugitive.
CXVIII “drunkards” = shikkor. 13x in OT. From shakar (to be filled with drink, merry, tipsy; satiated in a positive sense or drunken in a negative sense; also figuratively influence). This is being in an intoxicated state or being a habitual drunkard.
CXIX {untranslated} = kol. Same as “any kind” in v18. See note LXXV above.
CXX “wits’” = chokmah. From chakam (to be wise or teach wisdom; this is wisdom in thought, word, or action). This is wisdom, wit, or skillfulness.
CXXI “were at…end” = bala. This is to swallow, engulf, cover, or destroy.

28 Then they cried to the LordCXXII in their trouble,
    and he brought them out from their distress;
29 he madeCXXIII the storm be still,CXXIV
    and the waves of the sea were hushed.CXXV

Notes on verses 28-29

CXXII “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v6. See note XXVI above.
CXXIII “made” = qum. To arise, stand, accomplish, establish, abide. This is rising as in rising against, getting up after being sick or asleep, arising from one state to another, becoming powerful, or rising for action. It can also be standing in a figurative sense.
CXXIV “still” = demamah. 3x in OT. From damam (to cease, be or become mute, silent, still, cut off, hold peace, be astonished, or die). This is silence, calm, quiet, whisper, or blowing.
CXXV “were hushed” = chashah. 15x in OT. This is to be silent or not doing anything.

30 Then they were gladCXXVI because they had quiet,CXXVII
    and he broughtCXXVIII them to their desiredCXXIX haven.CXXX

Notes on verse 30

CXXVI “were glad” = samach. This is to rejoice or be glad. Properly, it is to brighten up in a literal or figurative sense.
CXXVII “had quiet” = shathaq. 4x in OT– 3x of the sea and 1x of quarreling. This is to be quiet, subside, cease, or calm.
CXXVIII “brought” = nachah. This is lead, guide, or bring. It can be used for transporting into exile or coming in as colonists. This is the word used in Psalm 23 “he leads me in the paths of righteousness.”
CXXIX “desired” = chephets. From chaphets (properly, inclined towards or bending to; figuratively, to desire, delight in, or be pleased with). This is a delight, care, or pleasure. It is what you desire or what is acceptable. It can also be used concretely for a precious thing or something that one is thinking about.
CXXX “haven” = machoz. 1x in OT. Probably borrowed from an Assyrian root meaning to enclose. This is a city or harbor.

31 Let them thank the LordCXXXI for his steadfast love,
    for his wonderful works to humankind.
32 Let them extolCXXXII him in the congregationCXXXIII of the people,CXXXIV

Notes on verses 31-32a

CXXXI “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note II above.
CXXXII “extol” = rum. Same as “lifted up” in v25. See note CVIII above.
CXXXIII “congregation” = qahal. This is an assembly, congregation, or multitude.
CXXXIV “people” = am. From amam (to darken, hide, associate; creating shadows by huddling together). This is people or nation. It can be used specifically for a tribe, collectively of troops or armies, or figuratively to refer to a flock of animals.

    and praiseCXXXV him in the assemblyCXXXVI of the elders.CXXXVII

Notes on verse 32b

CXXXV “praise” = halal. This is to be clear – it originally referred to a sound, then a color. It was to shine and then make a show or boast then to rave. In a causative sense it came to mean celebrate, give glory, sing praise, or be worth of praise. Because of the celebratory nature of the word, it could also mean to give in marriage. This is where Hallelujah comes from.
CXXXVI “assembly” = moshab. Same as “inhabited” in v4. See note XIX above.
CXXXVII “elders” = zaqen. From the same as zaqan (beard or chin – the beard represents old age). This is old, aged, or elder.

33 He turnsCXXXVIII riversCXXXIX into a desert,
    springsCXL of water into thirsty ground,CXLI

Notes on verse 33

CXXXVIII “turns” = sum. This is to put or place in a literal or figurative sense. It can be appoint, care, change, make, and may other things.
CXXXIX “rivers” = nahar. From nahar (to flow, sparkle, be cheerful). This is a stream, river, or flood. Particularly used for the Nile or Euphrates. Figuratively, this can mean prosperity.
CXL “springs” = motsa. Related to “brought…out” in v14. From yatsa (see note LXI above). 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 rising of the sin, an export, gate mine, and so on.
CXLI “thirsty ground” = tsimmaon. Related to “thirsty” in v5. 3x in OT. From tsame (see note XXII above). This is dry ground, desert, drought.

34 a fruitfulCXLII land into a salty waste,CXLIII
    because of the wickednessCXLIV of its inhabitants.CXLV

Notes on verse 34

CXLII “fruitful” = peri. From parah (to bear fruit, grow, be fruitful, increase; bearing fruit in a literal or figurative sense). This is fruit or reward.
CXLIII “salty waste” = melechah. 3x in OT. From the same as melach (powder; used for salt or salt pit); from malach (properly, to pulverize, temper together, dissipate; also to season or salt). This is saltiness or barren land, like a desert.
CXLIV “wickedness” = ra’. Same as “calamity” in v26. See note CXV above.
CXLV “inhabitants” = yashab. Same as “sat” in v10. See note XLI above.

35 He turns a desert into poolsCXLVI of water,
    a parchedCXLVII land into springs of water.
36 And there he lets the hungry live,CXLVIII
    and they establishCXLIX a town to liveCL in;

Notes on verses 35-36

CXLVI “pools” = agam. 9x in OT. This is a marsh, pool, pond, or swamp. Its root may refer to an area that holds standing water. It can also refer to reeds as grow in marshes.
CXLVII “parched” = tsiyyah. 16x in OT. This is dryness or parched. So, it can also mean drought or dry places. By extension, it can mean a solitary place or a wilderness.
CXLVIII “lets…live” = yashab. Same as “sat” in v10. See note XLI above.
CXLIX “establish” = 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.
CL “live” = moshab. Same as “inhabited” in v4. See note XIX above.

37 they sowCLI fields,CLII and plantCLIII vineyards,CLIV
    and getCLV a fruitful yield.CLVI

Notes on verse 37

CLI “sow” = zara. This is to sow or scatter seed, conceive or yield. It can also refer to a sower. Figuratively, this can refer to other forms of dissemination.
CLII “fields” = sadeh. This is literally field, ground, soil, or land. It can be used to mean wild like a wild animal.
CLIII “plant” = nata. To fix or fasten, establish or plant. This is planting in a literal or figurative sense.
CLIV “vineyards” = kerem. This is a vineyard, garden, vines, or a vintage.
CLV “get” = asah. Same as “doing” in v23. See note XCVII above.
CLVI “yield” = tebuah. From bo (to come in, go in, enter). This is produce, increase or gain – can be literal or figurative.

38 By his blessingCLVII they multiplyCLVIII greatly,CLIX
    and he does not let their cattleCLX decrease.CLXI

Notes on verse 38

CLVII “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.
CLVIII “multiply” = rabah. This is increasing in any aspect whether quantity, authority, size, quality, greatness, etc.
CLIX “greatly” = meod. Perhaps from the same as uwd (firebrand, a poker). This is very, greatly, exceedingly. It can also mean vehemence, force, abundance.
CLX “cattle” = behemah. This is animal or cattle. It is often used of large quadrupeds.
CLXI “let…decrease” = maat. This is diminished, decreased, reduced, insignificant. It is a broad sense of being small or becoming small. Figuratively, this can mean ineffective.

39 When they are diminishedCLXII and brought lowCLXIII
    through oppression,CLXIV trouble,CLXV and sorrow,CLXVI

Notes on verse 39

CLXII “are diminished” = maat. Same as “let…decrease” in v38. See note CLXI above.
CLXIII “brought low” = shachach. This is to sink, bow down, bring low, be humbled, sing softly.
CLXIV “oppression” = otser. 3x in OT. From atsar (to restrain, rule, confine, bond; to hold back, maintain, rule, assemble). This is oppression, restraint, barren.
CLXV “trouble” = ra’. Same as “calamity” in v26. See note CXV above.
CLXVI “sorrow” = yagon. 14x in OT. From yagah (to suffer, grieve, afflict). This is grief or sorrow.

40 he poursCLXVII contemptCLXVIII on princesCLXIX
    and makes them wander in tracklessCLXX wastes;CLXXI

Notes on verse 40

CLXVII “pours” = shaphak. This is to pour out, gust, or slip. It can be to pour as blood, a drink offering, or molten metal. It can also mean to create a mound. Figuratively, it can refer to killing, or spending money.
CLXVIII “contempt” = buz. 12x in OT. From buz (to disrespect, hate, scorn). This is contempt, laughingstock, shame, or hated.
CLXIX “princes” = nadib. From nadab (to offer willingly, volunteer, freely give, be willing). Properly, this is voluntary and so it implies generous, noble, magnanimous, or a generous person.
CLXX “trackless” = lo + derek. Derek is the same as “way” in v4. See note XVIII above.
CLXXI “wastes” = tohu. Root may mean a wasteland or desert. This is desolation or waste. Figuratively, it refers to emptiness, chaos, confusion, futility, something worthless or meaningless, or unreality. Used as an adverb, it can mean in vain. This describes the earth as a “formless void” in Gen 1:2.

41 but he raises upCLXXII the needyCLXXIII out of distress,CLXXIV

Notes on verse 41a

CLXXII “raise up” = sagab. This is to raise, lifted, high, set secure on high, excellent, or strong. It is inaccessibly high in a literal and figurative sense. It implies something that is safe and, therefore, something that is strong.
CLXXIII “needy” = ebyon. From abah (to consent, obey, want, yield, accept). This is needy, poor, beggar. Someone who is wanting.
CLXXIV “distress” = oniy. From anah (to be bowed down; humility or being browbeaten, oppressed, afflicted, or depressed; literal or figurative – depressed in mood or circumstance). This is misery, poverty, or affliction.

    and makesCLXXV their familiesCLXXVI like flocks.CLXXVII

Notes on verse 41b

CLXXV “makes” = sum. Same as “turns” in v33. See note CXXXVIII above.
CLXXVI “families” = mishpachah. From the same as shiphcah (maid, maidservant); root means to spread out. This is one’s circle of relatives – clan, family, kindred.
CLXXVII “flocks” = tson. This is a flock of sheep and goats.

42 The uprightCLXXVIII see it and are glad;
    and allCLXXIX wickednessCLXXX stopsCLXXXI its mouth.CLXXXII

Notes on verse 42

CLXXVIII “upright” = yashar. Same as “straight” in v7. See note XXX above.
CLXXIX “all” = kol. Same as “any kind” in v18. See note LXXV above.
CLXXX “wickedness” = evel. Perhaps from aval (to deal unjustly, act in a wrongful way, a wrongdoer). This is injustice, wrong, moral evil, acts of violence, or unrighteousness.
CLXXXI “stops” = qaphats. 7x in OT. This is to close, shut, contract. It can be used of hand or mouth, withdrawing compassion, or the way one contracts in death. It can also mean leaping as the body contracts over and over.
CLXXXII “mouth” = peh. This is mouth in a literal or figurative sense. So, more literally, it can be beak or jaws. More figuratively, it refers to speech, commands, or promises.

43 Let those who are wiseCLXXXIII give heedCLXXXIV to these things,
    and considerCLXXXV the steadfast love of the Lord.CLXXXVI

Notes on verse 43

CLXXXIII “wise” = chakam. Related to “wits’” in v27. From chakam (see note CXX above). This is wise, skillful, cunning, or artful.
CLXXXIV “give heed” = shamar. This is to keep, watch, or preserve. It means to guard something or to protect it as a thorny hedge protects something.
CLXXXV “consider” = bin. This is to discern, consider, attend to. It refers to distinguishing things in one’s mind or, more generally, to understand.
CLXXXVI “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note II above.

Image credit: “Ocean’s Lament” by Gold Field, 2008.

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