Psalm 30

Psalm 30
Ordinary C32


A Psalm.A A Song at the dedicationB of the temple.C Of David.D

Notes on superscript

A “Psalm” = mizmor. From zamar (making music; used specially of music to worship God; music with singing, singing praise, singing psalms); may be from zamar (to trim or prune). This is a melody or a psalm.
B “dedication” = channukah. 8x in OT. From chanak (to narrow; to dedicate, initiate, train, or discipline). This is initiation, dedication, or consecration. This is the same as the holiday Chanukah!
C “temple” = bayit. Probably from banah (to build, make, set up, obtain children; to build literally or figuratively). This is house, court, family, palace, temple.
D “David” = david. From the same as dod (beloved, love, uncle); the root may mean to boil, which is used figuratively to describe love. So, this implies someone you love such as a friend, a lover, or a close family member like an uncle. David’s name likely means something like “beloved one.”

I will extolE you, O Lord,F for you have drawn me up,G
    and did not let my foesH rejoiceI over me.

Notes on verse 1

E “extol” = rum. This is to rise or raise, to be high literally or figuratively. So it can also mean to exalt or extol.
F “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.
G “drawn…up” = dalah. 5x in OT. This is to draw, lift up. Properly, it is to dangle, to draw water. Figuratively, it can mean to deliver.
H “foes” = oyeb. From ayab (to hate or be hostile to). This is a foe or enemy as one that you are hostile to.
I “rejoice” = samach. This is to rejoice or be glad. Properly, it is to brighten up in a literal or figurative sense.

O Lord my God,J I cried to you for help,K
    and you have healedL me.

Notes on verse 2

J “God” = Elohim.
K “cried…for help” = shava. This is crying or shouting aloud, generally seeking freedom from some kind of trouble.
L “healed” = rapha. Properly, this is to repair by stitching – figuratively this means to heal or cure. It can also mean to make whole.

O Lord, you brought up my soulM from Sheol,N
    restored me to life from among those gone down to the Pit.O

Notes on verse 3

M “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.
N “Sheol” = sheol. Perhaps from sha’al (to ask, request). This is the place where the dead go, the grace, the underworld.
O “Pit” = bor. From bur (to bore; figuratively, to explain, examine, or clear up). This is a pit – generally a cistern or dungeon. It could also be a well or fountain.

Sing praisesP to the Lord, O you his faithful ones,Q
    and give thanksR toS his holyT name.

Notes on verse 4

P “sing praises” = zamar. Related to “psalm” in superscript. See note A above.
Q “faithful ones” = chasid. 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 faithful, kind, pious, merciful, or gracious. It can also refer to godly or pious people. This is where Chasidic Jews take their name from.
R “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.
S {untranslated} = zeker. Literally “at the remembrance of his holy.” From zakar (to remember, to mark something so that it can be recalled, to be mindful of, to mention). This is remembrance, renown, memento, recollection, or commemoration.
T “holy” = qodesh. This is set apart and so sacred. God is different from us and so God is holy/set apart. Things we dedicate to God’s service are set apart for God and so they, too, are holy, etc.

For his angerU is but for a moment;V
    his favorW is for a lifetime.X

Notes on verse 5a

U “anger” = aph. From anaph (to be angry; properly, breathing hard as a signifier of being enraged). This properly refers to the nose or nostril and by extension the face. It can specifically refer to anger or wrath as one breathes hard and nostrils flare in times of great anger.
V “moment” = rega. From raga (to toss violently, break, or disturb; tossed about as on rough sea or the skin breaking out in skin disease; to shut the eyes and so to settle, east, rest, or quiet). This is an instant or moment – so suddenly. Properly, this is a wink of the eye, which is to say a brief moment.
W “favor” = ratson. From ratsah (to be pleased with, delight, take pleasure in, or accept with favor; to approve or consent regarding something; can be used specifically of satisfying debts or being pardoned). This is delight shown in favor, good will, something that is accepted or acceptable.
X “lifetime” = chay. Related to “restored…to life” in v3. From chayah (to live or keep alive literally or figuratively). This is alive, living, lifetime. It can also be used to describe someone’s age. It can refer to animals, plants, water, or a company or congregation of people. It is life in a very broad sense.

WeepingY may lingerZ for the night,
    but joyAA comes with the morning.BB, CC

Notes on verse 5b

Y “weeping” = beki. From bakah (to weep, complain, lament). This is ongoing weeping, overflowing. By analogy, this can also mean dripping.
Z “linger” = luwn. This is to stay somewhere, usually for the night. It can mean abide, dwell, or endure. By implication, it can mean staying somewhere permanently. Taken in a negative sense, this would mean obstinance, particularly verbal. So, it can also mean murmur, grudge, or complaining.
AA “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.
BB “morning” = boqer. From baqar (to seek, plow, break forth, admire, care for). This refers to the break of day. So it is dawn, early, morning, or morrow.
CC Literally “for a moment his anger; life his favor; for a night may linger weeping; but in the morning joy.”

As for me, I said in my prosperity,DD
    “I shall neverEE be moved.”FF

Notes on verse 6

DD “prosperity” = shalu. 1x in OT. From shalah (to be quiet, safe, tranquil; can imply success or happiness; could also mean to deceive or be negligent). This is ease or security.
EE “never” = bal + olam. Bal is from balah (to grow old, wear out, consume, waste, enjoy, fail, decay). This is not, lest, neither. Properly, it refers to a failure, so it implies nothing or not at all. Olam is a long scope of time whether in the past (antiquity, ancient time) or in the future (eternal, everlasting).
FF “be moved” = mot. This is to shake, slip, falter, stagger, move, fall, give way, waver, be carried.

By your favor, O Lord,
    you had establishedGG me as a strongHH mountain;
you hidII your face;JJ
    I was dismayed.KK

Notes on verse 7

GG “established” = 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.
HH “strong” = oz. From azaz (to be strong, become fixed, be bold, prevail, be impudent; it means to be stout literally or figuratively. A Late Hebrew word). This is strength in the sense of force, majesty, praise, material and physical strength, the abstract notion of security. It can also speak of social or political power.
II “hid” = sathar. This is hide, conceal, or be absent. It is hiding because something is covered – used in a literal or figurative sense.
JJ “face” = paneh. From panah (to turn, face, appear). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.
KK “dismayed” = bahal. To be afraid or dismayed or amazed. This is deep trembling within. So, figuratively, it refers to being suddenly agitated. This implies moving or acting quickly/anxiously.

To you, O Lord, I cried,LL
    and to the LordMM I made supplication:NN

Notes on verse 8

LL “cried” = qara. This is to call or call out – to call someone by name. Also used more broadly for calling forth.
MM “Lord” = Adonai. From adon (lord, master, owner); root means to rule or be sovereign. This is the actual Hebrew word for Lord used (in a different form) of humans and (in the present form) of God. It means someone who is in control.
NN “made supplication” = chanan. This is to beseech, show favor, be gracious. Properly, it is to bend in kindness to someone with less status.

“What profitOO is there in my death,PP
    if I go down to the Pit?QQ

Notes on verse 9a

OO “profit” = betsa. From batsa (to break or cut off, to acquire violently, break ranks, greedy, fulfill; usually, it means to plunder). This is dishonest gain or gain from violence. It can also be plunder or profit.
PP “death” = dam. Perhaps from damam (to cease, be or become mute, silent, still, cut off, hold peace, be astonished, die). This is blood, bloodshed, bloodguilt, lifeblood, and death. It is used for people and animals. More often blood from a wound or the blood of the innocent. Used figuratively for violence or for wine. Closely tied to life and death.
QQ “Pit” = shachath. From shuach (to bow or sink down in a literal or figurative sense, humble). This is ditch, trap, grave, or hole. Figuratively, it could be destruction or corruption.

Will the dustRR praiseSS you?
    Will it tellTT of your faithfulness?UU

Notes on verse 9b

RR “dust” = aphar. Perhaps related to aphar (to throw dust, be dust). This is dust as powdered, perhaps gray colored. It could be ashes, powder, ground, dry earth, clay mud, or rubbish.
SS “praise” = yadah. Same as “give thanks” in v4. See note R above.
TT “tell” = nagad. This is to declare, make conspicuous, stand in front, manifest, predict, explain.
UU “faithfulness” = emet. From aman (to believe, endure, fulfill, confirm, support, be faithful, put one’s trust in, be steadfast. Figuratively, this is to be firm, steadfast, or faithful, trusting, believing, being permanent, morally solid). This is firmness or stability. Figuratively, it is faithfulness, truth, or trustworthiness. This is the same root that “amen” comes from.

10 Hear,VV O Lord, and be graciousWW to me!
    O Lord, be my helper!”XX

Notes on verse 10

VV “hear” = shama. This is to hear, call, consent, or consider. It implies listening intelligently, giving attention, and, because of these two factors, obedience and action are often implied.
WW “be gracious” = chanan. Same as “made supplication” in v8. See note NN above.
XX “helper” = azar. This is to surround, which implies encircling to protect someone or help them out. It can also be help, ally, or support.

11 You have turnedYY my mourningZZ into dancing;AAA

Notes on verse 11a

YY “turned” = haphak. This is to turn, overturn, change, return, turn over, pervert.
ZZ “mourning” = misped. 14x in OT. From saphad (to wail, mourn; properly, lamenting by tearing one’s hair and beating one’s chest; implies wailing). This is wailing and mourning.
AAA “dancing” = machol. 6x in OT. From chul (whirling around so dancing as in a circle or writhing in pain; used particularly for the pain of childbirth or from writhing due to fear; can also be falling in pain or waiting). This is a round dance.

    you have taken offBBB my sackclothCCC
    and clothedDDD me with joy,EEE

Notes on verse 11b

BBB “taken off” = patach. This is to open wide in a literal or figurative sense. So, it is open, draw out, let something go free, break forth. It can also mean to plow, engrave, or carve.
CCC “sackcloth” = saq. Perhaps from shaqaq (to run, rush; by implication having an appetite, seeking greedily). This is sack or sackcloth used as bags for grain and so on. Also worn during times or mourning or when seeking humility. The word “sack” in English is derived from this Semitic root.
DDD “clothed” = azar. 16x in OT. This is to encircle, bind, encompass, to belt or gird.
EEE “joy” = simchah. Related to “rejoice” in v1. From samach (see note I above). This is joy, rejoicing, pleasure, or glee.

12 so that my soulFFF may praiseGGG you and not be silent.HHH
    O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever.III

Notes on verse 12

FFF “soul” = kabod. From kabad (to be heavy, weighty, burdensome). This is weighty. Figuratively, glorious, abundant, riches, honor, splendor – a reference to one’s reputation or character. This word is often used to describe God and God’s presence.
GGG “praise” = zamar. Same as “sing praises” in v4. See note P above.
HHH “be silent” = damam. Perhaps related to “death” in v9. See note PP above.
III “forever” = olam. Same as “never” in v6. See note EE above.

Image credit: “Looking Up” by John Cleal, before 2007.

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