Psalm 43:3-4

Psalm 43:3-4
Narrative Lectionary 134


O send outA your lightB and your truth;C
    let them leadD me;

Notes on verse 3a

A “send out” = shalach. This is to send out, away, send for, forsake. It can also mean to divorce or set a slave free.
B “light” = or. From or (to be or become light). This is light, sun, sunshine, dawn, or daylight. Figuratively, it can refer to light from instruction, light of a face (that is to say one that is cheerful or finds favor). It can refer to prosperity or salvation; a light that guides, a light eternal from Zion.
C “truth” = 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.
D “lead” = 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.”

let them bringE me to your holyF hillG
    and to your dwelling.H

Notes on verse 3b

E “bring” = bo. This is to enter, come in, advance, fulfill, bring offerings, enter to worship, attack. It can also have a sexual connotation.
F “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.
G “hill” = har. From harar (hill or mountain). This is mountain, hill, hilly region.
H “dwelling” = mishkan. From shakan (to settle down in the sense of residing somewhere or staying there permanently; to abide or continue). This is a place where one lives – a tabernacle, tent, or other kind of dwelling. It can also be a lair where animals live, the grave, the Temple, or the Tabernacle.

Then I will goI to the altarJ of God,K
    to GodL my exceedingM joy,N

Notes on verse 4a

I “go” = bo. Same as “bring” in v3. See note E above.
J “altar” = mizbeach. From zabach (to kill, slay, offer; slaughtering an animal to offer as a sacrifice). This is an altar.
K “God” = Elohim.
L “God” = El. Related to “God” in v4. See note K above.
M “exceeding” = simchat. From samach (to rejoice, be glad; properly, to brighten up; also used figuratively). This is joy, rejoicing, or pleasure.
N “joy” = gil. 9x in OT. From gil (properly, twirling around because of a strong feeling – whether of rejoicing or from fear; to rejoice, be glad or joyful, to cry). This is circle, rejoicing, or age.

and I will praiseO you with the harp,P
    O God,Q my God.R

Notes on verse 4b

O “praise” = 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.
P “harp” = kinnor. Root may be to twang. This is a lyre or harp.
Q “God” = Elohim. Same as “God” in v4. See note K above.
R “God” = Elohim. Same as “God” in v4. See note K above.

Image credit: “Abstract Flame” by Pup, 2008.

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