Psalm 62

Psalm 62


To the leader:A according to Jeduthun.B A PsalmC of David.D

Notes on superscript

A “leader” = natsach. Properly, something that glitters from a distance. So, something that stands out, excels, has status/standing (such as a chief musician or superintendent of Temple services). This can also mean to be permanent or enduring.
B “Jeduthun” = Yeduthun. 17x in OT. From yadah (to throw one’s hands into the air in a gesture of praise, to give thanks, or make a confession); from yad (hand, ability, power; hand in a literal sense; what one can do or the means by which one does it). This is Jeduthun or Yeduthun, meaning “laudatory.” He was a temple choir leader.
C “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.
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.”

For GodE aloneF my soulG waits in silence;H
    from him comes my salvation.I

Notes on verse 1

E “God” = Elohim.
F “alone” = ak. Related to aken (surely, truly, nevertheless); from kun (properly, in a perpendicular position; literally, to establish, fix, fasten, prepare; figuratively, it is certainty, to be firm, faithfulness, render sure or prosperous). This is a positive statement – surely, also, certainly, alone, only.
G “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.
H “silence” = dumiyyah. 4x in OT. From the same as dumah (silence). This is silence or stillness. Figuratively, it could be trust or death.
I “salvation” = yeshuah. From 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). This is salvation, deliverance, health, victory, prosperity.

He alone is my rockJ and my salvation,
    my fortress;K I shall never be shaken.L, M

Notes on verse 2

J “rock” = tsur. From tsur (to confine, cramp, or bind in a literal or figurative sense; to besiege, assault, or distress). This is rock, tone, cliff, boulder, rocky. It can also be a refuge, a way to refer to God.
K “fortress” = misgab. 17x in OT. From sagab (raise, lifted, high, secure on high, excellent, strong; literal and figurative). This is a high or inaccessible location. Abstractly, it can be altitude. Concretely it is a cliff or height. Figuratively, it is a refuge or stronghold – a high fort or tower. There is also a place called Misgab in Moab.
L “shaken” = mot. This is to shake, slip, falter, stagger, move, fall, give way, waver, be carried.
M {untranslated} = 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.

How long will you assailN a person,O
    will you batter your victim,P all of you,

Notes on verse 3a

N “assail” = hathath. 1x in OT. From yathar (to jut over, remain behind, preserve, to excel). This is to break over onto, assail.
O “person” = ish. Perhaps from enosh (human, humankind, mortal); from anash (to be weak, sick, or frail). This is man, husband, another, or humankind.
P “batter your victim” = ratsach. Properly, this is to dash something to pieces. It is to kill a person, but it is used particularly (though not exclusively) for murder.

    as you would a leaningQ wall,R a totteringS fence?T

Notes on verse 3b

Q “leaning” = natah. This is to stretch or spread out, to extend, or bend. In can also imply moral deflection.
R “wall” = qir. Perhaps from qur (to dig, destroy, wall up). This is a wall, ceiling, surface, mason, or town.
S “tottering” = dachah. 11x in OT. This is to push down, drive, thrust, totter, trip, or chase. It can also mean to overthrow or refer to an outcast as one has been pushed down/overthrown.
T “fence” = gader. 11x in OT. From gadar (to build a wall or wall off, mason, repair, hedge, enclose; to wall in or wall around). This is any kind of enclosure – wall, fence, or hedge.

Their onlyU planV is to bring downW a person of prominence.X
    They take pleasureY in falsehood;Z

Notes on verse 4a

U “only” = ak. Same as “alone” in v1. See note F above.
V “plan” = yaats. This is to advise, counsel, consult, decide, plan, purpose, or determine. It can also have a negative sense of conspire or devise.
W “bring down” = nadach. This is scatter, seduce, banish, draw away, drive away, outcast, scatter. It means to push off in a literal or figurative sense so it could also be mislead, inflict, or withdraw.
X “prominence” = seeth. 14x in OT. From nasa (to lift in a broad sense, literally and figuratively; to carry, take, or arise; to bring forth, advance, accept). This is elevation, swelling, elation, dignity, being accepted.
Y “take pleasure” = ratsah. This is to be pleased with, delight, take pleasure in, or accept with favor. It can mean to approve or consent regarding something. It can also be used specifically of satisfying debts or being pardoned.
Z “falsehood” = kazab. From kazab (to lie, be false or in vain, to fail; to deceive in a literal or figurative sense). This is a lie or deception. It can also be used figuratively to refer to an idol.

they blessAA with their mouths,BB
    but inwardlyCC they curse.DD SelahEE

Notes on verse 4b

AA “bless” = 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.
BB “mouths” = 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.
CC “inwardly” = qereb. Perhaps from qarab (to come near or approach). This is among, in the midst, before, the center It is the inward part, whether literal or figurative. It can also be used for the heart, the site of thoughts and feelings. This word is also used as a technical term for the entrails of the animals who are sacrificed.
DD “curse” = qalal. This is to be little, insignificant, swift. It can also mean to bring down in esteem, create contempt, curse.
EE “Selah” = selah. From salal (to lift up, build, pile, extol, exalt; can also be used for opposing as a dam holds back water). This is to lift up or exalt. Also, “selah” in the psalms where its precise meaning is uncertain. It could be a pause in the music, a moment of silence. It could signal a change in the service or mean something akin to amen.

For God alone my soul waits in silence,FF
    for my hopeGG is from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my deliveranceHH and my honor;II
    my mightyJJ rock, my refugeKK is in God.

Notes on verses 5-7

FF “waits in silence” = damam. This is to cease, be or become mute, silent, still, cut off, hold peace, be astonished, or die.
GG “hope” = tiqvah. From qavah (to wait, look, gather together, bind together, collect; figuratively, to expect). This is literally a cord used to attach things. Figuratively, it’s expectation, hope, what you long for.
HH “deliverance” = yesha. Related to “salvation” in v1. From yasha (see note I above). This is salvation, deliverance, rescue, safety, welfare, liberty.
II “honor” = 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.
JJ “mighty” = 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.
KK “refuge” = machaseh. From chasah (to take refuge or flee for protection; figuratively, to hope or trust in someone or something). This is a shelter in a literal or figurative sense. It is refuge or place of refuge. It could also be hope or trust.

TrustLL in him at all times,MM O people;NN

Notes on verse 8a

LL “trust” = batach. This is to hide for refuge, be secure or sure. Figuratively, it refers to trust, being confident, or hoping.
MM “times” = et. Probably from anah (to answer, sing, announce); from ad (forever, all, old); from adah (to pass on, advance, decorate oneself). This is a period or season. It can also mean whenever or continually.
NN “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.

    pour outOO your heartPP beforeQQ him;
    God is a refuge for us. Selah

Notes on verse 8b

OO “pour out” = 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.
PP “heart” = lebab. 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.
QQ “before” = 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.

Those of low estateRR are butSS a breath,TT
    those of high estateUU are a delusion;VV

Notes on verse 9a

RR “those of low estate” = ben + adam. Literally “sons of mortals.” Ben 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.
SS “but” = ak. Same as “alone” in v1. See note F above.
TT “breath” = hebel. This is emptiness, vapor, breath. It can refer to something that is fleeting or futile, worthless or a delusion. Something that is passing and so does not satisfy. This is related to the root for the name “Abel.”
UU “those of high estate” = ben + ish. Literally “sons of men.” Ben is the same as “those of low estate” in v9. See note RR above. Ish is the same as “person” in v3. See note O above.
VV “delusion” = kazab. Same as “falsehood” in v4. See note Z above.

in the balancesWW they go up;XX
    they are togetherYY lighter than a breath.

Notes on verse 9b

WW “balances” = mozen. 15x in OT. From azan (to weigh, prove, ponder, test). This is balances or scales.
XX “go up” = alah. This is to go up, approach, ascend, be high, be a priority; to arise in a literal or figurative sense.
YY “together” = yachad. From yachad (to join, be united). This is a unit, both, altogether, unitedness, alike.

10 Put no confidenceZZ in extortion,AAA
    and set no vain hopesBBB on robbery;CCC
    if richesDDD increase,EEE do not set your heart on them.

Notes on verse 10

ZZ “put…confidence” = batach. Same as “trust” in v8. See note LL above.
AAA “extortion” = osheq. 15x in OT. From ashaq (to wrong, deceive, violate, or use oppression). This is oppression or extortion – it is acquiring something fraudulently, unjust gain.
BBB “set…vain hopes” = habal. Related to “breath” in v9. 5x in OT.  See note TT above.
CCC “robbery” = gazel. 4x in OT. From gazal (to snatch, take violently, seize, tear away; to flay or rob). This is robbery, plunder – taking something by violence.
DDD “riches” = chayil. From chul (to be firm, strong, prosperous; to endure). This is strength, wealth, ability, activity. It can refer to soldier or a company of soldiers as well as goods. It is a force of people, means, or goods. It can speak of valor, virtue, or strength.
EEE “increase” = nub. 4x in OT. This is to bear fruit, increase, flourish. It can also be used for speaking words.

11 Once God has spoken;FFF
    twice have I heardGGG this:
that powerHHH belongs to God,

Notes on verse 11

FFF “spoken” = dabar. This is generally to speak, answer, declare, or command. It might mean to arrange and so to speak in a figurative sense as arranging words.
GGG “heard” = 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.
HHH “power” = oz. Same as “mighty” in v7. See note JJ above.

12     and steadfast loveIII belongs to you, O Lord.JJJ
For you repayKKK to allLLL
    according to their work.MMM

Notes on verse 12

III “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.
JJJ “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.
KKK “repay” = shalam. This is to be complete or sound – to have safety mentally, physically, or extending to one’s estate. So, if these things are safe and complete, the implication is that one would be friendly; and, if being friendly, one would make amends and that friendship would be reciprocated. This is the root verb that “shalom” comes from, the Hebrew word for peace.
LLL “all” = ish. Same as “person” in v3. See note O above.
MMM “work” = maaseh. 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.

Image credit: “Dead Sea Colors” by Karolina Lubryczynska, 2014.

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