Psalms 81


לַמְנַצֵּחַ עַל־הַגִּתִּית לְאָסָף׃   81:1

Psal. 81:1   Asaph's, for the leader, on the gittith.

See Psal. 8:1 for more on the gittith.

הַרְנִינוּ לֵאלֹהִים עוּזֵּנוּ הָרִיעוּ לֵאלֹהֵי יַעֲקֹב׃   81:2

Psal. 81:2   Sing aloud to God, our Strength,

                              shout to the God of Jacob.

שְׂאוּ־זִמְרָה וּתְנוּ־תֹף כִּנּוֹר נָעִים עִם־נָבֶל׃   81:3

Psal. 81:3   Lift up the melody and produce the timbrel,

                              the sweet harp, with the psaltery.

תִּקְעוּ בַחֹדֶשׁ שׁוֹפָר בַּכֵּסֶה לְיוֹם חַגֵּנוּ׃   81:4

Psal. 81:4   Sound the horn on the new moon,

                              at the full moon for the day of our feast.

This verse supports the ordinances to sound the shofar at the start of a new month and at all the festivals.

כִּי חֹק לְיִשְׂרָאֵל הוּא מִשְׁפָּט לֵאלֹהֵי יַעֲקֹב׃   81:5

Psal. 81:5   For it is a statute for Israel,

                              an ordinance belonging to the God of Jacob,

עֵדוּת בִּיהוֹסֵף שָׂמוֹ בְּצֵאתוֹ עַל־אֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם שְׂפַת לֹא־יָדַעְתִּי אֶשְׁמָע׃   81:6

Psal. 81:6   a testimony with Joseph,

                              He appointed on His going forth against the land of Egypt,

                      speech I did not know I could hear:

The phrase a testimony with Joseph may be incorporating Joseph as another synonym for Israel.  In addition, the last line seems to be an introduction to the remaining verses of this psalm, which relate the speech of God that Asaph heard. 

הֲסִירוֹתִי מִסֵּבֶל שִׁכְמוֹ כַּפָּיו מִדּוּד תַּעֲבֹרְנָה׃   81:7

Psal. 81:7   "I removed his shoulder from the burden,

                               his hands could be freed from the basket.”

The Lord uses the pronouns he and his as referring to Israel (or Jacob or Joseph).

בַּצָּרָה קָרָאתָ וָאֲחַלְּצֶךָּ אֶעֶנְךָ בְּסֵתֶר רַעַם אֶבְחָנְךָ עַל־מֵי מְרִיבָה סֶלָה׃   81:8

Psal. 81:8   “Amid trouble, you called that I should rescue you,

                               would answer you in the secret place of thunder.

                      I would test you by the waters of Meribah.”            Selah.

שְׁמַע עַמִּי וְאָעִידָה בָּךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל אִם־תִּשְׁמַע־לִי׃   81:9

Psal. 81:9   “Hear, My people, and I will testify to you:

                                Israel, if you would have listened to Me,

לֹא־יִהְיֶה בְךָ אֵל זָר וְלֹא תִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה לְאֵל נֵכָר׃   81:10

Psal. 81:10   there would not be a strange god with you,

                                and you would not bow down to a foreign god.”

אָנֹכִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ הַמַּעַלְךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם הַרְחֶב־פִּיךָ וַאֲמַלְאֵהוּ׃   81:11

Psal. 81:11   “I am the Lord, your God,

                               Who brought you out from the land of Egypt.

                       Would you open your mouth that I may fill it?”

וְלֹא־שָׁמַע עַמִּי לְקוֹלִי וְיִשְׂרָאֵל לֹא־אָבָה לִי׃   81:12

Psal. 81:12   “But My people did not listen to My voice,

                                and Israel did not yield to Me.”

וָאֲשַׁלְּחֵהוּ בִּשְׁרִירוּת לִבָּם יֵלְכוּ בְּמוֹעֲצוֹתֵיהֶם׃   81:13

Psal. 81:13   “So I let it go to the stubbornness of their heart;

                                they would go with their own counsels.”

לוּ עַמִּי שֹׁמֵעַ לִי יִשְׂרָאֵל בִּדְרָכַי יְהַלֵּכוּ׃   81:14

Psal. 81:14   “If only My people had listened to Me,

                                 Israel would be walking in My ways.”

כִּמְעַט אוֹיְבֵיהֶם אַכְנִיעַ וְעַל צָרֵיהֶם אָשִׁיב יָדִי׃   81:15

Psal. 81:15   “Soon I would have subdued their enemies,

                                 and drawn back My “hand” against their foes.”

מְשַׂנְאֵי יְהוָה יְכַחֲשׁוּ־לוֹ וִיהִי עִתָּם לְעוֹלָם׃   81:16

Psal. 81:16   “The haters of the Lord would have been denied to him,

                                 and it would have been their season forever.”

וַיַּאֲכִילֵהוּ מֵחֵלֶב חִטָּה וּמִצּוּר דְּבַשׁ אַשְׂבִּיעֶךָ׃   81:17

Psal. 81:17   “And He would have fed him from the fat of the wheat,

                                 and from a rock I would have given you honey in excess.”


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