Psalms 50


מִזְמוֹר לְאָסָף אֵל אֱלֹהִים יְהוָה דִּבֶּר וַיִּקְרָא־אָרֶץ מִמִּזְרַח־שֶׁמֶשׁ עַד־מְבֹאוֹ׃   50:1

Psal. 50:1   A psalm of Asaph’s:

                     God, O God! The Lord speaks and calls the earth

                              from the rising of the sun until its going.

From 1Chronicles, it is believed that Asaph was a contemporary of David’s.  He was apparently known for his musical skill.  He was one of the men selected to oversee the musical arrangements when David brought the ark to the City of David.  His name is also mentioned in the superscription of eleven other psalms.  In this verse the psalmist is telling us that God’s message comes to us all day long -- all during our waking hours, so to speak.  Despite all this, however, we will learn in Psalm 74 that either there are two different Asaphs or this Asaph lived long after David was gone.

                                                                                                                                [Return to Psal. 73:1]

מִצִּיּוֹן מִכְלַל־יֹפִי אֱלֹהִים הוֹפִיעַ׃   50:2

Psal. 50:2   From Zion, the perfection of beauty,

                              God shines forth.

יָבֹא אֱלֹהֵינוּ וְאַל־יֶחֱרַשׁ אֵשׁ־לְפָנָיו תֹּאכֵל וּסְבִיבָיו נִשְׂעֲרָה מְאֹד׃   50:3

Psal. 50:3   Our God shall come and He will not be silent;

                              before Him a fire shall devour,

                      and all about Him, very stormy.

יִקְרָא אֶל־הַשָּׁמַיִם מֵעָל וְאֶל־הָאָרֶץ לָדִין עַמּוֹ׃   50:4

Psal. 50:4   He will call to the heavens above

                               and to the earth to judge His people:

אִסְפוּ־לִי חֲסִידָי כֹּרְתֵי בְרִיתִי עֲלֵי־זָבַח׃   50:5

Psal. 50:5   “Gather to me My pious,

                                makers of My covenant,

                      offerers of sacrifice.”

It looks as if God is asking that all His faithful followers hear this message.  But He is being facetious, calling them His “pious.”  Now move forward three verses ....

וַיַּגִּידוּ שָׁמַיִם צִדְקוֹ כִּי־אֱלֹהִים שֹׁפֵט הוּא סֶלָה׃   50:6

Psal. 50:6   And the heavens shall declare His righteousness.

                               For God, He is Judge.            Selah.

שִׁמְעָה עַמִּי וַאֲדַבֵּרָה יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאָעִידָה בָּךְ אֱלֹהִים אֱלֹהֶיךָ אָנֹכִי׃   50:7

Psal. 50:7   “Hear, My people, and I will speak,

                               Israel, that I may testify to you:

                     God, your God, am I.”

לֹא עַל־זְבָחֶיךָ אוֹכִיחֶךָ וְעוֹלֹתֶיךָ לְנֶגְדִּי תָמִיד׃   50:8

Psal. 50:8   “Not because of your sacrifices shall I convict you,

                                as your burnt offerings are continually before Me.”

The Lord is being facetious in this verse.  The Lord is addressing his “faithful followers” here, those who observe His ritual commandments but ignore those regarding their relationships with their brothers and with Him.  See below, v. 16ff.

לֹא־אֶקַּח מִבֵּיתְךָ פָר מִמִּכְלְאֹתֶיךָ עַתּוּדִים׃   50:9

Psal. 50:9   “I will not take a bullock from your house,

                                 rams from your folds.”

כִּי־לִי כָל־חַיְתוֹ־יָעַר בְּהֵמוֹת בְּהַרְרֵי־אָלֶף׃   50:10

Psal. 50:10   “For all the animals of the forest are Mine,

                                 cattle on a thousand hills.”

יָדַעְתִּי כָּל־עוֹף הָרִים וְזִיז שָׂדַי עִמָּדִי׃   50:11

Psal. 50:11   “I know every fowl of the mountains,

                                 and wild creatures of the field are with Me.”

אִם־אֶרְעַב לֹא־אֹמַר לָךְ כִּי־לִי תֵבֵל וּמְלֹאָהּ׃   50:12

Psal. 50:12   “If I were hungry, I would not speak to you;

                                  for the world and its fullness are Mine.”

הַאוֹכַל בְּשַׂר אַבִּירִים וְדַם עַתּוּדִים אֶשְׁתֶּה׃   50:13

Psal. 50:13   “Need I eat the flesh of sacrificed animals

                                  or drink the blood of he-goats?”

זְבַח לֵאלֹהִים תּוֹדָה וְשַׁלֵּם לְעֶלְיוֹן נְדָרֶיךָ׃   50:14

Psal. 50:14   “Offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving to God,

                                  and complete your vows to the Most High.”

In light of the message of the preceding six verses, I believe that God is telling us here, through the mouth of the psalmist, that the sacrifice of thanksgiving is not that of an animal.  It is a personal “sacrifice” of our recognizing and acknowledging His goodness to us and our honoring Him

וּקְרָאֵנִי בְּיוֹם צָרָה אֲחַלֶּצְךָ וּתְכַבְּדֵנִי׃   50:15

Psal. 50:15   “And call upon Me in a time of trouble;

                                  I will deliver you and you will honor Me.”

-- and our recognizing and knowing that He is our salvation.

וְלָרָשָׁע אָמַר אֱלֹהִים מַה־לְּךָ לְסַפֵּר חֻקָּי וַתִּשָּׂא בְרִיתִי עֲלֵי־פִיךָ׃   50:16

Psal. 50:16   But to a wicked one says God,

                                “What purpose is it to you to relate My statutes,

                        or you sustain My covenant with your mouth,

וְאַתָּה שָׂנֵאתָ מוּסָר וַתַּשְׁלֵךְ דְּבָרַי אַחֲרֶיךָ׃   50:17

Psal. 50:17   as you hate correction

                                 and toss My words behind you?”

אִם־רָאִיתָ גַנָּב וַתִּרֶץ עִמּוֹ וְעִם מְנָאֲפִים חֶלְקֶךָ׃   50:18

Psal. 50:18   “When you see a thief,

                                  then you are pleased with him,

                        and your portion is with adulterers.”

פִּיךָ שָׁלַחְתָּ בְרָעָה וּלְשׁוֹנְךָ תַּצְמִיד מִרְמָה׃   50:19

Psal. 50:19   “You let your mouth loose to evil,

                                  that your tongue may contrive deceit.”

תֵּשֵׁב בְּאָחִיךָ תְדַבֵּר בְּבֶן־אִמְּךָ תִּתֶּן־דֹּפִי׃   50:20

Psal. 50:20   You could sit,

                                  you might speak against your brother;

                        to the son of your own mother you would ascribe fault.

אֵלֶּה עָשִׂיתָ וְהֶחֱרַשְׁתִּי דִּמִּיתָ הֱיוֹת־אֶהְיֶה כָמוֹךָ אוֹכִיחֲךָ וְאֶעֶרְכָה לְעֵינֶיךָ׃   50:21

Psal. 50:21   “These things you do.

                                  And should I be silent?

                        You think I must be altogether like you.

                                   I will correct you,

                        as I compare for your eyes.”

בִּינוּ־נָא זֹאת שֹׁכְחֵי אֱלוֹהַּ פֶּן־אֶטְרֹף וְאֵין מַצִּיל׃   50:22

Psal. 50:22   “Now consider this:  Ignoring God?

                                  Beware, I could rend,

                        and there would be no deliverer.”

After employing singular second-person pronouns until this verse, the Lord suddenly switches in this one verse to plural.  According to me, He has been speaking to the “audience” as a body, thus implying that not everyone was guilty.  Now He addresses each individual with this warning.  We each must consider this as being personally for us.

זֹבֵחַ תּוֹדָה יְכַבְּדָנְנִי וְשָׂם דֶּרֶךְ אַרְאֶנּוּ בְּיֵשַׁע אֱלֹהִים׃   50:23

Psal. 50:23   “The offerer of a sacrifice of thanksgiving would bring honor to Me

                                  that he would set a path.

What a powerful message this psalm delivers!  A beautiful meaningful echo of the prophets!


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