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1 FOR THE FIRST MUSICIAN, ON THE GITHITH :
A PSALM OF THE SONS OF KORAH.
HOW lovely are thy tabernacles, JEHOVAH
God of hosts!
The very sparrows find an abode, .
Happy they, who dwell in thy house,
JEHOVAH, God of hosts! hear my prayer :
Ver. 2. The Swallows. From a similarity of sound, the Hebrew word deror, or darur, is supposed to be the Arabic dururi ; which Forskal saw in Egypt. But as he gives not the Arabic name either in Arabic or Hebrew chara&ters, the sunilarity of sound is an unsure authority. I have therefore, with the antients, kept to the swallow, which we know builds in the walls of houses as well as the sparrow. For the rest, some interpreters, thinking it indecent that birds should nestle in the temple of God, have violently wrested the text to a different meaning: and our Green thus disposes of it: “ Even the sparrow findeth herself a house, and the ring-dove å nest, where the may lay her youngbut when shall I approach thy house and thy altars ?" A ftrange ellipsis this !-But temples of every fort have been every where the resort of certain birds: and the orientalists consider this so far from being a profanation, that they will not allow the nestlers to be disturbed.-Ver. 6, 7. These verses are to me altogether unintelligible in all the versions, that I have fecn. I have tried to make sense of them, without changing a single letter in the text; but only giving new, and I trust well founded meanings to three or four of them. But see C. R.
PSALM LXXXV.-al. LXXXIV. · Some are of opinion that this psalm was composed by Samuel, what time the Pbilistines oppressed the Israelites. But, with Venema, I would rather refer it to the times of the Maccabees. The title is,
FOR THE FIRST MUSICIAN: A PSALM BY I
THE SONS OF KORAH. THOU hast heretofore, Jehovah ! been favourable 2
to thy land :
thou hast reversed the captivity of Jacob :
Turn to us, also, thou God of our salvation:
I think I hear, what the God JEHOVAH will say:
Notes. . Dr. Kennicott fancied that the first three verses of this psalm are misplaced, and belong. to ps. 60. But he did not attend to the paucity of moods in Hebrew: which has no preter-perfect; but from contin
gency. The psalmist elegantly contrasts the former favours of God to his people, with his present seeming dereliction of them; and promises himself a return of the divine mercy.-The beauty of ver. 9. must strike every sensible reader. Indeed the whole psalm is beautiful.Ver. 14. There is here a relative without an antecedent : the text runs thus : “ Justice shall walk before him ;' without saying before wbom. Hence fome render, " the just man walks before him (i. e. God), and he (God) directeth his footsteps,” &c. Street : “ The just prospereth in his presence, because he placeth his footsteps in his way.” But neither of these can, I think, be the meaning. The meaning is well expreffed by the antient translator Symmachus; whose version I have followed. See C. R.
PSALM LXXXVI.—al. LXXXV. This psalm seems well to correspond with its title. It was probably composed by David, during bis persecution by Saul.
A PRAYER OF DAVID. INCLINE thine ear, JEHOVAH! hear me : for distressed and deftitute I am, Save my life-fince pious am I: save thou, my God, thy servant who trusteth in thee. Have pity on me, JEHOVAH ! for thee I daily invoke. Exhilarate the soul of thy servant, for to thee, Jehovah! my soul I raise. For, good and forgiving art thou, JEHOVAH; and full of mercy to all, who thee invoke. Give ear, Jehovah! to my prayer, and attend to my fupplications. In the day of my distress I thee invoke, because thou art wont to hear me. Among the gods, there is none like thee, Jehovab! 8 nor are there any works like thy works,
All the nations which thou hast made,..
PSALM LXXXVII.—al. LXXXVI. Wben, and by wbom, this psalm was composed, it is altogether, uncertain : I would refer it to the reign of Solomon. It is replete with strange difficulties, which I bave encountered, I fear, without success. But it was necessary to give some sense or other, or leave it altogether untranslated.