On Psalm 50—Part 2

(Ps 50:7) Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee: I am God, even thy God.

(Ps 50:8)MKJV I will not reprove you for your sacrifices; yea, your burnt offerings are continually before Me.

Literally, the word for "yea" is "and". It could be interpreted with the meaning of "also, in addition".

(Ps 50:9) I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he goats out of thy folds.
(Ps 50:10) For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.

The Hebrew word for "hills" means also "mountains". Moreover, note that the Hebrew word בהמה "cattle" appears in verse 10. While this word is often used to denote cattle, it can refer also to all animals, as in 1Ki 4:33 (5:13); it clearly denotes animals that are not cattle in De 28:26, 32:34 and 1Sa 17:44. Considering these facts, since the first half of Ps 50:10 speaks about the beasts of the field, it would appear that the word בהמה in the second part of this verse refers also to all animals, not just to cattle. Now, there are verses of the Bible which state that everything belongs to the Lord, such as Ps 24:1. However, one might not be able to comprehend how much "everything" denotes. Perhaps Ps 50:10 says "the cattle upon a thousand hills" instead of "the cattle on every hill" in order to help the hearers get a sense of how much God has. If so, the focus is not on what God has but on how much he has.

(Ps 50:11) I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.

The word זיז translated above "wild beasts" is used rarely in the Old Testament and there are a few different views concerning its meaning. It has been translated also "moving creatures" and "insects". Since beasts are already mentioned in Ps 50:10 and birds in Ps 50:11, understanding זיז to denote a different type of creatures, the meaning "insects" would seem to fit well. Now, the Hebrew word for "mine" means "with me". This would emphasize that the Lord is mindful even of the least of his creatures, that he is close to the entire creation and knows it perfectly.

(Ps 50:12) If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.
(Ps 50:13) Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?

The word translated "bulls" has been used in various contexts. In the context of animals, the word has been used for stallions (Jdg 5:22, Jer 8:16, Jer 47:3) and bulls (Is 34:7, Ps 68:30). The word is an adjective meaning "mighty". Since Ps 50:13 is in the context of the sacrifices prescribed by the law, the word should be translated indeed "bulls".

(Ps 50:14) Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:
(Ps 50:15) And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.
(Ps 50:16) But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth?

Literally, Ps 50:16 could be translated "And unto the wicked God saith, What is it to thee to recount my statutes? And thou takest my covenant in thy mouth". The expectation was that one in covenant with God would set his heart on all the words of the law (De 32:46). However, a wicked person is likely to ignore God's statutes. If he does consider them, his motives are questionable. He is not in covenant with God.

(Ps 50:17) Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee.

Literally, the verse says "And thou hatest correction, and castest my words behind thee". The verse uses the word מוסר "correction, discipline, chastening", which appears also in various other passages. For example, the word appears in Pr 3:11, where it is translated "chastening": "My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction". As we could see also from Ps 50:17, we are not to be like those who hate chastening. Rather, when facing chastening, we are to examine ourselves and correct our course. "Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee" (Pr 9:8). Moreover, we are not to be weary when facing chastening (Heb 12:3-13). Rather, we are to be zealous to correct our course. "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent" (Rev 3:19).

(Ps 50:18)Darby When thou sawest a thief, thou didst take pleasure in him, and thy portion was with adulterers;

(Ps 50:19)KJV Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit.

Literally, the beginning of Ps 50:19 is "Thou sendest thy mouth ... ". The word for "mouth" is sometimes used figuratively, as denoting spoken words and commands. For example, consider Ge 41:40, Nu 3:16, Nu 22:18, De 17:11, De 21:5, Job 33:6, and Ps 55:22. Thus, the first part of verse Ps 50:19 refers to words and commands spoken with evil intent.

(Ps 50:20) Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother's son.

Related to verse 20 is Ps 119:23: "Princes also did sit and speak against me ... ". Now, an alternative translation of Ps 50:20 is "Thou sittest against thy brother. Thou speakest against thine own mother's son. Thou slanderest."

(Ps 50:21) These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.
(Ps 50:22) Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.

The verb translated "consider" is described by the meanings "to discern, understand, consider". The fact that the Lord desires the wicked to repent is stated also in other passages. "Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live" (Eze 33:11). "I say unto you ... joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance" (Lk 15:7). Thus, all are invited all to glorify God.

(Ps 50:23) Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.

"Offer" in Ps 50:14 and "offereth" in Ps 50:23 come from the same Hebrew verb. When used with the meaning "to offer", the verb refers to offering a sacrifice. Moreover, "thanksgiving" in Ps 50:14 and "praise" in Ps 50:23 correspond to the same Hebrew word. Thus, this psalm emphasizes that we should offer to God sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving. As stated in Ps 50:23, the Lord appreciates the sacrifices of praise to God (Ps 50:23). However, "the sacrifice of the wicked is abomination" (Pr 21:27) and "He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination" (Pr 28:29). Nonetheless, after one repents, he will be able to offer an acceptable sacrifice of praise to God.

A more literal translation of Ps 50:23 is "Whoever offers praise glorifies me and sets up a way. I will show him the salvation God". We could reason that the way a person sets for himself is the way of understanding (Pr 9:6, Pr 21:16, Is 40:14, Ps 119:27, 30, 32, 33). If not already saved, that person will be saved, for "I will show him the salvation God". In his saved condition that person will also know the Lord, for knowledge about God's salvation implies knowledge about God. "Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation" (Is 12:2)ESV. "All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him" (Mt 11:27). "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God" (Mt 5:8).

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