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Psalm 92

STROPHE DIVISIONS OF MODERN TRANSLATIONS

NASB NKJV NRSV TEV NJB
Praise for The Lord's Goodness
 MT Intro
A Psalm, a Song for the Sabbath day.
Praise to the Lord for His Love and Faithfulness Thanksgiving After Deliverance From Personal Enemies A Song of Praise The Song of the Upright
92:1-4 92:1-4 92:1-4 92:1-4 92:1-3
        92:4-6
92:5-9 92:5-7 92:5-9 92:5-8  
        92:7-8
  92:8-9   92:9-11 92:9-11
92:10-15 92:10-11 92:10-11    
  92:12-15 92:12-15 92:12-15 92:12-13
        92:14-15

READING CYCLE THREE (see "Guide to Good Bible Reading")

FOLLOWING THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR'S INTENT AT PARAGRAPH LEVEL

This is a study guide commentary which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

Read the chapter in one sitting. Identify the subjects (reading cycle #3). Compare your subject divisions with the five translations above. Paragraphing is not inspired, but it is the key to following the original author's intent, which is the heart of interpretation. Every paragraph has one and only one subject.

1. First paragraph

2. Second paragraph

3. Etc.

 

CONTEXTUAL INSIGHTS

A. This Psalm uses agricultural growth words, as in Ps. 1:3, to describe one's spiritual life.

1. negatively

a. the wicked sprout up like grass, Ps. 92:7

b. all who did iniquity flourished, Ps. 92:7

2. positively

a. the righteous man will flourish, Ps. 92:12

b. he will grow, Ps. 92:12

c. planted in the house of the Lord, Ps. 92:13

d. they will flourish in the courts of our God, Ps. 92:13

e. they will still yield fruit in old age, Ps. 92:14

f. they will be full of sap and very green, Ps. 92:14 

B. There is a recurrent use of words beginning with פ.

1. sprouted (lit. "bud"), Ps. 92:7 - BDB 827, KB 965

2. did flourish, Ps. 92:7 - BDB 821, KB 950

3. scattered (lit. "be divided"), Ps. 92:9 - BDB 825, KB 962

4. all who do iniquity, Ps. 92:9 - BDB 821, KB 950

5. flourish (lit. "bud"), Ps. 92:12 - BDB same as #1

6. flourish (lit. "bud") - same as #1

C. There are no prayer requests (i.e., imperatives, jussives, cohortatives), just statements to the works of God.

1. His character, Ps. 92:2,15

2. His works

a. creation, Ps. 92:5

b. justice, Ps. 92:6-9

c. blessings, Ps. 92:10-14

 

WORD AND PHRASE STUDY

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 92:1-4
 1It is good to give thanks to the Lord
 And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;
 2To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning
 And Your faithfulness by night,
 3With the ten-stringed lute and with the harp,
 With resounding music upon the lyre.
 4For You, O Lord, have made me glad by what You have done,
 I will sing for joy at the works of Your hands.

92:1-4 This strophe emphasizes praise. Notice the recurrent references to music.

1. verbs

a. give thanks, Ps. 92:1 - BDB 392, KB 389, Hiphil infinitive construct

b. sing praises, Ps. 92:1 - BDB 274, KB 273, Piel infinitive construct

c. make glad, Ps. 92:4 - BDB 970, KB 1333, Piel perfect

d. sing for joy, Ps. 92:4 - BDB 943, KB 1247, Piel imperfect

2. musical instruments (a. may define b. and, therefore, refer to only two instruments, cf. Ps. 33:2; 144:9)

a. ten-stringed lute, Ps. 92:3 - BDB 797

b. harp, Ps. 92:3 - BDB 614 II

c. lyre, Ps. 92:3 - BDB 490 (b. and c. are both mentioned in Ps. 57:8)

 

92:1 "Most High" See note at Psalm 91:1.

92:2 This Psalm begins with three infinitive constructs.

1. give thanks

2. sing praises

3. declare - BDB 616, KB 665, Hiphil

Notice that number 3, "declare," also closes (inclusio) the Psalm at Ps. 92:15. The declaration involves

1. YHWH's lovingkindness, Ps. 92:2 (see Special Topic: Lovingkindness [hesed])

2. YHWH's faithfulness, Ps. 92:2 (cf. Ps. 33:4; 143:1, see Special Topic: Believe, Trust, Faith and Faithfulness in the OT)

3. YHWH's uprightness, Ps. 92:15 (see Special Topic: Righteousness)

4. YHWH's stability and strength (lit. "He is my rock"), Ps. 92:15

5. YHWH's perfect character (lit. "there is no unrighteousness in Him," cf. Rom. 9:11; James 1:17), Ps. 92:15

 

▣ "morning. . .night" These are parallel and are idiomatic for "always." The other option is that they reflect the times of the daily sacrifice (i.e., 9 a.m., 3 p.m. in the temple and, therefore, have a liturgical emphasis.

92:4 "what You have done" The two poetic lines of Ps. 92:4 repeat this thought (i.e., Psalm 1, i.e., "The Two Ways," cf. Deut. 30:15,19). YHWH's work is

1. the destruction of the wicked, Ps. 92:5-9 (esp. Ps. 92:5a)

2. the blessing of the righteous, Ps. 92:10-15

 

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 92:5-9
 5How great are Your works, O Lord!
 Your thoughts are very deep.
 6A senseless man has no knowledge,
 Nor does a stupid man understand this:
 7That when the wicked sprouted up like grass
 And all who did iniquity flourished,
 It was only that they might be destroyed forevermore.
 8But You, O Lord, are on high forever.
 9For, behold, Your enemies, O Lord,
 For, behold, Your enemies will perish;
 All who do iniquity will be scattered.

92:5-9 This strophe focuses on YHWH's activity toward

1. a senseless man, Ps. 92:6a - BDB 35 construct BDB 129

2. a stupid man, Ps. 92:6b - BDB 493, both #1 and #2 are used in Ps. 49:10; 94:8

3. the wicked, Ps. 92:7a - BDB 957

4. he who does iniquity, Ps. 92:7b

5. YHWH's enemies, Ps. 92:9 (twice) - BDB 33, Qal participle

They are characterized as

1. having no knowledge

2. flourishing in this fallen world

3. ultimately and permanently being destroyed (this is what the senseless and stupid do not understand)

YHWH is characterized as

1. having great works

2. deep thoughts (Qal of BDB 770 only here)

3. on high forever

4. Ps. 92:15 is the praise due YHWH's faithful acts toward His faithful followers

 

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 92:10-15
 10But You have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox;
 I have been anointed with fresh oil.
 11And my eye has looked exultantly upon my foes,
 My ears hear of the evildoers who rise up against me.
 12The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree,
 He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
 13Planted in the house of the Lord,
 They will flourish in the courts of our God.
 14They will still yield fruit in old age;
 They shall be full of sap and very green,
 15To declare that the Lord is upright;
 He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

92:10-15 This strophe focuses on YHWH's activities toward the righteous man (Ps. 92:12). Note His activities on their behalf.

1. exalted his horn

2. anointed with fresh oil

3. would flourish like the palm

4. would grow like the cedar

5. planted in YHWH's temple (cf. Ps. 52:8)

6. would flourish in YHWH's courts (cf. Ps. 65:4; 84:10; 135:2)

7. would yield fruit in old age

8. full of sap and very green

9. know YHWH is his rock and He is perfectly just

The rabbis interpreted this strophe as referring to an eschatological setting. This may be right (cf. Ps. 92:7c).

92:10 "the wild ox" The LXX translated the Hebrew term BDB 910, ראם, as "unicorn," which was followed by the King James Version. NKJV changes it to "wild ox."

This word is uncertain (KB 1163).

1. wild bull (Akkadian root)

2. wild buffalo

3. white antelope (Arabic root)

4. oryx (Targums)

5. rhinoceros (Vulgate)

 

NASB, NKJV"I have been anointed"
NRSV"you have poured over me"
TEV"you have blessed me"
NJB"you anoint me"
JPSOA"I am soaked"
LXX"my old age"
Peshitta"I will be anointed"

The verb (BDB 117, KB 134, Qal perfect) usually means "to mix" or "to confuse"; only here does it denote an anointing. This meaning possibly comes from an Arabic root, "to moisten." The UBS Text Project (p. 363) gives "I am moistened" a "B" (some doubt) rating.

92:11 If this Psalm reflects the praise of a King of Israel (LXX says David and "anointed," cf. Ps. 91:10b), then this verse may refer to a plot to overthrow the monarchy, which was discovered.

92:13 "planted" This verb (BDB 1060, KB 1570, Qal passive participle) means "transplanted" and the passive implies, by God (cf. Ps. 1:3; Jer. 17:8; Ezek. 17:10,22; 19:10,13; Hos. 9:13). Faithful followers start out as unfaithful but the gracious God has an effect on them!

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

This is a study guide commentary which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

These discussion questions are provided to help you think through the major issues of this section of the book. They are meant to be thought provoking, not definitive.

1. Define the major theological theme describing YHWH's character in Ps. 92:2.

a. lovingkindness

b. faithfulness

2. Are there two or three musical instruments listed in Ps. 92:3?

3. What are the "work(s)" of YHWH's hands mentioned in Ps. 92:4b and 5a?

4. How do Ps. 92:7 and 8 relate theologically?

5. What does Ps. 92:11 relate to?

6. How does Ps. 92: 12-14 relate to Psalm 1?