Psalm 32:6-11 “Start Singing!”

Translation & Sermon By Nate Wilson for Christ the Redeemer Church, Manhattan, KS, 04 Feb 2018


v     It was ten o’clock at night in the little hotel room in Springfield, Illinois. My family and I were on our way to my niece’s wedding in Indiana a couple of weeks ago. God had kept our old van running well down the Interstate all day and had helped us find a nice place to stay that night at a bargain rate, and now we were all settling down in the beds and on sleeping bags on the floor to go to sleep before the big wedding day. As I crawled into bed in the dark, I heard this little voice, from the next bed over, humming. It must have been Jed. Hmm, should I shush him so he doesn’t bother Peter, who was sharing the bed with him? No, Peter would have already reprimanded him by now; Peter must be asleep. The humming reached the end of the song and took a repeat of the chorus. Well, I guess I don’t mind if Jed sings himself to sleep; surely it won’t take long… Every time that little piping voice came to the end of the tune, it returned flawlessly to the beginning of the chorus again. I know I listened to it for at least half an hour before I fell off to sleep, and Jed was still singing away!

Ø      In the middle of Psalm 32, David talks about being surrounded by songs of deliverance, so maybe that’s one way I experienced a fulfillment of that.

Ø      Psalm 149:5-6 says, “Let the saints be joyful in glory; Let them sing aloud on their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, And a two-edged sword in their hand…” (NKJV)

Ø      Actually, I’d be pretty nervous if I saw Jed with a two-edged sword in his hand, but he was sure singing aloud on his bed!

v     What is it that causes Christians to sing and to be surrounded by songs?

Ø      Korey commented to me recently that there’s something about Christians and pianos. He didn’t know anybody that owned a piano until he started making Christian friends.

Ø      What is it about Christianity and music?

Ø      Well, we saw last week, as we looked at the first half of Psalm 32, that Christians have something wonderful to sing about, and that is the joy of being forgiven of our sin by God.

Ø      Now, I want to look at the second half of Psalm 32 and focus in on this phenomenon of Christians singing! Starting at…

v.7 You are a hiding place for me away from stress; You will protect me. It is with songs about deliverance that you will surround me. Selah.

v     The phrase “songs of deliverance” is placed in the emphatic position in this verse. Here we have a situation where,

Ø      instead of flood waters surrounding him,

Ø      instead of God’s heavy hand surrounding him,

Ø      instead of sin surrounding him,

Ø      instead of an enemy army besieging him and surrounding him,

Ø      instead, singing will surround him - people singing about being delivered from their enemies!

v     The word for “singing/shouting” (rannay) is a unique noun, not used anywhere else in the Hebrew O.T., but we see a lot of this root word as a verb:

Ø      First occurring at the very first worship service in the tabernacle: Lev. 9:23-24 “Moses then went to the Tent of Meeting –Aaron too, and then they came out and blessed [all] the people , and the glory of Yahweh appeared to all the people. And fire came out from before the face of Yahweh and consumed the whole-burnt-offering and the fats upon the altar! And all the people saw, and they sang out and fell with their faces down.” (NAW)

Ø      Deut. 32:43 "Sing out, nations - His people, For He will avenge the blood of His servants and render payback to His adversaries. He will atone for His land [and] His people." (NAW)

Ø      1 Chronicles 16:33-34 “Then the trees of the woods shall rejoice [sing out] before the LORD, For He is coming to judge the earth. Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.” (NKJV)

Ø      2 Chronicles 20:21-22 “… [Jehoshaphat] appointed those who should sing (שׁיר) to the LORD, and who should praise (הלל) the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: "Praise the LORD, For His mercy endures forever." Now when they began to sing (רנּה) and to praise, the LORD set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated.” (NKJV)

Ø      Job 38:4-7 “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding… who laid its cornerstone, When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (NKJV)

Ø      Psalm 5:11-12 “Meanwhile, all refugees in You will be happy, they will sing out forever, you will even fabricate shelter over him, and lovers of Your name will exult in You! Because You yourself really bless a righteous [person]; like a big shield, Yahweh, you encircle him with favor.” (NAW)

Ø      Psalm 20:1-5 “Yahweh will answer you during a day of crisis. The Name of the God of Jacob will set you on high. He will send your help from [His] holy place, and from Zion He will sustain you… We will really sing out with your salvation and display a banner with the Name of our God. Yahweh will fulfill all of your requests.” (NAW)

Ø      Psalm 30:3-5 “Yahweh, you brought my soul up from the realm of death; you revived me from going down the drain. Play music for Yahweh, you His godly ones, and respond to [the] remembrance of His holiness, for it’s ‘a moment in His anger; a lifetime in His favor.’ Dur­ing the evening, weeping may be company, but by the morning there will be singing!” (NAW)

v     Does this begin to give you a picture of how prevalent singing was in the lives of the Old Testament believers?

Ø      What did the Hebrews do when they were reached the other side of the Red Sea and saw the Egyptian army drown behind them? “I will sing unto the Lord for He has triumphed gloriously; the horse and rider thrown into the sea!” (Exodus 15:1)

Ø      What did the thirsty Israelites in the dry desert do when God provided water for them to drink? Num 21:17 Then Israel sang this song: "Spring up, O well!...” Yeah, that’s where that song came from!

Ø      What did Deborah and Barak do after God successfully defended them from the Canaanite army under the command of Siserah who had 900 iron chariots? That’s right, they sang! “Most blessed of women is Jael, the wife of Hever…” (Judges 5:24)

Ø      What did David do when God saved him from his sin? Psalm 51:14 “Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, The God of my salvation, And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.” (NKJV)

Ø      What did the Jews do when God delivered them out of 70 years of exile in Babylon to return and reconstruct Jerusalem? Ezra 3:11 “…they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the LORD: ‘For He is good, For His mercy endures forever toward Israel.’” (NKJV)

Ø      And what does John the Revelator see the saints in heaven doing after they were saved by the death and resurrection of Jesus? Revelation 5:9 “And they sang a new song that went: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because You were slain and you redeemed us for God using Your blood…” (NAW)

8 Let me provoke your thinking and direct you in this way you should walk. Let me be a counselor; let my eye be on you.

v     The opening word is the one for which this Psalm was named a Maskil: askilcah – “I will instruct,” or, as the Old Testament Parsing Guide suggests, “Let me instruct you” (Cohortative) “Let me provoke your thinking with some teaching for a moment.” “Let me impart understanding to you.”

v     Who is speaking here? Let me suggest it is the same person who was speaking the last three times the word yarah (“teach/direct/instruct”) occurred in the Psalms:

Ø      Psalm 25:8 “Goodness and righteousness characterize Yahweh, therefore He directs sinners in His way.” (NAW)

Ø      Psalm 25:12 “Who is the man who respects Yahweh? He will direct this [man] in a way He will choose.” (NAW)

Ø      Psalm 27:11 “Yahweh, direct me in Your way and guide me in a level path in spite of my opponents.” (NAW)

Ø      However, about half of the commentaries[1] I read interpreted the speaker as David. Matthew Henry, for instance paraphrased v.8 as: “I will give thee the best counsel I can and then observe whether thou takest it or no.” – literally “my eye upon you.”

Ø      Perhaps the question of whether this is David or God teaching and counseling could be solved by saying that this is a quote originally from God to David, and later relayed in this Psalm as an oracle by David to other persons. That makes sense to me and ties both interpretations together.

v     “God will continually watch over us… as [we] travel so [we] will not get lost and go wrong. I am glad God promises to do that for us. For great as forgiveness is, the one who has sinned and been forgiven does not want to repeat the sin of again falling into error but rather wants to go on walking in the right way and so please our heavenly Father. How are we to do that unless God continues to keep His eye on us?” ~James M. Boice

v     The leadership of God is highlighted in v.8, but in v.9, the thoughtful, relational response of God’s people toward God is highlighted by way of contrast with a dumb beast of burden. The relationship between God and His people is not intended to look like the way we treat a horse or mule.

v.9 Y’all shouldn’t be like a horse – like a non-intelligent mule – with bit and bridle being his tackle for keeping control, never to come close to you.

Ø      We expect only limited understanding from a beast. We might talk to our animals, and our animals might even understand a practical word or two, but we can’t hold a conversation with them. They are not peers, and ultimately we feel free to make them do what we want them to do because there is nothing ethically wrong with violating their will – as long as we aren’t being cruel to them.

Ø      The other evening, when I knew it was going to get too cold outside for my cat, I opened my garage and attempted to shoo her in. Unfortunately, the cat was too stupid to understand the need for what I was attempting to do. After all, there were still interesting things to do out­side, and the sun hadn’t fully set, so the temperature wasn’t uncomfortable yet. But I knew the temperature was going to drop and that it would be best for her to spend the night in the garage, so I was trying to shoo her in there and then close the door before she got out again. (Now, if I had a cat-sized bit and bridle, perhaps I could have made her go into the garage and stay, but I didn’t.) I eventually gave up and closed the garage door to at least keep the skunks out. I think it was my daughter Lillian that went out late that night to check on the cat, and, sure enough, there she was, shivering outside the garage door, finally ready to go in and stay in when Lillian opened the door for her.

§         Thank God He gives us second chances when we act mule-headed too!

v     Albert Barnes: “The counsel referred to in the previous verse is here given; and it is, that one who wishes to obtain the favor of God should not be as the wild and unbroken horse, an animal that can be subdued only by a curb, but should evince a calm, submissive spirit - a spirit “dis­posed” to obey and submit. If he becomes a subject of God’s government, he is not to be sub­dued and held as the horse is - by mere force; there must be the cheerful submission of the will. People are not brought into the service of God by physical power; they are not kept there by an iron “curb.” They come and yield themselves willingly to his law; they “must” come with that spirit if they would find the favor of God… The mule is distinguished for its obstinacy, and this is evidently the ground of com­parison here. The meaning is, be tractable, gentle, yielding; submit to the guidance and direct­ion of God and his truth… [Beasts of burden] are governed only by power and by fear. People have reason and conscience, and they should allow themselves to be controlled by appeals TO their rea­son and to their moral sense. They are not made to be gov­erned as brutes are. Since they have a higher nature, they should permit themselves to be governed by it.

v     The end of verse 9 is odd, literally “never to come close to you,” but combined with the idea that these animals need harnesses and bits and bridles to keep them under control, the idea is either

Ø      that you use that tackle to keep a dangerously-strong animal far enough away from people that it doesn’t hurt them, (Targums, Syriac, Rashi, Calvin)

Ø      or that you use this kind of tackle to get close enough to them that you can load them up and make them carry things for you. (Augustine, JFB, K&D, Barnes, Grotius, Plumer)

v     Either way, we shouldn’t need that “heavy hand” of God from verse 4 on us (like a harness on a horse) to make us do what we were created to do.

Ø      Horses were created to glorify God and to be tamed by humans to spread God’s kingdom.

Ø      We humans were created to glorify God by worshiping Him and living according to His character on earth, taking dominion and making disciples.

§         Rebell against what you were made to do, and God has ways of forcing you to do things against your will, but it’s miserable, as David attested in v.3.

§         Confess your sin, pray to God, hide yourself in Him, heed His instruction, follow His directions and counsel, and you will find the joy of forgiveness, security, worship, and relating to the Son of God as His sibling instead of as His slave[2]!

Ø      “The reason for this caution is because the way of sin - which we would persuade you to forsake - will certainly end in sorrow (v.10).” ~Matthew Henry

v.10 Many are the sorrows for the wicked man, but as for the one who trusts in Yahweh, lovingkindness will surround him.

v     Notice the stark contrasts in verse 10: “the wicked” versus “the believer” and “sorrows” vs. “merciful kindness”.

v     Trusting in the Lord is the opposite of being wicked. Did you notice that? That is the heart of righteousness because, as Genesis and Romans tell us, “the just live by faith.” Trusting God is the cornerstone of the life of the righteous.

Ø      If you trust God to save you, you will readily confess your sins to Him instead of covering them up.

Ø      If you trust God, you will relate to Him, pray to Him, and worship Him instead of avoiding Him.

Ø      If you trust God, you will follow His direction and counsel and obey him instead of stubbornly doing your own thing like a mule.

Ø      If you trust God instead of rebelling against him, He will lavish His lovingkindness on you instead of putting pressure on you to change your ways.

Ø      The Bible does not teach that you will never experience any stress if you trust God, but it does teach

§         that He will keep an eye out for you,

§         that He will only give stress in measured doses small enough for you to be able to endure by faith,

§         and that it will not be senseless, random hardship but rather something that has the definite purpose of refining you and bringing greater glory to Him.

v     “Sorrows/woes” מַכְאוֹבִים – literally “pains” – are the just consequences of sin.

Ø      Sorrow (actually the synonym עצב) came to men and women in Genesis 3:16-17 as God’s curse against sin.

Ø      Jeremiah clearly links מַכְאוֹב sorrow with sin in Lament. 1:18 “The LORD is righteous, For I rebelled against His commandment. Hear now, all peoples, And behold my sorrow…” (NKJV)

Ø      And this links with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, because how could God be righteous and execute justice against sin, and, at the same time, “lift the guilt of sin off of” David (and off of us) and give us “lovingkindness” instead of “sorrow”?

§         God did it by placing the “sorrows” upon Jesus and having Him die in our place:

§         Isaiah 53:3 says, “He was despised and was the One rejected of men - a sorrowing (מַכְאוֹב) man also known by grief... 4 Surely our griefs He Himself carried, and our sorrows (מַכְאוֹבִים), He bore them.” (NAW)

§         That’s how God can be both “just and the justifier of the one who trusts Jesus” (Rom. 3:26).

v     Dear brothers and sisters, you who are clinging to Jesus to make you right with God, He is surrounding you with lovingkindness! Look around and notice that! Thank Him for it and delight in it! You will also be surrounded with songs of deliverance, so make singing to God part of your life for the rest of your life!

v.11 Be happy in Yahweh, and rejoice you righteous, and sing out all of y’all who have been made right inside!

v     Here we have God’s command to rejoice and sing (or “shout for joy,” as the KJV & NASB translate it, but they translated the noun form of this word “songs” back in v.7 “songs of deliverance,” so this is the same kind of thing.)

v     We are commanded to sing to the Lord:

Ø      Ps. 47:1-2 “…clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout [sing] to God with the voice of triumph! For the LORD Most High is awesome; He is a great King over all the earth.” (NKJV)

Ø      Psalm 67:4 “Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy!...” (NKJV)

Ø      Psalm 81:1 “Sing aloud to God our strength; Make a joyful shout to the God of Jacob.” (NKJV)

Ø      Psalm 95:1 “Oh come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.” (NKJV)

Ø      Ps. 98:4 “Let ‘er rip unto the LORD, all earth; burst out, sing out, and play music!” (NAW)

Ø      Ps. 100:2 “Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing.” (NKJV)

Ø      Psalm 107:22 “Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, And declare His works with rejoicing [singing].”(NKJV)

Ø      Isaiah 12:6 “Shout and sing for joy, dweller of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel!” (NAW)

Ø      Jeremiah 31:7 “For thus says the LORD: ‘Sing with gladness for Jacob, And shout among the chief of the nations; Proclaim, give praise, and say, “O LORD, save Your people, The remnant of Israel!”’” (NKJV)

Ø      Zechariah 2:10 “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion! For behold, I am coming and I will dwell in your midst," says the LORD.” (NKJV)

v     How many times does God have to command you to sing before you will obey Him on this point? I just listed about a dozen times, and there’s more if you look at the rest of the Bible!

v     For instance, in the New Testament, Jesus led His disciples in singing songs, and the Apostle Paul commanded that Christians sing:

Ø      Eph. 5:18-21 “…be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord...” (NKJV)

Ø      Colossians 3:16 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (NKJV)

v     And so did the Apostle James: “Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms.” (James 5:13b, NKJV)

v     To sing is simply to reflect the character of God Himself who also sings about His relationship with us! Zephaniah 3:17 “The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” (NKJV)

Conclusion: A few practical ideas for singing

v     So, here’s a question. How figuratively should we take this singing thing? I mean, what if you just aren’t a good singer?

Ø      We’ve all heard the admonition to just “make a joyful noise” if you can’t sing.

Ø      Or sing solo if you’ve got a bad voice – so low, that is, that people won’t be able to hear you.

Ø      But seriously, this is a matter of obedience. God has commanded you to sing!

v     I have a friend named Jim who couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket when I met him back in the 1990’s. There wasn’t much singing when we’d get together, as I recall, but Jim loved God, and we would have great conversations about God’s word and the church and about raising our little children to love God. Then one day my family went over to his house for dinner, and I noticed a beginner voice lesson book on the piano, so I asked which of their kids was taking voice lessons. Jim said HE was taking voice lessons. A bit shocked, I asked what got into him. He said, “Well, I got convicted that God commands us in the Bible to sing, so I figured I’d better learn how to sing.” And that was that for Jim. Now we sing whenever we get together, and he has really developed a nice voice!

v     Tone deaf people can learn to sing:

Ø      When I was a boy, I remember one Christmas when, after a few voice lessons from our church choir director, our notoriously tone-deaf church treasurer, Mr. Leopard, got up in front of the whole congregation and did a bang-up job of singing a Christmas song solo!

Ø      That inspired me years later when my tone-deaf college roommate asked if I could teach him a love song he could sing to his girlfriend. After some singing lessons, I decided to make a real production of it: I set up loudspeakers in front of the dorm building where his girlfriend lived, and I accompanied him on guitar as he serenaded her in front of hundreds of other students in the dorm!

v     Now if love for a girl could motivate a tone-deaf young man to sing a solo through a loudspeaker system in front of her dorm, surely God’s love provides all the more motivation for you to incorporate singing into your everyday life! God loved you so much that He sent His Son to die on a cross to forgive all your sins and make you righteous inside – in your heart – and to surround you with lovingkindness. Love that great deserves to have its praises sung out loud!

v     Let me conclude with a few practical ideas for how to work singing into your life some more:

Ø      Take voice lessons or join a choir. (A good choir conductor uses rehearsals to give instruct­ion in how to sing, so it can be almost as good as private lessons if you find a good choir.)

Ø      Invest in some music to listen to – maybe that that means paying for a membership to access a music library online, or maybe it’s to buy a few albums of your own. Christians have been writing music for hundreds of years, so there’s a much wider range of Christian music available than the limited amount that can be found on the FM radio dial, by the way.

Ø      Find a time in your schedule when you can listen to that music. I don’t have a lot of free time in my schedule, but the one time I’ve consistently found to listen to music has been while I’m driving. I like to bring a CD with me when I drive to an appointment, and I use the drive over to pray, and I use the drive home to listen to the CD!

Ø      Incorporate singing into your family devotions. I try to send each head of household in our church a copy of the music for the next week’s worship service every week. That is to give opportunity for you to practice singing those songs with your household! You don’t have to sing those particular songs, but that’s a resource you can use.

Ø      It’s a worthwhile investment to buy hymnbooks for your family.

§         If you can’t afford to buy ‘em new, you might be surprised what you’d find from rummaging around the basements of some local churches! I got a dozen hymnals free from a church that was upgrading its hymnbooks!

§         I try at least once a week to pull out the hymnbooks and let my kids request a few hymns out of our hymnbooks.

§         As for music accompaniment, if you don’t have a piano or you don’t have a family member who can play piano well enough, some hymnbooks have guitar chords so you can sing with a guitar instead of a piano.

§         If you don’t play guitar either, some hymnals have corresponding websites where you can download a music file that plays the piano accompaniment you can sing to, or you could sing along with a recording of an orchestra or band performing that song,

§         or you could go without any accompaniment and sing a cappella. Paul and Silas probably didn’t have any accompaniment the time they sang all night in jail at Philippi.

Ø      Speaking of which, do you know enough songs by heart that you could survive a season of life in jail without access to Bibles and hymnbooks or the Internet? How about your children? Can you teach them a body of songs so they could endure persecution too?

Ø      And then there’s always the possibility of composing new songs.

v     May God indeed surround you with songs of deliverance!

Comparison of editions and versions of Psalm 32:6-11[A]

Vaticanus (31)

Brenton (LXX)

DouayRheims (Vulgate 31)




6 ὑπὲρ ταύτης προσεύξεται πᾶς ὅσιος πρὸς σὲ ἐν καιρῷ εὐθέτῳ· πλὴν ἐν κατα­κλυςμῷ ὑδάτων πολλῶν πρὸς αὐτὸν οὐκ ἐγγιοῦσιν.

6 Therefore shall every holy one pray to thee in a fit time: only in the deluge of many waters they shall not come nigh to him.

6 For this shall every one that is holy pray to thee in a seasonable time. And yet in a flood of many waters, they shall not come nigh unto him.

6 For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when [thou mayest be] found: surely in the flood[s][B] of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him.

6 On account of this, let every godly one pray to You for a time of finding, so at least [when it comes] to a flood of torrential waters, they will not make an impact on him.

ו) עַל זֹאת יִתְפַּלֵּל כָּל חָסִיד אֵלֶיךָ לְעֵת מְצֹא[C] רַק[D] לְשֵׁטֶף מַיִם רַבִּים[E] אֵלָיו לֹא יַגִּיעוּ.

7 σύ μου εἶ καταφυγὴ ἀπὸ θλίψεως τῆς περιεχούσης με· τὸ ἀγαλλίαμά μου, λύτρωσαί [με ἀπὸ τῶν] κυκλωσάντων με. διάψαλμα.

7 Thou art my refuge from the affliction that en­compasses me; my joy, to deliver [me from them that] have com­passed me. Pause.

7 Thou art my ref­uge from the trou­ble which hath en­compassed me: my joy, deliver [me from them that] surround me.

7 Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt com­pass me about with songs[F] of deliverance. Selah.

7 You are a hiding place for me; You will protect me from the adversary. It is with songs about deliver­ance that you will sur­round me. Selah.

ז) אַתָּה סֵתֶר לִי מִצַּר תִּצְּרֵנִי רָנֵּי פַלֵּט[G] תְּסוֹבְבֵנִי סֶלָה.

8 συνετιῶ σε καὶ συμβιβῶ σε ἐν ὁδῷ ταύτῃ, πορεύσῃ, ἐπι­στηριῶ ἐπὶ σὲ τοὺς ὀφθαλμούς μου.

8 I will instruct thee and guide thee in this way wherein thou shalt go: I will fix mine eyes upon thee.

8 I will give thee understanding, and I will instruct thee in this way, [in which] thou shalt go: I will fix my eyes upon thee.

8 I will instruct thee and teach thee in [the] way which thou shalt go: I will guide X thee [with] mine eye.

8 Let me provoke your thinking and direct you in this way you should walk. Let me be a counselor; let my eye be on you.

ח) אַשְׂכִּילְךָ וְאוֹרְךָ בְּדֶרֶךְ זוּ תֵלֵךְ[H] אִיעֲצָה עָלֶיךָ עֵינִי.

9 μὴ γίνεσθε ὡς ἵππος [καὶ] X ἡμίονος, [οἷς] οὐκ ἔστιν σύν­εσις, ἐν χαλινῷ καὶ κημῷ τὰς σιαγόνας αὐτῶν ἄγξαι τῶν μὴ ἐγ­γιζόντων πρὸς σέ.

9 Be ye not as horse [and] X mule, [which] have no under­standing; [but thou must] X constrain their jaw[s] with bit and curb, lest [they should] come nigh to thee.

9 Do not become like the horse [and] the mule, [who] have no under­standing. With bit and bridle X bind fast their jaw[s], [who] come not near unto thee.

9 Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no[I] understand­ing: whose mouth [must be] X held in[J] with bit and bridle, lest [they] come[K] near unto thee.

9 Don’t y’all be like a horse – like a non-intelligent mule – with bit and bridle being its tackle for keeping control, never to come close to you.

ט) אַל תִּהְיוּ כְּסוּס כְּפֶרֶד אֵין הָבִין בְּמֶתֶג וָרֶסֶן עֶדְיוֹ[L] לִבְלוֹם בַּל קְרֹב אֵלֶיךָ.

10 πολλαὶ αἱ μάστιγες τοῦ ἁμαρτωλοῦ, τὸν δὲ ἐλπίζοντα ἐπὶ κύριον ἔλεος κυκλώσει X.

10 Many are the scourges of the sinner: but him that hopes in the Lord mercy shall compass about X.

10 Many are the scourges of the sinner, but mercy shall encompass him that hopeth in the Lord.

10 Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy[M] shall compass him about.

10 Many are the sorrows for the wicked man, but as for the one who trusts in Yahweh, loving­kindness will surround him.

י) רַבִּים מַכְאוֹבִים לָרָשָׁע וְהַבּוֹטֵחַ בַּיהוָה חֶסֶד יְסוֹבְבֶנּוּ.

11 εὐφράνθητε ἐπὶ κύριον καὶ ἀγαλλιᾶσθε, δίκαιοι, καὶ καυχᾶσθε, πάντες οἱ εὐθεῖς τῇ καρδίᾳ.

11 Be glad in the Lord, and exult, ye righteous: and glory, all ye that are upright in heart.

11 Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye just, and glory, all ye right of heart.

11 Be glad in the LORD, and re­joice, ye right­eous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.

11 Be happy in Yahweh, and re­joice, you who are righteous, and sing out, all of y’all who are justified inside!

יא) שִׂמְחוּ בַיהוָה וְגִילוּ צַדִּיקִים וְהַרְנִינוּ כָּל יִשְׁרֵי לֵב.


[1] Matthew Henry, Keil & Delitzsch, Jamison Fausset & Brown, A. Cohen, and Albert Barnes advocated for David being the speaker, whereas the Targums, Augustine, John Calvin, John Gill, Adam Clark, James Boice, and Gerald Wilson advocated for it being God speaking. (Without adding a vote of his own, William Plumer added the names of Ainsworth, Morison, Fry, Horsley, and Tholuck to the latter list and the names of Pool, Calvin(?), Diodati, Patrick, Dodd, Mudge, Henry, Slade, Hengstenberg, and Alexander to the first list.) Several of the above, such as Tholuck, Pool, and Gerald Wilson considered this to be a quote originally from God later relayed in this Psalm as an oracle by David to other persons. That makes sense to me and ties both interpretations together.

[2] John 15:15 NKJV  No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.

Hebrews 2:11-12 NKJV  For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying: "I WILL DECLARE YOUR NAME TO MY BRETHREN; IN THE MIDST OF THE ASSEMBLY I WILL SING PRAISE TO YOU." (quoting Psalm 22:22)

[A] My original chart includes the NASB and NIV, but their copyright restrictions have forced me to remove them from the publicly-available edition of this chart. I have included the ESV in footnotes when it employs a word not already used by the KJV, NASB, or NIV. (NAW is my translation.) When a translation adds words not in the Hebrew text, but does not indicate it has done so by the use of italics (or greyed-out text), I put the added words in [square brackets]. When one version chooses a wording which is different from all the other translations, I underline it. When a version chooses a translation which, in my opinion, either departs too far from the root meaning of the Hebrew word or departs too far from the grammar form of the original text, I use strikeout. And when a version omits a word which is in the Hebrew text, I insert an X. (I also place an X at the end of a word if the original word is plural but the English translation is singular.) I occasionally use colors to help the reader see correlations between the various editions and versions when there are more than two different translations of a given word. Hebrew text that is colored purple matches the Dead Sea Scrolls, and variants between the DSS and the MT are noted in endnotes with the following exceptions: When a holem or qametz-hatuf or qibbutz pointing in the MT is represented in the DSS by a vav (or vice versa), or when a hireq pointing in the MT is represented in the DSS by a yod (the corresponding consonantal representation of the same vowel) – or vice versa, or when the tetragrammaton is spelled with paleo-Hebrew letters, I did not record it a variant. No Dead Sea Scrolls have been found containing Psalm 32.

[B] NIV=rise, ESV=rush

[C] Literally “a time of finding” – the Greek and Syriac versions render it a “good/fitting/seasonable” time, while English versions generally add “you may be.”

[D] “The restrictive meaning of רק here, as is frequently the case (Deut. 4:6; Judges 14:16; 1Kings 21:25, cf. Psalm 91:8), has passed over to the affirmative: certo quum, etc.”~Keil & Delitzsch

[E] Four of the seven times that this phrase ravim mayim occurs in the Psalms, it is pretty clearly speaking of the ocean (Psalms 18:16; 29:3; 32:6; 77:19; 93:4; 107:23; 144:7).

[F] ESV=shouts

[G] This word and the preceding one are both hapex legomena.

·         Cf. Psalm 27:3-6 “If an army pitches-camp against me, my heart will not be afraid; if a battle arises against me, during that I will keep trusting. One thing I asked from Yahweh; that’s what I will seek: for me to sit in the house of Yahweh all the days of my life, in order to gaze on the delightfulness of Yahweh and to do research in His temple. For He will conceal me in a shelter during a bad day; He will hide me in a hiding-place (סתר) of His tent. He will lift me up into a landmark-rock. And now my head will be lifted up over my enemies around me, and I will sacrifice there at His tent sacrifices of applause. I will sing there and I will play music there to Yahweh!” (NAW)

·         Cf. Psalm 31:19-23 How great is Your goodness, which You have hidden away for those who respect You, [which] You worked out for the ones who take refuge in You before the children of mankind! You will cover them with the cover (סתר) of Your face away from bondage to mankind; You will hide them in a pavilion away from strife of tongues. Yahweh be blessed, because He has made His loving-kindness wonderful to me in an enclosed city… Love Yahweh, all you His godly ones! Those being faithful are the ones Yahweh is protecting…” (NAW)

·         Psalm 4:1 “God of my righteousness, answer me while I am calling. During this stress (tsur)You opened up margin for me. Be gracious to me and heed my prayer!” (NAW)

·         Cf. Psalm 12:7-8. Wicked men are all around… As for you, Yahweh, You will take care of them; You will protect us (Titsrayni) from this generation forever.

·         Cf. Psalm 31: 23 Love Yahweh, all you His godly ones! Those being faithful are the ones Yahweh is protecting, but He is paying back in excess the one who acts out haughtiness.

·         Ps. 22:4-5 “In You our fathers trusted. They trusted, and You delivered them. To You they cried out, and they were rescued. In You they trusted, and they did not experience shame.” (NAW)

[H] OT Parsing Guide and Davidson both label this is as Qal Imperfect 2ms

[I] ESV=without

[J] NASB=whose trappings include, NIV=must be controlled, ESV=must be curbed

[K] ESV=stay near

[L] Davidson labels this as a singular masculine noun with a third person masculine singular suffix. The KJV followed the Septuagint and Vulgate tradition of interpreting this word as the “jaws” of the horse which are restrained, but the root ‘adah has to do with what goes/passes on and off of an object, thus I interpret it with the NASB as the whole connected harness system, composed of the individual pieces of bit and harness, which is slipped on and off of a horse’s head. Tackle/gear/equipment/apparatus/outfit/trappings. (The NIV omitted this word from its translation.) The next word lblm is a hapex legomenon, so there’s no other verses we can use as a comparison with that infinitive.

[M] NASB=lovingkindness, NIV=unfailing love, ESV=steadfast love