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Psalms 44:1

Context
Psalm 44 1 

For the music director; by the Korahites, a well-written song. 2 

44:1 O God, we have clearly heard; 3 

our ancestors 4  have told us

what you did 5  in their days,

in ancient times. 6 

1 sn Psalm 44. The speakers in this psalm (the worshiping community within the nation Israel) were disappointed with God. The psalm begins on a positive note, praising God for leading Israel to past military victories. Verses 1-8 appear to be a song of confidence and petition which the people recited prior to battle. But suddenly the mood changes as the nation laments a recent defeat. The stark contrast between the present and the past only heightens the nation’s confusion. Israel trusted in God for victory, but the Lord rejected them and allowed them to be humiliated in battle. If Israel had been unfaithful to God, their defeat would make sense, but the nation was loyal to the Lord. Comparing the Lord to a careless shepherd, the nation urges God to wake up and to extend his compassion to his suffering people.

2 tn The meaning of the Hebrew term מַשְׂכִּיל (maskil) is uncertain. See the note on the phrase “well-written song” in the superscription of Ps 42.

3 tn Heb “with our ears we have heard.”

4 tn Heb “fathers” (also in v. 2; the same Hebrew word may be translated either “fathers” or “ancestors” depending on the context.

5 tn Heb “the work you worked.”

6 tn Heb “in the days of old.” This refers specifically to the days of Joshua, during Israel’s conquest of the land, as vv. 2-3 indicate.



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