For the music director; according to the shushan-eduth style; 5 a psalm of Asaph.
80:1 O shepherd of Israel, pay attention,
you who lead Joseph like a flock of sheep!
1 tn Heb “for this is God, our God, forever and ever.” “This” might be paraphrased, “this protector described and praised in the preceding verses.”
2 tn The imperfect highlights the characteristic nature of the generalizing statement.
3 tn In the Hebrew text the psalm ends with the words עַל־מוּת (’al-mut, “upon [unto?] dying”), which make little, if any, sense. M. Dahood (Psalms [AB], 1:293) proposes an otherwise unattested plural form עֹלָמוֹת (’olamot; from עוֹלָם, ’olam, “eternity”). This would provide a nice parallel to עוֹלָם וָעֶד (’olam va’ed, “forever”) in the preceding line, but elsewhere the plural of עוֹלָם appears as עֹלָמִים (’olamim). It is preferable to understand the phrase as a musical direction of some sort (see עַל־מוּת [’al-mut] in the superscription of Ps 9) or to emend the text to עַל־עֲלָמוֹת (’al-’alamot, “according to the alamoth style”; see the heading of Ps 46). In either case it should be understood as belonging with the superscription of the following psalm.
6 sn Winged angels (Heb “cherubs”). Cherubs, as depicted in the OT, possess both human and animal (lion, ox, and eagle) characteristics (see Ezek 1:10; 10:14, 21; 41:18). They are pictured as winged creatures (Exod 25:20; 37:9; 1 Kgs 6:24-27; Ezek 10:8, 19) and serve as the very throne of God when the ark of the covenant is in view (Ps 99:1; see Num 7:89; 1 Sam 4:4; 2 Sam 6:2; 2 Kgs 19:15). The picture of the Lord seated on the cherubs suggests they might be used by him as a vehicle, a function they carry out in Ezek 1:22-28 (the “living creatures” mentioned here are identified as cherubs in Ezek 10:20). In Ps 18:10 the image of a cherub serves to personify the wind.
7 tn Heb “shine forth.”
sn Reveal your splendor. The psalmist may allude to Deut 33:2, where God “shines forth” from Sinai and comes to superintend Moses’ blessing of the tribes.