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Psalms 80:1

Context
Psalm 80 1 

For the music director; according to the shushan-eduth style; 2  a psalm of Asaph.

80:1 O shepherd of Israel, pay attention,

you who lead Joseph like a flock of sheep!

You who sit enthroned above the winged angels, 3  reveal your splendor! 4 

Psalms 99:1

Context
Psalm 99 5 

99:1 The Lord reigns!

The nations tremble. 6 

He sits enthroned above the winged angels; 7 

the earth shakes. 8 

1 sn Psalm 80. The psalmist laments Israel’s demise and asks the Lord to show favor toward his people, as he did in earlier times.

2 tn The Hebrew expression shushan-eduth means “lily of the testimony.” It may refer to a particular music style or to a tune title. See the superscription to Ps 60.

3 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.

4 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.

5 sn Psalm 99. The psalmist celebrates the Lord’s just rule and recalls how he revealed himself to Israel’s leaders.

6 tn The prefixed verbal forms in v. 1 are understood here as indicating the nations’ characteristic response to the reality of the Lord’s kingship. Another option is to take them as jussives: “let the nations tremble…let the earth shake!”

7 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.

8 tn The Hebrew verb נוּט (nut) occurs only here in the OT, but the meaning can be determined on the basis of the parallelism with רָגַז (ragaz, “tremble”) and evidence from the cognate languages (see H. R. Cohen, Biblical Hapax Legomena [SBLDS], 121).



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